The Eleventh General Conference: Towards a Civilized Project for the
Renaissance of the Muslim
The Eleventh General Conference Of
The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs
Held on 8 11 Rabie Al-Awal 1420 H.
Corresponding to (22-25) June, 1999 G.
Towards A Civilized Project For The
Renaissance Of The Muslim World
In the Name of Allah, The Merciful and Compassionate
Based on Islam regulations and rules, Muslims were able to establish a
flourishing culture that lasted radiating allover the world for long centuries.
Colonialism attempted to eliminate this culture and its Identity, but it failed in this
attempt due to the belief, doctrine, culture and history, which Islam has. By this Islam
preserved its existence and live durability. But the problems of past colonialism era
have exhausted its power and also Islam has been occupied with secondary issues,
which gained priority on its developmental concerns. Hence Islamic world did not
pay the proper attention to establish the comprehensive cultural building for the
Islamic Umma. This led to the stoppage of its cultural course, also there was disorder
and disturbance (tumult) in its orientation and its attempts to come out from this
cultural critical situation.
This means that Islamic Umma was lacking a clear practical scientific plan,
targeted properly and has the ability to be put into effect ; a plan that considers the
facts and never illusioned, a plan that preserves and maintains the cultural identity of
the Islamic Umma and never secludes itself from the era we are living in.
This is the reason that why the Minister of Waqfs in Egypt took the initiative
to organize the 11th General Congress of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Affairs
and to be held in Cairo under the title
"Towards a Cultural Project for the Renaissance of the Islamic World"
8-11 Rabia Al Awal 1420 H
22-25 June, 1999
- Under the auspices of President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.
- The honorary presidency of the Congress has been given to the Grand
Sheikh of Al Azhar Dr. Mohamed Sayed Tantawy.
- Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zakzouk, Egyptian Minister of Wakfs and the
chairman of the Supreme Council for Islamic affairs.
- Representatives of states, institutions and organizations participated as
First : Arab states
1. Jordan 2. U.A. Emirates 3. Bahrain 4. Tunisia
5. Algeria 6. Saudi Arabia 7. Sudan 8. Syria
9. Iraq 10. Oman 11. Palestine 12. Qatar
13. Kuwait 14. Lebanon 15. Libya 16. Egypt
17. Morocco 18. Mauritania 19. Yemen
Second : African States
1. Ethiopia 2. Uganda 3. Burkina Faso 4. Gabon
5. South Africa 6. Zimbabwe 7. Senegal 8. Kenya
9. Congo (Brazaville) 10. Democratic Congo 11. Mali
12. Nigeria 13. Chad 14. Eritrea 15. Niger
Third : Asian States
1. Azerbijan 2. Uzbekistan 3. Iran 4. Pakistan
5. Thialand 6. Sri-Lanka 7. Singapore 8. China
9. Cazakistan 10. Maldives 11. India 12. Malasia
Fourth : European States
1. Spain 2. Albania 3. Germany 4. Italy
5. Britain 6. Belgium 7. Bulgaria 8. Bosnia & Herzegovina
9. Turkey 10. Russia 11. Sweden 12. Switzerland
13. France 14. Austria 15. Holland 16. Greece
Fifth: The Americas
1. Brazil 2. Canada 3. U.S.A.
Sixth: Islamic International Organizations and Societies
1 Islamic Conference organization
2 - The International Islamic Council for Daa'wa and Relief.
3 - The World Islamic League.
4 The Arab League.
5 - ISESCO.
6 - American Muslim Union.
7 - The Islamic World Conference.
8 - The International Committee for Woman and Child - London.
Dr. M. H. Zakzouk, Minister of Waqfs and the Chairman of the Supreme
Council for Islamic Affairs inaugurated the Conference delivering the speech on
behalf of the Egyptian President H.E. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.
In the opening session His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Dr.
Mohamed Sayed Tantawy and His Holiness Pope Shenouda of Alexandria and St.
Mark's See, delivered two speeches. Also spoke in the same session Dr. M. H.
Zakzouk Minister of Waqfs and the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Islamic
Affairs as well as Dr. Abdul Sabour Marzouk, the General Reporter of the
Conference on behalf of the participants.
Dr. Nasser Al Dine Al Asad the Chairman of the Royal Centre for Islamic
Culture Researches (Moassassat Al Al-Beit) in Jordan.
The conferences have decided to consider President Hosni Mubarak speech a
guiding document as it contained many leading points.
The conference resumed to agenda. Researches were presented and discussed
by the participants. These researches were about 70 researches in English, French
and Arabic. All papers were about the main specified topics :-
- First Topic : The Cultural Domain.
