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Introduction
Common Vision
Economic Interest
Special Concerns
Quranic Order
Conclusion
Photo Gallery
Paper on
India and Saudi Arabia : Vision of Integrated Humanity

Paper presented at

Two-Day International Conference on
India and the Muslim World in the 21st Century
Constitution Club, New Delhi February 15-16, 2013
orgd by: Institute of Objective Studies
 
- Dr M M Verma

Introduction

Mr Chairman, excellencies, distinguished panelists, learned participants, ladies and gentlemen, I am thankful to the organizers for having given me an opportunity to share my perceptions on the broader theme of India and the Muslim World in the 21st century. However, I would limit my observations to India and Saudi Arabia’s vision of a wholesome world.

At the outset, I would briefly share my cherished memories of a great International Conference for Dialogue, under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, in Madrid (Spain) on 16-18 July 2008, organized by the Muslim World League. A large number of scholars, researchers, preachers, heads of Islamic centres and societies from across the World, had participated in that Conference. There was a consensus among the participants that we live in a state of interdependence in the global village. Therefore, tolerance and respect for each others’ views are essential to reduce disputes and tension.

Common Vision

India and Saudi Arabia share a common vision of a united and interdependent world. Both the countries believe in peaceful coexistence and resolution of the various conflicts through mutual dialogue. Both the countries believe in creating an orderly society, removing poverty, promoting brotherhood, cooperation and compassion, which are the foundations of a healthy civil society. Both the countries are aware of the fact that dialogue is one of the necessities of life and a means for coexistence. Difference in lifestyle and thinking is due to several reasons, such as, religious belief, language, race, and geographical conditions etc.

Both the countries believe in world peace, harmony and brotherhood. Both the countries have common understanding that the world is facing numerous challenges, including environmental catastrophes, which are all due to disregard of the Law of Nature (i.e., Law of God). The other challenges faced are due to the fact that some Muslims and some people of other faiths have taken to extremism and militancy at the expense of the culture of dialogue. Both the countries feel that there is an urgent need to study the cause of terrorism and violence.

Both the countries feel that there is a need for a genuine dialogue aimed at exploring commonalities among world’s major religions for the sake of cooperation and joint action, which can help solve our contemporary problems. They believe that all Spiritual Scriptures advocate commitment to moral virtues, and reject wrongdoing, aggression, moral degeneration, family disintegration, and damage to the environment.

The Spiritual Scriptures of all the major religions of the world believe that God has created man with natural instinct to love peace, hate evil, accept justice and reject injustice. The suffering among mankind is due to negligence of the messages of the Spiritual Masters (Qur’an, sura 20:123-124).

Both the countries feel that we must fight injustice, oppression, tyranny and exploitation of the resources of the poor and developing nations under the pretext of democracy and human rights. Both the countries feel that we should protect moral values, which are being compromised under the guise of unrestrained individual liberty. Both the countries have deep concern for the problems of human rights and their violations.

Both the countries feel that we must fight environmental degradation, resulting in natural calamities (6:56). Both the countries feel that we should not deplete our resources in the production of weapons of mass destruction, which pose a danger to the very survival of mankind.

Both the countries call upon the Nations of the world to pay attention to the culture of dialogue and reject violence, sectarianism and fanaticism. They express their concern for justice, ethical human values, and coexistence.

Both the countries show concern at the disintegration of the institution of the family as the basic social unit. They are aware of the fact that the tendency to disintegration of family is due mainly to material interests and greed in disregard to ethical values.

Economic Interest

Both the countries pursue their national interests while formulating their internal and external policies. Both the countries keep in mind their sovereignty and national integration. Economic and defence concerns are the most important factors in the formulation of their foreign policies and not the religious factor.

Saudi Arabia’s Special Concerns

Saudi Arabia emphasizes on the importance of dialogue in Islam, and the revealed messages for the good of mankind, human dignity and universal ethical values. All messages of all Prophets say that the religion of God is one. Secondly, dialogue is a true Quranic method and the prophetic practice to deal with the people of other faiths, according to the principle of tolerance in Islam. “To you your way and to me mine.”

