On the Occasion of June 20, World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

On this occasion, we review the Qur’anic principles and teachings of the School of Ahl al-Bayt (pbut), which emphasize the importance of protecting and assisting refugees, highlighting the principles of compassion, justice, and human dignity. Some examples of these teachings are as follows:

  1. Compassion and Mercy (Rahmah):
    • The Quran repeatedly stresses the importance of compassion and mercy towards others, including refugees and those in need. Surah Al-Baqarah (2:177) mentions that righteousness includes spending wealth out of love for Allah on relatives, orphans, the needy, and the traveler (wayfarer).
    • Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said, “The merciful are shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from above.”
  1. Justice and Protection (Adl and Aman):
    • Islamic teachings promote justice and the protection of all individuals, including refugees. In Surah An-Nisa (4:75), the Quran calls upon Muslims to fight for the protection of the oppressed among men, women, and children.
    • Imam Ali (p) emphasized the importance of justice and protection for all, saying, “Be an enemy to the oppressors and a helper to the oppressed.”
  1. Hospitality and Generosity (Ikram and Infaq):
    • Providing hospitality and being generous to those in need, including refugees, is a core Islamic value. Surah Al-Hashr (59:9) praises those who, despite being in need themselves, give preference to others and open their homes to refugees.
    • Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (p) advised his followers to “Take care of the affairs of your brothers and be their protectors.”
  1. Brotherhood and Solidarity (Ukhuwwah and Takaful):
    • Islam teaches the concept of a global brotherhood (Ummah) where the suffering of one member affects the entire community. The Hadith states, “The believers, in their mutual love, mercy, and compassion, are like one body: when any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”
    • Scholars of the School of Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) emphasize the importance of solidarity and support for fellow Muslims, regardless of their origin or status, advocating for the protection and assistance of refugees as part of the broader Islamic community.
  1. Human Dignity (Karamah Insaniyyah):
    • The Quran and Hadith emphasize the inherent dignity of every human being. Surah Al-Isra (17:70) declares that Allah has honored the children of Adam and provided them with many blessings, implying the obligation to respect and uphold the dignity of all people, including refugees.
    • Teachings of the School of Ahl al-Bayt (p) uphold the principle of respecting human dignity, as Imam Ali (p) said, “A person is either your brother in faith or your equal in humanity,” highlighting the duty to protect and honor all individuals.

These teachings collectively underscore the responsibility of Muslims, including governments, non-governmental organizations, charities, foundations dedicated to public interests, and individuals with financial resources, to protect, support, and show compassion towards refugees, ensuring their rights and dignity are upheld.

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