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Demonstrations not the way for reform: Senior Ulema
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 03 - 2011

RIYADH: The Board of Senior Ulema issued a statement Sunday reemphasizing “the Islamic principles of advice, reform and unity in the Kingdom” saying that reform “cannot be achieved through demonstrations and ways that incite against Muslim unity”.
The Board described Muslim unity as “one of greatest fundamentals in Islam”, and said that the Kingdom has as its foundation “the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet's Sunnah, the pledge of allegiance, the unity of the Muslim community and obedience”.
“Reform cannot be achieved through demonstrations and means that incite discord in the Muslim community,” the statement said. “The Ulema of this country in earlier and recent times have been in agreement that they are forbidden, and they warn against them.”
The Board said the Shariah method consists of “advising one another according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who followed him (pbuh)”.
“The Qur'an requires we maintain consensus and desist from disunity. The Prophet (pbuh) advised Muslims to adhere to the consensus,” the Board said. “With disunity there are great evils, which all wise people know.”
The statement said Almighty Allah has “blessed this country through its people rallying behind its rulers on the basis of the guidance of the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah”.
“They are never divided by foreign parties or positions with their divergent approaches,” it said.
Despite progress and development, the Board said, the Kingdom has preserved its Islamic identity and followed “lawful worldly means” to achieve that advancement.
“It will not, therefore, allow in foreign ideas from east or west that detract from that Islamic identity or divide the united group or consensus.”
The statement continued by noting that the people of the Kingdom have been “honored with serving the Two Holy Mosques”.
“It is one of the bounties Allah granted the people of this country – the rulers and the ruled,” it said. “The Two Holy Mosques receive the full care of the Kingdom's government, and with the service of the Two Holy Mosques the Kingdom has won special honor in the Muslim world. It is the Muslims' Qiblah, the country of the Two Holy Mosques, and Muslims come to the Kingdom from different parts of the world during the Haj season and throughout the year for Umrah and Ziyarah.”
The senior scholars warned against “injustice, unfairness and denial of rights” and against “links with deviant ideological and partisan thought”. “The nation of this country is one group that stands committed to what the forefathers, the Muslim Imams of the earlier and recent times, followed in adhering to the group and advising one another in sincerity,” they said. “The united group does not seek to spread differences and highlight deficiencies, but does recognize failures and the importance of reform in all cases and at all times.”
The Board added that advice has “high standing in religion” and stressed that reform and advice have “a specific method according to the Shariah that achieves Muslims' interests and wards off evil and without issuing statements of exaggeration and incitement to sedition and by signing petitions, all of which violates what Almighty Allah has ordained”.
The Board of Senior Ulema prayed to Allah to safeguard the Kingdom and Muslim countries from all evil and that He unify their ranks and guide them to the ways of peace. The Board also prayed to Allah to guide every misguided person.

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