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The Preacher’s Pulpit Needs to Be Cleansed from Profanity

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BY: Basil Hijazi

In October 2017, a special incident of killing took place in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. This was not the first and nor the last incident of its kind. In this incident a follower of Wahhabi theology stabbed to death a Coptic orthodox priest identified as Samaan Shehata. The murderer was caught and sentenced to death. During investigation it was revealed that he had been famous for his radical Wahhabi ideologies and that he made a cross mark on the victim’s forehead, which expressed his contempt for Christians.

This is not the only incident. Such incidents occur every day in all parts of Islamic world, but only a few are reported. When the incident of Coptic priest’s murder was reported, it sparked debate on the change of religious opinions. This is a complicated debate, as the sermons of the mosques located in parts of Egypt are not completed without cursing the Jews and Christians. In the 1970s when Wahhabism entered Egypt and Islamic world, such sermons and incidents started spreading. Saudi Arabia hosted al-Azhar’s religious clerics on official expenses, honoured and awarded them. After returning, these clerics polluted al-Azhar with the poison of Wahhabism, and thereby its theology spread across the country.

Today Al-Azhar and the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf are willing to stop the history of the Wahhabi Islamic theology and reform the sermons. However the Takfiri thought after the three-quarter century has become so widespread that its end is not possible in any traditional way. In most Arab countries, including Egypt, people are accustomed to hearing not only the sermons cursing non-Muslims but also consider it their duty to utter “Aameen”. Almost from the pulpits of all mosques the cursing sermons are broadcasted. While doing so, the orators of these mosques do not even think for a moment that they are insulting the religion of five and a half billion people of this world and defaming Islam throughout the globe. In their sermons they have also started cursing all sects and schools of thought of Islam, other than Wahhabism.

Such curses [bad Dua] are mentioned in the books of Sirah narrating the Prophet’s biography (peace be upon him), while the same books also narrate and witness that the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) never cursed any Jews or Christian. There is a contradiction in such a narration, but Muslims are or have been made accustomed to living in such contradictions. The elimination of such contradictions is not possible unless the hateful thoughts are expelled from these books. Such hateful thoughts are harmful for the Quran and Sunnah. Hence it is important to note that we can’t end terrorism unless we eliminate such thoughts.

However, the followers of Wahhabism insist that “the righteous Salafs” have narrated these curses from the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and thus they consider their duty to repeat such curses at the end of every Friday’s sermon. One of such curses is translated as, “Oh, Allah! Blind and deafen the polytheists, Jews and Christians, make their leaders poor, their women widows and their children orphans...”

The repetition of such a frightening and immoral speech in the minds of people increases hatred for non-Muslims so much that it becomes impossible to bring them towards moderation and toleration. While making their sermons, the Wahhabi orators also curse all other sects and schools of thought of Islam such as Shiites, seculars, nationalists, Sufis and so on.

Instead the orators should have prayed for guidance and progress of the non-Muslims, as the Quran says, “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being kind toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (60:8) It is clear that in this verse the mention of kindness and justness towards those non-Muslims who are not involved in fighting Muslims is like a command, otherwise it should not have been mentioned in this verse. We can see what a huge difference there is between this universal message—which calls for kindness towards non-Muslims—and the act of cursing that displays intellectual deterioration of Muslims and defames Islam!!

This sort of curse does not categorically harmonize with the universal message of Islam. The essence of Islam is peace and brotherhood. There is no place for arrogance in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) always prayed for guidance of his opponents. It is mentioned in the books of Sirah themselves that even after the people of Ta'if attacked the Prophet by throwing rocks and stones at him, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Oh, Allah! Guide Thaqeef” and also “Oh, Allah! Guide the tribe of Daus”. Removing the discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims on the occasion of Hajjat ul Wida’ the Prophet said “O people, undoubtedly your Lord is one”. He could have said “O believers” but he cared for depth of harmony and coexistence. The holy Quran has also mentioned and praised good jobs of non-Muslims, as it says, “All of them are not alike; among the People given the Book(s) are some who are firm on the truth – they recite the verses of Allah in the night hours and prostrate (before Him). They accept faith in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin good deeds and forbid immorality, and hasten to perform good deeds; and they are the righteous. And they will not be denied the reward of whatever good they do; and Allah knows the pious”. (The Quran 3:113-115)

Indeed long arguments can be presented in this regard that Allah does not want Muslims to curse non-Muslims. But what will happen, if Muslims accept that it is the will of Allah to curse non-Muslims? If that is so, then after becoming powerful, they will start massacring non-Muslims, create the history of another holocaust, and then non-Muslims will be denied their rights it is such crimes that the ISIS is perpetrating. If it is Islam, then will we have the right to say that the majority of Muslims condemn the terrorist organizations like ISIS, while they internally support them? It is impossible for one to attain nearness of Allah and His Prophet, if one adopts such an anti-human behaviour. One should know that Islam has not come to ruin the world but to settle it. Hence it is necessary to identify the symptom of ISIS and then eliminate it. It is important to note that you will need a ‘Kafir’ in order to attain the reward of converting one to Islam.

  • Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Bureau. Source: www.newageislam.com

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