Praising Life, Let it be Habit Forming…….

I have received a few comments over the years from the readers of this blog, who ask if there is anything positive to report on from the Middle East. In other words, why always the negative?

The truth is, that there is a lot of trouble and woe in the Islamic Middle East, and bad news usually gets top billing. That is life. So here is something for a change that departs from the usual bad news reporting,….and it’s all about life, the need to praise it. *L* KGS

By way of Solomonia: Remarkable. Well worth watching and/or reading:

MEMRI TV: Former Dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari Speaks Out against Suicide Operations and Declares His Support of American Presence in Iraq

The following are excerpts from an interview with Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of Islamic law at Qatar University, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on May 11, 2007. ¨

Modern Religious Discourse is Different from the Religious Discourse of the Prophet

Interviewer: “Do you think that modern religious discourse differs from the religious discourse of the Prophet?”

Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: “Of course. The proof is in the pudding. Today, there is a lot of extremism, a wave of extremism. This religious discourse has not managed to improve the youth, and this crisis proves it.”


“This discourse does not address human beings as human beings. We lack what I call the ‘culture of humanity.’ We want to make our youth love human beings as human beings, before they love them for being Muslim or non-Muslim, Shi’ite or Sunni.”


“The purpose of jihad is to respond to aggression and to eliminate injustice. The greater Jihad is the Jihad of the soul, of development, of education – so we can live – not just die – for the sake of Allah. Can what is happening in Algeria, Morocco, and Iraq be called jihad? A youth in the prime of life puts on an explosive belt, and blows himself up among innocent people, and you call this jihad and martyrdom?”


“The religious discourse generates a crisis. You go to a mosque, listen to the Friday prayer, and you return a bundle of nerves, feeling hostile toward civilization and society, because the sermons focus on the negative aspects of society, and inflate them.”

Interviewer: “So what needs to be done?”

Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: “We need to focus on the beautiful aspects of life and society. Not everything in life is tragic. You should make people love life. I would like the religious scholars, through their religious discourse, to make our youth love life, and not death.”

On Qaradhawi:

…Interviewer: “So if Yusra was sitting next to you, you would take a nap?”

Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: “At least I’d feel free. I said that this does not diminish the respect I feel for Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, even though I disagree with him on certain political and ideological issues. Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi supports the view that the West is our enemy, that America is an enemy, and that we should place a ban on… I don’t agree. This does not serve our interests. I have said so in all my articles. For example, he said that dialogue with the Jews should only take place by means of human bombs. I object to this. I support dialogue even with the Jews, even with the enemy. The Prophet conducted a dialogue with his most bitter enemies. How can one say that dialogue should be conducted by means of human bombs?”

Interviewer: “But Yusra has a negative attitude towards the Jews too.”

Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: “Holding a negative view is one thing, and encouraging my children to turn into bombs is another. I criticize Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi for his support of the conspiracy theory whereby the entire world is conspiring against us. I criticize him for his claim that the West and America are enemies, and that we should ban them. When he organized a campaign to ban American products, I disagreed with him.”

Note: While I give Al-Ansari credit for wanting to teach life instead of death, please take note of what he says about Jihad beause it’s happening in Muslim lands.

“Can what is happening in Algeria, Morocco, and Iraq be called jihad? A youth in the prime of life puts on an explosive belt, and blows himself up among innocent people, and you call this jihad and martyrdom?”

So in my understanding, when he talks of unjustified jihad here, he puts more emphasis on the fact that it’s happening in a Muslim land. However, the overall message in the interview is to be commended. One step at a time. *L* KGS

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