Al-Azhar’s historic fatwa on Shias

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SHAFAQNA IN COLLABORATION WITH THE WORLD SHIA FORUM – The following is the transcript of an interview which was conducted with al-Azhar’s most senior authority: Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib with Al Neel Egyptian TV channel.

In the interview Dr al-Tayyib rejects the notion of takfir in reference to Shia Islam, asserting the school of thought legitimate place within Islam’s schools of thoughts. Dr al-Tayyib’s courageous stand stands in opposition to Wahhabism, which dogma has ambitionned to outlaw Shia Islam for it recognises the authority of the AhlulBayt over that of their clerics.

Q. In your opinion, isn’t there any problem in Shia Beliefs?

A. Never, 50 years ago Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, the then Chancellor of Al Azhar, had issued a fatwa that Shia School is the fifth Islamic School and as like as the other schools.

Q. Our children are embracing Shia Islam, what should we do?

A. Let them convert and to embrace Shia School. If someone leaves Maliki or Hanafi Sect, do we criticize him? These children are just leaving fourth school and join the fifth.

Q. The Shias are becoming relatives with us and they are getting married with our children?

A. What is wrong with this, marriage between religions is allowed.

Q. It is said that the Shias have a different Quran?

A. These are the myths and superstitions of the elderly women. Shia Quran has no any difference with ours, and even the script of their Quran is like our alphabet.

Q. 23 clerics of a country (Saudi Arabia) issued a fatwa that the Shia are infidels, heretics (Kafirs)?

A. Al-Azhar is the only authority to issue fatwa for Muslims; therefore the above said fatwa is invalid and unreliable.

Q. So what does the difference – being raised between the Shia and the Sunni – mean?

A. These differences are the part of the policies of foreign powers who seek conflict between The Shia and the Sunni.

Q. I have a very serious question that “the Shia do not accept Abu Bakr and Umar, how you can say they are Muslims?

A. Yes, they do not accept them. But is the belief in Abu Bakr and Umar a part of the principles of Islam? The story of Abu Bakr and Umar is historic and history has nothing to do with fundamentals of the beliefs.

Q. (The reporter surprised by the response, asks) Shia has a fundamental problem and that is ”they say that their Imam the time (امام العصر) is still alive after 1,000 years”

A. He may be alive, why is it not possible? But there is no reason that we – as Sunni – should believe just like them.

Q. (Referring to Imam Mohammad Taqi al-Jawad AS, (the 9th Imam of Shias) the reporter asked) The Shias believe that one of their Imams was just eight-year old when he became Imam; is it possible that an eight-year-old child be the Imam?

A. If an infant in a cradle can be a prophet (Issa AS), then why an eight-year-old child can not be the Imam? It is not strange. Although we may not accept this belief as we are Sunni. However, this belief does not harm their Islam, and they are Muslims.

29 COMMENTS

  1. I confirm Shias use the same Quran. I am a Sunni but in fact I am neither a Sunni nor a Shia. Belief in the Caliphate is not an article of faith. It was Sheike Ibn Thaimiya used the word ” Rightly Guided Caliph” for the first time. Shia-Sunni divide is a creation by political Islam.

    • “Rightly Guided Caliphs” is in the hadith of Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. It was not a term invented by Ibn Taymiyyah or anyone.

      “You must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who come after me. Adhere to it and cling to it strongly, and beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going astray.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4607) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

    • When the Sunnis reject the very people, who diligently transmitted teachings of the prophet to them, such as the wives and close companions, they would have no religion. Between Aisyah, Umar, Abu Hurairah to name just 3, there were thousands of ahadith in the major books of the Sunni scholars like Bukhari Muslim, Abu Daud etc. The Sunnis relied on these narrations to learn and practise their religion. The Shi’ites condemn and curse the closest companions, even the wives of the prophet, and some people are sure whether they are Sunni nor Shia?

      The Shia religion allow the practise of mut’ah, in which any man and women, married or not, even girls, could get into a sexual relationship for an agreed period of time…any period of time…1 hour, 1 day…you name it, and the parties involved do not have to disclose their current marital status. Would the Sunnis allow themselves, their wives or their daughters to practise this?

      • do through research before you type idiotic comments, if u are so alarmed by mutah , try searching Misyaar followed by some sunnis.

    • true that! One should also know who actually built Al-Azhar University in the early 11th century! It was the Fatima Caliph of Egypt who happened to be a Shia.

  2. An excellent work done by al azhar. Unity is the only option we have to defy the ugly script written by the enemies of islam and if we continue to disintegrate it will not be long before this fire will reach our doorsteps. Wake up Muslims !

