Archiv für Februar, 2013


Golden Words of Wisdom Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani

Though I be i n the west and my disciple in the East, if a world goes to attack him, I know. I will save him.
Look towards that person who looks towards you. Love that person that loves you, listen to that person that listens to you and give your hands in his hands that are prepared to grasp it.
A mans position in life is such that though he is mortal he is reborn with pleasure in the winds of afflictions. It is that very same life whose consequence is not death. It is that very same comfort which has no extreme anguish.
That person who has enmity against a well to do companion, he totally rejects the wisdom and foresight of the sustainers.
Many wealthy people because of greed are poor and needy, in reality the brave person is he who wrestles and defeats the devil of greed and thereafter becomes independent and without want of need from this material World.
The person who backbites and speaks ill of us are actually our success because they pay homage to us by writing their good deeds into our deed books.
Look carefully at the previous graves lying in ruin. How the sands of beautiful people are turning bad.
If you do not find the sweetness of doing a good deed then be aware that you have not done that deed.
Disrespect earns the displeasure of the creator and the creation.
To please the enemies of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala is beyond comprehension and wisdom.
O! Gifts do not imprison me so that I become unmindful to the benefactor.
O! Doers of good deeds giving birth to sincerity in your deeds can never be a wasted effort.
Among the creation, silence is not bravery but rather impatience.
The person who cannot educate his own soul, then how is he going to educate others.
The love of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam is intertwined in poverty and starvation.
The love of the World generally blinded the eyes, those eyes which should have been used to identify the specialties of the Almighty Creator.
The person who becomes aware of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala then he becomes hospitable towards the creation.
Preach only in accordance to religion otherwise remaining dumb is better.
To adopt anonymity and unwholesomeness relative to it is peaceful.
As long as there remains on this earth one person in your heart whom you fear or have high expectations of, then until then your Faith is not complete.
Until you still possess arrogance and anger you cannot classify yourself amongst the learned.
That sustenance whose extent is expansive but no thanks is given for it and that means of livelihood which is difficult but no patience is shown for it become a source of revolt and mischief.
Always hold the best opinions about others and think ill of yourself.
O! ‘Alim do not soil your knowledge by sitting in the company of Worldly people.
Your speech will tell what is in your heart.
An oppressor destroys the World of the oppressed, and his own in the hereafter.
To start something good is your job and to see it completed is the work of your creator.
A wise person first question his heart thereafter speaks with his mouth.
To remain alone is protection and safety and to every sin there is a period of execution.
Except for the needs of your children and family do not leave the house unnecessarily.
Endeavor not to start a conversation and your speaking becomes necessary only to answer a question.
Keep your mouth closed from answering unnecessary questions so that you can remain safe from unnecessary talk.
That person who is never distressed, has no virtue.
Material people chase the World while the World chases the friends of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
This World is a World of exertion for a Mo’min while the hereafter is a World of relaxation.
Suspicion closes all the benefits to be accrued.
An understanding person finds no joy in anything, for it has accountability, for being lawful or a punishment for it being unlawful.
To make the soul receive the truth is its existence while making it receive failures, errors, falsehood and wrongdoings is its annihilation.
Those who belong to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala carry out his commands and even their hearts are reinforced by it. You carry on committing sin then to you have no fear. This is obvious evidence of betrayal. Beware; safeguard yourself for you may be caught out unawares when your allotted time is up.
A disrespectful becomes the object of displeasure and wrath of both the creator and the creation.
Iman (Faith) is the root while deeds and actions are its branches. Therefore stay away from associating with your Iman and sin with your actions.
First there is ignorance, thereafter knowledge, then follows practice upon your knowledge, thereafter sincerity upon that action and finally comes understanding and wisdom in the heart.
If you do not have patience then poverty and sicknesses become a misfortune and if you adopt patience then it becomes nobility and graciousness.
To gain the happiness of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala is impossible if you cannot make a poor person happy. The treatment for afflictions upon oneself is to gain the happiness and pleasure of the poor.
Whosoever asks of the creation is blind to the doors of the creator.
You are busy in fulfilling the desires and wishes of the soul (nafs) while the nafs is busy in destroying you.
That person is close to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala who is kind and affectionate towards the creation.
Rejection (kufr) of the divine blessings and providence is contrary to achieving closeness to the truth.
Hundreds of thousands of people just like you have been fattened and then swallowed by this World.
Do not be fooled by your youthful appearance for very soon it would be taken away from you.
Poverty saves one from sin and wealth is a trap for sins regard poverty as your protector.
To make a poor person happy makes one the inheritor of and undisclosed amount of reward.
What are you going to do by taking the bounties? Take the merciful and compassionate one. Every pious person is from the progeny and following of Muhammad SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam.
He whose fate is ultimately death then what is the need for happiness.
People do not regard you with respect because you are proud and vain but rather they look up to you when you are polite and hospitable.
Keep your hearts open only for Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and to busy yourself in earning a means of livelihood for your family is also following the commands.
To remember death is the best treatment for all ailments.
Worship and prayers breaks unwanted habits and should not be but a habit only.
The person who wishes to tame his soul should bridle it with silence and good etiquettes.
Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala asks a loan of his servants and the messengers of this are the beggars.
For the whole period I spent in the companionship of my sheikh (spiritual guide) I have never seen the whiteness of his teeth.
Whenever it is possible reform each morsel for the foundations of good deeds lies in it.
The creation are like children in relation to the saints of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
It is a lie if one says by sitting in the company of those women with whom relationships are lawful and young boys; one has absolutely no inclination towards them. Islamic principles (Shari‘ah) is neither definitely not in agreement nor does a sound mind allow for such conformities and this is total rejection of Shariat for Shari‘ah has never given anyone exemption from this.
When the angels do not enter a house in which there are images pictures then how do you expect Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala to enter your heart which is full of thousands of statues and idols. Anything else besides Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala presence in the heart is images and idols.
A visit to the pious person communicates the condition of the person.
The key to the closeness to the truth is in private consultations and journeys.
Do not become subservient to the gifts in such a manner that you forget the bestowal of the gifts.
The provisions and luggage undoubtedly is modesty, such that, because of it, the doors of sovereignty and reality seem closed.
It is not becoming of a mo’min to sleep until he has kept his will and testimony ready.
The obedience of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala is by asking and not by desiring.
You are busy in building mansions and palaces for others to stay in while; its accountability rests entirely on you.
O! Children of Adam Alaihis Salaam be modest towards Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala as you would be modest towards your religious neighbor.
When a person commits a sin, he closes the doors, draws the veils and hides from the creation and goes against the commands of the creator in private, and then the creator says, O! Son of Adam Alaihis Salaam you have regarded me the least amongst those that can see you because you found it necessary to hide yourself from the creation yet you have not shown modesty and shame even equivalent to that of the creation towards me.
It is not beneficial to be a master at speech when you are immature at heart.
Be obedient with a direction; don’t become obedient to the masses.
Do not become a polytheist by regarding your wealth as absolute and total power of assistance.
O! You who make fun of others very soon you will know the answer to your own fate.
O! Munafiqa (Hypocrites) very soon you will see the punishment of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala descending upon you in this World and the hereafter. The times are pregnant and very soon you will see what it gives birth to.
Your actions are proof of your belief and your exterior appearance is a sign of your interior condition.
To turn your face towards the creation is to turn your back towards Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
Empty desires are the jungle of stupidity and folly and only the foolish hustle and bustle aimlessly within it.
Make silence your habit, anonymity you clothing, escape from the creation your aim and if it is possible then dig the hole and sit down in it. This habit should stay with you until such time that you Iman (Faith) has reached an age of maturity and is unquestionable.
Those that wish the approval of the creation should show patience of the oppression of the created.
Do not turn away from the creator because of some misfortune, because he may be testing you with it.
Moderation is half of one’s sustenance (livelihood) and good manners is half of religion (Deen).
O Doers of good deeds! Adopt sincerity otherwise it is wasted effort.
If you are afraid of your destination then whichever way or wherever you look at, you will find that you are surrounded by ferocious beasts.
Good deeds are done in privacy and not in public except that which is Fard (compulsory) which is performed in exposure.
Everything that you rely on, every person you afraid of or you keep that trust in, becomes your God.
1. Special testimony 2. Making the commands of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala compulsory upon yourself 3. Not to fear or trust anyone 4. To make all your needs aware only to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and put your Faith in him, To ask of him alone and never put your trust in anyone except Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
A seeker is not truthful until he places the needs of sustenance of his companions over and above the sustenance of his soul and desires.
Remain honourable among the people, for by revealing your poverty you will fall in status in their eyes.
Meet the wealthy and rich with dignity ad prevalence and the poor with humility and humbleness.
Your keeping the company of careless and negligent people is a sigh of your carelessness and negligence.
To love of the creations is in its well wishing.
To give is better than to receive.
That person who is generous with the creation then he is close to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
A residence that is fit to be called a house, clothes that cover the body, a stomach full of sustenance and a wife is not regarded as Worldly but to face towards the Worldly while showing your back to your creator is Worldly.
Even if you have said Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala aloud, then even then you would be interrogated whether it was said in sincerity or in show.
When the remembrance of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala finds a place in the heart then for servant to remember Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala continuously becomes continuous and everlasting even though the lips are closed.
Carry out the rights that the ruler has upon you and do not question that which is obligatory upon you.
There is greater dignity in the remembrance of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala than in death; at the time of cutting someone short by razing them to the ground and thereafter realising it was fruitless to sow the seeds of hate.
Hide your troubles and you will receive closeness to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala .
A mo’min leaves his family in the care of the creator while a munaafiq leaves his family in the care of his dirham and dinaars (wealth).
There are 3 types of creation 1. Angels 2. The Devil 3. Man. The Angels are entirely good and the devil is entirely bad. Man is a mixture of good and bad. Whoever is overcome with good he can be likened to an Angel and whoever is overcome with evil he can be likened to the devil.
Do not laugh with those that are laughing but cry with those that are crying.
If your thoughts are with the creator then you are subservient to the creator. If your thoughts are with the creation then you are subservient to the creation.
Give priority to the hereafter over the World and you will benefit in both, but priority is given to the World over the hereafter then you would suffer losses in both.
Do not spend even one night in the hate and malice of anybody.
The sign of your sincerity is that you praise the creation and you do not turn your attention towards derogatory remarks nor do you show greed and avarice towards their wealth but you give your lord his right and your deeds are for your benefactor and not for the gifts, for the king and not for the kingdom and for the truth and not for falsehood.
As long as the doors of good health are open to you then regard it as a blessing for very soon it will be closed upon you. So as long as you have the strength and power to do good deeds regard it as a blessing.
It is wrong to claim respect towards your creator as long as you have no respect whatsoever for his creation.
When an ‘Alim is not an ascetic then, he is a punishment upon those that follow him.
A Mu’min, as he grows older Faith becomes stronger.
To search for good fortune is an unnecessary trouble and to search for that which is not your destiny is to anger Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and disgraceful.
You do not concern yourself in making the creator angry by pleasing the creation. In exchange for Worldly mansions and building you destroy your hereafter. Very soon you will be caught. He will definitely catch you whose imprisonment is very, very fearful.
What, you do not become ashamed ordering him to change your fate? Are your more commanding, more just and merciful than him? You and the entire creation are his servants. It becomes compulsory upon you to adopt, peace, solitude and silence.
Saying without deeds and deeds without sincerity are not worthy of acceptance.
A person once came to the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and said that he loves him (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam) very much. The Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said to him “lay down a cloth or spread a cloth for Poverty.” Another person said that he loves Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala , The Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said “spread a cloth for misfortune, for the love of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala and the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam is intertwined with poverty and misfortunes.”
You are busy accumulating that which you would not be able to eat. You desire for that which you cannot attain. Construct those buildings in which you will not stay. All this makes you blind to the status of your creator.
Be happy in the changes and choices that the creator made for you. If you stay in this manner with him then he will definitely change your fears and horrors.
Adopt patience for this World is an assembly of troubles and calamities.
When somebody approaches carrying tales or gossiping or informing you about what another has said to him about you then admonish him and tell him that he is worst than that person that was gossiping about you for that person spoke behind your back while he is telling it straight to your face. That person has not made you listen yet he made you listen to it.
What an unfortunate person is he who had not been given the habit of being merciful in his heart for all living things?
Your biggest enemies are those that are your biggest supporters.
The sum total of all the essence of good is to seek knowledge, practice upon it and teaching it to somebody.

Advertisements

Darool Fiqh Fatwa: Subway , Nandos, etc

Veröffentlicht: 28. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The importance of eating Halāl has been highlighted and underlined on several occasions in the Qur’ān and Ahādīth. Consider the following:

“O Messengers, consume that which is pure and work righteously. I Know what you do.” (Qur’ān 23:51)

“O you who have believed, eat from the pure things which we have provided you.” (Qur’ān 2:172)

“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth (that is) lawful and pure.” (Qur’ān 2:168)

“So eat of that (meat) upon which Allah’s name has been mentioned, if you are believers in His verses.” (Qur’ān 6:118)

“And do not eat that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed it is a grave disobedience.”.(Qur’ān 6:121)

The following Ahādīth echo the same message:

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu anhu related,” Allah’s Messenger salallahu alayhi wasallam said: Verily Allah is pure and He accepts only what is pure and indeed Allah has given those orders to the believers, which he has given to the Messengers. He has said, “O Messenger, eat from the pure foods and work righteous”. He -also- has said: “O you who have believed, eat from the pure things which we have provided you.” Then (the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam) made mention of a man who undergoes a lengthy journey in a state that he is dishevelled and dusty. He spreads his hands towards the sky (calling), “O my lord, O my lord”, however his food is Haram, his drink is Haram, his clothes are Haram and he has been nourished with Haram! So how will his call be answered?” (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abū Bakr Radhiallahu anhu reports that the Prophet Salallahu alayhi wasallam said, “A body nourished by harām will not enter Paradise.” (Abū Ya’lā, al-Tabarānī, Al-Bazzār)

The Halāl word and sign is one of the world’s most abused terms. Everything and anything is labelled as Halāl simply for commercial gains. The Food Industry is full of scandals. The Horse Meat Scandal vividly testifies to this. Let alone The Food Industry, the so-called ‘Halal Industry’ is just as worse. A research by a reliable group of scholars discovered the following severe issues:

Slaughter men at abattoirs not reciting the Tasmiyah during the slaughter. Recitation of the name of Allah at the time of slaughter is a condition for the animal to be Halāl. However this condition was not being fulfilled by majority of the slaughter men interviewed. Instead they were either;

1) chewing gum during the slaughter

2) talking to their co-workers

3) simply not reciting the Tasmiyah because they were unaware of its importance

4) reciting the Tasmiyah only once at the beginning of the slaughter thinking that it is sufficient for the entire kill

5) reciting the Tasmiyah only upon one animal in every ten

Non-Muslims slaughtering at various abattoirs, rendering the meat Harām.

The minimum amount of required veins not cut resulting in the animal being Harām. Any three of the following four veins must be cut with a knife, blade or any tool that is sharp and has a cutting edge:

a) The trachea (windpipe)

b) Oesophagus (food-pipe)

c) The two carotid veins

Unfortunately, many slaughter men pay no attention towards which arteries and how many of them are being cut during the slaughter due to either sheer ignorance or the speed of the line being too fast.

Unmonitored and many impermissible stunning methods prior to slaughter. There are many types of stunning techniques:

1) The captive bolt pistol (used for cows/cattle).

2) Electric stunning (used for sheep).

3) Electrified water bath (used for poultry).

Stunning which causes death prior to slaughter is not accepted in Sharī’ah. Research clearly shows many chickens die due to the high voltage applied. In such a scenario, it will not be permissible to consume chickens from such a processing plant even if some chickens did not die as a result of the high voltage. The Fuqahā’ state that if there is a mixture of Islamically slaughtered animals and unislamically slaughtered animals with a dominance of unislamically slaughtered animals, then none of the animals will be lawful for consumption.

