Shaikh Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwa. Do you want the good news first, or the bad?

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    3rd March 2010

    [UPDATE 16th March - the Fatwa is now online here. Not as yet complete, due to translation issues. Thank you to the commenter below who supplied it.]

    FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS

    A FATWA “PROHIBITING” TERRORISM

    According to the Quilliam Foundation, an anti-Islamic terrorist group in Britain,  today “the renowned, mainstream Muslim scholar Shaikh Dr Tahir ul-Qadri will issue a comprehensive fatwa (religious ruling) prohibiting terrorism and suicide bombing at a press conference in Westminster, London.”

    This has been responded to at the Guardian. For once, I think I am with the Guardian on this one, with a caveat which I will come to later.

    THE LANGUAGE AS SHE IS ‘WROTE’

    The language of fatwahs is not without religious overtones. In fact it is entirely WITH religious overtones as well as undertones. This kind of language has no place in secular political discourse.  Its use implies only a minor move away from Islam as she is wrote. Islam as she is wrote is the problem. Ask any trainee suicide bomber.  “Allah instructed” them.

    CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE

    The caveat to my hesitation over the ‘language’ issue is simple.  Here Dr ul-Qadri may be attempting to move his people away from their recent bending of the historic meaning of the term “fatwa”. It isn’t invariably an instruction to kill, as it was in the case of Salmand Rushdie.  Perhaps the good gentleman feels that this usage is a way of repossessing the language as well as being the best way to communicate the urgency of the need for “Islam means peace” to be re-stated and re-constituted in fact, replacing its present meaning in the minds of many. [I recall suggesting separating semantically 'Islamists' from 'Islamicists' over two years ago here.]

    I give him great credit for speaking out at ALL in Britain. For too long too many Muslim voices have been mute on all of this.

    NOW THE BAD NEWS

    Definition: A fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law.

    ‘A fatwa is issued by a recognized religious authority in Islam. But since there is no hierarchical priesthood or anything of the sort in Islam, a fatwa is not necessarily “binding” on the faithful. The people who pronounce these rulings are supposed to be knowledgable, and base their rulings in knowledge and wisdom. They need to supply the evidence from Islamic sources for their opinions, and it is not uncommon for scholars to come to different conclusions regarding the same issue.

    As Muslims, we look at the opinion, the reputation of the person giving it, the evidence given to support it, and then decide whether to follow it or not. When there are conflicting opinions issued by different scholars, we compare the evidence and then choose the opinion to which our God-given conscience guides us.’

    Hmmm… I had a feeling there would be a catch.

    As Tony Blair said in his last speech to conference “So: it’s up to you. You take my advice. You don’t take it. Your choice.

    We are yet to work out just how wise were the democracy followers in that 2006 Blair case, fatwa-less as it was. For the followers of Islam, the political religion, where democracy thrives only inasmuch as anyone (male, of course) can regale mosque attenders on anything they think they know anything about, democratic parties and governments are a whole different bag of fun and games.

    Still, my wishes for success in their missions and long lives go to both Dr ul-Qadri and Tony Blair. “Blessed”, someone once said, “are the peacemakers”.

    This is what they and we are up against. No-one has told these people that the only reason Gaza has ANY supplies of anything from water to power to telephones to food is that Israel and the west supply them, or have chosen NOT to attack the hundreds of smuggling tunnels into Gaza.


    From The Quilliam Foundation -

     

    Dr Tahi ul-Qadri's fatwa against terrorism.

    Founder of the international Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, his fatwa is significant because:

    -    Minhaj-ul-Quran is a major grass-roots organisation with hundreds of thousands of followers in South Asia and the UK.
    –    Shaikh Dr Tahir ul-Qadri is a widely recognised and respected authority on Islamic jurisprudence.
    –    The fatwa condemns suicide bombers as destined for hell, which helps remove extremists’ certainty of earning paradise after death.
    –    The 600-page fatwa is arguably the most comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism to date.
    –    Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwa will set an important precedent and will allow other scholars to similarly condemn the ideas behind terrorism.

