UAE embodies Islamic teachings: Grand Mufti

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UAE embodies Islamic teachings: Grand Mufti

Dubai - In Part 3 of the five-part series, we sit down for a candid chat with Dr Mohammed Ayada Ayoub Alkobaisi, Grand Mufti of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:59 PM

The UAE has been formed on principles of Islam and it has implemented them in a "beautiful way", bringing itself to the forefront of the global drive to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence, said Dr Mohammed Ayada Ayoub Alkobaisi, Grand Mufti of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai (IACAD).
"The founding fathers established the UAE on the principles of tolerance, noble ethics and humanitarian values, and the UAE has become the living example of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the world today. It has shown the world how people of all faiths and backgrounds can live and prosper together in peace and harmony, with mutual respect, while upholding Islamic values and friendly local culture and customs," he said.
Mufti Alkobaisi spoke on how Islam establishes a concept of a peaceful society based on the principles of justice; goodness; freedom of religion and thought; protection of life, dignity and property; kindness; and cooperation for the benefit and welfare of society and humanity.
This, he said, works on multiple dimensions, from the religious institutes and educational systems to the official departments, legal system, the media and many others.
"All of them work together to create this beautiful reality and harmony that we experience here in the UAE."
Quoting a few verses from the Holy Quran and Hadith, he said: "Islam established the unity of human beings and considered all people to be one big family. Allah Almighty ordered Muslims to be fair and just all the time with all people, and this was further emphasised by the fourth Islamic Caliph, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him),who said that one should feel mercy inside their heart for people, love and compassion for them, as they are one of two types: either your brother in Islam, or your brother in humanity."
These are not mere words, but real principles in Islam that are respected and practised by Muslims, from the early days and throughout Islamic history, he added.
Citing examples from history when the Caliphs of Islam signed peace treaties with Christians and Jews, the Grand Mufti said: "Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) defined real Muslim as the one from whom other Muslims are safe from harm by his actions or speech, and as one to whom people entrust their lives and their properties. That is why many Jews and Christians have lived peacefully within the Muslim World - in the Arab Peninsula, Ash-Sham Levant, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen, among many other countries, and many of them continue to live there until this day."
For him, the UAE is a "unique role model" from where many countries can learn from.
"The UAE is the modern icon of Islamic civilisation, and its wise approach and serious implementation led to constructive cooperation among more than 180 nationalities, who are living and progressing together in the country."
He said the UAE's declaration of 2019 as Year of Tolerance highlights its position and role in instilling the values of respect and harmony locally and worldwide.
Pointing out the significance of the upcoming Papal visit, Mufti said: "The historical visit of the global icon Pope Francis of the Vatican to the UAE is an important continuation of the message of tolerance and constructive dialogue.
"Religion plays a major role in establishing and strengthening moral values and humanitarian activities, and it is the duty of religious heads to spread these values and promote them across the world. Through such visits, we hope to strengthen mutual respect and constructive dialogue, and spread the message of peace and brotherhood among all people."
In this day and age where all kinds of information are readily available, religious leaders have a "duty to expose fallacies and spread correct information", he said.
Mufti Alkobaisi said true Islamic teachings affirm peaceful coexistence, seek to promote dialogue among peoples, and reject all causes of extremism and fanaticism.

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