Islam and the One Ummah: Theological, Jurisprudential, and Educational Schools

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 152 (1/17) Islam and the One Ummah:

Theological, Jurisprudential, and Educational Schools

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 17th session in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on 28 Jumādā al-Ūlā – 2 Jumādā al-Ākhirah 1427h (24–28 June 2006), Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning Islam and the One Ummah: Theological, Jurisprudential, and Educational Schools,

Having listened to the discussions on the subject,

Having reviewed the resolutions of the International Islamic Conference held in 1425h (2005), which called for studying and adopting the principles addressed by the Amman Message, which were subsequently adopted by the Scholars and Intellectuals Forum held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in prepara- tion for the Third Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference,


First: All the research submitted to the Academy on this subject agree on the general fundamental maxims of Islam and see in the variety of theological, juris- prudential, and educational schools’ efforts by scholars for making the applica- tion of Islam easier. All such efforts and schools are, in essence, directed towards strengthening the unity of the Ummah, enriching its intellectual capabilities, and furthering the everlasting message of Islam. The research on this subject reached the same findings as the studies that formed the core of the Amman Message, as far as the true nature of Islam and its potential role in contemporary societies are concerned. It would be opportune in this connection to express a word of thanks to his Majesty King Abdullah the Second, Ibn Al-Hussein, may Allāh safeguard him, the King of the Jordan Hashemite Kingdom, for adopt- ing and patronizing it and for its dissemination at a broad international scope. Second: Confirmation of the resolutions issued by the International Islamic Conference held in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on “The Essence of Islam and its Role in Contemporary Society,” as they are in conformity with the research and discussions of the subject. The preambles of those resolutions

had explicitly referred to and endorsed the Fiqh opinions and resolutions is- sued by Fatwa Councils and eminent scholars of the different Islamic schools (Madhāhib), as follows:

  1. Any person who follows any of the four Fiqh Schools of the Sunnah and Jamāʿah (the Ḥanafī, Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī) or any of the Jaʿfarī, Zaydī, Ibāḍī, or Ẓāhirī schools is a He should not be charged with disbelief, and his blood, dignity and property are protected by Shariah. Moreover, according to a Shariah opinion issued by Sheikh Al-Azhar, it is also prohibited to charge with disbelief followers of Ashʿarī doctrine school, true Ṣūfīs, or the correct Salafīs.

Similarly, it is prohibited to charge with disbelief any group of Muslims who believe in Allāh The Almighty, His Messenger, the pillars of faith, the pillars of Islam and do not deny anything necessarily known of the religion.

  1. Muslim schools have much more in common than differences. The ad- herents of the eight schools, all agree on the basic principles of Islam. They all believe that Allāh The Almighty is the One God, and that the Holy Quran is the word of Allāh which He The Almighty has sent down and preserved against distortion, and that our Master Muhammad SAW is the Prophet of Allāh and His Messenger to all humanity. They all also agree on the five fun- daments of Islam; the two testimonies of faith, prayer, Zakāh, fasting the month of Ramaḍān, and pilgrimage (Ḥajj) to the House of Allāh in Makkah, and the fundamentals of faith, namely: belief in Allāh The Almighty, His angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Hereafter and Fate (good or bad). The diversity of opinions among scholars in the different schools relates to details and some principal issues. It is a sign of mercy. In old times, it has been said that “diversity in the opinions of scholars is a far-reaching ”
  2. The adherence to a school in Islam indicates a commitment to a specific methodology in deriving Fiqh opinions. It is not permissible for anyone who does not have the adequate, appropriate competence to issue Shariah It is not permissible also to issue legal opinions without adher- ence to the appropriate methodology of the different schools of fiqh. It is equally not permissible for anyone to claim Ijtihād to himself and make up new views or opinions that are rejected and distract Muslims off the Shariah maxims, settled fundamentals and its well-established schools.
  3. The essence of the Amman Message of 27 Ramaḍān 1425h (9 November 2004), which was declared in the Hashemite Mosque, emphasizes strict commitment to the Islamic schools and the methodology they

Recognition of these schools and emphasizing the need for dialogue and agreement between them is the only means to ensure reasonability, mod- erateness, and forgiveness and mercy towards others.

