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The news item was added on Thursday 24 September 2020. Cited from: Egypt 360
The Egyptian Quranists .. A reading of their thoughts and their relationship with the state and Al-Azhar


The Egyptian Quranists .. A reading of their thoughts and their relationship with the state and Al-Azhar

The news item was added on Thursday 24 September 2020. Cited from: Egypt 360

Recently, the Egyptian security forces arrested Reda Abdel Rahman, a teacher at the Al-Azhar Institute in Kafr Saqr, Sharkia Governorate, on charges of spreading the Qur’anic doctrine.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said in a statement, citing “Abdel-Rahman” family members, that security forces arrested him on August 22, 2020, along with seven other relatives, all of them belonging to the family of Ahmed Subhi Mansour, a former professor at Al-Azhar University.

It added that the security forces directed to them questions related to their relationship with Ahmed Sobhi Mansour and the fact that they adopted the doctrine of the "Quranic", and released all of them except for Reda Abdel Rahman.

Not the first time

This is the third time that Rida Abd al-Rahman was arrested because of his religious ideas and his kinship with Ahmed Sobhi Mansour. The first time was on October 26, 2008, and continued until January 6, 2009, when the Supreme State Security Court issued a final ruling to end his arrest, and on January 25 of the same month he was released.

Then he was arrested in 2016, when the security services ordered him to stop his activities and cut off his contacts with Dr. Ahmed Subhi Mansour.

The case of "Abd al-Rahman" sheds light again on an “old and new” issue, which is the case of the Egyptian Quranists and their most prominent figure, Ahmed Sobhi Mansour, and then their relationship with the state and official religious institutions.

Who is Ahmed Sobhi Mansour?

Ahmed Subhi Mansour, a former teacher at Al-Azhar University, discussed his doctoral thesis on the effect of Sufism in Mamluk Egypt, where he began preparing the thesis in 1977 and discussed it in 1980.

He says about the trip of preparing a doctorate and then discussing it, that he was persecuted and had to delete two-thirds of the message (on the impact of Sufism on religious life and moral decay) in addition to his teaching at Al-Azhar University, where between 1980 and 1987 he was the first preacher of the Da`wat al-Haq group and the editor-in-chief of its monthly magazine (Prophetic guidance).

On May 5, 1985, he was suspended from work at Al-Azhar University, when he presented the committee responsible for promoting him to an assistant professor with five books, the most important among them and which caused a lot of stir was (Prophets in the Glorious Quran-Analytical Study).In which he said, Intercession by the Prophet Muhammad, and his infallibility outside the revelation is not valid, and that it is not correct to say about him “ the most honorable of the messengers” or to grant him  preference over the predecessors of the Prophets, because this is reserved for God Almighty and Exalted alone. He also criticized Bukhari.

As for the other books, they were:((The Muslim World between the era of the Righteous Caliphs and the Abbasid Caliphs), (Separatist movements in the history of Muslims) (The raids of the Mongols and the Crusaders), (history of the intellectual and educational movement in the history of Muslims).

Another development occurred in 1987, when he was arrested on charges of denying the Sunnah (narrations attributed to the prophet), which is the biggest case in the history of the "Quranists", and then they were arrested in succession. In May 2007, 5 of them were arrested, among them were also relatives of Ahmed Subhi Mansour, and the charge was Exploitation of religion to promote extremist ideas with the intention of contempt of the Islamic religion, by denying the Sunnah and considering the Qur’an the main source of legislation.

Among the defendants was Ahmed Subhi Mansour himself, but he had immigrated to the United States of America in 2001 and described the accusation at the time as "fabricated", indicating that it came as part of "the Egyptian inheritance deal between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, which one of the conditions is the elimination of the presence of the Quranists in Egypt."

Ideas of Quranists

Mansour believes that the Quranists are a reformist Islamic trend, and that they are not a sect or a party. They also refer to the Qur’an through a methodology based on defining concepts from within the Qur’an itself, adding that their jurisprudence is human and not subject to holiness, and that the most terrible mistake is attributing jurisprudence legislation to God and considering it Sharia from God or Islamic law.

Regarding their name of the Qur’anists, he says that this title was given to them by State Security during their case in 1987 and it was used officially and then circulated in the media.

The most important ideas of the Quranists in Egypt can be summarized as follows:

There is no revelation but the Qur’an

Mansur’s position regarding the Sunnah of the Prophet stems from his vision that the Qur’an is the only written revelation that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, pointing out that “the Qur’anic reality confirms that when the Prophet was asked about something he would been wait for the revelation to come up with an answer. The revelation would come down with “they ask you about such and such” , and the revelation would tell him to respond: “say :such and such” ,he was not left to answer from his own accord. And regarding his position on the hadiths attributed to the Prophet, he believes that Islam has completed its message with the Qur’an and that the Prophet forbade writing anything other than the Quran, just as the hadiths, represent the reality of Muslims and their beliefs.

