Muhammad Al-Munajjid

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Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid
Born (1960-06-07) June 7, 1960 (age 55)
Era Modern era
Region Saudi Arabia
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Hanbali
Movement Salafi
Notable idea(s) Founder of IslamQA.info fatwa website

Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid (محمد صالح المنجد) (born 1960 or 12/30/1380 AH) is a scholar known for founding the website IslamQA.info, which provides answers to questions in line with the Salafi school of thought.[1] Al Jazeera indicates that Al-Munajjid is considered one of most respected scholars in the Salafi movement.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Al-Munajjid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1960.[3] He was raised in Saudi Arabia.[citation needed] He graduated from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management.[3] Al-Munajjid studied Islamic law under the scholars 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Baaz,[3][4] Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Abdullah Ibn Jibreen, Saleh Al-Fawzan, and Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Baraak.[3] He is the imam at the Umar ibn Abd al-'Aziz mosque in the city of Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia and was the first person to launch a website representing Islam in Saudi Arabia.[3]

Activities[edit]

In 1996, Al-Munajjid launched a question and answer Islamic website, IslamQA. IslamQA.com was banned in Saudi Arabia due to the fact that it was issuing independent fatwas. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's Council of Senior Scholars has sole responsibility and authority for issuing fatwas.[5][6] The Council was granted this sole authority to issue fatwas by a royal edict issued in August 2010 (while restrictions had been in place since 2005, they were seldom enforced); this move was described by Christopher Boucek as "the latest example of how the state is working to assert its primacy over the country’s religious establishment."[7] As of May 2015, he had 820,000 followers on Twitter.[8]

Views[edit]

His website includes a number of controversial fatwas.[9][better source needed] These include women who drive being prostitutes (never mentioned that in the article in reference),[10] women being "weak, defeated and dazzled" if they take part in politics,[11] women being intellectually inferior to men (on a number of occasions),[12][13][14] women who work as broadcasters will lead to illegitimate children,[15] needing to divorce women who don't wear the hijab,[16] needing to leave work if there are women working there too,[17] polygamy being acceptable for all Muslim males,[18] being sinful to live in non-Muslim countries,[19] and not being allowed to appreciate the skills of non-Muslim football players, because they are non-Muslim.[20]

Blasphemy against Mohammed[edit]

Al-Munajjid indicates that the Islamic concept of Gheerah requires that Muslims protect the Prophet Mohammed from blasphemy for which the determination of guilt and application of the penalty (execution) is to be solely applied by Islamic authorities.[21]

Honor killings[edit]

Al-Munajjid asserts that honor killings are a "transgression and wrongdoing because it is killing one who does not deserve to be killed, namely the virgin if she commits zina (fornication), but the sharia punishment in her case is flogging and banishment for one year, not execution."[22] However, if a Muslim man suspects that certain family members will commit an immoral act, he is allowed to tie up or otherwise detain them in order to prevent the action.[23]

Statues and images[edit]

Al-Munajjid asserts that it is obligatory to destroy statues and idols that may tempt or confuse the people, whether they are buildings, people, animals or inanimate objects[24] Images of animate beings are equally forbidden[25] including photographs unless necessary for identification, education, or for pursuing criminals.[26]

Islamic theology[edit]

Al-Munajib believes that the Mu`tazila, the Ash'ari, and Maturidi schools of Islamic theology are wrong in applying Ilm al-Kalam (rational discourse) to explain the Quran and are contradicting both the Quran and the Sunnah.[27] Attributes that Allah ascribes to Himself require neither explanation or interpretation instead a Muslim should neither deny the divine attributes nor liken Allaah to His creation but accept the statements of Allah in the Quran without a need to explain.[28]

Controversial statements[edit]

