JUSA Stance on Abraham Accords and Inter-Religious Engagement
A COMMUNITY STATEMENT
This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. (Qur’an 5:3)
We have in the recent past witnessed attempts to incorrectly equate inter-religious engagement with the so-called “Abraham Accords”. In the discourse, it is believed that these accords are part of an agenda to amalgamate or “unite” religions. Whether this notion is substantiated or not, the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (JUSA) has never been party to any such schemes. The Abraham Accords are a series of agreements brokered by the United States since 2020, in its efforts to normalise relations between the Arab states and Israel. Israel’s aim in signing the Accords is to redirect world attention away from its military occupation in Palestine. Donald J Trump, termed these agreements “Abraham” because of a genealogically common heritage of the signatories, namely Arabs and Jews. Again, JUSA has never supported these accords. The normalisation of relations with the Zionist entity is nothing short of betraying our Islamic obligation of liberating the Holy Land.
Inter-religious engagement entails jointly advancing or defending common interests such as fighting against poverty, crime, disease and the promotion of good governance. It is aimed at creating a climate of peaceful and harmonious social relations. Such engagement allows people to cooperate with each other despite their religious differences. JUSA’s inter-religious policy is informed by principles of public interest and shared values of humanity, consistent with the Qur’anic injunctions and the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad . The Prophet advocated the dignity and honour of humans. The Prophet entered into treaties with non-Muslims.
JUSA’s engagement with other religions is not an attempt to dilute the purity of Islam as wrongly averred by some. It does not imply that Islam is simply a religion among religions. It is our belief that Islam is the only religion of truth as unequivocally stated in the Qur’an: “Truly the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam…” (Qur’an 3:19), and also: “…For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (Qur’an 109:6).
The Quran explicitly provides guidance on Muslim and non-Muslim relations: “Allah does not forbid you from doing good and justice to those who did not fight you because of faith, and did not expel you from your homes. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice. Allah forbids you only from having friendship with those who fought you on account of faith, and expelled you from your homes, and helped (others) in expelling you. And those who develop friendship with them, it is they who are the wrongdoers. ” (Qur’an 60:8-9)
The Executive Committee
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
19 Jumaadal Ulaa 1444 / 14 December 2022