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Islam and Spiritualism ( 22 May 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Follow True Religious Path: Oman’s Grand Mufti

By Asim Al Sheidi

23 May 2012

The turmoil, uprisings and other turbulent events in the Arab world are a natural outcome of the imbalances which have inflicted people’s life. In an interview with Oman Arabic daily, His Eminence Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad al Khalili, Sultanate’s Grand Mufti, explained that Arab politics deviated from the true Islamic line initiated by the Holy Quran and expounded and followed by the prophet. A line which “gives each what he is entitled to have.”

"Such a deviation from the right path naturally produces other deviations and the solution is a return to what the Holy Quran teaches about the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, between the top and the base," he opined. Quoting from the Quran, Al Khalili said Allah says addressing His messenger Dawood (David) “Thus it is by Allah’s mercy that thou art gentle to them. And had thou been rough, hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around thee.

“So pardon them and ask protection for them, and consult them in (important) matters. But when thou hast determined, put thy trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust (in Him).” He noted the importance of education which he said needs to be revised and re-established on the basis of Islam. The Grand Mufti added that the media should single-mindedly focus on the message of spiritual development. He said submission of the religious establishment to the political authority is deep rooted in history.

Historically, he said relationship between the khalifa (legitimate Muslim ruler) and the umma (Muslim nation) was based on the principle of promotion of the virtue and prevention of vice. That religious bond, he said changed into a relationship of subjugation and oppression and the Muslim jurists tended to produce fatwas that justify the rulers’ conduct irrespective of the religious legitimacy of that behaviour.

Some Muslim jurists even proclaimed that the ruler was sanctioned to kill two third of the people to protect his rule.

Such fatwa rulings could only be termed ethical, political and judicial deviations, he said. He said Islamic leaders who emerged after the uprisings could help the Umma solve its centuries-old problems if they followed the correct Islamic course and returned to the true understanding of Islam.

He attributed the failure of modern Islamic movements such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and also in Sudan, as some claim, to a failure to relying on the original and true sources of Islamic teachings; the Quran and the correct sayings of the Prophet. He said the legitimate texts of Islam are the references to the true understanding of Islam and reason has a role to play in discerning the meanings of revelation and not beyond that. The Mutaezla (Islamic school) depended excessively on reason while other schools went far in belittling its role.

On why the religious establishment is wary of the secular or civil state, Al Khalili said God created man and legislated the Sharia which ensures his betterment and well-being. When human ways of reforming man are followed the result will sure be only a setback, he said. “Capitalism has brought classes and social injustice and communism robbed man of his very essence and turned him into a dead machine. If such systems fail then that proves Islam alone offers the solution and wise people in the West started to turn their attention to the (usury-free) Islamic finance and see in that system a way out of the current financial crisis that is choking the world economy.”