Head of Muslim World League Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa delivering Friday sermon at the Jama Masjid in Delhi
Taking his message of Islamic moderation to the hearts of Muslims, Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa, powerful Secretary General of Muslim World League, led the Friday prayers at the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi and addressed the devotees in the khutba (sermon). He emphatically made it clear that Islam place for extremism and people who tread the path of violence will be defeated.
There was widespread enthusiasm among the locals when Dr al-Issa reached the area for the prayers. People thronged in large numbers to listen to his khutba and attend namaz in his imamat (leadership).
In his short address on the occasion, imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari extolled Dr. al-Issa’s efforts in fostering bridges among various religions of the world. He also requested him to lead the Juma prayers.
Dr. al-Issa exhorted Muslims to adopt an immaculate and honest character. “Islam doesn’t like people who are hypocrites. Good character is paramount in the eyes of Islam. Muslims thus must reflect this teaching and their behaviour should always be refined. They have to treat their fellow Muslim and non-Muslim brethren with the utmost degree of courtesy and kindness,” he said.
He also made it clear that Islam makes it mandatory to mind the importance of geography and diversity of people. He added that people should stay away from anything that begets hatred.
Reactions of Muslims on Dr al-Issa’s Message
This correspondent spoke to a number of people who attended Friday prayers at Jama Masjid and also those who have been tracking Dr. al-Issa’s tour to India, and also some of senior religious personalities of India who have managed to interact with Dr al-Issa.
As has been made clear in India Narrative’s coverage, Muslims belonging to almost all sects have been attending events of Dr. al-Issa.
Those who attended namaz at Jama Masjid was Moinuddin, the owner of a prominent Urdu book shop in Matia Mahal. He said that Dr. al-Issa’s message was centred on building character as per true teachings of Islam. “No Muslim can deny that good character is the premise of a trustworthy personality. We see it in everyday life, and I am sure Dr. al-Issa also had practicality of life in mind when he said that,” he said.
A group of visiting Muslims from Uttar Pradesh who happened to attend prayers and listened to Dr. al-Issa said that they have read about his visit and the message of harmony through Urdu and Hindi press. “Though his address was in Arabic, it was translated in Urdu. He spoke well and with passion… he was right, if we Muslims develop good character and are honest in dealings with everyone, we will naturally command respect,” they said.
Interestingly, this correspondent found a French Muslim who was in the area with his young son. Both father and son were surprisingly fluent in Urdu. He was also upbeat about Dr. al-Issa’s address from the mosque pulpit. “Moderation is the soul of religious communication. Dr. al-issa has been doing it for several years. We have read about him so much. It was good to listen to him face to face for the first time and at this historic monument,” he said. (His name withheld on request).
Earlier, many prominent Muslims met Dr. al-Issa in New Delhi, including those associated with Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, the two outfits that showed lukewarm enthusiasm to Dr. al-Issa’s visit.
Representatives of both these outfits told the India Narrative that Dr. al-Issa emphatically said that it is time to present the real image of Islam that is anti-extremism and dialogue-friendly.
Sufi leader Syed Nasiruddin Chishti said that Dr. al-Issa has admired secular credentials of the Indian Constitution that makes no distinction among Indians. “It’s a powerful message for not only Indians but also for the world,” he said.