Allah has declared in Surat al-Kafirun (109, 1-6):
I do not worship what you worship
and you do not worship what I worship.
Nor will I worship what you worship
nor will you worship what I worship.
You have your deen and I have my deen.’
* * * * *
We have been informed that the French State intends a Bill which will lay down legal requirements without which a man may not perform as Imam in any mosque in France. Far from being an initial action against the Deen of Islam and the Muslim citizens of France, this is, rather, a defining act whose result would be in fact the de-Islamisation of the country. Active steps have been in progress since the death of General de Gaulle, who as a devout Catholic had an inescapable respect for Islam. Since this legal construct has in it a deliberate deconstruction of the role of Imam and what is legally required of him in Islamic Law, it will, if carried out, have destroyed one of the unique glories of the Deen, for it must be known, also by our Muslim community, that this identity and independence of the Imam is unique among the religions and the mushrik entities of worship.
When confronted with a new matter facing the school of the Madh-hab of the ‘Amal of the Ahl al-Madinah, it is customary to ask, ‘What is this new thing?’ To enquire, ‘From where did this matter begin, and has it any precedent?’ As a matter of historical fact, the answer to these questions contains a much more profound implication than the very disliked act today intended by the French State.
In order to see this affair with clarity, this matter, which has had a long-standing historical reality, must be understood by the Muslim community, and our community must understand that their ignorance in this has only a little shame, for the matter has been profoundly obscured in its presentation to the French people over the last two centuries.
Since this act will be perpetrated by the executive arm of the French State, it is therefore necessary for us to know what in fact that entity is. It is also necessary for us to know that that entity has changed its identity three times, discernibly, in the last two hundred years, but then again a fourth time in a manner which remains utterly unrecognised by the citizens themselves.
Firstly, then, we are obliged to examine the evolutionary nature of the French State as legislating body. The French Revolution marks a turning point in the nature of Government, not only for all of Europe, but also in giving a retro-active licence to the formation of the American State.
While the powerful image of their Revolution was that of the abolition of personal monarchic rule, which up until then had been the anthropological norm of civic government, they were soon to see that replaced with Committee or Assembly rule chosen by a restricted and finally universal electorate, in which the Deputies themselves, grouped into Parties, were chosen by an in-back, non-elected elite. The true nature of the Revolution was still being obscured on the second centenary celebrations in a festival costing millions, and almost uniquely funded by French banks.
The Revolution itself was motored by the introduction of Assignats, that is, paper money without collateral in real terms, and this moved it to its main social reform, which was of greater importance than the abolition of a restrained monarchy which had to be replaced by the unrestrained absolutism which posed under the name of Republic, later to be called Democracy.
The Revolution took on the attributes of a religious cult. ‘With its sacred oaths, altars of the Fatherland, sacred trees of liberty, etc.,’ writes historian Norman Hampson, ‘it was gradually assuming the form of a civic religion similar to that advocated by Rousseau in the last chapter of ‘Du Contrat Social’. As the citizen came to dwarf both the individual and the parishioner, the claims of the Church to represent a standard of values outside civil society were more and more resented.’
The new Republican era began its process of the de-christianisation of France. On 20 September 1792 a new calendar was proposed. On 22 September 1792 the monarchy was abolished. The new calendar symbolised the substitution of ‘reason’ for tradition, and the cult of an idealised Nature to confirm the breach with christianity. Sunday and christian festivals disappeared overnight and the week gave place to the décade. On 9 October 1793 cemeteries were de-christianised and over their gates announced, ‘Death is an eternal sleep’. Baptism was replaced by civic registration and non-christian names were encouraged. By the year II, non-christian names were being given to over 40% of new-born children.
The north-west of France, inflamed by the execution of the King and the persecution of the priests, rose up against the Revolution. Soon this area, la Vendée, was decreed by the new atheist Government to be ‘Vendée, National Cemetery’.
While in the name of ‘Liberté, Fraternité, Égalité’ the Terror, itself the unique creation of democracy, saw the mass execution by guillotine of innocents in every town and city of France, the genocide of la Vendée was of such horrific proportions that only now in the 21st century is a documentation emerging which had lain silent ever since. The details are more chilling than the vast statistics of death. The French army, bringing democracy to the people, went from village to village wearing necklaces of human ears. Others, exalted and drunk, put the heads of babies and new-borns onto their bayonets. Exploiting the famine at Nantes, pots of human fat were gathered in the ovens of Bocage.
Following instructions, Column Number Five of the Cordelier surrounded one village in the Vendée and began massacring the entire population. The christian curé, Voyneau, rushed forward asking mercy for his people. They cut out his tongue and his heart, before cutting him in pieces. A few days later a rebel-priest fighting the Government arrived in the village to discover his former parishioners massacred in the streets and in the Church. Before burying them he laid out the dead, whom he personally knew, listing their surnames, first names and ages: five hundred and sixty four people, of whom one hundred and forty seven children. Georges Amiand, a Vendée historian, comments on this, ‘Oradour, Haute-Vienne, 1944? No. Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Vendée, 1794.
There then began the massacre of the christian priests. As the guillotines were already occupied with queues of men, women and children, the Government decided on a technical solution. With a cargo of ninety priests taken from the town prison, the ship ‘Gloire’ had its sides hacked in by the axe and sunk in the Loire. That was 18 November 1793. On 10
December, 58 priests from Angers were drowned in the river. 14 December it was the turn of 150 civilians. 22 December, 350. 23 December, 800. 27 December 500. This was so successful that the practice spread to five other towns who practised in their turn, by the hundreds, what they called ‘The Patriotic Baptism’. Amiand notes, ‘In one month, 5,000 drownings!’ To this list of the Terror in Nantes must be added the massive shootings of Gigant’s troops and the daily tumbrils for the guillotines of Bouffay. A total of 12,000 victims, civilians, men, women and children, eliminated for reasons of state.
On 12 July 1790 the French State instituted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Mourret, a member of the National Assembly, wrote: ‘The aim of the Assembly was clear: it wanted to establish a national church in France.’ This Constitution effectively broke the loyalty of the priests and the bishops to the Pope. Another Deputy declared in the National Assembly, ‘It is time that the Church of France was delivered from servitude.’
Here you have to grasp that this document introduced a new concept which was ‘The Church of France’, in one move abolishing christianity. The christian social structure of the whole nation was abolished, that is, diocese and parishes, in preference for civic departments. Bishops were to be elected by the populace, and they had to take a solemn oath to support with all their power the Constitution decreed by the National Assembly. As a result, priests became nothing but civil servants. It was this document which gave rise in great part to the rebellion in la Vendée.
On 27 November 1790, the Assembly legislated that all ecclesiastical officials had to take an oath to the new Constitution of the Church, or be removed from office and deprived of salary. Ironically, one of the grounds for attack against Catholicism was the existence of monastic vows. These vows had resulted in the prohibition and abolition of religious orders. Now the same man had to take as the basis for everything, secular oaths that were a mere caricature of their clerical counterparts. All this was done by the National Assembly while it declared, ‘Religion is not in danger: the dogma is preserved in all its purity.’
