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About our Pilgrimage Journey to Mecca - Conclusion of the Book

About our Pilgrimage Journey to Mecca  - Conclusion of the Book

 

 

Published in December 5, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

 

Conclusion: lessons to be drawn and pieces of advice:

1- We, along with our wife and two sons, Amir and Hossam, were driven in the car of the Egyptian friend of Hossam who helped us reach Mount Arafat. On our way, we saw a grand building with a huge sign which read: (The University of Um Al-Qora). This caused us to reminisce: we have a story linked to the name of this university; this story dates back to 1983. After a long struggle inside the University of Al-Azhar (1977 – 1980), we have crushed and defeated Sufism which was dominant there; at the time, we were a 'moderate' Sunnite thinker who assumed that it would be OK to believe in few hadiths which apparently and overtly do not contradict Quranic verses. Within our struggle against Azharite Sufis and their Sufi leader the grand imam (or head-sheikh) of Al-Azhar at the time sheikh Abdel-Haleem Mahmoud, no Azharite Sunnite professors or sheikhs stood by our person at all. Yet, once we refuted and debunked Sufism and proved it has nothing to do with Islam, many Azharite Sunnite men supported us and drew nearer to us; they considered our person as the new leader of the Sufism-hating Sunnite trend inside Al-Azhar. At our own expense, in 1982 in Cairo, Egypt, we published our very first book, in Arabic, titled "Al-Sayed Al-Badawi between Truth and Myth", in which we refute the so-called sainthood of Al-Badawi (one of the biggest Sufi saints in Egypt whose mausoleum is worshiped in Tanta, Egypt) and we prove that he was merely a Shiite spy and never an ally/saint of the Lord God; we refuted the notion of sainthood altogether as it has nothing to do with Islam. This anti-Sufism book of ours grew popular among the Wahabi clergymen of Saudi Arabia; one Saudi sheikh bought 1000 copies of this book and distributed them among Sufism-hating Sunnite Wahabi sheikhs. The Azharite professors at the time dreamed of secondment at Saudi universities. Being seconded there meant receiving high salaries plus the chance to perform pilgrimage; fierce competition among Azharite professors to work in Saudi universities drove the Azharite administration to put rules for secondment in order to arrange how professors would be seconded one by one each in his turn. Our turn came in 1983; the University of Um Al-Qora demanded us by name to work there as a professor; we felt very happy at the time because this would be our chance to perform pilgrimage. Before our meeting, at the premises of Al-Azhar University, with the Saudi committee coming from the University of Um Al-Qora, we received a formal letter with the seal of the Saudi Wahabi sheikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz; he praised our book about Al-Badawi; yet, he had the nerve to request from our person the omission of certain paragraphs from our book! Ibn Baz hated our view about the meaning of the Quranic term (the allies of Allah); we assert that they are those pious monotheists, in all eras among all people, who performed good deeds; in our book, we prove this by quoting the following verses: "Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabians - any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously - will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve." (2:62); "Those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does what is right - they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve." (5:69). Ibn Baz, who liked our refutation of Sufi saints/allies, disliked our understanding of (the allies of Allah) and requested the omission of several paragraphs. This infuriated us very much and we wrote Ibn Baz an angry letter, telling him we never work under him. days later, as the Saudi committee never met with us, we knew that the secondment is lost; we felt that we would not be able to perform Hajj. We consulted our paternal uncle's son, Dr. Abdel-Hameed A. M. Ali, who was a professor at the History Department like our person; he advised us to refuse the secondment so as not to get into trouble with Saudi official clergymen. Another Azharite professor told us that any Egyptian professor seconded to Saudi universities must leave his human dignity behind at the Cairo international airport! We can never do this; we decided to reject the secondment and we never regretted this decision though this meant that our dearest wish of performing pilgrimage would be postponed indefinitely. We went, along with our wife and small children, to the city of Al-Ibrahimiyya, in Al-Sharqiyah Governorate, to live for a while in the house of our father-in-law Mr. Mohamed Al-Baz. The youngest son of ours at the time was Hossam; he was born in 1983 on the 1st of March (the same day of our birthday 1st of March, 1949); he was a baby when we lived in Al-Ibrahimiyya. The members of the Saudi committee of the University of Um Al-Qora sent us a telegram there, informing us of their desire to meet with us before they leave Egypt; how they knew we lived at our father-in-law's house remains a mystery for us. When our father-in-law reproached us for rejecting the secondment, we told him that they desire to turn Egyptian professors into slaves or puppets who parrot what the Saudi clergymen say; we can never do that; our disputes over hadiths we reject would never be settled at all; we can never agree; if we would go there, many troubles will occur inevitably and we would return to Egypt anyway. The only thing we felt sorry about is missing the chance of performing pilgrimage. This conversation between us and our father-in-law took place in 1983. Now, 36 years later in 2019, we performed Hajj; the one who covered the entirety of expenses is our son Hossam who was a baby when we refused to put our religion for sale.      

