International Sufi School of the revered master Sheikh Abdoulaye Dieye
the name of Allah, The Merciful, The Gracious
Allah, bestow your blessings on our leader Muhammad and his Family as you have
blessed our leader Abraham and his family. You are infinitely Glorious, Sublime!
O Allah, bestow your favours on our leader Muhammad and his family as you have
blessed our leader Ibrahim and his family - You are infinitely Glorious,
Declaration of La Jolla, California, United States of America
Brothers and Sisters in Humanity,
May the peace of God, who is Himself Peace, reach all His creatures who are seeking peace.
This present declaration is the starting point of a global peace campaign that our International Sufi School is proposing to all nations on Earth. One of our objectives is to bring to light all the true values of Islam in order to curb the tendency to link this religion to violence and intolerance. Etymologically, Islam means peace and according to a teaching of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), a Muslim, that is, one who believes in the message of Islam, is someone who does no harm to others through his tongue or his deeds. The other objective is to rally all believers, irrespective of their faith in order that the transcendental unity of all religions becomes the support on which the unity of all nations and people rests.
It is imperative in these times of strife, both for Muslims and non-Muslims, to distinguish between the true teachings of the Qu’ran and those of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) in their right political or socio-cultural perspectives and the interpretation of these teachings by those who have adhered to them throughout time and space.
Many wars have been waged in the name of religions but the real reason for these armed conflicts and other acts of violence are only greed and the desire for power. This is true for Muslims and Islam, for the Jews and Judaism as well as for Christians and Christianity.
The true religion is a vehicle of peace and love, of solidarity and sharing among nations without any discrimination on the basis of race, class or sex. In his last sermon, the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) reminds us that there is only one God for all of us, only one ancestor for the whole of Humanity in Adam (p.b.u.h.); he also reminds us that the Arab is not superior to the non-Arab, and vice-versa, that the white man is not superior to the black and neither is the black to the white. It is therefore evident that no nation can consider itself superior to another. On the contrary, each nation has its own importance, a role that no other nation can deny. Moreover, Allah says in chapter 49, verse 13 of the Qu’ran:
O mankind! We created You from a single (pair)
Of a male and a female,
And made you into
Nations and tribes, that
You may know each other
(Not that you may despise each other).
Verily the most honoured of you
In the sight of Allah
Is (he who is) the most
Righteous of you:
And Allah has full knowledge
And is well acquainted (with all things).
Undeniably, the United States is the most developed country today, but they are not above other countries for all of us have the same origin. The differences among nations in term of development and wealth are, to a large extent, due to the expansionist ideology of a handful of leaders. Some nations have been exploited in an inhuman way and others have been exterminated to quench the desire for power of a few nations. Here, I am referring to the slave trade, to the holocaust and to other genocides of the second millennium. However, at the dawn of the third millennium, we must learn to forgive all the mistakes of the past, relinquish all forms of ostentation and establish the brotherhood of the universal family. To succeed in the actual world context we have to find first and foremost find a solution to the Middle East Conflict. The war between the Israelis and the Palestinians is unfortunately not restricted to these two nations only. It extends to the other nations who feel they have to support either of these nations for political, economic and religious reasons. All attempts to put an end to this conflict have proved to be futile so far. To impose peace by the force of weapons is proving to be a total failure; due to the ambiguity of their resolutions and their lack of autonomy, the international instances have been powerless.
Hence man has to admit that the solution does not depend on him alone; he has to turn towards the Creator of our universe who has sent down remedies and solutions, just as He sent diseases and calamities. And to abide by the recommendations of the above verse, I have, during my visits to the United States, deepened my knowledge of the Jewish people through their eminent representatives (Rabbis Michael Ozair, Rami Shapiro and Chain Seidler Feller). Our meetings have always been marked by feelings of fervour, mutual respect, brotherhood and love. However, we were quite surprised by one factor: how and why have the Jewish and Muslim peoples come to consider themselves as two enemies? It is all the more surprising as both these people believe in only one God as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and they both claim the heritage of the same line of Prophets, for Allah says in the Qu’ran: (chapter 2, verse 136).
