Mehmet Nuri YILMAZ
President of Religious Affairs of Turkey
With Allah's bounty, we are at the doors of very blessed days which
are known among Muslims as “three months” and we will
very soon celebrate the holy night of Ragaib. Ragaib night is so called
because it is eagerly longed for by Muslims hoping Allah’s mercy.
At this night, Muslims all around the world are expected to obtain
the divine blessings and
abundance of spiritual gifts
and forgiveness of God,
the almighty. Since it is believed that all prays are accepted by
God at this night, the Muslims pray for God for the peace of themselves,
their parents, relatives, states,
people and all humanity. Taking this holy night as opportunity,
as Muslims we should remember our duties towards our creator, ourselves,
our families and neighbours. We also should evaluate our thoughts
and deeds and correct the mistakes and wrong-doings.
If we establish that we have committed crimes toward Allah, our creator,
or our state and people, we should suggest repentance to God at this
Any human being, regardless of his ethnic and religious origin, will
never think of carrying out such a violent, evil attack. Whatever
its purpose is, this action cannot be justified and tolerated.
The basic aims of the terrorist organisations are to
lead people into fear and horror,
paralyse the society, intimidate the public and harm
people making no difference between children and elderly, innocent
or guilty in order to create a chaotic atmosphere with the purpose
of getting some political and economic advantages. Meanwhile all divine
religions were revealed by God to establish order, peace and justice.
Among the common objectives
of all divine religions are the protection of religion, life, property,
reason and honour of all human beings. The Glorious Qur’an calls
all the Muslims for the peace with all human societies. The verse
says: “O you believers!
Enter into peace altogether and whole-h. And follow not the footsteps
of the evil one. For he is to you an avowed enemy” (Baqarah,
208). In arranging the relations of the Muslims with the non-Muslims,
Islam offers the principles, peace against peace, mercy, goodwill
and fairness. Regarding this matter the Glorious Qur’an says:
incline to peace, incline also to it and trust in Allah. Assuredly,
He is the Hearer, the Knower “(Anfal, 61). “
Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have
neither made war on your religion nor driven you from your homes.
Allah loves the equitable”. (Mumtahinah, 8).
Jihad concept in the Qur’an
does not mean resorting to the use of force and shedding of
blood as misunderstood by some people. Islam has permitted Jihad as
a holy struggle not for territorial gains and for colonialism but
for defence against any aggression or invasion on Muslim territories.
The prophet was asked in the Qur’an to invite people to Islam
with wisdom and good admonition. (Nahl, 125). Even in the case of
war, Islam clearly banned killing non-Muslim women, children, old
people,and those who are engaged
in religious duties. Islam also banned cutting trees, killing
animals and destroying the places of worship. (Buhari, Mazalim, 3;
Muslim, Birr, 58; Tirmizi, Birr, 18).
As for terror and violence, it is defined as
the systematic and organised
acts of murdering, kidnapping, intimidating and destruction
initiated by biased people who lack any moral bases,
disrespect human life, victimise innocent people, and are unable to
persuade people by means of their intellectual capacities for reaching
political targets. So how is it possible to compare this kind of actions
with the holy struggles of those who defend themselves? The Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him), a real model for the Muslims, had never
resorted to terror and violence against brutal persons who had driven
himself from his home and applied every kind of torture on him. He
even had forgiven Wahshi, the killer of Hamzah, the Prophet’s
uncle and the one he liked enormously. It is impossible for the ones
who really take the Prophet Muhammad as guide to involve
in terrorist and violent actions which would cost the
lives of the innocent people. We should regard terrorism which has
nothing to do with Islam as a crime committed against all humanity.
The Prophet also advised Muslims to be merciful not to humans but
also to the entire creation, if they sincerely seek the forgiveness
of Allah (Tac/V17).
Those who share the same world must act approach to each other with
mercy. If the peace cannot be established among the world states,
many things on earth become worthless. The global terrorism has clearly
shown how correct the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey is
in her stance advocating the improvement of the dialogue among religions.
It is wrong to blame Islam because of the mistakes committed by certain
people in history or at the present moment.. Likewise, it would be
unjust to attack on innocent Muslim civilians, their properties
of worship in America or in other Western countries with
the reason of the recent terror incidents.
Following the recent embarrassing terrorist attacks on the
American targets, we observe with complete regret that some people
asserted that this bloody event will be the starting point of the
clash of civilisations proving the theories in this way suggested
by certain Western writers before. As it is known,
during the violent and bloody wars in the Middle Ages, which in a
way can be defined as the clash
of civilisations and religions, a lot of innocent people lost their
lives and the children had become orphan. Humanity suffered from these
wars enourmously. Our natural and social environment
was badly affected from these wars. Just as humanity realise the
harmful effects of inter-religious wars, clash of civilisations
and lack of dialogue
among the adherents of different religions, suggesting this kind of
theses and theories, that will certainly cause the new deaths of innocent
people and children, does provide no advantage for any person of any
religion and civilisation. Such a dissension would form once again
the most embarrassing and terrible new page in the history of humanity.
For our future, we must fight against terrorism in all platforms with
a full global co-operation and common strategy. The terrorists should
be subjected to the punishment they deserve.
We wholeheartedly hope that no more innocent people have been
killed. We condemn what are the savage terrorist attacks against
We celebrate the night of Ragaib of Turkish citizens and kinsmen living
in Turkey and abroad and all Muslim brothers and sisters
and hope that this holy night would be a means of bringing a lot of
blessings to human mankind.
My best regard
This is translation of the message issued by
Head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey, Mehmet
Nuri Yılmaz, concerning the yearly celebration of the Night of
Ragaib and the terrorist attacks in the United States of America.