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Fatwas Part Eighty-Five
The Egyptian Culture of Telling Lies

The Egyptian Culture of Telling Lies

Published in November 28, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

Introduction:

1- We have received this message via email, from an Egyptian man among our fellow Quranists who lives in Canada, and instead of responding to it in our fatwas section, we have turned our answer into an article, as this message is very important.

2- We quote part of the email message here: (... I am a Quranist who is a big fan of your great writings since years ago, even when I was in Egypt. I admire very much your latest book in English titled "Islam Is the Religion of the Truth" (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=106). I have read it twice in Arabic and advised my son to read the English translation of it. This great book reminds me of this experience of my childhood; I once made a mistake as a child and this drove me to lie to my father, who told me that he will not punish me if I confessed the whole truth. Once I did that, my father embraced me and asked me to make a solemn oath and swear by God's name that I will never tell lies at all. We performed ablution and prayed together and he was the imam of prayers, and he prayed for me while weeping. After prayers, he made me repeat the solemn oath never to lie at all, and God is the Witness that I will be among the truthful ones all my life. I was in the primary stage of education at the time. One day, some class colleagues quarreled and the headmaster asked me to testify and bear witness, and I told him truthfully what I saw, and he was convinced and praised me. I came to be known in school as a truthful person; I lived up to expectations of others who saw me as a truthful person who never tells lies at all. As I grow up, being truthful made me appreciate the peace of mind resulting from my clear conscience; one should tell the truth whatever it costs, expecting no rewards except from God. truthfulness taught me to adhere to courage and to reject cowardice; I must not create troubles for people by avoiding getting involved in their problems, because if I'm called as a witness, nothing would entice me to say anything but the truth, and I should never fear anyone or anything as God will protect me because I'm truthful. Sadly, people in Egypt do not like truthful persons. Truthfulness makes one's conscience alive and one avoids mistakes as much as one can, and this way, one fears no scandals that might drive one to tell lies; I cannot break the solemn oath with my father when I was a child. This made me stop myself from making mistakes or committing sins or evil deeds intended by me earlier, in many situations. Upon graduation, I got a high-rank job in a 'sensitive' governmental sector, and my good reputation as a truthful person served me very well. Yet, this caused my future there to be ruined later on; the ever-increasing corruption that is spread at my workplace was avoided by me so as I evade most troubles, but I was involved in spite of myself in deep trouble; the judge at court entailed that I testify and bear witness within a case of corruption at my workplace, and I told the whole truth that I know, complete with documents proving what I said. This scandal caused many corrupt ones to lose their job and to go to jail, and though I was innocent, I got fired from my job as well. I lived in fear of being framed and imprisoned by the corrupt ones who might seek revenge! I told myself that if I was destined to be unjustly imprisoned, I will be like Joseph; God will help me to prove that I am innocent. During these months of fear and apprehension, I read the Quran a lot, pondering deeply on its verses. I came across your great articles in the Al-Ahrar newspaper; I attended some meetings of your Ibn Khaldoun forum, but I was not able to talk to you personally as the place was filled with men of the Egyptian State Security Apparatus. I was fortunate enough to immigrate to Canada with my family, and I settled there and found my true self in a country that respects truthfulness and truthful people, unlike Egyptians who are addicted to telling lies within their media, politics, the Salafist Wahabi religion, and the Coptic Orthodox church religion. I am glad I follow your great writings on your website and I converted to Quranism as the Only True Islam. Whenever I feel like writing comments of my ideas on your great website or to pose any questions, I find that you have tackled the same topics that have answered my questions. After reading your great book "Islam Is the Religion of the Truth", I've decided to write this email message to you for the first time. I'd like to thank Mr. Ahmed Fathy who translates your writings, because his translating your books, fatwas, and articles and his subtitling your videos make many non-Arab Quranists here whom I know (originally from Pakistan, India, and South-Eastern Asia) read and watch and learn. Your great book "Islam Is the Religion of the Truth" made me remember my late father and my plight when I used to live in Egypt, when I drew closer to God, imploring Him for aid. The book made me remember how Egyptians are addicted to lying shamelessly; some Egyptians here in Canada have not stopped this bad habit, and this addiction to telling lies made them lose their credibility and they have become failures. I am very glad you have written your great book titled "Islam Is the Religion of the Truth". The Muhammadans have rejected and abandoned the Quran in order to follow religions of falsehoods and lies, because they are addicted to telling lies. By the way, I admire very much your book about the influence of Sufism in the Mameluke Era in Egypt, and how this led to the spread of  immorality, promiscuity, and decadence, especially uncleanliness and telling lies, among other social ailments. By the way, I made my only son, whom I named Sadek (i.e., the truthful one), swear a solemn oath to adhere to truthfulness, like that one I made to my late honored father. I am very thankful to the Almighty Lord God that I left Egypt and immigrated to Canada, the country of security and truthfulness. I still have one question about Egypt: is reform possible there despite the existence of inveterate liars? Thank you. Peace be with you ...).

 

OUR REPLY:

Firstly: Thank you very much for your message and for sharing your personal experience so that everyone would benefit from it.

Secondly: As for introducing reform in Egypt, we have written a lot about this issue of vital importance; we summarize our vision about introducing reform in Egypt in the following points.

