Muscat: “We all belong to the same family. We are all human beings. We are all mankind. We are all equal,” Sheikh Kahlan Al Kharusi, Assistant Grand Mufti of Oman said during a lecture.
The need for tolerance, fairness and justice is paramount in today’s world to promote a healthy and peaceful environment, Al Kharusi said during a talk that lasted more than an hour at PDO’s Diversity and Inclusion event. He emphasised the importance of diversity in the workplace and engagement with other communities, in light of the Holy Quran and authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
“We need to be tolerant about others beliefs. We need to have better engagement and dialogue with them to better understand them, treat them fairly, embrace them and show them the mercy of Islam.” In the lecture, Al Kharusi also spoke of pious individuals mentioned in the Holy Quran that have often called upon people from different communities and backgrounds to engage and have dialogue.
He also exemplified his point with anecdotes from the life of Prophet, where the Prophet (PBUH) championed for justice for members of other communities and ethnicities and acknowledged their contributions.
“If we fail to acknowledge others, we are the ones losing out,” Al Kharusi stated. He also reiterated the need for engagement and dialogue within the Muslim community and interfaith dialogue.
“There has to be more engagement, both inside the Muslim community, as well as inter-community dialogue. I say dialogue not debate. We must talk and engage about this so we can appreciate each other. We must care for others and we can do it without changing our values or morals. If you are confident about your identity you won’t mind dialogue and engagement with people. We don’t need to tell people about the mercy of the Holy Quran, but instead show them the mercy.”
He also said the government has been working on such engagement programmes and that companies must have programmes, such as PDO’s Diversity and Inclusion event.
A minority of mainly unqualified interpreters of the Holy Quran have often cited Qur’anic verses out of context to suit their extremist ideology and Al Kharusi noted that extreme interpretation must be refrained from and interpretation of the Holy Quran must be left for qualified individuals.
“Moderate interpretations of the Holy Quran are very important. We need to refrain from having aggressive and extreme interpretation of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran shows us that we can have interpretation of the Holy Quran that is good and will benefit the society and help us acknowledge others instead of having ones that are extreme and divide us,” he said
“Interpretations of the Quran must be left to people, who have gained the right knowledge instead of the ones who don’t. People with knowledge won’t have extreme or violent interpretations of the Holy Quran because Islam is a religion of peace.”