بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
(Surat al-Hujuraat: 13)
O mankind! We have indeed created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may come to know one another. Truly the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing among you. Truly God is Knower, Aware...
It has been the legacy of our Hudaat and, in particular, Syedna Taher Saifuddin and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin to engage and interact with other communities. This interaction is based on a foundation of mutual respect and is an effort to build bridges of friendship. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA spearheaded many such efforts with Muslims in particular and all our fellow human beings. In his Qasida-Autobiography Syedna Taher Saifuddin states:
I spent my days to do good for all people, young and old.
And verily they all came to love me, as they realized, that I am a support for them, and their best helper.
The love of the worshippers of God for me increases in all His lands, highlands and lowlands.
Syedna Burhanuddin RA continued Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA legacy and became known throughout the world as the “Ambassador of Peace.” Continuing the legacy of the 51st and 52nd Dais is Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS who recently stated, “We must restore the tradition of mutual respect and fellowship with other religious communities, and engage in enhancing the social welfare of fellow Indians and of our compatriots in whichever country we live.”
In the context of inter-community friendships, it is a matter of pride for our community that Syedna’s daughter, Shz. Dr. Tahera baisaheba, was invited by UNESCO to participate in a roundtable conference on “The contribution of Ali ibn Abi Talib's Thought to a Culture of Peace and Intercultural Dialogue.” This conference was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 20th November 2014. In the talk (details in the section below) Shz. Tahera baisaheba quoted a verse of poetry attributed to Imam Ali SA, “People are peers and equals—Their father is Adam, their mother is Eve.”
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the conviction and courage to live up to the teachings of our Imams and their Dai’s and, particularly, the Dai of our time -Syedna Qutbuddin TUS. May we be confident and secure in our beliefs, traditions and values. And may we safeguard our legacy of being a peaceful, educated and engaged community. May we have the strength to stand up to those who are taking our community on a path of isolationism and radicalism. Syedna Qutbuddin TUS is guiding us and leading by example, he is showing us how to be good human beings, following Sirat-e-Mustaqeem. But this is our community also and each one of us has a stake in it. Each of us must take responsibility to protect the true messages of our hudaat.