Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid
|Born||June 7, 1960|
|Movement||Salafi / Qutbi|
|Notable work(s)||Founder of IslamQA.info fatwa website|
Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid (محمد صالح المنجد) (born June 7, 1960/30 Dhul hijjah,1380) is a Syrian-born Palestinian-Saudi Islamic scholar. He is the founder of the fatwa website IslamQA, a popular website for Saudi Arabian Salafi responses on the topic of Islam. Al-Munajjid has been criticised for his controversial views and statements.
Early life and education
Al-Munajjid was born to Palestinian refugees in Aleppo, Syria in 1960 and raised in Saudi Arabia. Al-Munajjid studied Islamic law under the scholar 'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Baaz, but has no Ijazah. He has been described as a respected scholar of the Salafi movement.[better source needed]
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." 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. 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."
Common Salafi themes
Al-Munajjid has said that the Mu`tazila, the Ash'ari, and Maturidi schools of Islamic theology are wrong in applying Ilm al-Kalam (reason or rational discourse) to explain the Quran and are contradicting both the Quran and the Sunnah. 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.
Al-Munajjid has stated that Muslim women are required to cover their entire body including the face (only showing eyes) and hands. This ruling is obligatory. It varies depending on if the woman is around Mahram or non-Mahram men. Around Mahrams they are not required to observe niqab, niqab is obligatory. 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."
Al- Munajjid has not denounced slavery, and in a January 2016 fatwa stated that a man was 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. However, he did state that Islam does condemned ill treatment of slaves. "
Al-Munajjid has stated that slavery necessarily came about because of Jihad against the kuffar (non-believers) and the need to determine what to do with those who have been taken prisoner and thus become property; noting that "In principle, slavery is not something that is desirable" as Islam encourages the freeing of slaves for the expiation of sins. Slaves are to be treated in a "kind manner" including the provision of food and clothing.
Al-Munajjid has said 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." He has openly called for the death penalty for sodomy (those that practice male homosexual intercourse), with works distributed in his name saying that "those guilty of this crime are to be killed by the sword".
Blaming natural disasters on religion
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, he stated: "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?"
- Koonu ‘ala al-Khayr A‘waanan (Be Helpers in Doing Good)
- Arba‘oona Naseehah li Islaah al-Buyoot (The Muslim Home: 40 Recommendations)
- 33 Sababan li’l-Khushoo‘ (33 Ways of Developing Khushoo‘ in Salaah)
- Al-Asaaleeb an-Nabawiyyah fi ‘Ilaaj al-Akhtaa’ (The Prophet's Methods for Correcting People's Mistakes)
- Saba‘oona Mas’alah fi’s-Siyaam (70 Matters related to Fasting)
- ‘Ilaaj al-Humoom (Dealing with Worries and Stress)
- Al-Manhiyaat ash-Shar‘iyyah (Disallowed Matters)
- Muharramaat istahaana biha Katheer min an-Naas (Prohibitions that are Taken Too Lightly)
- Madha taf‘alu fi’l-Haalaat at-Taaliyah (What you should do in the following situations)
- Zaahirat Da‘f al-Eemaan (Weakness of Faith)
- Wasaa’il ath-Thibaat ‘ala Deen-Illah (Means of Steadfastness: Standing Firm in Islam)
- Ureedu an Atooba Walaakin… (I Want to Repent, But…)
- Shakaawa wa Hulool (Problems and Solutions)
- Siraa‘ ma‘a ash-Shahawaat (Striving against Whims and Desires)
- Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, p 355. ISBN 9780710313560
- Gauvain, Richard (November 2012). Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God. Routledge. p. 335. ISBN 978-0710313560. Archived from the original on 2021-09-17. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
...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.
- "Baylor University || Media Communications || Associated Press - Tsunami survivors cling tightly to faith across ravaged region". Baylor.edu. Archived from the original on 2022-06-02. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it". Archived from the original on September 17, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it" Archived 2016-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Deutsche Welle. 10.01.2016
- Brems, Eva. The Experiences of Face Veil Wearers in Europe and the Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 144.
- Christopher Boucek, "Saudi Fatwa Restrictions and the State-Clerical Relationship," Archived 2019-11-04 at the Wayback Machine Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 27, 2010 (accessed November 18, 2013).
- Al Jazeera Studies: "Arab World Journalism in a Post-Beheading Era" by Thembisa Fakude Archived 2019-03-23 at the Wayback Machine 2013 |"Al-Munajjid is considered one of the respected scholars of the Salafist movement)."
- IslamQA.info website: "Introduction" Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine retrieved September 17, 2016
- "Saudi Arabia blocks 'Islam Question and Answer'," Archived 2013-01-31 at the Wayback Machine Al Arabiya (in Arabic), September 2, 2010
- Xinhua: "Saudi blocks scholar website after fatwa control decree: report" Archived 2016-09-16 at the Wayback Machine September 3, 2010
- Islam QA fatwa 205836: What are the differences between the Maturidi school of thought and Ahl as-Sunnah? Archived 2022-06-02 at the Wayback Machine 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"
- 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 Archived 2015-05-28 at the Wayback Machine 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."
- Fatwa 20894: Obligation to destroy idols Archived 2015-05-11 at the Wayback Machine 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"
- Financial Times: "Isis are Modern Vandals Smashing Centuries of History" by Gerald Russell Archived 2022-06-02 at the Wayback Machine March 7, 2015
- IslamQA Fatwa 21134 "Do women have to wear niqaab?" Archived 2018-06-12 at the Wayback Machine 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."
- IslamQA Fatwa 45880 Does the ruling on driving a car vary from one country to another? Archived 2015-06-26 at the Wayback Machine 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."
- 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 Archived 2014-10-18 at the Wayback Machine October 7, 2014
- Knipp, Kersten (10 January 2016). "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it". DW. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "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.
- Nomani, Asra Q.; Arafa, Hala (11 October 2015). "Inside the World of Gulf State Slavery". Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 1 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- al-Khudayr. "The difference between slaves and prostitutes". Islam Q&A. Islam Q&A. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Islam and Slavery". Islam Q&A. Islam Q&A. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- McCarthy, Andrew C. (August 14, 2013). "Obama's Gay-Rights Hypocrisy". National Review. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
- Nomani, Asra Q. "Islam must repeal its scarlet-letter sex laws". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2016-10-02. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
- Titheradge, Noel (27 February 2018). "Is there a problem with unregistered schools?". BBC. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
- "Saudis and Tsunamis". The Weekly Standard. 2005-01-17. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- نور, مكتبة. "تحميل كتاب 70 Matters Related to Fasting pdf". www.noor-book.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-08.
- نور, مكتبة. "تحميل كتاب Weakness of Faith pdf". www.noor-book.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-08.
- Biography of the site's General Supervisor Archived 2022-03-09 at the Wayback Machine islamqa.info About our site