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With Scholars Like These… – Yasir Qadhi on “Shaykh al-Azhar” Tantawi / Niqaab Incident


UPDATE #2: Following the release of Shaykh Tantawi’s personal reflection of the incident, in which a much more benign version of the story is stated, where the Shaykh asks the girl why she is so strict and eventually tells a teacher to remove her niqab, and in which he expressly denies telling her that she was unattractive, we will accept his rendering at face value. Allah knows what happened, and there is no need to get involved in judging which of the two versions is correct (the other version, upon which this article was written, was narrated by eyewitness journalists, and  links to their videos can be found in the comments).

We leave his affair to Allah; the information that this article was written on was based on credible sources (even the Shaykh’s office released a statement the next day that affirmed something along the lines of the story occurred, and the Shaykh’s silence since the incident, especially in light of world reaction to it, seemed outwardly to affirm the veracity of the story). No matter how credible the sources, I will give the Shaykh the benefit of the doubt since he clearly stated his version. I would also hope that the Shaykh corrects some of the damage done because of this incident (regardless of which version is correct).

I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds.

UPDATE: Following the proposed ban that Tantawi wished to place on females wearing niqab in al-Azhar, other Universities and countries are following suit.
See this video which was released on al-Jazeera regarding veiled students at Cairo University:

Also, MPs from Italy are suggesting a law, based on Tantawi’s comments, which would ban the niqab from public spheres:

And the progressive Muslim Canadian Congress have also lobbied the Canadian government to ban the niqab, once again based on Tantawi’s statements:

By now, almost everyone has heard of the recent incident involving the Shaykh al-Azhar, the esteemed Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Tantawi, with the veiled high-school student.  The office of the Shaykh al-Azhar is symbolically the most senior office in the entire Sunni world, outranking even that of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, since it purportedly places in the highest office the most scholarly personality of the oldest and more revered Islamic University in the Sunni world, al-Azhar University. In fact, Dr. Tantawi had previously held the position of the Grand Mufti of Egypt for almost a decade, after which the great leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, impressed with his services to Islam, promoted him to the office of Shaykh al-Azhar. Hosni Mubarak should be thanked for promoting Dr. Tantawi to his office, and this promotion shows not only the credentials of the learned Doctor, but also the care and concern that this three-decade veteran leader of Egypt has for the cause of Islam.

.tantawyDr. Sayyid Tantawi hardly needs an introduction, for he has already established a reputable career, and his resume boasts of such fatwas as the one which encourages Muslim women in France to abandon the headscarf so that they may be in conformity with French law. It appears, however, that the venerable Shaykh understands that his role cannot stop at merely removing the headscarf from our sisters. In his concern for the welfare of the Ummah, he has now taken an even bolder step.

In case some are still unfamiliar with the details of the event which occurred two days ago, here are the details which have been reported by a number of reliable eye-witnesses and the media. When the Grand Shaykh was invited to address a group of young female high-school students, he noticed one of them wearing a face-veil (niqab). This seemed to irritate his Excellency rather mightily, and, his conscience so roused, he proceeded to ask the supercilious girl to remove her veil (of course, he is not the first person to do so, having been preceded by the likes of Jack Straw and Tony Blair, amongst other honorable mentions). The girl refused, and said rather innocently that it was her habit to wear it, and she did not show her face to strangers. The Shaykh’s sense of right became even more miffed, so he proceeded to pontificate rather starkly, “The niqab is nothing but culture – it has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with the religion of Islam.” Thus buttressed, he then boldly asked her once again to take off the intimidating cloth. Rather surprisingly, the young girl rejected the demands of the senior-most religious authority in Egypt, stood her ground, and once again reiterated that she was uncomfortable with any man seeing her. The esteemed scholar could not take such an insult to his honorable demand so lightly, nor could he allow a sixteen-year old girl to get the better of him!  The temerity of such a girl deserved that the Grand Shaykh put her in her place. Gathering all the might and courage that he needed – for 16 year old girls are known for their tempers and bad moods – he charged on, blasting, “I have already told you that the niqab has absolutely nothing to do with the religion, and it is something that is from custom!” To drive the point home, he added, in a crude Egyptian vernacular, “…and I know the religion better than you, and those who gave birth to you (i.e., your parents).” Of course, such langues was completely justified, as how else was the coarse and ill-mannered young lady going to be taught the refined manners of Islam? Petrified and terrified, intimidated and bullied by a man four times her age, embarrassed in front of her peers and teachers and media by the highest-ranking religious authority in the land, the young lady felt she had no choice but to take off the blameworthy fabric. The Shaykh of al-Azhar, satisfied and vindicated, threw in his final blow, to really put the girl in her place, and teach her a well-deserved lesson that she would never forget. Outdoing his crude expression of a few moments ago by a number of exponential notches, he said, “Ama law kunti hilwa shuwaya la-amilti eh?”

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Alas! English simply cannot do justice to the coarseness and incivility of the Shaykh’s street-manner talk (which, of course, the impudent young girl fully deserved). While the vulgarity and tone of the language might fool some people, in fact what the Shaykh really did was to skillfully and subtly demonstrate that, despite his high office and erudite mastery of the religion, he was completely in tune with the riff-raffs and hooligans of the alleyways of Cairo. A rough translation – albeit without the vulgar connotations of the Arabic (and my apologies to our English readers for the loss of the coarseness) – would be, “So if you were even a little beautiful, what would you have done then?” The implication, of course, was that the egotistical girl was presuming herself to be worthy of participating in a beauty pageant, hence covering her face out of fear of tempting others. Little did she realize that she was not even qualified to use the adjective ‘beautiful’ in the same sentence as her name! The wise and nurturing religious father-figure of the nation made sure that the self-esteem of this young sixteen year old girl would forever be shattered – so let all teachers pay heed to the lessons that the Shaykh imparts through his astounding pedagogical skills.

It is comforting to know that the ex-Grand Mufti is more knowledgeable than we are (of course, in his humbleness and humility, he only restricted his greater knowledge to ‘the girl and those who gave birth to her’, but we all understand that it was only his modesty that precluded more epithets, and allowed the self-praise to be so restrained). Thank God for that, for indeed us simpletons are in need of his seemingly unrestrained knowledge (not to mention his perfect mannerisms and gentle nature).

For indeed, a cursory reading of the hadith literature to people of lesser knowledge such as ourselves shows that the face veil (niqab) was quite common amongst the wives and female Companions of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

The niqab appears to have been so common, in fact, that before the only Hajj the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam ever performed, as he was instructing people regarding the rites of this Sacred Journey, he had to give a general command to all women that they should not wear the niqab during the state of ihram (al-Bukhari in his Saheeh). To an untrained mind, this would indicate that the custom of wearing a niqab had at least some prevalence, or else there would have been no need to caution against it (after all, it’s not as if there is a specific hadith prohibiting women from wearing mink fur coats during ihram). One wonders whether perhaps these noble ladies from amongst the Companions had managed to import this un-Islamic practice from Persia (for the learned Shaykh did not tell us which culture it was imported from?) even before Persian customs reached Arabia – an amazing feat indeed!

To further confound us simpletons, we read in the Sunan of Abu Dawud and other sources, that Aishah (r) would lower her loose scarf over her face even during the state of ihram (thus effectively veiling it) when male riders passed them by. Apparently, Aisha understood that the prohibition for wearing niqab only applied to using that cloth, and not to the actual covering of the face (similar to the fact that men cannot wear trousers during ihram but must still cover that portion of the body with other materials). Lest some misguided individual, infatuated with the Roman (?) custom of veiling, inform us that this veiling was specific for the wives of the Prophet, perhaps our very knowledgeable Mufti can better educate us as to how to understand the narration in the Muwatta of Imam Malik, which states that Fatima b. al-Mundhir used to cover her face in the state of ihram in a similar manner that Aisha did?

And while we are on the subject, perhaps the erudite scholar can also explain how Umm Khallad, another female Companion, was seen wearing a face veil by the Prophet and other Companions? In one tradition (recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud), we learn that after a certain battle, she was seen hurrying to and fro, searching for her son to see if he were still alive. The companions were amazed that even in such a frantic state of mind, she had covered herself with a veil. One of them commented at her veiled state, at which she replied, “Even if I have lost my son, I shall not suffer the loss of my modesty!” A pity that our ex-Grand Mufti and Shaykh al-Azhar were not present there, for if he were, he would have told her that he was more knowledgeable of the rules of modesty that she was!

It is indeed confounding to simpletons who lack the grace and mastery of books that the Shaykh does to find narration upon narration that seems to assume that wearing a face veil was common practice amongst the earliest of generations. In one, we find that Aishah (r) was recognized by Safwan b. Mu`attal in the ‘Incident of the Slander’ only because he had seen her before the revelation of the verses of hijab (thus clearly showing that Aishah, at the very least, understood from these verses that she must cover her face). In another narration, we find that `Umar b. al-Khattab recognized Safiyya after the revelation of the verses of hijab by her gait, thus again indicating that he could not see her face (both narrations in the Sahih of al-Bukhari).

What perturbs the lesser-educated minds of the Ummah is that this pernicious custom of obscuring the face seems to have crept into this nation rather early. Regarding the interpretation of Surah Ahzab, verse 33, which commands women to ‘…not display your beauty like the women of Jahiliyya did,’ al-Tabari’s Tafsir tells us that even the Companions differed amongst themselves regarding whether the face was a part of that beauty which should be covered or not. It appears that the Shaykh al-Azhar was able to detect something which even the Companions missed: that the face covering had nothing to do with Islam! The pervasive insidiousness of this imported fabric was not limited to the Companions, however. We find each and every classical work of legal jurisprudence –  from al-Nawawi’s Majmu to Ibn Qudamah’s Mughni to Ibn Abideen’s Radd al-Muhtar to Ibn Abd al-Barr’s al-Tamhid – have sections dedicated to this issue. Peculiarly, we find all four classical Sunni schools of law discussing the legal status of the niqab, in numerous major work of fiqh, written throughout the centuries of Islam. In fact, we even find schools of law outside of the four, such as Ibn Hazm’s al-Muhalla, that discuss this issue. It is indeed great Providence that we have been blessed with the pedantic wisdom of the Shaykh of the Azhar for being able to cut through and expose such a large conspiracy, which spanned the entire geographic regions of the Ummah, and reached back to the earliest of our times. Without his insight, it would be quite easy for someone to believe that the niqab has been a part of the Islamic tradition from its very inception.

One cannot help but sympathize with someone as learned as Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is not exactly known for conservative views, yet still says,

“Those who believe that niqab is an innovation or forbidden are ignorant, and by this they lie about the Law of God. The least that can be said about the issue of niqab is that it is merely permissible.”

That is why we need government appointed Shaykhs of al-Azhar, to correct such misunderstandings in the wisest and most fatherly of fashions, and to make sure that rash, impetuous young girls are taught the mercy of our religion and the beauty of our mannerisms.

All I can say is: with scholars like these….who needs the French?!

Please note:

1- The purpose of this article is not to discuss the legal ruling of the niqab, but rather to prove that it existed in our tradition and is a part of Islamic culture; whether it is mubah, or mustahab, or wajib is beyond the scope of our discussion.


