On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin delivered a speech in Urdu on 2nd November 1991 at Turf Club, Mumbai.

Below are excerpts from that speech:

Distinguished guests, today, apprehension pervades the global situation and an atmosphere of pessimism and fear prevails. At such a time, it is only through compassion and humanity that we may shut the door on imminent devastation and advance the causes of peace, prosperity and progress.

In order to bind every individual human being in a single bond of unity, Islam teaches us mutual respect, compassion and cooperation. It makes us aware of our responsibilities and obligations to others, regardless of whether or not they are from the same walk of life, creed or nationality, because all of us have been created by the same Creator. This teaching is considered the foundation stone of civilised society, for without the traits of cooperation, unity and empathy, civilisation and unity can never take shape; it is only through empathy and mutual understanding that human beings are drawn close to each other and having realised the need for civilisation, they work together to strengthen the pillars of civilisation and society.

Hence, the Prophet Mohammed SAW has stated:

‘All Creation is a family dependent on Allah and the most beloved to Allah is the one who proves most beneficial to His family.’

This is the true path for spreading the message of fraternity and love, and through it, the benefits of adhering to the principles of Islam can spread to humanity at large.

My respected father Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA worked tirelessly in the service of humanity throughout his long tenure. This has been the tradition of our forefathers and today I too follow the same path. It is my prayer that may the Almighty continually inspire us to strive for the benefit of His Creation.

He went on to state:

Respected guests! The pledge made by my followers to celebrate the occasion of my 80th birthday – by establishing a foundation for environmental research – is much more than a cause for happiness: it will eventually become, Allah willing, a memorable and historic undertaking.

Today, this subject appears to be a new one, but, studying the teachings and guidance of the Holy Prophets, and especially those of the Prophet Mohammed SAW, one finds that centuries ago he has drawn mankind’s attention towards the matter. By wholeheartedly embracing the teachings of Islam we can find sufficient support in order to address the environmental challenges we face.