The Bishop of Angers wrote to his priests to congratulate them on refusing the Edict: ‘I had always expected that you would reject this civic oath and that no human consideration would be able to make you betray your conscience. […] We have a Greater Master to serve than the National Assembly, and it is He who forbids most absolutely to take the oath that is demanded.’
It was the increasing number of clergy who refused to submit to the abolition of christianity which, more even than the execution of the King and Queen, led to the genocide of the Vendée. As a result, on 12 March 1792, the directory of Nantes issued a decree as follows:
1. That in each district a list of names would be prepared of all the nonjuring clergy, active or retired, in the parishes.
2. That every nonjuring priest who had not indicated his presence in the department capital would be sought out and taken by force to the town of Nantes.
3. That a house would be designated to receive these priests, namely, the Saint-Clément house.
4. That their subsistence would be provided by withholding their salaries and pensions.
– and that a guard would be set up by the municipality to guard the house;
– and that the bishop and his council were invited to provide for the spiritual needs of the parishes thereby deprived of priests.
In due course came the arrival of the Constitutional Clergy. They were nick-named by the people the ‘Truton’, meaning intruder-priests. The response of the Government was to name those refractory priests who would not conform, as ‘fanatical’. What was in effect the de-christianisation of France was likened at the time to the birth of christianity in Ancient Rome where the christians had to hide from the Roman State in the catacombs. As it began, so it ended.
Eventually things calmed down, many priests returned, broken and submissive. Different matters were restored. Calendar and Saints-days were re-instituted. In the end, however, the transformation had been complete. The French State was installed as an atheist institution forbidding any intrusion from religious evaluation. It would not be true to say that the matter was finished for, understandably, a religion that had lasted almost two thousand years was not going to disappear overnight. The struggle between Christian Church and State continued all the way to the end of the 19th century, where the last and basically final matters were smashed. These final matters were those which had been most jealously guarded by the Roman Church-education. Right up to, and even after the First World War, the christian schools competed in excellence with the atheist ones, but their zone of authority was diminished to such a level of private activity that they posed no threat.
The first phase in the evolution of the French State came to an end with the coup d’état of Napoleon. The changes he accomplished were far-reaching in the brilliant triumph of structuralism. The intricate web of ministries and committees securely established those principles of absolutist State rule which ever since has been the mark of the so-called political democracy.
Being a man of unique genius, Napoleon was able to sustain in his rule many contradictions. The romance he had of himself as a populist leader embodying the principles of the Revolution obliged him to express distaste for the Terror, and in particular the genocide of la Vendée. Nevertheless, he practised political assassination and personally ordered the execution of one of the Vendée’s greatest rebel leaders. On St. Helena he was still trying to distance himself from the horror of la Vendée, and paid tribute to its martyred young heroes. At the same time he ordered the name of General Turreau to be carved in the highest place on the Arc de Triomphe, obliging every democratic President who followed to march under it. Turreau was the main butcher of la Vendée who personally supervised its horrors, with a particular enthusiasm for the execution of women and children.
Napoleon’s whole career, befitting the author of the creation of the modern national State, certainly can be confirmed as coming under the statement of Joseph Fouché (1759-1820), member of the Revolutionary Convention, known as the Butcher of Lyon (1793), minister under Napoleon and the Restoration: ‘One must march to Liberty on piles of corpses.’ This is certainly the current programme of the democracies in Iraq. So it was that, as befitted the genius of Napoleon, under him things were made easier at street level with the Church, while at the same time an irrecoverable atheist principle was established.
At the coronation of Napoleon, the Pope had been summoned from Rome, a virtual prisoner. At the moment the Pope was to place the crown on his head, Napoleon seized it and crowned himself. At that moment is revealed the contradiction that had been forced on Napoleon. The Money Power, both on the European mainland and in Britain, had firmly established its dominance over the monarchic principle, monarchism, which, let it be recalled, represented direct personal rule in the hands of one man over the Money Power. Napoleon himself admitted that monarchy was the only protection against the Money Power. He had created the National Bank of France. Now he sought to be its master. Finance as an instrument of power had been stripped from the Roman Church. The days of Richelieu, Mazarin, and Colbert were over for ever. The banking system in Europe, following the liberal policies of jewish emancipation, had enmeshed a jewish elite with the atheist elite of the new democracies.
Napoleon considered it necessary to ‘nationalise’ judaism, just as his Revolutionary antecedents had nationalised the christian church at the same time that they had set up the institutionalisation of paper money to replace the golden Louis. To this end Napoleon summoned jewish leaders in an attempt to create a national jewish congress in submission to him. It was to be a French Sanhedrin. As befits the sanitisation of modern history, this abortive affair has been marginalised in the official histories. In any event, Napoleon’s bid to dominate the banking system through monarchy sealed his fate and drew a powerful coalition against him which in the end defeated him after a brief, dazzling array of military victories.
The third evolution of the French State was the magnificent attempt of General de Gaulle to ‘rescue’ it, firstly from the abject defeat of the traditional State and its institutions, military and political, secondly from communism, which very nearly captured France, and then thirdly, from the world banking system. As the founder of the 5th Republic, de Gaulle rescued France from its imperial legacy and at the same time from a powerful extreme Left Wing. De Gaulle as a great statesman tried to reconstruct as best he could inside the disastrous framework of universal franchise, a State with a President granted, as it were, temporary monarchical powers. Inside France, all during his tenure in office, there was talk of his monarchism and speculation that he had ambitions to be king, or to be a door to the Bourbons, as Franco had been in Spain. Although he maintained his integrity as a Republican up to the end, it must be noted that of the two signed private editions of his memoirs, one was sent with a dedication to the Comte de France.
Reference has already been made to the existence of a hidden transformation that occurred in the French State. This change had two phases. One: a Presidential act to defeat the world banking system and the hegemony of the Dollar. Two: a coup d’état by the banking system, engineered on the streets in the brilliant guise of a popular revolution raised to overthrow the despotic old General, and yet again give the people power. That was 1968.
This first action was the unexpected public announcement on French television that General de Gaulle was abandoning the Dollar as their reserve currency and replacing it with gold. Shortly before the organised overthrow of the General, in Council on 6 October in 1966, in response to yet another Dollar crisis, he declared, ‘The devaluation of the Dollar is inevitable. The Americans cannot escape it due to the persistence in the deficit in their balance of payments. Sooner or later they will have to abandon the convertibility of the Dollar into gold. This hypocrisy will finish.’ In his typical sibylline manner he announced, ‘There are going to be upheavals!’
This brilliant premonition had been made two years before the big monetary crisis that broke in 1968. The Council meeting of 20 March 1968 marks the watershed from which came this hidden change in power. It has to be understood profoundly. What is being examined is the Gaullist attempt to rescue the political State, then followed by a modern, superbly orchestrated coup d’état, made to appear like an uprising of the young. Its end result was to place Pompidou in the Élysée Palace, a nephew of Rothschild, and to transfer the State from the political institutions to the banking system. This event was to be marked by Pompidou’s restoration of the old ghetto of Paris, the Beaubourg, into an upmarket district, and a symbolic building, past the Arc de Triomphe of the Napoleonic State, at La Défence. There, an utterly hollowed-out, vast marble cube was erected to symbolise this transfer of power. Not accidentally, a smaller, similar hollowed-out cube was erected in Madrid, supposedly to honour the post-Franco Constitution.
