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Al-Vasatyya - moderate way of Islam.

It is possible to say with confidence that al-Vasatyya is a life conduct of the Muslim. It is the main idea or a complex of the principles which forms Muslim’s behavior and his relation to world around.

Al-Vasatyya term occurs from the arab word "vasat" ("middle").

Islam as religion has the concept of the median and many Koranic ayats prove it. Al-Vasatyya expresses such Islamic principles, as moderation, tolerance, toleration, the median, etc.

Al-Vasatyya is the internal core of the Muslim, that makes him act kindly, to be fair and moderate, keeping from excessiveness and negligence in wordly and religious affairs, in the relations with colleagues, family members, brothers in faith and with people of another religions and with all living God's things!

Let's recall how prophet Mahomed (peace and blessing for him) got upset when learned that some associates of him (be Allah happy with them) show excessiveness during religious practices. One of them obliged himself to fast all life, another – to be awaken at the nights, the third – vowed a celibacy. And then the messanger of God (peace and blessing for him) told the world the wise words, designated the Islamic principles of moderation and the median: "Truly, I fast and break the fast, I spend night in prayers and I have a rest, I marry. And the one who refuses to follow our way, he is not from us! ".

Values of Al-Vasatyya

Al-Vasatyya as a prophylactic of extremism among Muslims:

The prophet (peace and blessing for him) always was afraid that if people sincerely follow Islam, but thus to show excessiveness and become rough in relation to people around, they will never comprehend the essence of belief. The Hadis that is given above, clearly shows that, non-compliance with such major Islamic principles, as moderation and a sredinnost is how dangerous.

Islam is a moderate religion which does not accept an extreme and negligence, an arbitrariness and extremism. Islam is incompatible with injustice when someone puts someone's interests above interests of society or violates someone's rights for the sake of profit the majority.

Justice - the most important principle of Islam. God wishes Muslims to send the message calling for love, to good and justice, to show that the Muslim community is moderate and median. Islam is the open and dynamic religion, capable to develop and promote reforms and progress. At the same time, Islam firmly rejects stagnation, stagnancy, intolerance and extremism.

Islam seeks to reach balance between material and spiritual in human life by its moderation. Ability to build the life in harmony between the outside and internal worlds is initially put in the person by God. Life of the God's prophet, Mohammad (peace and bless him), described in the Koran, is an example of unknown harmony of material and spiritual life. The prophet (peace and bless him) built the life so, that everything was natural and enriched mind and soul.

The Islamic principle of moderation (al-Vasatyya) is the characteristic feature of Islam inspiring many people on important issues for the good of mankind. Advisably to recall the words of the classicist of the western orientalism, professor Hamilton Gibb: "I am sure, that even now Islam has a message which is capable to inform all mankind, because it takes a median position between the East and the West. This religion proved more than convincingly the ability to reconcile and unite various tribes and the people. And if we need a messenger to reconcile and save the East and the West from the conflicts and collisions, Islam is the most suitable for this part".

Al-Vasatyya is an appeal to peaceful co-existence between societies and the people.

One of the most important features of of Al-Vasatyya is the recognition of cultural diversity and distinctions between people. It, does not mean that this feature denies or loses the general between cultures and civilizations. Here the emphasis is put on the parts, which are spiritually and are intelligently ready to accept distinctions of each other and try to eliminate the reasons of the possible conflicts.

The differences between cultures have to enrich them, instead of lead to hostility. It’s the condition, which is impossible to exist without. For this reason God made this world so multiform and bright.

"If your Lord wanted, He would make a mankind as an united community of believers. However, they do not stop to conflict" (the Koran, 11:118-119).

Al-Vasatyya preserves the unity

There is no doubt that Islam is a religion for all people, and one of its universal features is recognition the unity of mankind, peaceful co-existence and aspiration to bring the benefit to people. The position the Islamic peace is maintained by stability and balance in the world. Therefore Muslims have to realize, what kind of important task faces them. They have to understand, what kind of task was assigned to them by the Lord, made them as the community keeping to "golden mean" ("a median community"), obliged them to be an example of a high civilization for all mankind.

