A Step towards Religious Reform in the KSA: No Penalties for Those Who Do Not Fast During Ramadan

آحمد صبحي منصور في الثلاثاء 03 سبتمبر 2019


 

A Step towards Religious Reform in the KSA: No Penalties for Those Who Do Not Fast During Ramadan

 

 

Published in May 9, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

Introduction:

1- Reformist thinkers, like our person, specialize in criticizing negative aspects; yet, they should also notify readers about any initiative of religious reform, hoping it would last and develop. In our previous writings, we have praised an initiative of religious reform done by the Saudi king Abdullah and another one by the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi; we stopped writing about these events because no further steps of reform followed such initiatives.

2- This is the link of our book, in English, about Al-Sisi: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=77) and this is the link of our book, in English, about Ibn Salman: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=111). We have lost all hopes in Al-Sisi, but there is still a glimmer of hope in the Saudi Crown-Prince after his recently issued decree of stopping all penalties against those who do not fast during Ramadan. Copies of this decree were given to all Saudi police stations, and other bodies of the Saudi authorities, in all cities.

3- This is the entire text of this decree: (... Peace and mercy of the Lord God be upon you; as per the royal decrees of HRH the Crown-Prince, the Defense Minister, and the vice-president of the ministerial cabinet – may the Lord God protect all of them – and the decision no. 2571 of the cabinet on 18th of Shabaan, 1440 A.H., no penalties are to be exacted on those who, in public or in secret, do not fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan; this comes within the framework of respecting human rights as per the Lord God's divine commands in the Quran and as per the moralistic and humanistic values within the culture of our noble society and within the vision of 2030 A.D. for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to achieve more progress and prosperity; henceforth, all former decisions contrary to this decree will be annulled once this decree is applied. A copy of this decree is delivered to the head of the Saudi religious police. Signature: The Defense Minister Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saudi Ibn Nayef Ibn Abdul-Aziz ...). We make the following points in the passages below.

 

Firstly:

  Despite the fact that the KSA and its embassy in Cairo, Egypt, as well as certain KSA-affiliated bodies (e.g., the so-called League of the Islamic World) were the primary cause of our being persecuted and incarcerated in Egypt, we never parted with objectivity and neutrality regarding the Al-Saud family members in our book, in English, titled "The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century" (found on this link:     http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=85). This book was written in Arabic by our person while we were almost sieged in our ground-floor apartment in Cairo, Egypt, by the Egyptian State Security policemen and also by Wahabi terrorists who desired to terrorize and intimidate our person. For all these years until now, we call for the immediate separation between the Al-Saud royal family members and Wahabism; we urge the KSA to turn itself into a constitutional  kingdom to help its Saudi people participate in the democratic transition. As per history, the democratic transition took centuries in Europe since the Magna Carta in Britain and the French Revolution in France. We surmise that the democratic transition might take 50 years inside the KSA. In a previous article of ours, we attacked the KSA as it urged the Mubarak regime in Egypt to incarcerate and torture in prison cells some of our own family members twice in 2007 and 2009. We stopped our attacking the KSA for a while when we felt that the rulers of the KSA realized the fact that their 3rd current Saudi kingdom stood on a crossroads: it will either collapse as was the case with the 1st and 2nd Saudi kingdoms, or maintain and renew itself while coping with the modern-age culture, while parting with Wahabism and its burdens. We have written that we predict that the imminent collapse of the KSA will cause bloodbaths which will never spare anyone including the Saudi royal family members themselves; we assert here again that the only regional beneficiary of such a collapse of the KSA is Iran and that the international beneficiary is, of course, the USA. For sure, Iran surrounds the KSA from the Persian Gulf, the Levant, Iraq, and Yemen. Iran will seize the chance of the collapse of the KSA to annex the oil-rich Al-Ahsa region (renamed the Eastern region) with its majority of Shiite citizens. As for the USA, it is very easy for any American administration to let the Al-Saud royal family members down and stop aiding them; let us not forget that the USA suddenly stopped its support for the Shah of Iran. The USA will easily confiscate the thousands of US$ billions of Saudi assets and bank accounts. Thus, at these critical times in the history of the Middle-East, the KSA has no option but to introduce gradual, peaceful reform; the KSA cannot afford the alternative: bloodshed everywhere and loss of all assets and wealth. The Saudi rulers must heed the fate of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Kaddafi of Libya and how both countries are being torn from the inside by the successors of both tyrants. No reasonable persons would want more bloodshed and destruction elsewhere in the Arab world. Of course, we hope bloodbaths would be avoided by all parties at any cost. We hope for the introduction of gradual, peaceful political and religious reform in the KSA based on justice, free speech, absolute freedom of religion, and human rights; this is the true Islamic sharia as per the Quran.                

