President urges religious scholars to promote unity, harmony

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called on religious scholars to step forward to promote unity, harmony and tolerance in society. Addressing  the National Seerat Conference here on Wednesday, the President said, “There is need for spreading love instead of hate and getting together to build a harmonious society.”Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan, members of parliament and religious scholars attended the event.President Zardari said that Islam had stressed on human rights 1400 years back and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was compassionate for the whole universe and even forgave his worst enemies.He said foundation of national and international seerat conferences in the country was laid for the first time by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The credit also goes to him (ZA Bhutto) for holding Islamic Conference in Lahore in 1974.It was Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who first made the Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi celebrations into an occasion for scholars to study and discuss the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and constituted a National Seerat Committee for meaningful seerat celebrations, he said.The President said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was following the tradition.He said Islam stresses on education and scientific research and the need to discuss the importance of education has never been as great as it is today.“Today we are faced with militant mindset, militancy and religious extremism,” he said adding, “Today, we need education that promotes harmony and understanding and not hatred and extremism.”The President said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a visionary who at the time of inauguration of the International Conference on Seerat in 1976 said, “The true future of mankind clearly depends on its ability to develop bonds of fraternity between peoples with different racial and cultural backgrounds in different parts of the world.”“Today, we are witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy he had made then. Today, the very survival of mankind depends on our ability to develop bonds of fraternity between peoples of different faiths and cultural backgrounds.

And developing this bond requires proper education and training of the youth,” President Zardari remarked.The President said the goal of Islam is to spread Muslim solidarity by promoting greater understanding through the message of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Holy Quran is the book of guidance for all of mankind and not merely for the Muslims, he said.The President said the scientific advances and discoveries of today were the manifestation of the knowledge given by Islam.He urged people to take forward the message of Islam and said they have to make up for the damage done by militants to the country.On the occasion, the President gave away certificates and cash prizes to scholars and writers for authoring books and research papers on the life and character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He also announced to send the winners for Umrah.Among others who won prizes included: Maulana Ibrahim Faizi, Irfan Rizvi, Dr. Sajida, Salahuddin Mengal, Prof. Mushtaq Kalota, Fiaz Ahmed, Noreen Talat Arooba, Riaz Hussain Ch. and Maulvi Abdul Rashid – APP