    A Quilliam spokesperson said -

    “This fatwa has the potential to be a highly significant step towards eradicating Islamist terrorism. Fatwas by Wahhabi-influenced clerics and Islamist ideologues initiated modern terrorism against civilians. Terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda continue to justify their mass killings with self-serving readings of religious scripture.  Fatwas that demolish and expose such theological innovations will consign Islamist terrorism to the dustbin of history.”

    The Independent – excerpt:

    “Although numerous fatwas condemning terrorism have been released by scholars around the world since 9/11, Dr Qadri’s 600-page ruling is both significant and unusual because it is one of the few available in English and online. Those hoping to combat terrorism have long spoken of their frustration at the traditional Islamic hierarchy’s inability to exert their influence on the internet, where violent jihadists and Saudi-influenced Wahabis have long reigned supreme.

    Dr Qadri’s ruling also goes further than most previous edicts by describing terror acts as so morally unjustifiable that they represent acts of “kufr” (disbelief). Most previous rulings only go as far as calling terrorism “haram” (forbidden). Kufr acts are so serious that those committing them essentially forfeit their right to call themselves Muslims.

    A version of the fatwa in Urdu will also be launched later this month in Pakistan, where leading scholars have been killed by the Taliban for speaking out. Last year Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, a respected cleric and close friend of Dr Qadri, was assassinated days after issuing a verbal fatwa on national television condemning terrorism.”




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    21 Responses to “Shaikh Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwa. Do you want the good news first, or the bad?”

    1. Adem Says:

      why not link to the fatwa am trying to find it–useful tool

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Will do, Adem – as soon as I find it!

        Haven’t found it yet. This page has only this, with links to other speeches, none of which seem to be about yesterday’s fatwa:(my bolded section may be noteworthy.)

        “Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri have authored more than 360 books in Urdu, English and Arabic languages. Some of these books have also been translated in many other languages of the world. More than 700 manuscripts of his books are undergoing various processes of publication. His revivalist, reformative and reconstructive efforts hold the distinct position for the propagation of faith.”

    2. MoreGoodNews? Says:

      There has been a lot of fuss over the fatwa of Tahir ul-Qadri – released in London today – and after receiving the PR from the Quilliam Foundation about the issue my interest was doubly aroused, since this is not the first time this particular fatwa has been released.

      In fact, this fatwa was initially released in Pakistan and Canada, with translations available in both English and Arabic, in December 2009. It was subsequently released in the UK in January.

      However, after being available online in English for a while, the fatwa was taken down within the last week in the run-up to the “re-launch”, heavily backed by the Quilliam Foundation who publicised the speech. Quilliam, to remind you, helpfully define “Islamists” and “Islamism” in their FAQs as:

      “The modernist attempt to claim that political sovereignty belongs to God, that the Shari’ah equates to state law, and that it is a religious duty on all Muslims to create a political entity that reflects the above…In short, Islamism is the belief that Islam is a political ideology.”

      Now, Tahir ul-Qadri has written many books in English. Just by looking at one of them – “Islam – the State Religion” – found online we find he has said the following:

      He claims that “there is a fundamental contrast between an Islamic state and a secular state.” Why? Because “ The authority of a secular state derives from the people themselves. Religion plays no obligatory role in its functioning. But the authority of an Islamic state derives from the Almighty Allah”. He also claims that “Islam is the basis of polity in an Islamic state”, and that the first constitution of Madinah “declared the state of Madinah as a political unit”. He also mentions that the constitution declared the “indivisible composition of the Muslim nation (Ummah) and its total and unquestioning submission to the will of God”.
      Furthermore, in a tip to the “dar ul Islam/ dar al-Kufr” split in Islamic political view, he mentions that “In the Holy Quran God Himself has categorically expressed the concept of two-nation theory. There are those people who belong to the Ummah and there are those who are outside it” those who embrace Islam, and those who reject from the other nation”

      He also believes in the “Supremacy of Islam over other systems of life” and that “a state is Islamic only when it recognises the constitutional and political predominance of Islam”.