2- On a personal note, while I do not unconditionally encourage sisters living in America to wear the niqab, I most certainly do not discourage them from doing so, and believe it is their legal and Islamic right to do if they choose to do so.


3- Sarcasm is allowed in our religion when the situation calls for it – and this one most certainly did :) .


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Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.



  1. mohammed

    October 7, 2009 at 1:54 AM

    Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

    Wallahi Ya Shaikh I was waiting for some scholar to condemn this TRASH ( the so called Scholar)….May Allah reward you for this….

    • Abed

      October 7, 2009 at 6:41 AM

      Wa ‘alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu

      I doubt Sh. Yasir Qadhi took the time to write this article as he did, i.e. well-written, perhaps tactfully, so that we could “condemn” and call others “trash.” as he pointed out in the end this was not the point of the article. in short, though it may be difficult please have some respect, akhi.

      • mohammed

        October 7, 2009 at 10:06 AM

        Salam Akhi Abed,

        What will you call somebody who forcefully remove the hijab of your sister or mother? Will you have respect for him? I have read about the lives of the sahaba and they dint have any respect for such people who created fitna in the muslim community. I can give you examples but anyways the point here is that this person is known for making halal as haram and haram as halal. I do have lot of respect for scholars who had different opinions but this person had opinions contradicting Quran and Sunnah. Oh did you read the translation of what he said in the end?

        ” If you were little beautiful you could have done it”

        He forces her to remove her niqab and then look at her and give his sick comments….I am sorry akhi I have no respect whatsoever for this guy….

        • Abed

          October 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM

          Wa ‘alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu akhi Mohammed

          I sympathize, empathize, and more or less agree with what you have said. I definitely do not respect what happened, how it happened, and so forth, but I quote the author though it was in sarcastic tone, “are taught the mercy of our religion and the beauty of our mannerisms.”

          Is it not a bit hypocritical of us then to take his disgraceful speech, i.e. what you quoted, and spit it right back at him? We do this too easily and too often. Personally growing up in the west we might disassociate with our subcontinental or middle eastern or whatever diaspora, culture, etc. precisely b/c we realize that respect (and thus authority that comes with it) is not just automatic but earned.

          By respect I’m not saying let’s concoct a reward–in the least let’s not promptly jump ship and be flammatory b/c if there’s a wind/fire behind these sort of things that we hate (and justly hate) then in being so quick to be flammatory (disrespectful) we are potentially just adding to it.

          Consider, for example, a hypothetical situation that he turns around and completely apologizes? Despite the damage being done are we going to let anger get the best of our judgment?

          Again I don’t agree with what was said and done and as you said the closer to home this happened the more infuriated I’d be, too. But I don’t want to fall into the trick or trap that, for example, someone who is watching me, someone who does not have the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah in their life or does not turn to it, would find my “Islamic” character either disgusting or arguably worse… laughable.

          I was told, no, rather taught this past weekend that respect is a missing ingredient in society, that “even a criminal deserves respect.” Upon hearing that I almost wanted to cry, hearing all that the reality dawned on me how legitimate these sayings were and that we do much the opposite, rather the degree to which respect is absent makes us treat people, the ones closest to us included, as if they were criminals. Personally if I want to change this about myself I can’t afford to treat others disrespectfully, I can’t afford to keep cultivating this stuff, and I just simply want to remind others to this, that’s all.

          • Mohammed

            October 8, 2009 at 1:12 AM

            Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Akhi Abed,

            I will only tell you that let us just make dua that Allah makes it easy on our sisters in egypt and other places…Everyone deserves respect but arrogant people like these needs to be condemned in public so you tell the world that you are free from them and their fatwas have nothing to do with Islam…

            trust me there is nothing wrong in calling such people trash….our sahabas did use such words to refer such people whose fatwas were completely alien to islam…..they condemned innovators and critiqued the narrators of reports, in sincerity to Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
            Also to attack someones privacy, he would have been even punished in USA if she filed a lawsuit against him…

            anyways akhi, I got your point and May Allah reward you for your intentions….

      • Alamin Ahmed

        October 7, 2009 at 11:08 AM

        Respect does not come automatically. One need to earn it. Don’t think of respect as cheap. This “trash” does not deserve respect, rather need to be thrown out in prison.

        • mohammed

          October 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

          Salam Akhi Alamin,

          This guy needs to be punished for what he did. Forcing a girl to remove her niqab and then commenting about how she looks.

          He said he knows more about islam then that girl and the ones who gave her birth. This is peak of arrogance and ignorance. Iblees was arrogant and had so much pride…

          Recorded in Musnad Ahmad hadeeth # 20335 that Abu Dhar said, “I was in the presence of the Prophet (peace be upon him) one day and I heard him saying, ‘There is something more I fear for my Ummah than the Dajjaal.’

          It was then that I became afraid, so I said, ‘O Rasoolullaah! Which thing is it that you fear for your Ummah more than the Dajjaal?’ He [the Prophet] said, ‘Misguided and astray scholars.’

        • Abul Layth

          October 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM

          “Trash” is certainly too respectful. We can all think of harsher words that would truly embody the state of this Shayton!

        • Bint A

          October 7, 2009 at 3:19 PM

          Respect aside, I do not think it is wise to accumulate back biting on our scale of deeds in any circumstance.

          Need I remind, back biting is about information that is true…

          The least we can do is protect our good deeds from being given to him!

          • mohammed

            October 8, 2009 at 2:59 AM

            Sister salam,

            This is not back biting…He has done this in public so we are condemning it in public….May Allah reward you for your intentions but 100% this is not backbiting…Need proofs from Quran and Sunnah let me know inshallah and I will post it here….

          • slaveofAllah4lyf

            October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

            after seeing many videos about wats happening outside of the hostels of Azhar to our sisters, how they had been pushed out, their luggage thrown out, etc………i just want to meet the piece of crap taunt-awi…and then simply break tht piece of craps head….the dog mouth piece of husni mubarak

          • Bint A

            October 8, 2009 at 5:55 PM

            JazakAllahu khair.

            yes you are right about condemning him in public, yet that still does not call for us to steep so low as to call anybody “trash”, “crap”, “dog mouth” and so forth.

            Sh. Yasir has effectively condemned him in public yet he did not resort to such names himself.

            Just a reminder insha’Allah…
            w’Allahu A’lam

      • slaveofAllah4lyf

        October 7, 2009 at 11:33 AM

        Assalaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh…..

        in this thing i agree with brother Muhammad, coz if i was there…tht guy wud be in some hospital….no1 has the ryt to insult my sister who stood firm in her grounds for wearing a niqab….NOT EVEN THE “GREATEST MUSLIM “SCHOLAR”” present on earth ryt now…n who not directly but indirectly blames the Prophet (PBUH) of copying the mushriks…n tht guy even speaks arrogantly…howevermuch he may read books on Islam…he may still be jahil coz knowledge is not just knowing something but also action..this guys more jahil thn alim


    • mohammed

      October 8, 2009 at 2:55 AM

      Watch this video from Al Jazeera…Your heart will cry for these sisters..
      even non muslims in US respect those rights…It will make you so depressed to see how our sisters are treated in muslim countries for just wearing extra cloth on their face and trying to please Allah….Man it is ok for girls to wear minis and shorts ….Can that same Tantawi issue fatwa banning that…or according to him that has something to do with Islam (Naozo Billah).

      Where are the men in egypt to stand up for these sisters?

      Quran 14:42, “Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the Zalimun do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.”

      Thats the day, the signs of which have already started to appear…
      May Allah make us among the ones who will get Al Firdaus…Ameen

      Egpytian niqab row after campus ban – 08 Sept 09

    • Alhamdullilah

      October 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM

      Asalamu Alaykum,

      No matter how we may differ or how far someone may be off the mark, we ourselves are still bound by the parameters of our religion and our Lord and held accountable in ourselves to abide by and hold to good manners. We must watch ourselves, because Allah is watching.

      Asalamu alaykum

  2. Osman

    October 7, 2009 at 1:59 AM


    jazaakallahu Sheikh for writing on this incident. I was astounded when I read about it in the Singapore papers just an hour ago. They’re going to use what he’s said against the hijaab and niqaab all over the world, esp the French!

    • MuslimaA

      October 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM

      This is what I am afriad of, the west or a not so religious government heads using it as an example of shaykh al azhar fatwa on niqaab/hijab.

  3. Abu Abdaen

    October 7, 2009 at 2:20 AM

    This is very disheartening. It is surely a sad day in the history of this ummaah. My heartfelt sympathy goes to the young muslm sister and the entire ummaah. I can only say with Scholars like these, who needs the Zionists murderers.

    I pray that Allaah, The Irresistible & The Overwhelming, gives him what he deserves and all those of His ilks. Aamin.

  4. UmmQudsiya

    October 7, 2009 at 2:39 AM

    Asalam alaykum,

    JazakaAllahu Khairan brother Yasir Qadhi. SubhanaAllah Allah throws signs your way as you need them. I was asking Allah (swt) this morning to guide me to the right way as I am considering wearing the veil inshaAllah. This article has strengthen my decision and made me aware of the challenges I might face not just from family but also those calling claiming to know better.

    JazakaAllahu khairan again once.

    • imran

      October 7, 2009 at 11:02 PM

      Maybe he’s become senile in old age. But he still have the capacity to trim his beard right down to a George Michael’s look-alike

    • Umar

      October 8, 2009 at 12:40 AM

      Assalam walaikum Sr. UmmQudsiya,

      Do not be discouraged from such impudent comments by such people. Just always keep in mind that the wives of the Prophet (S) wore the veil and they were the best women of the believers, so inshallah you should strive to be like them and ignore such foolishness. May Allah bless us all with ilm and iman and make our tests easy for us inshallah.

  5. Pingback: Egypt cleric Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi 'to ban full veils' - Page 2

  6. Mohamed Magdi

    October 7, 2009 at 2:52 AM

    Here is the irony, as to all things related with Scholars of such ilk: If you look in his works before he became a political mouthpeice, he actually takes the “Academic” opinion that covering the face is Fard.

    • Ammar

      October 7, 2009 at 9:04 PM

      Asalamu Alikum,

      Would you have the sources for this (available online, that is)?

  7. Nadya A

    October 7, 2009 at 3:08 AM

    Shaykh YQ, jazakAllahu khair.

  8. Safaa

    October 7, 2009 at 3:16 AM

    JazakAllahu Khairn Shaykh!

    May Allah swt forgive and guide us all

  9. Omar

    October 7, 2009 at 3:18 AM

    Well, Shaykh Tantawi may indeed have the highest official position, but in my experience, he doesn’t have much sway with the Egyptian masses. The only Muslims to be convinced by this are probably ones who were anti-niqab to begin with.

    It’s one thing to hold that opinion (and no matter how outrageous or wrong it may be, grant him the benefit of the doubt. We have all heard great scholars – classical and contemporary – come up with opinions that are “out there”. They are fallible humans). What was thoroughly inappropriate is his insistence on forcing that opinion on her and embarrassing her.

  10. Fiaz

    October 7, 2009 at 3:19 AM

    I dont quite understand the slight dig on ShaykhYusuf al-Qaradawi. To state ‘supposedly learned’ shows either ignorance or obvious lack of respect for the level of knowledge of the Shaikh. Maybe some of these US/UK scholars need to be reminded that whilst they were still in Western High Schools others had become teachers of the Ulema.

