A delegation of Muslim Scholars Debate with prominent Afghan Scholars in Kabul
26 June، 2022

In implementation of the decision of the Ministerial Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in its last extraordinary session in December 2021G in Islamabad, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a delegation of Muslim scholars headed by His Excellency Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), held on Wednesday 23 Dhul Al-Qi’dah 1443H corresponding to 22 June 2022G, held a consultative meeting with influential Afghan scholars at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in the presence of His Excellency Maulvi Muttaqi Amir Khan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ruling authority in Afghanistan.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the delegation of scholars and the Special Envoy of the OIC to Afghanistan, and the Director General of the OIC’s Office in Kabul and thanked them for the visit of the delegation to Kabul, noting that this delegation is the largest delegation to visit Kabul after the Taliban came to power ten months ago. He praised the efforts of the OIC in general and the Academy in particular with regard to helping Afghanistan to overcome this difficult stage in its history, whether by providing material or moral support to it. This visit is also a confirmation of the great care and great interest of the OIC member states in the Afghan issue. His Excellency then made it clear that the current authority in Afghanistan needs some time to enhance security and stability throughout the country, and to meet the necessary needs of the Afghan people in terms of food, medicine, infrastructure, job opportunities, and combating poverty and destitution.

Therefore, His Excellency appeals to the delegation of honorable scholars to mediate with their countries in order to speed up the recognition of the ruling authority in Afghanistan as the only legitimate authority representing the Afghan people, and as the only authority that was able, for the first time, to impose its control over the entire Afghan territory without exception, as all the country’s governorates ,(35 in total), are today under the authority of the Islamic Emirate. His Excellency also appeals to the Ummah’s scholars to mediate with their countries in order to help release Afghanistan’s assets illegally held by some countries. Then His Excellency invited the head of the delegation of scholars to deliver his speech on this occasion.

In response to this, His Excellency Prof. Sano, head of the delegation, began his speech by expressing the delegation’s great thanks and appreciation to the current authority for the hospitality, good reception and warm welcome the delegation received. His Excellency also expressed the great gratitude of the Academy for the reverence and respect the current authority grants for scholars in confirmation of the known Afghan traditions of glorifying science and scholars, and revering saints and elders. Then His Excellency gave an introductory overview of the Academy, its vision, mission, goals, and members, stressing that “this delegation represents the Ummah’s trusted scholars in the member states of the OIC, and they carry with them a message of affection, appreciation and respect for the eminent scholars of Afghanistan, and their visit to Afghanistan comes within the framework of their fulfillment of their duty to clarify matters, and give advice to the Muslim Rulers and common Muslims in compliance with his saying, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family: {Religion is advice, we said to whom? He said: to God, his Prophet, his book, to Muslim rulers, and common Muslims}. Their advice to their honorable fellow scholars revolves around a number of issues and topics that have recently been raised about questions and inquiries that deserve dialogue and discussion about them, especially the issue of girls’ education, the issue of women’s work, and the issue of tolerance and coexistence.” With regard to the issue of girls’ education, His Excellency said: “There is a consensus among the scholars of the Ummah that it is obligatory to seek knowledge for both sexes, male and female, and there is a consensus that seeking knowledge is one of the most emphatic duties and the greatest offering by the male and female sexes. The evidence for this obligation is contained in the folds of many Shariah texts in the Holy Quran and the honorable Sunnah that never differentiated between the sexes, and forbid scholars to differentiate between them as our distinguished scholars in Afghanistan know that. Accordingly, the delegation of scholars came to dialogue with their brothers on how to implement this clear divine command, especially with regard to educating Afghan girls, by removing all the obstacles that prevent this, in order to avoid falling into the forbidden of causing non-compliance with the command of God, which states that men and women, boys and girls must seek knowledge.”

With regard to the issue of Afghan women’s participation in efforts to build and advance in accordance with Shariah guidelines, His Excellency addressed the Afghan scholars saying, “You, our sheikhs and professors, know very well that working in our religion is a duty that God has enjoined upon every capable and adult person, where they are rewarded for their action and punished for leaving it without excuse. There is no difference between it and other imposed Shariah duties such as prayer, zakat, fasting, pilgrimage, righteousness and uprightness, just as there is no difference in its obligation between a man and a woman as stipulated by numerous texts from the Noble Qur’an, the honorable Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah, as the Almighty says: ((Tell ˹them, O Prophet˺, Do as you will. Your deeds will be observed by Allah, His Messenger, and the believers)) and his saying ((Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, we will surely bless them with a good life, and We will certainly reward them according to the best of their deeds)) and others… Therefore, the scholars of the Ummah are looking forward to the scholars of Afghanistan playing their aspired role in correcting misconceptions on this subject, especially those that contradict the texts and do not distinguish between the texts specific to Prophet’s wives and the general texts that stipulate the obligation to work on both sexes. The Ummah’s scholars hope from the scholars of Afghanistan to continue their efforts in promoting awareness of the importance of the participation of men and women in the efforts of construction, progress and development in the Islamic Emirate in compliance with the command of God Almighty”. As for the issue of tolerance, coexistence and harmony among the components of the Afghan people with their races, sects and ethnicities, His Excellency expressed the importance of this by saying, “You, our great scholars, agree with me that this is an eternal Islamic principle, and a prophetic approach to governance, and therefore the commitment of the Islamic Emirate to this approach will achieve stability and broad participation of all segments of Afghan society in building the nation, and your outstanding efforts in supporting this trend with the ruling authority are much appreciated”. His Excellency concluded by renewing his thanks and appreciation to the scholars for listening attentively to his advice, and to the advice given by each member of the delegation of scholars.

Then His Eminence Sheikh Maulvi Muhammad Ismail, the chief of the influential scholars of Afghanistan, who in turn welcomed the delegation of Muslim scholars, thanking them for their hardships to visit Afghanistan after the Afghan people managed to regain their independence after four decades of wars that destroyed everything. His Eminence then gave a focused overview of what the Afghan people were subjected to during four decades of insult and humiliation that impoverished the people, widowed women, orphaned children, and had a profound impact on Afghan traditions and customs, noting in this regard that the Islamic Emirate needed considerable time to repair what was spoiled by years of wars and foreign occupation, and he added: “therefore, the scholars of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan hope from their fellow scholars in the Muslim world to understand these difficult conditions that the Emirate is going through since God enabled it to extend its influence over all Afghan territories”. With regard to the topics and issues that the head of the delegation spoke about, His Eminence affirmed that these issues and topics, especially girls’ education, are considered by the Islamic Emirate as one of the most important priorities of the Emirate, which fully believes in the right of both sexes to education. However, there are obstacles and difficult conditions that impede the return of some girls to school. Once these obstacles are removed, they will be allowed to return to school. As for the issue of tolerance and coexistence between followers of religions and sects, His Eminence explained that the authority of the Islamic Emirate guaranteed minorities their right to practice their faith freely and respectfully, and that it included in its ministries and agencies representatives of different races and ethnicities to confirm its tolerance and acceptance of coexistence. His Eminence concluded by inviting a number of Afghan scholars to comment on what their fellow scholars said.

Then, His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded the meeting by inviting the delegation of scholars to visit Afghanistan whenever circumstances allowed them to inquire about the conditions of their brothers and the Islamic Emirate, stressing that the Emirate benefited from the good advice given by the delegation of the Ummah’s scholars.

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