MWL Chief Al-Issa says no Constitution bars Muslims from performing prayers

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 14-07-2023
Sheikh Dr.  Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa


Malick Asghar Hashmi/New Delhi

Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, head of the Muslim World League and the former law minister in the Saudi Arabian government, is in Delhi on a six-day tour of India. He had met Indian leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu and members of civil society. During his interactions, he made some profound statements on communal harmony. In this sequence, Atir Khan, Editor-in-chief, of Awaz-the Voice, and Tehmeena Rizvi, spoke to the Muslim leader about various issues. Here are excerpts from the interview of Sheikh Dr.  Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa with Awaz-the Voice:

Q: This is your first visit to India. In the last two days, you have interacted with people from different sections of society. What is your opinion about the diversity and hospitality of our country?

Dr. Al-Issa: Thank you! I am very happy to be here. Before coming to the friendly republic of India, I knew that there is diversity here. I found it on the ground when I came here. I am communicating with everyone. Politicians are also included in this... Thinkers too and also successful leaders. There is variety here. It shows the beauty of coexistence. I was already aware of this. I know that India is a country run by the Constitution. Its constitution is inclusive and embraces everyone. We know that everyone's rights are protected here. Had a very important meeting with the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. We discussed many important issues. Important issues were also discussed with our Excellency, the President of India. Along with this, meaningful talks took place with Hindu leaders as well.

It was a meeting of friends in India. Friendship renewed. There are many Hindu leaders whom I already know. You meet and renew friendship. Similarly, I also had a very fruitful meeting with Islamic leaders. He (Indian Muslim) is happy and proud of his nation… (He is also) Proud of his fellow citizens. However, during my travels here in India, the attendees were very diverse. I got very positive responses from everyone, from different aspects of Indian society. All of India has strong civilizational and historical ties (With Saudi Arabia). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paved the way for a comprehensive strategic partnership with (Saudi) Arabia. India's chairmanship of the G20 brings yet another opportunity to strengthen our ties in the new world order.

Q: Saudi Arabia has led many progressive reforms. The Holy Quran gives equal status to Muslim women as men. Tell us about the direction of women empowerment in the Islamic world and your work in the Muslim World League.

Dr. Al-Issa: We consider the role of women in society to be positive. We know that this role is of equal rights between women and men. We can see it on the ground. It is not just on paper; (a woman) deserves all rights. In Saudi Arabia, there is no discrimination. Some discrimination or inequalities can be found in some Arab countries, but it is different from very advanced countries of the world. We see that these equal rights exist only between the two sexes, but they are based on Islamic jurisprudence. We are Saudis. It’s Very fair here, the rise of the two sexes is very wide. Saudi women have a presence in all sectors of society. She works with equal opportunities. Anyone who visits Arabia and experiences it firsthand can see it on the ground.

Q: What should be the role of Muslims living in diverse societies, What is your opinion on the rights of Muslim women, organ donation, interest, and banking in non-Islamic countries?

Islam has a clear concept in this regard. It (Islam) has a versatile nature. That means there is no compulsion in religion. Everyone is free to choose their faith. There is a wide horizon and a wide and open outlet. Sustainability has been promoted in our world. Irrespective of differences in ideology – Muslims, wherever they are divided, have to follow the law, prevailing culture, and will of the people so that these concepts promote coexistence among people. Respect others. Everything should be respected while living in the realm of love. Diversity or difference should not be a source of conflict but of enrichment. Undoubtedly, Islam teaches patriotic brotherhood to the citizens of a nation. It should be guided by coexistence within the framework of the Constitution. In Japan also there is Islam on this basis.

Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa on dress code:

Islam asks for prudence in dressing. A broad and open outlook promotes stability in our world. Muslims, wherever they are divided, have to follow the law, the prevailing culture, and the will of the people there. That is, these concepts promote coexistence between people despite differences in ideology. He said that Islamist students and scholars should work accordingly.

On the Charter of Mecca:

It’s a historical charter. It promotes the way of working with different components. Everyone can be understood through the articles of this charter. It is available online for everyone to understand.

Q: Excellency, Saudi Arabia has headed many progressive reforms among Muslims. Also, Holy Koran gives Muslim women an equal status with men. Tell us more about your work in Muslim World League towards women's empowerment in the Islamic world.

So we see the role of women as positive in society. We know that in this role there is a just equal right between women and men, Based on the balls of the country, and we can see that on the ground.  It's not just on paper that they have rights; they are entitled to all the rights in practical life. And Saudi Arabia is good when compared to other countries. Even some very advanced countries differentiate between men and women in paying wages.

The woman and especially Saudi women have a presence in all sectors of society and workplaces with the same equal opportunities as men, and anyone visiting Saudi Arabia can experience it and see it on the ground.

Q: Your Excellency, I would like to get clarity on some of the most critical issues of our times, such as. Role of Muslims living in diverse societies. Rights of Muslim women. You know, organ donation. And interest, peace banking. According to you. What role should the religious leaders play?

Adjust, Pursue Peace and harmony among all. And, of course, personal convictions are a personal choice for each person. And there is a clear concept in Islam in this regard. There's a versatile form that is, there is no compulsion in religion.Everyone is free to choose their belief.  When it comes to the students they must realize that Islam came with a wide horizon and a wide and open outlet. It promotes stability in our world. Muslims, wherever they are divided, have to abide by the law, the prevailing culture, and also the will of the people deliberate so that that's these concepts promote, coexistence among people regardless of the differences in ideology. And I'm thinking we have to Respect others.

And that should respect to be in the framework of love. That we have. The diversity or differences should not turn into a source of conflict but should be turned into a source of enrichment.

There is an Islam, of course, the brotherhood of the Patriotic Brotherhood among the citizens of the one nation and should be guided by the coexistence within the framework of the Constitution.

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