“Al-Qaradawi is a Hanafi man, and he had a problem with the Hanbalis in the curriculum as well. Al-Qaradawi is a diligent, diligent in every sense of the word.. There are young people who do not know anything, and I am aware of what I am saying. There are political issues that led to an attack on Sheikh Al-Qaradawi.” ".
(Sheikh Farid Al-Ansari answering a question about the scientific value of the famous book “Al-Halal and Al-Haram” by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi)
Loving, supportive, and silent, spiteful and resentful, then others are slanderers. This is how people deal with the death of public figures, especially those they disagree about.
The custom did not go out of the ordinary after the death of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Rather, people were united in describing the late between a group that praised his project to renew the religion, and another who saw him as just an intellectual and legitimate theorist of political Islam, the first opponent of many Arab and Western regimes alike.
Love at first word
"Since I became conscious, I used to listen to the hijra hadith every year from the scholars of our village, which is a repetitive hadith that is no more than talking about the story of the spider and the pigeon and what is going on. Tonight, I heard a new authentic hadith, the like of which I am not entrusted to me."
(Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, speaking about his first meeting with Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna)
All big projects start with a small step, with a small movement, from a small village like the village of "Saft Trab", the village from which Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi came, and it is one of the villages of the Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra Center in the Gharbia Governorate, there the Sheikh grew up young in the late twenties and early thirties of the last century , under the wing of his uncle, who took it upon himself to raise him after the death of his father, whom he did not know in his life, and left him moving to the supreme companion when he was under two years old.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi grew up young in the village of Saft Trab at the end of the twenties and the beginning of the thirties of the last century, under the wing of his uncle, who took it upon himself to raise him after the death of his father.
The story of the Sheikh will start from his uncle’s house, then, on a night when he was asked to lie down so that his cousin and some of his companions could go to a lesson for Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna, and Tanta was celebrating that day the arrival of Sheikh, the guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, to celebrate the anniversary of the Prophet’s migration.
Despite his young age, the child Youssef insisted on attending this assembly, which may extend for long hours, to see Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna, whose reputation spreads throughout Egypt.
Al-Banna spoke at the time about the Prophet’s migration as the end of a first stage, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, built the individual, a springboard to Medina to establish society.
The child Youssef liked this speech, the talk about immigration was different this time, it is true that he heard the story over and over, but this time the hadith was “authentic” he had not been accustomed to before, and because of his admiration for his words, he almost remembered it by heart, after he “knew its meanings and digested it.” Its true meaning,” as he himself expressed.
Since that day, Al-Qaradawi has been keen to listen to Hassan Al-Banna whenever the latter visits the city of Tanta. He was also greatly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, who were roaming the streets, raising their flags and chanting their slogans calling for "the elevation of Islam and the elevation of the word of God."
After that, the village boy had multiple opportunities to listen to al-Banna, and he became very attached to him, describing him himself as "the disciple's attachment to the sheikh, the student to the teacher, and the soldier to the leader", even before he joined the group.
The dichotomy of “piety” and “political awareness” began to form early in Qaradawi through his teacher Hassan al-Banna. Britain appointed, just as Al-Banna’s speech was not without a call to mobilize against the British colonization of Egypt, by calling for the gathering of Muslims and Copts and not to be drawn into the calls for religious sedition aimed at the colonial powers to tighten their control over the country.
The dichotomy of "piety" and "political awareness" began to be formed early on by Al-Qaradawi through his teacher Hassan al-Banna.
Al-Qaradawi, who was an elementary school student, was surprised by the way Hassan al-Banna classified the homeland on 3 levels: the small homeland, which includes Egypt, which was under the yoke of colonialism with its entire borders during that period, then the great homeland, which is the Arab homeland from the ocean to the Gulf, and finally the largest homeland that It is the Islamic homeland.
The astonishment was evident on the face of the child Youssef as he heard about this Islamic circle, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, picking up the words of his teacher, who calls for the liberation of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco from French colonialism, and Indonesia from Dutch colonialism, referring to what the jurists said that “if a woman is captured In the East, and the people of the East were unable to rescue her from her captivity, the people of the West should do so.”
In that period, Al-Qaradawi became acquainted with the dilemma of colonialism and then the political ideas of the first leader of the Muslim Brotherhood to confront it, which lie in negotiations first, but not any negotiations, but rather “the negotiations of the rightful owner, not the newcomer.” It was not “the jihad, which at that time becomes an eye duty on every Egyptian and Sudanese, even the evacuation of the British from the homeland.” Al-Banna stressed that the group is ready to sacrifice its youth who desire a good death, which “is not death on the bed between parents and children, but to separate the head of man for the sake of God.”
