Response to the Mufti of the Military, Ali Gomaa

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Response to the Mufti of the Military, Ali Gomaa
By Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

All praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His messenger, upon his family, companions and followers;

I stand amazed at some people who claim to represent scholars, speak in their name, and declare ‘religious’ rulings that allow the prohibited and prohibit the permissible while they distort words from their proper context, lie about Allah, about His prophet, and about the scholars of the nation and as the Quran describes, {they say, "This is from God,” but it is not from God. And they speak untruth about God while they know.} [Quran 3:78].

Among those lying distorters is Sheikh, or rather ‘General’, Ali Gomaa, an Egyptian who was counted among the scholars of Al-Azhar while they declare themselves innocent from him. He was appointed by Hosni Mubarak as a Mufti for Egypt, but left the position unregrettably after he gave rejected fatwas that were neither based on the Quran nor on Sunnah.

Then El-Sissy and his clan gave Gomaa what seems like an unofficial return to support their corrupt regime, their unpopular direction, and impart on them an undeserved legitimacy. It is underserved since they broke the pact, breached the promise, betrayed the trust, kidnapped the president elected by the people after one year of his election and claimed that the people support them although the people can only be represented through ballot boxes that reflect the real majority.

The real people stood to declare their support to the president they elected, whom they won’t give up on, or give up their rights. Yet the military junta who perpetrated the coup and seized power – although without making public claims to this – insisted on confronting anyone who opposed them or dared to say no. they utilized the army, the police, and behind them the thugs estimated at around 400,000 thugs in Egypt.

They committed several massacres in different parts of Egypt, the most significant of which was the Republican Guards massacre, the Manassa or Unknown Soldier Memorial incident on Al-Nasr street, then the Rabia square and Al-Nahda square incidents of mass murder using heavy army weapons aided by the police, thugs, and sniper rifles from rooftops and aircrafts.

This incident resulted in 4,000 deaths and around 20,000 injuries, while 1,000 remain missing, believed to be killed and transferred to mass graves that would be unveiled later – or maybe soon. Meanwhile the families of the missing continue to look for them with no clue to their whereabouts.

Amid this clamor caused by the coup and their massive massacres which were never paralleled in the history of our beloved Egypt, the so-called Ali Gomaa appears in a private meeting kept confidential by the hosts, the ruling military junta, to give them a religious fatwa on how to deal with their opponents.

And why would Ali Gomaa meet the military in a hidden, unannounced assembly?

Because he wanted to say words that scholars would not hear of and so would not respond to them. These statements of his were not approved by the general secretariat of the Dar Al-Ifta` - the official edict producing institution-, was not approved by the Al-Azhar Supreme Council, nor the Council of Senior Scholars, was not approved by the majority of Al-Azhar scholars at Al-Azhar University and institutions. Hence, the burden of this fatwa falls solely on the shoulders of Ali Gomaa, and how much do they resemble the person they came from!

The sheikh says and repeats: "edrab fi el-malyan”, a well-known expression for the Egyptian military meaning shoot-to-kill in deadly parts of the body like the stomach, chest, neck or head. These words should not be said to a soldier to apply across all situations, even if they were fighting disbelievers who attacked them, because in some cases the fighting must stop to suffice with taking prisoners as God said in the chapter of Muhammad {So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens.} [Quran 47:4].

As regards to facing an armed robber who attacks people’s homes with the intent of killing them or taking their money and precious possessions, people must resist him. And he may be an individual or a group. In this concern, scholars say:

They should be fought against with the slightest that can deter him. If you are able to arrest him and prevent him from assault, then this is the duty. If it is possible to deter him with a baton, then use a baton and do not use the sword. If you can hit him on the leg, force him to sit, or on the hand to paralyze his movement with no need to kill him, then you have to do that. If you are forced to use the sword, spear or gun, then do. What matters is to refrain from starting with the heaviest, but start with the lightest first. If not possible, then move to what is higher.

This is the statement of Islamic jurisprudence based on Shariah. Obviously, a Shariah scholar who relies on the Quran and hadith would never say: shoot-to-kill, and kill in any case.

But Sheikh Ali Gomaa doesn’t rely on what scholars rely on, but rather on what thugs rely on. He supports the people of power over the people of the truth, supports soldiers over scholars, the military over the people, the sword over the word, the ruler over the Quran, and the state over religion!

