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Sunni & Shia Relations

The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno is an inclusive Muslim organization where all Muslims are welcome.  Sunni and Shia Muslims work at the Islamic Center.  Our Friday prayer is attended by Muslims of all schools of thought, Sunnis and Shia, and they pray side by side.  Differences are recognized at the Islamic Center and respected.

A Family Center

The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno is a place where men and women, especially families, are embraced and welcomed.  Visitors feel at home the moment they walk into our community center.

The segment below reflects the rich diversity at the Islamic Center and offers a glimpse of the programs held at the ICCF.

 

 Courtesy of KFSN, ABC 30 Action News

 

The Message of Amman

Based on the fatwas provided by these great scholars (who included the Shaykh Al-Azhar;Ayatollah Sistani and Sheikh Qaradawi), in July 2005 CE, H.M. King Abdullah II convened an international Islamic conference of 200 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars‘Ulama) from 50 countries. In Amman, the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues (which became known as the ‘Three Points of the Amman Message’):

  1. They specifically recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi’a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash’arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim.
  2. Based upon this definition they forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims.
  3. Based upon the Mathahib they set forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas, thereby exposing ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam.

These Three Points were then unanimously adopted by the Islamic World’s political and temporal leaderships at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005.   And over a period of one year from July 2005 to July 2006, the Three Points were also unanimously adopted by six other international Islamic scholarly assemblies, culminating with the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006. Read More

leaders

 An Ethical Code of Conduct Between Muslim Leaders in the Central Valley

On February 4, 2015, ICCF hosted 36 Muslim leaders from the Central Valley, with representatives of all Muslim organizations in the region as well as independent leaders, to draft a code of ethical conduct and begin the formation of the Muslim Advisory Council of Central California.  A code was drafted and signed by 26 of the leaders present at the drafting.  It is a significant and historical document for the Central Valley and sets the standard for our mandatory cooperation for the community.

The text of the code is as follows:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

A Code of Ethics between Muslim Leaders in the Central Valley of California

 

WHERAS WE, the Muslims of the Central Valley, comprise a very diverse Muslim community: reflecting the rich diverse ethnic and religious mosaic that makes up the Muslim Ummah.

WHEREAS the core foundations of the Muslim faith of all schools of thought, stems on the same core principles and values, which provides an environment of respect, tolerance of different opinions and mutual cooperation thus forming a united Ummah.

WHEREAS WE, as Muslims in America, strive to live in harmony, and agree that the challenges of the future should supersede the problems of the past, are keen to offer help and join hands with all who wish well for our Ummah, creating a positive space where all can come together in harmony based on Islamic values and principles.

WE are resolved to prevent situations where disagreements become reasons for divisiveness and disunity amongst all Muslims and organizations.

WE acknowledge that great leaders before us have laid the groundwork for such partnerships and documents and we are indebted to their hard work and visions, may Allah reward all of them.

To this end, we establish that:

  1. No organization or group shall propagate or tolerate rhetoric of takfir (charging with unbelief) of any who:
  • Believe in the absolute oneness and supremacy of Allah without any partners.
  • Affirm that Muhammad (S) is the seal of the prophets and the last recipient of divine scripture.
  • Believe in the viability and authenticity of the Glorious Qur’an as the absolute word of Allah.
  • Face the Holy Qibla(direction of the Ka’bah) in prayers.

 

  1. We shall respect each other and our differences and be sensitive to the personalities, places and events that any group amongst us hold in esteem. Even if our respective reading of history leads us to disagree on the importance or role thereof, we shall only express ourselves in language which abides by proper Islamic etiquette and is neither inflammatory nor insulting.
  2. We shall avoid hate and condescending speech in our midst and join to condemn violent rhetoric by reasonable means. In addition, we shall use all reasonable measures to prevent the dissemination to the public of local or imported literature that is divisive, inflammatory and irrelevant to the future of Islam in America.
  3. The sanctity of our houses of worship, undiminished by their differences, deserve protection. We resolve that the safety and sanctity of our places of worship are a unified concern and deserve support of the entire community.
  4. We call on our scholars and leaders from all traditions to form a positive space for reconciliation and cooperation to facilitate responses that challenge our intra-faith unity. In addition, we establish the “Muslim Advisory Council of the Central Valley” whose objective would be creating harmony and unity within our community.
  5. While the precarious international situation will no doubt heighten our concern and activism, we are resolved to campaign in an inclusive, civilized manner and we stand united against all violence and extremism.
  6. Above all, we shall emphasize areas of commonality, the virtue of compassion and empathy and the awareness that Allah is closer to us than our jugular vein and He the Almighty is recording our thoughts and intentions, as well as our words and deeds.

 

Muslim Code of Honor

 

On July 11, 2007, leaders of major American Muslim organizations met to approve a national “Muslim Code of Honor,” which delineates key principles for Shi’ah-Sunni relations.  This document is based on similar agreements signed by Muslim leaders in California and Michigan.

On September 2, 2007, an official signing ceremony was held at ISNA’s 44th Annual Convention.  The main hall erupted with joy as Shi`ah and Sunni leaders signed the “Muslim Code of Honor”.

 

Preamble

Reports of sectarian tension overseas, particularly in the aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq, have prompted the Muslim American leadership to speak out against communal divisions and all sectarian violence. Such expressions of sectarianism, if unchecked, may add fuel to the fire, engulfing the Community in historical grievances that magnify theological differences and minimize the common `Pillars of Faith’ on which all Muslims agree, irrespective of their school of thought (madhhab).
As Muslim Americans who live and struggle for a dignified existence for Islam and Muslims in a spirit of peaceful coexistence and respect for all, we believe that the practical challenges of the future supersede the ideological differences of the past. Moreover, in recognition of our communal duty to promote goodness and peace, we remain eager to offer any help we can and to join hands with all those who wish well for the Family of Believers (Ummah) in stopping the senseless, inhumane violence in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.
In our view, we must begin by preventing such tragic sectarianism from spilling over into our Muslim communities in the United States. As a first step toward this goal, we agree to live in peace and respect each other in accordance with a `Muslim code of Honor.’ We remain committed to this Muslim Code of Honor not only during times of agreement and ease but, more importantly, when faced with contentious issues and in times of mutual disagreement.

Code of Honor

  • Muslims should respect one another and the people, places and events that any Muslim group or individual holds in esteem, even when they disagree about the relative importance of such people and events. Such disagreements, moreover, should only be expressed in a respectful manner, avoiding inflammatory language and insulting verbiage.
  • As to differences in the performance of worshop (`ibadat), we agree to respect the rules in effect and the authority of the leadership that endorses them in the particular mosque or religious institution where they are the norm.
  • We agree that steps should be taken to protect the general Muslim population in America from the distribution of divisive, inflammatory or irrelevant literature, primarily from overseas, in order to maintain the integrity and protect the future of Islam in America and curb the spread of harmful and misleading propaganda.