This enthusiastic speech had a great impact on the audience, and a greater impact on the young Qaradawi, who found himself in the midst of the nation's major issues at a young age.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi naturally joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and became active in the group. His first appointment with it was his selection within the so-called “Sacrifice Brigade” (and the sacrifice here is our master Ismail, peace be upon him), a battalion chosen by the preacher in the group “Al-Bahi Al-Khouli” from the students of the religious institute Among the students of the second schools, its goal is to elevate them religiously and spiritually in order to launch in the field of da’wah.
Al-Qaradawi was active in the department of spreading the call within the group, which used to send preachers to different cities and countries in Egypt and abroad. In addition to his work in the Department of Families, which is concerned with the upbringing of the personality of the Muslim “brother” and its complete spiritual, mental and physical formation, this is in addition to various other tasks.
The activity within the Muslim Brotherhood was not to pass unscathed by al-Qaradawi, as the fluctuating and shifting relations between the tide and ebb between the group and the Egyptian state were able to plunge him and his brothers into the whirlpool of police pursuits at any moment, and this is exactly what happened, on December 28, 1948 And at a time when the group was facing the dissolution decision that was issued only twenty days before it, the Egyptian authorities announced the assassination of Mahmoud Fahmy Pasha al-Naqrashi, Minister of Interior and Military Governor General, after he was shot by a student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Fouad I University named “Abdul Majid.” Hassan”, a student of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Special Regime (it was more like a military wing of the group whose mission was to target the British occupation and its collaborators), disguised himself as a police officer and killed Al-Naqrashi in the heart of the Ministry of Interior headquarters.
Al-Qaradawi and his brothers met the news of the assassination of Al-Nuqrashi with caution and happiness. The disappearance after the widening of the arrest circle was necessary after the government requested the head of all the Brotherhood members in the "Egyptian Kingdom." themselves after the Egyptian police arrested the mother of his colleague to pressure her son.
After they were arrested by the police, Al-Qaradawi and his colleague were sent to the Zefta center with the aim of handing them over to the Tanta Directorate and then deporting them to the prison, and on February 13, 1949, during the Brotherhood’s release from the first section prison in Tanta, Al-Qaradawi and his brothers found addresses Egyptian newspapers shout out a shocking headline that snatched groans from everyone: "The Assassination of Hassan al-Banna."
Azhari is an opponent of Al-Azhar
We thought that he (i.e., the Sheikh of Al-Azhar) forgot his membership in the National Party’s Policies Committee, and he forgot what he said on one of the satellite channels when he was asked: Which do you prefer: Al-Azhar or the National Party? He said: How can I choose between the sun and the moon?! Which the Egyptians enjoyed under President Morsi, will change his loyalty to the previous regime.”
(Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, speaking on behalf of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar)
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi remained loyal to his Azhar turban until the end of his life. The relationship between the man and Al-Azhar was not fleeting, but rather deep and ancient, taking from many memories, many of them fragrant memories, and some of them smelled of ingratitude.
Al-Qaradawi loved Al-Azhar since his early childhood, and dreamed of joining it since he memorized the Holy Qur’an shortly after the age of nine. This most famous religious institution in the Islamic world was a realistic embodiment of the meeting of the entire Islamic nation, Arabs and non-Arabs.
The relationship between Al-Qaradawi and Al-Azhar extended over many years, from a student in the primary school, then a student at the secondary institute, then enrolled in the Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion to obtaining a teaching license.
Al-Qaradawi’s political soul never lost sight of the length of his religious formation at Al-Azhar. He participated early in the royal era in demanding some reforms, such as introducing the English language to Al-Azhar institutes, opening the door of military and civil colleges to the Al-Azhar high school campaign, opening the door to education for girls, and reviewing curricula and books scholastic.
These demands were not mere literary incidents that were escalated to the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, but rather turned into demonstrations and calls for strikes and collisions with the police. Al-Qaradawi himself led the demands for reform in late 1953, and participated in the establishment of the so-called “Azhari Baath” committee that wants to “awaken Islamic awareness.” And the formation of a new generation that understands Islam, works according to it, and strives for it.”
