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Kaddafi and Ourselves: A Testimony for the Sake of History

Kaddafi and Ourselves: A Testimony for the Sake of History

 

Published in January 17, 2017

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

 

Introduction:

1- This article is not a discourse about self-praise within a relation with a dictator; rather, it is a true story, after all, about the relation between the pen of a writer and a sword of a tyrant, within endless debate with each other, as always. In most cases , pens of writers submit to the powerful tyrants, making the writers prostituting their talents, in a way similar to street whores. On rare occasions, the rebellious pen of a revolting writer stands against a powerful tyrant, and within this struggle between the pen and the sword, the tyrant wins temporarily; as he is sooner or later put into the dustbin of history, while the writings penned by the writer remain as long as people read them. It is a non-issue for tyrants if writers, owners of the pen, are in the wrong or not, as writers are persecuted anyway by tyrants, thus immortalized within transient human history by virtue of this persecution, whereas tyrants fall into the dustbin of history. For instance, Ibn Hanbal was never popular during his lifetime, and no one felt that he was a notable religious scholar at all; yet, because he was flogged upon orders of tyrants, he was immortalized in history and grew more famous than  his persecutors: Abbasid caliphs Al-Motassim and Al-Wathiq. Ibn Hanbal remains alive until now by his backward, anti-Quran, terrorist, fanatic writings. His two persecutors are never remembered now. Likewise, a no-less-dangerous extremist, fanatic author, Ibn Taymiyya, is now more famous that the Mameluke sultan, Beibars, who incarcerated him. no one motions now the name of Beibars, and he was forgotten once he was murdered, whereas the books (inciting bloodshed and violence in the name of religion) penned by Ibn Taymiyya makes him live on until now. These two authors with their pens are examples of immortalized writers though they wrote nothing but falsehoods in their writings, and part of their immortality in history was their being persecuted during their lifetimes. Let alone a Muslim thinker like ourselves whose unprecedented writings, in terms of quantity and quality, are unparalleled. We have smashed many hallowed taboos and holy cows, and we have begun the revival of true Islam and suffered for years from persecution and still performing our mission of showing true Islam until now. Our paving the way encouraged many other authors in other countries to imitate us, and some copy-and-paste our ideas and ascribe them to themselves while denying ours, but we do not care, but we feel happy to see thought enlightenment being propagated, as we seek only to gratify Almighty God. we never seek to please people instead of God, or to be very well-known, popular, or famous among people. Since 1977 until now, we have met with nothing but ingratitude, neglect, and denial in return for our intellectual jihad. We are an engaged writer with a vision from which we never move away. Our vision remained unchanged; many people come and go to our website, but we never change in our stances, views, and attitudes. We tend to think that we, as a writer siding with goodness and Truth, are addressing the era that will come after our death; our own era negates and neglects us, but our writings will receive fair acclaim and attention they deserve in the coming eras, not now. The coming generations will appreciate, praise, and apply our ideas after we die. Let us imagine the 22th century; people of that era will remember Kaddafi, Mubarak, and Al-Sisi only because we have written about them; they are lucky to be remembered though they will remain in the dustbin of history. We predict that our own writings will – God willing – remain vivid, luminous, highly readable, and alive for years and years, as long as there are readers among people.                    

2- We do not mean here to indulge in self-praise; rather, this is to record and register of events of history since we write honestly – as far as memory could help us. Let us remember that every word uttered and written by any human beings will be judged by the Almighty God on the Day of Resurrection. Kaddafi is dead now, and we talk about him here in his absence; he cannot refute us and we claim we tell the whole truth here about our relation with him. readers may take our words here on the face value; but we testify that we write nothing but the truth. Some other writers who worshipped tyrants in return for some power, money, and authority would readily write biographies of such tyrants after the tyrannical rulers die, while elevating themselves and their statures falsely on the account of their dead tyrannical masters, who are defamed and criticized severely by the same pens that used to praise them. Those shameless writers are a disgrace to the power of the written word; after they prostitute their talents by praising tyrants by their pens, the same very pens verbally abuse, criticize, and slander – justly and unjustly – the dead tyrants in order to allow such writers to get nearer and closer to the new tyrants. Those shameless, despised writers receive countless transient worldly possessions and wealth, and more contempt of people.       

