Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Anniversary of the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), 1439 AH.

The Anniversary of the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), 1439 AH.

Speech of the Grand Imam Prof Ahmad At-Tayyeb Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar in the event of Celebrating the Anniversary of the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)


In the name of Allah, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

All praise is due to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the subject of this delightful commemoration, our Master Muhammad, his family, and his virtuous Companions.

Mr. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egyptــــ may Allah preserve and protect him.

Honorable attendance

Peace, Mercy, and Blessings of Allah be upon you

     Our celebration today of the anniversary of the Prophet’s birth is, in fact, a celebration of the emergence of the seal of prophethood, the last of divine messages which set humanity on the correct path, rescued it from the darkness of ignorance and deviance, after breaking the intellect free from the shackles of bigotry and tribalism. The birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has freed the human conscience from the cripples of tyranny and slavery. Only about ten years after the deliverer of the Last Message had died, the kingdoms of tyrants and fake gods started to crumble one after the other. From that point onward, and for the first time in history, humanity breathed the fresh breeze of freedom, tasted justice, understood the meaning of equality, and realized the obligation of freeing human beings from the oppression of their fellow humans.

     Imam At-Tabari related in his Tarikh that when Rib‛iyy ibn ‘Amir, one of the commanders of the Islamic conquests, entered at the presence of Rustam, the Commander of the Persian army, to negotiate with him before the battle of al-Qadisiyyah broke out, Rustam asked him, “What’s your purpose here?” Rib‛iyy responded that “Allah missioned us to free whoever wills from the worship of people to the worship of Allah, and from the tightness of this world to its spaciousness.”

     These very concise words reflect how much this honorable Companion had missed the values of freedom and justice and longed for the prevailing of these values that did not exist before the advent of that new religion. Let us reflect deeply on his statement, “…from the tightness of this world to its spaciousness,” to realize how distressed people’s lives were under the suppression of tightness imposed by their political regimes and social and economic traditions. This Last Message is meant to free the mind, intellect, and conscience through establishing a justice-based principle of freedom that secures the rights of people. Without absolute justice, freedom becomes meaningless and turns into chaos where human principles are wasted.

Honorable attendance,

     Given that the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), being celebrated in this delightful commemoration, was necessary for the guidance of humanity, deviating from its path is therefore one of the most critical dangers that threatens civilizations and societies. History witnesses that the fall of civilizations was due to several factors mentioned and warned against in the Qur’an, rightfully called the universal Divine Laws, exacted for the benefit of this universe and for the human being. One of the most crucial factors is deviance from the methodology of prophethood in leading people and societies, not to mention the lack of embracing upright morals and mercy, being the ultimate purpose of missioning the prophets. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I was sent to perfect good manners.” He also said, “Indeed, I’m a guided gift of mercy;” after Allah said about him, “We have not sent you [O Muhammad] except as a mercy to the worlds.”  [21: 107]

     Generally speaking, deviation from the method of Allah’s prophets is through denying and fighting religion, promoting atheism and disbelief in Allah, His messengers, His scriptures and the Day of Judgment. More dangerous still is deviation of abnormal gangs whose sick imaginations have led them to believe that they are the guardians of other people, Allah’s representatives on earth and the only ones who are able to understand religion and interpret its statements.

     With their different ideologies and names, such terrorist groups base their ideology on the wrong belief denied by Allah, His Messenger and believers. They think that any Muslim who does not share their ideology is a disbeliever and that disbelievers should be killed and that their property and honor are not respected. The likes of these deviated groups are not restricted to Muslims’ history, but they existed in all religions, beliefs and sects. The idea promoted nowadays that terrorism is purely Islamic is a myth that was proven through reality to be sheer falsehood. Books of history and politics are full of terrorist events associated with deviant groups of different religions and political and social ideologies.

     We don’t want to be far diverted from the calamity with which not only the Egyptians but also all the humanity in the East and West were afflicted last Friday. This was the incident of Ar-Rawdah Mosque that was an unimaginably brutal tragedy. It cannot be expected to be committed by any human being or even a wild monster. These bullets that claimed the lives of the worshippers in the mosque is an indication of a war against Allah and His messenger in one of Allah’s houses.

     Those criminals are not the first ones to commit such crimes at one of Allah’s houses. The second Caliph, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, was killed while praying in the mosque and the third Caliph, Othman, was killed while reciting the Qur’an and his blood spilt over the scripture. The khawarij, who are ancestors of those criminals, killed Ali, the fourth Caliph, while walking to the mosque to pray the Dawn prayer and while calling people to pray.

     We take the killing and martyrdom of the Caliphs as a comfort to us and to our people at Bi’rul‛abd who lost their loved ones and families’ providers. We remind them of the history of the Khawarij who used to intimidate and fight the Companions of the Prophet. They excommunicated Ali and killed him after failing him and rebelling against his power.

Mr. President,

     We offer our condolence to you and to our resilient people. We ask Allah to accept those who were killed as martyrs shower them with His mercy, comfort their people and families and heal the injured ones soon.

     At the end of my talk, I shyly offer an apology to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whose birthday anniversary this year happened to be a time used by some ignorant people to breach his method. That was an act that took them far from religion. We apologize to you, our beloved Prophet, about this crime. Tomorrow, those deviant people will find the result of their deeds.

Thank you for listening

Peace, Mercy, and Blessings of Allah be upon you

Ahmad At-Tayyib

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

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