    • MM Associates

      October 7, 2009 at 4:04 AM

      I do not think Sh. Yasir Qadhi was questioning the knowledge of Sh. Yusuf Qaradawi. I think it was part of the sarcastic routine.


      • abuhassan

        October 8, 2009 at 2:51 PM

        That’s right. That’s part of his sarcasm. He is not criticizing Sh. Qaradawi.

        This is one of the best articles I have seen in years.

    • Amad

      October 7, 2009 at 5:17 AM

      To the best of my knowledge, Shaykh Yasir holds Shaykh Qaradawi in esteem.

      • SaqibSaab

        October 7, 2009 at 10:34 AM

        YQ & YQ. Makes sense, yeah?

        • Imaanbillah

          October 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM

          best point of all the comments so far

    • Siraaj

      October 7, 2009 at 7:29 AM

      Salaam alaykum,

      Yeah, that’s what I thought when I first read it, but upon re-reading, I realized the “supposedly” was part of the sarcasm which included “supposedly knowledgeable” to all other ulamaa that held the opinion.


    • MW_M

      October 7, 2009 at 8:11 AM

      Yeah, sounded like he was making a dig on Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi as well. Perhaps it could be worded a little bit better?

      • F

        October 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM

        Yeah, I agree. That part can be better worded otherwise it can be easily misunderstood.

    • Ahmad AlFarsi

      October 7, 2009 at 10:32 AM

      It was very obvious to me that the phrase ‘supposedly learned’ was part of the sarcasm.

  11. 17

    October 7, 2009 at 3:24 AM

    yeah you are write abu abaden with scholars like these who needs zionist murders. you know prob these ppl are paid to say stuff like this. you knw ppl should condem this scholar.
    may Allah guide this scholar to the right path again.
    and i wanted to know if sheik yasir qadhi you are the one who come on pece tv i like your speches they are very effect helped me a lot. jazakalahkhair

    • SP

      October 7, 2009 at 5:15 AM

      Jazakallah for the article. and yes this the very shiekh that comes on peace tv (he also appears on several other channels).

      • Fiaz

        October 7, 2009 at 5:50 AM

        point taken…jsk..

  12. Maymuna E

    October 7, 2009 at 3:34 AM

    Brilliant. This piece was definitely called for and the sarcasm MUCH needed.

    Jazaak Allaahu Khayr shaykhana. May Allaah preserve you and your family, and all of our mashaayikh and their families. Ameen.

  13. Wael of London

    October 7, 2009 at 3:45 AM

    I would just lik to correct something regarding the statement:

    “the oldest and more revered Islamic University in the Sunni world, al-Azhar University”

    The oldest Islamic University is the Qaraouiyn University, in Fes, Morocco. Founded in 859. It is in fact considered the oldest continuously operating academic degree-granting university in the world. (The Guinness Book Of Records, Published 1998, ISBN 0-5535-7895-2, P.242).

    Al-Azhar University was founded 970~972, by the Fatimids Dynasty of Egypt, and studies began there in 975, it only became a Sunni centre of learning in the 12th Century when Saladin overthrew the Fatimids.

    • Abed

      October 7, 2009 at 6:43 AM

      jazakallah khayr

  14. Imam Ahmed Saad

    October 7, 2009 at 4:07 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum ya Sheikh Yasir
    May Allah subhanhu wa ta`ala reward you abundantly for this article and yes, the Sheikh’s heinous actions have become so many and wallahi, we in Azhar know that he is there to serve his masters. It is a shame to find someone like this in such a great position that was held by great `ulama like Sheikh Abdel-Halim Mahmoud, Sheikh Al-Bayjuri and Sheikh Salim Al-Bishry…it is a shame but what can we say, may Allah remove him and put right people in the right places

    • ks

      October 7, 2009 at 5:50 AM


      Saudi university critic loses job

      The high-tech centre is meant to break through conservative constraints
      King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has sacked a senior cleric who criticised a new science and technology university which opened in September.
      The cleric, Sheikh Saad al-Shethry, said the mixing of sexes in any university was evil and a great sin.
      He demanded the curriculum should be vetted by Islamic scholars to prevent teaching of “alien ideologies”.

      • Abu Rumaisa

        October 7, 2009 at 9:46 AM

        is anyone surprised? so much for ruling by shariah.. i guess it’s shariah that’s in line with what the king says.

  15. hijabi

    October 7, 2009 at 5:15 AM

    so is Sheikh Yasir being sarcastic the entire article?!?!?!….im a little confused!!…could some one please explain…..who is the sheikh condemning the girl for wearing hijaab or Sheikh Tantawi?

    • Amad

      October 7, 2009 at 5:19 AM

      yes, the entire article is in the same tone…

      It is anti-Tantawi in essence, and not anti-brave-girl-who-stood-up-to-tantawi

    • Ahmad AlFarsi

      October 7, 2009 at 10:37 AM

      The article is condemning Tantawi and supporting the niqabi sister.

  16. Amad

    October 7, 2009 at 5:21 AM

    If the girl was really pretty (and she might have been, don’t really hold his view as credible), tantawi might have issued an instant fatwa REQUIRING her marriage to him… you never know… he seemed to have been on a roll…

    • Ishaq

      October 7, 2009 at 6:11 AM

      Reminds me of that corny Muslim pick up lines…

      “I saw your hair… you are obliged to marry me” lol

      Sorry if someone takes this in a bad way. I only stated it reminded me of that joke.

    • Alhamdullilah

      October 8, 2009 at 9:13 AM

      Akhi, I believe this is wrong, at the least Shaykh Tantawi is our brother in Islam. Because someone makes a mistake, does not give right to others losing their manners and morals of their religion. Do not allow others to be harmed, but also, do not harm others.

  17. Ishaq

    October 7, 2009 at 5:31 AM


    I read something that was extremely shocking to me and shows the signs of the day of judgment. The ex-grand mufti made this comment:

    “…and I know the religion better than you, and those who gave birth to you (i.e., your parents).”

    There is actually a hadith about people who make such claims.

    Hadhrat Abbas (R.A) narrates that Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) has said, “Islam will spread far and wide, across the seas. Horses will cross the land and seas in the cause of Jihaad. Then a time will come wherein a group of people will emerge which recites the Quraan. They will claim,

    ‘We have recited the Quraan and is there anyone who understands the Quraan better than us? There is NO ONE more proficient than us in the study of the Quraan.’

    Then Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) asked the Sahaba, “Do you see any good in their claims?” The Sahaba replied, “No”. Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam) said, “But these conceited claimants will be from my Ummah and will be the fuel of the Fire.”

    from “Signs of Qiyamah” (excerpts)
    by Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair Ali

    • Ishaq

      October 7, 2009 at 6:03 AM

      However with due respect to Sh Tantawi because he is a Muslim we must also consider the fact that he is old or getting old and could possibly be losing his memory. By the way, I don’t mean that as an insult nor am I trying to be sarcastic. I am just trying to come up with an excuse as to why he might have said that especially when there are strong evidences in favor of the niqab being part of Islam and not that of a culture.

      So my excuse on his behalf goes for him losing his memory… dementia etc.

      • farhan

        October 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

        its a lot easier to bash him and call him names so I commend you for writing this as I was thinking the same thing.

        Help your brother whether he is the opressor or the oppressed. Making an excuse for him is the least we can do.

        May Allah forgive him and allow other knowledgable people to do proper damage control.

        We are all fallible as someone else mentioned. Reminds me of an iftar I was at with an esteemed scholar. Someone made mention of a local masjid where a “pingpong master” tought pingpong to the kids after fajr. “ping pong AFTER fajr!?!” the scholar asked rhetorically. The other men around him joined in to denounce someone teaching a game after fajr rather than doing something more productive. The scholar even followed up with a joke saying something to the effect of “guess its better than the ‘pingpong master’ teaching Quran.” The entire conversation centered around belittleing this “pingpong master” for playing games in the masjid in ramadan and went so far as to imply the “pingpong master” couldn’t possibly be learned else why would we do such an unwise thing, rather than giving him benefit of the doubt that maybe he’s up all night doing qiyam with the kids or realizing that maybe he was simply trying to put his God-given skills to the best use. Maybe he wasn’t blessed with ilm in the traditional sense and was using his whatever ability he does have to draw kids to the masjid for suhoor and fajr in jamat who may never attend the masjid otherwise. (all relating back to br. Nouman’s Contradicting Community “rant”)

        I mention this because rather than questioning the scholar, I simply give him benefit of the doubt. He is human like we all are and likely just got caught up in the “joke” of it all if even for a few seconds and deep down realizes and appreciates what the “pingpong masters” of the world have to give to this Ummah.

        May Allah forgive us and continue to guide us. Ameen

  18. Ibn Masood

    October 7, 2009 at 5:40 AM

    That last comment he made… I didn’t know about… outrageously uncalled for…

    BarakAllahu Feekum Shaykh Yasir

  19. Abuhafsa

    October 7, 2009 at 6:01 AM

    JazakAllahu khairan shaykh Yasir for putting my heart at rest. May Allah shine His blessings on those who stand for the truth and invite others to it.

  20. Ahmadi

    October 7, 2009 at 6:04 AM

    Remember everyone there are two things, a Fatwa and a national law passed by the government. A fatwa can be passed but not everyone has to follow it but a national law passed by the government has to be. Just like France can ban the veil in universities, so can Egypt. So he is asking for this and I don’t think he will even try to issue a fatwa – as he knows that he will fail.

    The greatest scholars have taken stances on the niqab, both from a pro and con point of view, almost none of them said it was impermissable.

    “Ama law kunti hilwa shuwaya la-amilti eh?” – and this beautiful quote, in Egyptian 3amiya, is as low as it gets. This guy is no scholar, but a government stooge.

    “Allah yahdee!”

    • MuslimaA

      October 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM


  21. Muna

    October 7, 2009 at 6:15 AM

    That comment he made was horrific, absolutely horrific and it shows what a base, lowly human being the “sheikh” is. But this incident shouldn’t be interpreted as some sort of rallying cry to the pro-niqab sentiments in the umma, not only is the niqab not a fard from the theological standpoint but it’s also entirely at odds with most aspects of modernity, and encouraging the niqab will turn off young Muslim women from their religion in droves.

    • Abu Rumaisa

      October 7, 2009 at 10:11 AM

      not only is the niqab not a fard from the theological standpoint but it’s also entirely at odds with most aspects of modernity, and encouraging the niqab will turn off young Muslim women from their religion in droves.

      from a theological standpoint there are two camps – one that says it’s obligatory & the other that says it’s preferred.

      one doesn’t base islamic ruling on it fits with modernity, many even argue that hijab doesn’t fit well iwth modernity. Dating, partying like there’s no tomorrow, free mixing of sexes, equality when it comes to inheritance, hudood punishments & many more don’t fit well with modernity… are we going to change our deen to fit in?