 

Lastly:

 On the 19th of June, 2015, we have published the following article, titled "Within True Islam, It Is Prohibited to Punish Those Who Publicly Do Not Fast During Ramadan", on our website (www.ahl-alquran.com) and on the leftist Modern Discussion website (www.ahewar.org). We re-publish this article below as a reminder for our readers.

 

 

 ( Firstly: punishing those who do not fast during Ramadan between Islam and the terrestrial religions of the Muhammadans:

1- In our previous writings about fasting, we assert that fasting legislations in the Quran focus on ease/facilitation; e.g., exempting the ill people and those fatigued by long traveling and making the duration of fasting from dawn to sunset instead from Night prayers to Sunset prayers as was the case before the descent of the Quran. Fasting is, like all acts of worship of course, a means to attain piety. Yet, sadly, fasting has been turned into a social habit of starving/gluttony, sloth, irritability, sinning, and merry-making; this is not to mention watching TV all night and hearing evil Wahabi/Salafist sermons urging Salafist jihad/terrorism and destruction. This means that fasting has lost its tie with piety for most of the Muhammadans. We regret to say that Ramadan is merely an occasion to allow Sunnite extremists to dominate over ordinary people; this domination include exacting penalties over those who do not fast during Ramadan, regardless of the fact that those persons either have excuses (as per the Quran) for not to be able to fast or practice their religious freedom (which includes to disobey and to disbelieve) granted to all humanity by the Lord God; within the Last Day, He is the Only One to judge their faiths, deed, and acts of worship.     

2- The rights of the Lord Allah due from people will be judged only by Him on the Day of Judgment and He will settle religious differences and disputes of all people. As for the rights of people due from one another, the Quranic sharia laws of Islam protect these rights and aim at the prevention of injustices and aggression. Hence, Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with compulsion in religion; people have the right to (dis)obey and to (dis)believe; the absolute religious freedom in Islam includes (not) to perform any acts of worship and to convert to Islam or to reject it. There are no penalties (in the Quran) to be exacted on people by other people in such cases. There is no religious police in Islam or a group of 'pious' men specializing on watching others' behavior to punish them; no one must force anyone to avoid sin/vice and to adhere to virtue/piety; we can only advise others (regarding the Truth, good conduct, and patience) but not to dominate over them or control/force them. People have the right to choose either to heed such pieces of advice or to reject them; the Lord God says the following in the Quran: "O you who believe! You are responsible for your own souls. He who has strayed cannot harm you if you are guided. To God is your return, all of you, and He will inform you of what you used to do." (5:105). We are NOT to disown sinners; we only disown their sins/misdeeds;  the Lord God has said the following to Muhammad: "And lower your wing to those of the believers who follow you. And if they disobey you, say, “I am innocent of what you do.”" (26:215-216). Hence, no one must force others to fast during Ramadan; no one has the right to punish those who do not fast or do not perform any other acts of worship. Sadly, the Sunnite fiqh and hadiths contain evil notions of putting to death those who do not pray and to flog/beat or humiliate in public (after warning them verbally for one time before penalizing them) those who consume food during the day-time within Ramadan. Such Sunnite horrid notions are sinful; no one must violate the Lord God's right to be the Only Legislator in Islam; He has created human beings as free agents who can (dis)obey and (dis)believe; no man must deify himself by judging others for that; only the Lord God is the Judge of all that on the Last Day. It is the grave sin of self-deification to judge others for their faiths (or lack thereof) and to ascribe such judgment to the Lord God as if the Day of Judgment were now on earth. Those self-deified, tyrannical sinners who judge others regarding acts of worship or faith are the enemies of the Lord God who make themselves above Allah and Muhammad. Readers should ponder what the Lord God has said to Muhammad here: "So remind. You are only a reminder. You have no control over them. But whoever turns away and disbelieves. God will torment him with the greatest torment. To Us is their return. Then upon Us rests their judgment." (88:21-26); "" (10:99-100); "You cannot guide whom you love, but God guides who are willing to be guided, and He knows best those who are guided." (28:56).

