ALBANIA MEETING FINAL DECLARATION
In this important meeting held in the capital city of Tirana with the theme “The Role of Religion and Clerics in Resolving Spiritual and Social Issues”, we hereby declare to the public the resolutions we took as Muftis and Heads of Religious Affairs Directorates of Balkan Countries:
Firstly, as the highest level religious representatives of countries we represent, we declare that we all must act knowing that the best path to be followed by our religious officials in providing religious service is a path that delivers good news and makes things easy, avoids raising hatred and making things difficult; a path that was followed and personally implemented by the Prophet and his companions. It is the most crucial path in resolving spiritual and social issues.
As followers of Islam and religious leaders, we once again recommend and heed the fact that people from every religion, language, and race lived on this land together without discrimination in peace, well-being, and happiness for centuries and that the atmosphere of tolerance created centuries ago by our great religion of Islam brought happiness to societies.
We believe that it will make a great contribution to the resolution of spiritual and social issues if religious officials at every level who do and will offer religious services are well-trained and well-selected, who have qualities such as love, compassion, mercy, and tolerance which are found in the Sunnah of the Prophet, and who can comfortable communicate with people.
As the duty of religious service is considered the Prophet’s profession and perceived as such by the public, there will be efforts to equip religious officials with the utmost level of knowledge, skills, and other qualities in order to make them people who will guide society, be considered exemplary individuals, and be the first people to be consulted in resolving issues.
In order to train religious officials who possess outstanding qualities and significant knowledge, special effort will be made to recruit youth at an early age who are committed to this profession, equip them with great religious knowledge, positive sciences, foreign language, and pedagogical and sociological formation and employ them in a way to meet the needs.
As the values, human rights concepts and rules adopted in the West today are vital principles personally practiced and declared to the world by the Prophet centuries ago, this method should be followed in solving spiritual issues of societies and Islam’s universal message on this matter should be understood and communicated properly. It will be made sure that religious officials tell the public in the best manner that Islam, which always prioritizes principles like love, peace, and tolerance, condemns all violence, torture, backward attitude, all acts that insult, marginalize, and lock women at home, which are un-Islamic and have no place in our time.
We do not accept the recent trend of association and identification of terror with our great religion Islam, the religion of peace and tolerance. We fiercely condemn those who want to introduce Islam to the world as such. We want it to be known that Islam can never be mentioned together with terror and we will not allow those who attempt to do it.
Tafsir, fiqh, hadith, and other major Islamic works which have been inherited from history, survived to our time, and had an important role in development of the Islamic culture will be revised; new works will be published which will answer today’s needs, which will then be submitted to the use of religious officials in an effort to meet expectations of our communities.
Compiled and published by TC Presidency of Religious Affairs and Türkiye Diyanet Foundation with the work of hundreds of expert scholars, we believe that translating important works such as İslam Ansiklopedisi, Hadislerle İslam, and Kur’an Yolu into various languages will fill a much-needed role in this regard.
We vehemently condemn the attacks on Muslims and their places of worship particularly in Myanmar and other countries in recent months and the killing of clerics who were community leaders. We wish an end to these abominable acts committed towards clerics who are esteemed individuals in their communities. And we want the perpetrators of murders and massacres to be found and brought to justice as soon as possible.
We want it to be known that the fact that Muslim, Christian, and Jewish people, who have lived together in peace, well-being, and respect towards one another with tolerance for centuries in Balkan countries, make an effort altogether for the good of their countries without any ulterior motive today as they did centuries ago is quite essential for peace in the Balkans in particular and peace in the world in general. We declare that we will always keep our belief in this regard.
The conflict in Sandzak that has been going on for many years now inflicts great damage on Muslims living in the region. It is our greatest wish that the conflict be immediately ended to achieve unity and togetherness in the region and they participate in the Balkan Countries Religious Affairs Presidents Meeting with a representative mufti.
We would like to thank T.C. Presidency of Religious Affairs and Muslim Community of Albania for their effort for the best organization and success of the Balkan Countries Religious Affairs Presidents Sixth Consultation Meeting, and all religious leaders who attended the meeting.
We offer our gratitude to the Albanian President Mr. Z. Bujar NISHANI, Prime Minister Mr. Sali BERISHA, and other officials who enabled us to come together here today. And we thank them for their hospitality.
Respectfully announced to the public.
18 May 2013 Tirana/Albania