Muhammad Al-Munajjid

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Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid
Personal Details
Born (1960-06-07) June 7, 1960 (age 56)
Era Modern era
Region Saudi Arabia
Religion Islam
Denomination Salafi
Creed Athari
Notable work(s) Founder of IslamQA.info fatwa website

Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid (محمد صالح المنجد) (born 1960 or 12/30/1380 AH) is an Islamic 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 a respected scholar in the Salafi movement.[2] IslamQA.info is one of the most popular websites providing the Salafi perspective and is (as of November 2015) according to Alexa.com the world's most popular website on the topic of Islam generally (apart from the website of an Islamic bank).[3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Al-Munajjid was born to Palestinian refugees[5] in Aleppo, Syria in 1960,[6] and raised in Saudi Arabia.[7] He graduated from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management.[6] Al-Munajjid studied Islamic law under the scholars 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Baaz,[6][8] Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Abdullah Ibn Jibreen, Saleh Al-Fawzan, and Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak.[6] 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.[6]

Activities[edit]

Main article: IslamQA.info

In 1996, Al-Munajjid launched a question and answer Islamic website, IslamQA.info. The website states that "All questions and answers on this site have been prepared, approved, revised, edited, amended or annotated by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, the supervisor of this site."[9] IslamQA.info 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.[10][11] 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."[12] As of May 2015, he had 820,000 followers on Twitter.[13] In 2015, Alexa lists IslamQA.info as the most popular on the topic of Islam.[14]

Views[edit]

Jews[edit]

In an interview which aired on Saudi Al-Majd TV channel on May 15, 2016, Al-Munajjid stated (as translated by MEMRI) that

In same interview, Al-Munajjid he quoted Arab Islamic jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya as stating "The Jews are the nation that incurred the wrath of Allah. They are a people of lies, fabrications, treachery, and conspiracies. They are the slayers of prophets, the profiteers from that which is forbidden. They are the filthiest of nations with the basest of character."[15]

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.[16]

Homosexuality[edit]

Al-Munajid believes that “The crime of homosexuality is one of the greatest crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds, and Allah punished those who did it in a way that he did not punish other nations.”[17][18] Homosexuals should be executed although the method has been disputed including burning, having a wall dropped on them, being detained until death in the "foulest place", being stoned, or being thrown from the highest building. Those who are forced into the act or were minors are exempt from punishment.[19]

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."[20] However, if a Muslim man suspects that certain family members will commit an immoral act, he is allowed to tie up or otherwise restrain them in order to prevent the action.[21]

Women[edit]

Al-Munajjid states that Muslim woman are required to cover their entire body including the face (only showing eyes) and hands.[22] This ruling is obligatory and does not vary depending where you are. Women are required to stay in their houses unless they are in the company of a mahram and are forbidden to drive cars as "it leads to evil consequences" such as being "alone with a non-mahram man, unveiling, reckless mixing with men, and committing haraam actions because of which these things were forbidden."[23][24] Women are not fit for public office or judgeships because they are more emotional; however, they can serve in administrative posts where they will work solely with other women.[25]

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[26][27] Images of animate beings are equally forbidden[28] including photographs unless necessary for identification, education, or for pursuing criminals.[29] His fatwa supports the destructive activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant towards statutes and ancient monuments.[27]

Islamic theology[edit]

Al-Munajjid 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.[30] Attributes that Allah ascribes to Himself require neither explanation or interpretation instead a Muslim should neither deny the divine attributes nor liken Allah to His creation but accept the statements of Allah in the Quran without questioning.[31]

Slavery[edit]

In a January 2016 fatwa, Al-Munajid stated that a man is allowed to have intercourse with a slave that he owns whether he is married or not; and that his wife or wives has no right to object. A Muslim wife "has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves or to his having intercourse with them [...] The scholars are unanimous in this assessment, and no one is permitted to view this act as forbidden, or to forbid it. Whoever does so, is a sinner, and is acting against the consensus of the scholars."[32][33][34]

However, Al-Munajid states that Islam is not eager to enslave people. The only cause for slavery is war against Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Even so, Islam commands the kind treatment of such war prisoners, including providing food and clothing the like of which is given to family members, preserving their dignity, and allowing them to lead their masters in both religious and worldly matters if they possess the ability. Islam strongly encourages the freeing of slaves and makes it a powerful expiation of sins. Slavery is fundamentally not something desirable. [35][36]