Usage of rotating mechanical blades for slaughter which does not serve the requirements of Halāl slaughter. The team found in a renowned poultry abattoir that rotating mechanical blades were being used to slaughter. A slaughter man would recite bismillah when switching on the machinery and would then go stand by the blade and recite bismillah at his own pace. By the time he would complete one recital at least ten chickens had passed by on the line (the speed of the line was 200 chickens per minute).

Contamination issues (mixing of halal with non-halal). The team also discovered poultry being processed on un-sanitised lines thus causing non zabiha leftovers to be mixed with the zabiha meat on the machinery.

Retailers do not know if they are being cheated. The team found that various retail and butcher store owners could not verify if the meat that is supplied to them is genuine Halāl. They stated that they merely take the word of the suppliers and it can be possible that they are cheated in believing that the products supplied to them are Halāl.

Meat coming from abroad. The appointed inspection team also discovered that large amounts of meat were imported from foreign countries. Local plants cannot guarantee the meat that had been imported was slaughtered in accordance to halal guidelines.

In October 2007, HMC was approached by a Global meat supplier and manufacturer to investigate and inspect on its behalf the Brazilian ‘Halal’ market. Brazil, along with Australia and New Zealand are the world’s largest exporters of meat and processed products feeding the global hunger for Halal Products. Much of these supplies head to the Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia; UAE, Dubai, Oman, Qatar, Africa and Europe.

This investigation attempted access to 18 of the largest abattoirs in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association, a staggering 718,000 tons of chicken were exported to the Middle East from January to September 2007 and 402,000 tons to the European Union during the same period.
The HMC Team gained access and inquiries were made of 11 abattoirs and the findings were unfortunately quite shocking:

• No Muslim slaughter men at many of the sites
• No recitation of Tasmiyah (name of Allah)
• Stunning prevalent at the majority of the sites (risk of many animals being dead at the point of slaughter)
• No knowledge of Halāl and its basic rules
• Mechanical slaughter used at majority of sites

If the pollution of the Halāl Industry is to this extent, how can anyone be satisfied with a mere flashing ‘halal’ sign on the window of a shop? Many shopkeepers will tell you that their products are Halāl as they believe it to be so. They are totally unaware of what goes on in the industry.

Although we cannot call any place’s products without a HMC sign as harām without explicit evidence, a question mark will always hang over such places. Yes, if one has clear evidence such a place is Halal, then he may eat happily from such a venue. Not being HMC does not automatically mean a place is Haram.

The question is: Is that small burger or hot chicken worthy of being consumed if there is a possibility that it will prevent us from entering Paradise? Is it worthwhile eating that thick crust pizza with meat if it is possible it will prevent our cries and pleas from being accepted?

In addition, there are many organisations which certify products to be Halāl. One must be absolutely cautious and alert which organisations truly serve the Halāl cause. Any organisation which allows and permits controversial issues in their constitution should be refrained from. Eat from those places which are certified by conservative and strict bodies which give satisfaction and contentment to the heart.

With regards to the HMC organisation, it is a praiseworthy organisation which is managed by reliable Ulamā’. Their protocols are very conservative, cautious and orthodox. Their modus operandi is free of all controversial rulings unlike many other organisations. They are sincerely endeavouring to make every morsel a Muslim eats halāl. HMC has been accepted by the majority and provides the satisfaction and contentment when eating due to their stringent conditions. They inspect and monitor their certified products from slaughter to processing, distribution and storage. They closely watch their poultry industry from start to end giving assurance to consumers of what they are eating is halāl and tayyib (pure).

For more information regarding HMC, you may visit their website on the following link:

http://www.halalhmc.org/index.htm

And Allah Ta’ālā Knows Best

Mufti Faraz al-Mahmudi,

Darul Iftaa
Dublin, Ireland

http://www.darulfiqh.com

ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ، يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، يَا رَبِّ، يَا رَبِّ، وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَغُذِيَ بِالْحَرَامِ، فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِكَ؟ “ (صحيح مسلم رقم الحديث 1015)

عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ: أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – قَالَ: «لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ جَسَدٌ غُذِّيَ بِحَرَامٍ» „.رَوَاهُ أَبُو يَعْلَى، وَالْبَزَّارُ، وَالطَّبَرَانِيُّ فِي الْأَوْسَطِ، وَرِجَالُ أَبِي يُعْلَى ثِقَاتٌ، وَفِي بَعْضِهِمْ خِلَافٌ. (مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد ج 10 ص 293 مكتبة القدسي)

http://hma.jucanada.org/industry_problems.aspx

(وَتُشْتَرَطُ) التَّسْمِيَةُ مِنْ الذَّابِحِ (حَالَ الذَّبْحِ) (الدر المختار في رد المحتار على الدر المختار ج 6 ص 302 أيج أيم سعيد)

والعروق التي تقطع في الذكاة أربعة الحلقوم وهو مجرى النفس والمريء وهو مجرى الطعام والودجان وهما عرقان في جانبي الرقبة يجري فيها الدم فإن قطع كل الأربعة حلت الذبيحة وإن قطع أكثرها فكذلك عند أبي حنيفة رحمه الله تعالى وقالا لا بد من قطع الحلقوم والمريء وأحد الودجين والصحيح قول أبي حنيفة رحمه الله تعالى لما أن للأكثر حكم الكل كذا في المضمرات (الفتاوى الهندية ج 5 ص 287 رشيدية)

وَمِنْهَا: لَوْ اخْتَلَطَتْ مَسَالِيخُ الْمُذَكَّاةِ بِمَسَالِيخِ الْمَيْتَةِ، وَلَا عَلَامَةَ تُمَيِّزُ، وَكَانَتْ الْغَلَبَةُ لِلْمَيْتَةِ أَوْ اسْتَوَيَا لَمْ يَجُزْ تَنَاوُلُ شَيْءٍ مِنْهَا، وَلَا بِالتَّحَرِّي إلَّا عِنْدَ الْمَخْمَصَةِ.وَأَمَّا إذَا كَانَتْ الْغَلَبَةُ لِلْمُذَكَّاةِ فَإِنَّهُ يَجُوزُ التَّحَرِّي. (الأشباه والنظائر ج 1 ص305)

http://www.halalhmc.org/index.htm

Read more.

Freedom of Islam

Veröffentlicht: 21. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

From Mohammad Hashim Kamali’s
Freedom of Expression in Islam
Islamic Text Society, 1997

A MUST reading !!!

[Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali is Professor of Law at the International Islamic University Malaysia where he has been teaching Islamic law and jurisprudence since 1985. Among his other works published by the Islamic Texts Society is Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence.]

IX. Freedom of Religion

(Al-Hurriyyah al-Diniyyah)

 

One of the manifestations of personal liberty is the freedom of the individual to profess the religion of his or her choice without compulsion. Everyone must also have the freedom to observe and to practice their faith without fear of, or interference from, others. Freedom of religion in its Islamic context implies that non-Muslims are not compelled to convert to Islam, nor are they hindered from practicing their own religious rites. Both Muslims and non-Muslims are entitled to propagate the religion of their following, as well as to defend it against attack or seditious provocation (fitnah), regardless as to whether such an action is launched by their co-religionists or by others.161

 

Freedom of religion acquires special significance in the Shari ah, a system of law which recognizes no clear division between legal and religious norms. Since the creed of Islam lies at the root of many a doctrine and institution of the Shariah, the freedom of whether or not to embrace and practice Islam is the most sensitive and controversial area of all individual liberties.162  However, this alone should not necessarily change the basic meaning and character of the freedom of belief it should matter little, therefore, whether one speaks of the freedom of belief in the context of Islam or of any other legal system. For the basic idea of freedom defies impositions of any kind on an individual’s personal choice. Freedom of belief, like all other freedoms, operates as a safeguard against the possible menace of oppression from superior sources of power. This is also essentially true of the Islamic concept of this freedom: as Fathi ‚Uthman observes, ‚No power of any kind in the Islamic state may be employed to compel people to embrace Islam. The basic function of the Islamic state, in this regard, is to monitor and prevent the forces which might seek to deny the people their freedom of belief.‘I63

 

From a historical perspective it is interesting to note that when the Prophet of Islam began his mission among the pagans of Mecca, he invited them into the new faith despite their hostile attitude and response. This situation lends support to the conclusion, as al-‚lli points out, that Islam subscribes to freedom of belief, since Islam itself began by inviting and persuading people to embrace it on the merit of its rationality and truth. In other words, if Islam is to remain true to its own beginnings it can be expected to validate the freedom of belief.164 This is precisely the stance that the ulama‘ have adopted and upheld: ‚The doctors of theology and monotheism (tawhid) are in agreement that confession to the faith (iman) is not valid if it is not voluntary. In the event, therefore, wherever confession to the faith is obtained through compulsion, it is null and void.‘165  On a similar theme, Ibn Qudamah, the renowned Hanbali jurist/theologian has written:

 

It is not permissible to compel a disbeliever into professing Islam. If, for example, a non-Muslim citizen (dhimmi) or a person of protected status (musta’man) is forced to accept Islam, he is not considered a Muslim unless it is established that his confession is a result of his own choosing. If the person concerned dies before his consent is known, he will be considered a disbeliever…The reason for the prohibition of duress here are the words of God Most High that there shall be ’no compulsion in religion.’166

 

The Qur’anic text that Ibn Qudamah has referred to in this passage is of central importance to our discussion, and I shall return to it later. At this point, however, I shall proceed with a general characterization of freedom of religion in the writings of some modern authors. These works, which draw substantially from the evidence in the sources, come to much the same conclusions as are found in earlier writings. The only notable difference between classical and modern works on religious freedom is that some of the earlier writers were persuaded by the argument that many Qur’anic passages which affirm the freedom of religion have subsequently been abrogated or superseded by other passages of a more restrictive nature. However, modern Muslim opinion on the subject tends to dismiss this rather weak argument. A representative contemporary opinion on the subject of freedom of religion can be found in the following excerpt issued by a recent International Conference on Islamic law, which was held between the leading scholars of Saudi Arabia and Europe. ‚The individual is free in regard to the creed he wishes to embrace, and it is unlawful to compel anyone to embrace a religion.‘ The statement gives as its authority the Qur’anic text which declares that ‚there is no compulsion in religion‘ (II:256), and also the following Qur’anic passage which was addressed to the Prophet: ‚Had thy Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed.  Do you then force people to become believers?’ (X: 99)167

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This latter passage is a Meccan text which was revealed at an early stage in the advent of Islam. This was later followed and confirmed, after the Prophet’s migration to Medina, by the afore-mentioned verse in surat al-Baqarah (II:256). Thus, freedom of belief has been consistently enunciated as a norm of the Shari ah (asl al-tashri) regardless of considerations of time and circumstance.168

 

The substance of these Qur’anic provisions has also been upheld in the 1952 convention of the culama‘ of Pakistan who drafted a statement entitled ‚The Basic Principle of an Islamic State‘. This included the following clauses: ‚The citizen shall be entitled to all the rights …he shall be assured within the limits of the law of … freedom of religion and belief, freedom of worship…‘.169 Similarly, the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, issued by the Islamic Council of Europe provides: ‚Every person has the right to freedom of conscience and worship in accordance with his religious beliefs.‘ (Art XIII.)170 Provisions of this kind have now become a regular feature of the constitutions of many contemporary Muslim countries, including Malaysia and Pakistan. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia 1957, which is currently in force, declares the following in Article (II) entitled ‚Freedom of Religion‘:

(1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion, and subject to clause  to propagate it.

(2) No person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.

 

The text goes on to declare, under clause (3) that every religious group is entitled to manage its own religious affairs, to establish religious and charitable institutions, and to acquire and own property for such purposes. Clause (4) provides that a state law, and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, federal law, may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

 

In the case of ‚The Minister of Home Affairs v. Jamaluddin bin Othman‘,171 the Supreme Court of Malaysia has upheld its decision to respect the constitutional clause on freedom of religion in its full sense, by dismissing a plea made by the Minister of Home Affairs that conversion to Christianity by a Muslim was a punishable offense. In this case, the respondent, Jamaluddin, was detained under the Internal Security Act 1960, s.8(1), by the Minister of Home Affairs, for what really amounted to apostasy, but was prosecuted for an internal security offense. Originally, the respondent was detained ‚for acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia‘,172 and the allegations that led to Jamaluddin’s detention were that he had himself converted from Islam to Christianity and that he was propagating Christianity among the Muslims of Malaysia. It was also alleged that he participated in a work camp and seminar for such a purpose and that, as a result of these activities, he had converted six Malays to Christianity .The defendant pleaded that the Minister did not have the power to order detention without trial. On an application by the respondent for writ of habeas corpus, Justice Anuar, the trial judge in the High Court of Kuala Lumpur, took the view that ‚the Minister had no power to deprive a person of his right to profess and practice his religion which is guaranteed under Art.11 of the Federal Constitution, and, therefore, if the Minister acts to restrict the freedom of a person from professing and practicing his religion, his act will be inconsistent with the provision of Art.11 and therefore an order of detention would not be valid‘.173 Consequently, the judge ordered the release of the respondent from detention. The Minister for Home Affairs appealed to the Supreme Court in Kuala Lumpur, but the Criminal Appeal Division dismissed the appeal and stated the grounds of its decision as follows:

 

The sum total of the grounds for detention in this case was the supposed involvement of the respondent in a plan or program for the dissemination of Christianity among the Malays. ..We do not think that mere participation in meetings and seminars can make a person a threat to the security of the country .As regards the alleged conversion of six Malays, even if it were true, it cannot by itself in our opinion be regarded as a threat to the security of the country. 174

 

While dismissing the appeal, the court added that the grounds for detention in this case, when read in the proper context, were insufficient; that the guarantee provided by Art. 11 of the constitution, namely, the right to freedom of religion, must be given effect, unless the actions of a person go well beyond what can normally be regarded as professing and practicing his or her faith.

The 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is currently in force, proclaims in its section on Fundamental Rights and Liberties that:

 

Subject to law, public order and morality: a. every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and b. every religious denomination and every section thereof have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions. (Art.20)

 

The constitution of Pakistan also forbids discrimination against religious communities as regards taxation, educational policies, and the allocation of funds and concessions that the state may make to religious communities or institutions. (Arts. 21, 22, 38.)