These military have not sufficed with those they killed, burned, tortured, damaged their home, or shops, or companies, or imprisoned their father or mother or wife or daughter or son. They did not suffice with thousands of deaths and detainees. 

They are still thirsty for more sanctified souls of which Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – said: "A Muslim remains in a space of his religion unless they spill a prohibited blood” [narrated by Al-Bukhari in the authority of Ibn Umar]. 

The Prophet also declared that "The passing away of the world would mean less to Allah than the murder of a Muslim man” [narrated by An-Nasai and others in the authority of Ibn Umar]. 

The Quran along with other revealed books further affirm that {Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.} [Quran 5:32]

And yet the former Mufti Ali Gomaa appears in recordings telling the new ruler: "shoot-to-kill. Never sacrifice your soldiers and personnel for those rebels. Blessed be those who kill them, and whom they kill. Whoever kills them has more claim to Allah than they do. In fact, we should purge our city and our country from these vagabonds. We are shamed by them. They are a rotten people, they smell rotten, in appearance and essence. The Prophet warned us this…”

The sheikh, or ‘general’, Ali Gomaa exhorts the soldiers and military to shoot-to-kill in chests, stomach, head, back. The soldiers should not try to hinder the ‘other’, or paralyze their movement, but kill them.

They are poisonous edicts, suspicious commands, and politicized rulings given to soldiers by someone who presided over the position of Mufti in the Mubarak era, hid from lights in the Morsi era, then returned to rear his ugliest head to spur Egyptian soldiers not to fight against the Zionists – for these are his friends whom he entered Al-Aqsa under their protection – but to point their incendiary and heavy weapons to the chests of their brothers in religion and partners in homeland. The latter, in his view, are "khawarij rebels of which we must purge Egypt… Blessed be those who kill them and whom they kill… vagabonds…they smell rotten…the dogs of Hellfire…they do not deserve our Egyptian-ness…they shame us”.

In this manner, he provoked the reserve of rage that Egyptians are used to withholding, the malice they normally resist, and the spitefulness they carefully hide. Thus these soldiers, with thugs in front of their wagon and mobs behind them, have become the followers of every crow, pointing their weapons to their brothers until the social fabric was torn out, and the bond of fraternity among the citizens of the one homeland was shattered.

How can they be rebels, Sheikh Ali? Rebels against who? Against the usurper of legitimate rule? Against the kidnapper of the truly legitimate ruler?

How can they be khawarij when the term khawarij applies to those who possess weapons and use them to battle against the legitimate ruler! It was not proved, however, that any member of the Muslim Brotherhood or their aides had any weapon throughout Ramadan, before it and after it. The Muslim Brotherhood left their homes to the public squares where they camped and protested with no piece of weapon in their hands nor around them: not any kind of cold weapon, cannon, rifle, shotgun, gun, knife or baton, not even rocks that even children in Palestine had.

So how could Sheikh Ali Gomaa call them khawarij when they were killed for no reason but declaring that Allah is their lord! The real khawarij are those who rebelled against the elected president to whom obedience is a duty as commanded by God’s law according to the Quran, sunnah, consensus of the Muslim nation, and opinions of honest, mastering scholars whom Allah advised us to always be with them: {O you who have believed, fear God and be with those who are true.} [Quran 9:119].

Ali Gomaa calls the crème de la crème of our nation’s scholars, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, teachers, accountants, journalists, laborers, and farmers – he calls them vagabonds and says that they stink. In this case, God’s word was true when He said of the likes of this sheikh: { 29. Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. 30. And when they passed by them, they would exchange derisive glances. 31. And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting.} [Quran 83:29-31].

Gomaa goes on to say: they speak of legitimacy, what legitimacy? A withheld imam in Islamic jurisprudence has lost his legitimacy. [he repeats twice]..withheld means arrested. And the disaster is that his case was referred to the judiciary and his legitimacy was lost, if he still had any legitimacy left.

Morsi’s legitimacy, ‘general’ Ali, is evident based on the elections held by the nation, where the president was elected by a majority in 100% transparent elections, based on the constitution which was backed by many elections and the Shura council that remained operative until the coup that broke the pacts and transgressed all limits.

This legitimacy is like a deep-rooted, solid mountain. No military or civilian can shake its grounds.

The general – who claims to be a Sufi whereas he is a shame to Sufism - says: visions recurred from God’s Prophet, and from saints!

Says who, ‘general’ Ali, that your visions and the visions of your likes are an authority in religious law that give permission to what Allah has prohibited and prohibit what Allah permitted?!

