Defending the Faith

Efforts to Promote Islam

The problem is that Islam has not been competently taught to our young people. Often the least qualified students, unable to master other subjects, have ended up learning Islam and becoming sheikhs. The best minds should be encouraged to study Islam. That's what we are trying to do in Jordan. We want our best people to bring an Islamic revival, in the proper sense.

Interview with Milton Viorst
“The Hashemite Option”
Chapter 10 of In the Shadow of the Prophet, 1998


The dark shadow of extremism has been cast over our region. As a Muslim and a Hashemite believer, I regard it as my sacred duty to confront in defense of Islam all those that would use politicised religion as an excuse for violence and terrorism. We have established in Jordan the Aal al-Bait University in order to safeguard the teaching and practice of true Islam -the Islam of tolerance, the Islam of peace and brotherhood- against all those who seek to tarnish and distort our deeply cherished faith.

Address to the Rotary Club
Nice, France
June 13, 1995


In this vein, I wish to outline to my brothers those aspects in which the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been forthcoming in the calls for dialogue. For example, we have instructed the Royal Academy for Islamic Civilization Research (Aal-al Bait Foundation) to study, in depth, the aspects of interfaith dialogue. The Foundation organized two symposia; the first examined the Islamic-Christian dialogue and progressed in promoting greater understanding, although we feel we are still in the early stages of our quest to find the best means to achieve the desired effects. The second symposium involved a dialogue between the seven different schools of the Islamic faith, which are the four Sunni schools, the Ja'fari Shiite school, the Abadhia school and the Zayydiyya school. Participating scholars concluded that there existed between them a high degree of mutual agreement, which in turn served to overcome their earlier mutual doubts and fears. They declared that, by the Grace of Allah, they all belong to one faith, one Islam, which is indivisible, although minor differences may exist in some aspects. They further concluded that such differences do, in effect, enrich Islamic thought and enhance ijtihad, to address modern issues in keeping with appropriate Islamic principles.

In the most recently held symposium, these scholars agreed to the establishment of an International Islamic Zakat Foundation to attend to issues which may confront the Ummah, such as natural disasters and famine. The funds collected under zakat would be pooled in the understanding that the Dar al-Islam is unified, where Muslims act as one in support of each other in such crises.

We believe that establishing a solid scientific base for dialogue requires a suitable atmosphere for Islamic scholars and scientists to continue the ijtihad in the path of our revered predecessors, and to improve upon our heritage of thought, which ensured the continuity of Islam as a beacon for the improvement and enlightenment of mankind, even in the darkest of times. To this end, we have recently established the Aal al-Bait University, which will be Islamic in nature, teaching students from all countries and faiths. Its curriculum is based on the integration and interdependence of religious and non-religious courses, where the graduate will be knowledgeable in both modern specializations and Shari'a sciences.

Address to the Seventh Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit
Casablanca, Morocco
December 14, 1994


To advance the Islamic agenda, we also initiated work to establish the Aal al-Beit University which will be the gift of all members of the House of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to the entire Islamic Ummah. The institution is conceived to be an Islamic forum that encompasses the glorious past history while it seeks to cope with the challenges of the present and the future. Our ultimate goal is to meet the Lord's wish that this nation will remain "the most favored among communities raised on this earth."

In the same vein, we have reached out to our brethren in the newly-independent Islamic republics. A selected team of our experts are engaged now in providing assistance to those republics in a number of areas, including education, construction and culture. We intended to help in the restoration of the Mausoleum of al-Qatham bin al-Abbass in Samarkand to its original magnificence, splendor and beauty. We have also commissioned the restoration of the splendid pulpit of Salah Eddin at its original site in al-Aqsa Mosque. If anything, this is our concrete response to the malicious bigots who set it ablaze. We have engaged ourselves in this exercise secure in our knowledge that the pulse of history will do justice to this nation.

Address on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the Restored Dome of the Rock
April 18, 1994


I would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of the Islamic Solidarity Fund, which finances cultural, social, scientific and religious institutions in member states and among Muslim minorities in other parts of the world. . . .

I propose that the Fund be more active in financing the writing and publication of books about Islamic laws and principles in the main foreign languages. It is unfortunate that very few books in these languages available in university libraries and research centers have been composed by Muslims. . . .

I am calling to increase the endowment of the Islamic Solidarity Fund in order that it may carry out its function effectively.

Address at the Fifth Summit of the Islamic Conference Organization
January 29, 1987