Saudi Arabia believes in the equality of mankind’s origin and human dignity (4:1). It says dialogue should be conducted on the basis of the Quranic verse 109:6, “To you your religion and to me mine.” Do not differentiate between the Messengers of God (4:152). God had sent Muhammad as a Mercy to all creatures (22:107).

Saudi Arabia adheres to the Quranic Order

  1 Praise be to Allah and Peace be upon the mankind (Sura 1).

  2 There is but one God. Don’t compare anyone with Him. (Sura 2).

  3 He is present everywhere (2:115). Don’t serve other Gods (3:64).

  4 God is the Lord of the worlds; the Lord of all creations; having power over

  5 God is the Lord of the worlds; the Lord of all creations; having power over all things (2:20); knower of the visible and the invisible (32:   He is the Lord of all creations. He is the Mighty One, the Merciful (26: 140).

  6 God belongs to the East and the West whichever way you turn your face, there is God. We should serve Him alone (2:21).

  7 Allah is our Lord and your Lord too [Rabe Almin. Not Rabe Musalmin.] Take refuge in the Lord (113; 114).

  8 God has the most excellent names, call Him by His names (7: 180). He is the creator, originator and modeler (59: 24).

  9 God has sent to every people some prophet to give them His revelations and purify them of their sins and reveal to them the   knowledge that they don’t have (2: 15).

  10 God is with the righteous ones (29:69).

  11 About the Book – Belief in it. It is the guide to the righteous (2:1).

  12 One who does not believe in God is an evil-doer (2:99).

  13 A Kafir is one, who does not carry out His commands.

  14 Disbelievers are kafirs and sinners. They are severely punished by God (9:55).

  15 Those who have gone astray invite His wrath.

  16 Those who mislead people in the name of God are wicked.

  17 Don’t give help to the evildoers.

  18 Offerings of the wicked are not accepted (9:53).

  19 Believers – Jews, Christians and Sabaeans – whoever believes in Allah and does what is right shall be rewarded by Him and he has   nothing to fear or regret (2:62).

  20 God has created all of us from a single soul (4:1).

  21 Allah sent Prophets to all people (2:213).

  22 Respect all previous Scriptures and Prophets. Don’t discriminate among the Prophets and the Scriptures (2:285; 4:152).

  23 Say, I believe in all Scriptures that God has revealed. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. We have our own works and you have yours.   (42:16).

  24 Recite what has been revealed to you in the book of your Lord (42:17). All differences will cease.

  25 There is no place in Islam for compulsion (2:256).

  26 You have your religion and I have mine (109:6).

  27 All of you are together one.

  28 There is emphasis on good deeds (2:177).

  29 Don’t shed blood of your kinsmen (2:84).

  30 Victory is with Allah’s followers (5:56).

  31 Believers are those, who do good work (4:24).

  32 Excel one another in piety. The noblest is the most righteous (49:13).

Conclusion

The modern State is a sovereign state. It can deal with all kinds of offences and evildoers. Let’s not create a situation between God’s omnipotence and sovereignty of the State in the Indian context. I am not in favour of concentrating religious authority and political power in the hands of one person or a group of persons. I am not in favour of pushing religious agenda through the political machinery. I am not in favour of subordinating the State to religion. I believe in the sovereignty of the State and separation of religion and politics. I advocate religious freedom and social harmony. I advocate unity in diversity. I advocate that national interest is above everything. I advocate worship of God, in the wellbeing of all, without discrimination.

We should not try to divide the world into several worlds, more especially on religious grounds. We should work for reuniting the world for integrated humanity. Let the states keep in mind the national and international interests, common to them all. Religious considerations are bound to unleash fissiparous tendencies. For that matter, there are flagrant conflicts among the Muslim countries, both within and without. Every community must serve its national interest first, and extraterritorial considerations must be ruled out. Let’s join hands for the creation of one wholesome world of cooperation and interdependence.



 
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