 

While quoting some of the Qur’anic verses on the subject, Mutawalli has characterized the main thrust of the Qur’anic teaching on religious freedom as follows: religious belief should be, founded on conviction and considered choice, not on mere imitation or conformity to the views and beliefs of others. The Shari ah forbids compulsion in religion as it is incompatible with the courteous methods of persuasion that the Qur’an prescribes for the propagation of Islam. While stating the evidence to support his comment, the same author observes, on a historical note, that Muslim rulers and governors have generally exercised tolerance in the treatment of non-Muslim subjects, particularly in the matter of religious beliefs. Mutawalli also agrees with the conclusion which Thomas Arnold came to in his investigations: that the concept that Islam was imposed by the sword is inaccurate and far from the truth. In his book, The Preaching of Islam, Thomas Arnold advanced the theme that Christian historians have obscured ‚the genuine missionary character of Islam‘175 and have instead laid emphasis on the use of the sword as the principal instrument in its propagation: ‚So little is there in the statement that Islam makes progress only by the force of arms’176 that one can see the opposite of this in the history of Islam in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. With reference to the spread of Islam in Palestine and Syria, Arnold commented: ‚That force was not the determining factor in these conversions may be judged from the amicable relations that existed between the Christian and the Muslim Arabs.‘177 To quote Arnold again:

 

From the examples given above of the toleration extended towards the Christian Arabs by the victorious Muslims of the first century of the Hijrah and continued by succeeding generations we may surely infer that those Christsian tribes that did embrace Islam did so of their own choice and free will. The Christian Arabs of the present day, dwelling in the midst of a Muhammadan population are a living testimony of this toleration.l78

 

Mutawalli has concluded that any oppression that might have soiled the otherwise tolerant record of Muslim rulers was mainly attributable to political factors which find little support in the principles of Islamic law .179 The practice of early Islamic leaders, particularly the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, was consistently determined by the Qur’anic norms which seek to protect the integrity of the individual conscience. Abu Zahrah and Mutawalli, among others, are both explicit on this point. According to the former, ‚the early Muslims showed great care and sensitivity not to compel anyone in the matter of religion. ‚ Abu Zahrah also tells of an incident where an elderly Christian woman came as a supplicant to the Caliph Umar b. al- Khattab, who met her request with favour. Afterwards, he invited her to embrace Islam, but she refused. At this the Caliph became anxious, fearing that his invitation might have amounted to compulsion, and he expressed his remorse in these words: ‚O my Lord, I did not mean to compel her, as I know that there must be no compulsion in religion …righteousness has been explained and distinguished from misguidance.‘ Thus, the Caliph Umar expressed the point that only God Most High can prevail upon the hearts and minds of people in matters of faith. 180

 

The precedent and attitude of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs reflects the correct understanding of the norms of the Shari ah which clearly recognize the freedom of religion and proscribe all oppression and violation of the integrity of this freedom.181

 

Notwithstanding the relative clarity of the Qur’anic proclamations on the freedom of religion, the subject has become controversial. This is due partly to certain other passages in the Qur’an which have sometimes been interpreted in a manner which casts doubt on the subject. Indeed, some commentators have drawn the drastic conclusion that the Qur’anic passages which validate holy war (jihad) and fighting against disbelievers actually abrogate the Qur’an’s proclamation on tolerance and respect for other religions. The controversy has been exacerbated further by reliance on the provision in the Sunnah which authorizes the death penalty for apostasy without due consideration of other evidence in the Sunnah to the effect that punishment by death was meant only for apostasy accompanied by hostility and treason. However, a full enquiry into these issues would fall beyond the scope of this study. Some of these issues have already been treated and investigated at length in books and articles in the English language.182 I shall, therefore, confine my discussion to some of the conclusions that have been drawn, without paying undue attention to many of the details.

 

In his monograph, The Punishment of Apostasy in Islam, S. A. Rahman looks into the evidence in the Qur’an and the Sunnah in detail, and draws attention to the fact that the Qur’an is silent on the question of death as the punishment for apostasy, despite this subject occurring no less than twenty times in the Holy Book. Rahman then traces the chain of transmission of the Hadith which proclaims ‚kill whoever changes his religion‘ .

 

 

 

 

As this is a solitary Hadith (ahad), Rahman finds some weakness in its transmission (isnad). Rahman’s conclusion is also supported by other evidence, such as the fact that neither the Prophet himself nor any of his Companions ever compelled anyone to embrace Islam, nor did they sentence anyone to death solely for renunciation of the faith.181 In the light of this, it is not surprising to find a number of prominent ‚ulama‘, across the centuries, subscribing to the view that apostasy is not a punishable offense. Ibrahim al-Nakha’i (d. 95/713), a leading jurist and traditionist among the generation succeeding the Companions, and Sufyan al-Thawri’ (d. 161/772), who is known as ‚the prince of the believers concerning Hadith‘ (amir al-mu’minin fi’l-Hadith) and is the author of two important compilations of Hadith, namely al-Jami‘ al-Kabir, and al-Jami‘ al- Saghir, both held that the apostate should be re-invited to Islam, but should never be condemned to death. They maintained the view that the invitation should continue for as long as there is hope that the apostate might change his mind and repent.184 ‚Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani has also cited the views of al-Nakha’i and al-Thawri and adds that ‚the apostate is thus permanently to be invited to repent‘.185 The renowned Hanafi jurist, Shams al-Din al-Sarakhsi, is rather less explicit but what he writes amounts to saying that apostasy does not qualify for temporal punishment. He begins by stating that apostasy is not an offense for which there is a prescribed punishment (Hadd), because the punishment for it is suspended when the apostate repents:

 

The prescribed penalties (Hudad) are generally not suspended because of repentance, especially when they are reported and become known to the head of state (imam). The punishment of highway robbery, for instance, is not suspended because of repentance; it is suspended only by the return of property to the owner prior to arrest. ..Renunciation of the faith and conversion to disbelief is admittedly the greatest of offenses, yet it is a matter between man and his Creator, and its punishment is postponed to the day of judgment (fa’l-jaza‘ ‚alayha mu’akhkhar ila dar al-jaza‘). Punishments that are enforced in this life are those which protect the people’s interests, such as just retaliation, which is designed to protect life…186

 

Al-Sarakhsi goes on to recount the punishments for adultery, theft, slanderous accusation, wine-drinking and highway robbery – namely, all the hudad punishments -but leaves apostasy out altogether from the list. The Maliki jurist, al-Baji (d. 494 A.H.), also observed that apostasy is a sin which carries no prescribed penalty (hadd), and that such a sin may only be punished under the discretionary punishment of ta’zir.187 The renowned Hanbali jurist, Ibn Taymiyyah, also categorically agrees on this latter punishment for apostasy.188

 

Among modern scholars, ‚Abd al-Hakim al-‚Ili and Isma’il al- Badawi have commented that by al-Nakha’i’s time, Islam was secure from the hostility of disbelievers and apostates. This, they maintain, indicates that al-Nakha’i understood the Prophetic Hadith quoted above, which made apostasy punishable by death, to be political in character and aimed at the inveterate enemies of Islam. 189 On a similar note, Mahmud Shaltut analyses the relevant evidence in the Qur’an and draws the conclusion that apostasy carries no temporal penalty , and that in reference to this particular sin, the Qur’an speaks only of punishment in the hereafter:

 

As for the death penalty for apostasy, the jurists have relied on the Hadith reported by Ibn‘Abbas in which the Prophet has said,’Kill the one who changes his religion‘ (man baddala dinahu faqtuluhu). This Hadith has evoked various responses from the ‚ulama‘, many of whom are in agreement that the prescribed penalties (hudud) cannot be established by solitary Hadith (ahad), and that unbelief by itself does not call for the death penalty. The key factor which determines the application of this punishment is aggression and hostility against the believers and the [need to] prevent possible sedition (fitnah) against religion and state. This conclusion is sustained by the manifest meaning of many of the passages in the Qur’an which proscribe compulsion in religion.190

 

Mahmassani has observed that the death penalty was meant to apply, not to simple acts of apostasy from Islam, but when apostasy was linked to an act of political betrayal of the community .The Prophet never killed anyone solely for apostasy. This being the case, the death penalty was not meant to apply to a simple change of faith but to punish acts such as treason, joining forces with the enemy and sedition. 191

 

The late Ayatollah Mutahhari highlighted the incompatibility of coercion with the spirit of Islam, and the basic redundancy of punitive measures in the propagation of its message. He wrote that it is impossible to force anyone to acquire the kind of faith that is required by Islam, just as ‚it is not possible to spank a child into solving an arithmetical problem. His mind and thought must be left free in order that he may solve it. The Islamic faith is something of this kind.‘192

 

Selim el-Awa discusses the issue of apostasy at length, declaring that ‚there is an urgent need to reinterpret the principles contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah‘. He cites the fact that the Qur’an is completely silent on the death penalty for apostasy, and that the evidence in the Sunnah is open to interpretation.193 El-Awa elaborates that the death penalty in the Sunnah is not designed for apostasy per se but for high treason, or hirabah, that is, when apostasy is accompanied by hostility and rebellion against the community and its legitimate leadership. The Hadith which proclaims ‚whoever renounces his religion shall be killed‘, is a general (‘amm) command which is in need of specification (takhsis). In its general form, it would apply equally to cases that manifestly fall outside its intention, as it would render this same punishment not only to Muslims but also to Christians who convert to Judaism, and vice versa. Al- Shawkani adds to the foregoing, that the general purport of this Hadith has been restricted in the Qur’an so as to exclude a person who changes his religion outwardly under duress but remains faithful otherwise.194 Al-Shawkani has also criticized the ruling of some Shafi’i scholars who have followed the literal and general meaning of the Hadith in question and erroneously held that the death penalty therein applies equally to a non-Muslim who converts from one religion to another. On this subject, he states that, ‚My response to this is that the literal meaning of the Hadith has been abandoned in regard to a disbeliever who embraces Islam.‘195 Moreover, the Hanafis have countered the general interpretation of this Hadith in yet another respect, namely, that a woman apostate is not punished by death but only by imprisonment (since the masculine pronominal suffix alone occurs in the wording). According to the rules of intrepretation, as expounded in usul al-fiqh, once a decisive (qat’i) ruling of a text has been specified in some respect, the part which remains unspecified becomes speculative (zanni), and as such, is open to further interpretation and specification (takhsis). It is thus also suggested that the Hadith in question may be further qualified, and that the death penalty therein may be reserved only for apostasy which is accompanied by high treason (hirabah).196

 

The preceding analysis is also extended to the second Hadith often quoted in support of the death penalty for apostasy, which is as follows:

 

The blood of a Muslim who professes that there is no god but Allah and that I am His Messenger, is sacrosanct except in three cases: a married adulterer; a person who has killed another human being; and a person who has abandoned his religion, while splitting himself off from the community (mufariq li’l-jama’ah).197

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As will be noted, this Hadith makes clear that the apostate must also boycott the community (mufariq li’l-jama’ah) and challenge its legitimate leadership, in order to be subjected to the death penalty.198

 

The Qur’an specifies a three-fold punishment for high treason (hirabah), culminating in death (V:34). Ibn Taymiyyah, in an attempt to reconcile the terms of the preceding Hadith with the Qur’an, observes that the crime referred to in the Hadith under discussion is that of high treason (hirabah) and not aposusy (riddah) as such.l99 This observation is again supported by the fact that the Prophet never put anyone to death for apostasy alone. Indeed, there were cases when certain individuals apostasised after professing Islam yet the Prophet did not even penalize them, let alone condemn them to death. Affirmative evidence on this point is found in the following incident which appears in the Hadith compilations of al-Bukhari and Muslim:

 

A Bedouin came to the Holy Prophet and pledged his allegiance to him, professing Islam. The next day he came back, ill with fever and said, ‚Return my pledge to me,‘ but the Prophet refused- thrice. Then the Prophet said: Medina is like a bellows which rejects its dross and recognizes its pure. 200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a clear case of apostasy, in which the Prophet made no reference to any punishment at all, and the Bedouin, despite his persistent renunciation of Islam was left to go unharmed.201

 

Furthermore, the following Qur’anic passage is in complete hannony with the purport of the foregoing Hadith, and provides, once again, a strong argument against the death penalty for apostasy:

 

Those who believe then disbelieve, then believe again, then disbelieve and then increase in their disbelief -God will never forgive them nor guide them to the path. (IV:137)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The implication is unmistakable. The text would hardly entertain the prospect of repeated belief and disbelief if death were to be the prescribed punishment for the initial act. It is also interesting to note that the initial reference to disbelief is followed by further confirmation of disbelief and then ‘increase in disbelief.’ One might be inclined to think that if the first instance of apostasy did not qualify for capital punishment, the repeated apostasy might have provoked it -had such a punishment ever been intended in the Qur’an.

 

The Prophet did not treat apostasy as a proscribed offense (hadd), but, on the contrary, pardoned many individuals who had embraced Islam, then renounced it, and then embraced it again, Included among these was Abd Allah ibn Abi Sarh, the foster brother of Uthman ibn Affan, and one-time scribe of the Prophet, whom the Prophet forgave when Uthman interceded on his behalf. Other cases included that of al-Harith ibn Suwayd, ‚and a group of people from Mecca‘ who embraced Islam, renounced it afterwards, and then re-embraced it. Their lives too were spared. Ibn Taymiyyah, who has recorded this information, added that ‚these episodes and similar other ones are well-known to the scholars of Hadith.‘202 Ibn Taymiyyah further added that the Companions reached a consensus (ijma‘) on this, for when the Prophet passed away, most of the Arabs, except for the residents of Mecca, Medina and Ta’if, apostasised, including many followers of the self- proclaimed ‚prophets‘, Musaylimah, al-Anasi, and Tulayhah al- Asadi, who renounced Islam and were subsequently fought by Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and other Companions until they returned to the faith again. They were left unharmed and not a single one of them was killed because of their renunciation of Islam. This, Ibn Taymiyyah adds is common knowledge.203

 

In response to the question of whether Islam permits war as a means of propagation, many scholars have reached the conclusion that war is permissible only to protect the freedom of belief and to prevent oppression. The Qur’an forbids sedition (fitnah) in religion, as well as the persecution of people for their religious beliefs. It is this fitnah, as Abu Zahrah observes, which the Qur’an declares to be a menace greater than murder, and thus it permits waging war in order to prevent tyranny and sedition, as the following text shows: ‚And fight them until fitnah is no more and religion is for God alone. But if they stop then there is to be no hostility except against the oppressors.‘ (II: 193)

 

 

 

 

 

 

From this passage, Abu Zahrah draws the conclusion that ‘fighting is only permissible in order to defend the freedom of belief and prevent oppression in religion‘.204 He also quotes another Qur’anic passage in support of his statement, which declares explicitly:

 

Fighting has been permitted for those against whom war has been waged, because they have been wronged -and God is able to give them victory; those who were expelled from their homes for no cause other than saying: „God is our Lord“, (XX1I:39)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rashid Rida comments on the first of these two passages by saying, ‚This verse reaffirms the one which occurs in Surat al-Baqarah (II:256), and both proscribe compulsion in religion. Both of these passages proclaim and uphold that people are free to pursue religious beliefs of their own choosing. No one is to be compelled to abandon the religion he professes nor must anyone be exposed to punishment and torture for the sake of religion.‘205

 

By far the most explicit of Qur’anic verses on freedom of religion is the following one in Surat al-Baqarah (II:256):

 

There is to be no compulsion in religion. Surely, the right direction has been made clear and distinct from error. He who rejects false deities and believes in God has grasped a firm handhold which will never break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This verse was revealed on the occasion when some Companions among the Helpers (ansar) asked the Prophet for permission to compel their relatives to profess Islam. However, some of these people had practiced Christianity or Judaism since their early childhood, and the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe of Medina even had children who were related to the Companions, but who were brought up by Jewish parents and were considered Jews. When the Prophet issued orders for the Banu Nadir to move out of Medina, so as to prevent clashes between them and the Muslims, some Companions sought instead to force their relatives into Islam. It was at this juncture that the preceding verse was revealed, and the Prophet ordered his Companions not to compel anyone, but to give them the choice to decide what religion they wished tofollow.206

 

Commentators of the Qur’an, such as Ibn Kathir and Rashid Rida, have considered this text to be a general proclamation in the sense that it absolutely prohibits compulsion in religion. No one must be compelled to embrace Islam, as it would serve no useful purpose for a person to do so under coercion, while his mind and heart remain closed to enlightenment and guidance. To this Rashid Rida adds that belief (iman), which is the pillar and essence of religion, implies a willing submission of the self which cannot be gained through duress: it must be attained through conviction and reason. Force, therefore, has no place in the matter of belief. The subsequent portion of the text, Rida adds, endorses the general message of the verse, namely, in this religion there is guidance and light and the call to the faith should be through explanation. Once people are shown the right path then it is their choice whether to follow it or abandon it. Rida continues:

 

We are ordered to invite people to the path of God with wisdom and good exhortation …This would explain the place of holy war (jihad) in Islam. Jihad is not of the essence of religion nor one of its goals. It is only a protective shield and is resorted to as a matter of political necessity. The common hysteria and its misguided exponents who assume that faith is established by the sword merit no attention whatsoever.207

 

Some commentators have attempted to qualify the general import of the verse under discussion (i.e. II:256) by showing that it was initially in force but was later abrogated when Islam gained victory. S.A. Rahman, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, responds to this argument as follows:

 

There is no warrant for such a conclusion to be found in any Qur’anic verse, and indeed the ethical plane of such argumentation is too obvious to require comment … Furthermore, there is no indication in the text that the words are to be understood in a restricted or qualified sense, nor would the shan-i-nuzul reports justify that course.208

 

Rahman characterizes Surat al-Baqarah (II:256) as one of the most important verses in the Qur’an, and he is perturbed that Muslim scholars have attempted to whittle down its broad humanistic meaning by imposing limitations on its scope dictated by historical theological controversies.209

 

Another aspect of Qur’anic evidence that relates to our discussion is its explicit recognition of other great religions preceding the advent of Islam. There are a number of verses in the Qur’an which not only declare the validity and divine provenance of other faiths, but highly compliment their teachings. The Qur’anic evidence is explicit on the unity of the origin and purpose of all the revealed faiths. Thus, we read in Surat al-Ma’idah (V:44): ‚We revealed the Torah in which there is guidance and light.’

