Talk:Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz

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Flat Earth and geocentrism (2)[edit]

Lies were written on this page about Ibn Bâz (ra). Proof of what he said : "I also confirmed the article with some quotes from the scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be Merciful to him) that give evidence to prove that the earth is round. As for the rotation of the earth, I have denied this and explained the evidence that confirm its falsehood, but I did not declare those who believe that it does to be Kafirs, but I do so for those who say that the sun is static and does not move. This is because saying so contradicts the explicit texts in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, which confirm that the sun and the moon run on their courses."

Source (Kingdom of Saudi Arabie : Portal of The General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta'):

What's the problem? That's what the article says isn't it? He thought the sun moves and the earth rotates: that's what your quote says and that's what the article says. What are the lies about him? DeCausa (talk) 15:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
He believes in a geocentric model and a spherical earth. He didn't believe that the earth is flat.--BelalSaid (talk) 02:19, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
That's what the article says. DeCausa (talk) 06:51, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
The quote from the Economist claims that he believed the Earth was flat. If the quote contains an error or unverifiable information, then it should be removed. Wiqi(55) 14:48, 21 November 2012 (UTC)


IMHO, the part of the section that follows "In 1966, when Ibn Baz was vice-president of the Islamic University of Medina, he wrote an article denouncing Riyadh University for teaching the "falsehood" that the earth rotates and orbits the sun: "The Holy Quran, the Prophet's teaching and the majority of Islamic scientists and the actual fact all prove that the sun is running in its orbit, as Almighty God ordained, and that the earth is fixed and stable". King Faisal was reportedly so angered by this statement and ordered the destruction of every unsold copy of both papers" is now looking somewhat confused:

According to some sources, Ibn Baz threatened all who did not accept his views with a fatwa of takfir, declaring them infidels.[18] However, Ibn Baz later explained that "I did not declare those who believe that [the earth rotates] to be Kafirs, but I do so for those who say that the sun is static and does not move. This is because saying so contradicts the explicit texts in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, which confirm that the sun and the moon run on their courses."[19] In 1982 Ibn Baz published a book, Jarayan al-shams wa'l qamar wa-sukan al-ard ("The Motion of the Sun and the Moon and the Stationarity of the Earth"), in which he repeated his belief that the sun orbited the earth, but omitted the fatwa.[20] He changed his mind concerning the rotation of the Earth in 1985, when Prince Sultan bin Salman returned home after a week aboard the space shuttle Discovery to tell him that he had seen the earth rotate.[17]

when compared with an earlier version:

In 1982 Ibn Baz published a book, Jarayan al-shams wa'l qamar wa-sukan al-ard ("The Motion of the Sun and the Moon and the Stationarity of the Earth"), in which he repeated his belief that the sun orbited the earth.[18] He threatened all who did not accept his view with a fatwa of takfir, declaring them infidels.[19] Ibn Baz later explained that "I did not declare those who believe that [the earth rotates] to be Kafirs, but I do so for those who say that the sun is static and does not move. This is because saying so contradicts the explicit texts in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, which confirm that the sun and the moon run on their courses."[20] He changed his mind concerning the rotation of the Earth in 1985, when Prince Sultan bin Salman returned home after a week aboard the space shuttle Discovery to tell him that he had seen the earth rotate.[17]

The problems with it are:

  • The description of his belief, that the sun rotates around the earth, is now split either side of the 2 sentences on the fatwa on Kafirs/infidels and therefore looks jumbled/repetitive.
  • The statement that "some sources" claim that there was a fatwa looks inconsistent when it then goes on to directly quote Bin Baz saying there was indeed a fatwa saying just that.
  • Saying that his explanation of the fatwa was "in response" doesn't make sense because it confirms what was previously stated, and is not in fact "a response". (It may be the case it was responding to other things as well, but those other things haven't been mentioned here).

All this paragraph needs to say is: (1) He believed the sun revolved around the earth (2) Anyone who didn't believe that was an infidel (3) he believed the earth didn't rotate until Prince Sultan told him otherwise. I think the problem arises in part because he was accused of saying the earth was flat (which he didn't) and the current version is sort of answering that without actually saying that's what the issue was. I'm therefore returning it to the earlier version. DeCausa (talk) 13:32, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

