The scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi - may God have mercy on him - passed away after about a century, and the time extended with him to the extent that he objected - weeks before his death - to the supplication of one of his companions for him for long life;

Because he was tired, and because he was longing to meet his Lord.

This long life allowed the sheikh to experience everything: quantitative and qualitative, fame and humiliation, praise and slander, consensus and disagreement, prison and freedom, and to travel around the world and also to be prevented from entering some countries, and to restrict his movement and withdraw from the public scene since the 2013 coup in Egypt , to die after about 9 years in what looks like solitude.

The Sheikh experienced many political regimes: the monarchy and the July 1952 revolution, then the subsequent regimes through the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring, in which he was one of the prominent faces, which caused him a lot of trouble at the end of his life.

During this century, the Sheikh accomplished so much that he was - rightly - a sheikh of contemporary Islam, and he formed something like the reference or “scholar of the nation” who played a prominent role in the modern transformations in the contemporary Islamic discourse: jurisprudence, politics, advocacy and movement.

This reference that Al-Qaradawi enjoyed is an emergency situation for Sunni Islamic thought, which enabled him to prepare and personal capabilities on the one hand, and to invest in modern tools (such as publishing, satellite channels, the Internet, frequent travel and the formation of institutions) on the other hand, in addition to the political and financial support he received in some of its stages.

Al-Qaradawi discovered at a later stage that the “comprehensiveness of Islam” is at the core of the Sharia, whose science deals with its origins: the ruler (the discourse of the legislator), the condemned (the responsible), the condemned (the action) and the same ruling. The worlds have no partner, and with that I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.”

The Sheikh's personality can be understood through three key words: the comprehensiveness of Islam, the nation, and the Sharia.

On the basis of it, I will present an extensive reading of the formation of the Qaradawi phenomenon, taking into account the historical and analytical aspect.

With regard to the “comprehensiveness of Islam”, Sheikh Khatam is considered the great reformists who embodied this idea, whether in his encyclopedic composition and personality, or in his vision and project: movement and writing, and each supports the other.

Some of them may return the idea of ​​"the comprehensiveness of Islam" to Sheikh Rashid Rida in its second phase after the death of Muhammad Abdo, and others may return it to Hassan al-Banna's additions to Rashid Rida.

Al-Qaradawi does not hide his strong influence on Al-Banna, who was the first to introduce him to the idea of ​​the inclusiveness of Islam when he listened to him while he was in the elementary stage. However, his joining the Muslim Brotherhood in the secondary stage brought about a major change in the course of his life and consciousness.

He turned from a "religious preacher" to an "Islamic preacher" who works for a "comprehensive Islam".

ولكن القرضاوي اكتشف في مرحلة لاحقة أن "شمولية الإسلام" من صميم الشريعة التي يتناول علمُ أصولها: الحاكم (خطاب الشارع) والمحكوم عليه (المكلف) والمحكوم فيه (الفعل) ونفس الحكم، وبذلك يتحقق قوله تعالى: "قل إِن صلاتي ونُسُكي ومحيايَ ومماتي لله ربِّ العالمين لا شريكَ له وبذلك أُمرتُ وأنا أوّلُ المسلمين". أي أنه ينقل هذا -بنفَسه الحركي- من دائرة الفرد إلى دائرة الجماعة المتجاوزة للدولة القطرية.

صحيح أن إصلاحية القرضاوي قد تبدو -بالقياس إلى محمد عبده ورشيد رضا- محافظةً، إلا أنها تتصل بها اتصال نسب ومنهج.

In terms of lineage, Al-Qaradawi contacted - in his early years - with Hassan Al-Banna, who was a student of Rashid Rida, then succeeded him and moved from the abstract idea to the movement. Abdullah Diraz, whose father, Abdullah Diraz, was one of Abdu’s students, and wrote a commentary on the book of approvals by Shatby on the behest of Muhammad Abdu.

As for the method, Al-Qaradawi was influenced by Rashid Rida in interpretation and fatwa, and his reformism shared with those before him in several aspects, including restoring the concept of the nation, harmonizing Sharia and modernity, transcending the doctrinal tradition and calling for diligence and renewal, restoring the idea of ​​purposes or interests, and expansion Towards the views of Ibn Hazm and Ibn Taymiyyah.

More importantly, a direct return to the foundational texts (the Qur'an and Hadith).

However, these common factors do not eliminate the disparity between the reformers themselves: capabilities and outputs, nor do they negate the developments of the context and the change of problems.

While the problem of Abdo and Rida was how to advance like Westerners, the problem of Al-Banna and after him became how to preserve the Islamic identity that is threatened by the impact of the occupation and the ideological conflicts taking place at home.

This transformation imposed those political developments internally in relation to the state, and externally in the relationship with the West, which became colonial after the fall of the Caliphate.

