: It was all smiles when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met Pas President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the Al-Azhar Alumni Regional Seminar here today.
The Prime Minister and UMNO president and Abdul Hadi greeted each other warmly and later joined hands with other alumni luminaries on stage after Najib opened the seminar.
Abdul Hadi, who spoke before Najib, stressed the need for unity among Muslims.
Najib, in his speech, quoted the Quran on the obligation of Muslims to be united.
And he called on Hadi to join him in bringing all Muslims together.
"I, on behalf of my party (UMNO) and Tuan Guru (Abdul Hadi) representing his party (PAS) will continue to hold on to Allah's calling," he said.
"Insya Allah we will not split-up like the other countries referred to by the Sheikh Abbas, the deputy president of the al-Azhar Alumni Association."
Najib, at the recent UMNO general assembly, had extended the hand of friendship to PAS.
The UMNO president said Muslims must work towards solidarity because it was an action that must be implemented, and not an option.
He said based on the Quran, that is verse 103 of 'Surah Aali Imran', Allah required Muslims to be united.
Najib promised to keep the peace that currently existed, and avoid there being a split.
In the effort towards unity as well, he said, Muslims should respect the views and opinions of non-Muslims, including their affairs of religion and worship.
"As I understand, this suggests that a prerequisite to unity is living in a society whose culture is positive and based on noble character," he said.
Najib said that in Malaysia, the diversity of its citizens was a strength that should work for developing the country.
He said one of the challenges faced by Muslims today was the existence of those who interpreted Islam in a rigid manner', and abused the concept of jihad which is espoused by groups such as the so-called IS militants, who were willing to kill fellow Muslims who did not concur with them.
The second challenge was the group which interpreted religion in a liberal manner, even though it conflicted with the views of the majority of Islamic scholars, he said.
"This liberal thinking ...opens up space to the widespread interpretation of religion in a free manner, supposedly to uphold human rationality and logic," he said.