      With respect to modern constitutions, Tahir ul-Qadri says “since the constitution itself is a document of law, it has to derive its validity from Qur’an and Sunnah”, and modern political rulers have the “religious and moral responsibility to implement the “revealed laws””. In fact – he rejects secular rule stating that “a constitution is a man-made law and by no means it can be declared superior to a God-made law” and that “no authority in the land can suspend enforcement or curtail the implementation of Shariah”

      In other words – he is a man who believes in the Sovereignty of God’s law, that Shari’ah equates to State law, that it is a political duty for Muslims to create a political entity that reflects that. In short – there is no doubt that Tahir ul-Qadri sees Islam as a political ideology, whatever Harry’s Place may tell us. Perhaps Tahir ul-Qadri does believe in democracy and human rights, but as is clear from the above his conception of such a State is where the people choose Islam and the rights are defined by Islam. As he mentions in other books, hudood prescriptions are primary/ core issues in the law which must be implemented unless there are societal reasons such as famine or lack of education to do so.

      Ed Husain writing in the Guardian has proclaimed Tahir ul Qadri as “the head of a global social movement of mainstream Muslims, a teacher to thousands, and a compassionate Muslim leader who has drawn millions to normative Islam”.

      In other words – the ideas mentioned above are all part of normative Islam. Which means, according to the Quilliam Foundation themselves – “Islamism” is part of “normative Islam”.

      Which brings us to the point – exactly why are people like Ed Hussain, Douglas Murray and Harry’s Place promoting Tahir ul Qadri? While Douglas Murray and Harry’s Place obviously have no clue about this man, nor any clue that rather than being against “Islamism” as they define and hate, but rather he is against other “Islamic sects” which he claims are “conservative”, Ed and the Quilliam Foundation surely have no excuse for this underhanded sleight of hand? This is hardly the first fatwa condemning suicide bombings or terrorism, and coming from a man whose political party achieved 0.7% of the vote in 2002 Pakistani elections there is doubt that he is the most popular to have done so either.

      Ed claims “Shaikh Tahir is a leader of that caravan of ordinary Muslims, trying to rescue our Islam from the Saudi clerics that issue fatwas of death, and leading the way for announcing fatwas against death”.

      Ahhh, so now we get it. This isn’t about “Islamism” at all. Its Quilliam and Minhaj ul Quran politicking to discredit “conservatives” (read” Deobandis” and “Salafi/ Wahabis”) and ingratiate themselves to a political class that has no clue about the inner workings of the wider Muslim community. They are probably also jealous of the work that Andrew Gilligan did on his dispatches program (which basically told us that Muslims are working within the political system…creeeeepy) without so much as involving them, and wanted to steal the limelight back.

      It all makes sense now. Petty divisiveness and attempts to garner more government money by looking relevant.

      Confused?

      That’s what 1£ million of taxpayers money gets you.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Right, “More Good News” – first of all, do you have a website where all of your thinking can be read?

        Secondly, thank you for your insightful comment. I know nothing about the good Doctor’s background, or the contents of his earlier books, but I am always ready to learn, as will be my readers, I’m sure. Are you also of the inside knowledge that Dr Ul-Qadri still thinks/feels as he did when he wrote the books to which you refer?

        My gut instinct is to reject Islam as totally unsuitable for modern secular democracies. On the other hand there are millions of Mulsims living contendedly in Muslim and non-Muslim lands who do not seem to be ready to throw western style democracy under a bus for the sake of their religion. I may be wrong. Perhaps they are pliable and will have no say if and when push comes to shove. But it is kind of awkward just to tell all the followers of a religion that they should dump their beliefs because they are not compatible with secular, non-religious democracy. Especially so if they are living next door.

        It’s easy to fall into the “it’s all about money” mindset, as I know in my forays around the internet to be “informed” as to exactly why Tony Blair took us into Iraq. Although I don’t dismiss the follow the money theory out of hand as regards the Quilliam Foundation, or the blinder in any government hand-outs to pacify the natives, I still don’t quite see WHY any government would take this approach rather than deal with the issues upfront. OK, there is the fear of civil unrest factor.

