Elements creating rifts and promoting sectarianism in Islam will not find absolution in the hereafter, Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Salih bin Ibrahim said on Friday.
He said this while delivering a sermon in Friday prayers in the Azakhel area of Nowshera district.
The large gathering was organised at a congregation organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to mark centenary of its founding.
Creating religious rifts, he said, was against Quranic teachings as Islam was the religion of peace.
Advising all Muslims not to engage in any sectarian controversy, he cited a verse from the Quran and said that it was incumbent upon all Muslims to follow Allah’s preferred path and obey instructions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) if they sought absolution in the afterlife.
Thousands of people had arrived to offer Friday prayers led by the Imam of Kaaba for which massive security arrangements had been made to accommodate JUI-F’s workers from across the country.
The first day of the congregation passed peacefully but the GT Road was blocked by the huge number of visitors.
As many as 25,000 volunteers of Anasarul Islam had been tasked to facilitate visitors, said JUI-F’s information secretary Maulana Abdul Jalil Jan.
Maulana Jan said that arrangements had been made to accommodate five million.
Ten water pumps and tube-wells, 8000 bathrooms, dispensaries, canteens and six security checkpoints had been set up as part of the overall arrangements.
Personnel of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police were deployed to provide security cover.
Addressing the congregation, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazl stressed the need for abandoning all deviations from the country’s Constitution.
According to him, adhering to the Constitution was the only way out if the government wanted to strengthen state institutions.
Urging the government to review the national foreign policy, he said that Pakistan’s foreign policy should be reformulated to discourage sectarianism and terrorism.
Stressing the need for maintaining friendly relations with all neighbouring countries, Maulana Fazl said that Pakistan needed to bolster friendly relations with its neighbours, adding that it was vital for national progress.
He said that all Muslim nations should unify to resolve long-standing issues and shun all differences.
“We should raise Kashmir issue and highlight the plight of Kashmiris before the international community and convince the world that Kashmiris must be allowed to choose their destiny,” he said.
Maulana Fazl also urged the Muslim countries to play their role in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries and help them in reconstruction.
He said that the government should ban all international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) promoting foreign agenda and deport all foreign workers working in them immediately.
“Our cultural norms and values are being targeted and conspiracies are being hatched to block routes to development,” he insisted.
The JUI-F chief also called for strict monitoring of mainstream and social media websites against blasphemous content and asked the government to ensure Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat.
He said offenders of this heinous crime should be given exemplary punishments.
He also demanded reforms in the country’s justice system, saying that an effective justice system based on Islamic laws was the only way to root out terrorism.
Equal rights for minorities
The JUI-F chief also called for protecting the rights and property of all non-Muslim communities living in Pakistan.
He said that JUI-F had always advocated equal rights for non-Muslim communities and considered attacks on them as attacks on JUI-F itself.
“Non-Muslim communities must be given their constitutional rights … The government must take steps to protect their life and property,” he said.