  1. We call upon Muslims to discard disputes, unite their decisions and standpoints, respect each other and enhance solidarity between their peoples and states. We also call on them to strengthen the ties of broth- erhood and mutual love for Allāh’s sake and leave no room for afflictions and interferences in their affairs. Allāh The Almighty says, «The believers are, but a single brotherhood so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers, and fear Allāh that ye may receive » (al-Ḥu- jurāt, 10).
  2. The participants in the International Islamic Conference meeting in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the neighbourhood of the Holy Al- Aqsa Mosque and the occupied Palestinian land, emphasize the need for exerting every effort for protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first of the two Qiblahs, and the third Holy Mosque, against the dangers and aggressive attacks that it is now facing. This should be done by ending the Israeli occupation and freeing the sacred places. Similar efforts should also be exerted for preserving the sacred mausoleums (Al-Atabat) in Iraq and the sacred places of Muslims anywhere else.
  3. The participants emphasize the need for deepening the concepts of free- dom and respect of the other opinion in our Muslim

Third: Confirmation of Academy resolution no. 98 (1/11), on Islamic Unity and its annexed recommendations, and emphasizing the need for activating the mechanisms it proposes to achieve Islamic unity. At the end of this Resolution, the Secretariat of the Academy was requested to form a committee from its members and experts and endorse it from the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to prepare a scientific study and propose specific mechanisms for achieving Islamic unity in the cultural, social, and economic fields.

Fourth: Preparation and presentation of general rules for the issues agreed upon, and specification of disputable issues for tracing them back to their Shariah origins. In the process of strengthening points of agreement and rec- ognizing points of dispute, the ideas of the various schools should be presented honestly and impartially. In case of comparisons between different opinions, merits should be judged in terms of the underlying evidence and consistency with the objectives of Shariah, without any bias to the researcher’s own school or the school that is common in a given society or country.

Fifth: Introducing educational courses at universities and secondary schools

on the Fiqh of unity and ethics of disputes and constructive debate, and how one should respect other opinions while selecting the chosen one.

Sixth: Reviving educational systems that adhere to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah to attenuate the materialistic trends prevailing in our present times and to protect the youth from being misled by the cropping up patterns of behaviour that disregard the Islamic principles.

Seventh: Scholars of the different Islamic schools should conduct compre- hensive awareness campaigns about Islamic reasonability and moderateness us- ing various practical means, including joint meetings, specialized seminars, and public conferences, in cooperation with the institutions that cater for rapproche- ment between Islamic schools. Such efforts would help correct the perceptions about the variety of theological, jurisprudential, and educational schools and show how they are only different approaches for facilitating the implementation of Islamic principles and rules. These efforts would also show that the variation between schools is the kind of complementarities rather than contradictions through understanding each school’s particulars, merits, and literature.

Eighth: Respecting the different schools and doctrines does not bar construc- tive criticism that aims to maximise the points of agreement and minimise disa- greement points. There should be a vast room for constructive debate between the Islamic schools in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW to enhance the process of Muslim unity.

Ninth: Muslims should challenge the cropping ideological views and tenden- cies which encroach upon the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah. While it is not acceptable to negate the merits of other views, it is also not acceptable to accommodate any view or claim even when it may be suspicious. Therefore, it is imperative to point out crystal-clear, necessary criteria that maintain any view worthy of the name of Islam.

Tenth: It should be ascertained that theological, jurisprudential, and edu- cational schools bear no responsibility for the malpractices committed in their names, such as the killing of innocent people, abusing their dignity, or damag- ing their properties.


  1. The Secretariat of the Academy shall organize seminars and meetings to discuss the underlying cause of transforming differences into conflicts between the followers of the different Islamic schools to prevent seg- mentation of the Ummah. Discussions in these seminars and meetings may cover specific statements and points which have been misunderstood, misapplied or widely circulated in the wrong manner, such as:

  1. The issue of Walāʾ and Barāʾah (loyalty versus disavowal).
  2. The Hadith of al-Firqah al-Nājiyah (Successful Group) and conclusions derived from it.
  3. Criteria of charging somebody with disbelief, dissoluteness, or committing heresy without exaggeration or over
  4. Conditions of apostasy charge and conditions of its punishment.
  5. Expanding the concept of great sins and the consequences of charging a person with committing such sins.
  6. Charging others with disbelief for non-application of all the rulings of Shariah regardless of the underlying circumstances.
  1. Relevant authorities and bodies in Muslim countries shall take necessary measures to prevent publication and circulation of any materials that promote disunity or charge some Muslims with disbelief or misguidance without unanimously acknowledged Shariah evidence.
  2. Relevant authorities and bodies shall continue their efforts to realise that Shariah be the reference for deriving laws and actions, as mentioned in the resolutions and recommendations of previous sessions.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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