3-  we have received this message via email, and we quote it partially here followed by our reply: (… Peace be with you, greetings, dear Dr. Mansour … This questions persists inside our mind: was Kaddafi a Quranist?! Like a movie-reel, we kept remembering events in Libya that ended in his violent death, as he was murdered brutally by those who lost their faith and their humanity … Of course, he was a dictator and a tyrant who used to rule Libya by sheer force, but so was Saddam Hussein and others; yet Wahabis revere Saddam Hussein as a Sunnite 'martyr' and a 'hero' (who was brutal with Iraqi Shiites and put to death by 'infidels'), and they never do the same with Kaddafi … Even Saddam Hussein was a secular ruler, and so was, in our opinion, Kaddafi … Yet, was Kaddafi at one point no longer a Sunnite and he rejected Sunna and hadiths? Was this the reason Salafists and Wahabis hated Kaddafi? … Yet, Kaddafi never showed in his deeds that he applied Quranism at all in his life and in the way he ruled Libya … But his old speeches and interviews (watched by us on YouTube) show signs of disrespect toward the so-called hadiths and he denied the so-called intercession of Muhammad on the Last Day on behalf of sinners … Kaddafi  asserted that Islam was misinterpreted for centuries and Muhammad's character was distorted and deified like Jesus, and made a supreme deity above Allah Himself … Kaddafi even mocked many Sunnite notions in his TV interviews, calling clergymen as charlatans and swindlers … He even called for making the Kaaba Mosque accessed for free by all people and not only Muslims … Does this make Kaddafi a Quranist?! … Another YouTube video showing the brutal murder  of Kaddafi while his Wahabi killers shouting at his corpse that he was an 'infidel' and an 'apostate' who will go to Hell because he denied Sunna and hadiths … Is it a disgrace that Quranists deny things so very insulting to Prophet Muhammad? … What do you think? … Thank you for your time …). Here is our reply below.

 

Firstly: we quote the following from the introduction of our book published here online, titled "The Quran Is Enough", found in English on this link:

 http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=6001

 

(1-At the early 1990s, we faced a severe battle against extreme poverty and against traditionalist adversaries. Our adversaries included Sufis, Salafists, Sunnites, and Azharites; as well as their religious, educational, and preaching institutes, both in Egypt and worldwide. In addition, we bore the brunt of the heavy-handed, repressive, and ever-watchful Egyptian governmental agencies which sought us out, and hunted us down like prey. We have been against the way people are implementing and applying Islam. Naturally, they denied us any sustenance and plagued our life with continuous terror, which they inflicted shamelessly. However, if a peaceful thinker went to prison, especially Egyptian prisons, even if it be for a few weeks, the experience will never leave him. He continues to bear the experience and memories inside him no matter how long he lives. He remains recollecting these painful memories, especially if he was, like us, not owning any material wealth and not knowing what will happen to his children if the authorities were to return him to the dark depths of prison. He even knows what awaits him from the prison guards, most of whom are extremists, and are his adversaries in religion who see their efforts against him as their opportunity of revenge. Just like the supposedly moderate sheikh Sayed Sabek (who was the sheikh/mufti of the terrorist MB group), when he issued a fatwa in his most famous book ''Fiqh Al-Sunna'' (The Jurisprudence of the Sunna) regarding the so-called apostates; and they see us as a fervent, incorrigible apostate. Our adversaries are those among the religious extremists and the corrupt, tyrannical politicians in authority. Yet, even though they dispute with one another on many issues, they agree on one thing: pursuing and persecuting us.

2- The idea of imprisoning us for the third time, by being framed  within any charge possible, allowed them to realize their dream of getting rid of us for good, so our blood will be spilt among the mob and the masses of prisoners. It was also an evil habit of Egypt’s State Security Apparatus men to apprehend and interrogate us so often to frighten and terrorize us, especially with the real possibility of an official among them extending our stay for one extra night in their unofficial prisons, in which they gather victims to torture (as was their usual daily routine). Most of the victims of such torture are extremists who long for revenge and jihad, and our presence among them realized everyone’s dream of getting rid of us once and for all. We experienced these 'utopian' prisons only for 2 days in 1988; however, God Almighty spared us the worst of the adversities therein, as no one among the cell inmates knew us.

