Fatwas from Scholars of the Holy Country (Against Egypt’s Army)

Fatwas* from Scholars of the Holy Country is a book comprising thousands of fatwas on various issues. It can be found in most hotel rooms surrounding Kaaba’s Masjid al-Haram, most sacred place on Earth according to Muslims. This guide for Muslims is written by Saudi Arabia’s top scholars and its presence near Kaaba, where thousands of pilgrims are present every year to perform Hajj, signifies its value.

One fatwa in this book orders Muslims not to buy flowers for sick people because this is a blind imitation of western infidels and flowers are utterly useless. Another forbids fraternizing with Christians, true brotherhood exists only between believers (non-Muslims are not believers). The book also orders Muslims not to greet Christians in their daily lives and especially on Christian holidays. Congratulating Christians on Christmas is acknowledging that Jesus was crucified, which is a sin [the acknowledgment].

This level of intolerance is commonplace in the literature of Muslim Fundamentalists known as Salafists, although many of these fatwas are not practiced due to impracticality and Taqqiyah- employing false and deceitful means to reach a desired greater end. What is unusual in this book is one particular question directed at its authors: Concerning people who earn their living working in the Egyptian Army, are they permitted to salute the flag and the officers and abide by laws not stipulated by Allah?

No, came the answer, Muslims are not permitted to salute officers, commanders, or flags, and Muslims must not obey any rules other than the Islamic rules, not even the rules of the military.

Why is Egypt’s Army the only army mentioned in this book? Why is it the target of such heinous prohibitions despite alleged good Egyptian-Saudi ties?

And how can Saudi Arabia fight religious fanaticism with books like this? Or does the petroleum giant only seek to counter acts of terror? The second question is particularly interesting because Sisi’s administration seems to be at peace with Salafists -who promote the same kind of ideas previously mentioned- while losing dozens of Egyptian noble soldiers and police officers in the war against Islamic terrorism every year.

*A fatwa is on official religion advice from Muslim scholars to Muslims

Transcribed and translated from Ibrahim Eissa’s 25/30, episode of August 9th, 2015 [ Min 01:00:00]

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