3- The rotten core of any of the terrestrial/earthly religions is that it is owned/fashioned by its clergymen/deities; they manipulate the terrestrial religions to make themselves superior above all people by controlling them and stealing their money by means of swindle and deception. Of course, enthroned tyrants need to ride/control terrestrial religions and their clergymen who, in their turn, ride/control the gullible, naïve masses. In the case of Sunnite Wahabism, this terrestrial religion of Satan is based on terrorism and violence. Hence, the ordinary people in Wahabism-controlled nations suffer from violence, aggression, and injustices. The Wahabi clergymen practice routinely the compulsion in religion; in many cases, they chase people in the streets and markets to punish them for whatever reason; this is against Islam, of course. This grave injustice by unjust tyrants includes to exact penalties on those who do not fast during Ramadan and consume food in public before sunset.   

 

Secondly: an overview of the stance of the terrestrial Sunnite religion regarding those who do not fast during Ramadan:

1- Ease/facilitation is one of the main legislative purposes in the Quranic sharia of Islam: God's Celestial Religion. This means removal of burdens and accepting excuses for not applying certain items or not performing certain acts of worship. This is manifest in Quranic verses about fasting. In contrast, clergymen/owners/legislators of the Sunnite religion of Satan have based their wicked religion on extremism, bigotry, fanaticism, dominance, and coercion.  

2- The incidents of forcing people to fast and to penalize those who do not fast during Ramadan began in the Abbasid Era; the Hanbali Sunnite clergymen committed this sin and they ascribed it falsely to the name of Islam. In the Quran, those who missed fasting a day of Ramadan should fast another day in return once they are able to do this anytime. In contrast, Sunnite fiqh scholars vied for imposing their own unjust fatwas and laws as follows.

2/1: They forced those men who spoiled their fasting by having marital sex to fast for 60 days or to feed 60 poor men if they cannot free a slave.

2/2: They fabricated hadiths (ascribed to famous narrators like Abou Hurayrah) about penalties in this world and the next one for missing one day of fasting during Ramadan. These hadiths differ in making amends for missed days: paying money, feeding the poor, or fasting for 12, 30, or 60 days for each missed day! It is no wonder that their earthly Hanbali Sunnite religion is owned by its clergymen and they reserve the 'right' to introduce laws as per their whims. This occurred when Hanbali Sunnite clergymen controlled streets of Baghdad and other cities Iraq and caused the destruction of Iraq during the Second Abbasid Era. They humiliated and beaten/flogged in public those who did not fast. For more details, we refer readers to our book titled "Hanbalism, the Mother of Wahabism, and the Destruction of Iraq in the Second Abbasid Era". 

3- In contrast, in the Mameluke Era, Sufism was the dominant religion and it has urged promiscuity and immorality as well as rejecting (or being lax regarding) all acts of worship; this includes fasting of course. For more details, we refer readers to our book titled "The Influence of Sufism within the Religious Life in the Mameluke Egypt". Thus, at the time, Egypt never witnessed the Sunnite Hanbali dominance and violence which destroyed Iraq in the Second Abbasid Era. Sufism has the main notion of non-protest; this is the exact opposite of compulsion in religion and changing 'vice' by force as per the ways of the Hanbali Sunnite clergymen. Because Sufism-hating Hanbali sheikhs/authors could not dominate over the Sufi Egyptian masses during the Mameluke Era (as Mameluke sultans were Sufis themselves), their writings (e.g., of Ibn Taymiyya and Al-Dhahaby) were filled with angry and hatred towards those who did not fast during Ramadan; they declared them as infidels and heretics and worse than fornicators and drunkards.    

4- In the modern era, Sunnite Wahabism dominate the Arab world within the influence of the KSA, the USA, and the petrodollars of the oil revenues. The so-called religious police inside the KSA consists of unjust men who practice the sin of compulsion in religion; they chase innocent, peaceful people in the streets, alleys, squares, and markets. The Saudi Wahabi influence led to the emergence of new fiqh scholars who own their terrestrial religion of Satan and are bent on exceeding their masters of the Middle-Ages (e.g., Ibn Abdul-Wahab and Ibn Taymiyya) by issuing fatwas to beat/flog, humiliate, and punish those who consume food during day-time in Ramadan.

5- Al-Shaarawy in his book of fatwas (part 3, page 45) writes that those who do not fast during Ramadan should be advised and warned at first (or Taazeer in the Sunnite religion), and if they never heed the warning, they must be penalized by one of the following items: banishment, public humiliation, public flogging, or public beatings, while never allowing believers to talk to these 'offenders'. In contrast to Sunnite terms, in the Quranic terminology, Taazeer means support: "...Those who believe in him, and respect him, and support him, and follow the Light that came down with him - these are the successful." (7:157); "That you may believe in God and His Messenger, and support Him, and honor Him, and praise Him morning and evening." (48:9). Within Sunnite terms, Taazeer means to warn and penalize. This means that Islam (i.e., the Quran) has nothing to do with the Sunnite religion; both contradict each other in notions, terminology, and legislations. For more details, we refer readers to our book, published on our website, about interpreting the Quran. We also refer readers to our book titled "How to Understand the Holy Quran", found on this link in English: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=121) and on this link in French: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=153).   

