2006 Transcript

Remarks of Prince Turki Al-Faisal speech at the Khoei Islamic Center
Translation of Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal address at the Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica, New York, September 29, 2006

In The Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Dear brothers: It is a pleasure on this blessed day of the month of Ramadan to break the fast with you at the end of a day in which we fasted together in obedience to the commands of Almighty God and in adherence to the Sunnah and the path of the same Prophet we follow.

We prayed facing the same Makkah. In doing so, we recalled the verses of the Holy Qur’an that binds us. It is the same Qur’an that Muslims depend on in their worship of Allah whether it is recited in Makkah, Madinah and Riyadh, Baghdad, Najaf and Mashhad or in Islamabad, Cairo and Damascus. Though the recitations may be performed in different tones, the script is the same.

In this respect I recall in utter presence and total submission the holy verse of the Qur’an that says:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful amongst themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurat (Torah). But their description in the Injeel (Gospel) is like a sown seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers, that he may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allah has promised those among them who believe (i.e. all those who follow Islamic Monotheism, the religion of Prophet Muhammad till the Day of Resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. paradise).” Surah 48:29

Also, I remind all of you as well as myself of the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, the final prophet, which was narrated in all the authentic hadith books of the Sunni Muslims:

Yazid Ibn Hayyan  (R.A.A) relates that: I Husain Ibn Sabrah and Amr Ibn Muslim went to Zaid Ibn Arqam (R.A.A) and when we had taken our seats Husain said to him: Zaid you have collected a good amount of merit as you have seen the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) ; you have heard him talk; you have fought along with him; you have offered your prayers (Salat)  behind him. Undoubtedly you have gained a great amount of virtue. O Zaid! Please let us know what you have heard from the Prophet (S.A.W). He said: “Nephew, I have become very old and have become antiquated; some of the things that I heard from the Prophet (S.A.W) I have forgotten. So what I may narrate, please accept that and do not compel me to recall that which I have forgotten. The Prophet (S.A.W) once addressed us at Khuma, a spring between Makkah and Madinah. He praised and glorified Allah and then admonished us by inviting our attention to divine punishment and reward and then again eulogized Allah, and said: “Listen O people, I am but a man (like you) and soon the messenger of my Sustainer will come, and I shall have to obey His command. I shall leave behind two important things: The first is the Holy Qur’an, the Book of Allah; this contains instructions and guidance for you and it has got light. Hold fast this Book, and adhere to it”. He laid great stress on this point and urged his followers to act upon the same. Then he said: “The second thing is, the Ahlu-Albait, members of my family. I call upon you in the name of Allah, to have due regard of my family members, and I once more urge you in the name of Allah, about my family”. Husain Ibn Sabrah said: “Zaid, who are the members of the Prophet’s family? Are not his wives the members of his family? Zaid replied: “His wives are members of his family, and also those who are not allowed to accept Sadaqa or alms after him. Husain Bin Sabrah asked: who are they? Zaid said: “They are the descendants of Ali, Aqil, J’afar and Abbas. They have all been disallowed to accept alms? Yes”.  Narrated by Muslim

Another tradition says: The Prophet (S.A.W) said: “Listen I am leaving for you two great things. One of them is the Book of Allah, it is like the rope of Allah. He, who follows it, will be rightly guided, and he who discards it, will go astray.”             

Like you, we respect members of the Prophet’s family, recognize their merits, and acknowledge the Prophet’s command to accord them all due regard. Furthermore, we pray to Allah to shower his mercy upon us together with them in the manner wished by Um Salama, as indicated in the following hadith narrated by Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his book. This remarkable story, which illustrates the merits of the members of the Prophet’s family, becomes all the more colorful when the Prophet invited his daughter Fatima together with her husband Ali and their two sons: Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein. After they ate with the Prophet, the following holy verse was revealed:

“Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins) from you, O members of the family of the Prophet and to purify you with a thorough purification.” (Surah 33:33)

Then the Prophet took some clothing and covers them with it, and rose up his hands in supplication: “O Allah these are members of my own household I ask you to remove the evil deeds and sins from them and purify them with a thorough purification”. The Prophet repeated this supplication in an overwhelmingly spiritual environment full of serenity and outpouring love to his family members and Umma. 

This took place at the residence of his wife Um Salama who seized the opportunity and said: Am I with you in that O Prophet of Allah. The prophet responded: You will certainly witness all that is good.

In another hadith the Prophet says: "Hold on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs after me. Hold on to it firmly. And beware of heretical innovations.”

Dear brothers: Today more than ever we are in need of joining hands, as there is no one amongst us who does not respect the family of Muhammad. In each of our prayers we pray for them and ask Allah to shower his blessings on them. Likewise, none of us refrain from asking Allah to be pleased with the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and to bestow his mercy upon them.

All of us, brothers, bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his Messenger. As Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said in his statement before the recent Islamic Summit in Makkah: “The unity of Muslims will not be attained through bloodletting as alleged by the straying outlawed groups, rather the unity of Muslims can only be realized through faith, true love and sincere work. Ensuring that the Islamic Umma rises up again despite the missteps it encounters presupposes that it maintains a mind and soul devoid of any corrupt and deviant thought similar to the one upheld by those who label others as disbelievers and shed bloods and the destruction of societies.”

Praise be to Allah, the Umma has been cognizant of the danger of disputes and discord. In its final communiqué, the Makkah Islamic Summit called for combating extremism that has been perpetrated under the guise of religion or any school of thought, as well as for refraining from regarding the followers of other schools of thought as infidels. The communiqué also confirmed the importance of strengthening dialogue among the different schools of thought and reinforcing the elements of moderation and tolerance.

All that we need is to abide by the Holy Qur’an, adhere to the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and adhere to what was said by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the other leaders of the Islamic World.

I wish you all a blessed fast.