 

 

 

 

The text then continues to expound and confirm some of the laws of the Torah, in particular, the law of just retaliation, which became an integral part of the Shari ah of Islam. A subsequent passage in the same surah further confirms both the Torah and the New Testament:

 

And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that was revealed before him; We gave him the gospel in which there is guidance and light and which confirms the Torah before it, a guidance and admonition to those who fear God. Let the people of the gospel judge by what god has revealed therein, and whoever refuses to judge by what God has revealed are transgressors. (V:46-48)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is followed by a further affirmation which is addressed to the Prophet Muhammad ‘We sent down to you the Book in truth, confining and safeguarding the Book before It.‘ (V:48)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Qur’anic recognition of the truth and essential unity of the revealed faiths is not confined to Christianity and Judaism but extends to all the Prophets preceding Moses and Jesus and their teachings. Thus, it is stated that belief in all of them is an integral part of the Muslim faith:

 

Say: We believe in God and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in the scriptures that God sent to Moses and Jesus, and the Prophets. We make no distinction between them (111:84)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affirmative references to others revealed religions is one of the major themes of the Qur’an. These recur in several places in the Book and they consistently confirm that Islam does not deny the followers of other faiths the freedom, both within and outside the territorial domain of Islam, to choose, retain and practice the religion they wish to follow.210 This is precisely the conclusion that commentators have drawn from the totality of the Qur’anic evidence. Referring to these verses, Fathi Uthman writes that ‚Islam rejects compulsion even if it be the only way to Islam itself… for worshipping God and the enforcement of His law cannot be properly achieved unless man is free from fear …,.211

 

The Qur’an is most explicit on the dignity and nobility of man, both individually and collectively, and it repeatedly expresses the theme that a person’s dignity is intimately related to his or her freedom -particularly freedom of conscience. In sum, the Qur’an is consistent in its affirmation of the freedom of belief and it fully supports the conclusion that the objectives of the Shari ah cannot be properly fulfilled without granting people the freedom of belief, and the liberty to express it.

 

Another pertinent Qur’anic theme is the affirmation that religion is a matter of individual conviction and belief, and that persuasion and advice are the only ways through which others may be invited to embrace Islam. The passages that are quoted below also cast light on the function of the Prophet, and the methods which he was to follow in his summons to the new faith.

 

If they embrace Islam, they are rightly-guided, but if they turn their backs on it, then your only duty is to convey [the message]. (111:20)

 

 

 

 

 

Remind them, for you are one who reminds; you are not a warden over them. (LXXXVIII:21-22)

 

 

 

 

 

And if they turn away, We have not sent you as a guardian over them. Your duty is but to convey the message. (XLII:48)

 

 

 

 

Obey God and obey the Messenger and beware. But if you turn back then know that Our Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim clearly [the message]. (V:92. See also V:99 to the same effect.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another Qur’anic theme which occurs in a number of passages is that invitation to the faith must be wisely made with courteous advice, and that it must be based on sound reasoning and eloquent persuasion. The message here once again precludes resorting to compulsion in the promotion and propagation of Islam. Moreover, it is to be understood that anything which dilutes the self-evident meaning of the Qur’an on these points, whether in the name of jihad or enlightenment, is unacceptable and should be strongly discouraged. For jihad is abused when it is pursued in such a way as to impede the Qur’anic principle of the freedom of belief.

 

Both Wafi and Awdah have drawn the conclusion that Islam protects freedom of religion in at least three ways. Firstly, by enacting that no one may be compelled to abandon his religion and embrace Islam, which is clearly proclaimed in Surat al-Baqarah (II:256). Muslim rulers and conquerors have generally abided by this principle and allowed their subjects to continue practicing their own religion, provided they paid the poll-tax (jizyah) and obeyed the government in power. They were, on the other hand, exempted from military service and the jizyah was a substitute for this. Secondly, Islam validates the freedom of the individual to propagate the religion of his following through sound reasoning and argumentation. Thus, Muslims are required in the Qur’an to resort to courteous reasoning to attract others to Islam and to permit the practitioners of other religions to employ the same methods. (XXI: 46; XVI:125; II:111). Thirdly, the Qur’an validates the norm that true faith stems from certitude and conviction, and not from imitation and mere adherence to forms. As the following passage shows, this is why the Qur’an denounced pre-Islamic practices and attitudes which promoted the blind imitation of ancestral precedents at the expense of independent thought and personal conviction.

 

When it is said to them: ‚Follow what God has revealed‘, they say: ‚Nay we follow the ways of our fathers‘; what! even though their fathers understood naught and were not rightly-guided. (II:170) 212

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commenting on this Qur’anic verse, Wafi refers to, and supports the conclusion Abduh has reached, that ‚thoughtless imitation which lacks wisdom and correct guidance is the hallmark of the disbelievers. A man can hardly be called faithful or a believer (mu’min) unless he thinks about his faith and satisfies himself as to the veracity of his belief.‘213 Awdah concurs with Abduh, but adds that the Shari ah also obligates one who is faithful to protect and safeguard his belief. If a person is exposed to intolerable oppression on account of his belief and lacks the means to protect his freedom, then he should migrate to a place where he can safeguard his belief and self-respect. Awdah concludes by saying that ‚if the person is able to migrate and he does not do so, then he would have committed an injustice against himself.’ Awdah’s conclusion here is based on the Qur’anic text (IV:97-98) which denounces the attitude of those who do not exert themselves, if necessary, to migrate, in order to safeguard the integrity and freedom of their consciences.214

 

To sum up, the Qur’an has explicitly declared freedom of religion a norm and principle of Islam. This declaration, found in Surat al-Baqarah, (II:256) is consistently endorsed in numerous other verses of the Holy Book. Unfortunately, there are those who have promoted a misleading and politically motivated discourse which declares that Islam denies freedom of religion, and that the Qur’anic passages which advocate this freedom were subsequently abrogated and overruled by its other provisions on the subject of jihad.215 The proponents of this view have used abrogation, itself a highly controversial issue, as their primary tool in an attempt to whittle away one of the cardinal principles of the Qur’an.216 Throughout history, the militant outlook espoused by this group may have had its sympathizers among expansionists and military strategists, but the view has never commanded general acceptance or support. Furthermore, this school of thought lacks sound reasoning and has been less than convincing in its attempts to overshadow the essence of the Qur’anic message on the freedom of conscience. The unequivocal recognition of this freedom in the constitutions of present-day Muslim nations bears testimony to a decisive movement in favour of the basic rights of the individual, including the freedom to follow the religion of his or her choice. As a result, there appears to be a consensus of opinion emerging among the Muslims of the twentieth century in support of the universal validity of the freedom of religion in the Shari ah and contemporary constitutional law.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The evidence that I have looked at in the various areas of the Qur’an and Sunnah is clearly affirmative of the fundamental right to freedom of speech. Nevertheless, only the Qur’anic principle of hisbah is broad enough in scope to include freedom of speech and expression in most of its material manifestations. There are, as previously noted, numerous passages on hisbah in the Qur’an, and although the Qur’anic directives on hisbah are mainly addressed to the believers, this does not preclude their application to non-Muslims. For the latter enjoy the same rights in respect of speech and constructive criticism as do their fellow Muslim citizens. Hisbah, in the specific sense of duty, does not exclude the non-Muslim either, although there may be instances where necessary exceptions have to be made. For example, to attempt to save the life of a drowning person – whether a Muslim or non-Muslim -is an obligation of everyone who witnesses the incident, regardless of their faith. But, preventing another person from drinking wine is not expected from an individual in whose religion the consumption of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden.

 

On a similar note, the Qur’anic principle of consultation, although primarily addressed to the Muslims, does not exclude the non-Muslim citizen from the scope of its application, nor indeed from the ranks of the consultative assembly (majlis al-shura). Thus, the non-Muslim may be elected to the consultative assembly, and may represent his or her own community. The following Qur’anic text authorizes non-Muslim participation in consultation pertaining to community affairs outside the scope of religion.

 

‘And ask the people of renown if you yourselves do not know’. (XVI:43)

 

 

 

 

The right to criticize government leaders and express an opinion, critical or otherwise, in public affairs, or indeed to formulate a response to a statement or opinion expressed by another individual is, once again, the right of every citizen, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. There is nothing in the Shari ah which reserves the haqq al-mu’aradah for Muslims alone. However, a general observation which should be made here is that in matters which pertain to the dogma of Islam, or those which are regulated by the direct authority of the Qur’an or Sunnah, criticism, either from Muslims or non-Muslims, will not be entertained, as personal or public opinion does not command authority in such matters. Islam is basically a religion of authority, and the values of good and evil, or rights and duties are not determined by reference to public opinion, or popular vote, although these too have a certain role to play in the determination of the ahkam (such as in ijma‘ and maslabah). But, this need not diminish in any material sense the substance of the freedom of expression that the individual must enjoy under the Shari ah.

 

The history of legal development in almost all the major systems of law reflects the realities and experiences of the world’s different nations and societies, and Islamic law is no exception to this. There may be instances, however, in some of the detailed formulations of the established schools of law, which may not serve the ideals of harmony and cohesion in the pluralistic and multi-religious societies of our own time. In such instances, recourse to the broad principles of justice in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and a fresh look at the principal objectives of the Shari ah (maqasid al-Shari ah), could be recommended. This may be done in accordance with the true spirit of unfettered ijtihad in order to effect changes that reflect a more considered approach to the Qur’anic standards of equality and justice.

 

NOTES

 

1. ‚Fiqh‘ is often used synonymously with ‚Shari ah‘, both of which refer to the general body of Islamic law, although there is a difference between them in that ‘fiqh’ consists largely of juristic interpretation whereas ‚Shari ah‘ bears a closer affinity with divine revelation.

2. Al-Ghazali, Ihya‘ ‚Ulum al-Din (al-Maktabah al- Tijiriyyah edn.) II, 310.

3. Ibn Qayyim, al- Turuq al-Hukmiyyah fi’I-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah, (Al-Mu’assasah al- ‚Arabiyyah, 1961 edn.), p. 278.

4. The early ‚ulama‘ have raised and discussed in detail the question as to whether hisbah is a collective duty (fard kafa’i), or an individual obligation (fartd ‚ayni) which should be performed by every Muslim, like the canonical prayer (salih) and other obligatory duties. For further detail see Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 221 ff

5. Azzam, ed., Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, p. 8.

6. Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 221.

7. Zaydan, Majmu’at Bubuth Fiqhiyyah, p. 128

8. Al-Siba’i, Ishtirakiyyat al-Islam, p. 52.

9. Al-Ghazali, Ihya‚, (al-Maktabah al-Tijariyyah edn.) II, 304.

10. For ‚Hadith‚ see either note 14 of Part One or the glossary.

11. Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, p. 16, Hadith no.34.

12. Cf. Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 221.

13. Al-Maqdisi, al-Adab al-Shar’iyyah wa’I-Minah al-Mar’iyyah, I, 94.

14. Breaking the instruments of gambling or spilling away the wine are more illustrations that al-Ghazali gives of the use of force in hisbah. For details see Ihya‘ II, 329- 33.

15. Al-Maqdisi, al-Adab, I, 94.

16. Al-Ghazali, Ihya‘, II, 324.

17. Al-Qarafi, Kitab al-Furuq, IV, 255.

18. Hans Wehr, Arabic-English Dictionary, p. 970.

19. Al-Ghazali, Kitab Adab al-Suhbah wa’I-Mu’asharah ma‘ Asnaj al-Khalq, p. 270.

20. Al-Maqdisi, al-Adab, I, 328.

21. Cf. Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 207.

22. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Kitab al-Iman, I, 23; Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-lman, Bab al-Din al-Nasihah. Ibn Majah quotes this Hadith and repeats the first clause therein three times, while al-Nasa’i quotes the first clause with a slight variation, that is innama al-din al-nasihah.

23. Al-Nawawi, Riyad al-salihin, p. 113, Hadith no.186.

24. Cf. Nahwi, Malamih al-Shura fi’l-Da’wah al-Islamiyyah, p. 703.

25. Al-Nawawi, Riyad al-salihin, p. 113, Hadith no.187.

26. Al-Maqdisi, al-Adab, I, 327, records this Hadith:

‘An amir who is in charge of the affairs of the Muslims and fails to exert himself for their benefit and give them sincere advice shall not enter Paradise with them.‘

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27. Ibid., I, 327.

28. AI-Khulafa‘ al-Rashidun, literally, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, refers to the first four caliphs who took office following the demise of the Prophet Mubammad, namely Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (died 12 A.H./634 A.D.), ‘Umar ibn aI-Khattab (d. 23/643), ‘Uthman ibn’Affan (d. 35/656) and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, (d.40/661). The period of their rule lasted forty years.

29. Cf. Abu Habib, Dirasah fi Minhaj al-lslam al-Siyasi, p. 337.

30. Al-Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin, pp. 103-107.

31. Ibid.

32. Zaydan, Majmu’ah, p. 128; Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 334.

33. This is unanimously reported (muttafiqun ‚alayhi) and recorded as such by Al – Nawawi, Riyad al-.Salihin, p. 113, Hadith no.188; al-Maqdisi, al-Adab, I, 327-28.

34. Abii Habib, Darasah, p. 336.

35. Ibn Hanbal, Fihris Ahadith Musnad al-Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, II, 162; al-Suyuti, al-Jami‘ al-.Saghir, I, 41.

36. Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Fitan, Bab al-amr bi’l-ma’ruf wa’l-nahy ‚an al-munkar.

37. Al-Bahi, al-Din wa’I-Dawlah min Tawjihat al-Qur’an al-Karim, p. 389.

38. Al-Tabari, Tafsir al-Tabari, IV, 152.

39. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah fi Islah al-Ra’i wa’l-Ra’iyyah, p. 169.

40. Rida, Ta’rikh al-Ustadh al-Imam Muhammad ‘Abduh, II, 207; Abu Habib, Darasah, p.642.

41. Asad, Principles of State and Government in Islam, p. 57; Zaydan, al-Fard wa’l- Dawlah fi’l-Shari’ah al-Islamiyyah, p. 37; al-Bahi, al-Din wa’l-Dawlah, p. 387; see also Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 642, where he quotes Abu al-A’la Mawdudi and ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Awdah to the effect that shura is a Qur’anic obligation.

42. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, IV, 213.

43. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, IV, 277.