Building of churches[edit]

Al-Munajid states that Muslims who support the building of churches in Islamic countries in response to mosques being allowed to being built in non-Islamic countries are "ignorant" as Islam does not permit the promotion of anyone worshipping other than Allah.[37]

Controversial statements[edit]

  • His website includes a number of controversial fatwas.[38][better source needed] women being intellectually inferior to men (on a number of occasions),[39][40][41] women who work as broadcasters will lead to illegitimate children,[42] needing to divorce women who don't wear the hijab,[43] needing to leave work if there are women working there[44] and polygamy being acceptable for all Muslim males[45] being sinful to live in non-Muslim countries,[46]
  • 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?"[47][48]
  • 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.[49][50] Although he was quoted as saying that Mickey Mouse should be killed,[51] 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.”[52][53] Munajjid condemned the Beijing Olympics as the "bikini Olympics", claiming that nothing made Satan happier than seeing female athletes dressed in skimpy outfits.[49][54]
  • 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."[55][56]

Books written by Saalih al Munajjid[edit]

  • 1. Koonu ‘ala al-Khayr A‘waanan (Cooperate in doing good)
  • 2. The Muslim Home - 40 Recommendations
  • 3. 33 Ways of Developing Khushoo in prayer
  • 4. The Prophet’s Methods for Correcting People’s Mistakes
  • 5. 70 Matters Related to Fasting
  • 6. Dealing with Worries and Stress
  • 7. Disallowed Matters
  • 8. Prohibitions that are taken too lightly
  • 9. What you should do in the following situations
  • 10. Weakness of Faith
  • 11. Means of Steadfastness: Standing Firm in Islam
  • 12. I Want to Repent, But…
  • 13. Problems and Solutions
  • 14. Siraa‘ ma‘a ash-Shah
  • 15. Reflection upon the Current Crusade War[57]

