Breaking News

Livelihood and security

The Glorious Quran has established a direct relation between security and livelihood on several occasions. In “Surat” An-Nahl Chapter (The Bees) Allah Almighty says: “Allah strikes a parable of the village which was safe and peaceful. Its provisions came in abundance from everywhere; but it was thankless for the favours of Allah. Therefore, for what they were doing, Allah let it taste the garment of hunger and fear” (16:112). So when the village was safe and its people worked together to maintain its safety, its provisions came in abundance from everywhere but when they became thankless for the favours of Allah Almighty, Allah let them taste the garment of hunger and fear. In the same chapter “Surat” Allah Almighty says: “We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves” (16:118). In “Surat” Koraysh Chapter Allah says: “For the custom of the Koraysh,* Their custom of the winter and summer journey* Therefore let them worship the Lord of this House * Who fed them from hunger and secured them from fear”. In “Surat” Al-Qasas Chapter (The Story), the Holy Quran commented on the people of Mecca who were granted security and livelihood for preserving the scared mosque and its security: “ But have We not given them a secure sanctuary from which fruits of every kind are collected as a provision from Us? Indeed, most of them do not know” (57). In “Surat” Al-Anfal (Battle Gains), Allah says: “And remember how He gave you shelter when you were few in number and considered weak in the land, ever fearing that the people would snatch you away; but He gave you refuge and supported you with His victory and provided you with goodness, so that you might give thanks” (8:26). And when Prophet Abraham (peace by upon him) prayed to God to provide his family and offspring with a homeland and fruits “And when Abraham said: ‘My Lord, make this country safe and provide its inhabitants whosoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day with fruits”. (2:126). The Holy Quran narrates the words of Abraham (peace be upon him): “And when Abraham said: ‘My Lord, make this a land secure. Turn me and my children away from worshipping idols. My Lord they have led many people astray. Whosoever follows me belongs to me. Whosoever rebels against me, You are surely Forgiving, the Most Merciful. Our Lord, I have settled some of my offspring in a barren valley near Your Holy House; our Lord, in order that they establish the prayer. Make the hearts of people yearn towards them, and provide them with fruits, in order that they are thankful” (Ibrahim 35-37). Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said reminding us of the blessings of Allah: “The one among you who wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as if the whole world were brought to him”. As we can see, Prophet Muhmmad (peace be upon him) who does not speak out of desire advances the blessing of security to health and livelihood to emphasize the importance of these blessings and the need to preserve them. He referred to security with the phrase “secure in his property” to stress the need for protecting your home regardless of its size or nature.

There is a positive correlation between security and livelihood and investment climate. Whenever security and safety are fulfilled, growth, they are directly followed by investments, work, production and different means of earning. On the contrary, wherever there is war, extremism, terrorism, destruction and vandalism, and corruption, life becomes harder and everybody is plagued by poverty.

Hence, Islam prohibited threatening the lives of people that Prophet Muhammad denied the merit of faith – regardless of the different interpretations of this denial as denial of the merit in full or of its perfection-  to those who threaten the safety and security of people: “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one people trust with their lives and wealth”. Prophet Muhammad also said: He shall not be a true believer that who breaks his oath”, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil” and “That you keep yourself from harming people is a charity”.

Islam has forbidden all forms of corruption and mischief. Allah Almighty says in his Glorious Quran: “Do not make mischief in the earth after it has been put right” (Al-A’raf “The Ramparts” 56), and “do not corrupt the land with mischief”. (Hood “The Prophet Hood” 85). Allah Almight also says: “ There is he whose sayings pleases you in this worldly life and uses Allah as a witness for what is in his heart, but he is most stubborn in adversary* No sooner does he leave than he hastens about the earth to corrupt there and destroy crops and cattle. Allah does not love corruption* When it is said to him: ‘Fear Allah, ‘ egotism takes him in his sin. Hell-fire shall be enough for him. How evil a cradling!” (2: 204-206) and “Could it be, that if you turn away, you might make corruption in the land and break the ties of kinship?* Such are those whom Allah has cursed, making them deaf and blinding their eyes* Will they not then contemplate on the Koran? Or are there locks upon their hearts!” (47:22-24).

Cairo Document for Spreading Peace
And Recommendations of the 27th International Conference
of The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs
Ministry of Islamic Endowments

Under the auspices of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and the Chairmanship of Dr. Mohammed Mukhtar Gomaa, Minister of Religious Endowments and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, a host of clerics, politicians, parliamentarians, thinkers and intellectuals from all over the world met in the twenty seventh conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs that was held in Cairo Governorate on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th of Jamadah Al-Akhar 1438 Hijri corresponding to 11th and 12th of March 2017 A.D. under the title: “The Role of Leaders and Decision Makers in Spreading the Culture of Peace and Confronting Terrorism and other Threats”.

Following  two days of continuous work in seven scientific sessions, the participants issued  “Cairo Document for Spreading Peace” that carries peace for the entire world, and seeks to spread the culture of peace in word and deed through programs, workshops and laws that meet this end and consolidate dignified humanitarian co-existence.

 The following recommendations were adopted:

1- To shift from reaction to action, and seek to spread the culture of peace through humanitarian co-existence programs on the ground at the level of individual countries, and at  the human and international levels.

2- To focus on human commonalities as well as commonalities among religions in religious, cultural, educational and media discourse; and to enact laws that criminalize discrimination on the basis of religion, color or race.