44. For details see al-Khalidi, Qawa’id Nizam al-Hukm fi’l-Islam, p. 145 ff.

45. Cf. al-Khalidi, Qawa’id, pp. 141-42.

46. Al-Bahi, al-Din wa’l-Dawlah, p. 388.

47. Shaltut. al-lslam ‘Aqidah wa-Shari’ah, p. 556; al-Siba’i, Ishtirakiyyah, p. 5.

48. Zaydan, Majmu‘ah. p. 128.

49. Al-Qurtubi, al-Jami’ li-Ahkam al-Qur’an (known as Tafsir al-Qurtubi), IV, 250-51.

50. Cf. ai-Khalidi, Qawa’id, pp. 155; EI-Awa, On the Political System of the Islamic

State, p. 90.

51. Ibid.. p. 155.

52. Ibid.. p. 157.

53. For details on the ahl al-shura and the participation of women and non-Muslims therein see al-Khalidi, Qawa’id, pp. 176. 185; Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 661 ff; and al-Nabhani, Muqaddimat al-Dustur. pp. 114-117.

54. Ibn Taymiyyah. al-Siyasah, p. 169.

55. Abu Habib, Darasah, pp. 681-82.

56. Al-Amidi, al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam, IV, 162; al-Shawkani, Irshad al-Fuhul min Tahqiq al-Haqq ila ‘Ilm al-Usul. p. 250.

57. For detai1s on the textua1 authority of ijtihad see my Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, pp. 470-73.

58. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Eng. trans. Abmad Hasan, III, 1013, Hadith no.3567.

59. Cf. Zaydan, Majmu’ah, p. 288.

60. Cf. Ghazawi, al-Hurriyyah al-‚ Ammah fi’I-Islam, p. 60.

61. Al-Bahi, al-Din wa’l-Dawlah, p. 415.

62. Zaydan, Majmu’ah, p. 288; al-Siba’i, ishtirakiyyah, p. 48; Munayminah, Mushkilat al-Hurriyyah fi’I-Islam, p. 15.

63. Al-Bahi, al-Din wa’I-Dawlah, p. 415.

64. Mahmassani, Arkan, p. 143.

65. Al-Kasani, Bada’i‘ al-Sana’i, VII 4; Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni, IX, 40-41.

66. Madkur, al-Qada‘ fi’I-Islam, p. 63.

67. Al-Amidi, Ihkam, III, 232; al-Qarafi, al-Furuq, IV, 43; Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni, IX,57.

68. ‚Fatwa‘ is often used synonymously with ‚ijtihad‘; it means a considered opinion by a qualified person on a legal or religious issue–often given in response to a particular question.

69. Mujtahid (pI. mujtahidun), one who is qualified to carry out ijtihad, usually by direct recourse to original sources.

70. See for details Ghazawi, al-Hurriyyah, p. 60.

71. Khallaf, al-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah, p. 136; Mutawalli, Mabadi‘, p. 281; Ramadan, Islamic Law: its Scope and Equity, p. 78.

72. For details on how freedom of expression in this period exceeded its limits in debates on the matter of the Essence and the Attributes of God, the createdness or uncreatedness of the Qur’an etc., see al-Bahi, al-Din wa’I-Dawlah, p. 552 ff.

73. Mutawalli, Mabadi‘, p. 282.

74. For further details see the chapter on ijtihad in my Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, especially p. 484 ff; and my article ‚The Approved and Disapproved Varieties of Ra’y (Personal Opinion) in Islam‘ in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, vol. 7, No. 1, 1990, 39-64.

75. ‚Afifi, al-Mujtama‘ al-Islami wa-Usul al-Hukm, p. 93; see also al-Siba’i, ishtirakiyyah, p. 50.

76. AI-Qasimi, Nizam al-Hukm fi’l-Shari’ah wa’l-Ta’rikh, p. 101.

77. The clause to which ‚Umar protested stated that if a member of the Quraysh tribe went to the Prophet without the permission of his guardian (wali), then he was to be returned to his tribe. But, if a member of Quraysh from the side of the Prophet 4; went back to his kin-folk, it was not obligatory on the latter to return him to the Prophet. The conversation between ‚Umar and the Holy Prophet is recorded as follows: „‚Are you not the Messenger of God?‘ asked ‚Umar. ‚I am‘, said the Prophet. ‚Then why are we being denigrated because of our faith?‘ questioned ‚Umar. To this the Prophet said, ‚I am the servant and messenger of God, I shall not disobey Him and He shall not let me be the loser‘.“ (Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, III, 331).

78. Ibn Majah, Sunan, Kitab al-Fitan, Bab al-amr bi’l-ma’ruf wa’l-nahy ‚an al-munkar, Hadith no.4011.

79. Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah, IV, 262; Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 725; al-Qasimi, Nizam al-Hukm, p. 106.

80. Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 727.

81. Abu Zahrah, al-]arimah wa’l-‚Uqubah fi’l-Fiqh al-lslami, p. 160; al-Siba’i, Ishtirakiyyah, p. 50; al-Nabhan, Nizam al-Hukm, p. 250.

82. Al-Khudari, Muhadarat fi Ta’rikh al-Umam al-lslamiyyah, II 17-18; al-Nabhan, Nizam al-Hukm, p. 240; Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 743.

83. Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 13.

84. Al-Siba’i, Ishtirakiyyah, p. 50.

85. Khalil, Fi’I-Naqd al-Islami al-Mu’asir, p. 35.

86. Abu Habib, Darasah, p. 743.

87. Husayn, Naqd Kitab al-Islam wa Usul al-Hukm, p. 89.

88. Al-Qasimi, Nizam al-Hukm, p. 100.

89. ‚Afifi, Al-Mujtama‘ al-lslami, p. 94.

90. Hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi in al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabib, III, 1418, Hadith no, 5129.

91. Khalil, al-Naqd, pp. 33-34.

92. Al-Bukhari, Jawahir Sahib al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jum’ah, Bab al-Jum’ah fi’l-qurra wa’l-mudun.

93. Cf. Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 416.

94. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, II, 70.

95. Cf. Hammad, Hurriyyah, p. 416.

96. Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahib Muslim, p. 16, Hadith no.34.

97. Al-Subki, al-Ashbah wa’I-Naza’ir, I, 275; Tuffahah, Masadir al-Tashri’ al-Islami wa-Qawa’id al-Suluk al-‚Ammah, p. 46.

98. Al-Maqdisi, al-Adab, I, 340; Tuffahah, Masadir, p. 46.

99. Tuffahah, Masadir, p. 47.

l00. For details on istishab see my Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, p. 377 ff.

101. Abu Sulayman, ‚al-Nazariyyat wa’l-Qawa’id fi’l-Fiqh al-Islami‘, in Majjalat Jami’at al-Malik ‚Abd al-‚Aziz, no.2, Jamada al-Thani 1398/May 1978, p. 56; Tuffahah, Masadir, p. 89.

102. Tuffahah, Masadir, p. 87.

103. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, a descendant of the Prophet and the sixth of the Shi’i Irnarns, is greatly respected by both Sunnis and Shi’is. In addition to his outstanding spiritual qualities he was a man of great learning in theology, jurisprudence and the science of Hadith. One of the oldest extant Qur’an commentaries is attributed to him. He died in the year 148/765.

104. Tuffahah, Masadir, p. 88.

105. Al-Subki, al-Ashbah wa’l-Naza’ir, I, 275; Tuffahah, Masadir, pp. 88-92.

106. Tuffahah, Masadir, pp. 93-95.

107. Cf. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, I’lam, I, 55.

108. Abu Dawud, Sunan, III, 1013, Hadith no, 3567.

109. The reader might be interested to know that a chapter is devoted to each of these topics in my Principles of Islamic jurisprudence.

110. AI-Ghazali uses the name ‚Ta’limiyyah‘ as a synonym of ‚Batiniyyah‘, literally ‚esoterists‘ -a term which can be used quite loosely; for example, Ibn Taymiyyah uses it for certain Sufis and philosophers in addition to its conventional application. The latter is in respect of the Isma’iliyyah, and refers to their distinctive emphasis on the non-literal interpretation of the Qur’an (ta’wil), specifically involving reading it in terms of their own sectarian doctrines, a hermeneutic which was hierarchically and secretly imparted. The Isma’iliyyah are complicatedly ramified eg. the Qarmatiyyah, the Fatimids proper (ie the great Shi’ite counter-caliphate ruling from Egypt from 358/969 for two centuries), the Nizari’s and the Musta’lian Isma’iliyyah. In general, the Isma’iliyyah are a branch of the Shi’ah -the ‚partisans of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib‘ who believed that politico-religious authority after the Prophet’s death should by rights fall exclusively to the Prophet’s son-in-law, ‚AIi, and thence to his descendants through Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. Unlike the Ithna ‚ Ashariyyah branch, for whom the Imamate is in ‚occultation‘, the Isma’iliyyah Shi’ites tend to see the Imamate as continuous and living, and historically show themselves in consequence of this understanding of religious authority to be more prone to the view that the religious law can be modified and even overturned -famously exemplified amongst the Assassins by the declaration in 1164 A.D. by Hasan, fourth lord of the secret stronghold of Alamut, of the ‚Resurrection‘ – interpreted by them as the end of exoteric religion. [Editor’s note.]

111. AI-Ghazali, al-Munqidh min al-Dalal (MacCarthy’s translation), pp. 122 and 183.

112. Abu Dawud, Sunan, III, 1019, Hadith no.3585.

113. Cf. Shaltut, al-Islam, p. 555.

114. Abu Zahrah, Tanzim al-Islam li’l-Mujtama‘, p. 194.

115. Cf. al-Bahi, al-Din wa’l-Dawlah, p. 376.

116. ‚A’ishah ‚Abd al-Rahman, al-Qur’an wa Qadaya’l-Insan, p. 116.

117. Cf. Fikri, al-Mu’amalat al-Maddiyyah wa’l-Adabiyyah, pp. 84-85.

118. Ibid., p. 87.

119. Thus we read in a Hadith that‘ A good word (al-kalimah al-tayyibah) is a form of charity‘. See al-Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin, 2nd ed., p. 284, Hadith no.699.

120. The Holy Qur’an, Text, Translation and Commentary by ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali, footnote No.3775.

121. Cf. Ibn Qayyim, I’lam, I, 55.

122. Ibid.

123. This is often quoted as a Hadith of the Prophet. Both al-Amidi (al-Ihkam, I, 214) and al-Shatibi, al-I’tisam, II, 319) refer to it as such. It is, however, more likely to be a saying of the famous Companion, ‘Abd Allah Ibn Mas’ud (Cf. Ahmad Hasan, The Doctrine of Ijma‘ in Islam, p. 37).

124. Ibn Qayyim, I’lam, I, 55.

125. Ibid., I. 67.

126. Ibid., I. 68.

127. Ibid., 1.69.

128. Ibid., I, 70.

129. Ibid., I. 72.

130. Ibid., II, 120.

131. Ibid., I, 55.

132. Cf. al-Khalidi, al-Shura, p. 91.

133. Cf. The Holy Qur’an, V:2.

134. Cf. Asad, Principles, p. 6; al-‘Arabi, Nizam al-Hukm fi’l-Islam,p. 92.

135. Cf. al-Ansari, al-Shura wa-Atharuha fi’l-Dimuqratiyyah, p. 432.

136. Wasfi, al-Nizam al-Dusturi fi’l-Islam Muqarinan bi’l-Nuzum al-‘Asriyyah, p. 76.

137. Maudadi, al-Hukumah al-Islamiyyah, p. 217.

138. ‘Abd Allah, Nazariyyat al-Dawlah fi’l-Islam, p. 153.

139. As mentioned above the Shi’ites are literally ‚the partisans of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib‘ (‚Shi’at ‘Ali’), who believed that politico-religious authority after the Prophet’s death should by rights fall exclusively to the Prophet’s son-in-Iaw, ‘AIi, and thence to his descendants through Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, thereby excluding the first three of the Righdy-Guided Caliphs.

The Kharijites, literally ’seceders‘, were a very early group of extremists who rebelled against Caliph ‘Ali, when he agreed to arbitration in his dispute (over the matter of bringing to justice the assasinators of Caliph ‘Uthman) with Mu’awiyah (who eventually became the first ‘Umayyad caliph). Although ‘Ali defeated the Kharijites, he was murdered by one of them in revenge. The Kharijites went on to terrorize the Muslims, in that they held that the status of being a believer is actually anulled by major sins, and for the Kharijites it was a major sin to oppose their point of view. In practice this meant that they declared licit the blood of countless Muslim opponents, whom they held to be effectively pagans.

For the author’s discussion of this group, see the section below on ‚Historical Examples‘ under ‚Sedition (Fitnah)‘ of Part Four. For further details of the Shi’ite and Kharijite political and theological beliefs please refer to the relevant sections of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, new edition, Leiden: Brill 1978. [Ed. note.]

140. Cf. al-Ansari, al-Shura, p. 429.

141. Thus, according to El-Awa, ‚The people’s interest at the present time can only be served by allowing political parties so that the differing opinions on the ummah’s affairs can be (ascertained) and expressed.‘ (cf. conference report on ‚Pluralism in Islam‘, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 8 (1991) at p. 353.)

142. Ansari, al-Shura, p. 431.

143. El-Awa, ‚Pluralism in Islam‘, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 8 (1991) n. 130 at p. 431.

144. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’at al-Rasa’il wa’l-Masa’il, 1,141.

145. Ibid.

146. Muhammad al-Ghazali, quoted in a conference report by IIIT, Cairo on ‚Pluralism in Islam‘, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 8 (1991), p. 353.

147. Abu Diwud, Sunan, Hasan’s Trans., Ill, 1013, Hadith no.3567.

148. El-Awa, ‚Pluralism in Islam‘, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 8 (1991) n. 130 at p. 353. See also Idem, Fi’I-Nizam al-Siyasi, pp. 83-84.

149. Ibn Qayyim al- jawziyyah, al-Turuq al-Hukmiyyah fi’l-Siyasah al-Shar’iyyah, pp. 286-289.

150. Cf. al-Khalidi, Qawa’id, p. 205.

151. Al-Ghazili, AI-Mustasfa min ‚Ilm al-Usul, I, 17.

152. Al-Nabhani, Muqaddimat al-Dustur, p. 101.

153. Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, Hadith no.34.

154. Al-Nabhani, Muqaddimat, p. 104; see also al-Khalidi, Qawa’id, p. 290.

155. Note, for example, Sai al-Rahman al-Mubarakfuri’s booklet, al-Ahzab al-Siyasiyyah fi’l-Islam, al-jami’ah al-Salafiyyah, India, 1407/1987, whose whole discussion focuses on unity in Islam, and is almost totally oblivious of the application of party organization to political and economic development matters.

156. Al-Alusi, Ruh al-Ma’ani fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‚Azim, V, 144.

157. Khan, Human Rights, p. 45.

158. Ibid., p. 46.

159. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, note 5347.

160. For further details on maslahah mursalah see my article ‚Have We Neglected the Shari’ah Law Doctrine of Maslahah?‘, Islamic Studies, 27 (1988), pp. 287-304.

161. cf. Abu Zahrah, Tanzim al-Islam li’l-Mujtama‘, p.190; al-‚Ili, al-Hurriyyah al-‘Ammah, p. 330.

162. cf. Fathi ‚Uthman, Huquq al-Insan Bayn al-Shari’ah al-Islamiyyah wa’l-Fikr al-Qanuni al-Gharbi, p. 97.