1- Legislative reform: the Egypt State needs a thorough legislative reform to introduce democracy that applies human rights and to change the centralized system into a decentralized one in municipalities in all Egyptian governorates. This means that citizens will elect governors of the given governorate and directors in municipalities, as well as the legislative council members who will supervise and question governors and directors. The Egyptian citizens must also elect the Interior Minister and the General Prosecutor. The government in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, should confine its mission to general politics: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, security organizations, etc. inside and outside Egypt. Laws must be issued to curb governmental interference in the field of economy and production, to be left for citizens within companies, charities, human rights organizations, and cultural and civil organizations. Laws must be issued to create free media away from the restrictions of governmental interference, independent judiciary authority, independent legislative authority (i.e., the Egyptian Parliament), and independent executive authority (i.e., the government). A balance must be there among these authorities supervised by the citizens within free media. The military armed forces and security forces must specialize only in defending Egypt and Egyptian citizens. Within such reform, there will be no tyrants to emerge to intimidate citizens and drive them to tell lies. Besides, all laws that restrict freedom of belief, thought, creativity, arts, and publishing must be abrogated. Laws must be issued to prohibit torture and groundless detention in prisons, which must be supervised by the judiciary authority, and to assert that defendants are innocent until proven otherwise. An independent entity of regulating centralized  and decentralized elections must be formed.            

2- Reform of education:

2/1: The Azharite education, and the Coptic Orthodox Church education, must be abolished. Education must be unified within a sole mission: to build human beings. Children are born with tabula rasa and the environment and the schools in which they grow up teach them what they know about life and manners: this is the difference, for instance, between children in slum alleys in Cairo and in Toronto. Egyptians acquired the bad habit to tell lies because of the centuries-old tyranny in Egypt that led to corrupt education, corrupt media, and harmful mosques.   

2/2: This unified education for all Egyptian children must be civil; thus, religion must never be taught within pre-university education stages. In fact, religion is taught in schools by corrupt ignoramuses and inveterate liars. The Arabic language curricula must be reformed thoroughly, and it should be include select texts from the Quran, the Bible, and literary Egyptian traditions so that children are taught truthfulness, courage, honesty, charity, peace, tolerance, justice, human dignity, and the culture of human rights.    

2/3: The history curricula must be reformed thoroughly; we mean to say that the crime called Arab conquests must be shown and tackled neutrally for their true nature as aggressive, unjust wars for loot and invasion, and this applies to the heinous civil wars of Arabs and their results and atrocities. Besides, revolts of Egyptians throughout the centuries against tyrants, governors, presidents, and caliphs must be taught within positive light shed on them. Lastly, the Coptic epoch of Egyptian history must occupy a prominent place in history curricula, while focusing on those martyred for the sake of their creeds and beliefs and who were truthful and sincere in their patience and sacrifices.  

2/4: The curricula of nationalistic education must be abolished and to be replaced by human-rights educational curricula as per the Egyptian Law and the International Law.

2/5: Teachers must be re-trained, re-qualified, cultured, and prepared so that they can perform their mission. The schools environment must be made comfortable for both teachers and students. The Egyptian State must spend a lot of money on the educational sector, nutrition of students, and salaries of teachers who should be deserving the honor of their profession.

3- Religious reform:

3/1: The institution of Al-Azhar must never interfere in education or teaching; it must never prepare any preachers at all, nor it would interfere in the religious life of Egyptians. The sole mission of Al-Azhar, after reforming it, is to be a simple, civil Egyptian institution that defends higher Quranic values of Islam (i.e., religious and political freedom for all citizens, justice, peace, tolerance, charity, social solidarity, etc.). The views of Al-Azhar, after reforming it, are to be mere consultations, not imposed stances on anyone. The current state of Al-Azhar with its countless problems is a real burden that costs the Egyptian Treasury several billions of L.E. without producing any benefits. In fact, the current, corrupt state of Al-Azhar hinders and impedes Egyptian progress because it propagates Sunnite Wahabism that may destroy Egypt. To spare the billions of L.E. spent on Al-Azhar will provide enough money to reform the Egyptian education sector.       

3/2: The above point must coincide with abolishing Azharite fatwas centers and committees; religion must be a personal matter for each individual/citizen in Egypt. 

3/3: A governmental entity must supervise Friday sermons to make them be confined to moralistic preaching.

3/4: All gates of mosques must be open for voluntary charity works and donations to serve all Egyptian citizens.

 

Lastly:

1- This is our Quranist vision of introducing reform in Egypt. The mission of the State in Islam is NOT to guide people to Paradise. Religious guidance is a personal responsibility incumbent on each individual; one is guided or misguided to one's benefit or detriment, respectively. Even Prophet Muhammad could not guide his beloved ones nearer to him, as per the Quran. The mission of Quran-based country is to serve all citizens equally: all peaceful citizens are Muslims in terms of peaceful behavior, regardless of their religious affiliations. God is the Only Judge regarding faiths, beliefs, and religions of people, because He is the Sole Owner of the Day of Judgment.  

2- Application of the points we propose above is not impossible; it is possible if there are real, sincere intentions to save Egypt.

3- The Egyptian people carry goodness inside their hearts driving them to side by the Truth and what is right. This has been manifested in the noble January 2011 revolt/uprising aborted by the military rule and the terrorist MB organization. 


The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.