Al-Qaradawi was obsessed with the idea of ​​the absent caliphate, like his predecessors, and he was well aware - by virtue of his long life - the two problems of occupation (in the heart of which is the issue of Palestine) and tyranny (in the heart of which is the struggle with the regimes to establish a Sharia state), and he is the one who was imprisoned more than once and then had to leave his country He spent his life outside it since the early sixties.

As for the concept of the nation, it is a central concept for Al-Qaradawi;

Because he is the "condemned," meaning that the discourse of the street is no longer directed to individuals as individuals, but to all individuals as one nation, and although Al-Banna was the spark that ignited this meaning in himself as a child, Al-Qaradawi cannot be reduced to Al-Banna;

Because it has overtaken him - it seems to me - in several respects:

While Al-Banna’s priority was political in the direct sense (the state that leads to the caliphate), its establishment became more difficult during the time of Al-Qaradawi, so he tried to establish it symbolically and practically as an imagined group transcending the frameworks of the country states.

While Al-Banna remained confined to the framework of the movement and the organization, Al-Qaradawi departed - in his activity and the size of his influence - from the narrowness of the movement to the capacity of the nation, so he was excused from the organizational work of the Brotherhood in the late seventies, and refused to assume the position of General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood twice, and it was noteworthy that the reason for his refusal The second time is that he wants to be a guide for the nation and not a guide for the group, and his awareness of transcending the movement to the nation intensified in the eighties and nineties.

And if Al-Banna had set kinetic frameworks, then Al-Qaradawi tried to set frameworks that transcend the movement by which he was able to penetrate the various Islamic currents, if we exclude the early Salafi criticism of his book “Al-Halal and Al-Haram”

Al-Qaradawi was obsessed with the idea of ​​the absent caliphate, like his predecessors, and he was well aware - by virtue of his long life - the two problems of occupation (in the heart of which is the issue of Palestine) and tyranny (in the heart of which is the struggle with the regimes to establish a Sharia state), and he is the one who was imprisoned more than once and then had to leave his country He spent his life outside it since the early sixties.

Thanks to his awareness of the occupation and tyranny, Palestine was a sacred cause for him, and for it he was implicated in legitimizing martyrdom operations, which caused him a political problem, but he later considered them as conciliatory operations, and that their permissibility is contingent on achieving the interest.

It also transcended the traditional religious institutional frameworks that were controlled by the post-occupation state, which depended on the socialist and capitalist solutions during the Cold War, and here he crystallized later - in 2004 - the idea of ​​the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which he wanted as a symbolic alternative and a comprehensive umbrella of reference that compensates for the caliphate that was crossing Historically, about the reference and political unity of the Muslim Ummah.

With regard to Sharia, which is the third key word in Al-Qaradawi’s personality, it formed the backbone of his vision and life, and marked him with the innovative jurisprudential character in comparison with the sheikhs of his time, and he also transcended in it Al-Banna, who was obsessed with the idea of ​​“the Sharia state” to a broader framework than the idea of ​​the state, which made him In the perception of some orientalists, he embodies the phenomenon of the "global mufti".

His jurisprudential tendency emerged early in his village and later developed under the influence of a previous master of “Jurisprudence of the Sunnah” who was criticized by the jurists of the sectarian tradition and presented to his book Hassan Al-Banna, passing through the book “Halal and Haram” and subsequent jurisprudential books, including his doctoral thesis on “Jurisprudence of Zakat” which He discussed it in the Sheikh Muhammad Abdo Hall in Al-Azhar in the early seventies.

The general horizon of the Sheikh is to return the Sharia to the modern public space (political and social) within the post-caliphate states, and this put him in a protest position against the “Islam of the regimes” that tried to formulate an Islam compatible with the requirements of the Qatari state and its ruling systems, and then took control of religious institutions and spaces political and social.

On the other hand, the European space constituted a spacious space for the settlement of the Islamic presence in it, starting from the late seventies until the establishment of the European Fatwa Council (1997), where the Islamic presence in the West turned from a thought of necessity - in the jurisprudential sense - to a necessity in the kinetic and advocacy sense.

The observer of the Sheikh’s jurisprudential path notes a development in it from the stage of “Ibn Al-Qarya wa Al-Kitab”, then he was influenced by Sheikh Al-Banna, then the Al-Azhar stage and the authorship of “Al-Halal and Al-Haram”, passing through “Contemporary Fatwas” (1991) and “Shari’a and Life” (1996), all the way to the era of Arab revolutions.

His jurisprudential preoccupations, which began traditionally, quickly blended with kinetic concerns, and sometimes exceeded them, but at the end of his life he returned to some traditional concerns (etiquette, jurisprudence of prayer, and parts of interpretation that are not distinguished).

It is clear that the Sheikh's activity and movement affected his thought and vice versa.