- Second Topic : The Social Domain.
- Third Topic : The Economic Domain.
The conference set up a committee to formulate its recommendations under
the chairmanship of Dr. Sufi Abu Taleb and the membership of participating
The recommendations reference is the speech of the Egyptian President and
the points raised in the papers of the participants and the conclusions reached after
discussions. The committee agreed upon the following recommendations:
First : The Social Domain
1 - The Islamic culture was subject to many intellectual secondary trends, the
adoption of absolute literary texts and the misunderstanding of belief and faith as
refraining from the action to serve Umma. In addition to the exaggeration an
extremism leading to the division of the Umma, its weakness militarily, backwardness
economically and the stoppage of the scientific technological research. Thus the
adoption of the Islamic moderation is the safe course that ensures the renaissance of
the Umma from its stumble and regain its capacity for progress as it had been in the
era of Prophet Mohamed (SAW) and his successors as well as the ages of the
flourishing Islamic culture.
a) A realistic action to regain the Islamic Umma awareness of Sunna and its
doctrines in establishing states and flourishing of cultures to be followed as guide in
b) Islamic moderation is a methodology of thought and action as well.
c) The Conference ensures that the Islamic culture is able to meet the current
cultural progress, even it surpasses in the religious and moral aspects which is
indispensable for the benefit of humanity.
d) The Conference ensures the continuity of the Islamic culture's role in
gathering and unifying Umma despite its sons dispersion in different states.
e) The necessity of applying rules and regulations of the Islamic culture and
the enforcement of equality to ensure human rights as well as the elimination of any
seep of defects due to existence of western colonialism and Marxism.
2 - Islamic Sharia is one of the characteristics of the Islamic culture and in that
respect, the Conference recommends:
a) To double the importance of studying Islamic Sharia and Islamic doctrines
in the Islamic scientific and educational institutions by augmenting Sharia topics.
Comparative studies between Sharia doctrines and Man issued laws in an attempt to
reveal points of agreement and differences.
b) To pay more attention to the study of Qur'an sciences and Sunna to keep
the availability of appropriate Islamic culture to non-specialized Muslims.
c) To encounter the legal globalization, we have to deepen cooperation among
Islamic centres and institutions interested in Islamic laws and Sharia to support the
individual and collective attempts to find out practical conclusions for contemporary
d) To close ranks among Islamic religious sects and agree upon a reference to
control difference of opinion.
e) To simplify judicial procedures and establish the Islamic Court of Justice
due to the augmented trends towards the international arbitration.
3 - The Arabic Language of Qur'an is the soul and spirit of Islamic Umma and
its identity that links the successive generations, and the means to keep the cultural
heritage and civilization of the Islamic Umma, in this regard the Conference
a) To adopt memorizing Quran to children in their early years in all stages of
civil and religious education to adjust their language and pronunciation.
b) To stop the creeping trend of the colloquial language against the literary
one in the readable and audiovisual information systems.
c) To support teaching Arabic language in different stages of education
against the emulation of foreign languages. It is essential in these schools to enforce
Arabic studies and national education and Islamic history to preserve the national
cultural identity of our sons.
d) To urge Arab states to arabize foreign terms and studying medicine,
engineering and the like in Arabic and regional languages in the Islamic world.
4 - In the face of the contemporary cultural invasion of Islamic countries
which competes with our values and traditions, contradicts our religious belief and
civilized traditions, and seeks to undermine the Umma's fundamentals and sanctities,
the Conference calls for
a) Increasing and strengthening the concept of dialogue between religions in
order to promote religious values and ethics to fill the spiritual and moral vacuum
created by secularism and atheism.
b) Incorporating religion as a compulsory scholastic subject in all the various
stages of education and adding its grades to the total examination grades.
c) Endorsing Islamic culture as a basic subject in all foreign schools and
institutions as well as scientific faculties in the Islamic world.
d) Providing ample space in all the mass media for religious culture and
ensuring the appropriate choice of subjects and programmes that stress the Umma's
identity, create generations with positive thinking and behaviour, and protect it from
the adverse effects of foreign programmes.
e) The Conference calls upon the mass media in the Islamic world,
particularly the satellite channels and the internet, to coordinate together for the
diffusion and dissemination of the authentic Islamic culture to the outside world in
Arabic and other major foreign languages in order to inculcate the true Islamic
concepts to Muslims living abroad and to rectify erroneous concepts about Islam.
f) Implementing (the cultural strategy) approved by Summit Conferences in
Senegal, Morocco and Teheran.
g) Strengthening the activities of ISESCO and other cultural Islamic
institutions and organizations and supporting Islamic universities, scientifically and
h) The Conference recommends that the wishes of Islamic communities in
Asian and European countries and the USA be met, such as France, Belgium, Italy,
England, USA, Japan and others by establishing branches of Islamic educational and
cultural institutions such as Al Azhar Al Sharif and others and to dispatch to them
delegates on a continuous basis apart from upgrading existing branches therein.
i) Reviving Islamic customs, traditions and practices and to sift them from any
unorthodox practices coming from the East or West.
