A number of eminent Muslim scholars Saturday emphasized inculcation of core moral and ethical values in the society as enunciated by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) which transformed the fate of lowly Arab people into world leaders. In a dialogue with Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighting the topic, “Islam, society and ethical revival,” the prominent scholars responded to questions about different aspects of the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and their need with respect to contemporary challenges posed to the Muslim youth and society. The scholars included Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Dr Timothy Winter/Abdal Hakim Murad, Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Dr Recep Senturk, Dr Osman Bakar, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr Chandra Muzaffar. The dialogue was held by Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority. During the course of conversation, the scholars endorsed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s observation that a society could not thrive and achieve prosperity without rule of law and justice, the basic principles which were strictly practiced by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions in Riasat-e-Madina. Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, responding to the prime minister’s query, said in the last century, Muslims Ummah faced certain changes. He stressed that the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH) should be followed as the Uswa of Prophet (PBUH) had large meanings and the model of Riasat-e-Madina was critical for revival of the Muslim society. Dr Nasr maintained that Islam, through the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH) spread the message which transformed the sturdy hearted Arabs. They were able to receive what the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was saying. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) presented the message of Allah to an audience that gave their whole thoughts to it and spend their lives to achieve them, he added. “Madina was the first Islamic society and it was a golden period of Islam, the foundation of which was laid down by the Holy Prophet (PBUH). That period remained ideal for us and we have to learn from it,” he opined. American scholar Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) raised the values of ethics first, then justice and rule of law served as basis for a culmination of civilized society. He said ethics and morals did not come from vacuum; these qualities included honesty, modesty and integrity etc. “The Prophet (PBUH) was the physician of the hearts. The people around him were called (Ashabs) companions,” he added. He said the treatment to all ills in a society had been identified in the Quranic teachings which provided solutions to these ills. He also stressed that people in power and authority, must embody the key ethics which should be a part of their character. Dr Yusuf said for the first time, the Quranic teachings gave the idea of brotherhood. He said there might be certain issues in an Islamic society, but the existence of strong values like family system and brotherhood should be focused and emphasized as guiding beacon for the youth. Scholar Dr Timothy Winter/Abdal Hakim Murad of the Cambridge UK, shared his experience of visiting the Al-Quds saying that it was the spiritual alchemy which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) infused among his followers enabling them to build an ideal society and beautiful buildings around the world. He said it was too difficult to put into words the vast aspects of the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH). Dr Murad highlighted that Muslims should not comply with the Sunnah robotically. Dr Chandra Muzaffar, a Malaysian intellectual, taking part in the dialogue, endorsed the prime minister’s viewpoint that there could be no two different sets of law for the powerful and the weak. He linked the viability of a society with its ability to implement the rule of law in which the justice and human dignity was upheld. He said transformation of soul was must and an Islamic society must understand the depth of the message given by Holy Prophet (PBUH) about the social relations. Dr Muzaffar opined that structural transformation and changing of relations viz-a-viz availability of resources had been a difficult challenge. “Once the character became weak due to environment, the changes take place from generations to generations,” he said, underlining how the education could sustain such basic values, was a critical question. Dr Osman Bakar, an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Malaya and Professor and Director of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Centre of Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) University Brunei Darussalam, said that due to personality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the characters of the people in Madina were raised. By imparting education to his companions, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) helped them to become the most excellent individuals and the world leaders, he added. Relation of brotherhood between Mohajirs and Ansars was established. The human capital, in the modern term, was prepared in Makkah. That was the spirit of inclusiveness, he added. Dr Bakar said future of the religion was laid down in Riasat-e-Madina , which secured victory after victory. He said kind of education was not only confined to the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companions, but the Muslims across the world must also revive them. Their role model must be Seerah and education of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The education system should not be concentrated on external aspects of Sunnah, but the inner spiritual and moral values must be presented to the younger generations, he stressed. “A society should be based upon spiritual meritocracy. Unity of Eman (faith) and knowledge are challenge for us today,” he added. DrRecepSenturk, a Turkish academic and scholar at Ibn Haldun University, referring to famous philosopher and sociologist, Ibn Khaldun’s saying, highlighted that state was a power and it survived with Sunnah. “The Sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not something for an individual to follow but for the whole society and the whole world to seek guidance” he said elaborating that Sunnah was a system of governance and political administration. He said the Prophet (PBUH) was living among the people and governing a city. Social system must be based upon moral order and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had built that social and political systems. “We should not be pessimistic, we have strong moral system,” he said underlining the need for the younger generations to also study the Sunnah as history. DrRecep further regretted that they focused only on professional education and stressed upon building a society through ‘Taleem’ and ‘Tazkiya’. He observed that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had offered a global future vision, which was yet to be realized. He opined that Muslim youth lacked future vision like the other young people in other societies. Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of Fatwa Council UAE, said Islam as religion had its sets of values reflected through Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He had established ‘Akhowwat’ (bond of brotherhood) between Mohajirs and Ansars, the values of eman and sincerity, in Madina which brought all people together. His followers, preserved those messages, he said adding, moral courage was the important message while its implementation rooted deeply in the obedience of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).