His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader, was announced as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate on June 27.
The King’s quest to promote peace-affirming Islam gained momentum in 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war when he launched the Amman Message that articulated a clear understanding of the central elements of Islam.
In 2005, 200 Islamic scholars representing all schools of jurisprudence in Islam, under his guidance, issued a declaration now known as the “Three Points of the Amman Message,” which recognized the validity of all eight legal schools of Islam, forbade declarations of apostasy between Muslims, and established conditions for issuing fatwas, Islamic legal rulings.
The following year, King Abdullah II supported and funded “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which led to a 2007 open letter from Islamic religious leaders to Christian religious leaders calling for peace and harmony based on the twin commandments shared by both faiths, “love of God” and “love of the neighbour.”
In 2010, he proposed “UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a General Assembly resolution adding “love of God or love of the good” to “love of one’s neighbour,” thus including all people of goodwill, with or without faith. The resolution, adopted unanimously, established the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
In awarding the Templeton Prize to King Abdullah II, the John Templeton Foundation also emphasized his unwavering commitment to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and his leadership which has guaranteed safe haven for Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups.
You can read more about this award and hear His Majesty’s thoughts on various issues at the Templeton Prize website: www.templetonprize.org.