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Statement on Comments Made about Habib Ali’s Prayer for Egypt’s President

Habib Ali wrote a dua for El-Sissi on the day of his inauguration. He also wrote one for Mohammad Morsi. A prayer cannot be equated to being an endorsement of the ruler or his policies. If this was the case then Habib Ali would be considered as having endorsed both Morsi and El-Sissi. Neither is true. The interpretation of the prayer by some segments of the community to mean support and endorsement returns back to their particular understanding of affairs in Egypt and not a fact.

Habib Ali’s role in politics, presently and in the past, has been to offer religious advice where and when necessary and required. His statements during Mohammad Morsi’s rule were directed at the ruling party’s usage of religion for political purposes. Similarly, when an Egyptian scholar publicly stated that it was an obligation (wajib) for a husband to divorce his wife if she is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood Habib Ali publicly rebuked his statement and called it a ‘play with religion’. Habib Ali does not participate in the political process in any way, shape or form and does not comment on government policy. This has been the method of his teachers for centuries and continues until today.

A prayer for tawfiq is a prayer asking God to enable a ruler with the efficacy to do good and guide him towards doing that which pleases God. It is not asking God to give him power and dominance. Imams such as Qadi ‘Iyad, Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi, Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani and Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyad have expounded on this issue in their relative works. Furthermore, writing a prayer for a ruler does not negate the duty people have to bring a ruler’s mistakes to his attention. The manifestation of this duty differs according to the role each person has. An ordinary citizen, a scholar who has access to the ruler, a scholar who does not and a political figure from the opposition can not all respond in the same way when and if the goal is to rectify the mistake. Those with experience can appreciate the nuance. If the goal is to attack the personage of the ruler then there is no difference between them.

We wholly welcome constructive criticism, respectful disagreement and open discussion as long as it is based on fact and not baseless allegations or misinformed personal interpretation. We do not condone attacks on people’s integrity or prayers for their ruin. Religious representatives, teachers and students have a religious and moral obligation to check their sources before they cast an opinion upon a person’s character and deen. Their words have an impact on the umma and therefore they are a trust that should be closely guarded.

False allegations that Habib Ali turned a blind eye to events in Rabaa in August 2013 are a lie and we ask those who forged it and spread it to fear God. Habib Ali’s statement, issued on the same day it occurred, can be found at facebook. He stated:

“To God we belong and to Him we shall return. The blood which has flowed today in Egypt pains the heart, be it the blood of our brothers and sisters protesting or our brothers in the police. I was told that two cousins died – one was a policeman and the other a sit-in protestor. They were from the same country, drank from the same lake, and ate from the same land. There are no winners in this calamity. ِBoth sides saw their actions as a necessity because they deemed their stance as correct. If the heart of any one of us is not hurt by the losses on both sides today then let them closely inspect the state of their hearts, the soundness of their humanity, the perfection of their faith and the wellness of their nature (fitra).” He closed his statement with the prayer, “Oh Allah, extinguish the fire of strife, that which is apparent from it and that which is hidden. Stem the shedding of blood and favour us with the purification of the souls which have been lost. Have mercy upon those who have passed to the abode of truth, let them be succeeded by righteous offspring and descend tranquility upon their spirits. By the comfort of Your gentleness wipe the tears of the mother whose pillow has become wet from her cries. Lord, do not let the blood that was shed invite more bloodshed, rather, let the pain felt by relatives of the lost ones be a means by which tribulation is lifted.”

May God have mercy upon the Prophet’s nation and aid the oppressed wherever they may be.

- Posted by Admin

Note: This statement was reviewed and approved by Habib Ali. He added: “This statement is enough of a clarification. Until when will we allow political wrangling and factionalism to divert us from our ultimate duty to carry on the call to God and His messenger, upon him be peace?”

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