From the Archive
Fatwas Part Seventy-Seven
Between Curse and Heedlessness
Ensuring Israel Military Superiority is Vital to Maintain Peace Treati
Please Say: (My Brethren/Brother in Humanity) and Never Say: (My Brethren/Brother in God)!
Atheism Is A Myth – (2) The Myth of Making Disbelief to Mean Denying God's Existence
La véritable source de danger concernant le massacre dans deux mosquées néo-zélandaises
The Holy Quran and the Destruction of the Al-Saud Family
Houston Conference about the Quran
A propos de ce poussin chiite qui nous insulte!
The Timing of the Fasting Month of Ramadan: The Introductory Article
God is enough as a Witness
How I Lost My Parents Twenty-Five Years Ago because of Visitors of Muhammad's Mausoleum!
A Message from A Very Shrewd Sunnite Man
The Quranic Terminology: Steps of the Devil
The Testimony of Islam Is (There Is No God But Allah) ONLY!
Quranic Terminology: Truth/True/Truly/Truthful: (3) Within Dealing with People and with God
Fatwas Part One-Hundred-and-One
Safeguarding Houses of Worship
Moses' Pharaoh Monopolized Might and the Claim of Possessing the Truth
A Grand Strategy for Peace through Justice in Iraq1
Death of Sheikh Al Azhar

This article was originally published in Arabic in 03 / 10 / 2010


On the occasion of the death of Sheikh Al-Azhar: The answer to the questions of the Egyptian newspaper " The seventh day"


I got the following message from Mrs. Nahed Nasrallah liberated in the newspaper (The seventh day), has taken the initiative to respond to them. And that the conditions of scientific publishing in Egypt may not allow the publication of all what I said, I publish my answers here, I hasten to care for the benefit of the reader.

Begin with the letter from Mrs. Nahed Nasr, and then the answers:


Respected, Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour,


I'd like to know your comments on what was raised recently during and after the Islamic Research Academy, an attack on the Quranists, issued a fatwa, where a number of Al-Azhar scholars confirm that the Quranists are out of the Islamic religion, and they seek to demolish its foundation, among them Dr. Ahmed Omar Hashim.

And Dr Zakzouk


Although you mentioned earlier that were closer in time between you and the Azhary Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali, who agreed to your logic, and not opposed to what you call it with the religion of Islam. Note that the base of their argument against the Quranists, is that the recognition of the Prophetic Sunnah along with the Qur'an are the foundation of faith in Islam.

The second point that I want to shed light on, is what you call to the need to allow freedom of criticism of the companions of the Prophet Mohamed and his successors,(the righteous Caliphs) and re-look at the Islamic conquests and the Great civil war between the early Muslims two decades after the death of the Prophet Mohamed, which sees as "contrary to the teachings of Islam" and it is based on hadith contrasts with that of non-coercion in religion. The question is how you imagine that those taken your ideas in the current circumstances, and what is the importance of reconsidering the Islamic history, note that some of Al-Azhar scholars recognize that the companions of the Prophet Mohamed and his successors are not proof' safe  for Islam, but the argument is they have Sunna beside the Holy Qur'an when you reject the Sunna.

And last but not least I'd like to comment on the post of Sheikheikh Al Azhar, after the death of Dr. Sayed Tantawi, may God have mercy on him, and your expectations about his successor in office.

 Thank you very much…


My response:



The attack on us by the leaders of Al-Azhar, in its current, is bad habit demonstrate the urgent need for its reform. This reform is what we call since 1977, ever since I was a teacher Senior Assistant and present my message for PHD for discussion, and it carries the call for reform of thought among Muslims, and reform Al-Azhar. This call was renewed in the conclusion of my first published book in 1982 title (Alsayed Albadawi between truth and myth) and then in the subsequent books that are ordained on my students, then, it was ended in 1985, prepared five books at once for my students, and was discussing religious Sunni Muslim thought and prove its incompatibility with Islam. The university president, issued a decision to laid me off work and confiscate all my financial rights and confiscation of the upgrade and get banned from travel and was referred for trial to repent of what I wrote, and who was leading the trial at the Disciplinary Board, dean, principle of  religion college in Assiut city, (Dr. Mohamed Sayed Tantawi) and his name was submerged at that time.

