King Abdullah tells preachers to reach out to other communities

King AbdullahMAKKAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah urged Islamic scholars and preachers on Monday to reach out to non-Muslim communities and said the message of Islam came addressing the whole humanity, not a particular community.

“We have to open up to other communities because the message of Islam does not address a particular community excluding others. In fact, it is a message for the whole humanity,” the king said in his opening speech at the 12th Makkah conference.The king’s speech was read out by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal. The three-day conference is organized by the Muslim World League.King Abdullah emphasized the duty of Muslims to spread the message of Islam all over the world. “Despite the material progress achieved by man, he is still suffering from a lack of spirituality,” he said while emphasizing the importance of dawa work.

In his keynote speech, King Abdullah said Islam is a comprehensive religion of peace and mercy. “The message of Islam explains how man and woman on this earth should live, with all its details.”The king continued: “Islam alone presents a complete way of life based on divine values and presents a balanced approach toward life. It can save them from the present dilemma while protecting their material achievements.”King Abdullah called for reforms in dawa work, keeping pace with modern developments. “We have to carry on dawa work with the intent of spreading our religion among other nations in the right form, highlighting its moderate teachings,” he said.

He said preachers should be able to address modern issues in the light of Islamic teachings and make use of modern information technology.King Abdullah emphasized the fact that Muslims should change their lifestyle and behavior in accordance with the teachings of Islam to remove the existing poor impression about them from the minds of other communities.“Setting a good example is the best way to defend Islam and encourage others to embrace our religion,” the king said while noting the Kingdom’s efforts in the service of Islam and Muslims all over the world.

Saudi Arabia builds mosques, Islamic centers, institutes and schools in different parts of the world. It also finances a number of Islamic research chairs in leading international universities.King Abdullah took the initiative to promote dialogue between followers of different faiths and cultures and establish an international counterterrorism center in New York. “There is a single entity derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Islam cannot be classified as political and nonpolitical or extremist and moderate.”King Abdullah commended the efforts being made by MWL to introduce Islam and confront the smear campaigns against Islam and Muslims.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, grand mufti, Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of MWL, and Yousuf Salama, imam and khateeb of Al-Aqsa Mosque, also addressed the opening session. “Islamic preaching is a duty imposed on Muslims by the Shariah,” said Al-Turki.The grand mufti denounced the move by enemies to tarnish the image of Islam. “Islamic preachers are not terrorists. If any individual has made any mistake it should not be generalized,” he said and stressed the need to do dawa with wisdom. – Arabnews