Saturday, August 02, 2008

Egypt's Islamic Leader Desperately Attempts to Discredit Baha'i Religion

In yesterday's edition of Egypt's, official, Al-Akhbar newspaper, Sheikh Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyed El-Tantawi was quoted to repeat his recent assertion that "the recognition of the Baha'i community in Egypt would be regarded as a departure from Islam and the teachings of divine religions...and that no one can be allowed to recognize it as a religion...."

It also referred to a 1986 Fatwa by former Sheikh Al-Azhar, the late Gad El-Haq Ali Gad El-Haq, which claimed that "the Baha'i Faith has no relation to divine religions, but that it is a newly invented religion that appeared in the late 19th century under the protection and blessings of English occupation with the aim of disintegrating Muslim unity and denying Islamic principles...."

Beside the total lack of validity to any of the statements made in this article, it goes further in claiming that the Baha'is do not believe that Muhammad (PBUH) was a messenger of God. In reality, however, the Baha'i religion is the only one, other than Islam itself, known to recognize the divinity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and that He is indeed a messenger of God.

We may never find out what is exactly behind this recent desperate escalation of rhetoric, intended to discredit the Baha'i religion, by top Egyptian Islamic leaders. But in making such false claims and repeating these uncalled-for statements, it appears that His Eminence Sheikh Tantawi was made to stir a process, intended to deceive the masses in believing that the Baha'i Faith is out there to devour Islam--a scheme that has the potential of fomenting, uninformed, Islamic public fury towards the Baha'is.

Conveniently, these statements made no mention of the fact that Egypt's highest ecclesiastical court in Cairo, in the 1920s, was the first to ever recognize the independence of the Baha'i religion. As was previously posted regarding Egypt's role in the emancipation of the Baha'i religion, one can find the court's most emphatic statement that reads: "The Baha'i Faith is a new religion, entirely independent, with beliefs, principles and laws of its own, which differ from, and are utterly in conflict with, the beliefs, principles and laws of Islam. No Baha'i, therefore, can be regarded a Muslim or vice-versa, even as no Buddhist, Brahmin, or Christian can be regarded as Muslim or vice-versa."

This early decision, in Egypt, asserted the independence of the Baha'i Faith in the heart of the Islamic world, and led to its acceptance as an independent religion, and the official recognition of its elected Institutions initially in Egypt, Palestine, Persia, and the United States of America. Currently there are several millions of Baha'is found in at least 218 countries and 116,000 localities worldwide.


  1. That such a prominent leader in Islam feels that the Baha'is in Egypt, who are a very small group of people are so threatening is interesting. He's essentially affirming that if Baha'is had their freedom that many people would be attracted to this religion. Otherwise how could it possibly pose a threat to Islam? If I were not a Baha'i, this kind of thing would simply make me more curious to learn about it.

  2. I find it interesting that this Leader is resorting to conduct and behavior that the Prophet Mohammed himself condemned

    And when they meet those who believe they say, 'We believe,' but when one goes aside with another they say, 'Will ye talk to them of what God has opened up to you, that they may argue with you upon it before your Lord? Do ye not therefore understand?' Do they not then know that God knoweth what they keep secret and what they make known abroad?
    And some of them there are, illiterate folk, that know not the Book, but only idle tales; for they do but fancy. But woe to those who write out the Book with their hands and say 'this is from' God; to buy therewith a little price! and woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they gain!

    (The Qur'an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 2 - The Heifer)

    I strongly suggest to this leader to reread the Quran and not to make anymore statements that make him appear more foolish than what he already is...

  3. He might be doing so in order to appease the extremists, and ultimately give the government justification to go ahead and enforce the court's verdict. The reason I think so is that, in the same article, he mentions that the court ruling allowing the Baha'is the issue of ID documents does not recognize Baha'i as a religion, but rather leaves that section blank or with dashes.


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