To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to become open for the world, wisely to construct the various relations with other people and cultures, to improve and strengthen relations between the Muslim world and the international community.

We have to show the world with Islamic values, with views of Islam of ways of achievement the co-existence and cooperation between people. It is necessary to soften contradictions between Islamic position of creation of the fair and moral international relations and those who against this approach.

For the achievement of the above-named purposes it is necessary to work over the civilization and cultural project of Islam, to give its scientific and objective description. This project is based on firm divine values, on Islamic vision of development of civilizations.

Also it is necessary to designate the prime and universal targets of the Islamic legislation (Sharia), task of which is the achievement of advantages for the person and improvement of his life. Each Muslim has to remember that the Creator ennobled the person over other creations, granted him abilities to learn, create and distinguish the good and evil, made him the deputy on Earth, gave in commandment to him to settle the earth and to establish order there . To get closer to final aim is possible by cross-cultural dialogue, without forgetting about features and identity of various people and showing respect for their belief and belief. 

Tasks of Al-Vasatyya in Islam

1. Dialogue

Islam uses dialogue for rapprochement and acquaintance of people with each other. For the purpose of a unification of people Islam equalizes them in the rights because the Koran considers all mankind as a uniform community (ummah). One of tasks of "annunciating" with which Supreme sent the last Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessing for him), is the unification of Muslim community and the subsequent unification of all mankind.

2. Cooperation

Islam appeals for cooperation not to Muslims only, but also to all people, because Islam does not divide people, but tries to unite them. It’s known that this religion played an important role in establishment of cultural ties between the people. Supreme therefore sent prophets to unite people, to call them for cooperation because without cooperation and mutual aid they will not be able to learn completely God's favor.

The prophet told: "Allah is mercy to the merciful. Be merciful to those who is on the earth, and the one Who’s in the Heavens, will be merciful to you".

Listening to other person and having a civilized dialogue with him, it is possible to achieve cooperation in such directions, as:

- protection of public justice, human values, ensuring the rights and freedoms of the person (especially as all world religions call for these values);

- counteraction to dangers which leads to war of mankind, such as environmental pollution, drug addiction distribution etc.;

- fight against dangerous for all people phenomenon, such as society demoralization, promotion of permissiveness and dissoluteness which, however, call today "freedom". Everybody knows, that such "freedom" leads to bloody victims;

- earth arrangement, use of richness of our planet for peacekeeping, safety and stability, strengthening of the relations with each other, life improvement, justice establishment for all people without exception, which means the following of God's responsibility of vicegerency, as Allah honored the person and made him as the vicar on the earth:

"We granted honor to sons of Adam, and we allow them to move by land and sea. We allocated them the welfare and granted them clear superiority over many other creations"
(Koran, 17:70).

3. Peaceful co-existence of the people and religions

One of al-Vasatyya's purposes is peace and security consolidation. Al-Vasatyya teaches people to accept and respect each other, welcomes pluralism of opinions. The rejection of other opinions, unwillingness to listen to dissentients makes disagreements between people deeper and indeterminable. Only dialogue is capable to soften disagreements in society. If such disagreements flash, it may lead to split of society.

Dialogue is very important as there are always the external forces using contradictions in society to seed a distemper and hostility between citizens of one country.

What can be achieved by dialogue, will never be achieved by war. Dialogue unites people and allows them to understand and know each other better.

Let's remember the great associate Ibn Abbas, whom the Caliph Ali ibn Abu Talib sent for negotiating to Kharijites. This dialogue with rebels was more than successful, and as a result, about two thousand Kharijites refused their belief. The biography of the prophet Mohammad (peace and blessing to him) can be an example of efficiency of dialogue. At least let’s take negotiations which were conducted by the God's Envoy (peace and blessing to him) with the tribespeople in Hudaybiya. The result was the peace agreement, thanks to which Muslims won the time and spread the religion all around Arabia. Hardly would they achieve such results by refusing dialogue but by war.