An attributive statement is necessary here because Bin Baz did not declare those who disagreed with his cosmological views as kafirs, but only those who rejected the clear and explicit statements of the Qur'an and Sunnah. As far as I can tell, this is the whole point of his response, and the conclusion found at the end of his book makes it more explicit and provides quotes to prove it. So number 1 and 3 in your summary seems correct to me, but number 2 is wrong. Wiqi(55) 17:30, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not following your point. The quote is "but I do so [i.e. declare as kaffirs] for those who say that the sun is static and does not move." That seems clear to me. In the version I've reverted to, the preceding point is "...Ibn Baz published a book... in which he repeated his belief that the sun orbited the earth. He threatened all who did not accept his view with a fatwa of takfir, declaring them infidels." It doesn't refer to his views on cosmology generally, just specifically the issue of the sun orbiting the earth. Am I missing a subtlety in what you're saying? DeCausa (talk) 19:45, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The first quote doesn't mention the sun orbiting the Earth, and the second quote is just an accusation (which is why Bin Baz wrote a response to it). That said, he clearly states in his second article (from 1386 AH/1966-7) that "I did not declare those who believe that the earth rotates to be Kafirs, nor those who believe that the Sun moves around itself." So basically his takfir was specific to those who say that the sun is not moving at all, not even being fixed but still moving around itself. This is mentioned a couple of times in the book. Otherwise, his claim that the sun orbiting the earth is only discussed in passing, usually as part of his empirical evidence and in support of his view that the earth is not rotating. But he never declared anyone was a Kafir because of it. Wiqi(55) 01:35, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
I've reinstated this edit. The sentence without this edit now doesn't make sense. Bin Baz is highly unlikely (and certainly no evidence has been produced) to have made the statement "in response" to Malise Ruthven's book, hence I've taken out the reference to it being a response to that. Also, I've taken out the word "however" because that seems to me to be editorializing. It is making a statement that what Ruthven says and what a WP:PRIMARYSOURCE says is in conflict. To do that, however, requires interpreting the primary source in a certain way. DeCausa (talk) 14:27, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't just Ruthven who made these accusations. The linked Bin Baz articles and his second article in the book discuss/refute some of these accusations, and were written before Ruthven (2004). Also, WP:PRIMARY explicitly allows "straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge". Wiqi(55) 09:35, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
That's WP:OR. The source cited is Ruthven. There's nothing in that source that says "some sources". You'll need to get a source to support that - Ruthven isn't it. The Ruthven claim was specific, that the the fatwa concerned his "pre-Copernican" views. That's an important piece of information from a reliable secondary source. If you want to add in a source that says "some sources" and the allegation was about other views. That's fine. But the reference to Ruthven and the "pre-Copernican" position needs to stayt because it is acorrect description.
You are of course entitled to use a primary source to quote from Bin Baz, but what you cannot do is insert the word "however" implying that Ruthven was incorrect in saying that it was not the "pre-Copernican" views. That is editorializing, and you need a secondary source for that. On the face it, Ruthven was consistent with Bin Baz's correction. DeCausa (talk) 14:07, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what exactly are you calling OR. For instance, the edit you reverted did not contain the word "however".[1] If you're referring to the fact that there were multiple sources that criticized Bin Baz before Ruthven (2004) as OR, then you need to explain why. This fact is well-known and also supported by Watson (2008, p. 196, "Egyptian newspapers gleefully picked up this story ..." etc).
I think part of the problem is the sources used in this section being not "authoritative" enough. For instance, Ruthven gets the title of the book wrong and Watson repeats a rumor about King Faisal without citing sources. And both completely ignored his response article of 1966 (republished in the book). The end results is that some of the information given here is not verifiable and the sources are poor/contain errors. Wiqi(55) 15:47, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
It's got nothing to do with whether sources "criticized" Bin Baz - that's not what's under discussion here. What he said was ridiculed/criticized before and after his response - the response didn't have any bearing on that, as it touched on a relatively minor and narrow sub-issue as far as the rest of the world was concerned i.e. non-acceptance of exactly which views resulted in the declaration of Kafir. You wished to assert that "some sources" said that he declared as Kafirs those who didn't accept his views. The citation for that statement was Ruthven. But Ruthven didn't say that. He was far more specific per what is in the article currently. Until you can find a source to support that assertion, that's OR. Watson isn't a source for it either. When Watson says "Egyptian newspapers gleefully picked up this story ..." he's only referring to Bin Baz saying the sun is in orbit, not the declaration of Kafir. I'm not seeing any problems with the reliability of the sources. It's not usual to provide a citation for everything in a book - as you seem to suggest for Watson. Ruthven is a very well known scholar. I think the main problem with the section is this "rebuttal" from Bin Baz has been shoe-horned into the section, when it doesn't really add anything. The controversy is that Bin Baz had a ridiculous view that the sun was in orbit. The "rebuttal" didn't change that. DeCausa (talk) 16:32, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
You say "the response didn't have any bearing on that". But that's just original research on your part, and non of your sources even mention the response. One source even got the title of the book wrong. I actually read his response from 1966, and quoted the parts where he exactly refutes what you claim. This is inline with WP:PRIMARY. The links currently in the article might also shed more light on this. As for Watson's rumor, it seems like an exceptional claim that cannot be verified. Watson can write whatever he wants in his book, including rumors and unverifiable claims. But why would an encyclopedia repeat claims that cannot be verified? Perhaps we should add an "according to" statement? I'll try to find a better source. Wiqi(55) 17:37, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
No, you missed the point I was making. As can be seen from the RS, what's notable and what is the core of the controversy is that he had a pre-modern belief that the sun orbited the earth, and the earth didn't rotate. That's the main point and that's why he was the subject of ridicule, as evidenced by the RS. His "response" was about something else: did he declare those that said the earth rotated to be kafirs as well as those that said the sun didn't orbit the earth ? That question, whatever the answer, clearly, from the sources, was not the reason he was ridiculed since both are equally primitive ridiculous views. The answer doesn't matter in terms of reducing the ridicule heaped on him. That's why I said his "response" didn't have much of a bearing on the controversy and doesn't, therefore, add much to this section. That's not OR that is quite clear from the sources.
You say "non(e) of your sources even mention the response." Well, exactly. The reliable sources have no interest in the response. (For instance, Watson doesn't mention the that he declared anyone to be a kafir in relation to the incident.) Why? Because it didn't alter the bizarreness of his position. It was enough that he believed the sun to orbit the earth to be controversial. Can you explain why his "response" alters the nature of the controversy. It certainly doesn't act to make his position "less conroversial". DeCausa (talk) 21:16, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
If we're mentioning the takfir accusation (and we probably should), then we must also mention his response. It deals specifically with the takfir issue (mostly by clarifying that it's only meant for those who claim that the Sun is not moving at all, not even revolving around itself). Obviously, his takfir had nothing to do with his views being Copernican or not (contrary to Ruthven's claim) but more with the movement of the Sun. Bin Baz even speculated about the Orbit of the sun in the larger Universe as one argument against the sun being stationary and to prove that there was no consensus among the astronomers that it was. Whether any of this makes it less controversial or not is irrelevant. Wiqi(55) 03:50, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
This is my point about WP:PRIMARY. You are interpreting what he said as being about the movement of the sun in relation to the Universe rather than the "Pre-Copernican" concept of the sun orbiting the earth. The quote you put in the article doesn't preclude the latter and could apply to both concepts. To exclude the latter is interpretative in light of the sources and you can't do that with a primary source. To do so, you'll either need a direct quote saying, in terms, "By its orbit, I don't mean orbiting the earth" or a secondary source saying that. If you can do that I would have no problem with your approach. Although, as I said earlier, this is very much a secondary issue - a point of detail. The main point for the section is that he published his views that the the earth was stationary and the sun revolved around it. Thereis no doubt he did that, and that was the controversy. The takfir and his response should be dealt with very succinctly so as not to give a distorted impression as to what the controversy was really about. DeCausa (talk) 06:44, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, much of the controversy was about the false accusations of takfir, see the linked articles. Some of it was also about people accusing him of believing in a "flat earth", an opinion he never held. And don't accuse me of misinterpreting a sources that you can't read. The Orbit of the sun issue is discussed more than 10 pages after refuting the takfir accusations. You're just confused in linking the two. I'll quote the part where he refutes the takfir accusations in my next edit. Wiqi(55) 13:13, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Where did I accuse you of misinterpreting a source? My point was you can only use a primary source to support specific statements in that source. Only your last edit produced the statement in question - prior to that you hadn't produced it. The controversy over the takfir is clearly within the Muslim community. The global controversy is primarily about his view (not the takfir). With your additions, the paragraph has now become unwieldy, I have therefore split out the takfir issue into a second paragraph to aid readability. DeCausa (talk) 15:15, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Two further points: firstly, the quote you used does not seem to be from what appears to be from the 1966 article - the document it comes from does not bear a date on it - the only reference to a date is to an unrelated book. The other document seems to the a 1966 document. I have therefore added a quote from the latter and referred to the other quote as "Elsewhere..." Whether that's right or wrong, I think the quote I added is worth keeping as it refers to the call to kill, which is an important part of the takfir and is notable. Secondly, your translation contained in the second quote is problematic. Specifically "As for saying that the Sun revolves around itself but still being stationary," doesn't make much sense in English. All I can see is that it means that it's about the sun turning on its axis. If so, that isn't the same as a reference to orbiting the earth, and the point made by Ruthven remains unanswered. Can you resolve that please - I assume it's a translation question DeCausa (talk) 15:44, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The quote I added is a translation form an Arabic original found in his second article from 1966. It was republished in the book. Your quote, however, doesn't do justice to his multiple opinions concerning the sun being static. For instance, it doesn't differentiates between his position that the sun "not moving at all", which contradicts the Qur'an, is different than the sun being fixed in a single location but still revolving around itself. He explains that this view is the one most commonly held by astronomers (and no takfir for this view). Wiqi(55) 16:09, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Why are we even mentioning the sun "revolving around itself"? Who has accused him of including a takfir against those that think that? It's a red herring, and a differientiation which is immaterial. I think it's very important to maintain the other quote because it demonstrates the significance of pronouncing a takfir on this. I'm not convinced you've produced primary material which says that Ruthven was wrong. DeCausa (talk) 16:18, 22 January 2013 (UTC) I think that last part of the 2nd quote i.e. " ... As for saying that the Sun revolves around itself but still being stationary, ..., I did not deal with this issue in my first article, nor have I declared as infidels those who say so." should be deleted. Because the earlier part of the quote already confirms that he excluded the sun revolving around itself - and, as I said before, it has limited significance. At the moment it is just repetition and adds length unnecessarily. DeCausa (talk) 16:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