      • Calcutta Express

        October 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM

        I heard homosexuality is big these days :)

      • zahra

        October 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM

        I agree with Muna. It never ends when it comes to the degree a woman should hide herself. What the Sheikh said was rude but this is a 13-14 yr old girl, perhaps just starting puberty. Niqab? This “more is better” is the same logic some Muslims use to deny women education and keep them prisoners of their homes. They have lots of Islamic proofs too to back up their particular way. Perhaps the old man was having a knee jerk reaction to a phenomenon he knows is not necessarily good. Choosing to dress a certain way and being pressured to – to ensure you are good enough or worse legal punishments are two very different things.

        • mohammed

          October 8, 2009 at 11:07 AM

          Salam Sister,

          What about freedom to practice her religion? So if you think that old trash has islamic back up so please present us with some….When people dont object to nudity in public then why do they object when it comes to niqab…thats also freedom and personal choice? Does that trash has any right to force his opinion on anyone? Those girls in egypt wearing niqab are not prisoners..they are getting educated….the main point here is their right…they want to observe niqab so they should have every right to do so…

          If you are trying to say that their was no niqab at the time of Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) or the sahaba then you need to get us proofs…that old trash might not have any proofs ….I did present proofs for niqab in my previous posts if you want i can re post it…JazakAllah…

          ( FYI – do not ask me to respect that man)

      • Muna

        October 7, 2009 at 3:42 PM

        Yes, it is completely at odds with every aspect of modernity, it makes a woman’s life very difficult, it can’t be compared to not partying and not succumbing to the immoral norms of modern society. That straw man doesn’t work in this case, equating a rejection to the niqab with acceptance of the deviant behavior such as homosexuality is dishonest. However, despite all this, the main reason I think the niqab shouldn’t be pushed is because it just casts Islam in an unappealing light, especially in the eyes of those who matter most, young Muslim girls.

        • MuslimahCA

          October 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

          To each her own!

          I think many civil rights group in America were seen as a problem to the foundations of this country, if everyone stopped at the command of others who feel uncomfortable, African Americans would still be slaves.

          This is a extreme comparison, but the last thing I am is a person who conforms to society when they feel uncomfortable with something that only makes me closer to Allah.

          The sisters who would turn away from Islam because wearing a niqaab is the thing to do, probably have other questions and issues they need to deal with like aqeedah and their eman.

          To each her own, but when another sister is being yelled at and insulted by a hight scholar in the sunni community, he needs to get checked and her rights as a Muslimah needs to be protected, by everyone not just the pro niqaab folks.

          Today it may be the issue of the niqaab the western society feels uncomfortable with but tomorrow it can be the beard, the actually head covering and maybe even the Quran (already happening in Europe).

          I am not even a niqaabi, but I loves and will protect her sisters who wear it!

          • Umar

            October 8, 2009 at 12:54 AM

            Assalamwalaikum MuslimaCA,

            I couldn’t have said it better myself. Stand for the truth no matter who oppose you, for Allah will be there with you.

  22. Zainab (AnonyMouse)

    October 7, 2009 at 6:18 AM

    Ah, the things you can find in Egypt… :)

    • Amaturrahmaan

      October 7, 2009 at 11:00 AM

      That’s what I was thinking lol :)

  23. Mehedi

    October 7, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    JazakaAllahu Khairan brother Yasir Qadhi. May Allah give us all the tawfiq to speak out against these evil arrogant “shaykhs”. May Allah guide us all to what is good. Ameen.

  24. Huddi

    October 7, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    I love you so much Sheikh Yasir, fi sabeelillah. Jazaakallah Khair for taking a stand against this. May Allah disgrace and defame ‘Scholars’ such as these, and raise and protect the true Scholars of Islam. And May Allah gain Muslims victory when it comes to issues concerning the Niqab and Hijab around the world, and in all matters.

  25. Saimah

    October 7, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    BarakAllahu Feek Sh. Yasir.

  26. cotton eye joe

    October 7, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    Thank God Sh. Yasir revealed he was being sarcastic- I nearly thought MM sold out!
    Kudos to the niqaabi sister for standing up to him.

  27. AbdelRahman Murphy

    October 7, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    I literally heard someone say, a few days ago, “You see man?! There are NO scholars in Al Azhar.”

    Let us be careful not to paint with a broad brush in regards to this incident. Tantawi is definitely not representative of the Ulema of Al Azhar in any sort of majority.

    May Allah guide us all.

    • Imaanbillah

      October 7, 2009 at 7:55 AM

      Let’s not forget out dear dear Imam Suhaib Webb

    • MM Associates

      October 7, 2009 at 12:11 PM

      Brother AbdelRahman, you are exactly right.


    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

      October 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM

      Of course you are correct Abdel Rahman. But when the head of an institution behaves in such a manner, it cannot help but discredit the institution. For this the blame falls on Tantawi and on Mubarak.

      Of course no institution is perfect, and the shortcomings of our Muslim universities, despite all the khayr that comes from them, are well known to any who have attended or spoken with those who have attended.

      As Shaykh Suhaib himself always advises, there’s no need to belive in imaginary utopias.

      Allaahu’l Musta’an.

  28. Muslim

    October 7, 2009 at 6:52 AM


    This is disgusting, tasteless and is not an honest article aiming for truth, but rather to ridicule others we simply dont agree with.

    I see a lot of bitter sarcasm and resentment rather than the correction of ideas and facts. I really think the respect level within the ummah for scholars (and even people between each other as Muslim brothers) has diminished.. Even for those who are not scholars, you just dont put them down like that, one has to show self-integrity as well when dealing with such matters.

    May Allah swt guide us all.

    • Yasir Qadhi

      October 7, 2009 at 7:07 AM

      Had the Shaykh respected himself, I would have respected him. Even if he had merely asked her to remove her niqab and said that he believed it was not recommended, it would not have warranted the sarcasm above.

      But to insist in such a crude manner that she take it off, to throw around and boast of his superior status, and to then insult a young girl about her looks in public – either he is mentally insane or else his arrogance has gotten the better of him.

      Correction of ideas and facts? There is no fact that needs to be corrected when you make such statements as the ‘Shaykh’ of al-Azhar; the only thing that needs to be corrected is his ego.

      And Ameen to your duas!

      • AbuMubarak

        October 7, 2009 at 7:16 AM


        I wholeheartedly with you on this issue. When a “scholar” demeans himself, the muslims, a young muslim sister and his deen, are we to show him any “respect”?

        This goes beyond mere disagreement, but presenting yourself as an opponent to everything Islam stands for. He deserves much worse treatment. I am sure we can bring many examples from those before us who would have responded much more harshly.

        A good example is, if a muslim sister is standing behind a wall, conversating with me, and there is no problem hearing her or in our communication, and I ask her to come from behind the wall, merely so I can gaze upon her, that is an insulting request. At no time am I to impose my wants over a sister’s desire of modesty.

        I am not to ask her to take off her gloves, or her shades, or any type of reduction in her level of comfort for her modesty.

        Its as if I were to ask a sister to post her picture here so I could see who I am speaking.

        This is insulting behavior from any muslim man, and much worse from a “scholar”.

      • AbdelRahman Murphy

        October 7, 2009 at 7:23 AM

        either he is mentally insane or else his arrogance has gotten the better of him.

        He’s 81 years old, there’s a possibility of legitimate dementia here, and we know that in the eastern systems that psychological disorders aren’t diagnosed as well as here in the west.

        • Ibn Masood

          October 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM

          That’s what I originally thought (read: hoped for) when I first read the article on BBC/IslamOnline…

          I’m like… no way… he’s probably just in the applesauce and raisins phase…

          Allahu Alam

        • Ahmad AlFarsi

          October 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM

          If that is indeed the case (which I really doubt, given his track record of previous statements and fatawa), it shows the utterly sad state of the Egyptian government in keeping a demented individual as the head of any office…

          • Ikhlas

            October 7, 2009 at 1:47 PM

            I agree with be Ahmed, considering his previous fatwas, this doesnt come across as a big shock.

          • MuslimahCA

            October 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

            Where can I find his previous fatwa’s?

            Jazakhum Allahu kheiran in advance

        • Ishaq

          October 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

          Yeah thats the explanation I went with to to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      • SP

        October 8, 2009 at 3:08 AM

        Yes I agree he did disrespect himself but does that give us the right to disrespect him. Its a similar situation to a person who boasts of sins, just because he tells others does that allow us to reveal his sins to other people?

        Remember I am no shiekh am just a mere a normal person with very little knowledge, so if i am wrong please do correct me. I will really appreciate it.

    • AbuMubarak

      October 7, 2009 at 7:09 AM

      Muslim, i disagree. Knowledge and education come in many forms. I found the article to be well written and very on point

    • mohammed

      October 7, 2009 at 11:54 AM

      Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

      I dont mean to offend you with this but I really want to know your reaction if someone forcefully removes the hijab of your sister or mother and passes some low level comments on them in public. How will you react? You have complete freedom to express your opinion and also complete freedom to remain ignorant. If you would have read this article completely you would have not said what you said…This trash needs to be dumped….Yes I mean it…He has done a crime according to shariah…If this was the era of Sahaba, this old man would have been flogged… “GRAND CRAP OF EGYPT”

      Recorded in Musnad Ahmad hadeeth # 20335 that Abu Dhar said, “I was in the presence of the Prophet (peace be upon him) one day and I heard him saying, ‘There is something more I fear for my Ummah than the Dajjaal.’
      It was then that I became afraid, so I said, ‘O Rasoolullaah! Which thing is it that you fear for your Ummah more than the Dajjaal?’ He [the Prophet] said, ‘Misguided and astray scholars.’

  29. Huddi

    October 7, 2009 at 7:01 AM


    @ Muslim

    he said, “Ama law kunti hilwa shuwaya la-amilti eh?” roughly translates to “So if you were even a little beautiful, what would you have done then?” after he saw her.

  30. AbuMubarak

    October 7, 2009 at 7:06 AM

    I was wondering where it is allowed to use sarcasm, as he states at the very end of the article

  31. Kamran

    October 7, 2009 at 7:12 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    JazakAllahu Khairan to brother Yasir for the article.

    Whilst Al-Tantawi’s rant will provide fuel for the arguments of the legislators in the West as well as the average Joe, it is hoped that structured, evidence based responses from our Scholars (May Allah preserve them all) will mean that those that previously doubted the legitimicy of the veil, retract their criticisms and stop the persecution of our sisters in Islam.

    “Surely, Allah gives support to this religion (i.e. Islam) even through [the acts and sayings of] an evil man.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari).


  32. Yusuf Smith

    October 7, 2009 at 7:22 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    This is the second time this snake Tantawi has bullied and ridiculed a Muslimah for doing the right thing. Much as I hate to agree with Yvonne Ridley, a few years ago he insisted on shaking her hand and publically criticised her, and converts in general, for following extreme positions. Of course, if he is so knowledgeable, he should know that shaking hands is not permissible between men and women outside immediate families. Perhaps he gets some kind of kick out of humiliating Muslim women like this?

    A few years ago I read in Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad’s book Key to the Garden that in some countries, judges are appointed by just picking them up by the roadside. I took that as an exaggeration, but this “grand mufti” acts like he’s just some guy the government put in there to do their bidding. What a despicable excuse for a Muslim he is.

    • Ibn Masood

      October 7, 2009 at 7:53 AM

      With a government like Egypt’s that allegation holds a lot of weight.

