By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, November 24, 2012
Every time Israel or any other power attacks a Muslim country, such as Palestine, we cannot help noticing the absence of reaction on the part our much-acclaimed Muslim scholars and Sheikhs. On the other hand, when it comes to performing one’s ablutions and making love to one’s wife, nearly all Sheikhs hasten to issue fatwas that harshly deign some wrong practices.
Muslim Sheikhs who are supposed to play the role of castigating Al Monkar, the evil, in all its forms are often busy concerning themselves with life’s daily aspects, despite the fact what Muslims need nowadays is to put an end to the inhuman treatment inflicted on them by their rulers and put an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Muslim lands. It appears that our Sheikhs do not have the courage to speak up against the dire situation of their Palestinian brothers, forgetting that, as Muslim scholars, they are entrusted with the duty of being at the forefront of efforts striving to change evil into good and care for the moral and material well-being of their fellow compatriots.
Recent history has shown us that most Sheikhs do not actively take part in what is happening in the Muslim world. Most of them preach about using the media. Some others intervene to call for peace out loud, such as the famous Youssef Qaradaoui. Others intervene when their fellow Muslims’ lives are in jeopardy, but turn a deaf ear to other Muslims in another far-away country.
Let us remind ourselves of Burma where a number of Muslims have been victims of the most ignominious human rights violations. How many of our Sheiks have spoken out against that? How many of them have paid a visit to the area as a sign of commiseration and solidarity, bearing in mind that many Sheikhs from Saudi Arabia are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Only the elite few did! Did not our prophet (PBUH) say in many hadiths that if we do not care about the well-being of our fellow Muslims, we are not Muslims. Muslims are bound to help each other and show solidarity for other Muslims regardless of their locations are.
In the heyday of the Libyan revolution when Libyan tyrant Gaddafi was still alive, Sheikh Qaradawi spoke harshly against him to the extent that he even issued a fatwa that Muslims must slaughter him. At the very least, this assured Libyan Muslims who were fighting soul and body against dictatorship and enslavement that this was the right choice. Yet, to people’s surprise, upon the latest Israeli airstrikes against Gaza, except for his Friday’s lecture at Al Azhar mosque in Cairo, Qaradawi not make TV appearances to call for the defense of Palestinians.
Worse is the case of the Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al Fawzan, who, like his government, did not utter anything to condemn the Israeli attacks and call for solidarity with the civilian population in Gaza. After all, one should not expect anything from this Sheikh who believes that calling for change in the Muslim world would culminate in chaos and state instability. How can we expect him to side with the oppressed when he always defends the status quo in his country and strive to make people believe that that obeying those governing us is obligatory even though they tend to make their share of grave mistakes? Are not Palestinians Muslims just like their brethren in Libya or in Egypt during the Arab revolutions?
Many times, the Moroccan Sheikh Zamzami, for instance, has talked about carrots, pestles, and cucumbers as though Islam was only about this. Whether Zamzami is right or wrong as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned, such Sheikhs very well know that among the principal roles that they must play is to draw Muslims’ attention to the atrocities committed against them and the hatred some Western media still grudge towards followers and adherents of Islam.
To our dismay, the Sheikh did not say a word about the aggression perpetrated by the Israelis against the civilian population in Gaza, nor did he call on Moroccans to show solidarity with their Palestinian brothers. Even if this Sheikh, who is notorious for bizarre fatwas, is not specialized in politics, no Muslim should close his mouth over what his brothers are experiencing, let alone Sheikhs and scholars.
During speeches, seldom do we hear Sheikhs preaching that the solution to Palestinians’ turmoil and predicament lies in giving away martyrs. Seldom do Sheikhs advise taking to the street and sending arms to Palestinians whose lives are being jeopardized on a daily basis. Does not Islam teach us to defend our innocent fellow Muslims no matter what it would cost us? It is disappointing how our Sheikhs choose to keeps their lips sealed rather than choose to play an instrumental role in defending our brothers, at least by showing moral support.
Gone are the golden days when Egyptian Sheikh Abdelhamid Kichk stressed in many of his speeches that neither the Arab leaders’ speeches nor their meetings in Arab capitals would free Palestine. What would free it, the Sheikh assured, would be taking part in fighting with the Palestinians, the last resort our Sheikhs have not dared suggest. At present, the likes of Kichk are extremely rare.
In response to the above-mentioned instances, some questions must be posed: Is preaching on performing one’s ablutions or licit love-making more indispensable than preaching on the ways to stand up to all kinds of suffering which the Muslim world is still plagued with and which the Western world has already dispensed with? Are not our Sheikhs yet aware that Islam manifests itself more fully in the non-Muslim West where there are no Muslims than in the Muslim world?
It is time that the likes of Zamzami and AlFawzan took the lead in issues that will contribute to advancing the interests of Muslims and improve their well-being, rather than dictating to people how to make their ablutions or how to do their prayers. What people need are real religious scholars who represent them and defend their causes, rather than those who come up with pathetic fatwas or defend the status quo.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy