Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin reminded Muslims last night that Islam forbids differences among them to persist to the point that they weaken the nation.
"Islam teaches us that all differences can be settled," he said when opening the 53rd International Quran Recital at Dewan Merdeka of the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
He urged Muslims to follow the example of the Prophet who united the people of various races and religions in Medina.
"The Messenger of God in the Medina Charter made it compulsory for all residents to love and honour Medina," the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said.
All this did not mean that Islam disallowed differences of opinion, he stressed.
On the contrary, the King said, "Islam calls for a variety of views on a matter for a good result."
He said that peace was closely linked with solidarity among the people, and referred to empires which had fallen because of disunity among their citizens.
Also present were Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Penang Yang diPertua Negeri Abdul Rahman Abbas and wife, Yang diPertua Negeri Sabah Panglima Juhar Mahiruddin and wife, Yang diPertua Negeri Melaka Mohd Khalil Yaakob and wife, and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom.
Eighty-one Quran readers from 50 countries are taking part in the recital which ends on July 23.
Malaysia is represented by Amirrahman Abas and Suraya Abu Hassan who were champions in the recent National Quran Recital in Kuching.