2/12/2017 Harmony, Peace & Universal Values: Buddhism & Islamic Perspective | Ministry of Health

Harmony, Peace & Universal Values:
Buddhism & Islamic Perspective

22 Nov 2008

By Hawazi Daipi

Tuan Haji Abu Bakar Maidin, President of Jamiyah Singapore

His Excellency Mr. Zuhair Al Idrisi, from the Ministry of Foreign A airs, Royal Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia

Prof Dr, Hamid Bin Ahmad Al Rifaie, President of International Islamic Forum for Dialogue,
Saudi Arabia

Mr. Lee Bock Guan, President of the Singapore Buddhist Lodge

Venerable Buddhist monks from Singapore and neighbouring countries

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen



1. Assalamualaikum Wr Wb and Good morning every one!

2. First and foremost I would like to commend Jamiyah Singapore and Singapore Buddhist
Lodge for their joint initiative in organising this seminar in co-operation with the
International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, Saudi Arabia, here in Jamiyah Singapore. This
two-day seminar brings people of di erent religious beliefs and countries together to
discuss the issue of harmony, peace and universal values from the perspective of two major
faiths practised in the world today, Buddhism & Islam.

Peace and Religious Harmony

3. Never before in history have we felt a more pressing need for peace and harmony in the
world. The present situation in many parts of the world pertaining to religious tolerance
seems to be one of tension, mistrust and fear. In some countries it has never improved for
the be er but is instead worsening due to events and issues that arise. Issues, such as
places of worship and cultural practices of communities and groups, are erupting as major
issues a ecting peace and good-will among people. These issues are causing the loss of
lives and damage to properties and valuable historical monuments, in the process causing
severe strains in relationships, con dence and trust among communities, groups and

Commonalities in Islamic and Buddhist teachings

4. The Quranic concept of peace has several levels, namely, peace with oneself, peace with
the members of the family, peace with the members of the society, peace with the
members of the world community and peace with the rest of the created world. In general,
mankind has been asked not to partake in any action which disturbs the overall peace and
harmony of society. There is no denying the fact that one needs a philosophy of living that
ensures peace with others.

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Apart from promoting inter-faith dialogues.  These ideologies and practices are concurrent with those of Islam. to keep up with the good work they have been doing thus far. There should also be greater love and compassion founded on human feelings regardless of race.2/12/2017 Harmony. Conclusion 7. The Holy Quran proclaims in Surah 6 Verse 108 “And insult not on those whom they worship besides Allah. the e ect of these acts will leave a salutary impression on their followers. although problems may have local.   Last updated on 22 Nov 2008 https://www. they are fundamentally and basically human problems.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/speeches_d/2008/harmony. and backwardness are colour blind. 9.gov. not only for the needy among the followers of their faith but also for every one in need. Universal values which are present within all religions are a positive conduit for dialogue. Jamiyah Singapore. Peace and harmony in human society are possible when di erent faiths show mutual respect and work together for the common good of humanity. We can see Buddhist organisations in Singapore pu ing this into practice by having kind thoughts and performing kind actions through actively supporting various types of charity and welfare work. This will drive home the message that spiritual experiences are universal even if the path chosen may di er. this has been a formula of our racial and religious harmony.moh. are critical if we are to achieve harmonious relationship. 8. 12. lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. To all participants. participate in festivals of each other and do not misrepresent other faiths. enhance tolerance and build acceptance in each other. illiteracy. namely.” 6. schoolmates and working colleagues among people of di erent ethnic and religious backgrounds make for be er understanding. hunger. the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue for coming together in this noble endeavour. Di erent peoples may have di erent emphases with regards to these universal values but they remain the basis of wholesome civilisation. 13. regional or global dimensions. In Singapore.  But we should always nd new ways to strengthen further the cohesion among people of our multi-racial and multi-religious society. language or religion. I would like to urge the organisers of this Seminar. This seminar is testimony to the fact that religious tolerance and peace can be a reality and is not a myth. Compassion is the hallmark of Buddhism. The doctrines of Buddhism emphasise the need to help all human beings. we would realize that there is more convergence of ideas and thoughts in religions than divergence. wider and deeper interactions among people of di erent cultural and religious backgrounds. may I wish you a fruitful discussion. Thank you very much. I suggest that the organisers deliberate further in charting concrete plans as follow up actions emerging from the consensus arrived at this seminar. Buddhism is a way of life. regardless of race or faith. They can be the cause of resentment between religions or on the contrary be good reasons for common endeavours. Ending thoughts 10. Islam forbids its followers from defaming the beliefs and faiths of other religions. which all religions deride. It is when we deviate from the universal values that we become parochial or communalistic.%20peace_&_universal_values_buddhism_&_islamic_perspectiv… 2/2 . Poverty. According to the Buddhist analysis of human situations. Congratulations once again to Jamiyah Singapore. If leaders of di erent religions visit various places of worship. the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the International Forum for Dialogue. 11. Daily interactions as neighbours. In fact if we analyse them. Peace & Universal Values: Buddhism & Islamic Perspective | Ministry of Health 5.  I am sure this is equally relevant to all other non-homogeneous societies.