We return to the Council meeting of 20 March 1968.
‘The Dollar is in flight. Those who hold capital report that both on gold and on European currencies, massive purchases are being made. Only the political pressure of the U.S. is forcing Japan, Germany, Italy to sell their Dollars. By June 1967 these movements were so massive that they were done in the utmost secrecy. Only the devaluation of the Pound revealed everything.
‘Suddenly, the United States, with the support of the Central Banks, has eliminated the practice of the convertibility of Dollars into gold, while all the time supporting the theory. The appearance has been saved, but the link between gold and the Dollar is broken. The ‘pool’ of gold of the seven great Central Banks has been dissolved, and there is no official market in gold. (President Nixon officially broke the link on 15 August 1971. Its convertibility had been suspended those three years before). The U.S. wants the demonetisation of gold, and the Dollar-king, run by a re-organised IMF. Germany and Italy accept the role of the IMF, claiming that a European veto is their protection. Britain is in a terrible situation not unlike ours. On the 29th there will be a meeting in Stockholm with the IMF to discuss Special Drawing Rights. The Six are divided and we are isolated.’
GENERAL DE GAULLE:
‘The combat will be difficult. For the tactic, let us see. We would like to know the view of M. Edgar Faure.’
‘We must oppose this imperialism but I am not a partisan of gold. The demonetisation of gold is the future, it fits the requirements of modern economies. I would happily go towards an international abstract money. The modern economic system would permit this.’
‘Nevertheless, the stability of such a monetary construction is dubious.’
‘Money is a political phenomenon. It is not only a technical and economic matter. The system proposed by Mendès France is not imaginable today. (He did not seem to want to attack Faure).’
‘I’m talking orientations. The immediate application could be different.’
‘Paper money has always been abstract, it is inevitable. But behind the abstraction there has always been the discipline of gold. One could always have a totally abstract money on a national plan, because it is linked to a political responsibility. But an international money would need an international Government. Now we run a risk that the Franc will appreciate. We must not even think of this. One way would be to buy Dollars. But we must find something else: intervention techniques to avoid absorption of Dollars. For example, intervening in the gold market.’
‘There were two reserve currencies. After the collapse of the Pound there is only the Dollar. For several years we asked for the re-evaluation of gold which would have permitted the U.S. to control their debt, conserve the convertibility of the Dollar, and create a monetary abundance favourable to the economy. This was not done. Now we have problems.’
‘Gold is neither the most precious metal nor the most stable. But it has always been the base of the international monetary order. It is the policeman.’
‘And the judge! We need a means of exchange. An international system in which one has confidence. The ‘Gold Exchange Standard’ system is effectively finished. We must not try to prolong it artificially. One can no longer base things on the Dollar or on the Pound. We need a new system. That system must be built on a solid foundation. There are two possibilities. Gold, which is a known experience. And something abstract, but for that, a particularly powerful international Government would be required.
‘Actually, only gold is possible. But given the amount of falsely created money, at present the gold is not enough. They will demand an organisation of international credit in order to restore the IMF at least with partial authority. We must act in our own interests!’
A further council was held on 3 April 1968.
‘The Americans turned up at Stockholm with the sole objective of taking a step towards the demonetisation of gold, that means to create a universal zone of the Dollar. I argued for the discipline of real monies. I was met with total silence. I was abandoned by our European partners. The submission of the other countries to the United States was total and humiliating.’
‘Our political position is at the same time excellent and difficult. Excellent, because everyone now sees that there is either only the gold or the Dollar, it is a matter of confronting it. Difficult, because the system is vitiated by our partners’ surrender to the Americans.’
A month later came the highly organised and media-interpreted coup d’état of May 1968. The inevitable result followed in a carefully staged Referendum. So it was that with the demission of General de Gaulle, the French State was in the absolutist hands of a non-elected elite of bankers and financiers, who ever since have been pursuing their own interests, in many cases to the severe cost of the electorate itself.
In the pursuit of its own interests, this new State power has instituted relentless private programmes of wealth expansion at the cost of domestic stability. Its armies have been deployed in Djibouti, Mauritania, and the Saharan states of Mali, Niger and Chad. Across French West Africa, troops are deployed in the protection and expansion of monetary interests at a cost of suffering to the local people and significant French Army casualties. The flag is the Tricolour but the interests are Elf-Acquitane and Lagardère.
This overview of the entity the Muslims must confront profoundly changes the manner in which we may choose to respond to the crisis. The Minister will propose it. The Assembly will debate it. And the civic decision will be taken. It will not have been taken by the people. It will not be made in the interests of the people. It will sow discord that is not in the interests of the French people. We now must face the reality that, given the unelected State power which demands this legislation, people can see, not only in France but elsewhere, that Islam, the Deen of Truth, is their only enemy. Why?
Allah in His exalted Qur’an, declares in Surat al-Baqara (2:274-278):
Those who practise riba will not rise from the grave
except as someone driven mad by Shaytan’s touch.
That is because they say, ‘Trade is the same as riba.’
But Allah has permitted trade and He has forbidden riba.
Whoever is given a warning by his Lord and then desists,
can keep what he received in the past
and his affair is Allah’s concern.
But all who return to it will be the Companions of the Fire,
remaining in it timelessly, for ever.
Allah obliterates riba but makes sadaqa grow in value!
Allah does not love any persistently ungrateful wrongdoer.
Those who have iman and do right actions
and establish salat and pay zakat,
will have their reward with their Lord.
They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow.
You who have iman! have taqwa of Allah
and forgo any remaining riba
if you are muminun.
If you do not, know that it means war from Allah
and His Messenger.
But if you make tawba you may have your capital,
without wronging and without being wronged.
It follows from the evolution of the atheist fiscal State that its struggle to impose itself obliges it to oppose divine worship, as the truth of this worship exposes a categoric unworkability of humanism. The idea that one can build a society based uniquely on men’s capacity is a doomed project given the dismal record of mankind in recorded history, indeed, back to the sons of Adam, alayhi salem. Since wealth belongs to Allah, the State which denies Allah, glory be to Him, has to have as its end the control of wealth. In this necessity lies the fundamental operating mode of the modern banking State. Further, a contradiction is introduced into the banking State, which we have seen from the discourse of de Gaulle’s inner circle, which implies a World Government, while at the same time it is still obliged in every place to present itself as a national State. The official myth is that the Revolution created modern France. The reality is that the Revolution abolished historical France and opened the path to an abstract fiscal State under the power of an abstract monetary system.
