Eid sermons will highlight Islam’s message of peace

December 5th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) This Eid-ul-Zuha, many Muslim clerics in India will through their sermons focus on Islam’s “message of peace”, denouncing terrorism and the killing of innocents in the name of religion.The Eid khutba, or sermon read on the day of the festival after special prayers, would contain a note of warning against vendetta, terrorism and other such acts carried out in the name of Islam, top Muslim clerics in India told IANS.

Muslims will celebrate Eid-ul-Zuha, or Bakr-Eid, Tuesday. And the community in India - numbering around 140 million - has been urged to mark the day with simplicity and tie black ribbons to show solidarity with the terror victims in the country.

The move comes in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack last week that left at least 172 people dead, inviting condemnation from the world over.

“In the Eid khutba, I will focus how the holy Quran strictly forbids the killing of innocents and other acts of terror,” said Mufti M. Muqarram Ahmed, a leading priest of Fatehpuri Masjid here.

“I have appealed to people to celebrate Eid with simplicity and I will reiterate this on the day of Eid.”

Head priest of Hazratbal shrine in Kashmir said Islam revolutionised the life of humanity with the principle of “live and let live”.

“Islam clearly asks its followers to do the right thing, practise the principle of live and let live and be sensitive to the needs of fellow human beings regardless of their religious faith and other identities,” Maulana Bashir-ud-Din Farooqi of the Hazratbal shrine told IANS on phone.

He exhorted Muslims to follow the teachings of Islam in the strict sense so that “the lost glory of Islam is revived”.

Maulvi Akhzar Hussain, another cleric from Kashmir, said the Quran strictly forbids Muslims from committing “excesses” and this should be the focus of the message on Eid.

“But”, he added, “extremism has taken hold of certain sections of Muslims. As a consequence, Muslims are being alienated, inviting disharmony and chaos.”

Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, president of the All India Organisation of Imams, said the attack on Mumbai was an attack on the whole nation and humanity and “we will emphasise that Islam strongly prohibits such acts”.

“The Quran clearly proscribes the killing of innocents. Islam is against terrorism and we stand together in the fight against it,” said Ilyasi.

Mufti Yasin, a priest in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh, said that Muslim clerics should come forward to correct misconceptions about Islam that have seeped into the society.

“Terror acts make many feel that these are done in the name of Islam and have justification from the injunctions of Islam,” he said.

“Muslim clerics should highlight the peaceful teachings from the Quran to counter such belief and we would like the media to report what imams say in their sermons,” said Yasin.

Clerics of Darul Uloom, Deoband, a 150-year-old seminary and one of the most important institutes of Islamic teachings in South Asia in Uttar Pradesh, echoed the same view.

“We have reiterated the stand of Darul Uloom on terrorism through different fatwas (edicts). We also have been appealing to people to celebrate Eid in a restrained manner to share the pain of those killed,” said Qari Usman of Deoband.

“What the Quran says about terrorism and killings as in Mumbai will figure prominently in the Eid khutba,” Usman added.

Muslim clerics issued a fatwa against terrorism in a major congregation in Hyderabad Nov 8 and 9. In February this year, the Deoband madrassa had issued a similar edict against the killings of innocent people.

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