The Saudi influence was behind the subject strongly by all means, and because of the recommendation of Dr.. Tantawi, constantly persecuted inside and outside the university and because of the sustenance of the urgency of the Saudi to imprison me,soon after,Dr. Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, was selected as Mufti and then moved up to the position of sheikh Al-Azhar.


Here, it seems the difference between Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, and Sheikh Al Ghazali.  

Sheikh Ghazali had a hint as researcher to accept a new opinion even if it came from a researcher at the age of his sons, a rare condition among the elderly in the religious sphere, and is not easily achieved.


Here I remember when we were arrested and accused of “denial of the Sunna “in 1987

was the official press newspaper  shower us with lies and justified our arrest and scared our family, and publish the opinions of Sheikhs considering us in state of apostasy and seize our blood so we were afraid to get out of prison for the fear of assassination.

 I was in the investigation before the Supreme State Security Prosecution to assure them of my memory the contradiction between the Qur'an and the Sunni legislation and among the legislation that apostasy does not exist in Islam. The official Egyptian religious newspaper "(ÇááæÇÁ ÇáÇÓáÇãìThe Islamic flag )" used to publish all the investigations with me, and broadcast them to the public including comments by the Sheikhs. They ridiculed my denying the punishment of apostasy, saying that because it endangers my life. The case was officially under the title says "The issue of Qur'anists" press campaigns and the attack of the Sheikhs switched to a new term is "denier of the Sunna."


Among the few who defended me without prior knowledge of me was Dr. Farag Fouda mercy of God upon him, in his wonderful article in the newspaper "Al Ahaly" entitled: "I praise you my Lord," which he mocked the state apparatus that captured the author, the only crime in his research that he cites the Qur'an and repeat what the great open minded Imam (Abu Hanifa) said thirteen centuries ago : do not rely on the Hadeeth.


After my release and my Quranists brothers, closer link was established between me and Farag Foda. In 1992, we agreed to publicize a new party as the "party of the future" Stand against the tide of extremism, which was bloody as permissible Coptic blood and money in a wave of violence had not been known in Egypt even in the medieval ages of intolerance. The newspapers published the preliminary official statement from the party and its founders, where the name of Farag Fouda was No. 2, while my name was No. 6. Immediately, the Azhar scholars of Muslim Brothers who represent, led by Abdul Ghaffar Aziz, declared a fatwa (religious verdict) calling to kill Farag Foda and myself as apostates, and warning in advance of the issuance of approval on the new party. Newspaper: “The light," which was owned by Hamza D’ebis ( one of the leaders of Muslim Brothers ) published this statement fatwa on vessels in the First Wednesday of June 1992 and I saw it on the Office of Farag Foda that morning. He said: I have to respond to them. I told him Do not do that, they do not deserve.

Farag Foda, was scheduled to travel to France after Eid al-Adha and come back in two weeks to resume proceedings for the party, while I was scheduled to travel to my hometown to spend Eid al-Adha with my family. Then it was supposed to meet together after the holidays to declare and announce our new party. On the following Monday Farag Foda was assassinated as he left his office and wounded his son seriously injured as well as another friend was with him.

I wrote in my section in the newspaper "Al Ahrar" wondering who killed Farag Foda? And I said that the real killer, are those who have stated to kill him. After his death, they made ablution on his blood and they were talking about the tolerance of Islam. I said that the real killer is the one who issue fatwas to kill innocents and must be in the dock as a partner and instigator of the crime. The Islamic group broadcast  a statement by the radio station in London acknowledging its responsibility for the murder of Farag Foda, was killed and it's application of the advisory opinion of the Sheikhs.


 Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali started defending the killers in court which changed the trial of the ancestral dead instead of the killer. Al-Ghazali said that the killers relayed only on the power that Farag Foda has to be killed as an apostate.

Before that, the relationship between me and Al- Ghazali was put into plaudits. He was attacking me in his sessions attended by Friends of mine, describing me in one of his a( article as the( lad of knowledge.). But the effort of friends made him read some of my books and some of my articles that were published in some Egyptian's official newspapers,that  confirmed the call to reform Al-Azhar and the movement whic was initiated by the jurisprudence of Imam Mohammed Abdu.