With the formation of his authority in the most fertile stages of his life - in the eighties and nineties - he enjoyed flexibility and intelligence that enabled him to invest in modern ideas and means (especially satellite channels and the Internet), and to adopt the suggestions that some of his colleagues or some of the young people around him were putting forward, in addition to his ability to invest in the topics of conferences and lectures that were presented to him. He was called to her - heavily - during this stage.

As for the jurisprudential approach, his kinetic preoccupations and the formation of his reference enabled him to promote a practical tendency, which is essentially a jurisprudential tendency, but it was freed from the frameworks of doctrinal tradition;

Influenced by Sheikh Mustafa Al-Zarqa, may God have mercy on him, he draws from the general jurisprudential heritage and adopts facilitation by selecting what he deems appropriate for his practical purposes from the vast jurisprudential heritage, and what is best suited to the interests he values, whether for the movement or the nation (the matter confuses him sometimes).

Abdul Halim Abu Shaqqa noted in the late eighties that Al-Qaradawi’s fatwas differ from the fatwas of traditional sheikhs in that they are spoiled fatwas that do not fanaticism of doctrine, live the reality of people, mention the ruling coupled with his wisdom, and address the contemporary mind.

In my opinion, it was mixed with al-Qaradawi's jurisprudence with the da'wa, which may have led to the criticism of some people of the legal profession, who saw him as a preacher rather than a jurist in the traditional sense.

The selective sheikh’s facilitation (which may have caused him to be inconsistent at times), was governed by the idea of ​​emphasizing the vast reference of Sharia that does not clash with the times, which is what he started with “Halal and Haram” which he originally wrote for Western Muslims, and in which he tried to expand the circle of halal by addressing modern developments such as clothing and music. Arts and other things, in a path similar to that of Ibn Hazm in expanding what is permissible, and if the Sheikh is not expelled in that, he has aggravating choices, while we find in the jurisprudential heritage wide opinions in which he did not follow his method in selecting the easiest, that is, Al-Qaradawi expanded the circle of jurisprudence outside The prevailing opinions to comprehend life, and therefore it is more likely that he does not say a matter in which he does not have an imam to protect him, even if it is outside the norm or the norm.

Abdo and Rida's reformist discourse did not constitute the main stream, although it enjoyed a strong influence, as the main stream was represented by the conservative current represented by the major religious institutions and their representatives.

But the most important achievements of Al-Qaradawi is that he transformed the reformist discourse - in its “Al-Qaradawi” formula - into a “global” popular discourse, and this has emerged since the seventies and beyond, as he addressed the issues of the era such as expanding the circle of the halal, harmonizing Sharia and modernity, rationalizing the Islamic awakening, and confronting the phenomenon of extremism in Atonement, criticism of violent groups and the thought of Sayyid Qutb, confronting the socialist and capitalist solutions, arguing with advocates of secularism, participating in Islamic banks, and so on. on the Internet (1998), and with the institutions it established afterwards, from the foregoing.

But with the formation of his reference in the eighties, his discourse seemed more conciliatory with the West, especially in the nineties, in which he had a tendency to strengthen the Islamic presence in the West after the end of the Cold War and the waning of ideological currents and Islamic national rapprochement, while it was sharp in tone in a series of “inevitability” The Islamic solution” that began in 1970, and in his struggle with the secularists in the early eighties, and this polemical tendency was a prevalent feature of his contemporaries in that period from various parties.

This historical intellectual path of the contemporary Sheikh of Islam illustrates the extent of the political opposition and the intellectual shallowness that his opponents enjoy today in the counter-revolution.

If they wanted to reduce it to the "Brotherhood", they fell into crude contradictions, which I summarized in the following matters:

The first

: he ignored these facts and facts that spanned over about seven decades, but they themselves were supporters and sympathizers of his authority. His neglect of him and his intellectual poverty and lack of attention to scientists.

The second

: The Sheikh had a permanent human tradition in which he was keen in the “Shari’a and Life” program to offer condolences to the general public figures who died, in which he lamented very many between (1996-2013), while some of his friends yesterday and his opponents today did not dare to just write a farewell word;

Because what drives them is the horizon of the Qatari state and the desires of the political regimes, and then they lose the freedom to even practice a normal human activity!

Otherwise, what is the meaning of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb - for example - mourning the Queen of Britain and completely silent about Al-Qaradawi, the son of Al-Azhar and the most prominent Egyptian figure in modern history?

The third

: The Sheikh’s lament for the Pope in the program of Sharia and life caused him wide criticism, and he is the one who expanded God’s mercy, while those who claim tolerance and call for peace among his opponents narrowed God’s mercy to the extent that it did not include Al-Qaradawi and the opponents of the regimes in whose orbit they revolve!

I have tried to present here a historical intellectual reading of Al-Qaradawi as a prominent sign of the developments of thought, jurisprudence and politics, with some critical references to the context, although his writings on Sharia sciences and his activity during the Arab revolutions require a single critical discussion.

May God have mercy on the Sheikh and compensate this nation with good.