5 - In order to narrow the civilizational gap between the Islamic world and the
West, the Conference recommends:
a) Assembling specialized Ulamas in the various branches of experimental
sciences and contemporary technologies in scientific research centres in order to
unify their efforts without limitation to nationality and providing them with the
necessary possibilities for research and innovation.
b) Increasing the number of student missions to developed countries in order
to acquire expertise and learn the most up-to-date scientific realities.
c) Designating a body or a party with the task of translating on a continuous
basis, what scientists have reached abroad and benefiting our universities,
laboratories and factories with such information.
d) Developing educational programmes and upgrading the standards of
teachers in universities, higher institutions, particularly in the fields of scientific and
Second: Social Topic
1 - The most significant characteristics of Islamic civilization is the
composition of the family, based on legal marriage, founded on love and compassion,
in which the rights of its individuals are safeguarded in accordance with the Islamic
Sharia. In this context, the Conference recommends the following:
a) To eliminate constraints in marriage faced by youth.
b) To draw up rules and procedures that will mitigate conjugal disputes and to
settle them smoothly within the legal framework either by facilitating court
procedures or by resorting to arbitration or appointing a financial bank that will
disburse legal adequate support to the wife and children.
c) To exert maximum efforts to combat the infiltration of promiscuous habits
into Islamic societies in terms of freedom of relations between man and woman,
outside legitimate marital relations under the guise of numerous names.
2 - Social solidarity is one of the characteristics of Islamic civilization in
compliance with the Almighty's words:* "And those in whose wealth is a recognized
right for the needy who asks and him who is prevented" and the words of the Prophet
(SAW) "Zakat is divinely imposed on wealth".
Its influence is evident in Islamic thought that compromises between the
interest of the individual and the interest of the group by acknowledging to
individuals their rights and social functions. Therefore the Conference recommends:
a) The state should provide job opportunities to every capable and qualified
person in order to protect society from the dangers of unemployment.
b) To extend minimum assistance to whosoever is legally incapable of working
as well as to his dependents.
3 - The state in Islam is a well guided institution that intervenes precisely to
achieve balance between the interests of the individual and the interest of the group.
Therefore the Conference recommends that:
a) The state should provide gratuitous services related to education,
healthcare, care for the elderly, the handicapped, orphans and foundlings.
b) National institutions, organizations and associations should be enabled to
play their role in assisting the state by performing diverse social services, Charitable
waqf is considered one of the vanguard systems endorsed by Islamic Sharia to
address this task.
c) To consider formulas that will capitalize on Zakat money to the benefit of
Islamic society either in the form of funds or institutions for its collection under the
supervision of the state, or designating a governmental body to assume this task, and
to disburse Zakat through its legal banks only.
d) The state and private sector are committed to provide minimum wage limit
consistent with an honourable living standard.
4 - In accordance with the principle of solidarity among Islamic countries, the
Conference recommends that development funds in the Islamic world should
coordinate together in order to allocate part of their funds for humanitarian
assistance and natural disasters.
5 - Consistent with Islam in terms of the relationship between men and women
on the basis of equality in rights and duties as enunciated by the following Qur'anic
verse:** "And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according
to what is equitable, but men have a degree (of advantage) over them". and the
Prophet's (SAW) words : Women are a part of men
And according to the circumstances of each country, the Conference proposes
a) To open the way before women whereby they may exercise their political
rights in addition to their civil right.
* Ma'raj 24, 25.
** Al Baqara: 228.
b) To eliminate constraints that prevents a woman from exercising her right to
work and according to her physical nature and family duties.
Third : Economic topic
Under the domination of globalization that has a capitalist identity, the
Conference considers there is urgent need for an economic track which will protect
the interests of developing countries and guarantee the rights of the poor. This is
what Islam presents in its economic perspective:
1 - Combining individual incentive with the interest of society, for Islam deems
that both parties are partners in responsibility and economic decision making and are
limited to market economy. Moreover, the Islamic perspective links economic growth
rate with social justice. Based on this the Conference recommends the following:
1- To adopt the Islamic economic project as being the best paradigm for the
third way which thinkers and politicians have interpreted and advocated at length.