3- Extreme poverty, coupled with state terror and the threats of extremists, did not in any way stop our writing productivity nor our insistence on continuing the peaceful struggle/jihad to reform the Muslims, or rather the Muhammadans, with Islam. And the evidence rests in the fact that this book was internationalized in 1991 after an incident which we have not yet mentioned; most of the details are known to those who took it upon themselves to print and publish this book. Further details were disclosed in Al-Ahram Al-Araby newspaper by the journalist Ilhami Al-Miligui close in time to the occurrence of the events.

4- As far as we know, an enlightened Muslim in Germany wrote to The Scientific Institute for the Studies and Research of The Green Book in Libya suggesting that they publish our books. He also informed the Libyans there of our battles with the Sunnites and of our weekly essays in the Cairene Al-Ahrar newspaper. At the time, Gaddafi was raising the banners of the anti-traditionalist Sunnite movement, whilst our adversaries in Egypt were making up stories about financial relations between him and ourselves. Yet not one of them thought about the implications of such a claim or to verify it: for how was it that we endure abject poverty in Egypt? And why was it that we do not settle in one of the Libyan universities so that we may live a nice and easy life along with some of our fellow professors and students who settled there?

5- They fail to understand that the free thinker can never be a pawn for any oppressive ruler. An oppressive authority could resort to printing a book of mine out of need, or could even exhort others to publish it – only if that was serving its interests, because its own religious scholars cannot come up with a similar work. This was what happened with some of our books which proved the incompatibility between Islam (Quranism) and extremism. For example, the Egyptian authorities celebrated our book titled "Penalty for Apostasy" – which we have written after the assassination of our friend, Dr. Farag Fouda, which shows with clear-cut proofs that punishing and putting to death those who forsook Islam contradicts the Quran. Thus, it was printed and published within many editions because this penalty was proposed and advocated by terrorist organizations to be exacted on many men of the Egyptian authorities who were plagued with several attempts of assassination. For this reason, the criticism of the sheikhs of Al-Azhar against this book was moderate. Indeed, in 2002, they issued a fatwa that the punishment of 'apostates' is not death, but merely advising and urging them to repent. The case was the same with Gaddafi’s government in Libya which saw that some of our books might strengthen the cause of the mad, maniacal general obsessed with culture, intellectual field, and in the media inside his country. Anyway, this exceptional encounter between Kaddafi and us was set from the beginning to be a relation between two opposing ideologies. One was the ideology of repression/despotism and enslavement which does not expect from a cultured, enlightened writer to be anything but a puppet pulled by its strings. However, the other was the ideology of free thinkers who never hoards transient possessions of this world because they read history objectively and have applied reasoning minds to it. We see how the striving pen is eternalized and always triumphing over the sword of transgression of tyrants. These two ideologies can never concur or agree with each other.

6- A high-rank Libyan official phoned us, and we agreed that we should author for them a book titled "The Quran Is Enough as a Source for Islamic Legislation", and exactly after two weeks, we have completed the book then we gave a copy of it to the Libyan official. The journalist Al-Miligui, who followed up this affair with us, given his contacts at the Libyan authorities, said at the time that Gaddafi had read the book and he liked it, so he agreed to its being published on the condition that its title is changed to “Why The Quran?”, and on condition that the name of the author should be “Dr. Abdullah Al-Khalifa”. We agreed readily as long as they did not change anything in the main body of the text. We cared only to make the word of truth be reached to as many people as possible. It was then agreed that publishing the book would take place in Cairo so that it would be distributed in Egypt first. A veiled Sunnite woman working at the publisher’s print-house was taken aback when she read a page from the book, so she informed an official from the State Security Apparatus. They then confiscated all the copies of the book and sent one copy to Al-Azhar 'honest' clergymen. It was then agreed that the book should be confiscated; they found out later that we are the real author of the book. They then actually transported every copy of the book to dump them near the Egyptian-Libyan borders. Soon after, the book was published in Libya; however, a Libyan Sunnite group protested vehemently against its publishing. This inevitably led to Gaddafi agreeing to confiscate the book because the 'trend' of rejecting and denying the Sunna/hadiths had waned with him, and he was busy with another amusing toy (!). Likewise, everyone else had become too busy with other matters to remember our financial dues which we had agreed upon and we never received any of them.)