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 |"Al-Munajjid is considered one of the respected scholars of the Salafist movement, an Islamic school of thought whose teachings are said to inspire radical movements in the Arab world, including al-Qaeda and a group called al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wal Sham (also known as the Islamic State, IS or Daesh)."
  3. ^ http://www.alexa.com/topsites/category/Top/Society/Religion_and_Spirituality/Islam
  4. ^ Gauvain, Richard (November 2012). Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God. Routledge. p. 335. ISBN 978-0710313560. ...participants generally refer to the established Saudi scholars. In this case, the most common source of reference was Muhammad Salih al-Munajid's well-known website: Islam Question and Answer which provides normative Saudi Arabian Salafi responses. 
  5. ^ a b Deutsche Welle: "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it" retrieved September 2, 2016
  6. ^ a b c d e Islamopedia Scholar Profiles: "Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid" retrieved January 12, 2015
  7. ^ "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it" Deutsche Welle. 10.01.2016
  8. ^ Brems, Eva. The Experiences of Face Veil Wearers in Europe and the Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 144. 
  9. ^ IslamQA.info website: "Introduction" retrieved September 17, 2016
  10. ^ "Saudi Arabia blocks 'Islam Question and Answer'," Al Arabiya (in Arabic), September 2, 2010
  11. ^ Xinhua: "Saudi blocks scholar website after fatwa control decree: report" September 3, 2010
  12. ^ Christopher Boucek, "Saudi Fatwa Restrictions and the State-Clerical Relationship," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 27, 2010 (accessed November 18, 2013).
  13. ^ Al Bawaba: "Saudi snowman fatwa scholar thaws his stance" January 14, 2015
  14. ^ Alexa website: "Top Sites in: All Categories > Society > Religion and Spirituality > Islam" retrieved July 31, 2015
  15. ^ a b Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid: Our War with the Jews, the Plague of History, Will Continue to the End of Time, MEMRITV, Clip No. 5502 (transcript), May 15, 2016 (video clip available here).
  16. ^ 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"
  17. ^ National Review: "Obama’s Gay-Rights Hypocrisy" by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY August 14, 2013
  18. ^ Washington Post: "Islam must repeal its scarlet-letter sex laws" by Asra Q. Nomani June 15, 2016
  19. ^ IslamQA Fatwa 38622: The punishment for homosexuality retrieved October 17, 2015 | "It was narrated from Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq that he is to be burned and from others that he is to be executed. It was narrated from some of them that a wall is to be knocked down on top of him until he dies beneath it. And it is said that both should be detained in the foulest of places until they die. It was narrated from some of them that he should be taken up to the highest place in the town and thrown down from it, to be followed with stones, as Allaah did to the people of Loot. This was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas. According to the other report, he is to be stoned. This was the view of the majority of the salaf."'
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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
  22. ^ IslamQA Fatwa 21134 "Do women have to wear niqaab?" retrieved August 1, 2015 | "It is OK to cover the face with the niqaab or burqa’ which has two openings for the eyes only, because this was known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because of necessity. If nothing but the eyes show, this is fine, especially if this is customarily worn by women in her society."
  23. ^ IslamQA Fatwa 45880 Does the ruling on driving a car vary from one country to another? retrieved August 1, 2015 | "Allaah commanded the wives of the Prophet and the believing women to stay in their houses, to observe hijab and to avoid showing their adornments to non-mahrams because of the permissiveness that all these things lead to, which spells doom for society."
  24. ^ Tampa Bay Times Pundifact: "Saudi Arabia is "the only Muslim country out of 47 Muslim-majority countries" where women cannot get licenses to drive" by Jon Greenberg October 7, 2014
  25. ^ IslamQA Fatwa 3285 "Ruling on appointing women to positions of high public office" retrieved October 16, 2015|"People know from experience that only men are fit for leadership, because women by nature are more emotional and more easily swayed by their feelings and compassion. These qualities have been created in women to enable them to carry out their most important duty, which is that of motherhood and nurturing children. Men, on the other hand, are not usually swayed by their emotions as women are. Their way is usually one of logic and deliberation, which form the essence of responsibility and leadership...With regard to other administrative positions, there is no shar’i reason why women should not be appointed to run institutions where they will work with other women and not men, because in this case there are no shar’i reservations about their work."
  26. ^ 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"
  27. ^ a b Financial Tines: "Isis are Modern Vandals Smashing Centuries of History" by Gerald Russell March 7, 2015
  28. ^ 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."
  29. ^ 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."
  30. ^ 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"
  31. ^ 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."
  32. ^ Knipp, Kersten (10 January 2016). "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it". DW. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  33. ^ "Ruling on having intercourse with a slave woman when one has a wife - Islamqa.info". islamqa.info. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. 
  34. ^ Nomani, Asra Q.; Arafa, Hala (11 October 2015). "Inside the World of Gulf State Slavery". Daily Beast. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  35. ^ al-Khudayr. "The difference between slaves and prostitutes". Islam Q&A. Islam Q&A. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  36. ^ "Islam and Slavery". Islam Q&A. Islam Q&A. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  37. ^ Middle East Forum: "The Logic of Islamic Intolerance" by Raymond Ibrahim December 1, 2015
  38. ^ http://mymuslimthoughts.blogspot.ca/2015/02/muhammed-al-munajjid-is-deviant-do-not.html
  39. ^ http://islamqa.com/en/20051
  40. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/930
  41. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/1105
  42. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/111839
  43. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/ref/169563
  44. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/27304
  45. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/ref/11744/polygamy
  46. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/ref/27211/non%20muslim%20country
  47. ^ "Baylor University || Media Communications || Associated Press - Tsunami survivors cling tightly to faith across ravaged region". Baylor.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  48. ^ "Saudis and Tsunamis". The Weekly Standard. 2005-01-17. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  49. ^ a b 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."
  50. ^ Middle East Media Research Institute (2008). Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid: Mickey Mouse Must Die (Video). MEMRI. 
  51. ^ USA Today: "Arabs denounce cleric's fatwa on 'immoral' TV" September 19, 2008
  52. ^ Saudi Gazette: "Recent ‘Death fatwas’" 12 January 2015
  53. ^ Middle East Media Research Institute (2008). Al-Munajid Responds to Media about Killing Mickey Mouse (Video). MEMRI. 
  54. ^ Middle East Media Research Institute (2008). Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid Slams Beijing Olympics (Video). MEMRI. 
  55. ^ Archival: Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajjid Issues Fatwa Permitting Hacking into "Jewish Websites", MEMRITV, Clip No. 3687 (transcript) January 21, 2011.
  56. ^ Middle East Media Research Institute (2011). Saudi Cleric Al-Munajid Issues Fatwa Permitting Hacking into "Jewish Websites" (Video). Memri. 
  57. ^ http://islamqa.info/en/shaikh

External Sources[edit]