Says who that if you see a person who claims to be the Prophet in your dream then it is truly the Prophet. If the prophet gave you commands in the dream that were contrary to Islamic law, should they be implemented? Or if someone told you they were saint Al-Badawi or Al-Dusoqi, or Al-Rifa`i or others, would it be necessarily true? Should their words – taking into account that they’re fallible humans – be constantly believed?!

Did anyone among scholars say that these visions prove the permissibility of spilling sacred blood, imprisoning honorable, free people, herding decent women into prisons, in the guardianship of soldiers who do not fear God, and are shameless about people?

It is an outrageous form of ungodliness for Ali Gomaa to say: when I saw the images of Al-Fath mosque with the trash, impurity and panic they showed, it was as if Allah revealed those verses about those people. [About] a mosque that Prophet Muhammad burned, why? Because he doesn’t want this deviousness nor this scheming, nor this name [‘mosque] in the apparent, with corruption inside.

It is as though sheikh Gomaa wants with these words to deem the incidents and disasters that took place around Al-Fath mosque in Cairo as legal. The mosque is among the major mosques that Allah willed his name to be mentioned in them. When people came out of the mosque on the day of the famous battle, then were attacked by the army, police and thugs, people retreated to the mosque from all directions since mosques in Muslim countries are a shelter from unjust oppressors and a refuge for everyone. People entered into the mosque, closed its doors and stayed inside for the rest of the day and night. Meanwhile the aggressors and thugs, with army and police behind them, wanted to enter the mosque to carry out one of their notorious massacres.

The mosque was opened at night for a while and few people came out. Some of them were killed, some of them were shot in the arm, leg or another part of the body. The soldiers and thugs wanted to climb the minaret - the door to which stood separately from the mosque – and no one was there to prevent them. The next day, the rest of the people exited, again for some to be killed and others arrested.

On that day there was no room for trash in the mosque. Inside the mosque were praying, believing, pure people whom Allah, His angels and the believers love. They were not – as portrayed by the great forging media – a people of impurity and trash. They had no food nor anything to bring about such a condition.

The source of impurity and tarnish befalling the mosque are those who entered afterwards of the security men, and associated killers and varmints who prevented God’s name from being mentioned in mosques and sought to damage them.

The mosque burned by Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings be upon him – was farthest from Al-Fath mosque that Muslims knew and prayed in for years, where Friday and congregational prayers were established, where groups emerged that were firm in their religion, promoting good, preventing evil, and observing God’s rules. What resemblance does this have to the Al-Dirar mosque burned by Prophet Muhammad because since the first day it was established for harm, division among Muslims and as a station for those who warred against God and His Prophet before?

Sheikh Ali Gomaa – regrettably enough – is distorting the texts, and blind guessing about the definitive texts of the Quran, and the extended hadiths, the areas of consensus among Muslims, and stands opposed to the scholars of Al-Azhar and the scholars of the Muslim nation, the scholars of salaf (the first generations of Muslims), and the leaders of religion. He feels backed by the army, but even if they were all with him, they would not spare him anything before God. How much worse is it when we consider that in reality, the attendees were in an unknown time and place, were an insignificant number in comparison to the larger crowds of Egyptians, Arabs, Muslims and honorable, free people in the world who would all bear witness against him on Judgment Day {On a Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do. That Day, God will pay them in full their true [i.e., deserved] recompense, and they will know that it is God who is the manifest Truth [i.e., perfect in justice]. } [Quran 24: 24-25].

The attendees where Ali Gomaa was do not all resemble him. Some of them join the applause because they lack the knowledge of religion and its laws, some of them applaud out of fear that they will be blamed for not participating in the show, and some of them are clapping while their hearts are sad for what’s going on around them, being angry and sorry, but can do nothing.

Oh, Allah, we hold You witness, and your prophets, messengers, angels, and those of them who carry your throne, against those who distort your religion, manipulate your book, and say of You what they don’t know, and lie about You and your prophet.

Oh, Allah, disclose their affairs, divulge their hidden ugliness, and reveal their true nature to the people: { They [think to] deceive God and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not.} [Quran 2:9].

We call Egyptians, all Egyptians, Arabs, honest Muslims, and all those who have an active conscience and sincere truth-loving heart to stand by the wronged Egyptian people until they emerge victorious against their oppressors {And soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take} [Quran 26:227].