Hariri: Al Azhar declaration about coexistence between Muslims and Christians reflects message of Lebanon

Mon 20 Mar 2017 at 20:56 Politics

NNA - Prime Minister Saad Hariri sponsored on Monday the opening of "Al Azm international prize for Quran memorization and recitation", organized by "Al-Azm association" and Dar al-Fatwa, at the Mohammed Al-Amine Mosque, in Downtown Beirut.

The event was attended by former prime ministers Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam, as well as Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Darian, and a panel of diplomats and dignitaries.

In a word delivered on the occasion, Hariri said: "Amid the storms of change, the human being goes back to the constants. The constants on which our children grow, and that our elders follow. The most important constant is our religion. Our faith in our religion inspires fine ethics, treating people well, loyalty to the country and love for human beings.

The constants of the Muslims and their habits in education since the first days of Islam, and since the call of the Prophet were: to read, memorize and worship the Quran. The Lebanese have known this virtue for a long time, many associations for memorizing the Quran were established, and there are among us today scholars and reciters from those associations.

Today, we are in Mohammed Al Amine's mosque, in the heart of Al Azm association that joined forces with other associations so the work on the Quran would become from Lebanon a local and international effort.

The Quranic call is a call of faith and ethics. The ethics of Islam and the Quran are the ethics of moderation in thought and behavior. The prophet says: I was sent to spread good morals. The first qualities of the ethics of moderation are communicating with people, meeting people with smile and affection, and converting this into actions and initiatives, that fight estrangement, alienation and extremism, and spread satisfaction and affection. This is the essence of the ethics of the Quran. Let us read together this verse: {O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another}.

Getting to know one another by communication and good treatment is not a just Quranic call; it is appropriate to all heavenly messages.

A few days ago, we all read the Declaration of Al-Azhar concerning citizenship and coexistence, a declaration in which I saw the message of Lebanon, the message of moderation, dialogue and coexistence between Muslims and Christians.

I see in this celebration an occasion to praise Al-Azhar and call to follow the example of this declaration that constituted an intellectual and spiritual base for the will to coexist in the Arab and Muslim world, and for the concept of the national state, which must be above and ahead of the false concepts of religious and sectarian states.

I discovered in al-Azhar's declaration the true spirit of Lebanon that must live in the Arab World, and I read in it an advanced invitation from one of the most important religious authorities in the Muslim world to disseminate the culture of communicating with the others and upholding citizenship in our countries.

Mohammed Al Amine's mosque in downtown Beirut, like Lebanon and the declaration of Al-Azhar, is a base for moderation, a place for prayers and communication. Teaching our children the Quran is teaching them the ethics of understanding and communication. I thank Al Azm Association and Former Prime Minister Najib Mikati for this good habit.

I thank the Grand Mufti and all the attendees: the people of faith, morality, Quran teaching, and dissemination of affection among the Lebanese.

I did not want to talk about politics, but since the Grand Mufti called on us to protect our unity, then we must all work for the unity of the Lebanese people and for their protection. We are going through a difficult stage in the region, but we have our unity as Lebanese, as a community and as united communities, we have to accept others and understand their concerns, and this is the basis of the establishment of Lebanon.

So I thank the Grand Mufti, I thank Premiers Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam. We used to say that Premier Fouad Siniora is patient, but it turned out that Premier Tammam Salam is more patient. I would also like to thank PM Siniora who accompanied me from the moment of the martyrdom of premier Rafic Hariri and until this moment, he is indeed a sincere friend at all stages."


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