As a result of this dilemma of the self-styled French national State, its governance remains, as it were, in a state of suspended animation. It is the Government. It does not govern. The Government presents itself as upholding the national interest. The State, that is the owning and controlling wealth elite, commands, not in any form of conspiracy, but rather by the sophisticated and effective inter-linkage of financial institutions and a club-like inter-facing of an elite personnel.
It is for that reason that a modern crisis of government does not come from the people, or even the barricades. Remember that 1968 was staged by the bankers, not the masses. For example, the crisis of the Mitterand Government was its punishment by the Money State for mishandling and then exposing the financial machinations of the mighty Elf-Acquitane oil conglomerate. It will be recalled that the reverberation of the crisis covered territory from West Africa, through France, as far as Kazakhstan.
This is why, in the matter of the proposed legislation, which would deal a death-blow to the Muslim community inside France, our reaction and then our action must be forceful and based on a clear adherence to the Shari’at, since we are facing an enemy in hiding. The irony of this is that the rightly despised political class are not to blame. Their political reality has always been, ‘I was only following orders.’
It follows from this that any entrance into dialogue with France’s media and Government spokesmen can only prove to be a trap which will further compromise and even humiliate the Muslims. This was recently the case when the deeply confused Tariq Ramadan took on the cunning and ambitious Hungarian dwarf, Nicolas Sarkozy. A man with ambitions to take on the role of a powerless President has to be handled with care.
The clever little fellow led the ignorant modernist onto a terrain from which he could not escape. Within the shortest time he was trapped into a debate about the stoning of adulterers. Since France is not a Muslim state, and since the matter is hypothetical – as has been a Sunna since the time of the Sahaba, it must on no account be discussed. ‘Has it happened? … No! … Then when it has, I will reply to you.’ This has been the centuries-long position of our ‘ulama. As a result of this lamentable encounter, the ambitious Hungarian was able to present himself as the triumph of reason over fanaticism. Ramadan had the perfect opportunity. The Hungarian considered himself a Frenchman, while the millions of French Muslim citizens are treated and defined by the media and State with racist terminology as being an immigrant population. Equally, jews are never defined as immigrant.
It has already been noted that this inevitable war of the Bankers’ State has been in progress for some time. One might define the first stage as the Mitterand attempt to assemble important Imams, who, through the weakened standpoint of their modernism, could be counted on to collaborate. This was a direct historical repetition of the Napoleonic effort to set up a National Sanhedrin of influential jews.
The second stage was the quite daring decision to prevent Muslim girls wearing head-scarves in State schools. There were two aspects to this issue. Firstly, from the Muslim point of view, head-gear, indeed clothing, does not properly present itself in a legal framework. Rather, all aspects of clothing come within the vital and dominating zone of ‘Amal. The ‘Amal, in turn, is motored by the force of the community’s Sunna, in other words, the approval or disapproval of the Muslim community itself. Secondly, the particular head-scarf that has been imposed on young women had in fact no historical identity. Indeed, it was the wimple of the christian nuns, a head-gear that had been adopted by Islamic modernist forces in christian-controlled Lebanon. It then spread through the work of the activist Muslims within modernism.
For example, the almost certainly masonic Anwar Ibrahim imposed it in Malaysia while he gathered the Muslim youth into an easily identifiable army of supporters. Meaningless in itself, it proved the platform by which he, as the chosen dauphin of the IMF, was able to move swiftly to the ministerial position of influence over Malaysian finance. Again, a government crisis came not from the streets but from the high movement of finance. That crisis revealed that Anwar Ibrahim was implementing the dictates of the IMF and in the process destroying the national currency. Only the clever intervention of Government was able to rescue the Ringit, yet the temporary defeat of the IMF revealed to Dr. Mahathir that Government still was powerless. In other words, he arrived at the Gaullist solution. Surrounded by bankers, he lost the will to fight, and retired defeated.
The incident of the head-scarf, and certainly the present dilemma in which the Muslims of France find themselves, is one shared by our Muslim World Community. A significant portion of blame has to be laid at the door of a profoundly ignorant generation of Arabs. While the office of Khalifate was dismantled in 1924, the last empowered Khalifate was Sultan Abdulhamid II, may Allah be merciful to him, who was dethroned in 1908. Khalifate was not abolished, as the kuffar pretend, since it was not in the power of the Dönme Mustafa Kemal to abolish it.
The modern history of the Arabs lies under the curse of their racism. They allowed themselves to be led by the nose at the hands of the Europeans into seeing the Turks as both inferiors, and an occupying power. During the 20th century they fell into the swamps of socialism from which they never recovered, so that the end-result was a greedy materialist and socialist Arab nation, with Arabia itself a degenerate kingdom created on a yacht on the Nile at the hand of a drunken Churchill. Wahhabism was the child of British imperialism, but it was reared to maturity by the new banking State power still deceptively draped in the Stars and Stripes.
A significant portion of the Muslim community of France represents a diaspora from North African socialist states and from a kingdom which had too long tolerated the modernist-wahhabi reformers. The sum and substance of this is that the Muslims of France have on the whole got a dismal set of profoundly uneducated reformers. Since the Deen al-Haqq cannot be reformed, but in the words of Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, ‘It is itself the reforming agent,’ this means that our position in France is weak. For this reason, our call is to those rightly trained in the Deen, that is, those who adhere to the Madh-hab of the ‘Amal of the Ahl al-Madinah, to which Ibn Taymiyyah gave primacy over all the schools – that they step forward with words and actions of wisdom.
The Surat al-Kafirun has been placed at the beginning of this Fatwa because the danger that we will succumb to this totally unacceptable legislation lies not with a powerless government, but as always in our history, with the Munafiqun. So it is that before proceeding to the correct definition of the unique and only requirements to be an Imam in the Deen of Islam, we remind and caution our brothers and sisters in the Deen, residing in France, that neither Islamic Congresses, motored by the State, nor official Muftis have any power, authority, nor right in the Shari’at to dictate the path that we will take. In France we are a minority. In France we are, in the legal sense, at the mercy of this fractured condition in which the nation finds itself. However, for Muslims to obey in matters of the Deen, this must come from an Amir. Islam is not the Shi‘a religion, and therefore no obedience is due those who lead the prayer. Without ‘Amr, even the Fuqaha can only give guidance, and it is an ill guidance that issues an edict on what cannot be obeyed or imposed. Remember, that the ‘Amr vested in an Amir is only meaningful if he has taken public bayat and authorised the forced collection of Zakat. Even given our minority status in the land, this is still possible.
The Government proposes, having received this distress-signal from the Banking State, that it will impose the following conditions on Imamate. No-one can fail to see the contradiction in the self-declared secular State which insists on a separation between religion and the State itself, then enters the zone of religion, as it were, and dictates what it should or should not do. As always the atheist State puts on the face of reason and places on religion the mask of unreason. The hidden reality becomes revealed – the State cannot exist in the presence of religion, while at the same time it cannot survive among people without it. It therefore attempts to make it turn into itself, the first ‘it’ being the religion, and the ‘itself’ being the secular State.
