The Muslim Council of Elders organized a seminar at the Islamic Book Fair in Indonesia, focusing on the Document on Human Fraternity which was co-signed by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, and His Holiness Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
The seminar was presented by Dr. Salah Al-Shami, member of the Heritage Revival Center at Al-Azhar, and Dr. Mukhlis Hanafi, the Director of the branch of the Muslim Council of Elders in Indonesia. During the seminar, the spotlight was placed on the Document on Human Fraternity and its discussion as a foundation for dialogue, coexistence, and the establishment of the concept of citizenship.
Dr. Mukhlis Hanafi emphasized that the Document on Human Fraternity is based on the awareness that all humans are brothers. He further pointed out that the document embodies the principles of tolerance, coexistence, which are advocated by all religions. It also represents an extension of the values included in the Charter of Medina, which was signed in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowing all members of the city, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, to live together as one community.
The Director of the branch of the Muslim Council of Elders in Indonesia highlighted the concept of citizenship as one of the concepts included in the Document on Human Fraternity. This concept is based on the principle of equality in rights and duties within a nation regardless of race or religion. He pointed out that this concept reflects respect for diversity and the necessary acceptance of others to build nations, contributing to the creation of a harmonious and understanding society.
Dr. Salah Al-Shami provided an explanation of the general concept of the document and an interpretation of its key terms. He explained that there is a close relationship between these three terms: “document,” “fraternity,” and “humanity,” and “Islamic law.” The word “document” refers to the meaning of agreement or covenant and what it entails in terms of consensus.
He added that the second term, “fraternity,” expresses the concept of brotherhood and connection between humans. He pointed out that there are two types of fraternity: religious fraternity, as in Islam, which comes from Islamic teachings and appears in the teachings of the Quran and Hadith. Meanwhile, human fraternity lies in people living and cooperating together, regardless of their religious, ethnic, or tribal affiliations. He further explained that the term “humanity” refers to the essence of the human call to hold onto their humanity and its values even before their call to religion.
For the second consecutive year, the Muslim Council of Elders is participating in the Islamic Book Fair in Indonesia, reflecting the council’s message under the leadership of His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar which is aimed at promoting peace and establishing values of dialogue, tolerance, and fostering cooperation among people of different races and beliefs.
The Muslim Council of Elders’ stand is located in the Mecca hall at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.