Years pass, and Sheikh Al-Qaradawi continues his unstable relationship with Al-Azhar, then the Egyptian revolution will come to give the story other, more exciting dimensions. Its main title is the confrontation between Sheikh Al-Qaradawi and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
After the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, Al-Qaradawi arrived from Doha to Cairo, and his Friday sermon in front of millions of Egyptians who were ecstatic to “overthrow the regime” was very symbolic. He agreed with the Mubarak regime, unlike Ahmed El-Tayeb, the man of the Mubarak regime in Al-Azhar, who saw this religious institution and the National Party as two faces of one Egyptian homeland.
However, the Egyptian revolution brought the two men relatively close - albeit for a temporary period. In 2012, the Al-Azhar Foundation decided to form a body of senior scholars headed by Sheikh Al-Tayeb himself. This body included, beside Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, both Dr. Hassan Al-Shafi’i, head of the Arabic Language Academy in Egypt, and Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, the former Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Al-Ahmadi Abu Al-Nour, the former Egyptian Minister of Awqaf, Dr. Ismail Al-Daftar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Rawi, the late Dr. Muhammad Emara, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Mahdi, the General President of the Sharia Association.
The brilliance of the relationship between the Sheikh and Al-Azhar reached its climax during the period between the January 25 revolution and the July 3, 2013 coup, during which time the Sheikhdom of Al-Azhar allowed Sheikh Al-Qaradawi to ascend the Al-Azhar pulpit to deliver Friday sermons.
But this period of serenity was only a time out between two tense periods. As for the first, the poet Abdul Rahman Youssef, son of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, tells about it, and it was during the period of Mubarak’s rule. The Sheikh of Al-Azhar at the time, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, at that time Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb was the Mufti of the Republic.
Ibn al-Sheikh says that during this visit, the officer accompanying him informed him that the Egyptian security wanted to meet him in a friendly manner, which angered him because he did not like “meeting with people.” Al-Tayyib told Sheikh Al-Qaradawi that he would talk to the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, because he was supposed to be informed because he is responsible for his guests.
The first meeting was not possible, so State Security organized another meeting on another travel trip, and the apparatus refused to hold a meeting between them and Sheikh Al-Qaradawi in the office of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, suggesting that this take place inside one of the security headquarters in the presence of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar.
The meeting passed in a charged atmosphere due to Sheikh Al-Qaradawi’s objection to some practices of state security officers, and his anger increased, according to his son, because the sovereign bodies in Egypt no longer give importance to the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, but rather deal with him in a way that is closer to insult than appreciation.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi not only resigned from the Council of Senior Scholars in Al-Azhar, but also spoke extensively about his disagreement with Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, due to the latter's support for the Sisi regime.
This relationship between the state and Al-Azhar, in its Mubarak-style format, was never accepted by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, and this will explode clearly after the military action led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi against former President Mohamed Morsi. Scholars of Al-Azhar, considering that all religious positions, including the sheikhdom of Al-Azhar, are positions taken by force of arms.
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif responded to this resignation with a “dismissal.” A source within the Al-Azhar sheikhdom said that members of the Council of Senior Scholars had unanimously agreed to dismiss Al-Qaradawi because of his positions and his insult to Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
The same sources also denied that Sheikh Al-Qaradawi had submitted any resignation, stressing that his dismissal came in accordance with the regulations in force, after his failure to attend the meetings of the Council.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi not only resigned from the Council of Senior Scholars in Al-Azhar, but also spoke extensively about his disagreement with Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, because of the latter’s support for the new regime, commenting on the latter’s acceptance of the coup against former President Mohamed Morsi by saying: This is the position of all Al-Azhar sheikhs and senior professors - or most of them at least - and at their head is our distinguished friend, the distinguished Sheikh of Al-Azhar: Professor Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, if such a matter is presented to him to rise up in the uprising of the jealous world, who fears that his people will waste their freedom that they have gained after decades, And he feared before that his Lord, and feared for his religion, and he said to those who presented this matter to him: This is not permissible according to Sharia. And the Sunnah, and everyone must take care of it, preserve it, and defend it from every aspect.”
Al-Qaradawi continues his speech in a lengthy article titled “Standings with the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and the issue of the coup against legitimacy,” stressing that he received reproach from “some of his brothers” after he placed his trust in Dr. A former member of the National Party and Gamal Mubarak’s policies committee, he was the best candidate for the position, by virtue of his knowledge of him after Al-Tayeb had worked as a professor of Islamic faith and philosophy during his secondment to the College of Sharia in Qatar, of which Al-Qaradawi was Dean.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi concluded that he was disappointed that the honorary position and the difficult political reality would change the loyalty of the Sheikh of Al-Azhar to power, as he was "one of those who participated in the delegitimization of politics by supporting military weapons."
