Fatwa from Al-Qaradawi: it is an obligation to support Egyptian President, calls Sisi to retreat

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Fatwa from Al-Qaradawi: it is an obligation to support Egyptian President, calls Sisi to retreat


All praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, God’s messenger, and all his brethren of prophets, and on their families, companions and followers till Judgment Day.


This is a fatwa edict issued and addressed to the Egyptian people with all their categories and constituents, of all those who accept Allah as their lord, and Islam as their religion, Quran as their guide and path, Muhammad as their messenger and prophet, and placed Islamic Shariah – in its comprehensive, integrated, balanced, and moderate form – as their point of reference when matters are confused, when issues are complicated, and when people head right and left but find nothing purer or superior to God’s Book and the tradition of His messenger {for any to whom Allah gives not light, there is no light!} [Quran 24:40]


The brief of my edict, issued jointly with many Al-Azhar scholars in Egypt, scholars from the Arab and Muslim world and scholars, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars which I head, is that:

Egyptians lived along thirty years – if not sixty – deprived of an elected president that they accept as their ruler based on their choice, until Allah arranged it for them to have for the first time a president that they selected consciously and at their free will, President Mohamed Morsi, and have given him pledges of obedience for better or worse, in what they love or hate, and civil as well as military categories, the rulers and the ruled – among them Major General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the Minister of Defense in the cabinet headed by Hisham Kandil, who made the oath before our eyes to obey President Morsi and continued to fulfill it until a sudden change took place where he transformed himself from a minister to a man of superior authority by which he can banish the legitimate president, break his vow to him and join one side of citizens against another side, claiming that they are with the outnumbering side.


General El-Sisi and those who joined him in this direction, have committed an error both with regards the constitution and legitimacy.


Constitution-wise, the president who was elected democratically, in an undoubted and undebatable manner, must continue his four-year term as long as he is capable of that and as long as he has been subject to no hindrance that makes him incapable of his job.


If he had some faults – that he personally admitted –, the people and their different political powers must correct him, provide counsel to him, be patient with him, but he will remain everyone’s president.


But for a group to diverge from obedience to the president, and give themselves authority over the people, oust the president, nullify the constitution, impose another president and constitution, the whole action become illegitimate as they initiate an authority that was not established by the people, but is a violation of a pact with God, and a pact with the people and invalidation of the consequences of a great revolution where the whole nation participated, and that established this democratic regime that people have dreamt of for ages, and made sacrifices for its sake for years until they arrived to it. Hence, according to the constitution and democratic regime, all the announced procedures remain unconstitutional.


Legitimacy-wise, the Islamic law, which the people of Egypt want as their reference in a civil state, not a theocratic religious one, commands all those who believe in it and refer to it to obey their legitimately elected president, carry out his commands, and respond to his directions in all affairs of life, under two conditions:


The first condition: is that he doesn’t command the people to commit a sin that is obvious to God and to the people. And this is reported in extensive, verified (Sahih) hadiths narrated by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others:


- "Listen and obey even if an Ethiopian slave whose head is like a [black] raisin is appointed to rule you” [narrated by Ibn Malik].


- "Whoever of you sees something that he dislikes from their ruler, let them be patient, for whoever strays one inch away from the body of Muslims and dies, they have died a death of Jahiliya (the era prior to Islam)” [narrated by Ibn `Abbas].


- "It is obligatory upon a Muslim that he should listen (to the ruler appointed over him) and obey him whether he likes it or not, except that he is ordered to do a sinful thing. If he is ordered to do a sinful act, a Muslim should neither, listen to him nor should he obey his orders” [narrated by Ibn Umar].


- "Obedience is only in what is good (and reasonable)” [narrated by Ali].

- And all of these are affirmations of the references made in the Quran to the pledge taken from women that: "and that they will not disobey you in any just matter,” [Quran 60:12].


It has never been proved that President Mohamed Morsi gave commands to any citizen to commit an obvious sin. On the contrary, the demonstrations and interactions in Tahrir Square are among the merits of Mohamed Morsi.