    • Imaanbillah

      October 7, 2009 at 8:00 AM

      While there is ikhtilaf on the issue of shaking hands (correct me if I’m wrong anyone). The issue here is respecting a woman or any Muslims or any human beings personal beliefs! SubhanAllah!

      • Yusuf Smith

        October 7, 2009 at 9:26 AM

        As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

        The soundest position has always been that it is forbidden. There is simply no excuse when the man is a so-called scholar and the woman has refused because it’s haraam. It’s not like a man shaking hands with a woman who isn’t Muslim and doesn’t know it’s haraam.

        • MuslimahCA

          October 7, 2009 at 4:48 PM

          She didn’t shake his hand?

          May Allah be pleased with her, she is an amazing woman, we gave her a ride back to her hotel when she visited our community!

      • mohammed

        October 7, 2009 at 12:04 PM


        There is no ikhtilaf in shaking hands sister,

        Will you take hadith of Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) or opinion of someone claims to be whatever mufti or scholar?

        Read this

        the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh from ‘Urwah, from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), in which she told the story of how the women gave their bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She said: “No, by Allaah, his hand never touched the hand of any woman when accepting the oath of allegiance, all he said was, ‘I accept your oath of allegiance on this basis.’”

        And Ahmad narrated with a saheeh isnaad from Umaymah bint Raqeeqah that she said: “I came to the Messenger of Allaah (S) with other women to give the oath of allegiance to him, and he accepted our pledge to abide by what is in the Qur’aan… We said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, will you not shake hands with us?’ He said, ‘I do not shake hands with women. Rather what I say to a hundred woman is what I would say to one woman.’”

        It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.”

    • akim

      October 7, 2009 at 9:38 AM

      why do you hate to agree with Yvonne Ridley?

      • Yusuf Smith

        October 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

        Because she’s an extremist, and has praised, among others, Mus’ab Zarqawi.

        • Imran

          October 7, 2009 at 8:53 PM


        • SP

          October 8, 2009 at 3:17 AM

          So define an extrimist? … someone who does not conform to your way of thought and Islam? Extremist is such a subjective word.

  33. Pingback: Indigo Jo Blogs

  34. Ibn Mikdad

    October 7, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

    This article, in its own weird way, fits quite well in the “Islam for sale” series, don’t you think? Great article; I would love to see what the ultra – pure “salafis” who uncritically defend the actions of the Saudi royal family have to say about the firing of the scholar who was just doing his job: advising a ruler to behave in accordance with shairah. When such “scholars” start yelling at everyone for questioning them, I hope to see another article like this one on MM.


  35. Maddie

    October 7, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    I don’t mean any offense but the girl is actually 12 years old not a high schooler.
    Jazakom Allah Khairan. Tantawy deserves punishment.

    • Abdullah Badr

      October 7, 2009 at 8:43 AM

      Actually there appears to be some discrepancy regarding her age. This newscaster said she was twelve, but then the eyewitness corrected him and said she was ‘ the age of puberty’.

      This is an interesting interview, especially the reactions of the newscaster:

      • Reem

        October 7, 2009 at 12:09 PM

        most girls are ‘at the age of puberty’ at 12…. and with different school systems she could very well be in ‘high school’.

  36. Nihal Khan

    October 7, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    Alhamdulillah. Jazakam Allahu Khayr Sh. Yasir for speaking about this issue.

  37. HijabMan

    October 7, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    I think sarcasm is a low form of communication.

    • Ibn Mikdad

      October 7, 2009 at 7:56 AM

      You website explains why that doesn’t matter.

    • brother bruce

      October 7, 2009 at 9:23 AM

      The Qur’an uses sarcasm.

      • Imaanbillah

        October 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM

        ‘fabashirhum bi adhabin aleem” (Surah Ishiqaq:24)

        – So give them glad tidings of a severe punishment

        • Amani

          October 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM

          You are using English to translate an arabic term that has many underlying connotations. No, this usage of Tabsheer is not sarcasm, astagfurAllah. Tabsheer can be used in the positive and in the negative – it is to inform. Just like the word JAZAK – you can say JazakaAllahu sharr al jazaa and you can say JazakaAllahu khairul jaza.. Jazaka is neutral however mostly used in the positive sense. So please, be careful when you say something like this about the Word of Allah swt.

          • Yasir Qadhi

            October 7, 2009 at 2:51 PM

            Actually linguists have differed over this verb; some say this is an instance of sarcasm in the Quran, whereas others say as you have said, that bashshara is generally used for good but rarely used for bad.

            In any case, the next example that Br. Yaseen mentions is always given as a standard example of the usage of sarcasm in the Quran.

            There’s a book by Dr. Abdul Haleem Hifni entitled Uslub al-Sukhriya fi al-Quran, or The Usage of Sarcasm in the Quran, which you can read for more info.

          • SP

            October 8, 2009 at 3:25 AM

            Another sarcastic ayah in the quran can be found in surah najm in the area where Allah swt mentions manat and uzzah (the names of 2 of the three idols in the time of the jahaleeya). These ayahs preceed the so called “Satanic Whispers” which are completely unfounded in Islam

            I apologize I could not write the ayah since I do not know arabic; a shame really.

          • Abu Bakr

            October 8, 2009 at 1:35 PM

            How about

            “Taste, you are mighty, honorable!”

      • Yaseen

        October 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM

        about the people of hellfire:
        “Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water.
        Taste you (this)! Verily, you were the mighty, the generous!”

        Dukhan 48-49

    • MR

      October 7, 2009 at 9:42 AM

      Technically you use sarcasm on your shirts to send a communicate a message.

    • amad

      October 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM

      Sarcasm is probably not the best form of communicating a point in all cases, but I think in this case, it expresses the point better.

    • Asim Khan

      October 8, 2009 at 10:40 AM

      “Sarcasm is a low form of communication?”… and that comment comes from someone named “HijabMan”…hmmmm thats pretty ironic

  38. ummfatima

    October 7, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Jazakallahu shaykh Yasir..Yah Allah Grant us the understanding of deen Grant us the ilm to recognize haqq and baatil..


  39. HijabMan

    October 7, 2009 at 7:49 AM

    And since when does ‘allowed’ mean ‘good’?

    Coke is allowed. But it is certainly not good for your body :-P

    • Siraaj

      October 7, 2009 at 7:53 AM

      If done excessively, it will definitely kill your health – an occasional can of pop/soda will uplift the spirits and do minimal damage. And man, does it taste sweet!


    • AbdelRahman Murphy

      October 7, 2009 at 7:54 AM

      At times Coke could be good for your body. As a trained lifeguard, we were trained that if someone was pale and clammy from lack of glucose intake during the day, we should get them a nice sugary soda to drink in order to boost their levels.

      That aside, if you don’t consider hadith a legal source for Islam (as on your website) then this discussion really has nowhere to go.

      Fare thee well.

    • Imaanbillah

      October 7, 2009 at 8:09 AM

      I’d like to recommend we all review our Usool-Ul-Fiqh Notes, or if we haven’t taken a class in Usool-ul-Fiqh, we should do so ASAP.


  40. Mirza

    October 7, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    While I totally respect everyone’s freedom of choice, I’m strongly against a 100% niqab (enforced/or not) by the name of Islam.
    It’s our time to come forward and face it

    • Nazihah

      October 7, 2009 at 8:31 AM

      I don’t think anyone here is demanding that. It’s simply a practice that exists in our deen, and has proofs to back it up. Those who choose to follow it should not be ridiculed, especially NOT by shaykh of all shaykhs at AL-Azhar.

      With all due respect, if you did respect everyone’s freedom of choice, why would you be “strongly against” this practice?

      I’m still getting over the shock of this incident. subhanAllah. It was so childish, it’s hard to believe it happened.

    • Mehedi

      October 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

      Contradicting comment.

    • Westendraider

      October 7, 2009 at 9:15 AM

      I see that you’re personally against the niqab… what’s puzzling is the injunction against promoting the practice in the name of Islam…

      Why… I see that you didn’t reference any Islamic sources or is it that you are receiving wahy… if that’s the case I suggest changing your name because it’s already taken by a cult…

    • Suhail

      October 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

      And who are you by the way? Prove it to us that it is “Used in the name of Islam” ? Prove it to us that it is against Islam?

    • mohammed

      October 7, 2009 at 12:10 PM

      you respect everyone’s freedom of choice and still you are against a 100% niqab….You know what we call this in simple english? Hypocrisy….It might not be intentional but …I am not judging you nor your intentions but your words….salam

  41. iMuslim

    October 7, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    If anyone was wondering about the sarcastic nature of this article, surely the words: “great leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak”, would be your first clue.

    I have to say, reading those words had me worried for a few microseconds, until I remembered the author, and clicked: “Ah, jokes…”.

  42. Student

    October 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    What’s even more sad is that the entire Al Azhar educational institution is being put to blame by many. After having a conversation with a friend of mine currently studying in Egypt, Al Azhar is seen by the society as no longer what it used to be.

    He described to the traditional scholars that cling on to the historical legacy of the famed university that still exist within Al Azhar and their situation:

    “The ‘ulama that trying to preserve the legacy underground – teaching in non-azhari institutes (the irony), masaajid, and you have the banned organization such as Jabha ‘Ulama Al Azhar ( speaking out against such fatawa and documenting the systematic destruction of the Al Azhar education system (ex: The Jabha ‘ulama Al Azhar have also written what aligns to the real tradition of Al Azhar with regards to the niqab as well here: . ”

    @AbdulRahman -re: Al Azhar as an institution, you would think so but unfortunately that’s not the case.

    It is unfortunate we are living in such times where this intentional tinkering with educational institutions exist within not only Al Azhar, but throughout the Islamic world (the west not being immune to that).

    It is after this recent incident that this same friend shared with the statement of the companion, the source of understanding the view of the sahabah in times of trials and tribulations, the keeper secrets of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,

    Hudhayfah radyaAllahu ‘anhu on his deathbed:

    – دخل أبو مسعود على حذيفة فقال له : ( أعهد إلي Ø› فقال له : ألم يأتك اليقين ! قال : بلى وعزة ربي ،قال : فاعلم أن الضلالة حق الضلالة أن تعرف ما كنت تنكره
    ، وأن تنكر ما كنت تعرفه ، وإياك والتلون فإن دين الله واحد )
    ” سنن البيهقي الكبرى ” : (10/42) ØŒ Ùˆ ” مصنف عبد الرزاق ” : (11/249) ØŒ Ùˆ ” اعتقاد أهل السنة ” – للالكائي – : (1/90) ØŒ Ùˆ ” الإبانة ” : (1/189 .

    Abu Mas’ud entered upon Hudhayfah and said “Advise me.” So he said to him, “Has not clear certainty reached you?” (in another narration he mentions ‘Has not certainty reached you, The Book of Allah ‘azza wa jal?) He replied, “Certainly, by the Honor of my Lord” So he said, “Know that misguidance, true misguidance, is to permit that which you used to forbid, and to condemn that which you used to enjoin. And Beware of at-talawwun, for indeed Allah’s deen is one.”

    Al-Talawwun is to be multi colored; meaning flip flopping.

    It is imperative that we today are directed to by our du’aat the guiding principles in living in this time of fitnah.