It is not a red herring. It is discussed multiple times in the book. The article that criticized Bin Baz, which he was responding to, is reproduced in the book and written by another Islamic scholar from Saudi Arabia. This other scholar explicitly asked Bin Baz about this belief (apparently, it was common back then). Concerning Ruthven, Bin Baz clearly states in his book (p. 73) that "the daily and yearly rotation of the Earth is all false ... but I did not declare those who believe in such as infidels". Wiqi(55) 16:40, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
"Pre-Copernican" doesn't refer to the rotation of the earth, it refers to the movement of the sun around the earth. This is why I say that the quotes you have produced do not clearly establish that what Ruthven said was inconsistent. DeCausa (talk) 16:50, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
But his discussion on Earth rotation includes both daily and yearly rotation (he explicitly mention that his rejection of the rotation of the Earth entails that the Sun is orbiting the Earth). He explains that there was no takfir on this mater neither in the first article nor the second. This directly contradicts Ruthven. Wiqi(55) 16:59, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that sounds too much like comparing a secondary source with an interpretation of a primary source. Unless you can produce a quote that explicitly says that the takfir does not include the belief that the sun is orbiting the earth, then it falls foul of WP:PRIMARY i.e primary sources can be used "only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source. Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so." You appear to be "interpreting", or, perhaps, "synthesizing" what Bin Baz wrote.
Having said that, although not perfect, I'm reasonably happy with the section as it now is since it talks about "similar accusations" to Ruthven's. We could curtail this discussion and reach agreement on the current text. DeCausa (talk) 17:27, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm OK with "similar accusations" too. But there are still two more points. One is Watson's exceptional and unverifiable claim about King Faisal. I think this would at least need an "according to" statement if it should stay in the article. Two, the sentence from his reply to al-Musawwir. This is not related to his second article from 1966, so the current wording is misleading. Also, a) it is just a reply to a magazine article, hence it doesn't explain his position clearly, including the different interpretations of "static" as discussed in his longer article, b) the word "kill" is not used in the Arabic version, rather a different word is used that imply apostasy (hadr al-damm), which is explained by the next sentence (not the sentence you added in the article) and was directed towards the rejection of explicit statement in the Qur'an and Sunnah. So this sentence requires qualification and context. c) I'm sure Bin Baz wrote a book or booklet on takfir/apostasy, its rules and conditions, etc, using this sentence to explain what takfir is (as you claimed) is not helpful. In other words, his point was about the rejection of explicit statement of the Quran and Sunna (which you have omitted), not for believing that the sun is static (which Bin Baz explicitly allows under certain conditions). I suggest this sentence should be removed, since it doesn't add anything, and the complex issue of takfir/apostasy can be discussed elsewhere. Wiqi(55) 21:06, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
As far as Watson is concerned, although I disagree that it needs an "according to" (it's not an exceptional claim and no evidence has been produced which casts any doubt on it) I don't have any strong feeling about it if that's what you would like. I do, however, have a strong view on the sentence from his reply to al-Musawwir. To me it is a far more important and essential quote than the one you introduced. I'll explain why later. Dealing with your points on it first: (a) the portal on which it appears means it clearly is not "just" a reply to an article. It's entitled "fatwas of Bin Baz" and is published by (and has the imprimatur of) the Saudi General Presidency of Scholarship and Ifta, a government institution of which Bin Baz was himself President. The text is very clear. With regard to the different interpretations of "static", that finer point is covered by the second quote, which I'm not proposing to delete. There is, however, some key information in this quote (which I will come to once I've answered your points) which is not in the second quote and therefore both quotes are warranted. (b) This is English language Wikipedia and sources in English are preferred over sources in a foreign language. This translation has been published by an official Saudi government agency. With respect, your own translation, as a Wikipedia editor, has no status and to accept it over an official translation would be WP:OR. You go on to say that the following sentence gives the context, that "kill" is the wrong interpretation. No it doesn't. The next sentence and the following two clearly repeats the death threat: "This is because denying the circulation of the sun constitutes a denial of Allah (Glorified be He), His Great Book, and His Honorable Messenger. It is well established in the Din (religion of Islam) by way of decisive evidence and Ijma` (consensus) of scholars that whoever denies Allah, His Messenger or His Book is a Kafir (disbeliever) and their blood and wealth become violable. It is the duty of the responsible authority to ask them to repent of this; either they repent or be executed. Thanks to Allah that this issue is not debatable among scholars." I have no problem in expanding the quote to the following sentence if that's what you prefer. (c) That's pure interpretation of a primary text, and not relevant/permissable. The text itself is crystal clear and is used entirely within policy.
Turning to the positive reason to keep the quote, the reader needs to understand what, as far as Bin Baz was concerned, was the consequence of the takfir. It is highly notable and extremely pertinent to the issues around his view on cosmology that he stated that it was lawful to kill a Muslim who believed the sun was static, after "clarification". This is a major point and must not be hidden. DeCausa (talk) 22:52, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The claim by Watson isn't consistent with the actions of Bin Baz, who seems to be casually discussing his articles in various publications throughout 1966 and later. I really doubt this would be the case if that article infuriated a King. As for the reply to al-Musawwir, a) here it is in Arabic,[2]. It is categorized as Imlaʾāt (lit. dictated material). This category includes letters and replies. including ones to random non-notable persons. It is certainly not a fatwa, and this project is most likely a posthumous translation of everything produced by Bin Baz. The issue of "static" is rather important since Bin Baz did not use just "static" in his letter, but wrote "thabita wala tajrī" (lit. static and not tajrī). The use of tajrī is intentional to juxtapose this statement with a well-known Qur'anic verse. Thus we currently have two different meanings of "static" in the same paragraph, which is very confusing and unacceptable. b) A translation of a large corpus of material related to Bin Baz is still a primary source, and subject to WP:PRIMARY. There is some selectiveness involved by choosing this letter over other sources, like his books, and we're already coming to different interpretation/conclusions (whether it was just a reply or a fatwa, wrong translation of certain words, like "static"). c) "kill a Muslim who believed the sun was static", that's not what the letter says. In fact, it didn't even use the word "static" in this context, but used a term intended to contradict an explicit statement in the Qur'an. Furthermore, The word "clarification" in the translation is actually "repentance" in the original (i.e., istitāba), one of a number of technical terms about apostasy used in the letter. The fact that most of your conclusion is wrong proves that this letter shouldn't be handled like this. You also can't really assess the quality of the translation, which is bad. Wiqi(55) 01:45, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Your doubts on Watson are WP:OR. Sourced doubts please. But as I said before, I don't have a strong view against adding "according to". As far as the quote is concerned (a) Irrelevant. My point was that it was written by Bin Baz and published by an impeccable (i.e. Saudi governmental) source. There's no conflicting meaning of static in the two English translations. Your comments on the original Arabic are WP:OR. The meaning of "static" for this quote is of secondary importance because that point which you find so important is elucidated to your satisfaction in the second quote. (b) You selected this source. You put in in the article. (c) "kill a Muslim who believed the sun was static" is my short-hand and not what I put in the article which is only Bin Baz's words. Your other comments on the translation are more WP:OR. Your personal views of the translation have no bearing given the institution that published it.
Would you like to take it to one of the noticeboards for help to resolve? DeCausa (talk) 07:47, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I've made an edit to Watson's unverifiable claim, even though I think an encyclopedia should be more factual as opposed to a rumor mill. As for the quote, it was the Arabic version that was dictated by Bin Baz not the one in English. Both versions are primary sources and both should be handled with care. But you're unable to do so because you can't read the Arabic original. That said, I fail to see how my comments on the Arabic version is OR. Anyone can verify that the English version uses "static" (thabita, fixed, etc) while the Arabic version uses "static wa la tajri" (referring both to the position of the sun and its Qur'anic description). These two facts can be verified by anyone. Furthermore, Bin Baz goes to great lengths in his book to differentiates between the different meaning of "static" with many pages devoted to the meaning of "tajri". His concern is with those who reject "tajri", regardless whether they think the sun is static (thabita) or not. Why should we ignore all of this and still insist on highlighting a translation of a random reply letter that is different from the Arabic original? Wiqi(55) 10:41, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
This is your own personal analysis utterly unsupported by any reliable secondary source. Your point regarding the point on the translation of "static" (even if your WP:OR were correct) is utterly trivial compared to the point in the quote I've put forward: the important general point is that, in certain circumstances, Bin Baz thought a lawful killing could be carried out for holding certain views. The sentence stating this is published in translation on the website of Saudi Arabia's leading religious-governmental institution. To be frank, I'm finding only obfuscation and irrelevance in trying to avoid this going into the article. It's quite frankly ridiculous to argue that your own translation of a primary source should go into an article (and that with excisions) but a translation of a primary source by a Saudi government agency should not. I don't see any coherent objection from you. I've reverted your recent edit and will open a DRN thread if you intend to pursue this further. DeCausa (talk) 16:45, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem here is that the "important general point" is not accurate. It should not be "for holding certain views", but "for rejecting an ayya of the Qur'an". That's why Bin Baz insists on inserting "la tajri" every time he discusses this issue, because the Qur'an says "tajri". This is explicitly stated in his book and elsewhere. He did allow different interpretations of "tajri", including one or two where the sun being "static (thabita,fixed) and tajri", but never "la tajri". So again your point is not accurate and not supported by the Arabic original, which explicitly uses "la tajri". And my quote is certainly more notable, because it's not from a random letter to a magazine, but from his famous second article of 1966 (42-pages long), and republished many times. It also directly deals with Ruthven's claims, by giving more details on Bin Baz cosmological views. Wiqi(55) 20:17, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
But I am not proposing to delete that quote, although I would have grounds to advance that because you are really pushing the limits of WP:V with it. It's a non-English primary source, with only your own translation, no ISBN or other publication data, just a name in Arabic transliteration, a page number and a publication date, it clearly contains excisions ("...") and, to a native English speaker, the language of your translation has problems (as discussed below "revolving around itself" is problematic in English). Despite all that, I have accepted in good faith your translation.
As far as your last post is concerned: "rejecting an ayya of the Qur'an" is "holding a certain view". The rest of your post is redundant. With regard to notability, I disagree. Where/how he published it is not relevant - unless you define notability as "only if it is notable to the world of Islamic scholarship". Wikipedia is not a work of Islamic scholarship (to state the obvious). What is clearly notable to the world at large is that he said that certain views (and to those who are not Islamic scholars, it is of no significance whatsoever whether the views entail "rejecting an ayya of the Qur'an" or not) make it lawful to kill the holder of the view if there is no repentance "after clarification". DeCausa (talk) 20:51, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
The elipses are mostly religious texts from the Qur'an and Sunna, followed by arguments not relevant to the takfir accusation (mostly Bin Baz arguing briefly why these views are false). I will quote the parts that I have translated from the Arabic original, which will settle the issue. You can also find plenty of English language sources that use "revolving around itself" (search Google Books), so this too is a non-issue. This should deal with most of your concerns.
As for notability, the article is certainly more notable than a random letter, and it's written specifically to discuss the takfir accusation. So to follow Ruthven directly is the only npov way to handle this issue, not trying to hide his response (see WP:STRUCTURE). The argument about rejecting an ayya of the Qur'an is also important for Bin Baz, and it's the argument he used to justify declaring someone an infidel/apostate. Why should we ignore that and present it as just another view about the Sun?! Wiqi(55) 22:21, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Hiding it?! It's a large block of text that takes up nearly half the paragraph. It's hardly being "ignored". The letter was clearly written to address the takfir issue. There's no grounds for "down grading it". But, as I said before, it contains the most notable aspect of his clarification: the lawfulness of killing the holder of the view in question. The quote from the article then perhaps goes on to define in more detail what that view is - but that is of secondary importance to the general reader (as opposed to a reader only interested in a point of detail of Islamic scholarship). DeCausa (talk) 23:24, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
It seems his reply to the Musawwir (the part you quoted) is itself quoted from his first article. But there, as well as in his second article and other replies, the quote is preceded by: "This is because saying so contradicts the explicit texts in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, which confirm that the sun and the moon run on their courses." It is important to have this statement somewhere around that quote, as it would explain why he was pronouncing takfir on this specific view.
As for the grounds for down-grading-it or qualifying it, because a) my quote is more relevant to Ruthven's "pre-Copernican" claim, b) your justification (i.e., that this being "an official translation" + from "a reliable source") is both not true. In fact, that site is publishing two different translations of the same document (see [3] and [4]). So your translation is neither an "official translation" nor peer-reviewed/reliable. Again, it is just done for convenience (searching, etc), but serious researchers would know their way around such material and would refer directly to the Arabic version. Wiqi(55) 15:28, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────On the contrary, the translations are materially the same. It merely emphasises their reliability. "serious researchers .... refer directly to the Arabic version" seems an unlikely proposition for English Wikipedia, particularly given the deprecation of foreign language sources in WP:NOENG. As far as adding the additional text that you would like to the quote, it seems to add very little. Of much greater interest is the sentence a little further on: "It is the duty of the responsible authority to ask them to repent of this; either they repent or be executed." This call for the state to execute holders of the view in question is very significant. Do you think it would be of interest to readers to refer to the Trial of Galileo 500 years earlier for comparison? DeCausa (talk) 22:32, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

