3. The religious institution in Egypt [2-5]

Article summary: 

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a ferocious attack on the religious institution in Egypt. Most of the criticism was based on subjective opinions, and not on any enlightened analysis of reality.

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During the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was a ferocious attack on the religious institution in Egypt based primarily on subjective impressions and not an enlightened analysis of reality.

In his July 14 2005 column [Editor: No reference found in AWR] celebrated writer Salāma Ahmad Salāma wrote “I believe the Muslim culamā’ the scholars of the authorities in the Islamic world are no longer qualified to stand up against the blasphemy prejudicing Islam. Since Muslim institutions have merged into the state machinery Muslims have stopped listening to their fatwas and their denunciations of extremism in the name of religion are falling on deaf ears. When the religious institution gives its fatwas by means of instructions for political reasons it sparks a confusion that brings its credibility down to the lowest depths.”

Alī Jum‘a argues that scholars have always shouldered their responsibilities with the sole objective of encouraging righteousness and defending people’s interests. Yet some people oppose any clerical involvement in politics and national issues arguing that clerics should remain in mosques. The author argues that this in itself is one of the reasons behind the terrorist mentality.

He challenges Salāma Ahmad Salāma to mention one or two fatwas that have been issued on request.

Alī Jumca points out that there is an important difference between a fatwa and a personal opinion and argues that taking information without the proper verification from the original sources does not serve the search for truth.

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