    Understanding and knowing the importance of these principles in such times would at least make easy the people’s hearts because we have the guidelines to be saved from them from the the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) who said, ‘There will be a tribulation wherein the minds of men will be seized such that a sound-minded man will hardly be seen.’ (Abu Nu’aym, al-hilyah)

    And Hudhayfah (radhiallahu `anhu) who also said, ‘Alcohol doesn’t take away the minds of men as
    much as Fitnah does.’

    We need to turn to, time and time again, understanding the danger of dealing with these times with no knowledge, and with hastiness, and a false perception of “action that is ‘needed’ for us to turn to.”

    As Ibn Mas’ud (radyAllahu ‘anhu) said, ‘If the people fall into a Fitan and they say ‘Go forth for indeed you
    have a good example amongst the people’ then say to them: ‘There is no good
    example for me when it comes to evil.’

    I would recommend, an amazing work recently published by Shaykh Muhammad Ismail Al Muqaddam entitled:

    بصائر في الفتن
    The Way out of Tribulations
    and parts have been translated, Jazakillahikhairan to Fajr @ wordpress

    In these times, as Hudhayfah radyAllahu ‘anhu mentioned again,

    “A time will come upon the people where none will be saved
    except the one who calls (upon Allah) as if he were drowning.”

    May Allah protect us, our familes, our scholars, and our du’aat, and guide us to stay firm on His religion.

  43. MW_M

    October 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    Any chance that this has been misreported in the media? Does anyone have any confirmation (other than BBC and websites reposting their article) that this did indeed happen?

    • Mehedi

      October 7, 2009 at 8:41 AM

      There’s a number of Muslim news sites reporting it. Simply search the keywords under “Google news”.

      • MW_M

        October 7, 2009 at 9:31 AM

        Well, the NY Times has previously reported that Shaikh Bin Baaz issued the infamous “world-is-flat” fatwa, so I’m gonna wait till some real confirmation before jumping to conclusions. And the article you linked to is not a NY Times article, it’s an Associated Press article, as are all the other ones I’ve read so far. They’re quoting the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm which has a history of printing false information

  44. Abu Sauleh

    October 7, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    Jazaak Allaah khayr shaykh Yasir for defending the sunnah. Unfortunately, sarcasm is wasted on some people…

  45. Saad

    October 7, 2009 at 9:23 AM

    Mash’Allah Yo, well said Shaykh and thanks for separating the facts from fiction.

    Niqab is all good, it is what it is.

  46. dina b.

    October 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    The article reeks of elitism and arrogance with phrases like “lesser-educated” and “untrained” minds, not to mention the ugly, ugly sarcasm. And when you read into the statement, “with scholars like these,” is the author DARING to imply he is setting himself apart? Taking on all of the scholars? Well then why don’t we. Why didn’t he take a look at our American scholars? So many of which are great at rallying the masses to worship them in a cult-like manner and follow them around events, conferences and lectures… while they have blatantly ignored the dire issues of our time and refused to speak out firmly. Keyword: dire. I expect lots of [pick one of the Muslim institutions] groupies to come after me bc of my honesty.

    While the story he brings up in the beginning is really sad, his attitude is totally damaging to anything credible he might have been pointing too. The author could have said the sky was blue in the same tone and I would have still been offended.

    • Imaanbillah

      October 7, 2009 at 9:49 AM

      Honestly, I did not look at the authors name when I read this article and felt it was a humble reflection on the events that transpired days ago. Rather than attack it offered a firm refutation of the Shaykh Tantawi’s stance.

      After I looked at the author, after scrolling back up past the myriad of comments, I was pleased to see Shaykh Yasir had taken the time to write this article.

      Take a breather Dina… this rhetoric is academic and it is fitting to speak in this tone rather than simply attack Shaykh Tantawi or take an ambivalent stance.

      • dina b.

        October 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM

        “humble reflection” …? there is nothing humble about this article. and it is never “fitting” to carry the attitude of arrogance and be rude.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          October 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM

          Actually Dina, there are situations where one can be rude, vulgar, and even arrogant. Please review the seerah for these situations. They are not the norm, they are exceptions, and if you know Shaykh Yasir and his writing, sarcasm is not his style in addressing issues like these.

          Had Tantawi simply offered a different, legitimate opinion in a well-mannered delivery that respected the sister’s rights, that would be different.

          Instead, according to the reports, Tantawi not only made a nonsensical statement about the niqaab, he forced the sister to remove her niqaab, and (literally) to add insult to injury, comments on the sister’s physical appearance (proving that niqaab in his presence is apparently justified).

          Scholar or not, bullies deserve only one thing – a thorough thrashing. Respecting a difference of opinion is fine, differing with manners is great, but Islamic scholarship is not a free pass to say and do as one likes against people, and even more so for the Shaykh of Al Azhar vs a teenager.


          • dina b.

            October 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM

            You are suggesting using Prophetic example to justify insolence?

            I cannot imagine coming face-to-face with my Creator and use these excuses. In no way, shape, or form… and it scares to me see that this is what we have come to.

          • Siraaj

            October 7, 2009 at 10:38 AM

            What I’m suggesting is that good character is the norm, but specific situations may demand behavior outside the norm.


          • Buddy

            October 7, 2009 at 10:25 PM

            Contradict much?

            “there are situations where one can be rude, vulgar, and even arrogant. Please review the seerah for these situations.”

            then you say …

            “Had Tantawi simply offered a different, legitimate opinion in a well-mannered delivery that respected the sister’s rights, that would be different.”

            umm… ok there pal.

          • Siraaj

            October 7, 2009 at 10:37 PM

            Hey buddy,

            No contradiction – forcing young girls to remove their niqaabs and criticizing their looks AND saying niqab is not a part of Islam? Uncalled for.

            Verbally beating down the bully? Called for.

            Understanding the difference? Priceless.


          • Buddy

            October 8, 2009 at 2:15 PM


            You are the most intelligent person I have ever come across. In fact, you are the king blog post responder. I wish I knew the answer to everything, this way I would also be blessed enough to correct everyone. Just like your picture proves, you are way more religious than I am. I hope some day your are recognized publicly for all your blog contributions.

            Thank you!

            Wow… that does feel much better than insulting someone.

            Thank you again!!!

          • Siraaj Muhammad

            October 8, 2009 at 2:41 PM

            You are the most intelligent person I have ever come across.

            Thank you!

            Thank you!

            No, thank you ;)

            Thank you again!!!

            And again, thank you :D


        • ssk

          October 7, 2009 at 10:32 AM

          Dina, You see all bad in brother Yasir’s article but you fail to see what the Al-Azhar dude did to the poor girl.

          -Edited. No personal attacks pls.

          • dina b.

            October 7, 2009 at 11:06 AM

            Great job at proving my point

    • amad

      October 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM

      If you read the article as being in its essence sarcastic, then you cannot come to the conclusion of it being arrogant and elitist, esp. with the examples that you picked.

      And I am sorry, if the author didn’t set himself apart from Tantawi… in fact, if ANY scholar didn’t set himself/herself from Tantawi, then that scholar needs some tongue-lashing as well. Tantawi bested Islamophobes with his antics here. There is no excuse for it.

      If you found the story in the beginning “sad”, upon which is based the entire post, then your sour grapes about OTHER issues should be reserved for OTHER opportunities to discuss. Clear your mind, and focus on the subject… it will be easier to swallow.

      • dina b.

        October 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM

        1. You do not dictate to me where and how I can voice my opinion.
        2. And with the author’s reply of “Had the Shaykh respected himself, I would have respected him.” ……..

        This is the state of Muslim character.

        • Siddiq

          October 7, 2009 at 10:31 AM


  47. Umm Reem

    October 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    Other then the fact that I had to re-read a few sentences with the help of, :)
    mashaAllah, it was yet another awesome article by sh. yasir!

    JazakAllahu khiar

  48. Pingback: What are other scholars saying of Hosni Mubarak’s Shaykh’s (Tantawi) anti-Niqaab fatwa | MR's Blog

  49. SP

    October 7, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    Salams. Jazakallah for the article. I agree with the article but I think poeple writing comments need to be careful as they may be treading a very thin line regarding backbiting.

    Remember regardless of how high status and position a scholer/shaykh has, at the end of the day he is human he is no angel, so be his very nature he will transgress from time to time. Maybe the heat of the moment got to the shaykh, maybe he has realized his mistake and repented … maybe … maybe…. As muslims we have to think of excuses he had for doing so dont we. As muslims I think we should make dua for the guidence of all human including the Shaykh al azhar and other scholers who may have deviated.

    I am in no way supporting the actions of shaykh Tantawi’s actions, I am actually an avid supporter of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi. I would love to meet him in person and be even a third of the man he his is today.

  50. Gareth Bryant

    October 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    As-Salamu `alaykum wa Rahmat-ul-lah!!!

    Even though the inccident that transpired was very demeaning for that young sister, I’m grateful that you wrote about it. Your sarcastic tone, in this aricle, was simpy amazing. It is really sad to know that the top religious authority of Egypt, a country with one of the largest Muslm populations, in the Muslm-World, could be so damn ignorant & arrogant. Firstly, there are scores of proof, that the Niqab was exclusively an Islamic mandate, for the Wives of the Prophet (Peace be upon him & may Allah be peased with them). Thus, automatically, making it an Islamic thing to do, voided of any cultural significance or influence. As a matter of fact, Pagan-Arab women during the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) didn’t even wear the general Hijab, much less the Niqab. So, what in the hell is he talking about, when he says that the Niqab is only a cultural thing? Furthermore, exactly which culture did the Muslms “adopt” the Niqab from? The Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, the Armeinians, the natives of North Africa (prior to the Islamic conquest of North Africa), the Egptians (prior to Greco-Roman conquest), the Nubians, the Abyssinians………who? Who in the hell did the Prophet (Peace be upon him [who only acted, based upon Revelation]), the Mothers of the Believers & the rest of the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them altogether) “adopt” the Niqab from?

    • Nihal Khan

      October 7, 2009 at 10:34 AM

      Musa! It’s nice to see you commenting, alhamdulilah :)

    • Siraaj

      October 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM

      Hmmm, Gareth Bryant…WoT fan? ;)


      • Olivia

        October 7, 2009 at 9:23 PM

        Oh my God, another WOT fan, where?

  51. Siddiq

    October 7, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    So, has any Egyptian scholar come out and say anything against Tantawi?

    • Calcutta Express

      October 7, 2009 at 11:29 AM

      There’s no resurrection till judgment day. Stay patient my son.

      • ssk

        October 7, 2009 at 1:33 PM

        Good sense of humor CalcuttaExpress.

        Siddiq: “So, has any Egyptian scholar come out and say anything against Tantawi?”

        CalcuttaExpress: “There’s no resurrection till judgment day. Stay patient my son”

  52. Abdullah

    October 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Let’s also discuss “if women grows beard, can she shave”?

    of course this courageous of sayir qadhi, but why this issue.

    Tantawi gave fatwa saying muslims can join the US military

    this issue is more important for the the UMMAH, or is it not comfortable and
    Yasir might miss his worldly enjoyment

  53. KENANA

    October 7, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    As a muslim woman living in america, i believea soldier can ask a nigab woman to reveal her face to a female authority for security purposes. Tantawi is no soldier. This matter must be investigated.