Say: We believe
In Allah, and the revelation
Given to us, and to Abraham,
Ismael, Isaac, Jacob,
And the Tribes, and that given
To Moses and Jesus and that given
To (all) Prophets from their Lord:
We make no difference
Between one and another of them:
And we bow to Allah (in Islam).”
During our conversations, we have understood that a deep study of the Hebraic Bible confirms the place of Ismael in the life of Abraham, which will lead the Jews to recognize the nobility of Ismael’s lineage - in other words, the Muslims. For myself, I have felt an immense joy to remind my disciples and my Jewish brothers that the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) has always shown great respect towards the Jews and the Christians he met.
But let us consider once more the last sermon of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) where he says: “Your blood, your possessions and your honour are sacred and inviolable”. Nowadays in the Middle East, the Jews and the Muslims are violating each other’s blood, possessions and honour. Each day, Arabs and Jews transgress the divine laws, violating human dignity, wasting resources and mercilessly killing each other. We must, at all costs, put and end to this violence.
This is why I am asking both the Jews and the Muslims who obey their Creator, to pay attention to this humble voice, the voice of the Black Muslim of Africa who is praying that God unites all the sons of Adam in His Presence. I propose to my Muslim brothers that they should read again the Qu’ran and the teachings of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) in the light of the quintessence of the divine revelation, which is no other than the unicity of God. I appeal to my Jewish brothers to open up to the other revealed religions so that they do not consider themselves as the only people that God has chosen to guide.
May the Christians and the other people not feel excluded from this prayer and this move towards reconciliation, for God says in the Qu’ran (chapter 2, verse 62).
‘Those who believe (in the Qu’ran)
And those who follow the Jewish (scriptures),
And the Christians and the Sabians,
And who believe in Allah
And the last Day,
And work righteousness,
Shall have their reward
With their Lord; on them
Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
Hence, my message is a universal message of peace, love, understanding and sharing.
The revealed religions are many; Prophets bearing God’s message and Prophets serving as models are still more numerous; nations and languages vary, but Truth is one, God is one. God says: “We have sent thee inspiration, as we sent it to Noah and the messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David, We gave the Psalms.” (Chapter 4, verse 163).
Planet Earth, where we live, is illuminated by only one sun and belongs to the whole of humanity. Pollution in developed countries is affecting the whole planet, poverty in Africa and in the third world countries is a global problem and war in the Middle East is destabilizing countries, which are quite far from this part of the world. No single nation can ever pull the whole blanket on its side without provoking a planetary disorder. No nation can claim to rule the world from the basis of the gross national product, economic and technological progress, especially if this nation is controlled by a group of individuals whose only desire is to increase their capital and their profit. The spiritual dimension must be taken into account at all levels of economic and political management and in conflict resolution.
This is why I am making an appeal to all believers to unite, beyond geographical boundaries, to meet regularly for the purpose of dialoguing so that we learn to know, to respect and to love one another. To back up this statement, I shall cite another hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.):“Humanity is Allah’s family; the one whom Allah loves most is the one who looks after His family with the greatest consideration”.
Last and crucial as far as the Middle East is concerned, I am proposing that a handful of Jewish and Arabs religious dignitaries meet in a place and attempt to make use of the weapon that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) has left to the believers, that is, PRAYER. For he has said, “Prayer is the weapon of the believer” and God has said:
“I am close to you. Ask me whatever you want and I shall grant you”.
Let the Jewish and Muslim scholars meet in a part of the globe to ask for peace and reconciliation between these two nations. At the dawn of this millennium when it has been proved that violence merely aggravates the conflict and politicians can only acknowledge their inadequacy, I appeal to Muslim Sufis and Jewish Rabbis to find common grounds for better relations. Let them pray together, so that God Who is Merciful and Gracious, extinguishes with the flow of His Mercy all the areas seething with conflicts in the Middle East and the fire of despair that is consuming the heart of so many women, children and men.