All this conflict, and other unknown reasons, contributed to the silence that characterized the position of Al-Azhar after the death of Al-Qaradawi, as the ancient religious establishment refrained from even offering condolences for the Sheikh, who was considered one of its sons, before he was a distinguished scholarly stature in the entire Islamic world.
The Three No's: No to Al-Assad, No to Al-Bouti, and No to God's Victory
"Today, the revolution's train arrived at a station it had to reach, which is Syria's station. Syria cannot be separated from the history of the Arab nation."
(Sheikh Al-Qaradawi speaking about the events of the spring in Syria)
A few weeks after the outbreak of the revolution of July 23, 1952, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi received a “commission” from Hassan al-Hudaybi, the former guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, in order to prepare for a tour in the Levant: Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, accompanied by other members of the group, with the aim of visiting the brothers of this region Extension of communication links between the mother group in Egypt and its branches in other countries.
At that time, the sheikh was able to obtain permission to travel from the "men of the revolution", thanks to the good relationship that the Free Officers had with the Muslim Brotherhood during that period.
At that time, Syria had entered a time of military coups that would eventually bring the Assad family to power.
The Brotherhood delegation at that time chose pseudonyms, and Sheikh al-Qaradawi removed the Azhari garb so as not to arouse suspicion, and so that he could move more easily away from the omnipresent police eyes.
The situation in Syria was not easy, as the Syrian police almost arrested Al-Qaradawi during a speech he was giving in some houses, but the travel passed safely and he was eventually able to finish his mission and complete his Levantine tour.
This was the first chapter and the first acquaintance between Sheikh Al-Qaradawi and Syria and its political system, an acquaintance that will have its aftermath, and will turn from praise to hostility.
During the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, the International Union of Muslim Scholars headed by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi did not hesitate to come out and praise the “Jund of God” in Palestine and Lebanon, whose battles reminded of the heroism of the early centuries in which the Companions, may God be pleased with them, fought the enemies of this religion.
The statement commended everyone without exception, without mentioning age, nationality or sect, calling for support for this jihad with life, money, tongue and pen.
This statement was praised by Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, who described Sheikh Al-Qaradawi's position as "very advanced", and praised his support for the resistance during its response to the Israeli aggression on Lebanon.
Nasrallah considered that the most important strategic result of the resistance is that Shiite-Sunni embrace, and everyone's feeling that there is a solidarity confrontation with a common enemy that threatens the fate of everyone.
This Sunni-Shiite harmony paved the way for Sheikh Al-Qaradawi to adopt the conviction of the importance of rapprochement between Sunnis and Shiites, provided that this rapprochement is based on the principle of dialogue, good understanding, and true identification with the other party, in order to draw a complete and true picture of each sect, with an agreement on some general principles such as good faith and cooperation. In the agreed and to avoid provocation and frankness wisely.
These efforts made by the former head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars quickly dissipated, for Sheikh Al-Qaradawi to consider the Shiite tide as a threat to the purely Sunni states, which could destabilize the Middle East.
Al-Qaradawi warned against the emergence of Shiite minorities in purely Sunni countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, for example.
As a result, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi was subjected to an unofficial media attack by some Iranian media, which prompted a high-ranking Iranian delegation in Doha to visit the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars to apologize. And to stop insulting the honorable Companions, which Ali Akbar Mohtashami, the former Iranian Minister of Interior, took for granted, since Ali Khamenei, the General Guide of the revolution, follows Khomeini’s same approach in appreciating and enforcing respect for the Companions.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi took a clear position by calling for confronting Assad, and he poured his arrows on Hassan Nasrallah, describing him as a "victory of the tyrant", and calling his party "the party of Satan."
These differences will take on a very different dimension after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, and Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah standing with Bashar al-Assad in his war on his people, while Sheikh al-Qaradawi took a clear position by calling for confronting al-Assad and his regime and supporting the Syrian people in this battle.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi poured his words on Hassan Nasrallah, describing him as a "victory of the tyrant", and called his party "the party of Satan", during a solidarity festival with the Syrian people organized in the Qatari capital, Doha, saying that the Iranians are looking for the "continued and orchestrated massacres to kill Sunnis." and classify it among the countries that hostile Muslims.
Bashar al-Assad and his successors, Iran and Hezbollah, were not the only ones angry with Sheikh al-Qaradawi for his support for the Syrian revolution. Rather, the list included an important person of religious weight, Sheikh Muhammad Saeed al-Bouti, the scholar, descendant of the traditional religious school, who stood behind the Assad family until the last minute of his life.