  54. shoaib

    October 7, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    asalamualaikum, couldve been better without the sarcasm shaykh. but point taken, he was out of line and it is quite a disturbing statement that shaykh tantawi made

  55. umtalhah

    October 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    as salam alaikum,

    all responsible for bringing this wonderful article to us deserve a heartiest jazakumAllahu khairan.

    what always ticks me off is that people who criticize the wearing of niqaab will always try to condemn the niqaabi sisters telling them how it is NOT a part of islam. whereas the same people will comfortably pass by non-hijaabis without telling them that at least hijaab is definitely a part of islam.

    well done sh. yasir. not only the article is well written but also it is very timely. may Allah give him more barakah in his time, i am sure he is very, very busy with everything he does. to come up with a well written, well informing piece of writing despite all other activities is ma sha Allah praiseworthy.

    jazakumAllahu khairan again.

  56. Olivia

    October 7, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    *waiting for major signs of Day of Judgment to start*

    • MuslimahCA

      October 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM

      I wanna laugh, but I would rather cry.

  57. abu abdurRahman

    October 7, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    I think all Muslims in terms of islamic clothing can be classified into 3 groups:

    1) There are those Muslims who wear the niqab(and the equivalent for brothers, maybe a long beard + topi + shalwar kameez)
    2)There are those who don’t, maybe a little less(only hijab and small beard-not getting into Fiqh issues) but nevertheless, they highly respect the first group.
    3)There are those who don’t AND instead of looking at the first group as dignified and respectable, they look at them in disgust. How could that person wear that niqab or that beard?

    (Oh, for a side not, you CAN’T be nuetral, it’s impossible)

    Personally, I think if you fall into the last group, you got serious issues. How can you loathe what the Prophet(SAW) and the Sahabah liked and like what they loathed? Wonder which group Shaykh Tantawi falls into?

    May Allah(SWT) make the Ummah strong through people who stand up for the truth and give us all guidance in these difficult times.

  58. TheAlexandrian

    October 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    Salam all,

    Having recently been to Egypt, I can say that the niqab in general is gaining prominence, if for no other reason than it guards a bit against the epidemic of cat calls and harassment in the Cairo streets. So one more thing we should ask of the respected Shaykh Al Azhar is that he be a bit more in tune with the everyday plight of our sisters. It seems that compounding the humiliation they suffer in the street with additional insults in the classroom is not the best way to address their concerns. Wallahu Alam

  59. Mahmoud S.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    And the brother from the Salafi movement speaks. I have a question? Did the niqab come before Islam, because if it did, then it’s is a pre-Islamic Arab tradition and is mutually exclusive from Islam. Also, citing sunan abu dawud (and the citations aren’t very well cited mind you) does little to give credibility to Qadhi.

    I’m glad Shaykh Tantawi said what he said, but I guess Qadhi knows more about Islam than the Shaykh does.

    The rest of you Brothers and Sisters enjoy tis supposedly “wonderful” article.


    • Calcutta Express

      October 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM

      I love how the one’s who point fingers usually end up pointing at themselves. “You salafis always label people”.

    • Imaanbillah

      October 7, 2009 at 11:37 AM

      Though one shaykh may know more than another, this is meaningless. It is how one acts upon that knowledge and whether they follow and basic fundamentals when issuing a ruling (refer to the science of usool-ul-fiqh).

      Regardless of all that: how can you agree with someone who insults a child?

      The Prophet (sws) said, “He is not from amongst us who does not care for (treaty kindly) our elders or our youngsters”

    • Siraaj

      October 7, 2009 at 11:40 AM

      Did the niqab come before Islam, because if it did, then it’s is a pre-Islamic Arab tradition and is mutually exclusive from Islam.

      So what are your thoughts on Hajj? Also mutually exclusive?


      • Ibn Malik

        October 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM

        Excellent response

      • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

        October 7, 2009 at 3:18 PM

        Being generous to guests, also must be mutually exclusive from Islam.

      • Mahmoud S

        October 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

        Hajj is mandated (with some exceptions), is it not? Is niqab mandated?? Because if it is, the majority of Muslim Sister are sinners.

        And I think you know how dishonest it is to compare Hajj, a PILLAR, to a niqab.

        • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

          October 7, 2009 at 3:41 PM

          Mahmoud S, reading and thinking are skills. It was claimed that niqab could not be “from Islam” if it existed before Islam. Brother Siraj pointed out that hajj also existed before Islam but is most assuredly “from Islam,” in fact as you point out is a pillar of the deen.

          It is well known that there are different opinions on niqab, with some scholars holding it to be obligatory, some recommended, and even some (such as Shaykh Qaradawi hafidhuAllaah) saying it is merely permissible. But that is not the issue here, the issue is no one should be forced to take it off if they choose to do it, no one should be verbally abused, and it is wrong to say the niqab is not from Islam as it was practiced and approved by female companions at the time of the Prophet (saw) without doubt.

          Allaah knows best.

          Oh, and incidentally all of us are sinners. But the best of sinners are those who repent.

          • Siraaj

            October 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

            Jazakallaah khayr for picking that one up :D Mahmoud, Abu Noor hit the nail on the head I was trying to show you ;)


          • Mahmoud S

            October 7, 2009 at 6:18 PM

            my point is that wearing the niqab wasn’t an exclusively Islamic tradition. Y’all are making it as if saying it’s not part of Islamic culture is the crime of the century. Islam won’t be hurt by the disappearance of the niqab. Besides, if the Shaykh’s ruling is wrong, doesn’t he pick up the sins??

            Allah does know best.

          • Siraaj Muhammad

            October 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM

            Your point is silly – Hajj has also existed before the coming of the Prophet, the same with growing beards, and oh yes, bowing and praying to Allah (by other Prophets). Once it is mandated or made a sunnah, then it is a part of the religion, whether you like it or not.

            Furthermore, you’re forgetting that others hold the opinion that is a requirement – I’m not one of them, but I’m certainly not going to force my own opinion on someone – that’s a crime and a travesty.


      • mehreen

        October 7, 2009 at 10:12 PM


      • Maverick

        October 8, 2009 at 12:39 PM

        Or, the simple fact that nabeyuna Muhammad [saws] himself said [paraphrased and translated] that Islam came to perfect the good things that preceded it, and do away with the bad or useless things. And many of these things are not mandated [or, part of the faraa’id to be more exact] – instead they are merely recommended or suggested even, but they’re GOOD things that are in accordance with the principles and spirit of Islam.

        So yes of course there are many parts of Islam that already existed before this deen’s formal and final inception with the office of Prophet Muhammad [saws].

        I wish I had the exact reference and riwayah in front of me. Jazakumallahu khayran to anyone who can find it and post it here.

    • Umar

      October 8, 2009 at 1:06 AM

      No one should ever encourage insults targeted at our muslim sisters. I ask Allah to protect us from such evils.

  60. Khatab

    October 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    I like the sarcasm, but it may not be understood by the esteemed ‘shayk’ considering that ‘sarcasm’ is the language of the simpletons, thus may confuse the likes of Tantawi’s caliber. Very good article…

    However, you make a certain implication towards him in the end for being a ‘government appointed scholar,’ yet many of the highest judicial bodies in the world are government appointed and have issued fatwas that are far more catastrophic, not only to one group of people, but the whole Ummah. I would really enjoy hearing the Shayk’s critique of this, considering that many of those have issue fatwas that has far more implications, then a fatwa by a ‘scoundrel’ like Tantawi.

    P.S We have heard enough of Waleed Basonys rants.

    • Calcutta Express

      October 7, 2009 at 11:38 AM

      Regarding your P.S.

      I bet you feel a lot better by saying “we” don’t you? When you talk like that about a man with so much emaan your legs must shake. Your tongue must stutter. Your courage must be questioned. The quickest way out is to imagine that you have support. Imagine that “we” turn into “only me”. You might just have to change your underpants.

      • Khatab

        October 7, 2009 at 10:02 PM

        LOLzzzz Wallahi I want to respond to you, but one, your comment is very funny lolzzzz, Im trying to imagine you saying it with the Indian ascent, don’t worry I’m desi to, and two it made no sense…..And nooooo, my legs don’t shake Alhamdulillah, my tongue doesn’t stutter Alhamdulillah, if anything he should question himself before he utters a slander against the mujahideen.

  61. Abdullah

    October 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Subhan Allah, I am very disappointed at how asleep the Ummah is. I do not put the full blame on them however, living in the land of the disbelievers indeed play a big role in shaping their views towards everything and that includes politics.

    But to call Hosni Mubarak a “great leader”? A puppet who was appointed to suppress and further oppress the Islamic movements and Jihad who wishes to implement Sharia?

    As for Tantawi’s behaviour, it is no surprise coming from an ‘Ulama of the sultan.

    And personally, I find his complex of discomfort towards the niqab as disturbing and psychotic. Put yourselves in the sister’s shoes – how can you help but feel “What’s his problem?” when someone asks you to uncover your face, and to go further by humiliating you with an insulting remark?

    -Edited. Pls stick to the topic.

  62. D.D

    October 7, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    This was SO NEEDED!

    Sarcasm is necessary sometimes to show the utter ridiculousness of something. Insha Allah in the winter I am going to Egypt WITH my niqaab on and proudly so. I personally believe niqaab is fard in a place like Egypt where harassment of women is an epidemic there.

    The thing about Egyptians is, they are fed up. They don’t want someone to tell them what to do (which is not always a good quality). Too many women are muntaqabaat or at least support it and they will take the matter to the streets and hopefully overthrow this man.

    I didn’t know about what he said to the girl about her beauty, subhan Allah what shockingly distasteful manners. How embarrassing for Al-Azhar..

    Oh and something noteworthy, he claims it is cultural and has nothing to do with Islam and so it must be banned. Funny how this is about the ONLY “cultural” thing in Egypt that is banned! They should also ban belly dancing (please do) and kofta!

  63. Um Sumayyah

    October 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Well said, barak Allahu fik for this response, it was well needed and I hope other prominent figures in the Islamic world stand up against such disgusting injustices.

  64. Umm Reem

    October 7, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    Wonderful article, mashAllah.
    Jazakallahu Khairan.

  65. Reemo

    October 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Wonderful article, MashAllah.
    Jazakallahu Khairan.

  66. Ibn Abdulrub

    October 7, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    To YQ I say, with “scholars” like you, who needs the jews to fight us?
    What a sell out!!!! Are you serious ‘the great Hosni Mubarak’??? YEH, the same Mubarak that imprisoned our gazan brothers while the zionists starved them to death?

    May the Eyes of the COWARDS NEVER SLEEP????
    ALL your contributions to islam can go to waste by words like these, So think deeply before you make such statements. IT WAS the one and only UMAR IBN AL KHATTAB that told women to wear the Niqab and now sell outs like your sell and tantawi and mubarak are undoing what the greatest people of Islam ever did?

    Good luck when you face ALLAH, YOU’ll need it!

    • Siraaj

      October 7, 2009 at 11:58 AM

      Hey ibn abdulrub, you do realize shaykh yasir was making fun of tantawi, mubarak, et al and that the whole article was pure sarcasm? Please re-read, and if you like, I can delete your comments, free of charge ;)


    • Hassan

      October 7, 2009 at 11:59 AM

      The lack of understanding sarcasm perhaps is greater fitna for our ummah in my humble opinion, seriously, you should not need to read beyond the title to understand the tone of rest of the article.