In any case, there is no sign of reliability for that translation (both of them) -- hence whatever they claim it won't be verifiable. The original Arabic letter also uses a different phrase that contain a Qur'anic term (tajri) not just "static". This can be verified by anyone. And most of your claims about this being the "official translation" turned out to be false. I'm left thinking that you can't handle this primary source properly or with care. The letter also refers to the first article for Bin Baz, which happens to contain a detailed take on this same issue, but you can't read that article. I think you need to cite a secondary source supporting the claim you're making: that he deemed it lawful to kill just for believing in a "static" sun --which Bin Baz explicitly allowed per the second quote-- and not about knowingly rejecting parts of the Qur'an, and hence becoming an apostate. We do this frequently when dealing with Primary sources, especially since you don't have access to the original article. Wiqi(55) 00:38, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I have to admire your bravado. You are pushing your own translation of a primary foreign language source and deprecating a secondary English-language reliable sources and an English language translation published by a governmental organisation of a primary source. Wow. But I agree that the provenance of the respective translations should be clarified in the article, and will therefore edit accordingly. DeCausa (talk) 11:32, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
You've reverted my addition of the provenance of the translations - and added a "factual accuracy" dispute tag. (Although, I don't see how you can possibly say there is a factual issue if the provenance of the translations is stated: all it said was the Saudi website has a translation which says XYZ. That is indisputable factually. Also, it is indisputable that there is no authoritative translation of the article you are quoting from.) But given that you have placed the tag on the section, I think it's time for this to go to a noriceboard. Don't you agree? DeCausa (talk) 12:49, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
You've left some Arabic transliteration in your translation of the second quote: ""wa al-shamsu tajrī ..." Why is that? That would not be in keeping with WP:NOENG. It appears to be the key Qu'ranic statement of what the course of the sun is. Could you put in the whole quote please as I think that will provide useful information. DeCausa (talk) 16:06, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
It is Quran 36:38. and it's the part that he keeps repeating throughout the book. By the way, why did you omit this very significant info from your quote: "Thanks to Allah that this issue is not debatable among scholars." This part actually explains why that quote is not about just believing in a "static" sun (which he allowed for certain interpretation of tajri), but it's about the rule of apostasy and rejecting a Quranic ayya (which is agreed upon by all scholars in Saudi Arabia). Is this a new hoax that you're creating as we speak? Because you're obviously taking that quote out of its proper context. Wiqi(55) 17:36, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
No problem putting it in - I just don't see it as important. I'll put it in as well as "And the sun runs his course for a period determined for him" for the verse from the Qu'ran. DeCausa (talk)
Done. DeCausa (talk) 17:55, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
No bravery of any kind. I just know that there is an error in your quote. It also doesn't add anything (the issue of killing the apostate can be summarized in one or two sentences). What I find interesting is that you insist on using this source for one issue but completely ignore it for another. For instance, why didn't you quote it for refuting the flat earth claim? For this, it should be obvious to anyone that you're mishandling this primary source in a very selective and biased way. Wiqi(55) 00:33, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Why would that need to go into the quote? That point was already in the section and supported by a reliable secondary source. I've used the quote only for an issue that is otherwise not covered. In fact, your point badly misfires: it was me that put in the sourced statement that the flat earth claim against Bin Baz was false! I don't edit from a particular POV. I wish the same could be said for all editors. DeCausa (talk) 12:46, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Side issue: "revolving around itself"[edit]

