Azhar sheikhdom - photo courtesy of Al-Azhar official website
CAIRO - 30 November 2017: Al-Azhar Observatory and “Sawab” Center for combating extremism launched a new joint social media campaign to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohamed, using the hashtag #MercyToTheWorlds, in both Arabic and English, on Wednesday.
The campaign sheds light on the sayings of the Prophet, as well as his deeds, which embody the values of mercy, tolerance, and coexistence. It also focuses on his message of spreading love and peace among people of different religions and ethnicities. Al-Azhar aims to remind the masses that Prophet Mohamed’s message is completely contrary to the extremist groups’ rhetoric that incite violence, division, and hatred; qualities that the Prophet frowned upon.
Al-Azhar had strongly condemned the terrorist attacks that took place around the world, including the Arish mosque terrorist attack in Egypt and the shooting at the Baptist church in Texas, U.S.
Al-Azhar had also announced, in a previous statement, that the acts carried out by ISIS are as far as can be from the teachings of Islam and the prophet. Prophet Mohamed, as they point out, had delivered messages of peace and mercy through his actions and words.
Efforts by Al-Azhar, as well as different religious institutions in Egypt, to bring to the spotlight the mercy of Islam and rectify the falsified image represented by terrorists locally and internationally, included launching an online international campaign by Dar Al-Ifta, targeting 30 million people around the world, including Muslims and non-Muslims, on the occasion of Prophet Mohamed’s birth.
In addition, the Fatwa Observatory affiliated to Dar Al-Ifta, which is the Egyptian religious institution that reviews religious edicts in light of contemporary life and carries out Islamic research, aims to address the phenomenon of “takfiri fatwas” (unrecognized edicts often issued by extremist groups) and to monitor local and international media outlets.
To spread a positive image of Islam in the Western sphere, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad el-Tayyeb visited Italy earlier this month to participate in the third world forum in Rome, dubbed "East and West towards Civilized Dialogue." The visit also included a meeting with Pope Francis of the Vatican at the papal headquarters in the Vatican.