Address by the Vice President of the “Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema” Announcing its Creation

Address by the Vice President of the “Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema” Announcing its Creation

Here is the address of the Vice President of Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema delivered on the occasion of the Announcement of the Creation of the Foundation, the night of 26 Ramadan 1436 (July 13th, 2015).

Address by the Vice President of Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema

Casablanca, Ramadan 26, 1436, corresponding to July 13th, 2015

Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds

Prayer and peace be upon the most honorable of the messengers, his household and his noble companions

Your Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful

Standing before Your Majesty is a group of Muslim scholars, men and women from thirty countries. They have come to participate in the announcement of the “Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema” and to express their great delight at Your Majesty’s lofty decision to establish this blessed institution. A select group of Muslim scholars, from twenty countries have already taken cognizance of this project before the publication of the Sharifian Dahir which established the Foundation. They discussed it and enriched its debate with their ideas during a meeting held in Rabat early last month.

Your Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful,

Your decision to create this institution is not the result of a particular circumstance or an afterthought; it is the result of profound thinking,based on a stock of relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and these countries in the past, and on a number of concerns related to the present and the future.

The bonds of the past are symbolized by the human contacts between the Kingdom of Morocco and sub-Saharan African countries. These bonds are further represented by a common civilizational and cultural heritage that is specially manifested in the unity of the religious components with its doctrinal and spiritual dimensions. This materialistic and spiritual heritage, rational and emotional, stood the strain of the attempts to isolate Morocco from its African roots over the last four centuries. It is still holding against the tempting diverse ideological sources.

In light of this context, any observer can ascertain that the creation of the “Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema ” is a project that falls within the scope of the historical continuation and accumulation, and a renewed commitment to the trust which Your Majesty has been shouldering in nursing these relations, especially the protection of denomination and religion entrusted to the office of “imārat al-mu’minīn”. One of the manifestations of this commitment in recent decades is the construction of some mosques in these countries, the continued presence of African Muslim scholars in the Hassanian lectures, the creation of the “League of the Muslim Scholars of Morocco and the Senegal” and the hosting of Sufi tariqa meetings.

The institution’s relationships with the concerns of the present and the future are two-fold:

  1. The expectations expressed officially by these African countries which manifest themselves especially in the requests addressed to You Majesty regarding the training of imams and spiritual guides. These countries are convinced of the need for a sound coaching of religiosity in accordance with the traditions of tolerance and moderation so familiar to these countries.
  2. The African Muslim scholars’ aspirations that emanate from loyalty to their ancestors most of whose sources of knowledge and modes of behavior go back to chiefdoms in the Kingdom of Morocco.

This is an unblemished reality; and no one can today deny the overriding importance of investing in this common capital, and the soundness of setting up a rational, scientific and managerial framework for a judicious, sustained action of this investment, knowing that serving religion cannot have concealed backgrounds or covert goals. Serving religion is immune to shallowness; it rests on deep devotion to God Almighty and on sound spreading of the Word of God, which is the Muslim scholars’ noble mission. Theirs is a mission that can be used only for the benefit of people on earth, for peace and stability, and for performing good deeds based on a sound interpretation of religion, whose practices are preserved from ignorance, distortion and extremism.

Your Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful,

The “Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema ” is a space for making the required efforts, the purpose of which is to benefit as much as possible from the management of religious affairs, which Your Majesty has erected in terms of its intellectual, supervisory and service-oriented dimensions. The matter is not about exporting or importing a particular model; it is rather a question of benefiting from what the aforementioned model has to offer, because it is based on the very same shared constants, in terms of opportunities for political and juridical harmony with the modern choices and in full observance of the definitive judgments of the tolerant Islamic Law. This is the major issue for Muslims nowadays.

Because man and woman in the Moroccan model participate equally in their commitment to religion and in shouldering the responsibility to preserve it and in leading a decent life in compliance with its guidance, Your Majesty has insisted that the African woman scholar should have substantial participation in this gathering, in anticipation of the positive role she would, God willing, take on in the Foundation’s activity and effectiveness.

Your Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful,

The whereas-clauses and goals of the provisions of the sharifian founding text, which created the Foundation are clearly in harmony with the facts we have alluded to. They stipulate that the creation of the Foundation branches in various countries must necessarily be in compliance with the laws of the land. What ought to be clearly understood from this is that the Foundation is not an alternative to any official or private institution, and that it is called upon to cooperate with all the sides that have similar goals and strive for the well-being and happiness of countries and their people.

Your Majesty, the Commander of the Faithful,

Following your lofty directives to activate the role of the Foundation as soon as possible, two meetings will convene, God willing, before the end of the year. One next September to complete laying the foundations and structures, to agree on the ways to activate its central and local mechanisms, and to set up short and medium-term working strategies. The second meeting will be held in November with the branches which will have completed the steps for establishing themselves in their countries, for the purpose of drawing up work programs for the following year.

May God bless Your Majesty’s endeavors and answer your prayers.

God bless Your Majesty.

Was-salam ‘alaikum warahmatu Allahi ta’ala wa barakatuhu.