You've used this phrase in your translation, and in the discussion above. In English it doesn't make sense. Do you mean "revolving on its axis" or "turning on its axis" or actually just "revolving". DeCausa (talk) 20:09, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes, or rotates around itself, etc. Wiqi(55)
You need to delete "around itself". It doesn't work in English. Just "rotates" conveys it. DeCausa (talk) 20:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
"around itself" is commonly used in English, AFAIK, and also in the Arabic sources I'm reading (i.e. tadūr ḥawl nafsiha). But changing "revolve" to "rotate" would be better I guess. Wiqi(55) 20:36, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Cite experts, not journalists[edit]

In a section dealing with many hoaxes, it is best to cite experts, not journalists. The non-experts you keep citing show no indication of having access to the primary sources, no insight on Bin Baz whatsoever, and end up just repeating hoaxes or creating even more of them. For one example, I just took a very brief look at Robert Lacey (2009) and it concludes with: "Bin Baz ceased his assertions that the earth was flat ... and he never formally recanted what he had said. Many doubted whether [he] ever truly abandoned his belief in the evidence of what he felt beneath his feet ..." (p. 88). Perhaps Lacey, and those many doubters he claims exist, should just visit this official link where Bin Baz affirms his belief in a round Earth in a famous radio show[5]unofficial English transcript. Decause, if you incompetently keep claiming that there are no hoaxes, then why is it so hard for you and the non-experts you cite to get any of this right? Wiqi(55) 02:23, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, you keep on talking about "hoaxes". What hoaxes? There has been a question about whether he has been misreported as believing in a flat earth. That's not the same thing as a "a hoax". You have provided no evidence of a "hoax". Secondly, Lacey gives a cogent and detailed explanation of why two apparently conflicting statements are both true: Bin Baz believed in a flat earth; no flat earth claim was ever asserted by Bin Baz in anything he wrote. Thirdly, what sort of "expert" would you like? A Muslim expert on the fatwas of Bin Baz? Well, if Lacey is correct such an "expert" is unlikely to deal with the contents of a TV interview where he is talking about matters which are outside the scope of a fatwa, or even outside the scope of religious belief. Can you identify the "experts" you consider deals with the issues to your liking. I ask because it is very noticeable that you have not called upon them. In fact, as far as I can see, it is very noticeable that you have only added primary sources to the article and you have only used a primary sources to support your interpretations, except you used Miller (which I added in the first place). Your answer to Lacey is again your interpretation of an undated primary source (the provenance of which is unclear). Do you have a reliable secondary source saying he never gave the TV interview claimed by Lacey? I've already included a primary source saying that he had quoted evidence that the earth was round. Fourthly, Lacey is well-known and respected commentator on modern Saudi history and society. That is why I included the quote from the Washington Post saying he was a "trusted source" Should he be used to give a detailed exegesis of the Qu'ranic origins of Bin Baz's fatwas? No. Can he be used as a source for a TV interview? Yes, of course. He doesn't just say "ibn Baz believed the earth was flat". He gives a detailed explanation (which is actually sympathetic to Bin Baz) of how he established that. In particular, he says he's researched whether Bin Baz said this in any fatwa, and he confirms he hasn't.
"if you incompetently keep claiming that there are no hoaxes, then why is it so hard for you and the non-experts you cite to get any of this right?" Define what is "right" in the context of Wikipedia. You have given the impression that "right" means how you would like Bin Baz to be seen. Per WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV and all the other letters we all know about, it should be about accurately providing a summary of what the reliable secondary sources say. You need to accept that we're not here to right great wrongs. Produce a reliable secondary source that gives the explanation you give, and I would have no problem including it. But you haven't done that.
Is it time to go to the sources noticeboard?DeCausa (talk) 08:03, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you should probably take Lacey to WP:RSN, per WP:BURDEN. I have already cited an expert, Werner Ende, who confirms that Bin Baz "never asserted" that the Earth is flat (a general statement). Your attempts to limit this statement to exclude TV interviews is original research. Also, the "TV" interview you mention in the article (TV? is that also original research on your part?) is anecdotal, unverifiable info. This is an encyclopedia, however. An assertion by a journalist which also happens to contradict the view of an expert shouldn't be given any space here unless more info is provided. It could be a rumor or a hoax. There are also many errors in Lacey's conclusion and anyone can verify that by reading or listening to the statement found on the Official website of Bin Baz[6]. Thus we should avoid presenting Lacey, who can't even read Arabic (p. 352, n.87), as a reliable authority on Bin Baz. Wiqi(55) 22:40, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The citation from Werner Ende has three caveats: (1) it's second-hand, that is cited by the source cited, not a direct citation; (2) it's a footnote in that citation, not a fully-explained proposition in the text of the cited source; (3) he's expressed in that source to be an expert specifically on ibn Baz's fatwas - and as Lacey says, the view in question isn't expressed in any of ibn Baz's fatwas. So, a fully argued and detailed explanation by Lacey over two pages seems to me to compare quite well to a two line footnote about Ende in someone else's book, which, in any case, effectively says that Lacey's point is outside the expertise of Ende! Where 2 sources are in conflict, it's quite usual to give both sides. As I said, Lacey's reliability is well-attested, so there's no issue there anyway. As far as the errors, all you are saying is there is a discepancy between what Lacey said Bin Baz said in this interview (Btw, well spotted on the "TV" I'll strike that) and what Bin Baz said on other occasions (and at what date did he say those other things?) There's at least two possible answers to that (without even getting into the reliability of the primary source record): Lacey could have got it wrong or Bin Baz could have been inconsistent. That's the problem with using primary sources and why they can't be used for contentious issues. DeCausa (talk) 23:29, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
We shouldn't write articles based on anecdotes and hoaxes. So I have to ask you to point out where is that interview and in which paper? My guess is that it either doesn't exist (just a hoax used by his adversaries) or that he was misunderstood (in Arabic, the word "earth" is synonymous to "ground"). As for Ende's statement, it was general and claiming that it somehow excludes just that specific interview is original research. That said, Bin Baz did (casually) make a fatwa stating that the Earth is round (linked above). For Lacey to miss that fatwa, which shatters all the points of his conclusion, just shows he is not reliable. Wiqi(55) 01:28, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
What was the date of the "casual" fatwa? (Btw, "my guess is..." is exactly the point. If a reliable source says something, a "guess" that it's wrong isn't enough. You need a reliable secondary source to say either of your 2 "guesses". Do that and I'd be happy to delete Lacey.) DeCausa (talk) 07:49, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Only the noticeboards can determine whether Lacey is reliable or not (no peer review, not an expert, can't read Arabic, conclusion full of errors, claim contradicted by an expert (Ende), no verifiable reference to the hoax interview, etc). As far as wiki policy is concerned, he is questionable (WP:QS). Concerning the round earth fatwa, it is listed on the official Bin Baz site as part of Episode 294. In total, Bin Baz did 945 episodes in almost 30 years (early-mid 70s onward), so it's one of the earlier (first third) episodes. It is also a famous radio show, occupying a large section of the official site. For Lacey to miss it is yet another proof that he is unreliable on this issue. Wiqi(55) 13:30, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