 

Secondly: apart from the above quote from our book, we assert the following points.

1- We gave a manuscript copy to the men of Libyan authorities of our book titled "The Islamic Shura Consultation", and they asserted to us they have printed and published it, but we are not sure if it was true. This book is published in English on our website on this link: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=12747  

2- Another manuscript Copt delivered by us to them was our book titled "Pilgrimage between Islam and the Muhammadans" found on this link in English:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=90

but Kaddafi never published it, but we are sure he read it, because he kept asserting in many speeches ideas taken from this book, such as making the Kaaba Mosque, God's House, accessible to all peaceful ones and the pilgrimage season is really four lunar months in the Hijri calendar, from the first day of Zu Al-Hijja to the last day of Rabei Awwal.    

3- Another copy of a manuscript book delivered to Libyan officials by us was about refuting myths of Sufism (especially the so-called intercession of 'saints') and how the Sufi religion influences political, cultural, and moralistic aspects of Egyptians during the Mameluke Era, but it was not published there; yet, the influence of this book was shown in speeches of Kaddafi when he attacked Sufism and declaring Sufis as apostates. Of course, this book was part of our PhD thesis and it is published in Arabic on our website now.    

4- As far as we remember, the Libyan authorities officials received copies of our five books that we have authored in 1985 to teach to our students at Al-Azhar University, and these books caused our being persecuted for two years until we tendered our resignation from Al-Azhar in 1987 and we have been imprisoned in the same year for months; Azharite sheikhs at the time have accused us at the time of denying their assumed 'intercession' and 'infallibility' of Muhammad and their notion of making him the 'best' and 'greatest' among all prophets of God.      

 

Thirdly:

1- As far as we can remember, the only sum of money we have ever received from the Kaddafi regime was L.E. 2000 as a down-payment in return for publishing our book titled "The Quran Is Enough", and never received the rest of all financial dues related to this book and the rest of the other books.  

2- We have attended many conferences in Libya, along with journalists, media figures, cultured people, literati, Marxists and others of the Left-wing (or the gauche trend) thinkers, etc. Most of them used to receive large sums of money as rewards and remunerations from the Kaddafi regimes, and we have witnessed such payments given to them, and we demurred to take any money for nothing, because we have preferred to remain a free thinker. By the way, among those journalists was an Egyptian agent of the Egyptian Central Intelligence Apparatus, who feigned to carry the banners of Pan-Arabism, and this man obsequiously served Kaddafi and Saddam, and the KSA regime now. This person remains as an agent employed by the Egyptian Apparatus as a tool to destroy and wreak havoc in opposition parties inside Egypt, and his stances and locations change as per the compass of the Egyptian tyrants (Mubarak and his son, Tantawi, Morsi, and now Al-Sisi). Personally, we used to see queues of such 'thinkers', 'writers', and 'journalists' waiting to be paid during such conferences for merely attending them or writing about them. We refrained from imitating them in order to preserve our dignity and freedom so that we can be outspoken and vociferous in our criticism and our writings. Within the presence of Kaddafi, as we sat at the front row within a conference held and presided by him, we sent him a note to ask him to meet us after the end of this conference session. Kaddafi read our note and improvised an attack on superficial thinkers among the cultured elite. We have assumed that he meant to attack us. This was the last conference we ever attended in Libya; we stood vehemently against a statement issued by Kaddafi that he ordered the attendees to sign it beforehand without reading it. we adamantly refused to sign it; we criticized him outspokenly while holding the microphone, while his cronies kept glaring at me in fury. Some of our friends who attended this conference feared that Kaddafi might take revenge on us; even a State Security Apparatus man stationed at the Egyptian-Libyan border (at the Egyptian city of Al-Salloum, which has a route leading to Libya) had warned us against arousing the ire of Kaddafi. We tend to think that Kaddafi did not harm us at the time because we never received his money gifts; he punished us merely by confiscating our financial dues related to our books.                     

 

Lastly:

  Kaddafi died, and we ourselves will die one day; and both he and ourselves will stand on the Last Day before our Dominant Lord as foes, debating each for himself.  


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