The idea is that no-one can take the role of Imam if he has not attended a State-sponsored school for Imams at which they will learn about the glories of the French Constitution and the secular doctrine itself, and take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. Reference back to the list of the first French Republic’s conditions set out for the priests, shows that it is almost word-for-word being decreed for Muslim Imams. It will also legislate that the Imams must have command of the French language. Again, this last, which on the face of it is reasonable, certainly cannot become an obligation in this kafir re-statement of the role of Imam.
Let us now examine what are the requirements of an Imam according to the Shari’at of Islam in its purest and noblest form, within the Mother of the Madh-habs, the School of ‘Amal which is that of the Ahl al-Madinah.
THE CONDITIONS REQUIRED OF AN IMAM
Praise belongs to Allah Who has granted us the gift of iman and Islam, Who from His generosity has granted us knowledge of the halal and the haram and has purified the hearts of whomever He wishes from sickness and disease.
And may Allah bless Muhammad, the best of creation, who has made clear His law, both in what is obligatory and recommended, and bless his Family and Companions and those who follow in his traces.
As-Sanussi has said in his ‘Middle Commentary’ that it has been said: ‘No-one listens with the intention of finding instruction but that he is guided, and no-one intends to disobey, but that Allah prohibits him from being guided.’
Ibn ‘Ashir, in his renowned summary of the Deen, ‘Murshid al-Mu’een’, stated:
‘An Imam must fulfil the conditions of being male and mukallaf (that is, of age and sane), be capable of performing the fard aspects of the salat and know the judgments (pertaining to the salat).’
Commenting on this, Al-Muwwaq has said: ‘If something happens to the Imam which prevents him from standing, then he should appoint someone in his place to pray with the people and he should go in one of the rows and pray with the new Imam.
Ibn ‘Arafa has said: ‘Being Imam is conditional upon his being capable: he is prohibited from being an Imam if he is unable to perform the bowing and prostration, or the Fatiha, as in the case of the dumb or the ‘illiterate’ person, meaning one who is incapable of recitation.’
As for his saying ‘and know the judgments’, Al-Muwwaq has related: “Qadi ‘Iyad has said: ‘Among the obligatory attributes of the Imam is that he be an ‘alim and a faqih regarding what he needs to know of the salat.’ Al-Qubab has said: ‘and al-Ma’zari may be quoted here for he considered that one of the things preventing someone from being the Imam was a lack of knowledge of what was needed to ensure the validity of the recitation and the fiqh of the salat. By ‘fiqh’, however, he did not mean knowledge of the rules of the prostrations of negligence, for the salat of the person who is ignorant of these rules is nevertheless valid if his salat is free of that which invalidates it. Rather, the validity of the salat is dependent upon a knowledge of the way to do the ghusl and wudu; it is not stipulated that one be able to specify all the necessary details of the sunnas and aspects of excellence.’
Ibn Abi Yahya has said: ‘Whoever is not aware of the difference between the fard aspects and other aspects but he performs the salat as it should be done, then it is valid – as Abu Muhammad has mentioned. Ibn Rushd has noted that Jibril, on whom be peace, did the dhuhr salat with the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – with all its fard aspects and excellence – and then the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Pray as you have seen me pray” and that he only commanded them to do what they could see.’”
Shaykh Ahmad al-Qalaawi ash-Shinqeeti, commenting on this, has added: Alif-lam-mim-sad has not mentioned the condition that he be Muslim. This is taken up by Khalil with his words: ‘And it is invalid in the case of someone who is manifestly a kafir.’ Al-Khurshi has related that Ain-Jeem has said: ‘It does not automatically follow that he is a Muslim merely from the fact that he does the salat, even if it is in a mosque – contrary to Abu Hanifa who argues that if he is in a mosque, then one may assume he is a Muslim as this is one of the obvious marks of Islam. However, this (assuming that he is not a Muslim, even if in the mosque) only applies if he does not establish the salat or there is nothing manifest (of Islam) in his speech, like the declaration of the two shahadas or calling the adhan – in which case he is assumed to be a Muslim. Furthermore, one may formulate the judgment that anyone who performs the salat a lot possesses Iman.’
The author of al-Muqaddimat, one of the foundational texts of the School of Madinah, has said: ‘The ‘ulama have arrived at a consensus regarding the salat – and they have not arrived at such a strong consensus regarding any other matter of the shari’at – that anyone who is known for his kufr and hypocrisy but who does the salat in its time, even performing a considerable number of prayers in their proper time, then one adjudges him to possess Iman – even if they are not aware that he has formally confirmed tawhid with his tongue.’
Commenting on this observation of al-Muqaddimat, ash-Shinqeeti significantly adds: ‘However, one may infer from this that one may not assume the same thing of someone who does the fast in Ramadan, goes on Hajj and pays the Zakat – even repeatedly.’
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the ‘Murshid al-Mu’een’:
‘… and must not be corrupt, or someone who mispronounces, nor himself be following another Imam in front of him, and regarding the jumu’a, must be free and resident.’
Ali bin Abd as-Sadiq has said on his words ‘must not be corrupt’: ‘The most evident meaning of this is that it encompasses physical corruption, such as drinking wine and the like together with any corruption of his ‘aqida, like the Qadiriyyas and any other sects holding false beliefs.’ Since this is confirmed, whoever prays behind a person who is corrupt with respect to these two aspects should repeat the salat – however great the delay.
So important is this issue and so relevant to our present concern, that we are obliged to follow the route of this significant examination, which in itself declares the glory, nobility and superiority of our Deen over any attempt to overthrow it.
To pursue the matter: in al-Mukhtasar there are details regarding the difference between physical corruption – which invalidates the salat – and corrupt ‘aqida – which necessitates repeating the salat within the time. The commentator of this work, ad-Dawudi, has said: ‘This is the well-known judgment and is the madh-hab of Ibn al-Qasim in the Mudawwana. It is also the most evident meaning of his words, irrespective of whether this refers to a governor who must be obeyed or not.’
Shaykh ash-Shinqeeti has added: ‘Also included as corrupt would be an unjust officer, or whoever takes a salary from the official tax revenues. However, even if the invalidity of the salat behind the corrupt person is the preferred judgment of Ibn ‘Ashir – and likewise the ‘Mukhtasar’ and what has been declared by Ibn Bazeeza – what is relied upon in practice is the opposite of this, as Abu’l-Abbas al-Qubab has mentioned, based on what has been transmitted by Ain-Jeem who said: “The most just of madh-habs is that one should not actively propose a corrupt person to mediate or be the Imam but that the person who prays behind him does not have to repeat if he has fulfilled the necessary requirements of the salat.” This is what is accepted by at-Tunisi, al-Lakhmi, Ibn Yunus and has been declared by Ibn Rushd. Shaykh Abd al-Baqi has said: “This is what is relied on in practice and it is not fitting that the author diverge from what such Imams have accepted to propagate the view of Ibn Bazeeza. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, has said: ‘Make the salat behind every upright and every corrupt person.’ What he meant by corrupt person is the Muslim who is disobedient, not the kafir.” Abdallah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, prayed behind al-Hajjaj – and may he suffice as an example of a corrupt person. The most one can say is that is it makruh, as is mentioned in al-Yawaaqeet from Shaykh Muhyi’d-deen.’ Here he refers to the Qadi, not the Sufi.