Also, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mashad Chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar had the same feeling after reading my writings. Ghazali himself began to strengthen this relationship when he transferred many of my views in his famous book (the Sunna between the people of Jurisprudenceand the people of the Hadeetth) to pave the way for acceptance of my views within the society of the Azhar and jurisprudence. I returned his greeting with better one, when I checked PhD dissertation "School of Hadeeth in the sixth century AH" by researcher at the Faculty of Dar Al Uloom. Al-Ghazali was one of the members of the Committee. Ghazaliwas terrified of the size of the thesis and its title, he sent it to me through a mutual friend, is still alive, to check it out for him and record my observations. I wrote him a full report by systematically and objectively, and by this report and during the discussion of the dissertation, Sheikh Al Ghazali was touring the poor researcher. In response to the better greeting Al Ghazali published his book " Our intellectual heritage" praises me and inject an old article in the context of his book. Also he added an article on the advisory opinion of the denial of the Sunna specially formulated by Sheikh Mashad Chairman of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar to defend me, it was to be published and publicly documented, so he put them in his book. And he waited to respond to greet him, surprisingly his poisonous testimony against Farag Fouda toppling all the efforts of the honorable sheikhs, in bringing us together in peace.

I attacked Al-Ghazali severely in successive articles in the newspaper "Al Ahaly" which was: "Al-Ghazali defeated before Farag Foda after his death," " Al-Ghazali refutes Al-Ghazali," In this article I published what Al Ghazali confirmed of freedom of religion in Islam and whoever oppose  is only a liar, and that was scattered  in his book "The Sunna between the people of Jurisprudenceand the people of the Hadeeth" which was affected by my writingsand accused him of denying the Sunna like me. And I wrote another article which had an impact on my good friend, Dr. Mohammed Abu Alasad –God’s mercy upon him -asked me to write a special research reveals the true extent of apostasy and its origin and its relationship to Islam, and undertakes to publish at his expense. Soon after ,my book " The punishment of  apostasy " was published in 1993.


Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali died after half a century of composition in Islamic Studies curriculum taking the criticism of the details and particulars without putting his finger on the basis of the wound, a contradiction between Islam represented in the Qur'an alone and what is written about the heritage by Muslims, and attributed to God's revelation as The Sunna and Hadeeth .  After reading our writings, Sheikh al-Ghazali and calmed down and his writings has changed to clarify this in his lectures in which he questioned the argument, following what I said that there is no abrogation in the Qur'an and it means writing and copies of proof and not deletion, cancellation, Then Sheikh Ghazali started attacking explicitly about the Hadeeth in his famous book about the Sunna, so they labeled him " denier of the Sunna ", he answered them in his book ( Our intellectual heritage), which praises me in,  he announced an advisory opinion of the Chairman of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee that who deny the Sunna in the affirmative and the prohibition is not a kafir.


There is a significant difference between the level of Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali and the current leaders of Al-Azhar. Not only in the open-minded, which makes the person change his wrong ideas after fifty years of writing and fame and intellectual leadership, but another reason is the self-esteem, which refuses to sell himself and his religion for the sake of the dictators at home or abroad. The Veterans sheikhs of Al-Azhar in all walks of life served to Saudi Arabia and the military ruling regime at the same time. Some of them was graduated from German university and was supposed to have the impact of enlightenment as he was a former student of Dr. Mohamed Albhey “,the last scholar of the school of Mohamed Abdu in 1960’s, but missed all because of the position of ministry. Some of them moved up by Sufism and fraud in the ratios in the certificates to the highest religious positions in the Al-Azhar, yet he is a servant of the Saudi Wahhabi the main enemy of Sufism. In their attacks on us, they repeat the same words which we responded to it over and over again. And they have nothing new to say excepta mere accusation with infidelity with a diversified approach.


The basis of our disagreement is concentrated in the doctrine (no god but God).

 Reverence in our faith is to God Almighty alone. We have no reverence for human beings even if a appointed prophet, no room to have a reverence for stone, even if a stone tomb attributed to the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him. But they have broadened to include the sanctification of the companions and the Righteous Caliphs, Imams and Sufi saints and the dictators , and expand them to the worship of graves stretching from the Hajj pilgrimage to the grave of the Prophet Mohammad to the graves of his companions and his relatives and Sufi saints in Egypt and abroad, with the pilgrimage to worship their tombs.


