Contents of the ‘Public Address’ category in chronological order.

Golden Jubilee Inaugural Ceremony (Aiglemont)

In a world where quality of life is increasingly measured in material terms there is risk that the essential value system of Islam will be eroded, or even threatened with disappearance. Political situations with a theological overlay are also causing disaffection or antagonism between communities of the same faith, and even more so amongst different faiths.

At the centre of this turbulence is Islam. We cannot let this continue. On the other hand, the sheer scale of the problem, added to its complexity, make it an issue which the Ummah, in its entirety, can better address, rather than individual schools of interpretation within it. It will be essential that while respecting their individual identities, various tariqahs within Islam should collaborate to articulate the common social and moral principles of our Islamic value system…. Islam is a faith of tolerance, generosity and spirituality…. Where we can build bridges with other tariqahs around a common Muslim cosmopolitan ethos, we should make this endeavour.

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Public Address (Djenne, Mali) ·· incomplete

Today, we face a delicate situation in which all Muslims of peace need to unite to present to the world a face of an Islam of peace, unity, intelligence and conviction…. As a Muslim, I see the great mosques of the Ummah as symbols of the past but also as hopes for the future. We should not forget the great periods of Muslim history have always been marked by intelligence, by competence and by knowledge — of science, of astronomy — and of everything that was important, at the time, for the quality of life of men and women of the Ummah. We should draw great learning from the past and project it towards the future.

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Public Address (Al Khwabi, Syria)

It is thus clearly evident that peace in the decades ahead can only be achieved when the pluralist nature of human society is understood, valued and built upon to construct a better future. In Islam, the pluralism of human society is well recognised, and the ethics of its multiple interpretations require that this diversity be accorded respect. The shahada — La-illaha-Illallah-Muhammadur-Rasullilah — binds a thousand million people who, over the centuries, have come to live in different cultures, speak different languages, live in different political contexts, and who differentiate in some interpretations of their faith….

Any differences must be resolved through tolerance, through understanding, through compassion, through dialogue, through forgiveness, through generosity, all of which represent the ethics of Islam.

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Public Address (Shugnan, Tajikistan)

On this day of joy and happiness, and at the beginning of this Irshad, I convey to all my murids my most affectionate and most loving blessings, and I pray that Allah may bring all of you here present, and to your families and homes, peace and hope in the future….

All Afghans should, as promptly as possible, re-establish open and brotherly dialogue among themselves, as our faith instructs us to do, so that Islam’s ethic of peace becomes a national reality…. I have observed with great pain and sadness, Muslims fighting against Muslims in Afghanistan … We must respect the sanctity of life. It is the Holy Qur’an itself which says, “And who so saves a life, it is as if he had saved the entirety of mankind.” …

Because the ethics and ethical premises of civil life are the same in all schools of Islam, we have the remarkable opportunity to build the future of the civil societies in which we will live, on premises which will unite all Muslims, and not divide them….

We are not allowed to live in hate. Wealth and power are not objectives in themselves, but are to be used in the service of others. Those whom life has marginalised are to be helped … to free themselves from their constraints…. Anything to do with drugs is to be rigorously avoided…. These are the ethical premises on which we need to build to bring peace to Afghanistan, to eliminate hate and division, and thereafter rebuild the country for the benefit of all Afghans.

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Public Address (Rushan, Badakhshan, Tajikistan)

As I look to the future of the Ismaili community worldwide, living in many parts of Central Asia, and in more than 25 different countries, and as I look to the future of Tajikistan, with its variegated population, and as I look at the Ummah, I conclude that every and all those peoples, if they wish to achieve a better life for themselves in the generations ahead, must absolutely achieve peace within their societies, and because we are Muslim, conflict must be replaced by a peace which is predicated on the ethics of our faith.

We must not kill to resolve our differences, whatever they may be. They must be resolved, as I have said, within the ethic of our faith through dialogue, through compassion, through tolerance, through generosity and forgiveness. These are the pillars on which to build a strong society in modern times — not through weapons.

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