But if you don't know the date of the "casual" fatwa/radio show, how can you say it was Bin Baz's opinion in 1966? You say the earliest it could be is "early-mid 70s". If it's 294th episode over 945 in 30 years that suggests it may be around "early-mid 80s" (i.e. a third of the way through the 30 years). That could be consistent with Lacey's view that Bin Baz changed his mind in 1985. You need to provide evidence that it was close to 1966 for it be relevant to what his opinion was then. Your reference to WP:QS is bizarre given Lacey's reputation and, for example, the Washington Post's specific reference to him as a "trusted source". Your list of reasons for applying WP:QS are ridiculous:
  • "no peer review": Inside the Kingdom is not self-published! It's published by Penguin Books, one of the world's best known English-language publishers. That's the test for book publications (WP:SOURCES: "books published by respected publishing houses") - I think you are confusing it with journal article peer review. You haven't offered a peer-reviewed article to contradict Lacey.
  • "conclusion full of errors": only if you agree with your WP:OR. Your dating of the radio show needs to be better. It would seem that, in any case, the most it could challenge would be the part of the account that refers to a change of mind by Bin Baz as late as 1985. It doesn't testify as to his view in 1966 at all. You have only a hazy idea of its date of broadcast.
  • "not an expert": he's one of the most prominent commentators on modern Saudi Arabia. This isn't a point of fatwa exegesis. This is about whether Bin Baz gave an interview in 1966. Also, he has confirmed that after research, none of Bin Baz's fatwas contain a "flat earth" statement. This reflects his credibility.
  • "can't read Arabic": Provided he had had the material translated for him (as he clearly has), I don't see that it makes any difference whether he did it himself or engaged someone else to do it for him.
  • "claim contradicted by an expert (Ende)": we don't have the text of what Ende said, only Miller's two lines. I find it amusing that you won't accept Miller's assertion that Bin Baz said the sun rotated around the earth yet all of sudden she's a reliable source when it comes to transmitting Ende's view. Ende is specifically given as an expert on Bin Baz's fatwas, not on Bin Baz per se. It seems likely that what Ende was discussing was what was in Bin Baz's fatwas, not an interview. But we'll never know what he said without reading what Ende wrote himself on this. Unfortunately, Miller doesn't cite where he said that.
  • "no verifiable reference to the hoax interview": Where is there a requirement that the contents of the reliable secondary source provide the evidence for its content to be verified? WP:V applies to the contents of the Wikipedia article, which is satisfied by a WP:RS, not the source itself.
Look, my personal opinion is you might be right in this. But my personal guess as to what might be the "truth" is irrelevant. We have in Lacey, despite your bluster, a WP:RS that can't just be ignored. If you can find a date which is reasonably precise for the radio interview, and if that date is reasonably close to 1966, I think the section on Lacey could be down-graded to a footnote, which at its conclusion says something like "However, Bin Baz said in a radio show in 196X 'the earth is round ...' etc". I think it needs to be maintained as a footnote because there needs to be an explanation somewhere (not necessarily in the article text itself) why it's so widely thought that Bin Baz said this. But before that happens, the date of the radio show has to be established to show that it wasn't his view in 1966 (or thereabouts). DeCausa (talk) 17:15, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I disagree on many of your points, including what you deem to be a reliable source, that's why I think going to WP:RSN is necessary. I'm also not sure how the above wall of text addresses anything because you keep misrepresenting my views. Similarly, you also keep misrepresenting the sources you cite, a) adding "TV" as explained above, b) adding "in this article" when Ruthven doesn't say that, c) rendering Watsons rumor as "ordered the burning of all copies of the article" when the source says "ordered the destruction of every unsold copy of both papers", etc. You obviously have a strong POV on this, to the point of misrepresenting and cherrypicking sources. You need to keep that in mind. The only point worth responding to is Lacey's conclusion. Lacey claimed that 1) Bin Baz made multiple assertions that the earth was flat (directly contradicting Ende), but gave only anecdotal evidence and a hoax interview. 2) He also said Bin Baz "never formally recanted" what he had said after the Prince's testimony, but completely missed the fact that Bin Baz gave a fatwa in his famous radio program (either before or after that event) stating that the earth was round. Lacey is obviously not well-informed on this and just repeating rumors. Wiqi(55) 22:18, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I note you don't have any answer to my question on the date of the "casual" fatwa, and that, based on your own assessment, it was issued about the time Lacey says he changed his mind in 1985. As with every other specious and irrelevant non-point you have tried to raise I can easily counter your last post. But it's a waste of time troubling you with a "wall of text", since you clearly have only one objective here. Time for this to be dealt with at RSN. DeCausa (talk) 23:15, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Now posted - see: here. DeCausa (talk) 11:38, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
For the record, the WP:RSN discussion has now been achived here. Three editors beside myself and Wiqi55 contibuted. All of those three expressed the view that Lacey was a reliable source for this. DeCausa (talk) 00:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, none of those editors answered my very simple question. The most frequent contributor to that discussion is now retired and had only 1000 edits. As far as I'm concerned, nothing conclusive came out of that discussion, and we're still presenting rumors as facts. Wiqi(55) 20:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Nothing conclusive...except everyone who has commented disagrees with you! DeCausa (talk) 20:20, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
No, they were just incompetent and failed to answer a direct question. But that's Wikipedia. It is also obvious that Lacey is just not authoritative (full of rumors and exceptional claims sourced to the "memory of someone" and written by a journalist who can't even read Arabic). Wiqi(55) 20:41, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Ah, anyone who disagrees with you is incompetent! Of course. DeCausa (talk) 23:10, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Btw, is not WP:RS for this. Edited by Saudi government apparatchiks like Salman Al-Oadah (albeit relatively recently reconciled to the Al Saud), it clearly is aimed at presenting the Saudi religious-political establishment (including Bin Baz) in the best possible light. DeCausa (talk) 23:49, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
No, anyone who can't answer a direct question and keeps repeating that an official fatwa supported by a secondary source that is written by a notable academic as "unreliable" is indeed incompetent. Compared to your rumors, I think a fatwa that is available in Bin Baz's own voice is hardly "presenting" anything. Wiqi(55) 20:23, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't recall spreading any rumours lately! "notable academic" or ideological apologist for the Wahhabi political-religious establishment? DeCausa (talk) 23:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Factual accuracy tag[edit]