6- Sadly, many other Wahabi Sunnite fiqh scholars of our modern, bleak era followed the footsteps of Ibn Taymiyya of despising/humiliating in public those who do not fast during Ramadan and to deem them as 'infidels' and 'heretics'. The fiqh scholars of today accuse those who do not fast during Ramadan of intentionally mocking Islam itself by consuming food in public before the eyes of fasters, and hence, they should be punished by judges in courts; the sentences against them must be endorsed by rulers. This means that the Sunnite/Wahabi fiqh scholars of today incite enthroned tyrannical rulers to allow them to punish innocent people; they desire to be as tyrannical as their masters/sultans!     

7- Of course, other countries followed the Wahabi footsteps of the KSA; e.g., Kuwait issued the Law No. 24 in 1986 A.D. about those who consume food in public during day-time in Ramadan who are to pay a fine which will not exceed 100 Kuwaiti dinars and/or be incarcerated for a month, along with those who helped them commit this 'sin'; the shops/restaurants which allow this will be closed down for two months. The same law gives the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior the authority to close down any shops/restaurants during Ramadan as he sees fit. In Afghanistan, those who neglect fasting during Ramadan are humiliated and beaten in public although there is no law about this! In Comoros, those who intentionally never fast during Ramadan are incarcerated. In Somalia, in 2006, a law was issued to punish those who violate the holy month of Ramadan by consuming food in public during day-time.   

8- In Egypt, a bill (i.e., a proposed law) was discussed years ago inside the Egyptian Parliament about punishing those who consume food publicly during day-time in Ramadan; the proposed penalties were 3-day imprisonment plus paying a fine of L.E.100 for 'offenders' and closing down shops/restaurants which allowed this 'sin' and 30-day imprisonment for their owners. Luckily, this bill/law never passed at all until this moment as we write this article despite the keenness of Azharite clergymen in Egypt who supported it as they were keen on imitating the KSA. Yet, despite the nonexistence of such a law in Egypt, the Egyptian government imitated the Saudi religious police in Sept. 2009 (i.e., within the era of Mubarak) by arresting and imprisoning 150 Egyptians in Cairo for consuming food in public during Ramadan. In the same year, a group of Egyptians were arrested for the same reason in Hurghada in the Red-Sea Governorate; the governor of this Governorate had to close down all cafés and restaurants during the day-time in Ramadan, despite the existence of so many non-Muslim tourists in Hurghada. In the Egyptian Delta town of Talkha, seven young men were arrested for smoking in public during day-time in Ramadan; they avoided prison by paying a fine of L.E.500.

9- This is very ridiculous; it is as if Egypt became like Switzerland in terms of human rights; it is as if all problems inside Egypt were solved except this one; it is as if there were no thefts, corruption, injustices, oppression, and torture; it is as if there were no hungry and needy people in Egypt who eat whatever is found in the garbage bins. No one can imagine that some people who do not fast would pose a veritable threat to social peace, national security, and national or Arab unity! The poet Al-Mutanabbi at one time composed these lines of verse when he visited Egypt: (In Egypt there are many laughter-inducing things / Yet, they make one laugh until tears of sorrow fall down!). Sadly, the Ifta (i.e., fatwas-issuing) body of Al-Azhar in Aug. 2012 issued a statement to accuse violators of Ramadan-fasting of mocking Islam and its rituals; many Azharite sheikhs urged the MB president of Egypt at the time when the MB terrorist organization ruled Egypt (June 2012 – June 2013) to issue laws to punish those who do not fast during Ramadan and consume food in public in day-time during the fasting month without any acceptable excuses. It is as if the Egyptian government managed to solve all problems (and this will never happen as long as Wahabism dominates and there is no democratic transition) and the only remaining major problem now is to penalize those who 'defiantly' consume food during day-time in Ramadan without excuses! We cannot help wondering what sort of excuses which would be examined; would policemen be trained to be mind-readers or would they employ medical doctors to examine those who do not fast to decide if they are able to fast or not?! Let us repeat the quoted lines of verse by Al-Mutanabbi: (In Egypt there are many laughter-inducing things / Yet, they make one laugh until tears of sorrow fall down!).    

 

Lastly:

 Until when the enemies of the Lord God will continue distorting His Religion and impose their additions to its sharia laws?! ).

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