The position of a Mufti in Syria is abolished, a new presidential decree transfers the tasks of issuing Fatwa, a non-compulsory religious judicial opinion, to a council of 30 members representing all Islamic sects.
This post needs to be read carefully and with an open mind, comments based on knowledge or seeking knowledge on the topic are welcome, otherwise, they’ll be deleted. This post is by no means a comprehensive study on the topic it addresses, it is meant to shed light on and simplify the developments in this matter.
Syria is the first in the Islamic world to abolish the estranged to Islam job, in Islam there is no pope, the Mufti acts like a pope and was introduced by one of the bloodiest Ottoman rulers, Selim I, and all of them were bloody, the creation of the position of the ‘Muslim Pope’ came some 900 years after the days of the prophet.
Syrian Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Mohammed Abdul Sattar Al-Sayyed said in an interview aired on Syrian TV Channel 1 on November 30th:
The position of mufti was created by the Ottoman Sultan, Selim the First, when he entered the country, and that it was not present in all the history and covenants of Islam, because it contradicts the standard and truth of the legislation, and that its abolition corrected a “historical error” by the Ottomans that has lasted for 600 years or more.
Naturally, the enemies of Syria, the most ignorant in Islam and about Islam, have criticized the move and considered it as ‘centralizing Islamic powers and affairs in a council where the Sunnis are no longer a majority,’ and ‘the need to defend Islam from the secular Syrian regime,’ and so on. The same enemies of Syria made their ‘Muslim Popes’ the likes of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Qaradawi, the Saudi Wahhabi Al-Sudaiss, and others, issue fatwas that justified the massacres and horrific war crimes by ISIS, Nusra Front (Al Qaeda Levant), and their affiliated terrorist groups.
Furthermore, in Islam, there is no such thing as Sunni, Shia, Alawites, Druze, or what have you, these are groups of people who interpreted the Islamic teachings in their own ways and refuse to debate their interpretations with the other sects, all Muslims believe in the 5 main pillars of Islam, everything else they differ upon is based on their understanding of the Quran and the teaching of Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him.
As the matter of fact, Islam insists on unity among Muslims whatever their ethnic origins, skin color, and social backgrounds are, Islam warns of division among the Ummah (the Islamic nation) for whatever reasons. Calling this an attack against the ‘Sunni’ Muslims is heresy, to describe it in the most modest terms, especially when it comes from those who follow sects like the Muslim Brotherhood or Wahhabis, two inventions that started about a century ago and have their teachings derived from the books of clerics who were imprisoned during their times for their radical views, the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah, or the bloodthirsty Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab in the Saudi desert of Riyadh, exactly where the Prophet said the ‘horns (or times) of Satan will emerge’ toward the end of times.
Some sectarian activists tried to personalize the matter as punishment of Syria’s last Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun by the Syrian ‘Alawite’ president, they did the same for every single case of a public employee who retired, moved to another post, or resigned. Grand Mufti Hassoun is very well respected and loved by the Syrian people and President Assad in particular, those fishing in these murky waters were also the ones who cheered for the killing of the elder son of Mufti Hassoun by the ‘freedom fighters’ who follow the Muslim Brotherhood sect.
The same sectarian enemies of Islam criminals who justified the blowing up of Islam’s most revered cleric Sheikh Ramadan Al-Bouti who was 84 years old when killed, who was teaching Quran to more than 50 of his students who were killed with him inside the Iman Mosque (Faith Mosque) in the heart of Damascus, the capital of the strongest Ummayyad Caliphate, by a suicide bomber; those forgot that Islam’s guidelines during war strictly prohibits the killing of elderly people, and it was a suicide bombing, not a battle, strictly prohibits the killing of religious figures, and Sheikh Bouti was the top of them and was teaching the Quran, strictly prohibits the killing of innocent people, not even a single innocent soul, and he was killed with more than 50 of his students, strictly prohibits the desecration of worshiping houses, and he was bombed inside the ‘Faith Mosque’ in Damascus.
Top Muslim scholar at the Aqsa Mosque in Al Quds (Jerusalem) Sheikh Salahuddin ibn Arafa blows away the allegations by so-called ‘defenders of Islam’ that the Syrian President is not a Muslim and is Alawite as if Alawites are not Muslims. In his video recording -in Arabic- he answers a question of whether President Assad is Kafir (infidel) and describes how he checked with a top cleric in Aleppo who confirmed that he asked President Assad in person whether he’s Alawite and President Assad responded: “I’m a Syrian Muslim, I know nothing about Alawism.” This concurs with President Assad’s repeated calls on Muslim clerics and scholars of all sects to return to the roots of Islam before the different sects were introduced.
In the above video, Sheikh Ibn Arafa also refers to a speech by President Assad during a Ramadan iftar (breaking fast) before a crowd of top Syrian Muslim clerics with both Martyr Bouti and Sheikh Hassoun on his side where President Assad was told that some of the Syrian troops are worshiping his picture and praising him as a god, he says: “Those who do so, if that is true, are Kafirs (infidels), I can lock them all up in jail, then what?” then President Assad addresses the clerics: “Teach them the religion,” he concludes: “Prophet Muhammad PBUH was sent to guide people not to kill them.”
President Bashar Assad issued Legislative Decree 28 for the year 2021 on the 15th of last month November which stipulates boosting the role of Fiqh council ( Islamic Jurisprudence) and broadening its authorities in which it consolidates the tasks previously designated to the position of the Mufti. The date of the decree is quite remarkable as it comes after the expiry of the mandate of Grand Mufti Hassoun and not during it, in other words, the Syrian President, the government, and the consultants who drew up the legislation waited until it was after Grand Mufti Hassoun retires out of respect to the man.
Muslims should learn their religion from either Belad Al Cham (the Levant – the countries of Sam son of Noah – Syria) or Yemen, these are the two regions blessed by Prophet Muhammad PBUH in the same Hadith (the Prophet’s sayings) that he warned of the emergence of Satan’s horn (or time) from Najd (the plateau where the Saudi capital Riyadh is built within). In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad PBUH pointed to the Levant (Al Cham – Geographical Syria) and told his companions by the end of time there will be only two armies fighting to defend Islam, one in Yemen and one in Al Cham, join the one in Al Cham.