Wiqi55 placed the tag on the section last month. All statements in it are fully sourced. Anything controversial is described as "according to x...". The most controversial point regarding Lacey went to RSN and no one supported Wiqi55's POV. The other area Wiqi55 contested concerned whether Bin Baz claimed the sun orbited the earth. Yet in the RSN discussion about Lacey, Wiqi55 claimed the sources that asserted this - but were against Lacey (i.e. Ruthven, Miller, Ende) - were "experts" that should be deferred to. After over 2 months of debate in this thread and at RSN no one has suported Wiqi55's position. I therefore relunctantly conclude that Wiqi55's obscurantist and obdurate position is motivated by a desire to present Bin Baz in the best possible light rather than to construct a good represenation of the sources in this article. In the light of the foregoing, I will in the next 48 hrs delete the factual accuracy tag unless Wiqi55 initiates a thread at a relevant noticeboard to resolve it there. DeCausa (talk) 00:37, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm OK with removing the factual accuracy tag, given that we refer to Bin Baz official fatwa. And Lacey details about what Bin Baz said in that interview isn't misrepresented. Wiqi(55) 20:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Since immediately after Lacey, it already effectively says Bin Baz believes in a round earth (through a primary source) I don't know why you feel it is necessary to duplicate it. However, if you want to cite "Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî" it has to be via a reliable published source. Also, you can't put a copyvio into Wikipedia. You should know full well that's a non-negotiable point. DeCausa (talk) 20:55, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Why should we ignore his official fatwa?! Also Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî works and writes for islamtoday, which is cited in many other articles. Wiqi(55) 21:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
ok, I've tidied it up and also added back in the basic statement that Lacey claims it was his personal belief that the earth is flat. So are we done and can no remove that tag? DeCausa (talk) 22:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


Is this article title right? I don't think "ibn Baaz" is a common transliteration - it's almost always "Bin Baz" I believe. I would argue that per WP:COMMONNAME the article should simply be Bin Baz or, at least, Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah bin Baz or Abd al-Aziz bin Baz. DeCausa (talk) 13:57, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

The title isn't right, but your comments regarding the spelling "Bin Baz" are. Religious Muslims who are also English-speakers have a tendency to write double-vowels for a sound which would be emphasized in the native Arabic. It flies in the face of conventional transliteration and has no place in an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. For the sake of brevity, I would suggest that the article name is either "Bin Baz" or "Abd al-Aziz bin Baz." MezzoMezzo (talk) 07:09, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