The following judgment is taken from the book ‘al-Mi’yar’ whose full title is ‘The Arabicised measure, standard and compendium of the one who goes towards the west for the fatwas of the people of Africa, Andalusia and the Maghrib’. This thirteen-volume work of the School of Madinah was collated by Abu’l-Abbas al-Wansharisi. There, it states: ‘Ibn Siraj was asked whether it was permitted to make the salat behind someone who is involved in the financial matters of the treasury and whether the person praying behind him should repeat the salat – that is, if we assume it is prohibited. He replied: “As for someone being an Imam who serves as an official witness in financial matters to the government, then the correct judgment is that this is permitted if the Imam can be trusted regarding matters connected to the salat, namely the purification, its preconditions and other things which are necessary and which would impair the validity of the salat if left out. Thus if he leads the salat, then this is permitted. If, however, he is someone given to indulgence and insolent behaviour – such that he would not give a second thought to contravening the shari’at and could not be trusted to perform the salat with the proper purification and intention, in short someone of fraudulent character – then if one knows this to be true of him or even suspects it, then it is not permitted for him to be the Imam. The person who does nevertheless pray behind him should repeat the salat. If, on the other hand, a person does indeed do things which are unacceptable but he at the same time applies himself to the deen and holds to what is necessary in the salat, then it is permitted for him to be the Imam: if one were only to pray behind someone about whom nothing detrimental had ever been said, one would never be able to pray behind anyone. It has been reported in a hadith that when an Imam whose state is unacceptable because of the wrong he commits begins the salat, his wrong actions are removed from him and that the salat of the Muminun behind him is purified, but that when he leaves off being the Imam his wrong actions return to him before his very eyes – just as they were before he was the Imam.’
Shaykh Ahmad Zarouq, the renowned Sufi and ‘alim, has reported from ‘Junnat al-Murid’: ‘There is a consensus amongst the people that the salat behind every upright person and every corrupt person is permitted.’
Ibn ‘Arabi, our Qadi, has said: “Salat in the jamaa’a is at the very core of the Deen.” Then he goes on to say: “Imperfections and flaws may penetrate through the corruption of the Imams. However, it is not possible for the common people to absent themselves from the salat of such Imams – indeed they have no reason to find them unacceptable as they themselves are no different from such Imams: only the person who is more excellent will demand what is more excellent. If your Imam is like you and you say: ‘I will not do the salat behind him,’ then you will not be able to do the salat yourself, for what you censure in him you will have to censure in yourself. In effect, his salat is only valid if your salat is valid. If only the just and upright were to be proposed for the salat, then it would not have been as Allah, glory be to Him says in Surat al-Hajj (22:40):
If Allah had not driven some people back
by means of others,
monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques,
where Allah’s name is mentioned much,
would have been pulled down and destroyed.
Allah will certainly help those who help Him –
Allah is All-Strong, Almighty
As for his phrase ‘or someone who mispronounces’, it must be put on record that this matter is given a primacy by all the ‘ulama of our School, and that the varying viewpoints stretching from definitions of the acceptability of this, and the limits of what is tolerable in this, indicate that it is in this area that the only important discrimination of the acceptability of an Imam takes place.
The summary nature of what follows should not diminish the high significance which our ‘ulama place in this matter. What is important that we recognise is that the decision arrived at by the jama’at cannot be taken from them and those among them with knowledge, and be placed in the hands of an ignorant kafir from within the bureaucratic establishment of the government. That would be unacceptable, but at the same time the judgment of a State-appointed institution or committee of munafiqun would in itself be equally unacceptable, since one of the aims of the munafiqun has always been to weaken the absolute nature of the Qur’anic event. For example, the Libyan dictator who overthrew the Sanussi presented himself as the guardian of Islam, but after a certain time proposed the removal of the word ‘Qul!’ with the frivolous but sinister argument that that was not the Message but the command given to the Messenger. Of course, what he intended was in one blow to remove the spiritual reality of the sublime intimacy between Allah and His Messenger, and so reduce the role of Nabawiyyat and thus destroy Tawhid, since the ‘Qul!’ is the Divine indication of the necessary condition of pure Tawhid: ‘No Tawhid without the Rasul.’
At the heart of the matter of the fittingness of a man for the role of Imam is that he must be the protector of the Deen. He has a three-fold duty and must be relied upon by the jama’at. He must protect the salat. He must protect the Qur’an. He must defend the zakat.
Ash-Shabrakheeti has said in ‘Sharh al-‘Ashmaawiyya’: ‘There is a difference of opinion regarding someone who cannot distinguish between the Dhaad and the Thaa’ being the Imam – that is, he pronounces the first instead of the second or vice versa, like many of the people from Sham or non-Arabic speakers.’
Ibn Abi Zayd and al-Qaabisi have stated: ‘The salat of the person behind him is invalidated but his own salat is valid as long as he does not do it deliberately when he has the capacity to pronounce properly.’
Ibn Rushd has related: ‘There is agreement that the salat is valid behind him, although makruh.’
Shaykh Abu Abdullah at-Tawdi of Fes, in his gloss on the commentary of Az-Zurqani on the ‘Mukhtasar’, summing up the matter of the burden of mispronunciation on the Imam, all of which circles around the famous pronouncement of Imam Malik as quoted in ‘al-Mudawwana’ regarding someone who is ‘Not good at the Qur’an’ and ‘who does not distinguish between the Fatiha and other suras,’ came to the following conclusion: ‘The salat of the reciter behind someone who is ‘not good at the Qur’an’ is invalid if his not being good at it means he does not know the Fatiha off by heart – and this is what the ulama usually mean by ‘an illiterate person’, and likewise his own salat, according to the most evident judgment of the madh-hab. If his ‘not being good’ at it means that he mispronounces during it, like for example someone who does not know the exact place of articulation of each letter, then the salat of the person following is valid, and permitted, if he is on a par with him or less good than him, even if he is better than him, or there is someone else of similar capacity – but who is not asked to lead the salat, and they pray behind the person who mispronounces, their salat is valid and they do not have to repeat, although it is makruh for them to initiate the prayer with such a person. This is the preferred judgment and the one for which a fatwa is to be made – and applies irrespective of whether the Imam is capable of learning or not.’
The observation made above linking mispronunciation to doctrinal distortion, implicates it as being, for whatever reason, dangerously near to kufr, since the distortion of pronunciation can alter a meaning and an omission obliterate the meaning. It is at the edge of kufr. The significance of this is emphasised by Qadi ‘Iyad in his noble work, ‘ash-Shifa’ when he noted, adding to the consensus of the Umma regarding what is kufr: ‘…likewise, the person who rejects the Qur’an or a single letter of it, who alters anything of it or adds to it, as the Batinis and the Isma’ilis do, or someone who claims that the Qur’an is not proof of the reality of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’
He continues this important definition: ‘The Muslims are of a consensus that the Qur’an as it is recited in all parts of the earth and written out in the mus-hafs amongst the Muslims, that is, everything between the covers from the ‘Al-Hamdu lillahi rabbi’l-alameen’ to the ‘Qul a’oudhu bi-rabbi-n-naas’ is the word of Allah and His revelation which came down upon the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and that everything in it is true, and that anyone who deliberately leaves out even a single letter of it, who changes it for another or who adds to it a letter which is not contained in the mus-haf of the Qur’an – about which they are of a consensus that it is not part of the Qur’an – is a kafir.’