2- Our relation with Saudi Arabia worsened; Saudi Arabia controlled all famous Salafist societies in Egypt at the time; we were the secretary-general of the Salafist society (Dawat Al-Haq) and its leading and no. 1 sermonizer in its mosques. We preached to people that there all hadiths have nothing to do with Islam; using the Quran, we denied the so-called intercession and infallibility of Muhammad; we proved that it is a grave sin to consider Muhammad as the best among prophets of the Lord God. Saudi Arabia waged a war against our person through the Saudi embassy in Cairo and the so-called League of the Islamic World. Saudi Arabia allied itself with Azharite clergymen; eventually, in 1985, this resulted in our suspension from work as an Azharite professor; our salary and promotion stopped; we were prevented from ever leaving Egypt. After the Azharite inquisition-like two-year trial of our person, we were fired from Al-Azhar University in 1987; six months later, we were imprisoned in Egypt along with a group of Egyptian Quranists. Hence, our own Via Dolorosa began in 1985 because of the Saudi influence within the Mubarak regime in Egypt. The Saudi embassy in Cairo waged an unjust war against our person using the weapons of terrorism and hunger; this embassy controlled the officers of the Egyptian State Security Apparatus who held the dossier of the Egyptian Quranists. One of such young officers terrorized us by bringing us to his office only by night several times; we typically waited for him in his office until he would arrive in his Mercedes at midnight to interrogate us! When we left Al-Azhar University, our monthly pension was LE 87 which hardly covered the expenses of one week or of breakfast meals for a month. We had to work to provide for our kids; we worked as an editor and a proofreader within an Egyptian publication (in Arabic). Once the Saudi embassy in Cairo knew about this, it bribed the owner of that publication to give us the sack; other employers knew about this; they employed our person in order to get money from this embassy in return for giving us the sack! Most of our articles published in Egyptian newspapers were without remuneration; we worked voluntarily (for free) within civil societies such as the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment, and the National Front for Facing Terrorism. Our poverty and sufferance continued along with our wife and four children from 1985 to 1996. This is because in 1996, we worked at the Cairo-based Ibn Khaldoun Center and we received a good, regular monthly salary. Within 11 years (1985 – 1996), our first four children experienced poverty and deprivation never fit for the offspring of a university professor and a renowned thinker/author. Our first four children realized how we were terrorized by the officers of the Egyptian State Security Apparatus and how we were liable to be imprisoned anytime. Our poverty ended when we worked at the Ibn Khaldoun Center; our four sons accompanied our person in the weekly forum held by us there (on Tuesdays) which never stopped from Jan. 1996 to June 2000 (when the Ibn Khaldoun Center was closed down by the Mubarak regime). Terrorizing our person by the officers of the Egyptian State Security Apparatus the increased at the time; this was encouraged by the Saudi embassy in Cairo. Many Egyptian newspapers published our articles about criticizing and refuting hadiths; in many of our published books at the time, we have announced our rejection of all Sunna hadiths and called for Quranism (i.e., the Quran-only Islam as the Only True Islam). eventually, the Saudi influence managed in 2001 to convince the Mubarak regime to arrest and imprison a group of Egyptian Quranists; this means we were about to get imprisoned soon; we ran away and sought and obtained political asylum in the USA, leaving our wife and our sons in Cairo, Egypt, until they, one by one, joined us in VA, the USA.        