While looking through the reference section of the library, I found the Who's Who entries relevant to the subject which I recently added to the article. I notice that in both versions Who's Who in the Arab World and Who's Who in Saudi Arabia - the subject's date of birth is listed as 1912, not 1910. Do we have any other reliable sources which state 1910? If so, we might need to add something about the ambiguous date of birth. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:10, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

The page name does not agree with the name as it is spelled in the lead. There are two discrepancies: Abdul/Abd al- and ibn/Bin. I am not knowledgeable enough about Arabic naming customs or about Bin Baz specifically to propose what the unified name should be, but I think the inconsistency could be confusing to readers and ought to be fixed. --Jprg1966 (talk) 08:55, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Agree consistency is a problem (not just in the lead but throughout the article where it switches back and forth). Both are in use in the English-speaking world but simple searches of Google and Google Books show that "Bin Baz" greatly outnumbers "ibn Baz", which confirms my assumption. "Abdul", generally in transliteration to English (nothing to do with Bin Baz) is slightly out-dated, IMHO. Most modern writers render the name "Abd al-", mainly because it reflects the underlying Arabic better. I would suggest the article therefore be Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz, and he consistent be referred to as Bin Baz in the text. That's my 2pence. DeCausa (talk) 09:21, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
PS As far as "bin Abdullah" is concerned, to be consistent with the above one would expect Abd-allah, but for some reason Abdullah is not considered outdated eg the two current most well-known "Abdullahs" to the English-speaking world, the kings of Saudi and Jordan are usually transliterated as Abdullah. So the opening line should be "Abd al-Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, usually referred to as simply Bin Baz...."DeCausa (talk) 09:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense to me. I definitely see more mentions of "Bin Baz" than "ibn Baz". --Jprg1966 (talk) 18:35, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the suggested explanation in the lead, but what are we looking at in terms of the article name? Keeping it as-is with "Abd al-" and "ibn Baz," changing to "Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz" or shortening it to "Bin Baz"?
As an aside, in Arabic writing if we start the written or spoken name with "son of," then it's spelled and pronounced in Arabic as "ibn" whereas if it is preceded by another name first such as the personal name, then the Arabic equivalent of the "i" (alef) is dropped in both writing and pronounciation. Granted, article names are supposed to be the most commonly used English name as far as I know, regardless of how the name might actually be spelled in the original language, but I thought it was worth mentioning. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:48, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I think WP:COMMONNAME probably does point to "Bin Baz" being the title, but don't object to ""Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz" DeCausa (talk) 09:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Sunni Islam. Fiqh Hanbaliyya[edit]

His school of juristic thought was according to Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855 CE / 164–241 AH). This, the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence, should be named in an article about ibn Baz. (talk) 12:07, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

It is already. DeCausa (talk) 22:43, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Important article[edit]

Ibn Baz is indeed a towering figure in the closing decades of the last century, both in and outside Saudi Arabia. While this article is an excellent start, the Cosmology section is way too long and a distraction from the significant and important fatwas he authored. And this sentence, "He also issued a fatwa against women driving cars, which may have been his most well known ruling", is almost comical for its systemic bias when weighed against the series of fatwas he issued during the 1979 Seizure of the Grand Mosque, or the 1991 Gulf War. Or the pointed references Bin Laden made when he trash talked him in an open letter. Or the fact al Qaeda was created because of alleged "corrupt" clerics like Bin Baz. Or the fact he issued, in the name of the state, the first call for jihad against another state, in modern times. Nobs01 (talk) 20:47, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like you have an issue with anything that can be perceived as "negative" about Bin Baz. However, many of his antediluvian attitudes (eg cosmology) made him a figure of ridicule not just in the West but amongst many muslims and explains why he did not have the influence he might otherwise have had ("Towering figure"??) and hence needs to be explained. The other side of the coin is that Bin Baz's "failings" as perceived rightly or wrongly (and it doesn't matter which) by Bin Ladin and fellow travellers made a significant contribution to the rise of jihadism of the al Quaeda variety. That needs to be explained too. The fact that it doesn't accord with your personal point of view is irelevant because our job is to reflect the WP:RS - and that's how he's presented in the RS. DeCausa (talk) 21:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
It's the Western-oriented systemic bias that's fairly apparent in this article. For all buzzwords and phrases (Wahhabism for example), bin Baz was indeed a reformer and modernizer, twice issuing fatwas allowing Western Crusaders to kill Muslims, even inside the Grand Mosque (if such a notion can be considered "reform" by Western standards). Or his making peace with Israel. Not allowing women to drive (incidentally, a repeal of that ban would add about two million male chauffeurs to the unemployment rolls) is not remotely his best known fatwa. Nobs01 (talk) 22:10, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
"allowing Western Crusaders to kill Muslims". You seem untroubled to with the irony of your own rather crude bias. DeCausa (talk) 22:51, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
That was the effect of his ruling in 1979, and again in 1991, how it's been perceived in the Middle East both then and now, why he was so bitterly hated by opponents of the Saudi regime, and why the Saudi regime is considered apostate by those want to destroy it today. Nobs01 (talk) 23:03, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
"Wahhabism" isn't a buzzword or a sign of bias; it's a recognized term in both English and Arabic media. Additionally, to refer to someone as a reformer and modernizer is opinion of an editor, not fact. If nothing in the article can be found in violation of specific site policies, there isn't much that will come from this exchange. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:26, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Post 9/11, "Wahhabism" was made a buzzword for the justification of violent acts in the name of Allah by Western media. I am suggesting this notion may be in error. This man was the chief judicial cleric in Saudi Arabia in the mid to late 1990s and his condemnation of Osama bin Laden in the harshest terms possible (quoted extensively in this article) makes this point quite well. Wahhabism is not the same as Salaffism, and the term Salafism likewise is being misused and distorted in Western media, as well.Nobs01 (talk) 19:07, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but apologetic conspiracy theories about Wahhabism being a Western media invention that simply showed up in 2001 aren't tolerated on Wikipedia; please see WP:FRINGE.
Additionally, talk pages aren't for users to pontificate about their own personal views regarding subjects and ideologies; please see WP:TALK#USE.
So far, it is unclear what exactly you're suggesting be done with the article at all. Please be specific. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:35, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Primarily two areas: his support for and adding legitimacy to the Saudi regime's foreign policy viz a viz the Oslo Accords and the 1991-2003 basing of US troops. And the Meccan siege. Also, his relationship with bin Laden needs further clarification. Bin Laden initially in 1979 was among his most enthusiastic supporters of the anti-Soviet jihad, but radically turned on him and his authority after the Gulf War and the Oslo Accords. Nobs01 (talk) 19:42, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

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