2 - As the contemporary world is dominated by giant economic entities and
where there is no room or role for small entities, the Conference recommends that
renaissance of the Islamic world should be based on a large economic bloc composed
of all Islamic countries. Furthermore, the Conference is of the view that the common
Islamic market is the most appropriate form that will initiate the economic
integration of the Islamic world. This was endorsed in the Teheran Summit in 1998.
3 - Human resources is the fundamental factor for economic progress,
therefore the Conference recommends the following:-
a) To endorse Islamic legislation and principles that regulates the rights of
human resources to education, health, wages and other rights.
b) To curb the flow of brain drain from the Islamic world and to try to draw
back those who have emigrated by offering them an attractive environment within
c) To facilitate the movement of human resources within the borders of the
4 - Availability of capital is a basic factor for economic development, therefore
the Conference recommends the following:
a) To draw capital invested outside the Islamic world by means of sound
economic policies such as establishing joint projects and others.
b) To encourage investments in the field of economic advancement being one
of the causes for progress.
c) To coordinate between development and investment funds in certain Islamic
countries in order to provide the opportunity for financing development activities in
poor Islamic countries.
5 - Trade exchange between Islamic states is very insignificant. In fact, the
rate of trade exchange between them is less than 10% of their total international
trade. Hence, these are the causes behind their weak economies. The Conference
urges the Islamic world to address this economic shortcoming and recommends the
a) To create an information centre that will provide the economic data of the
Islamic world to all individuals and organizations involved in international exchange.
b) To open a home page on the internet on the economic data of Islamic
c) Financial institutions in the Islamic world should encourage financing
exchange among Islamic countries.
d) To promote economic awareness in Islamic countries equally in the areas of
production and consumption.
6 - In order to assert the credibility of Islamic banks, the Conference
recommends the following
a) To benefit from available financial possibilities in Islamic banks for
financing production activities.
b) To finance inter-trade among Islamic countries.
c) To profit from the proceeds of Zakat funds in these banks for financing
services projects such as education, health and others.
7 - The Conference recommends the convening of an economic conference
with the participation of eminent Islamic scholars, economic and social experts,
business-men, Islamic institutions concerned with economic affairs, to formulate a
detailed working plan for economic development in the Islamic world based on the
sound exploitation of economic resources in light of Islamic moderation founded on
social solidarity and which is the best paradigm for the concept of the third way
currently being discussed in the world. This economic conference shall draw up
detailed plans for the implementation of the above mentioned economic
recommendations and define an organizational structure for the aspired economic
Pursuant to the unity of the Islamic Umma and solidarity of its sons, the Conference
recommends the following:
1 - The Conference urges all Islamic countries to exert their utmost diplomatic
efforts for the implementation of the peace agreements between the Arab countries
and Israel so that the Palestinian people may achieve their legitimate rights,
particularly their right to self-determination and the establishment of their state with
Al Quds as its capital. Therefore, the construction of settlements must cease and
changing the demographic aspects of the occupied Palestinian territories, specially
Al Quds must end, as well as all measures of evicting and expelling Palestinians out of
their homes and to compensate them for their losses.
2 - The Conference commends the international efforts exerted to stop the
genocide perpetrated against the sons of Kosovo and appeals to the international
community to endeavour for the speedy return of Kosovars to their country and to
enable them to have the right for self-determination. Furthermore, the Conference
calls upon Islamic countries to extend more financial support to assist their brethren
to restore what the war had destroyed.
3 - The Conference appeals to Pakistan and India to refrain from accelerating
the dispute amongst them that may lead to comprehensive war and urges them to
exert all efforts to settle their differences on the issue of Kashmir by peaceful means.
4 - The Conference entrusts Islamic countries to exert their diplomatic efforts
with countries with Muslim minorities in order to achieve equality between Muslims
and others therein and to apply the principles of human rights such as their right of
freedom of belief, freedom of exercising religious rituals and their right to maintain
their Islamic cultural identity.
5 - The Conference calls upon Islamic countries to adhere to the precepts of
Islamic Sharia with regards the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in
accordance with the Almighty's words:
If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between
On this occasion, it is noteworthy that a demand was previously requested for
the establishment of an Islamic Court of Justice.
6 - The Conference urges the international society efforts to put into effect the
Security Council resolutions and peace agreements concerned with the Israeli pull
out from the Golan Heights and South Lebanon.
The Conference denounces the successive savage air attacks launched by
Israel against Lebanese Civilians in South Lebanon lastly aiming to kill innocent
people and the destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure.
May Allah help you...
(1)Al Hujurat 9