The World Islamic Congress

153 delegates from 22 countries were all set to pursue the same purpose: to stand up against imperialism through Islamic unity and brotherhood.

The World Islamic Congress

Asuman Yuksel - World Bulletin 

Ziyauddun Tabatabai went out on a journey from Iran 81 years ago along with General Hasan Khalid from Eastern Jordan, Rashid Riza from Egypt and the representative of the Indian region, Muhammad Iqbal – all of whom had gone out to wander for a blessed purpose. Emir Said Jezair from Algeria, Shukru el Kuvvetli from Syria, Musa Jarullah from Russia, Salim Efendi from Bosnia and Said Shamil from the Caucasus also joined them in this voyage.

153 delegates from 22 countries including a mixture of Sunni and Shiites Muslims were all set to pursue the same purpose: to stand up against imperialism through Islamic unity and brotherhood.

On the day of December 10th, 1931, these honorable 153 delegates gathered in Jerusalem while the hopes in the hearts of millions of Muslims placed on them.

Standing against imperialist occupation of the Muslim world

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation was hosted by Amin Al-Hussain (whom also voluntarily fought in the ranks of the Ottoman army during World War I) and Tunisian Sheikh Abdulaziz Es-Sea’libi. As well as healing the wounds of the Muslim world, the congress was established to take steps to fill in the void that was created after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. They insisted on ‘‘unity’’, taking inspiration from Allah (being only One God) and the hadith: “Believers are like the bricks of one building”.

In the early 1930s the majority of the Muslim world was under an imperialist occupation. Iraq, Palestine and India were under a British mandate and Syria along with Lebanon was under a French mandate. North African countries were under the British, French and Italian occupation. Caucasian, Kazakh and Turkistani Muslims were under the Soviet rule. The countries in the Persian Gulf were under custody of the British.

What decisions did the congress come to?

The conference was brought together to condemn imperialism and occupation. They knew that weak and isolated voices coming from the Muslims were not going to be heard and aimed to develop a global and united Muslim identity overriding sectarian lines. Accordingly they made the following statements:

-To develop cooperation and brotherhood between Muslims, without resorting to ethnic and sectarian separatism, in order to spread the beliefs and values of the Islamic religion.

-To protect holy places and lands and defend Muslim interests against any kind of outside interferences.

-To open up universities and academic centers to preserve Islamic unity, as well as an institute called the Al-Aqsa Mosque University in Jerusalem to teach the Muslim youth the Arabic language.

-To examine and study many different Islamic matters regarding Muslims which carry any kind of importance.

-To found a committee in order to prepare and make an Islamic Encyclopedia.

-To facilitate a Muslim youth organization.

-To establish an Islamic corporation with the intention of preventing Jews from settling in Palestinian territories and to submit the Hejaz Railway to an Islamic government.

The fact that a Shiite scholar, Muhammed el - Hussain Al-i Kashif, led the Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the day of conference was striking. The mosque was full of thousands of Muslims from various sects of Islam. Some prayed with their hands tied, some prayed with their hands on their sides and some prayed by lifting their hands to each takbeer (a phrase said in every stage of prayer which means “Allah is the greatest”), yet they all prayed side by side in the same rows facing the same direction.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2013, 15:55