- Ancient Egyptian civilization indicates the hallmark of previous Divine messages
- Since the era of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, Imams of Fiqh and Usul practiced ijtihad (independent reasoning) in renewing the ordinances or rulings of the Shari'ah whenever necessary
- Now is the time to direct our focus in these conferences on the practical aspects that deals with the controversial problems and issues
His eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmed Al-Tayyeb delivered a detailed speech at the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council's International Conference held in Luxor in which he stated that the ancient Egyptian civilization indicated the hallmark of previous Divine messages, that is, the light of the previous revelation of God's Prophets and which the ancient Egyptians received from the monotheistic messages that preceded their civilization thousands of years ago.
His eminence added, "The disasters that have afflicted this nation recently would not have been happened if scholars and intellectuals had been aware of the inside and outside conspiracies woven against their nation. We should take into account the fact that in spite of all these fatal afflictions that befell the nation, the secret behind the survival of this nation must be referred back to Allah, the Almighty and not the well-established scholars and intellectuals; Allah who Himself assured us the preservation of the Ever-Glorious Qur'an and the survival of this nation."
Al-Tayyeb continues, "Scholars' inheritance of Prophets is not restricted only to knowledge and legislation; rather, it includes, first and foremost, inheriting their message- may Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon them - in reformation and change, as well as exerting the most efforts to rescue the Muslim Ummah and make it feel happy."
His Eminence has also pointed out that "renewal" as well as its necessity for Muslims at all times and places are not anymore a negotiable matter. It is, rather, a self-evident truth in Islam; at the levels of the text, law and history. The Noble Qur'an, among all other divine scriptures, may be the only scripture which refers to it. Such reference has inspired the Muslim theologians and philosophers and provided them with new and unprecedented philosophical perspectives. He has also indicated that, since the time of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH), the scholars of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) practiced Ijtihad (independent reasoning) for the purpose of renewing the rulings of Shari'ah, whenever necessary.
He added, "It is high time to reconsider our conferences so that they shall address the controversial issues or we should keep silent in fear of some of our hard-line scholars who consider any renewal as a violation to Shari'ah and religion. He also proposed that we shall recourse to "a collective Ijtihad" to which the senior scholars are called in order to discuss the contemporary Muslim nation's issues. The gravest issues are takfir (declaring Muslims disbelievers), immigration, the concept of Dar al-Islam (abode of Islam), joining the armed extremist groups, denouncing and hating one's community and psychologically disconnecting oneself from it and shedding the blood of people by killing or explosion, as well as the issues related to Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), particularly Ihram (commencing the rituals of Hajj from Jeddah for those who travel by air or sea, throwing pebbles throughout the day. These issues also include urging the scholars of Muslim nation to issue fatwa which underline the importance of work and prohibit negligence and idleness among many other issues which I cannot enumerate due to the space of time. It is very important to state that the fatwa concerning these critical issues shall not be in the form of general statements which do not put an end to these problems nor change the status quo.