163. Ibid., p. 91.

164. Al-‚Ili, al-Hurriyyah, p. 330.

165. Ibid., p. 356 (quoting Rashid Rida’s Tafsir al-Manar XI, 484).

166. Ibn Qudamah, al-Mughni, VIlI, 144.

167. Nadwat al-Riyad, p. 33.

168. Cf. ‚Abd al-Rahman, al-Qur’an wa Qadaya’l-Insan p. 96.

169. The full statement of this convention appears in Maududi, Islamic Law and Constitution, p. 333 ff.

170. Azzam. ed., Universal Islamic Declaration, p. 11, The Islamic Council of Europe, 1981.

171. Malayan Law Journal, (1989) I, pp. 368-70, 418-20.

172. Malayan Law Journal, (1989) I, p. 368.

173. Malayan Law Journal, (1989) I, p. 369.

174. Malayan Law Journal, (1989) I, p. 419.

175. Arnold, The Preaching of Islam, p. 46.

176. Ibid.

177. Ibid. pp. 47-48.

178. Ibid. pp. 51-2.

179. Mutawalli, Mabadi‘, p. 287.

180. Abu Zahrah, Tanzim, p. 192.

181. Mutawalli, Mabadi‘, p. 287 f[

182. Note e.g. S.A. Rahman, The Punishment of Apostasy in Islam, Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman, The Islamic Theory of International Relations: New Directions for Islamic Methodology and Thought; EI-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law.

183. Rahman, The Punishment of Apostasy, pp. 63-64; al-‘Ili, al-Hurriyyah, p. 339.

184. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Sarim al-Maslul ‘ala Shatim al-Rasul, p. 321; al-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar, VII, p. 230.

185. AI-Sha’rani, Kitab al-Mizan, II, p. 152.

186. AI-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, X, p. 110.

187. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Sarim al-Maslul ‘ala Shatim al-Rasul, p. 318; al-Sha’rani, Kitab al-Mizan, II, 134; EI-Awa, Punishment, p. 55.

188. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Siyasah, p. 124.

189. AI-‘Ili, al-Hurriyyah, p. 426; Badawi, Da’a’irn al-Hukm, p.166.

190. Shaltut, al-Islam ‘Aqidah wa-Shari’ah, pp. 292-93; al-Samara’i, Ahkam al-Murtadd fi al-Shari’ah al-Islamiyyah, p. 114 f[

191. Mahmassani, Arkan, pp. 123-24.

192. Mutahhari, ‚Islam and the Freedom of Thought and Belief’, Al-Tawhid, p.154.

193. EI-Awa, Punishment, p. 55.

194. Al-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar: Sharh Muntaqa al-Akhbar, VII, 218.

195. Ibid., VII, 219.

1%. Ibid., VII, 219; EI-Awa, Punishment, p. 55.

197. Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, p. 271, Hadith no.1023.

198. EI-Awa, Punishment, p. 52.

199. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Sarim al-Maslul, p. 52,

200. AI-Bukhari, Jawahir Sahih al-Bukhari, p. 150, Hadith no.229.

201. Cf. EI-Awa, Punishment, p. 54.

202. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Sarim, p. 318.

203. Ibid. For similar information and additional names of apostates whom the Prophet pardoned after the conquest of Mecca, see Ibn Hisham, Sirah, IV, 23.

204. Abu Zahrah, Tanzim, p. 192.

205. Rashid Rida, Tafsir al-Manar, IX, 665, Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah, 1324.

206. Ibid., 111, 37; al-‚Ili, al-Hurriyyah, pp. 333-34.

207. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1,310; Rida, Tafsir, III, 37-39.

208. S.A. Rahman, The Punishment of Apostasy, p. 21. Shan-i nuzul, the Persian and Urdu equivalent of the Arabic asbab al-nuzal, means the historical context of the revelations of the Qur’anic verses.

209. Ibid., p. 16.

210. Note Qur’an 11:91 & 97; IV:46; XXXV:31 and XLVI:30.

211. ‚Uthman, al-Fard, pp. 27-28; note also Ghazawi, al-Hurriyyah, p. 69, and ‚A’ishah ‚Abd al-Rahman, al-Qur’an wa Qadaya’l-lnsan, p. 97 ff.

212. Wafi, Huquq al-Insan, pp. 122-23.

213. lbid., p. 124.

214. ‚Awdah, al- Tashri’ al-Jina’i, pp. 31-33.

215. For a discussion as to how military and political interests have influenced the writings of medieval Muslim jurists on the subject of jihad, see Abu Sulayman, The Islamic Theory of International Relations.

216. For a discussion of the theory of abrogation (naskh) and its impact on Islamic law see my Principles of Islamic jurisprudence, ch. 7.

 

Disclaimer: All the material here are for educational purpose. No circulation of these materials without getting permission from the original author/publisher would be appropriate. If anyone has any problem with any of these contents, as far as copyright is concerned, please contact and the matter would be promptly addressed. Also, each item, whenever appropriate, is linked with source(s) from which the item can be obtained. farooqm@globalwebpost.com

 

 

Fatwa on Smoking Cigarretes

Veröffentlicht: 21. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

Question ID:677
Is Smoking Permitted? Is it a Munkar?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question:
In the Reliance, Sh. Nuh translated a fatwa stating that smoking cigarettes is haram because it is like committing suicide on oneself due to the fact that doctors have come out and said that smoking does kill. What about smoking the Hookah (the smoking device found in most Arab countries)? Is there an opinion on that specifically? The Hookah has been around much longer than cigarettes and some classical scholars may have commented on it. I’m trying to understand if there is a difference between cigarettes and the hookah, either by the tobacco that’s being used, or how it works. Is it haram, makruh, etc to use such a device?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalaam,
Smoking is differed upon among scholars, and the ruling for hookahs follows that of smoking. The opinion mentioned in the Reliance is also taken by many major Hanafis in our times and in the past. This is certainly the more precautious opinion, and seems to make sense both socially and individually.

HOWEVER, other great scholars still hold that smoking is disliked and not impermissible. While one may not agree with them, their reasoning is has legal grounding and is certainly not baseless. Among such scholars are major Hanafis of India and Pakistan, who say that the actual act of smoking is disliked (makruh tanzihan) unless grave harm is feared from it in ones specific case. They are well aware of the medical evidence, and take it into consideration in their ruling. I heard this opinion, for example, from Mufti Mahmoud Usmani (Allah preserve him), whose knowledge, wisdom and understanding where eye-opening.

NOW, one may not follow this opinion, but it opens a difference of opinion in the issue, which means that it is no longer obligatory for us as individuals to forbid the evil if one sees someone smoking, though, given ones belief and the direction religious caution and worldly considerations point, it would be recommended and praiseworthy to advise such smokers to desist, out of nasiha.

May Allah guide us to the best of ways and manners, and grant us the success to follow His Beloved Prophet, for he who is like the beloved is beloved.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and Qibla.

Source :
http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=677&CATE=115

Here one Salafi Fatwa on the same Issue :
http://qss.org/articles/smoking.html

Here are the Mainstream Opions of the Islamic Scholars on the Same Issue :
http://applications.emro.who.int/dsaf/dsa46.pdf

There is the Opinion of the Legal Ruling on Smoking Cigarettes of Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi rah :
http://www.sacredknowledge.co.uk/MH/The%20Legal%20Ruling%20on%20Smoking.pdf


Extremists threaten Muslims & Catholic nuns in Libya

by Sheila Musaji
Once again Robert Spencer posts an article with a title that distorts the facts.

#MyJihad in Libya: Muslims threaten nuns, force them to leave Libya

Spencer introduce an article from Asia News saying These nuns are careful not to proselytize, as that would earn them antagonism in a land where proselytizing by non-Muslims is forbidden. But they have won the hearts of many in Cyrenaica by their love—which probably infuriated all the more the Islamic supremacists who threatened them and forced them to flee the country. Will any Western Christians speak for them? Will any Western Christians speak for them? Will Bishop Robert McManus of the diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts allow any discussion of their plight and of the Muslim persecution of Christians in his diocese? Or would such discussion be “Islamophobic”?

The impression he attempts to give is that this event was caused by Islam.  The title reads MUSLIMS threaten nuns, not extremists.  Nowhere does Spencer mention that MUSLIMS are being terrorized by these same extremists, or that the majority of the MUSLIM Libyans are angry about the threats to the nuns.

He posted this article title with a link to his article on the #MyJihad hashtag, and immediately his followers began reposting.  I am certain that most of them did not actually read the article in Asia News that Spencer distorted to get across his own bigoted message.

The article from Asia News Islamists chase nuns from Libya, people pray for their return says:

“Islamic extremists threatened us to leave, not the Libyan people, who instead protected us by coming to visit every day until our departure”, Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna tells AsiaNews. In October she was forced to leave Libya with four other sisters, because of the spread of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica. The situation described by the religious is also confirmed by Msgr. Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who recently pointed out that two other religious communities will leave Cyrenaica after having been threatened by Islamists: the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus of Barce and the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Beida.

Sister Celeste Biasolo describes a climate of fear in Cyrenaica, which is especially affecting the Libyan people: “The same Muslim population is being terrorized by this situation. The people of Derna miss us and often contact us imploring us to come back. At Christmas more than 100 families called to our monastery in Spoleto with greetings for us”. “In Cyrenaica – she explains – the Islamists do not want to attack the Church as such, but the West, and unfortunately we are seen as foreigners. This is because the country is without a government and can not even guarantee the security of its citizens”.

The presence of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Libya dates back to 1921. The founder of the Institute, Blessed Peter Bonilli, wanted to open a mission in Cyrenaica, in the city of Derna. Sister Celeste notes that until their departure, the mission of the religious and the Church in Libya has focused primarily on health care and care for the elderly. “In these years – she says – we have tried to show joy of his own life of Christians and the Gospel through our presence and humanitarian work.” According to the religious this struck the Muslim population who continue to consider the sisters a fundamental part of their community.

The facts of what happened do not back up Spencer’s bigoted distortions.  There is a civil war going on in Libya and extremists are using the situation to attempt to gain power by terrorizing the population.

Spencer also refers to the “diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts” in his statement.  This is an attempt to use a terrible political situation in Libya to cover his embarrassment at being disinvited from speaking on Islam at a Catholic conference in that diocese.  As Alex Seitz-Wald reports Catholic diocese boots anti-Muslim speaker “Although the intention of the conference organizers was to have a presenter on Islam from a Catholic’s perspective, we are asking Robert Spencer to not come to the Worcester Catholic Men’s Conference, given that his presence is being seen as harmful to Catholic–Islamic relations both locally and nationally,” diocesan spokesman Raymond Delisle said in a statement to the Boston Globe.”

**********

RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant,  inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t help Christians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the source of radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are not loyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a “green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threat to America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  – we are in danger from creeping Sharia, – the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, – 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  –  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  –  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    – Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

 

 

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )

 

 

 

Dont fear all Islamists, but fear Salafis

Veröffentlicht: 21. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

MUST READ:  Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis

by Robin Wright

THIS spring, I traveled to the cradle of the Arab uprisings — a forlorn street corner in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, where a street vendor, drenched in paint thinner, struck a match in December 2010 that ignited the entire Middle East. “We have far more freedoms,” one peddler hawking fruit in the same square lamented, “but far fewer jobs.” Another noted that Mohamed Bouazizi, the vendor who set himself on fire, did so not to vote in a democratic election but because harassment by local officials had cost him his livelihood.

As the peddlers vented, prayers ended at the whitewashed mosque across the street. Among the faithful were Salafis, ultraconservative Sunni Muslims vying to define the new order according to seventh-century religious traditions rather than earthly realities. For years, many Salafis — “salaf” means predecessors — had avoided politics and embraced autocrats as long as they were Muslims. But over the past eight months, clusters of worshipers across the Middle East have morphed into powerful Salafi movements that are tapping into the disillusionment and disorder of transitions.

A new Salafi Crescent, radiating from the Persian Gulf sheikdoms into the Levant and North Africa, is one of the most underappreciated and disturbing byproducts of the Arab revolts. In varying degrees, these populist puritans are moving into the political space once occupied by jihadi militants, who are now less in vogue. Both are fundamentalists who favor a new order modeled on early Islam. Salafis are not necessarily fighters, however. Many disavow violence.

In Tunisia, Salafis started the Reform Front party in May and led protests, including in Sidi Bouzid. This summer, they’ve repeatedly attacked symbols of the new freedom of speech, ransacking an art gallery and blocking Sufi musicians and political comedians from performing. In Egypt, Salafis emerged last year from obscurity, hastily formed parties, and in January won 25 percent of the seats in parliament — second only to the 84-year-old Muslim Brotherhood. Salafis are a growing influence in Syria’s rebellion. And they have parties or factions in Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen and among Palestinians.

Salafis are only one slice of a rapidly evolving Islamist spectrum. The variety of Islamists in the early 21st century recalls socialism’s many shades in the 20th. Now, as then, some Islamists are more hazardous to Western interests and values than others. The Salafis are most averse to minority and women’s rights.

A common denominator among disparate Salafi groups is inspiration and support from Wahhabis, a puritanical strain of Sunni Islam from Saudi Arabia. Not all Saudis are Wahhabis. Not all Salafis are Wahhabis, either. But Wahhabis are basically all Salafis. And many Arabs, particularly outside the sparsely populated Gulf, suspect that Wahhabis are trying to seize the future by aiding and abetting the region’s newly politicized Salafis — as they did 30 years ago by funding the South Asian madrassas that produced Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Salafis go much further in restricting political and personal life than the larger and more modern Islamist parties that have won electoral pluralities in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco since October. For most Arabs, the rallying cry is justice, both economic and political. For Salafis, it is also about a virtue that is inflexible and enforceable.

“You have two choices: heaven or hellfire,” Sheikh Muhammad el-Kurdi instructed me after his election to Egypt’s parliament as a member of Al Nour, a Salafi party. It favors gender segregation in schools and offices, he told me, so that men can concentrate. “It’s O.K. for you to be in the room,” he explained. “You are our guest, and we know why you’re here. But you are one woman and we are three men — and we all want to marry you.” Marriage may have been a euphemism.

Other more modern Islamists fear the Salafi factor. “The Salafis try to push us,” said Rachid al-Ghannouchi, founder of Ennahda, the ruling Islamist party in Tunisia. The two Islamist groups there are now rivals. “Salafis are against drafting a constitution. They think it is the Koran,” grumbled Merhézia Labidi, the vice chairwoman of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly and a member of Ennahda.

Salafis are deepening the divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and challenging the “Shiite Crescent,” a term coined by Jordan’s King Abdullah in 2004, during the Iraq war, to describe an arc of influence from Shiite-dominated Iran to its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Today, these rival crescents risk turning countries in transition into battlefields over the region’s future.

The Salafis represent a painful long-term conundrum for the West. Their goals are the most anti-Western of any Islamist parties. They are trying to push both secularists and other Islamists into the not-always-virtuous past.

American policy recently had its own awakening after 60 years of support for autocratic rulers. The United States opted to embrace people power and electoral change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Yemen. Yet Washington still embraces authoritarian Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia, tolerating their vague promises of reform and even pledging the United States’ might to protect them.

Foreign policy should be nuanced, whether because of oil needs or to counter threats from Iran. But there is something dreadfully wrong with tying America’s future position in the region to the birthplace and bastion of Salafism and its warped vision of a new order.

Robin Wright, the author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” is a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

This article first published August 19, 2012 in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/opinion/dont-fear-all-islamists-fear-salafis.html?_r=0

Shaykh Wahbi Ghawji'(Ruhoona al Fatihah)

Veröffentlicht: 21. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman al Ghawji

Shaykh Wahbi Ghawji’s Bio-Bibliography

(Ruhoona al Fatihah)

by GFH

taken from sunnah.org

Shaykh Wahbi ibn Sulayman ibn Khalil Ghawji al-Albani was born in 1932 CE (1343) in Skudera, the former capital city of Albania. He attended classes and learnt the Qur’an and what is called „the science of states, `Ilm al-H.al,which includes the books of doctrine and morals for us H.anafis.“ His first teacher and certifier in the Islamic Sciences was his father Shaykh Sulayman, who narrates from the Shuyukh of Albania.