3- The lesson to be drawn here from the abovementioned point is the vital importance of the test of deprivation and impoverishment; our first four sons experienced poverty and deprivation and this was very beneficial for them; they grew up to be real, strong, and responsible men; they managed to face and surmount all difficulties; they excelled at their education and at their jobs; they are the apple of their father's eye. In contrast to our first four sons, our last two sons never experienced poverty and deprivation; they grew up after our status of impoverishment and hunger ended; they lived within tender and loving care of their fond parents and their first four brothers. This made our last two sons get used to receiving without giving; they were very much dependent on their parents and their first four brothers. We exerted much efforts later on to reform them both; eventually, they have changed to the better; yet, they cannot reach the level of the character of our first four sons who experienced poverty and deprivation. In fact, a pampered child or youth whose all desired and wishes come true can never become independent and successful in their lives as grown-ups. A reminder: Hossam, our fourth son, is the one who realized the dear wish of his 72-year-old father as he covered the entirety of expenses of our Hajj journey. By the way, the Dominant Lord God has granted our person several other sons who are not our biological sons; we never saw them in person; yet, they are at the bottom of our heart; they strive with our person as much as they can for the sake of Islam; on top of the list of these great sons is the Egyptian translator Mr. Ahmed Fathy who dedicates most of his time since 2014 to translate into English (and sometimes into French) our books, articles, and fatwas, and he provides the English subtitles to our YouTube videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/ahlalquran1/featured). We cannot give Mr. Ahmed Fathy any remuneration or rewards; we sincerely implore and supplicate to the Lord God to bless and reward him.    

4- There is another lesson to be drawn; some people assume that once they are guided by the Quranic Truth and they embrace the fact – denied by the vast majority of people – that Quranism is the Only True Islam, angels will offer parties on their honor and applaud their steps and the Dominant Lord God will grant them many bounties. This is a grave error. In the Holy Quran, the Lord God asserts that reaching the true faith is always linked to tests and ordeals: "Have the people supposed that they will be left alone to say, “We believe,” without being put to the test? We have tested those before them. God will surely know the truthful, and He will surely know the liars." (29:2-3); this means that having the knowledge of the Truth is accompanied all the time with patience; the pious believers advise one another with adhering to patience: "By Time. The human being is in loss. Except those who believe, and perform good works, and advise one another with the Truth and with patience." (103:1-3); this means that the guided monotheists will be tested by their Lord God; entering into Paradise in the Hereafter is not easy as it entails adhering to the Truth, patience, piety, and peaceful striving/jihad for the sake of Allah: "So that God may prove those who believe, and eliminate the disbelievers.Or do you expect to enter Paradise, before God has distinguished those among you who strive, and before He has distinguished the patient ones?" (3:141-142). Eventually, the Lord God does not need our jihad/striving for the sake of His Religion; rather, we are the ones who need this peaceful, intellectual jihad if we desire to inherit the Eternal Life in Paradise: "Whoever strives, strives only for himself. God is Independent of the beings." (29:6). We sincerely hope that the persecution, ordeals, tests, and hardships we have faced in the period (1977 – 2001) will make us among the accepted winners, who passed the tests of life, in the sight of the Dominant Lord God and that He will make us among the Paradise dwellers.

