The Speech of His Eminence, Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand
Imam of Al-Azhar and President of Muslim Council of Elders
The Anniversary of the Signing of the Human Fraternity Document
1442 AH /2021 CE
(A Virtual Meeting)
Al-Azhar Center for Translation (ACT)
Al-Azhar Magazine (Rajab, 1442 A.H. February/March, 2021.)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity, east and west, May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you. Our today’s celebration of your “Human Fraternity Document” is a marking of historic universal event that took place two years earlier, heralding a message of peace and fraternity that is conveyed by wise figures to the entire humanity. This message calls for fraternity, cooperation, cessation of wars, dissemination of the culture of peace and harmony, and abandonment of hate and renouncement of the politics of power and arrogance.
Let me first extend a greeting mixed with respect and appreciation to my brother Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, the constant and courageous friend on the path of fraternity and peace. Thanks to him too for his universal message “Fratelli tutti (We Are All Brothers),” which comes as a significant milestone on the path of fraternity.
Feeling happy with such warm welcome, I openly invite all people, with a hand extended in peace and love, to stick up for the Document of Human Fraternity and close ranks under the umbrella of its promoted principles of fraternity, freedom, equality, justice and all other universal values and morals cherished in the document.
In the same vein, the UN unanimous declaration of 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity is a universal support for all the sincere efforts seeking to disseminate the culture of coexistence, fraternity and combating hate. It is rather an endorsement of human dignity regardless of people’s religion, race or color.
Thus, I am driven by hope that the 4th of February would mark an alarm bell that wakes the world of its slumber and alerts world leaders to the necessity of entrenching human fraternity principles.
Indeed, practical embodiment of this document requires sincere will, firm determination, and unshakeable belief that all humans are brothers and sisters and that they have the right to live in peace and security. Their difference and diversity represent a cosmic enactment dictated by Almighty Allah among humans.
As long as I am alive, I vow to remain committed to pursuing efforts with my brother Francis and my fellow religious scholars and figures, rather with all lovers of good and peace, to transform the principles and objectives of the Human Fraternity Document into a tangible reality that is witnessed by all people around the world.
Today, brothers and sisters around the world, Zayed Human Fraternity Award comes as an international initiative that aims at fulfilling the objectives of this document under the name of the Arab leader, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may Allah bless his soul), who not only founded a modern state but also established a unique model of coexistence, pluralism and tolerance. On this occasion, I should extend limitless appreciation to the respected brother, HE Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, who is following in the benevolent example of his father, for his support and advocacy of the Human Fraternity Document and for genuinely and sincerely backing the initiatives aimed at enforcing it all over the world.
Finally, I cherish my fellow members of the International Committee for Human Fraternity, who keep working night and day towards implementing the objectives of this noble document. For this purpose, they launch several initiatives that transcend the barriers of differences and borders, despite the COVID-19 crisis, and its consequent restrictions, that the world is witnessing. I thus encourage them to pursue these good efforts, along with all partners, towards the achievement of such purpose, hoping that they always represent a gleam of hope and a source of ceaseless inspiration for whoever treads this difficult path.
Again, I would like to offer boundless thanks and appreciation to whoever supports them and facilitates their work for the sake of humanity and its elevation.
May Allah’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you,
Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar
Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders
Jumādā al-Thani 22, 1442 AH
February 4, 2021 CE