His secondary studies came to an end when King Ah.mad T.ughu made it the law for students to wear European hats. He said: „My father sent me to Egypt and I stayed there for ten years. I learnt Arabic and received a degree from the Faculty of Shari`a and a specialized degree in Islamic judgeship. I attended the courses of Imam Muh.ammad Zahid al-Kawthari (in exile from Turkey) whose hand I was honored to kiss and who handed me his thabat or record of authorities (al-Tah.rir al-Wajiz fi-ma Yabtaghihi al-Mustajiz). However, I narrate from him only through the intermediaries of Shaykh Muh.ammad `Ali al-Murad al-H.amawi and Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah. Abu Ghudda al-H.alabi, Allah have mercy on all of them!“ He described al-Kawthari as „a Sign of Allah in learning, modesty and abstinence, as if he were a king walking in the street.“ This is how we see Shaykh Ghawji also.

In 1948 CE he was appointed as a religious teacher in the governmental schools in Damascus, a post he retained until 1980 CE, at which time he left Syria and moved to the H.ijaz. After several years in al-Madinat al-Munawwara he moved to the United Arab Emirates where he was appointed a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic in Dubai. In 2000 CE he returned to Damascus where he has been living since, teaching at Ma`had al-Fath. al-Islami and striving to support da`wa in Albania.

Among Shaykh Ghawji’s teachers beside those already mentioned:

–          Shaykh `Inayat Allah Nabi al-Shahir al-Askubi who narrates from his Macedonian and other Shuyukh;

–          Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab Dibs wa-Zayt al-H.ims.i,

–          Shaykh Muh.ammad Mah.mud al-H.amid, and

–          Shaykh Sa`d al-Din al-Murad al-H.amawi from their Syrian and other Shuyukh;

–          Sayyid Muh.ammad al-`Arabi ibn al-Tubbani the author of Bara’at al-H.anifiyyin (published as Bara’at al-Ash`ariyyin)

–          and Sayyid Muh.ammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki from their Meccan and other Shuyukh;

–          Mufti Muh.ammad Shafi` al-`Uthmani,

–          his son Mufti Muh.ammad al-Taqi the continuator of Shibbir Ah.mad `Uthmani’s Fath. al-Mulhim `ala Sharh.i Muslim,

–          Mufti `Ashiq Ilahi al-Murtahini al-Madani, and

–          Sayyid Abu al-H.asan al-Nadwi from their Indo-Pakistani and other Shuyukh.

Among the works Shaykh Ghawji authored and published in Damascus and Beirut:

–          Abu H.anifata al-Nu`man Imam al-A’immat al-Fuqaha‘, a four-hundred page biography with an edition of the Fiqh al-Akbar which received over a half dozen editions at Dar al-Qalam. It was translated into Persian and published in Teheran in 2003.

–          Arkan al-Iman on the branches of faith at Mu’assasat al-Risala.

–          Arkan al-Islam on the fiqh of the Five Pillars according to the H.anafi School, in two volumes at Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyya.

–          Al-H.ayat al-Akhira: Ah.waluha wa-Ahwaluha wa-H.usn `Aqibati al-Muttaqina fiha bi-Fad.l Allah wa-Rah.matih at Dar al-Basha’ir, on the states of the hereafter.

–          Jabir ibn `Abd Allah: S.ah.abiyyun Imamun wa-H.afiz.un Faqih, a biography at Dar al-Qalam.

–          Kashfu Shubuhati Man Za`ama H.illa Arbahi al-Qurud. al-Mas.rafiyya in refutation of those who declared licit bank interests on loans.

–          Kalimatun `Ilmiyyatun Hadiyatun fil-Bid`ati wa-Ah.kamiha at Dar al-Imam Muslim, a fine, concise study of the Sunni definition of innovation.

–          Maqalatun fil-Riba wal-Fa’idat al-Mas.rafiyya at Mu’assasat al-Rayyan and Dar Ibn H.azm, against the legitimization of usury in all its forms.

–          Al-Mar’atu al-Muslima: { Wa-Laysa al-Dhakaru kal-Untha } which received many editions at Mu’assasat al-Risala and Dar al-Qalam, a study on the rulings pertaining to women in Islam.

–          Masa’il fi `Ilm al-Tawh.id, published in Dubai which is the redacted version of his introduction to Id.ah. al-Dalil [see below] and is epitomized at the fore of our forthcoming translation of Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi’s refutation of Ibn Taymiyya on the attribution of direction to Allah Most High.

– Min Qad.aya al-Mar’ati al-Muslima: Maqalat fil-Mar’a at Dar Ibn H.azm. Naz.ratun `Ilmiyyatun fi Nisbati Kitabi al-Ibana Jami`ihi ila al-Imam al-Ash`ari, wa-Yalihi Fas.lun fi Khilafat Ahl al-Sunna wal-Khilafat al-Manqula bayna al-Maturidiyya wal-Asha`ira at Dar Ibn H.azm, a study of probable corruption in the text of al-Ash`ari’s Ibana followed by a review of the diffferences between the Ash`aris and the Maturidis.

–          Al-S.alatu wa-Ah.kamuha at Mu’assasat al-Risala, on the second pillar of Islam.

–          Al-Shahadatan wa-Ah.kamuha at Mu’assasat al-Risala, on the first pillar of Islam.

–          Al-S.iyamu wa-Ah.kamuh at Mu’assasat al-Risala, on the fourth pillar of Islam.

–          Al-Tah.dhir min al-Kaba’ir at Amman’s Dar al-Bashir.

He also wrote important marginalia:

–          Minah. al-Rawd. al-Azhar on Mulla `Ali al-Qari’s (d. 1014) Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar, a classic textbook of Sunni doctrine, at Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyya.

–          Al-Ta`liq al-Muyassar on Shaykh Ibrahim al-H.alabi’s (d. 956) recension of H.anafi fiqh, Multaqa al-Abh.ur.

–          Muqaddima fi `Ilm al-Tawh.id, a long introduction to Id.ah. al-Dalil fi Qat.`i H.ujaji Ahl al-Ta`t.il by the Shafi`i Egyptian Qad.i Badr al-Din Ibn Jama`a (694-767), a defense of Sunni doctrine against over-interpreters and anthropomorphists.

–          On al-Qasim ibn Sallam’s Fad.a’il al-Qur’an at Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya.

–          On the H.afiz. Murtad.a al-Zabidi’s (1140-1205) two-volume `Uqud al-Jawahir al-Munifa fi Adillat Madhhab al-Imam Abi H.anifa on the H.anafi proof-texts at Mu’assasat al-Risala, which Abu Ghudda identified as `Iqd al-Jawahir in his bio-bibliographical introduction to al-Zabidi’s Bulghat al-Arib fi Mus.t.alah.i Athar al-H.abib salla Allahu `alayhi wa-Sallam.

–          On al-Kawthari’s (1296-1391) Mah.q al-Taqawwul fi Mas’alat al-Tawassul and H.afiz. Muh.ammad `Abid al-Sindi’s (d. 1257) H.awla al-Tawassul wal-Istighatha at Dar al-Basha’ir, both of them written to clarify the Sunni ruling on using intermediaries and intercessors as opposed to the neo-Mu`tazilis who deny or downgrade this ruling.

–          He also wrote prefatory material for the following works:

–          `Abd al-Karim Tattan and Muh.ammad Adib al-Kilani’s Sharh. Jawharat al-Tawh.id in two volumes at Dar al-Basha’ir, together with Shaykh `Abd al-Karim al-Rifa`i.

–          Khaldun Makhlut.a’s 600-page Ah.wal al-Abrar `inda al-Ih.tid.ar at Dar al-Basha’ir, on the states of the pious at the threshold of death, which vastly expands on al-Raba`i’s (d. 379) slim Was.aya al-`Ulama‘ `inda H.ud.ur al-Mawt.

–          The Amman edition of Imam al-Lacknawi’s (d. 1304) Naqd Awham S.iddiq H.asan Khan at Jordan’s Dar al-Fath., whose original title is Ibraz al-Ghayy al-Waqi` fi Shifa‘ al-`Ayy.

The writer of these lines was honored to read with Shaykh Ghawji the Fiqh al-Akbar, the Wasiyya, the Tahawiyya, and the Nasafiyya. May Allah preserve him and continue to benefit the Umma with him, and to Allah the Lord of the worlds belongs all praise and thanks.

GF Haddad

[SP 2006-04-11]

Ibanah isnt Attributed Abul Hasan al Ashari ra:

Die großen Gelehrten Syriens, welche in den letzten Jahren verstorben sind (Ruhoona al Fatihah)

27094510_800x600


Pamela Geller’s False Claim that Muslims Curse Christians and Jews in Their Daily Prayers

by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller said Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that. in a 10/8/2010 article in the New York Times.

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic wondered about the accuracy of this statement and did a little research:

I sent some of Geller’s quotes to my friend Reuel Gerecht, a genuine expert on Islam, to see what he thought of them. Reuel, as many of you know, is no apologist for radical Islamism; quite the opposite. He believes we are at war with a dangerous ideology. But he also has respect for Islam, and a great deal of knowledge of it. Here is what he says about Geller’s assertions:

I have to plead an embarrassing ignorance about Pamela Geller.  I was well aware of the Internet-driven opposition to Feisal Abd ar-Rauf’s Ground Zero/Park 51 mosque, but had not entered her name into my memory.  I don’t read blogs much—except Goldblog and those that publish me—and I was more than a little taken back when Jeffrey sent me a note containing comments by Ms. Geller about English translations of the Qur’an.  The intersection of politics, public policy, and scholarship isn’t always pretty, and we are most often fortunate that scholars don’t write our domestic and foreign policies.   However, there is a certain deference that activists must give to scholars when they tread on what is clearly academic terrain.  A good cause—and Ms. Geller’s general concern about the harm that violent Islamic militants can do is an estimable fight—is no excuse for agitprop and what amounts to a slur against some of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century.  According to the New York Times, Ms. Geller has stated:

Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to.  That’s deeply troubling.  And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day.  I don’t think they know that.

Let’s take the Qur’an first, Muslim prayers second.  Concerning the translation of the Muslim Holy Book, who might these Islamic scholars be?  Since Ms. Geller is without Arabic, it’s impossible for her to compare the original to a translation.  She must depend upon others, who, if I follow Ms. Geller, are involved in a conspiracy to hide the ugly truth about Islam.  If the translations were more “accurate,” we would all see what’s apparent to Ms. Geller, who ascertained the truth despite the blinding scholarly conspiracy.  One has to ask whether Ms. Geller has perused the translation masterpiece by Cambridge’s late great A.J. Arberry or my personal favorite, the awesomely erudite, more literal translation and commentary by Edinburgh’s late great Richard Bell?  Both gentlemen are flag-waving members of Edward Said’s most detested species—Orientalists.  Now if you look at these translations—especially if you look at Bell’s, which is blessed with exhaustive notes in a somewhat complicated formatting—even the uninitiated can get an idea that Muhammad had trouble with Christians and especially Jews during his life.  If you look at the Qur’anic commentary by Edinburgh’s late great William Montgomery Watt (another Orientalist), who was always attentive to Muslim sensibilities in his writings, you can also find in clear English Muhammad’s unpleasant ruminations about Christians and Jews.

Now what all of this means to contemporary Islamic militancy is a very long discussion, for which I suspect that Ms. Geller doesn’t have abundant patience.  Islam has been having awful problems absorbing modernity; its travails so far—let us underscore—have been less bloody than what we witnessed as Christianity modernized.  Any non-Muslim certainly has the right to study, question, and criticize the Islamic faith, as Muslims have the (well-exercised) right to let loose against what they see as the imperfections of Christianity, Judaism, and humanist secularism (the West’s dominant faith).   As Iran’s robust, astonishing intellectual wars over the last twenty years have shown, it’s good for Muslims and non-Muslims not to pull their punches.  Muslims should never be treated as children, which is a debilitating disposition found widely now on the American Left.  (President Obama has not helped.)   But the great Islamic scholars of the past did not lie.  There is no conspiracy.  We are blessed with illuminating English translations of the Muslim Holy Book.  Ms. Geller might consider blogging less, and reading more.

And about Muslim prayer:  I certainly have no perfect way of knowing what Muslims think when they pray, but I really do think they know what they’re doing.  If westernized Muslims are facing the Almighty, they know what’s in their hearts.  Devout Muslims need not hate Jews and Christians to worship the Creator.  Christians have slaughtered Jews through the centuries.  But it would be theologically atrocious to believe that the Christian message requires Jewish blood. (Christians’ killing Jews so often did provoke some Christians to question the foundation of their faith—a theologically estimable exercise.)  The Prophet Muhammad is certainly a different kind of historical figure than Jesus, but it should not be startling to discover that Muslims through the centuries have not seen the prophet’s slaughter of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina as a mainstay of their creed.  In my experience—and I’m intuiting here—most Muslims do not think about Jews and Christians at all when they pray.  Suffering, in all its merciless variety, takes center stage, I suspect.   When I’ve watched Muslim pilgrims come to Sunni and Shiite tombs and sacred sites in Egypt,  Turkey, and Iraq, I’ve not seen a conquering people.  I’ve usually just seen misery and the human hope that good fortune will come with a better heart.   I’ve seen fraternity among a men who live in lands where fraternal behavior is rare.  Ms. Geller would do well to travel more.   It’s a very good and essential cause to fight jihadism, but such a struggle should not incline us to maul Islamic history or to treat Muslims as if they were merely a walking version of this surah or that legal treatise.   Christians and Jews and atheists are much more than the sum of their parts.   So, too, are Muslims.

After this exchange, Geller’s partner, Robert Spencer published a defense of Geller’s statement in which he brings in “translations” like the Hilali-Khan, commentaries and interpretations as if they represent what most Muslims (or particularly American Muslims, or “westernized Muslims” as Geller calls them) understand about the meaning of Surah Fatiha.  The Hilali-Khan translation is an extremist interpretation of the Qur’an produced in Saudi Arabia and given out free.  I wrote about the Hilali-Khan translation at length here.  Here are a few passages from that article:

The number of comments in parenthesis in this particular translation is more than excessive, and instead of clarifying the text or explaining a word or phrase that cannot be easily translated into English, these comments make the text very difficult to follow and often distort rather than amplify the meaning.

The appendices contain discussions of Christian versus Muslim beliefs that read more like a polemical debate and really do not belong as part of a translation.

I will give just a few examples of the difficulties with this translation.  Sadly, I could give many more examples, but these should sufice to show the extremist character of this translation.

Beginning immediately with Surah Fatiha 1:1 (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) we find a translation not to be found anywhere else:

“Guide us to the Straight Way.  The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who have earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).” (HK translation 1:1-7)

This can only give the impression to any non-Muslim or Muslim who either does not have fluency in Arabic or access to individuals with competency in Classical Qur’anic Arabic that the Qur’an denounces all Jews and Christians.  This is a great untruth.

This unique translation is then followed by an extremely long footnote which justifies this hateful translation based on traditions from texts that go back to the Middle Ages (Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Tabari) as if these are the only interpretations, and without any discussion of the history of these commentaries and the hadiths on which they are based.

…  In the interests of preserving the purity of the Qur’an as much as possible for non-Arabic speakers and also as a means to combat the tirades of professional Islam bashers and Muslim haters, I would strongly recommend that every copy of the Hilali-Khan translation be removed from every mosque in the U.S.  …  This current crisis (and many others), I believe is a direct result of such translations as the Hilali-Khan which have been responsible for influencing some Muslims with extremist interpretations (and also providing them “justification” for criminal actions), and for providing Islamophobes with “proof” of the supposed “savagery” of Islam.  Basically, this translation (and others like it) are propaganda coming out of Saudi Arabia which attempts to spread their particular supremacist, divisive, bigoted, and very dangerous interpretation of Islam.

There are only two groups who equate jihad and terrorism – the terrorists and the Islamophobes.

Across the world, even in countries where Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbors have lived together for centuries in peace, we are seeing violence against churches and against minorities, and seeing violent non-Islamic responses to the provocations of Islamophobes.  Why?