5- Despite the fact that the Saudi influence in Egypt was the primary factor responsible for our persecution and suffering and our being forced not to meet with our family members (so as they avoid being persecuted because of our visiting them or their visiting us), we never wrote any articles or books to attack and criticize Saudi Arabia when we were living in Cairo, Egypt. Our political writings at the time have attacked and criticized the Mubarak regime against which we spoke in many conferences held in Cairo. Because of our being persecuted several times, we lived in constant fear, we lived in a real nightmare for years; we have expressed our feelings of resentment in this article of ours titled "We Have Lived Feeling Our Egyptian Nationality as a Disgrace", found, in English, on this link: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=15627). We wondered how come that an Egyptian president (i.e., Mubarak) would allow a foreign country (i.e., Saudi Arabia) to persecute an Egyptian citizen in Egypt instead of protecting this citizen. The Egyptian regime at the time compromised our rights as an Egyptian citizens in return for Saudi riyals and for ending the froideur and consolidate the rapprochement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Arriving to the USA, we did not write any articles or books to attack and criticize Saudi Arabia until we ran out of patience when the Saudi influence in Mubarak's Egypt managed to convince the Egyptian government to arrest, detain, and torture a group of our relatives in 2007 in order to punish our person; their only 'crime' was being our relatives! Since 2007, we began our virulent attack and criticism of Saudi Arabia in our writings; we called for the liberation of the Sacred Kaaba Mosque from the Al-Saud royal family (see:  http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=6027  +    http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=5954) and for the collapse of Saudi Arabia and its removal from the world map (for example, see our book, in English, on this link:   http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=111  ). Yet, later on, we have realized the fact that the collapse of Saudi Arabia means inevitably turning Arabia and the Gulf region into bloodbaths and mass graves; the vast majority of the victims will be among the innocent people; grave harm may reach Mecca and the Kaaba itself. We have realized that Iran and fabricators of arms and weapons in the West will be the only beneficiaries in such a case. This drove us to change our stance; we have written, and will go on writing, about the introduction of immediate reform inside the Saudi kingdom in order to achieve peace; i.e., Islam in terms of demeanor.    

6- Of course, the introduction of any type of reform means to change the dominant culture in order to raise the collective awareness of citizens. This begins by immediate reform which should take place within the top of the pyramid of power and authority; this reform must affirm the higher Quranic values of Islam; namely, peace, justice, human rights, human dignity, free speech, charity, and absolute freedom of religion. This entails cultural, educational, and legislative reforms which will take decades and require stability. In fact, in the Arab countries, royal regimes are very stable and may achieve success internally when reform is introduced because of the stable mechanism of reaching power; i.e., the crown-prince succeeds the king and ascends the throne. This is in contrast to tyrannical republics in the Arab world where we find enthroned tyrants/presidents sticking to power and desiring to make their sons or brothers succeed them. During their presidency, these tyrants spend their time consolidating their rule and chasing their (supposed) foes and adversaries. Eventually, such presidents are ousted like Mubarak of Egypt, Al-Bashir of Sudan, Ben Ali of Tunisia, Ali Saleh of Yemen, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Kaddafi of Libya. Such presidents may cause the total destruction of their countries such as the case with Syria and Libya. We assert here the fact that the Saudi royal regime is the nearest royal regimes to introducing reforms successfully by the Crown-Prince, M. Ibn Salman, who has removed many of the burdens caused previously by Wahabism; for sure, Wahabism does not flourish and dominate unless powerful, wealthy rulers would protect it against being discussed, questioned, and criticized. The Saudi Crown-Prince is a young man in a kingdom whose inhabitants are mostly young people who use social media networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter); we mean to say that they are aware of, and have strong ties with, modernity. No one can deny that the Saudi Crown-Prince at first committed terrible mistakes upon taking the pieces of advice offered by corrupt, evil consultants. Yet, it is OK when young people make mistakes since they draw useful lessons, correct their mistakes as much as they can, and introduce reform.      

7- Since Wahabism is the problem, Quranism is the solution. Our writings prove this fact; we, of course, have written a lot about activating and applying the only true Islamic sharia laws; i.e., the Quranic sharia legislations. The case of applying the Quranic sharia in Saudi Arabia entails more writings which will publish on our website later on. We emphasize here, in this book, that Saudi Arabia must allow Hajj (as opposed to Umrah which is allowed all year long) within the duration of the four sacred months of the lunar calendar: Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram, Saffar, and Rabei Awwal. Besides, Saudi Arabia must allow Hajj for all peaceful human beings (i.e., Muslims in terms of peaceful behavior) regardless of their sects, doctrines, and denominations. This, of course, will entail security measures in Mecca and certain arrangements which we will mention in detail in our writings later on.

8- These are not merely pieces of advice; rather, they are our suggestions based on our pondering deeply on the Holy Quran. the suggestions we propose here have their huge financial benefits and will add much to the international reputation of Saudi Arabia. These suggestions will help save the lives of thousands of people within applying one of the main features of the greatness of Islam; i.e., peace, as Islam is the religion of peace. 


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