The second condition: is to refrain from ordering people to do something that takes them out of their religion to enter into blatant, undisputable apostasy, which was mentioned in the hadith of `Ubadah – may Allah be pleased with him – that "We gave God’s messenger the oath for obedience in ease and hardship and to favor over ourselves, and to refrain from dispute with those in authority” the prophet said "unless you see evident apostasy for which you have proof of from God” [Agreed].


Hence, it becomes evidently clear that the legitimate President Mohamed Morsi did not command his people to commit a sin, did not himself commit an apparent act of apostasy, but is rather a man who practices acts of worship like fast and voluntary night prayer, and is keen on obedience to Allah.


It is an obligation for him to remain president, and it’s not permissible for anyone to claim that the people have the right to oust him and General Sisi’s claim that he did this for the benefit of the people and to prevent division into two sides does not justify his support for one side against the other.


Those whom El-Sisi used their assistance do not represent the Egyptian people but are a minor part of it. The Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayyeb, head of the Council of Supreme Scholars – of whom I am one – did not seek our opinion and we did not delegate him to speak on behalf of us, and is wrong in his support for the kkkkk from the legitimate president of the country. It is a contradiction to the consensus of the Muslim nation, without a basis from Quran or Sunna – which rather support the position of President Morsi. El-Tayyeb has thus contradicted the scholars of the Muslim nation who do not sell their knowledge for any one whoever they are. El-Tayyeb said that it was on the ground of committing the lesser of two evils. But whoever said that ousting a legitimate president, rejecting the constitution approved by two thirds of the Egyptian people, and shoving the country into a maze – that God only know of – is the lesser evil. It is rather the greater evil warned in the Quran, prophet’s sayings, and those of the nation’s scholars.


We wish Dr. El-Tayyeb could deal with Dr. Morsi as he dealt with Hosni Mubarak in the past! Why the double standards? This is a destruction for the role of Al-Azhar that always stands by the people, not the despotic ruler.

Pope Tawadros was not delegated by the Copts either to speak in their name, when some of them participated as members of the Freedom and Justice Party and Islamic parties.


El-Baradei was not delegated by the Salvation Front and has only a few people around him while opposition sides do not claim that he represents them.


Those who spoke in the name of Al-Noor Party represent a known minority of people, while all Salafis and the Al-Jama`a Al-Islamiyah as well as patriotic parties and honorable individuals have been against this step that’s about to drive the country and the rights of people to undesirable outcomes.


I call on General Sisi, and those with him, with love and sincerity, as well as all parties and political powers in Egypt, fellow scholars in the world, and all those who seek freedom, dignity and justice to take a unified stand to defend the truth, and bring Morsi back to his legitimate position, to provide counsel to him, set treatment plans, and practical programs that protect our freedom and democracy that we earned with our blood and must never abandon.


Hosni Muabaral remained for thirty years, spreading corruption in the country, humiliating the people, stealing money, smuggling it abroad, and employing thugs to protect his men, to the end of the long list of types of tyranny and corruption that people know until he delivered the country to his successor completely ruined. However, the army never ousted him, but allowed him to delegate the army to continue the path after him. Do we tolerate Hosni Muabarak patiently for thirty years, and fail to tolerate Mohamed Morsi for one year? It is not the fault of the democratic system but the fault of those who apply it. To reform it, we must apply it well, not destroy its foundations.


It is not fair for Egypt to do that, to abandon its constitution, its elected president, its Godly law, for this shall only call anger and punishment from Allah {Think not that Allah does not heed the deeds of the unjust.} [Quran 14:42].

I call from my deepest heart all the Egyptian people that I love and redeem with my life, and want to reward from them but seek the pleasure of Allah only, I call them in north and south of Egypt, in cities and villages, in the desert and countryside, women, young people and seniors, the rich and poor, employees and laborers, Muslims and Christians, liberals and Islamists, to stand unified together to protect the gains of the revolution: freedom and democracy and to free themselves from all forms of dictatorship, to not relinquish it for a tyrannical ruler, be they military or civilian as this is what some nations have fallen victims to, and lost their freedom and could only regain it after years. And all power is from Allah.

Oh, Allah, guard our country Egypt, and protect its people, and do not let us perish with the deeds of the foolish among us. Amen.


Yusuf Al-Qaradawi


IUMS President