The contrast between the two Sheikhs al-Bouti and al-Qaradawi appeared in the file of the Arab Spring, but the dispute between the two men was not the result of the events of 2011, but rather goes back to far beyond that.
Palestinian researcher Muhammad Khair Musa says that contrary to what observers of the Syrian religious affairs think, that the most important opponent of Sheikh Al-Bouti was the famous Salafi Sheikh Nasser Al-Albani, the Sheikh close to the Damascus Palace felt a greater rejection of the religious proposal led by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi.
Al-Bouti strongly criticized the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which was headed by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi before the revolution, as he expressed in one of his public lessons that this union, which presents itself as a body that brings together the word of Muslim scholars from all parts of the earth, is not necessarily like that, as it includes scholars and “half scholars.” And some personalities that have nothing to do with Islamic jurisprudence, such as some specialists in philosophy, law and history.
This was a clear attack by al-Bouti on al-Qaradawi, despite the previous pleasantries and dedications. According to observers, the man was more severe in criticizing the Egyptian scholar residing in Qatar in private councils.
Researcher Muhammad Khair Musa points out in an article that the reasons for al-Bouti's support for Assad are many, but one of them is al-Qaradawi's bias towards the revolution. With Bashar al-Assad to discuss and talk and put forward views with all welcome and respect.
After the death of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, differences became apparent in the media coverage of the resistance axis, which at times reminded of its old position in support of Bashar al-Assad, and at other times accused him of facilitating the fight against the extremist “Brotherhood” and “al-Qaeda” groups that entered Syria with his fatwa, which he did not even release in the face of “Israel.” “, in the words of some media outlets affiliated with the Assad regime and its allies.
The love of Palestine and the European visa do not mix
"I wish I could go there, or they would carry me in a wheelchair to participate in the jihad, and then I would get a bullet separating this head from this body so that it would be for the sake of God."
(Sheikh Al-Qaradawi speaking about Palestine)
Since his early youth, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi was known for his great support for the Palestinian cause. He was one of the students who went out in Tanta in 1940 to demonstrate and protest against the Balfour Declaration, and he lived his life supporting the cause that he imbibed from his beginnings with the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was not surprising, then, that the Palestinian media paid attention to the news of Al-Qaradawi's death and offered condolences for the man, but the strange irony is that the Hebrew media also paid attention to the matter, as "The Times of Israel" and "I24" wrote about "the death of the cleric who issued a fatwa on suicide operations against The Israelis,” although these same platforms were published before the sheikh retracted the fatwa on martyrdom operations, “which no longer has a reason,” according to his words, because the Palestinians have developed other means to defend themselves.
Israel tried to market a negative image of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, the image of the extremist anti-Semitic sheikh, and some Western media outlets seized this talk and added other descriptions to it, such as incitement against women, anti-homosexuality, and the religious theorizing of the Muslim Brotherhood, which a number of Western countries are hostile to.
Some Western countries did not hide their hostile stance against Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, submitting to Israeli propaganda.
In 2004, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi visited Britain, causing a lot of confusion after the opposition demanded to prevent him from entering the country, and for his part, the British Home Secretary at the time, "David Blunkett" had confirmed that all the movements and words of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi would be subject to strict control throughout his stay in the country, because of his encouragement On the martyrdom operations of the Palestinians, despite his rejection of the September 11 operations that targeted the United States of America.
The British position will change in 2008, and the country will be narrowed by the presence of Al-Qaradawi.
Under pressure from the Jewish lobby in the country and LGBT protests, Britain announced its refusal to grant an entry visa to the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, who was reportedly on his way to the country for medical treatment.
In 2012, France followed the example of Britain, and canceled the entry visa of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, along with the preacher Mahmoud Al-Masry, to participate in the meeting of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France.
The refusal of the French authorities came at the request of the French Socialist Party and the far-right National Front, which considered that the country should not receive people "anti-Semitic and homosexual."
The man died and the project remained
Well, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi’s long life was neither ordinary nor traditional, but rather it was full of important events, and a true witness to the great transformations that the Arab and Islamic world experienced from 1926 to 2022. This long life produced a different project in which Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Ghazali attended together, in which Hassan shines Al-Banna, referring to Sayyid Qutb, draws inspiration from Salafism in important dimensions, but it is printed in the Muslim Brotherhood’s edition, and sealed with the seal of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif.
It was a great project that filled the world and occupied people for many decades. Sheikh Al-Qaradawi spent his life, and he left and the project remained in existence, looking for other hands to seize it and complete it.