Reverence in our faith is for the book of God Almighty alone, the only reference we have of God, even in the previous divine books. Our understanding of the Book of God is not infallible of human error, therefore, in our fatwas , which I answer the hundreds of questions that comes to me, I do not say it is the view of religion, Religion is in the Qur'an, but my personal opinion negotiable for right and wrong, Therefore, the only Sheikh from Al Azhar, which allows comment on his fatwa is me. So the reply and debate of what I say, is a confirmation of the claim that we adhere to all of us and we are all students of the Holy Quran,benefit from each other, and we seek to further understanding the Holy Book.


So we always discover new ideasfrom the Noble Qur'an, and its tender was not running out and continuing to the end of time. Others are followers of the books of heritage and their sacred saints and scholars; there is nothing wrong for them to try to force the Sunni heritage sacred myths of our time, such as breast feeding the Elder and the blessing of the Prophet's urine. If confronted them with the question related to our modern they differed, and some of them call others infidels, for example, the Gulf War, the banks interest and the removal of organs, etc. Thereason is that the answer requires diligent, and they do not know diligence. They only copy what the old imams wrote in the middle ages, and as long as those former imams did not know any issue of our time these sheikhs are unable to give verdict. Then they did not have time to update their knowledge for giving an Islamic modern interpretation for our time, which requires a full-time job for research, but they have all the time to dance in procession dictators.



Our goal is to reform Muslims from within Islam by appealing to the Holy Quran, presenting the Muslims intellectual heritage and the legislative history to the Qur'an, ranging from the Caliphs and the famous Sunnis and Shiites Imams and mysticism. They are human beings and not gods, have made a mistakes as mentioned in the books of the same heritage, and we continue to repeat their mistakes because no one dares to criticize, thus begins the real reform of the Islamic Enlightenment Qur'anic doctrine confirmed by the reverence that only God Almighty, and that if God Almighty had admonished and tweaked the prophets and emphasized they are humans, and that God Almighty alone is the selfless error, which is said to him alone (glorified and exalted). The ideology of Islam is the foundation for reform, and reform begins with criticism and debate for all the characters in the history of Muslims and their conquests to their civil wars and the opinions attributed to each of the Companions and the Imams, and we have the Holy Quran to judge by it, resorting to the Holy Quran is an absent duty, although it is mentioned in the Qur'an:

"Shall I seek a judge otherthan Allâh while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur'ân), explained in detail."6:114

" And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allâh (He is the ruling Judge). Such is Allâh, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn (in all of my affairs and) in repentance." 42:10


This reform should be imposed by the current circumstances, and we are late by more than a century.

The reform was launched by Muhammad Abduh, inside Al-Azhar and outside, has stood against the Wahhabis and against mysticism together, and invoked the Qur'ran alone, and died in 1905 at the height of his tender thought, but his disciple Rashid Rida betrayed him and went hand to hand with Wahhabism and Al Saud. Rashid Rida was the architect of the establishment of associations Salafi Wahhabism in Egypt and most recently the Muslim Brotherhood. For the sake of the Wahhabi and Saudi influence, Mohamed Abdu's school was ignored. Consequently, the sayings of Muhammad Abdu stigmatized as infidels in Al-Azhar, and then the people of the Qur'an appear on the scene building on the thoughts of Muhammad Abduh and raise the banner of reform. What you call Qur'anists, their positive response to the control of the Wahhabism culture.


 This religious reform is the centerpiece of a comprehensive reform in the system, including legislation and politics, economics, sociology and ethics. Only the corrupt people are those who refuse the reform. The one who denies the importance of religious reform is ignorant. We cannot stop the political danger posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and their organizations except by religious reform, however, the dilemma of a civil state cannot be resolved, but by religious reform, we cannot separate religion from political action except by religious reform, and cannot correct the society after the moral corruption except also by reform. Without religious reform does not work any political or legislative reform.


Religious reform cannot be achieved in Egypt without the reform, Al-Azhar to be a civilian institution protects freedom of thoughts and belief and human rights and democracy, and defends the Christians and minorities and women and the marginalized and injustices. I'm not with those calling for cancellation of Al-Azhar, but repaired.   

The Al-Azhar as stands now, is like all institutions of the current Egyptian State, lying at the bottom. Whether the head of it Sheikh Tantawi or the Field Marshal Tantawi.

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