  • The website includes a number of controversial fatwas.[9] These include women who drive being prostitutes,[10] women being "weak, defeated and dazzled" if they take part in politics,[11] women being intellectually inferior to men (on a number of occasions),[12][13][14] women who work as broadcasters will lead to illegitimate children,[15] needing to divorce women who don't wear the hijab,[16] needing to leave work if there are women working there too,[17] polygamy being necessary for all Muslim males,[18] women who do not marry will become prostitutes and the illegitimacy of the children will be reflected in their behavior,[29] a muslim male being sinful for getting to know a girl for the sake of marriage,[30] being sinful to live in non-Muslim countries (and needing to hate non-muslims if one does live in a non-muslim country),[19] and not being allowed to appreciate the skills of non-muslim football players, because they are non-muslim.[20] He has also states "The wife has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves or to his having intercourse with them."[31]
  • On the cause of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami: "The problem is that the [Christian] holidays are accompanied by forbidden things, by immorality, abomination, adultery, alcohol, drunken dancing, and … and revelry. A belly dancer costs 2500 pounds per minute and a singer costs 50,000 pounds per hour, and they hop from one hotel to another from night to dawn. Then he spends the entire night defying Allah. "Haven't they learned the lesson from what Allah wreaked upon the coast of Asia, during the celebration of these forbidden? At the height of immorality, Allah took vengeance on these criminals. "Those celebrating spent what they call 'New Year's Eve' in vacation resorts, pubs, and hotels. Allah struck them with an earthquake. He finished off the Richter scale. All nine levels gone. Tens of thousands dead. "It was said that they were tourists on New Year's vacation who went to the crowded coral islands for the holiday period, and then they were struck by this earthquake, caused by the Almighty Lord of the worlds. He showed them His wrath and His strength. He showed them His vengeance. Is there anyone learning the lesson? Is it impossible that we will be struck like them? Why do we go their way? Why do we want to be like them, with their holidays, their forbidden things, and their heresy?"[32][33]
  • In 2008, Munajjid stated that mice are "one of Satan's soldiers" and make everything they touch impure; and that depictions of the creatures in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, and Disney's Mickey Mouse, have taught children that they are in fact loveable.[34] Although he was quoted as saying that Mickey Mouse should be killed,[35] he later qualified his statement stating: “What I said was not a fatwa for Mickey Mouse to be killed, no rational person would say such a thing....The true subject being discussed was harmful rodents and mice, not Mickey.”[36] Munajjid condemned the Beijing Olympics as the "bikini Olympics", claiming that nothing made Satan happier than seeing female athletes dressed in skimpy outfits.[37]
  • In a video posted on the Internet in January 2011 (as translated by MEMRI), Al-Munajjid issued a Fatwa to allow hacking to "Jewish Websites". Al-Munajjid stated that "In principle, hacking into websites and sabotaging them is forbidden. This is not allowed because Allah has forbidden spying" but explained, regarding Jewish Websites, that: "This is a special case that requires a special answer. The people whose property and websites are protected do not include criminal aggressors. These Jews are bombing from land, air, and sea, perpetrating a genocide against our brothers, killing women and children, and destroying homes and mosques with people inside... There is no doubt that they are criminals, corrupters, attackers, and saboteurs. Their websites are targeted in the context of the war against them."[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, p 355. ISBN 9780710313560
  2. ^ Al Jazeera Studies: "Arab World Journalism in a Post-Beheading Era" by Thembisa Fakude 2013
  3. ^ a b c d e Islamopedia Scholar Profiles: "Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid" retrieved January 12, 2015
  4. ^ Brems, Eva. The Experiences of Face Veil Wearers in Europe and the Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 144. 
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia blocks 'Islam Question and Answer'," Al Arabiya (in Arabic), September 2, 2010
  6. ^ Xinhua: "Saudi blocks scholar website after fatwa control decree: report" September 3, 2010
  7. ^ Christopher Boucek, "Saudi Fatwa Restrictions and the State-Clerical Relationship," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 27, 2010 (accessed November 18, 2013).
  8. ^ Al Bawaba: "Saudi snowman fatwa scholar thaws his stance" January 14, 2015
  9. ^ a b http://mymuslimthoughts.blogspot.ca/2015/02/muhammed-al-munajjid-is-deviant-do-not.html
  10. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/ref/45880/women%20driving
  11. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/ref/3285/women's%20testimony
  12. ^ a b http://islamqa.com/en/20051
  13. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/930
  14. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/1105
  15. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/111839
  16. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/ref/169563
  17. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/27304
  18. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/ref/11744/polygamy
  19. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/ref/27211/non%20muslim%20country
  20. ^ a b http://islamqa.info/en/146844
  21. ^ Islam QA Fatwa 14305: It is essential to respond to those who defame the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) retrieved February 12, 2015 | If we leave the kuffaar and atheists to say whatever they want without denouncing it or punishing them, great mischief will result, which is something that these kuffaar love....Whoever hears the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) being insulted and does not feel any protective jealousy or get angry is not a true believer – we seek refuge with Allaah from humility, kufr and obeying the Shaytaan