I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming primarily out of Saudi Arabia are one of the root causes.

We need a counter-narrative, not only to the Islamophobes, but to the Muslim extremists, and our scholars and community leaders need to help get the message of traditional Islam out to the masses.

I believe that it is time for ordinary Muslims to go into their local mosque or Islamic bookstore and see if this translation is there, and if it is to ask the Imam or mosque leadership to remove it immediately and dispose of it in the appropriate Islamic manner.  And, it is time for the leadership of national organizations to speak out loudly and clearly condemning such translations and materials.  The Saudi’s may provide “free” copies of this translation, but there is a cost, and we are all paying it.

Here is a transliteration and translation of Sura Fatiha by Shakh Kabir Helminski of the Threshold Society:

Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
Aameen

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen.

Here is the introduction to this verse from the translation by Muhammad Asad

THIS SURAH is also called Fatihat al-Kitab (“The Opening of the Divine Writ”), Umm al-Kitab (“The Essence of the Divine Writ”), Surat al-Hamd (“The Surah of Praise”), Asas al-Qur’an (“The Foundation of the Qur’an”), and is known by several other names as well. It ismentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an as As-Sab’ al-Mathani (“The Seven Oft-Repeated[Verses]”) because it is repeated several times in the course of each of the five daily prayers.According to Bukhari, the designation Umm al-Kitab was given to it by the Prophet himself,and this in view of the fact that it contains, in a condensed form, all the fundamental principleslaid down in the Qur’an: the principle of God’s oneness and uniqueness, of His being theoriginator and fosterer of the universe, the fount of all life-giving grace, the One to whom manis ultimately responsible, the only power that can really guide and help; the call to righteousaction in the life of this world (“guide us the straight way”); the principle of life after deathand of the organic consequences of man’s actions and behaviour (expressed in the term “Dayof Judgment”); the principle of guidance through God’s message-bearers (evident in thereference to “those upon whom God has bestowed His blessings”) and, flowing from it, the principle of the continuity of all true religions (implied in the allusion to people who havelived – and erred – in the past); and, finally, the need for voluntary self-surrender to the will of the Supreme Being and, thus, for worshipping Him alone. It is for this reason that this surahhas been formulated as a prayer, to be constantly repeated and reflected upon by the believer.“The Opening” was one of the earliest revelations bestowed upon the Prophet. Someauthorities (for instance, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib) were even of the opinion that it was the very firstrevelation; but this view is contradicted by authentic Traditions quoted by both Bukhari andMuslim, which unmistakably show that the first five verses of surah 96 (“The Germ-Cell”)constituted the beginning of revelation. It is probable, however, that whereas the earlier revelations consisted of only a few verses each, “The Opening” was the first surah revealed tothe Prophet in its entirety at one time: and this would explain the view held by ‘Ali.

Here is Asad’s translation and commentary

In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
ALL PRAISE is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds,
the Most Gracious,the Dispenser of Grace,
Lord of the Day of Judgment!
Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.
Guide us the straight way, the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!

According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of everysurah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of “The Opening” and is,therefore, numbered as verse 1. In all other instances, the invocation “in the name of God” precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. – Both the divine epithets rahman and rahim are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies “mercy”, “compassion”,“loving tenderness” and, more comprehensively, “grace”. From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibnal-Qayyim (as quoted in Manar I,48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God’s Being, whereas rahim expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation – in other words, an aspect of His activity.

In this instance, the term “worlds” denotes all categories of existence both in the physicaland the spiritual sense. The Arabic expression rabb – rendered by me as “Sustainer” -embraces a wide complex of meanings not easily expressed by a single term in another language.It comprises the ideas of having a just claim to the possession of anything and, consequently,authority over it, as well as of rearing, sustaining and fostering anything from its inceptionto its final completion. Thus, the head of a family is called rabb ad-dar (“master of the house”) because he has authority over it and is responsible for its maintenance; similarly, his wifeis called rabbat ad-dar (“mistress of the house”). Preceded by the definite article al, the designation rabb is applied, in the Qur’an, exclusively to God as the sole fosterer andsustainer of all creation – objective as well as conceptual – and therefore the ultimatesource of all authority.

According to almost all the commentators, God’s “condemnation” (ghadab, lit., “wrath”) is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God’s guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. Some commentators (e.g., Zamakhshari)interpret this passage as follows: “… the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings – those who have not been condemned [by Thee], and who do not go astray”: inother words, they regard the last two expressions as defining “those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings”. Other commentators (e.g., Baghawi and Ibn Kathir) do not subscribeto this interpretation – which would imply the use of negative definitions – and understand the last verse of the surah in the manner rendered by me above. As regards the two categoriesof people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad ‘Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred “God’s condemnation” – that is, having deprived themselves of His grace – are thosewho have become fully cognizant of God’s message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by “those who go astray” are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all,or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them.

And, before Pamela Geller gets too attached to her specious claims, she should consider that the Blessing/Benediction recited each morning by Orthodox Jews is the following“Blessed are you O God, King of the Universe, Who has not made me . . . ” and conclude, respectively, “a goy [Gentile],” “a slave,” and “a woman.”
UPDATE 6/1/2011

Another Islamophobe, Andrew Bostom has jumped on this bandwagon of insisting that the Hilali-Khan translation/commentary reflects the meaning of Surah Fatiha.

UPDATE 1/29/2012

Geller again raises this spurious issue saying: “The Muslims refer to Christians in their daily prayers as “those who are led astray” (Muslims curse Christians and Jews multiple times in daily prayers). This madness validates their contempt and supremacism.”
UPDATE 2/11/2013

Geller is nothing if not consistent.  Today she published Hamas-CAIR leads Arizona State Senate in anti-Jewish, Anti-Christian Prayer raising this same debunked issue yet again. She says:  “How many people actually know that every time Muslims get down on their knees, posteriors in the air, they are cursing Christian and Jews? Obama says, “respect it!”

All of this fury on the part of Geller (and her partner in hate Robert Spencer) was because an Arizona Imam, Anas Hlayhel, who is also the Chairman of the Arizona Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations CAIR-AZ led the Arizona State Senate’s prayer invocation with a reading of Surah al-Fatiha.

*********

RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant,  inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t help Christians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the source of radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are not loyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a “green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threat to America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  – we are in danger from creeping Sharia, – the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, – 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  –  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  –  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    – Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )

Originally published 11/1/2010

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobes-claim-that-muslims-curse-christians-and-jews


Holier than thou: extremism against Islam

by Sheikh Musa Furber

Statements from three popular Egyptian religious preachers have left the Egyptian public in an uproar. One of the statements justifies sexually assaulting female protesters; another calls for murdering leaders of parties in opposition to President Morsi; yet another calls on the president to crack down heavily on protestors – before private citizens take matters into their hands. The irony of this situation is that from a religious perspective, the uproar against these statements is far more justifiable than the statements themselves.

Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah justified the sexual assault of female protestors with a detailed “analysis,” including demographics: “they are going there to get raped”; 90% of them are Christian, and the rest are widows without husbands to keep them in line. How he knew any of this is unclear – but even if it were all true, how any of it would be justification for sexual assault is even more unclear. Moreover, he ridiculed statements from the opposition that attacking women is a “red line” that must not be crossed.

The insensitivity and inappropriateness of Abdullah’s statements aside, given Egypt’s increasingly difficult sexual harassment problem, they are also in direct contradiction to Islamic law, which considers rape, assault and sexual harassment as always forbidden, sinful and criminal, with the harasser responsible for the harassment. Considering that these are basic items within Islamic law, one wonders how he might be brought to account by the law for essentially perverting the perception of Islam in the public arena.

Nevertheless, while Abdullah’s statements attempt to legitimize criminal behavior, he did not actually order people go commit it – whereas, Mahmoud Shaaban and Wagdi Ghoneim did so. Shaaban, on a popular TV channel, called for leaders of the opposition, mentioning leaders Mohamed El-Baradei and Hamdeen Sabahi by name, to be put to death – although he clarified that this punishment should not be carried out by private individuals. Ghoneim had no such reluctance with regards to protestors outside the presidential palace – he called on the government to deal with the protestors, failing which, private citizens would: “We will kill the criminals, the thugs, the thieves and those who give them money and those who help them with words. No mercy with them.”

Ghoneim and Shaaban’s statements are reminiscent of a similar statement issued by Hashim Islam. In August, Islam declared those protesting against President Morsi were guilty of brigandage (al-hirabah) and high treason (al-khuyanat al-uzma). Their blood was forfeit as a result, and he commanded the people of Egypt to confront them – using deadly force if necessary. Islam’s various claims were rejected by the Ministry of Endowments, Azhar University, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In contrast, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa has said that peaceful demonstrations are a right in Islam, though they should avoid harming people, property, and national interests. While some protests have resulted in violence, much of this violence was due in part by the heavy-handed response of the police – and in any case, the opposition leadership’s ability to command the protest movement is tenuous at best, and non-existent at worst. Even if the protestors were guilty of crimes, it is down to the state authorities responsible for maintaining law and order that have the authority to consider issuing legal verdicts – not private muftis (even if they are qualified), let alone unqualified TV personalities.

The irony of issuing such statements is that the act issuing them itself could be considered a form of calling to brigandage and vigilantism – precisely the charge that Shaaban and Ghoneim lay at the door of the opposition. Ghoneim’s statements in particular could easily be interpreted as enticing the public to defy the president, and carry out violent acts – which is an affront to the institutions of the state. That fact that the statements themselves make a mockery of Islamic law only worsens the situation further.

The general public and those targeted by these statements are not the only ones who are upset. Members of Azhar’s Islamic Studies Academy met with Sheikh al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb, who vehemently rejected the legitimacy of the statement and cautioned Egyptians to ignore them.

While the President’s office was initially silent, it finally issued a statement last Thursday expressing its “full rejection of hate speech cloaked by religion,” calling for religious and intellectual leaders to unanimously reject such incitement. The statements included that “the promotion and instigation of political violence by some is foreign to Egypt, as is sanctioning killing because of political differences by others who claim to speak in the name of religion. This is terrorism.” The Interior Ministry consider the statements a public threat – especially since Shaaban’s statements were made soon after Chokri Belaid, one of Tunisia’s most well known anti-Islamist politicians, was murdered. Consequentially, the Ministry has increased patrols in areas where the opposition leaders reside.

It has been reported that the Egyptian cabinet is considering taking legal action against those who use religion to incite violence and that state prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim has ordered that Shaaban be investigated for his statement. Beyond incitement to violence, there may even be a case that such irresponsible statements fall under Egypt’s blasphemy law, which clearly states “whoever makes use of religion in propagating […] extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.” Abdullah used religion to justify and excuse the sexual harassment and rape of Christian and Muslim protestors. Shaaban and Ghoneim’s statements used religion to justify killing opposition leaders and protestors.

While it is doubtful that the state prosecutor might use the blasphemy legislation to pursue irresponsible and extremist preachers, the reality is that such discourse is indeed an affront to religion. Morally, it is far more disgraceful when those calling for Islam use religion in such an unethical fashion, than when anti-Muslim bigots make poorly made films which would have been ignored had extremists not opted to draw so much public attention to them. The films resulted recently in a call to ban YouTube; where is the corresponding measure to combat errant attempts to use religious edicts (fatawa) for purely partisan purposes?

Sheikh Musa Furber is a research fellow at the Tabah Foundation and a qualified issuer of legal edicts (fatwas). He received his license to deliver legal edicts from senior scholars at the Egyptian House of Edicts including the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Twitter: @musafurber

[This piece was first published in Al-Arabiya, and reprinted here with the author’s permission.]

Was sagt der Islam über den Terrorismus?

Veröffentlicht: 21. Februar 2013 in Uncategorized

Der Islam, eine Religion der Barmherzigkeit, erlaubt keinen Terrorismus. Im Quran sagt Gott:

“Gott verbietet euch nicht gegen jene, die euch nicht des Glaubens wegen bekämpft haben und euch nicht aus euren Häusern vertrieben haben, gütig zu sein und redlich mit ihnen zu verfahren; wahrlich Gott liebt die Gerechten.” (Quran 60:8)

Der Prophet Muhammad verbot den Soldaten, Frauen und Kinder zu töten,[1]  und er wies sie an: “Seid keine Verräter, seid nicht maßlos und tötet kein neugeborenes Kind…”[2]  Und er sagte auch: “Wer eine Person tötet, die einen Vertrag mit den Muslimen hat, soll nicht das Paradies riechen, obwohl es bereits vierzig Jahre im voraus zu riechen ist.”[3]

Der Prophet Muhammad hat auch die Folterung mit Feuer verboten.[4]

Einst zählte er den Mord als zweite der großen Sünden,[5]  und erwähnte sogar, dass am Tag des Gerichts, “Die ersten Fälle, über die am Tag des Gerichts zwischen den Menschen entschieden wird, sind die der Blutschuld.[6][7]

Muslime werden sogar aufgefordert freundlich zu den Tieren zu sein, und ihnen wird verboten sie zu verletzen.  Der Prophet Muhammad sagte einst: “Eine Frau wurde bestraft, weil sie eine Katze einsperrte, bis diese starb.  Aus diesem Grund wurde sie in die Hölle verbannt.  Als sie die Katze einsperrte, gab sie ihr kein Futter oder Wasser, noch ließ sie sie frei, damit sie die Insekten der Erde fressen konnte.”[8]

Er sprach auch von einem Mann, der einem sehr durstigen Hund etwas zu trinken gab; da vergab ihm Gott seine Sünden.  Der Prophet wurde gefragt: “Gesandter Gottes, werden wir für die Freundlichkeit zu den Tieren belohnt?“  Er antwortete: “Es gibt eine Belohnung für die Freundlichkeit zu jedem Lebewesen: Tier oder Mensch.”[9]

Wenn man einem Tier für Nahrung das Leben nehmen muss, wurde den Muslimen darüber hinaus befohlen dies so zu tun, dass das Tier so wenig wie möglich Angst haben soll oder gar leidet.  Der Prophet Muhammad sagte: “Wenn ihr ein Tier schlachtet, so tut dies auf die beste Weise.  Man sollte das Messer schärfen, um das Leiden des Tieres zu verringern.”[10]

Angesichts dieser und anderer islamischer Berichte sind das Anstacheln zum Terror in den Herzen wehrloser Bürger, die vollständige Zerstörung von Gebäuden und Besitztümern, das Bombardieren und Verstümmeln unschuldiger Männer, Frauen und Kinder als vom Islam und den Muslimen verbotene und verabscheuungswürdige Handlungen anzusehen.  Die Muslime verfolgen eine Religion des Friedens, der Gnade und Vergebung, und der Großteil hat mit den Gewaltverbrechen nichts zu tun, die manche mit den Muslimen assoziieren.  Wenn ein einzelner Muslim eine terroristische Handlung begeht, macht sich diese Person im Sinne der islamischen Gesetze strafbar.


Footnotes:

[1] Überliefert bei Sahih Muslim, #1744, und Sahih Al-Bukhary, #3015.

[2] Überliefert bei Sahih Muslim, #1731, und Al-Tirmizi, #1408.

[3] Überliefert bei Sahih Al-Bukhary, #3166, und Ibn Majah, #2686.

[4] Überliefert bei Abu Dawud, #2675.

[5] Überliefert bei Sahih Al-Bukhary, #6871, und Sahih Muslim, #88.

[6] Das bedeutet töten und beschädigen.

[7] Überliefert bei Sahih Muslim, #1678, und Sahih Al-Bukhary, #6533.

[8] Überliefert beiSahih Muslim, #2422, und Sahih Al-Bukhary, #2365.

[9]. Überliefert bei Sahih Muslim, #2244, und Sahih Al-Bukhary, #2466.

[10] Überliefert bei Sahih Muslim, #1955, und Al-Tirmizi, #1409