Shiites, Sunnis for 'Candid' Dialogue

Following a high-profile meeting between prominent Sunni scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's influential Expediency Council, Sunni and Shiite scholars agreed the necessity of engaging in more "candid" dialogues to b

Shiites, Sunnis for 'Candid' Dialogue

"Constructive and candid Sunni-Shiite dialogues help nip sedition in the bud," Shiite scholar Sami Ahmed Al-Amodi of the Imam Al-Khalesi school told on Friday, February 16, over the phone from Baghdad.

"We are in a dire need for more such dialogues in the days to come."

Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour, former Al-Azhar deputy Sheikh, said there should be no room to "hypocrisy" or "maneuvers" to render dialogues a success.

"Sunnis and Shiites should pour to one another their grudges," said Ashour, a member of the Cairo-based Islamic Research Academy, the executive arm of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the highest Sunni body in the Muslim world.

"Dialogue between the Sunnis and Shiites is essential to prevent disunity and cement unity," he noted. "Followers of the same faith should avoid differences and stand up firmly in the face of any attempt stoking tensions and fueling sedition."

But Abdul-Hamid Al-Ubeidi, professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Baghdad University, hit out at "politically-motivated" dialogues.

"If not politically motivated, meetings between Shiite and Sunni scholars would definitely be significant and useful."

In their televised debate on Wednesday, February, 14, Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), and Rafsanjani called on Muslims all the world over to act in unison and take into their strides differences to face challenges ahead.

"We must try our best to remain united," Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), said in a debate with Rafsanjani on Al-Jazeera satellite channel.

"Islam is above ethnicity and race….If we reach out to Christians and hold inter-faith dialogues, how on earth we don't do the same to unite Muslims," wondered Qaradawi.

Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran from 1989 to 1997, warned that "the enemy" was trying to pit Muslims against one another and throw a spanner in the good work of Sunni and Shiite scholars to cement their unity.

No Other Option

Shiite scholar Sheikh Hussein al-Moayad said Sunnis and Shiites have "no other option" but to pursue "serious, objective and in-depth dialogues."

"All scholars from different sects and schools should put their heads together and find a way to reach Muslim unity," he said.

"All Muslims are aspiring for unity. They have no other option but to promote unity," added Ubeidi.

Amodi said Islam forbids sectarian divisions which only play into the hands of foreign parties.

"Therefore, a permanent dialogue must be established between Sunnis and Shiites to iron out their differences."

Amodi said both sides should shun extremists and encourage moderates.

"We are all eyeing constructive dialogues championed by moderate Shiite and Sunni scholars," he said.

In the televised debate, Qaradawi said it is high time Shiites and Sunni translated their "good intentions" into concrete steps.

"Enough with compliments, smiling scholars before cameras and hoary old clichés," he said. "We want action as previous rapprochement conferences and meetings failed to address the roots of disunity."

Rafsanjani also blasted "ignorant" Sunnis and Shiites, who stoke ethnic tensions.

"The acts of extremists from both sides should not be allowed to disunite Sunnis and Shiites.


The Sunni and Shiite scholars were also united in calling for issuing fatwas somberly forbidding insulting the Prophet's Companions and addressing other issues blocking the Sunni-Shiite unity.

"It is very essential," said Ashour, "especially on the issue of insulting the Companions and sectarian killings."

"There should be no further delay in issuing such fatwas," agreed Sheikh Moayad.

"It is unacceptable that one scholar is promoting unity and insulting the Prophet's Companions in the same breath."

Sheikh Qaradawi said sticking points like insulting the Prophet's Companions by Shiites and Shiite proselytizing in Sunni countries are a stumbling bloc to Shiite-Sunni unity.

But Qaradawi said that Sunnis should not blame today's Shiites for the mistakes of some of their ancestors and veteran authorities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16