  3. Is it true that shites believe Ali Ra was a prophet and it was mistake on the part of Jibril as to bring the message from Allah Tala to prophet Muhammad saw in stead of Ali Ra? Anyone can shed light on that?

    • No, that is not true. I am a Shia my self and we have never heard and taught such thing. The Angel Jibril and God Himself would not make a mistake. These are all fables and not true. Made up enemies of Islam in order to divide the Ummah. Bless you my friend and thanks for the question. I hope to have clarified it well enough for you.

    • Salam Mohamed, this was the view of a minority sect (Ghurabiya) that became extinct probably in the 13th century. For mainstream shia they fall into the group of exaggerators because the go again at their beliefs. It is easy to understand why people hostile to the shia idea in general would pick this one out and proclaim it as a general principle.

    • No, that is a complete myth, a fabricated story . Do angels make mistakes? Hazrat Jibraeel is the highest ranked angel, how could he make a mistake? Shias believe Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be the last of Allah’s Messengers.

    • I am a Sunni myself. I have read some books written by Shia scholars and also talked to Shia friends. They do not believe like you have said above. This story of mistake on the part of Jibril in conveying the message to Muhammad (peace be upon him) instead of Hazrat Ali is a fabrication of illiterate Sunnis. There is no such belief among Shias.

    • Im sorry brother but that statement or false accusation don’t even make sense. I am a Shia Muslim and love my Sunni brothers and can confirm to you that there is No such thing 🙂

      May Allah bless you all.

  4. Aqidah of Ahlussunnah and Syi’ah are basically different. So, how can the followers of Al Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu’alaihiwasallam ever accept Syi’ah as one of them.

    Listen to the views of Dr Yusuf Qaradawi* on Syi’ah on this YouTube video clip:

    https://youtu.be/LZfXZu3g-WA

    Yusuf al-Qaradawi (Arabic: يوسف القرضاوي Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī‎‎; or Yusuf al-Qardawi; born 9 September 1926) is an Egyptian Islamic theologian based in Doha, Qatar, and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.[1] He is best known for his programme, al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide.[2][3] He is also well known for IslamOnline, a popular website he helped found in 1997 and for which he now serves as chief religious scholar.[4]

    Al-Qaradawi has published more than 120 books,[3] including The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam and Islam: The Future Civilization. He has also received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship,[5] and is considered one of the most influential such scholars living today.[2][6][7] Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood,[8] an Egyptian political organization, although he has repeatedly stated that he is no longer a member[9] and twice (in 1976 and 2004) turned down offers for the official role in the organization.[2][10] Source: Wikipedia.

    Assalaamu’alaikom warahmatullahi wabarokaatuh.

  5. Wake up, wake up…please wake up Muslims the world over. We must not allow a royal family destroy us. We live with Christian’s, Jews, buddists, Hindus, etc, etc, we live with even gays, and so for hundreds of years, why Shia or Sunni now. Wether the interview is tue or false you cannot deny the substance of the answers. The royal family with its Salman snr and Salman jnr will In Sha Allah be put to shame. Vrrj

  6. Firstly Al a zhar doesn’t consider Isis infidels or kuffar . Secondly Dr tayyb said that Al a zhar is the only institute has the capacity to make fatwa in the Islamic issues, and this is not true. Thirdly sheikh tayyb is talking about myths anti- reasons ….

  7. All Muslims should learn to respect other Muslims regardless. If our Allah is one, Quran is one and the last Prophet is one then there is no need to argue about anything else. We should not judge each other, because Allah is the best Judge. Our enemies know our fault lines, and they also know how to use them against us.

  8. A very reliable anecdote, ever mentioned by Al-Azhar University the saddle of sources of Islam, Plz every one should read these questions and answers to remove the ambiguity spread to Muslim Ummah in Pakistan. Shias are as good Muslims as Sunny is but it is fifth school, certified by Al-Azhar Egypt.

  9. Islam was completed after last sermon of holy prophet صل اللہ علیہ و آلہ وسلم when the verses akmalto lakum deenakum were delivered. Much before any of the imams and books of ahadeeth came into being.

    Similarly Allah has promised to safeguard holy Quran, and no other book

    So please stop trying to divide Muslims on the basis of whatever happened after prophet صل اللہ علیہ و آلہ وسلم .

    My salute to jama Alhamdo lillah Azher for this historic fatwa and the one 50 years ago.

  10. Don’t be easily deceived. Al Azhar never issued a fatwa calling Shia mainstream Islam. The scholar that appeared on Youtube is a Sufi sect man who is in serious war with the rest of the Muslims in the world for following Islam as practised by the Prophet and his disciples ( The Salaf).

    This is not an official Fatwa from Al Azhar, it is an opinion of an angry scholar.

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