Commenting on Ibn ‘Ashir’s saying, ‘who is not following another Imam in front of him’, the Mi’yar has said: ‘Another condition for someone being an Imam is that he must not be following another: the salat of whoever follows someone who himself is following an Imam is invalid. As for his saying that ‘he be free and resident’, this means that for the jumu’a there are two extra conditions, the first that he be free – thus for a slave to be the Imam for the jumu’a would not be valid, and the second, that he be resident – thus the jumu’a behind the traveller would not be valid unless he has made the intention to stay for four days or more.’
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the Murshid al-Mu’een:
It is makruh in the case of someone with incontinence, or with sores, or when a Bedouin serves as an Imam for others – so desist from praying behind someone if it is makruh to pray behind him!
Al-Muwwaq has narrated that Ibn Bashir said: “There is a difference of opinion if the wudu is spoiled because of an emission of urine in exceptional circumstances like incontinence. There are two opinions on this matter – and a corresponding difference of opinion as to whether he may be an Imam for others. Similarly, the judgment regarding someone from whom an impurity exudes and which he cannot do anything about, like someone who has a wound or sore: there are two judgments as to whether he is permitted to be an Imam. It has been reported that Umar was afflicted in this way while being an Imam but he did not leave the salat. Ibn Yunus has noted: ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, commanded that wudu should be done in the case of an emission of pre-seminal fluid and to wipe the penis.’ Ibn Wahb has narrated: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Sometimes I feel it rolling down my thigh in droplets during the salat but I do not leave to clean it until I have carried out my salat” – that is he was vigorous and so subject to loss of semen at the end of his life.’ Qadi ‘Iyad has said, narrating from one of his Shaykhs and Sahnun: ‘It is better to leave off having such a person as the Imam, except in the case of someone of exceptional uprightness.’”
As for a Bedouin being an Imam, it is reported that Malik said: ‘A Bedouin Arab should not lead the salat, neither as a resident or a traveller, even if he is better at reciting than others present.’
Ibn Habib, commenting on Malik, noted: ‘This is because of their ignorance of the behaviour of other people, because of the imperfection that may be imputed to them in their not having to attend the jumu’a or strive after the excellence of the jamaa’a.’
As for his saying ‘so desist from praying behind him if it is makruh for him to be the Imam’, al-Muwwaq has added: ‘Qadi ‘Iyad has said with respect to the attributes which are disliked in a person who is the Imam: “when he takes a salary for being the Imam, when the people of his jamaa’a do not like him or when one of the jamaa’a behind him himself desires to be the Imam.”’
It is at this juncture that we must note a very important judgment by Ibn Rushd in this matter. Given the high position that Ibn Rushd has with us, it must be born in mind that he is held in universal respect. The implication of this judgment is very far-reaching for us since it emphasises, as do other judgments in this Fatwa, that the validity of the Imam from one aspect is based on the consensus of the jama’at. The reality that he must be acceptable is an indication of a genuine democratic dimension in the Muslim community, which must on no account be vitiated by the pseudo-democracy of any kafir State, legislating in a manner that claims to overthrow the Shari’at in the name of its self-styled democracy which is purely theoretical.
On the matter of the people praying behind an Imam who is disliked, this judgment is confirmed by Ali ibn Abdas-Saadiq, who said: ‘This is on account of the hadith, “Five people do not obtain the reward of the salat: a woman with whom her husband is angry – (one riwayat states a woman who retires to bed while her husband is still angry), a slave running away from his master – until he returns, a person who stops talking to his brother for more than three days, a man addicted to wine, and an Imam who leads the people in salat when they dislike him.” This is reported by as-Samarqandi in his ‘Tanbih al-Ghafileen’.’ He then goes on to say after this: ‘This dislike on behalf of the people may be of two kinds. On the one hand it may be on account of some corruption in him or because he mispronounces some of the recitation – in which case they can find someone else, or because there is someone who is more knowledgeable than him in the jamaa’a – and it is this very person who dislikes him and dislikes him leading them in the salat. On the other hand, their dislike may be because he commands to what is good and they either hate him or envy him for this – and there is no one in the jamaa’a who is more knowledgeable than him – then their dislike is null and void, and he should lead them despite them.’
It is clear from this that the matter devolves on the jama’at. It is clear from this that any interference by the kafir State in either the approval or disapproval of Imamate in any mosque would be a deliberate, open and frontal attack on the Deen of Islam, given what we have already established of the absolute confidence necessary required in an Imam to be the protector of the Deen.
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the Murshid al-Mu’een:
… likewise, in the case of a person whose arm is paralysed, or not wearing a cloak when Imam in a mosque, or when a row of the salat is interrupted by columns …
Al-Muwwaq has said, commenting on the words of Khalil, ‘and it is makruh for a person whose arm is cut off or paralysed’: “Al-Ma’zari has said: ‘The majority of our companions hold to the narration of Ibn Nafi’ from Malik, namely, that there is no harm in someone whose arm is cut off or paralysed being the Imam, even in the jumu’a and the ‘Eids.’ Al-Ma’zari goes on to say: ‘as it is a limb which does not prevent him from fulfilling the fard aspects of the salat. Thus his being the imam is permitted when it is missing, like in the case of someone who is blind.’ Malik has said: ‘Defects are in matters of the Deen, not in matters of the body.’ Zournan has related from Ibn Wahb: ‘I do not consider that the person whose arm has been cut off should lead the salat – nor the person whose arm is paralysed and who is unable to put his hand on the ground.’ Ibn Rushd explained: ‘He means it is makruh.’”
As for his saying ‘or not wearing a cloak when Imam in a mosque’, al-Muwwaq has said: “It is reported of Malik: ‘I dislike this in the case of Imams of mosques, and when a person is travelling or at home, I prefer him to drape a turban over his shoulders.’”
As for his words ‘the salat which is interrupted by the columns’, al-Muwwaq has said: “It has been narrated of Malik: ‘There is no harm in having rows between the columns if the mosque is small.’
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the Murshid al-Mu’een:
… or standing in front of the Imam, or performing another jamaa’a after the regular jamaa’a
Al-Muwwaq has said, commenting on Khalil’s words ‘or in front of the Imam, when not necessary’: “Malik said: ‘There is no harm in performing the salat in a closed room separate from the salat of the Imam – other than the jumu’a – if they can see what the Imam and the people are doing from a window or from a stall in the mosque as long as they are able to hear his takbirs […]‘If the rooms or houses are in front of the Imam, then this is makruh, but if they do the salat in front of him, it is still complete and accepted.’”