No “abrogator-nasikh” or “abrogatee-mensokh” in the Holy Quran

(From the verb  abrogated-nasakha)….which some interpret as.. to copy.. To confirm….and some interpret as.. To abrogate.. To cancel

It is one of the titles of Ahmed Sobhi Mansour’s research, which was published in the “Al-Tanweer” bulletin issued by the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment, and that was in June 1994, when he sees that the word “copy” in the verse (what we “copy” of a verse or a sign, or cause it to be forgotten, We come up with a  better alternative or something like i).Considering the context, “copy” means to Proof and to jot down, not omission.

He says that those who claim that those who make abrogation mean cancellation and deletion accuse the Qur’an of contradictory terms. He also responds to the argument that “copying” is intended for graduation in legislation, that the graduation in legislation has two aspects in the Qur’an, one of which concerns the changing relations between Muslims and their enemies, and the other concerns brevity In legislation, followed by detail, and thus concludes that this does not result in a deletion or cancellation of the legislation.

No penalty for apostasy in Islam

“Mansour” goes in his book “The penalty of apostasy” that there is no penalty of apostasy in the Holy Qur’an. He says that the word “hadd”- came in the Qur’an meaning truth and law, and it does not mean punishment, just as the word “Hadd” came in the Noble Qur’an (14) times, all of them mean the rights of God and His laws, and do not mean punishment.

He also states that in order to nullify the punishment of apostasy, it is necessary to address the position of the Noble Qur’an on the issue of labeling others as disbelievers, stressing that no Muslim has the right to accuse someone else of disbelief, or to set up search courts for him, because God Almighty has granted man the freedom to believe in him, as also the  freedom to disbelieve in him, and that the responsibility towards this Freedom is evident on Judgment Day, when the Lord of Might will judge them for their choice.

As for describing those who do not believe in God with the word “disbelief” in the Noble Qur’an, he sees that in exchange for the freedom to declare disbelief and the freedom to defect in his sublime divine self, it is God’s right to describe them with “disbelief and disobedience” and to respond to them. Thus, “Mansour” goes that the act of labeling others with “disbelief” is like an inquisition courts and sees it as unjust courts, beyond human endurance

Absolute freedom of belief and thought and their expression

Mansour believes that one of the duties of the state is to provide absolute freedom for individuals and groups to worship, belief, opinion and thought.

In his opinion, this freedom includes the freedom to change religion and the freedom to advocate ideas, beliefs, and that the state's mission is to affirm the freedom of this call to all individuals and sects on an absolute equal footing.

He also says that democracy is what brings together the magic formula that balances freedom and justice.

In the book “The Seven Principles of Islamic Law and How to Apply it” Mansour says: “Religious freedom establishes political awareness among the masses, as it cleanses the political sphere from trading in religion, and limits political competition between those who are best able to serve people in their worldly life while respecting their religious choices. “.

Regarding the confiscation of books, he sees it as a "favorite pastime of the religious and political priesthood, and it is practices dating back to the Middle Ages, in which our third world still resides."

Al-Azhar and the Quranists

As for the position of Ahmed Sobhi Mansour regarding the Al-Azhar Foundation, it was stated in a symposium held by the Egyptian Society for Enlightenment in 1994, entitled “Al-Azhar and Enlightenment,” that thinkers such as Rifa'a Al-Tahtawi and Muhammad Abdo, and other graduates of that school, such as Taha Hussein and Mustafa Abdel Razek, even if they were graduates  from Al-Azhar, they are exceptions, because the majority of Al-Azhar curricula according to Mansour's vision is following imitation

On the other hand, the official religious institutions in Egypt announced their position on the ideas of the "Quranists". The Sunnah Committee of the Islamic Research Academy, which is one of Al-Azhar's bodies, issued a fatwa(religious edict) in August 2007 stipulating that the "Quranists" be considered an apostate group from Islam if they insisted on their position : The one who refuses to recognize the Sunnah, and the committee based its fatwa on the grounds that these people denied an established and known source of religion..

The fatwa of the Sunnah Committee of the Islamic Research Complex in Al-Azhar confirmed that he who denies the Sunnah is not a Muslim, as it is the second source of legislation in Islam after the Noble Book of God.

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa said that the call to suffice with the Holy Qur’an and dispense with it from the purified Sunnah is a void call, and it has also considered that working with it will certainly lead to the demolition of the Sharia and even to the destruction of religion.

It added that the one who calls for the Qur’an to be sufficient, calls for the Sunnah to be removed, and after that it leads to *the removal of the Qur’an.

The fatwa came in response to the question of the permissibility of dispensing with the Qur’an from the Sunnah, and it was published on the Dar al-Iftaa website in March of 2014.





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