Al-Vasatyya’s ways of achievement of the peaceful co-existence:

- Refusal of the extremist ideas, which destroys cultural wealth and a cultural heritage of mankind.

- Recognition of cultural diversity and its importance for development of humanity, manifestation of respect for cultural identity of various people.

- Use of material and intellectual forces not for an unbinding of wars and the conflicts, but for development and prosperity of all mankind.

- Adjustment of communications between the people by means of modern information technologies.

- Sharing of achievements of various civilizations for realization for distribution of high spiritual and moral values.

The basic principles of Al-Vasatyya to promote peaceful co-existence of the people and religions:

1 . Respect for various cultures

Cross-cultural dialogue has to promulge respect for cultures of various people and show that the variety is the benefit. Moreover, it is necessary to find ways to preserve cultural identity of each people at the international level.

2. Identification of the general elements of culture for various people

Cross-cultural dialogue will be more effective if the discussing opponents use something that unites them: common elements, values and concepts of their cultures. If since the beginning opponents focus attention on distinctions and contradictions and if each opponent insists on his point of view, it will lead to big contradictions and to a distance between opponents.

3. Recognition of cultural diversity and distinctions between people on a way to cooperation

Cooperation between people will not be positive and dynamic without recognition of various opinions and belief, other religions and traditions. After all Allah made this world various. People are different from each other with skin color, they speak different languages, have different religious systems and traditions.

It’s told in Koran: "Among His signs – creation of heavens and the earth and distinction of your languages and colours. Truly, here there are signs for those, who possesses knowledge" (the Koran, 30:22).

"Really don’t you see, how Allah sends the water from the sky by which we cultivate fruits of various flowers. There are various tracks in mountains – white, red and absolutely black. People, animals and cattle have different color too. Among His slaves, only those, who possess knowledge, are afraid of Allah. Truly, Allah is Powerful, Forgiving" (the Koran, 35:27-28).

Allah also says in the Koran that contradictions and distinctions between people is a part of a divine plan:

"If your Lord wanted, He would make mankind as an united community of believers. However, they do not stop to conflict" (the Koran, 11:118-119).

Therefore it is necessary to accept another one as he is. It is necessary to recognize the difference of the people, cultures, religions and civilizations.

Cross-cultural dialogue and al-Vasatyya's principles

1. Cultural originality

We live in the multicultural world. Each culture is original, has the system of values, concepts and the symbols, each culture or a civilization creates its own way of development and makes its own contribution to development of humanity. However it is possible to hear opinion that there is only one universal way of development and everyone has to follow it. This opinion is certainly mistaken and has no basis.

2. Openness to other cultures

Everyone has to be proud of the original culture and traditions, and at the same time it is necessary to be open for other cultures and civilizations. Those who tries "to close a door" in the outside world, extols the culture over other cultures, denies a contribution of other civilizations to universal development, will never construct healthy society and will not be able to enter dialogue with anybody.

The Arab-Muslim civilization always interacted with other civilizations successfully and apprehended a set of traditions and cultures of various people which have become its part.

3. Humanism in modern Islamic thought

It should be noted that the modern Islamic thought needs more detailed studying of humanistic values of Islam. Unfortunately, today some malicious groups extend ideas that the humanity and philanthropy are strange to Islam. Trying to present Islam as cruel and aggressive ideology, they ignore or interpret in their own way the main principles and values of this religion. Also they are helped by some mass media, which disfigures an image of Islam and kindling of interreligious discord.

The dialogue and communication with the world is very important for Muslims today. It is important to show the world that Islam is capable to help with the solution of various problems of social, cultural and economic character. The history knows that Islam has an experience of rescuing people, who endured an erosion of moral values and reference points. And actually today the mankind endures deep moral crisis and devaluation of values. Muslims have to keep in mind the changes happening in the world, to keep up to date and be open to other cultures and civilizations.

The first deputy minister of endowment and Islamic affairs of Kuwait, the Muslim theologian, doctor Adel Al-Falyakh.