  22. ^ Islam QA Fatwa 101972: Ruling on honour killings retrieved December 2, 2014 |Even if we assume that she deserves to be executed (if she was previously-married and committed zina), no one should do that but the ruler.
  23. ^ IslamQA: Fatwa 8980: "Who is the one who should carry out the hadd punishment for zina?" retrieved February 12, 2015 | The family of the woman should prevent her from committing immoral actions and should prevent the things that lead to that, such as going out, speaking to non-mahram men, and everything that may enable her to commit evil. If the only way is to detain her and tie her up, then they have the right to do that, so they should detain her in the house. But as for killing her, they should not do that
  24. ^ Fatwa 20894: Obligation to destroy idols retrieved May 26, 2015 | "This hadeeth indicates that it is prescribed to remove things that may tempt or confuse the people, whether they are buildings, people, animals or inanimate objects"..."They were unanimously agreed that whatever casts a shadow is not allowed and must be changed. Images that cast a shadow are three-dimensional images like these statues"
  25. ^ Islam QA Fatwa 7222: Prohibition of images and erecting statues, and the effect this has on ‘aqeedah retrieved May 26, 2015 | "Our companions and other scholars said: making images of animate beings is extremely haraam and is a major sin, because severe warnings have been issued against it in the ahaadeeth. Whether the image is made to be used in a disrespectful fashion or for other purposes, it is haraam to make it in all cases, because it implies that one is trying to match the creation of Allaah, whether the image is to appear on a garment, carpet, coin, vessel, wall or whatever. With regard to pictures of trees, camel saddles, and other pictures in which no animate beings appear, these are not haraam. This is the ruling on making images."
  26. ^ Fatwa 365: 365: Ruling on photographs retrieved May 26, 2016 | "Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures. Taking pictures with a camera involves human actions such as focusing, pressing the shutter, developing, printing, and so on. We cannot call it anything other than "picture-making" or tasweer, which is the expression used by all Arabic-speakers to describe this action. Photographs which are essential are permitted - such as those required for identity documents, or for identifying or pursuing criminals [e.g. "wanted" posters and the like - translator's note], or for educational purposes which cannot be achieved otherwise."
  27. ^ Islam QA fatwa 205836: What are the differences between the Maturidi school of thought and Ahl as-Sunnah? retrieved May 27, 2015 ||"The Maturidis, like other kalaami (philosophical) groups such as the Mu‘tazilah and Ash‘aris, discussed the necessity of knowing Allah, may He be exalted, on the basis of reason before studying the texts (of Qur’an and Sunnah); they regarded that as the foremost duty of any accountable person, and said that there was no excuse for not doing that. Rather they believe that a person would be punished for not doing it, even if that was before any Prophets or Messengers were sent. Thus they were in agreement with the view of the Mu‘tazilah. This is a view that is evidently wrong, as it contradicts what is proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah"
  28. ^ Islam QA fatwa: 96323: The ‘aqeedah of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and the praise of the imams for him and Ibn Hajar’s attitude towards him retrieved May 27, 2015 | "The view of the salaf is one of moderation, neither denying the divine attributes nor likening Allaah to His creation. They do not liken the attributes of Allaah to the attributes of His creation, as they do not liken His essence to the essence of His creation. They do not deny that which He ascribes to Himself or that His Messenger ascribes to Him, which leads to denying His beautiful names and sublime attributes, and to displacing words from (their) right places (cf. al-Nisa’ 4:46) and turning away from (Fussilat 41:40) the names and signs of Allaah. Both those who deny Allaah’s attributes and those who liken Him to His creation are guilty of both errors. Those who deny His attributes failed to understand the names and attributes of Allaah except in a manner that is befitting to created beings, so they denied these concepts and thus they have combined both errors; first of all they likened Him to His creation, then they denied His attributes as a result. That is likening the names and attributes to what may be understood from the names and attributes of His creation, then they denied the attributes that He deserves to have that are befitting to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted."
  29. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/14022
  30. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/36618
  31. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/10382
  32. ^ "Baylor University || Media Communications || Associated Press - Tsunami survivors cling tightly to faith across ravaged region". Baylor.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  33. ^ "Saudis and Tsunamis". The Weekly Standard. 2005-01-17. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  34. ^ Daily Telegraph: "Mickey Mouse must die, says Saudi Arabian cleric. Mickey Mouse is a corrupting influence and must die, a Muslim cleric has declared" By Martin Beckford 15 September 2008 |""According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature. How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry? Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice. Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases."
  35. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-09-19-722413904_x.htm
  36. ^ Saudi Gazette: "Recent ‘Death fatwas’" 12 January 2015
  37. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/2963744/Mickey-Mouse-must-die-says-Saudi-Arabian-cleric.html
  38. ^ Archival: Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajjid Issues Fatwa Permitting Hacking into "Jewish Websites", MEMRITV, Clip No. 3687 (transcript) January 21, 2011.

External Sources[edit]