        Perhaps you need to contact Ed Hussain, Douglas Murray and Harry’s Place to see what they think. There might even be a double-bluff afoot right now.

        Anyway, thank you for your comment. Much to chew over here. I may do a follow-up post on it, given time.

    3. Abraham Says:

      It will realy be useful if we can obtaine a copy of the Fatwa.If any one find please send me the link to abrahameu@gmail.com.I live in Dubai.

    4. indian wafadar musalmaan Says:

      Fatwas from the muftis mullahs, Allah save the Muslim Ummah from priesthood which has no place in Islam.Seek knowledge and be truthful serve the humanity, live in peace on the earth and in the hereafter.Make love and No war.Ask any believing Muslim of the world on the issue of Terrorism all are against it.Catch the real terrorists and plotters and hang them in public use commonsense, why create a phobia against innocent Muslims.
      Live and let live don’t believe the so called Godmen who has no authority on Islam.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Indian – don’t quite get your point on “preisthood”.

        But one of MY points is that we don’t hang people in Europe, even muderers. Shame at times, but there we are. That’s civilised behaviour for you, and that’s why fundamentalitasts know they can get away with it.

        I am sure that most Muslims in this world are against terrorism. That’s why it’s good to see one “high-placed” Muslim speaking out like this (if it’s genuine.)

        Who are these, by the way:

        Live and let live don’t believe the so called Godmen who has no authority on Islam.

        Are these the terrorists? Or are these the Mullahs?

    5. RG Says:

      How about being happy that someone of note is speaking out against terrorism.

    6. Ahmad from Duabi Says:

      Wasn’t it to please Americans and their puppets.
      Never in history has anyone boasted of the number of pages of a ‘Fatwa’. 600 hundred pages. Good for Guinness Book of World Records. Seems he wants ‘million $’ award from Uncle Sam.

      “The embodiment of Sunnah” is yet another self donned title of the Sheikul Islam. What next? “embodiment of Quran”?! Saint?! “embodiment of Light”?!

      Seems he had no idea of the pain and suffering of the victims in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, N.W. Pakistan, Kashmir.

      Abdullah from Kashmir

    7. anonymous Says:

      Here’s the part of the fatwa. Part because it is in the process of translation to english.

      http://www.minhaj.org/images-db2/fatwa-eng.pdf

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Thank you for this. Ninety pages! And in its full Urdu it’s 600 pages. I think that’ll be reading for another day, then.

        Glad it’s out there now, even if incomplete.

        I’ll add this link to the top of the post.

    8. Idrees Zafran Says:

      Dear all,
      just visit given link and see a who is Dr.Tahir ul Qadri.and what he want for this beautiful world.

      http://www.minhaj.org/english/index.html

      only comments is easy…

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Thank you, Idrees,

        Though I’m sorry to have to tell you we haven’t seen a lot of people repeat his “fatwa” against terrorism calls. Many don’t seem to be listening. More suicide killings in Iraq today, Muslim upon Muslim. And the fatwa hasn’t been mentioned in the British press since he launched it.

        The mouse that squeaked?

        And, following a link from that site, it takes one to the Doctor criticising the cartoon artists, on a page about ‘avoiding a clash of civilisations’. Sorry too late for that. We DO clash – all those who do not accept freedom – in other words, fundamentalist Islamists – and the rest of us.

        I saw a cartoon today which TRIES to make the point, but somehow I don’t think you are up to the required lateral thinking. Go here and scroll down. I promise it does not depict Mohammed or anything “insulting”.

    9. Altaf Says:

      Assalam Alaikum
      I am Altaf from miraj, Sangli Dist. (Maharashtra). I want email ID of Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri Bcoz I want ask some questions about Islam. plz help me.

    10. thwalhathul ameen Says:

      assalamualikkum .i am from india.i would like to ask a question to you about ahlubyth .many scholars are saying sayyid will be onlu through father .children will no be sayyid through mother lineage.
      please reply for it

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