Saturday 01 May 2021
Books – Mahmoud Mustafa:
The Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, continued his discussion of the issue of renewal today in the nineteenth episode of the program “The Good Imam”, and began the episode by saying: I confirm that I do not claim a pioneer or a leader in the story: “The renewal of Islamic thought” in general And the renewal of “jurisprudential thought” in particular, and all that I claim in this regard is: the constant concern that has accompanied me from the early years in education to this day. I do not say: about social or economic developments looking for a legal adaptation, but rather about a wealthy one. It is neither from religion nor from the Sharia. It rules over people’s lives, controls their behavior, and inflicts a lot of dishonesty and injustice to them, especially in the area of women and class, equality between people, and the field of society in general.
He added: This concern may have accompanied me whenever it was aroused by social paradoxes, for which we find no explanation either at the level of Sharia or on the level of human advancement, and it did not come to our minds – we, the youth of Al-Azhar – that one day the law is responsible for these bad habits We were fully aware of the contents of the decisions of jurisprudence, interpretation and hadith, and that many of these rulings are not applied in our lives, but are deliberately issued in favor of customs and legacies that have replaced them in the leadership of societies long ago, long ago. Ignorance is blatant, the accountability of “Sharia” with what we do not find in its directives and rulings, even if we find it rooted in the behavior of Muslims in the East and the West.
Turning to the topic of renewal, he said that the media – in recent times – had dealt with it, and the ambiguity and excitement increased due to the large number of words about it by non-specialists, to the extent that he was almost depicted to people as if he is the first responsible for all crises and even the Arab world: Voices calling for the abolition of heritage altogether and in detail, and other voices calling for a return to what the ancestor of the nation and the good of the believers were in the first three centuries, and to strike with the stroke of a pen something else.
And the eminence of the Grand Imam explained the efforts of Al-Azhar in this regard, and said: So that our defense of him is documented in the records of history and not speaking in the air like what we hear in such situations. For that to be so, I allow you to go back twenty years, specifically in June of the year 2001 AD; Whereas, an international conference was held on the renewal of Islamic thought, convened by the Ministry of Endowments at a time when Dr. Mahmoud Zakzouq was its responsible minister, and he was rightly the first to open the file for the renewal of Islamic thought after Sheikh Shaltout and Dr. Muhammad Al-Bahi, and an international conference was held for him. Scholars from different countries of the Islamic world, and I participated in this conference – during its days – with a research entitled: “The necessity of renewal”, in which I was keen to diagnose the issue, present the obstacles that hinder the path of a solution, and the proposals that I proposed to overcome these obstacles .. and I was I still think that the most serious of these obstacles are: old fatwas that are no longer useful to Muslims today, and the promotion of shameless fatwas usually issued either by those ignorant of Islam and its sciences and heritage, who play a specific role decreed in distorting the sanctities of Muslims, or from those affiliated with science neglect They have to sell it in the utility market and the stock exchange for lower positions and purposes.
He continued: Then divine predestination led me to the sheikhdom of Al-Azhar in March of 2010, and not months passed until the entire Arab world entered a region of “fog” and the loss of the ability to determine the correct direction .. Despite this overcast atmosphere with black clouds, Al-Azhar managed – With the grace of God Almighty alone – to play a patriotic role in which he brought together scholars, thinkers, writers, journalists, media professionals and religious leaders. To discuss the concerns of the homeland, and to issue documents that assist officials in the duty to preserve the unity of the country and protect it from slipping into what other countries have slipped into in terms of civil wars that are followed by destruction, devastation, and bullying by external forces.
The Sheikh of Al-Azhar explained that the first document was about the future of Egypt, the second was about supporting the will of the Arab peoples, and the third was about the four basic freedoms system: freedom of belief, freedom of scientific research, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of literary and artistic creativity, and other documents issued in the form of “Statements from Al-Azhar.” As usual, I wonder: What do we call this national leadership role that Al-Azhar has assumed, and with which it participated in the course of the nation’s events, and its protection from traitors inside and outside the country? Do we call it an achievement in the depth of the process of “renewal”, or do we call it an “ISIS” activity, while the pseudo-people claim and those who have disease in their hearts ?!
At the end of the nineteenth episode, the Grand Imam read some of what is contained in these Al-Azhar documents. Which indicates the national and regenerative role of Al-Azhar in these difficult circumstances and circumstances; It says:
Supporting the establishment of the modern democratic, constitutional national state, which depends on a constitution that the nation agrees with … and emphasizing that Islam does not know in its legislation nor its history what is known in other cultures as the religious state that dominated people, and humanity suffered from it in many ways. From the stages of history.
Commitment to the system of basic freedoms in thought and opinion, with full respect for human rights, women and children, and emphasis on the principle of pluralism and respect for the divine religions, and considering citizenship as a responsibility in society.
– Fully respecting the etiquette of difference and the ethics of dialogue, and the necessity to avoid atonement, betrayal, and the exploitation of religion, and to use it to sow discord, discord and hostility among citizens, considering inciting sectarian strife and racist calls a crime against the nation.