Al-Azhar fatwa center says Muslim Brotherhood haram

Various Arabic newspapers are reporting that for the first time in history, the prestigious al-Azhar has explicitly declared that belonging to Muslim Brotherhood is religiously disallowed. I was not able to find a copy of the full fatwa, which is reported to be written, and the manner in which it came about is murky.

Multiple sources quote al-Watan. al-Watan says regarding the origin of the fatwa:

al-Watan (the newspaper) directed a question to the authorities {mushayikha} at al-Azhar al-Sharif to issue a decree providing a ruling according to the Islamic law controlling the issue of membership in the terrorist group, the Brotherhood, and the rest of the extremist organizations. This was in the aftermath of an escalating pace in terrorism around the world, and President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s confirmation, during the press conference in Paris, that membership in the Brotherhood is the reason for the acts of violence, in Egypt and around the world.

The al-Azhar Fatwa Global Center answered, in a written fatwa (decree), confirming that membership in this group and other terrorist groups is prohibited religiously (muharram shar’an) seeing as God Almighty commanded Muslims to stand and congregate on one word (quoting Quran 3:103 [Al Amran]: ‘And hold on to the cord of Allah, all of you.’). The Most Glorious God also discouraged division and discord (quoting Quran 6:159 [al-An’am]: ‘O Messenger, have nothing to do with those Jews and Christians who divided their religion, by taking part of it and leaving out another part, and turned into various sects. You are innocent of the misguidance that they adopt. Your duty is only to warn them. Their matter is entrusted to Allah and then, on the Day of Judgement, He will tell them about what they used to do in the world and repay them for that.’ )

al-Watan, 12/19/2020.

From several articles, this much of the fatwa can be reconstructed:

بدا واضحًا جليًا للعامة والخاصة والصغير والكبير ما قامت به هذه الجماعات من تشويه لبعض النصوص واقتطاعها من سياقها واستخدامها لتحقيق أهداف أو مآرب شخصية وإفساد في الأرض بعد إصلاحها من خلال غرس الفتنة والوقيعة بين أبناء الوطن الواحد، بل أبناء الإنسانية كلها، ورمي المجتمعات بالكفر وغير ذلك، وزين لهم الشيطان أعمالهم فصدهم عن السبيل.

من خلال ما سبق عرضه يحرم الانضمام لهذه الجماعات، وبناء على ما تقدم من أدلة فالانتماء إلى تلك الجماعات المتطرفة يُعد حرامًا شرعًا

«وأن هذا صراطى مستقيمًا فاتبعوه ولا تتبعوا السبل فتفرّق بكم عن سبيله ذلكم وصاكم به لعلكم تتقون»، : «هناك طرق وسبل نهى الله سبحانه وتعالى عن اتباعها أو السير فيها أخبر عنها سيدنا رسول الله صل الله عليه وسلم فى الحديث الذى رواه سيدنا عبدالله بن مسعود». حيث قال سيدنا عبدالله بن مسعود: خط رسول الله خطًا بيده ثم قال: هذا سبيل الله مستقيمًا، ثم خط عن يمينه وشماله خطوطًا، ثم قال: هذه السبل ليس منها سبيل إلا عليه شيطان يدعو إليه، ثم قرأ «وأن هذا صراطى مستقيمًا فاتبعوه ولا تتبعوا السبل فتفرّق بكم عن سبيله»، أخرجه الإمام أحمد فى مسنده.

The following English translations of portions of the fatwa are reproduced here verbatim from al-Arab News’s article dated 12/21/2020 (byline: Mohammed Abu Zaid).

It is clear to the public what these groups have done in distorting some texts, cutting them out of their context, and using them to achieve personal goals or interests and corrupting the land.

Membership in these extremist groups is considered forbidden by Shariah.

Joining the terrorist Brotherhood is forbidden by law [and is considered] cooperating in immorality and aggression, for that group violates the law of God and is involved in terrorism.

Mohammed Abu Zaid, Al-Azhar decrees prohibition of joining Muslim Brotherhood, al-Arab News (Dec. 21, 2020).

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