As for his saying ‘another jamaa’a….’, al-Muwwaq has said: “It has been reported from Malik: ‘The same salat should not be performed twice in a mosque, unless in a mosque where there is no appointed Imam, in which case anyone may make another jamaa’a in it.’ Ibn Yunus has said: ‘Another jamaa’a is not made because of the enmity it might cause between Imams, and also so that the people of bida’ are prevented from putting forward one of their Imams.’
It follows from this that the Muslim community has a prior responsibility to see that Imamate is the result of their choice and judgment, and not imposed on them either by the kafir State, or by munafiq entities that have been licensed to cover the kafir State’s intentions. Any Imam coming through State licensing has submitted himself to this most profound bida’ which puts in peril the survival of the Deen.
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the Murshid al-Mu’een:
…an appointed Imam who is as yet unknown, a blameworthy person, an uncircumcised man, a eunuch, slave or a bastard.
Al-Muwwaq has said: “Ibn Habib has related from Ashhab and Ibn Nafi’ and Asbagh and Ibn Abdalhakam: ‘It is not fitting that someone unknown lead the salat other than the officially appointed Imam who is known.’ Ibn Arafa has said: ‘If someone is appointed over a mosque but does not perform the salat in it because of some other matter which is more preferable according to the shari’at, then one should not perform the salat behind another officially appointed Imam until the people have got to know him – and this is the practice of those I met.’” Here Ibn Arafa is of course referring to official appointments within the framework of Islamic governance.
His saying ‘a blameworthy person’ indicates someone about whom people have persisted in talking on account of what he had done in the past.
As for his saying ‘an uncircumcised man’, Ibn al-Qasim has reported: “An uncircumcised person should not lead the salat.” Sahnun has said: “…but the person who does nevertheless follow him, does not have to repeat the salat.”
As for his saying ‘a eunuch’, Malik has deemed it makruh for him to be an officially appointed Imam for the fard prayers.
As for his saying ‘a bastard’, al-Muwwaq has said: “Malik has reported: ‘I dislike that a bastard be taken as an officially appointed Imam.’ Abu Umar has said: ‘…lest he expose himself to people’s evil talk – as being an Imam is a position of esteem and honour and people strive after it and are envious of it.’”
Ibn ‘Ashir continues in the Murshid al-Mu’een:
It is permitted in the case of an impotent man, a blind man, someone with a speech impediment or afflicted by leprosy, as long as slight – and this is enough for our purposes here.
Isa and Ibn al-Majishun have said: ‘There is no harm in someone who is impotent being the Imam.’ Malik has confirmed: “There is no harm in taking a blind person as an officially appointed Imam.” As for his words ‘someone with a speech impediment’, al-Muwwaq has said: “Ibn Rushd has said: ‘The person with a speech impediment has unclear recitation. There is no dispute that the person who follows such an imam does not have to repeat, even though it would be makruh if he did follow him – unless, that is, there is no one other than him who is acceptable.’”
As for his saying ‘afflicted by leprosy as long as slight’, this refers to someone whose leprosy is not in an advanced stage’: Al-Muwwaq has said, “There is no difference of opinion that someone with leprosy may be the Imam unless his illness has reached a particularly repellent stage and it is known from his neighbours that they feel repugnance at keeping his company, in which case he should withdraw from being the Imam.”
As for his saying ‘and this is enough’, this indicates that there are here outlined the basic essentials.
The author of ‘al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer’ has said: “The Imam and the mu’adhdhin have the reward of those that pray with them.” Ibn al-Hattab has said: “According to the School of the Amal of the People of Madinah as found in the ‘Mudawwana’, it is makruh to take a salary for being the Imam in the fard and nafila. The words of Khalil may be understood as being of general application regarding the fard and the nafila. However, in the ‘Kitab al-Ijaara’ Ibn Yunus has said: ‘Ibn al-Qasim has said: “In my opinion this is particularly disliked with regard to the five daily salat.”’ According to Ibn Rushd, if it is feared that he would neglect the fard in the mosque and not hold to the nafila at all – without a salary – then a salary is a lesser evil. Moreover, giving a salary for something that one is not obliged to give a salary for, is permitted, and even while being an Imam is an act of worship undertaken in order to come closer to Allah, the principle of the matter remains the same as for the adhan and the building of a mosque.”
Let us summarise the matter of the fiqh of Islam with the definitions of one of the Muslim world’s greatest ‘ulama, Qadi ‘Iyad. This is taken from his famous work, ‘The Foundations of Islam according to the Ahl al-Madinah’.
THE OBLIGATORY QUALITIES THE IMAM MUST HAVE ARE TEN:
1. He must be mature.
2. A man.
3. Of sound mind.
4. A Muslim.
5. Of good character.
6. A reciter of Qur’an.
7. A faqih regarding what is required of him in his salat.
8. Capable of performing the salat the way it is supposed to be done.
9. Having an eloquent tongue.
10. And you add in the case of the Jumu’a: free and living in the place.
THE QUALITIES WHICH IT IS PREFERRED THAT HE HAVE ARE NINE:
1. His being the most excellent of his people in his Deen.
2. His being the best of them in knowledge of fiqh.
3. His being the best reciter of Qur’an among them.
4. His having a good family background among them.
5. His having excellent moral qualities.
6. His being a free man.
7. His having all the limbs of his body.
8. His having a good voice.
9. His wearing neat, clean clothes.
In conclusion, it should be noted that there may be a distinction between Imam Ratib and Imam Khatib. It follows from this that for an Imam whose sole job is the performance of fard prayers and all extra prayers such as for the dead, the eclipse, and so on, there is clearly no justifiable reason for any outside interference of any kind. It is in the matter of the Imam Khatib that of course the kafir banking State has felt obliged to begin the abolition of Islam inside France.
It is common sense, and no-one would argue, that if an Imam in a country which is not governed by Islam should have openly attacked the State and incite to violence against the State, then the State already has at its disposal all the means to bring such an Imam to account. This is a matter easily monitored, and it must be assumed that a jama’at of citizens inside the nation are themselves the best monitors of this. In any event, the particular instruction of Imams by the State in upholding the Constitution, different from that given to the rest of the citizenry, is a deliberate attack on the Deen. The puppet institution of Government should be reminded that thanks to its dismal education system, its general citizenry can barely read the classical works of the wonderful French language, let alone know the confused mumbo-jumbo to be found in the secular temple of human rights, Republican theory, secularism and the European ‘set of values’ so flaunted in the current discourse concerning the right of Turkey to enter the EU.
It is our earnest hope that this matter is taken up by the Muslim community of France, so that not only can we save the Deen of Islam, but also rescue France from a slide into a fascism that its own citizens will soon recognise as it in turn abolishes the democracy they imagined they possessed.
We ask Allah to protect us and strengthen us, and we ask Allah to awaken in the hearts of the French Muslims that today their primary responsibility is both the protection of the Deen and the active spreading of the Deen by good example, by noble acts, and by an open call to Deen al-Haqq.