3-To work, through international organizations, on criminalizing discrimination on the basis of religion and religious exclusion without exceptions.

4- To refrain from associating terrorism to religions, for they are innocent of it, and to affirm that such association is a flagrant injustice against religions that embroils the world in endless and devastating circles of violence.

5- To work on consolidating the pillars of citizenship that is equal in rights and duties on a common human and national ground, as well as to deepen the sense of patriotic belonging of all countrymen, elevate the humanitarian sense and consolidate the pillars of peaceful coexistence among all people.

6- To believe in diversity and respecting whoever is different in religion, color or race; and to work together for the best of homelands and people.

7- Specialized scholars should correct misconceptions and erroneous understandings of Quranic verses and prophetic sayings invoked by terrorists in order to justify or theorize for extremism and terrorism, and show the correct meaning of these Quranic verses and prophetic sayings.

8- To use all available awareness and educational means: mosques, schools, universities, youth centers, culture centers, and audio-visual and print media means, to disseminate the culture of peace, face extremism, and rectify wrongful concepts. Continuous training on the usage of these means is a prerequisite.

9- To expand the use of cyber spaces and all modern communication media to disseminate the culture of tolerance and peace and face extremism.

10- To focus on the significant preaching, cultural, media, and academic role of women given its clear impact on different fields, specially raising new generations on positive, moral, behavioral, and national values.

11- To communicate with world parliamentary leaders in order to define the concept of terrorism; draft unified laws to combat extremist terrorists regardless of their religion, nationality, or country; and criminalize harboring terrorists or providing any form of support to them, as an inclusive reality without any exception.

12- To invite the Egyptian parliament and all parliaments of the world to do whatever is necessary to criminalize cyber terrorism in all its forms.

13- To ensure regular communication with religious scholars, intellectuals, politicians, and media professionals, and also among the adherents of different religions at all levels, to overcome the psychological barrier of dealing with the other. People hate what they do not know. Our way is convergence – not divergence, and mercy not combat or clash. Diversity is a universal norm as Allah – Subhanhu wa Taala says “And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them.” (Surah Hood: 118-119).

14- To include facing extremism and spreading the culture of peace as topics on political summits agendas to cooperate in setting an international mechanism to this purpose.

15- To exchange experience, information, and statistics produced by religious leaders with fruitful results in entrenching the culture of peace and tolerance and condemning the hatred and violence discourse. The best of these should be identified and utilized in developing a real strategy for confrontation through conferences, workshops and various training programs.

16- To raise the capacities of national media in all countries which believe in peace, to be able to face the extremist group media, especially digital media. A clear and focused media strategy should be drafted to spread the culture of peace, develop patriotic and humane feelings, and rectify wrong concepts.

17- To translate this document and send it through the Egyptian Parliament to all world Parliaments and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to international institutions working on spreading peace and combating extremism and terrorism.

 May Allah make these efforts a success

Capitals, Borders and States’ Building

Mokhtar-300x198

The relationship of countries’ capitals with national borders is that of integration, and not conflict, and it should not be of conflict. Simply, any country cannot do without a capital as heart and center, or borders which represent the wings by means of which the country proceed. However, the center of any country in many of the world countries captures full attention. Precedents and realities confirm that the centers of countries capture the highest levels of attention throughout history. However, the level of this attention differs from developed countries to underdeveloped ones. In fact, the developed countries can in no way neglect a part of its borders; be it land or people, disregard it, leave it liable to loss and attack, or even think of creating chaos or separatism. A poet once entered upon ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd al- ‘Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him) and said: In case you safeguard the capital of the state where you live, be noted that your governors in the different towns are like wolves. They will not react to what you call for, unless you hit their necks with swords. Yet, the development of border areas of a country is not the responsibility of the government or political leadership alone. The development of these areas is the joint responsibility of all national institutions including the governmental institutions, nongovernmental organizations, businessmen, Ministries of Investment, Education, Health, Housing, Culture, Awqaf, Monuments, and all other ministries and authorities as well as the social service associations and patriotic businessmen. They all should devote special attention to all peripheral areas in general, and the border areas in particular as their first priority and a national security issue and developmental issue. In this regard, we should turn all national borders’ areas into population-attracting areas, and population-losing areas. This is because in case a country did not pay attention to its border areas, the citizens of these areas would be obliged to move to the center and settle therein, the matter which puts tremendous pressure on the center and its suburbs and creates in many cases slums around it. It also contributes to creating a class system that produces by the passage of time social diseases and problems that need unconventional solutions. On the contrary, the country’s keen interest in making investments in its border areas, providing their citizens with the necessary services, including housing, health, education, culture, and all services required for having a stable life in their homeland, as well as providing opportunities for work and production, all of these things would give the people of these areas a sense of belonging to their land and, therefore, they would do their best to protect it motivated by their absolute national loyalty and belonging. If the elements of attraction, work incentives and significant investment are afforded in these areas, as the case of the state’s current interest in the areas of Sinai, Matrouh, New Ismailia, Halayeb and Shalatin, New Valley and desert areas in general, these areas will turn into attractive areas creating an appropriate balance in the geographical and demographical distribution, providing a decent life for the citizens of these areas and alleviating the pressure placed on the center and the services provided to its citizens. In addition, the nature of capitals and political and economic centers in the whole world requires a level of progress which makes them tourist attractions and symbols of the peoples’ civilization, greatness and progress.