    • MM Associates

      October 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM

      May the Eyes of the COWARDS NEVER SLEEP

      Always the knack for the melodramatic, haha.


    • Calcutta Express

      October 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM

      some how i get the feeling that your response was not genuine :)

    • slaveofAllah4lyf

      October 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM this article was a sarcastic article not supportive article to tantawi….in a way it was making fun of tantawi not supporting him..haha…plz think b4 just accusing some1 of

    • Ibn Masood

      October 7, 2009 at 11:44 PM

      LOOOOOOOOOOL Are you serious… bro… seriously… seriously… seriously… just go sit in the corner with a dunce cap. Class is officially over for you.

      Ultimate self-pwnage…

    • Maverick

      October 8, 2009 at 12:44 PM

      Wow. Talk about falling flat on your face.

      Classic fail.

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  68. ar.m

    October 7, 2009 at 12:03 PM


    accountability, no one should be above it.

  69. Abu al-Husam

    October 7, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    The article is quite comical, yet the state of affairs is tragic. Far be it from someone such as myself to speak ill of anyone, even at-Tantawi after this, but I think that this incident is indicative of a deeper-running problem in the Muslim Ummah and community, as is quite obvious. Generally speaking, it is becoming more and more difficult to look to real scholars for good inspiration and modern role-models, either due to their obscurity and being kept out of the limelight by those who dislike the truth or their poor implementation of the sciences they’re supposed to have mastered.

    When something like this is done by someone in such a position, it is supremely unfortunate that we really have no choice but to react with sarcasm and disdain. I wish we could just disregard this due to how minuscule the event is in the context of our lives, but we’ve become so distracted from what it’s really about that these kinds of things make waves, yet we’ve become desensitized to the evils of the kuffaar, the poverty around the world, and what the real scholars are doing. May Allah guide us and protect us from bad influences and misguidances. *sigh*

  70. Missed Opportunity

    October 7, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    This is such a serous issue, that deserved a serious response. I wish the Shayk Yasir Qadi didn’t use sarcasm. It’s times like these we need western scholars to step up to the plate. I’m just picturing a non-Muslim reading this article and not understanding the message. Based on the comments, even Muslims are unclear about this article.

    Sarcasm would be appropriate if it was an every day “Joe Shmo”, but not such a high ranking Shayk.

    So there it is, another missed opportunity.

    • dina b.

      October 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM

      beautifully stated!

      • Huddi

        October 7, 2009 at 7:05 PM

        how about you talk against a government like Egypt/Saudi Arabia directly and see what happens.

  71. Pingback: With Scholars like These..who needs the French - Linkin Blogs

  72. umeabdallah

    October 7, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    I don’t understand some comments abt the use of sarcasm in the article.
    As a Muslimah, seeing this kinda injustice happening to a fellow muslimah is OUTRAGEOUS. Sh. YQ simply used saracasm to get his point across, I’d be fuming in anger to even form a coherent sentence.

    What happened to the ‘gheerah’ of some brothers – if Tantawi did the same to your mother or sister, would you still be arguiing abt the sarcastic tone? No, but you would think that writing abt is not enough, but that dragging Tantawi to court would be more justifiable.

    Oh, someone please remind me of the story of the sahaabah who fought the jew for forcefully removing the veil of a muslim woman in the market place…

    • slaveofAllah4lyf

      October 7, 2009 at 12:45 PM

      lol….i just b4 20 mins or something reminded my fiqh sir about tht story…=D…if i was there tht trash wud be in a hospital by now..

    • slaveofAllah4lyf

      October 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM

      actually the sahabi didnt fyt him….he just simply took his sword n chopped off the head of the khabees…n thn the Prophet (PBUH) sent the full tribe into exile coz they broke the truce…

    • Amani

      October 7, 2009 at 2:24 PM

      The jew lifted the end of her cloak and she was exposed, as far as I know

      And please, we are talking about an old Muslim scholar. Can we at least respect him as a Muslim? Let alone an old old man?


    • Sadaf

      October 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

      I COMPLETELY agree with you, Umeabdallah. When I read the article, I was literally too fuming with anger to even form a comment, and yet there are those who still want to give him *respect*?? SubhanAllah.

  73. Dawud Israel

    October 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    LOL @ Sh. YQ went off lol. Tantawi reminds me of the “old monks” in my masjid- the Egyptian masjid tyrants whose recitations the little kids make fun of.

    But, this article is really nothing for condemnation compared to what these Sufi guys are saying about it:

    ““All those people that call to the exposing of the [woman’s] face, then he is a Shaytān (remote from Allah (SWT))!”
    -Shaykh Abdur-Rahmān Ash-Shaghūrī [RA]

  74. Mohamed Hussein

    October 7, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah,

    There are alot of comments here, and I didn’t have a chance to read them all but I just wanted to express my thoughts. SubhanAllah, Shaikh Tantawi has a long history with “interesting fatwas.” His views have fluctuated over time. He is a thorn in the side of many of the scholars of Al-Azhar, and his views are dismissed by many Egyptians. Because of his history many people have been conditioned to simply ignoring what he says. Allah 3aza Wajal says “Walanabluwanakum bil khayri walshari fitnah.” Allah will test us with good and with what seems as evil. This is a man who was tested. May Allah guide him, and benefit the ummah with anything good that he does, and protect the ummah from anything evil that he does.

    Brothers, please do not respond to his actions with similar actions. Two evils don’t make something right. They’re just two evils.


    • Amani

      October 7, 2009 at 2:09 PM

      JazakaAllah kul khair, this is the best comment, yours and Dina’s so far on this whole board.

      Yes, you dont fight fire with fire, and making duaa shows genuine care and brotherhood

      may Allah swt bless everyone who has good akhlaq and benefit those who dont have it, with it


    • Abed

      October 7, 2009 at 2:14 PM

      i wish i had your eloquence and brevity in speech lol

      jazakallah khayr

    • Mohamed Hussein

      October 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM

      With that said…..I’m glad someone spoke out about this issue. I found the article well written. That sister needed to be defended, and she should know that the vast majority of Muslims support her. No Muslimah (or human for that matter) should be insulted in that manner, by a person of that authority.

  75. nur

    October 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Laa Haula Wa Laa Quwata Ilaa BiLlah. May Allah reward you sheikh for speaking out against this assault on our sisters and on the Deen of Allah. The Messenger of Allah(saw) has warned of those who will come speaking the speech of Islam but leading us to the fire.

    I do however think that besides such a blog post, heavily laden with sarcasm, that a much more clear and concise refutation needs to be publically circulated. Maybe even an official website needs to be created tackling many of these so-called representatives of Islam making completely unislamic rulings. Maybe a resource online which can be used to bring forward clear proofs on all these misunderstood issues.

    Our Deen is being hijacked. I don’t only blame these scholars exclusively, but also those who give them the mouthpiece, the rulers who are pushing them over the edge. The Presidents and Kings of the Muslim lands who have given themselves the power to change the rules specified by Allah and His Messenger(saw). May Allah relieve us of these burdens and bring us a leader who will unite us and guide us on the pure Quran and Sunnah taught by Muhammad(saw).

    PS: Allah will not change the condition of a People, until they change the condition of themselves.

  76. MUA

    October 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Lots to be learned from this whole episode, we need to seriously check this trend of complete submission to these “ulema” in the name of following the inheritors of the Prophets.

    I only wish Sh. Yasir would show this type of emotion when these scholars pass fatawa on issues pertaining to the ummah and not just a single member, and issues of far more gravity. It was in fact, Tantawi who passed a fatwa allowing Muslims to fight in the first gulf war, and when he was reproached, he responded, “anna mufti haydh wa nifaas.” As some of my friends said, even that title is an unjust appropriation. The damage that these “ulema” have done is really beyond imagination.

    May Allah protect our scholars from submitting to these rulers, and give them the strength to speak the haq even against themselves.

  77. Saad Zaman

    October 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    There is no no need for sarcasm. Sarcasm is America’s mother tongue. Why behave like the kafiroon???

    On the subject of the article, it is so sad to see a learned man like Shaykh Tantawi talking and behaving like this. And Muslims wonder why we are suffering so much at the hands of the kafiroon. We are falling apart as an Ummah.

    • ssk

      October 7, 2009 at 1:53 PM

      And English also their mother tongue!

  78. akim

    October 7, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Here’s a very good video by Haitham al-Haddad and Salim al-Amry on niqaab:

  79. Pingback: Yasir Qadhi on Tantawi’s anti Niqaab statements | My Ummah

  80. biola

    October 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    My message to the brave girl:

    After reading about the incident, esp the Sheikh’s comment about her beauty, I realized Allah “shielded” her and even protected the Sheikh from her outstanding beauty.

    I feel that Allah answered her dua and drew a veil over the Sheikh’s eyes so he was unable to perceive her beauty and not get tempted. The Sheikh had ” eyes but could not see.”

    Allah protected her just as He shielded the Rasul (SAW) who was sitting next to his companion and the sword-in-hand mushrik determined to kill him (the Rasul, SAW) was unable to percieve his presence.

    My dear sis in Islam, may Allah continue to guide and protect you. You not only have a physical veil over you but Allah also gave you a spiritual veil to protect you from evil.

    • MUA

      October 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM

      well said, and even the other veil, the “sheikh” had the nerve to slight.

    • Abed

      October 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM

      i hope our sister is not scarred by this and that such words as yours reach her!

  81. Farhan

    October 7, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    Go Yasir!
    Go Yasir!
    Its your birthday!
    Go Yasir!

    • Bismillah

      October 7, 2009 at 10:21 PM

      Tomorrow will be mine too! YAY! INSHALLAH!

    • Farhan

      October 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM

      haha, why did people give me negative ratings?

      • Maverick

        October 8, 2009 at 12:48 PM

        There’s a lotta trigger happy people here. They shoot first, ask later.

        They might have assumed you were being rude and sarcastic towards Shk. Yasir Qadhi, so they shot you up.

  82. Taufique Aziz

    October 7, 2009 at 1:37 PM


    Yet another proof, that no Scholar (regardless of his level of knowledge and/or position) can be followed blindly word for word.
    If one truly seeks the Truth, then one must sincerely study the Deen of Allah to make sure he is practicing the religion is the best possible manner bi idhnillaah.

    Everyone can find an “opinion” to support their desire these days and that’s why Allah gave us the answer: …fa-in tanaaza3tum fee shay-in farudduhu ilalAllahi wa rasooli in kuntum tu-minoona bilAllah wal yawmil aakhir…[4:59]

    May Allah gives us all more sincerity & intelligence to practice the Deen based on what Allah & His Messenger commanded…and the way the best generation understood/implemented those commands.

  83. Sadaf

    October 7, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    I’m appalled that no one backed up this sister. Did no one watching think to come to her defense and help her stand her ground? Maybe then she wouldn’t have taken off her veil and this so-called scholar, Tantawi, would have received the public humiliation he deserved.

    • Faraz Omar

      October 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM

      Jazaak Allah khair. Well-written Masha Allah. Clearly, a clean break with the past in your writing skills.. baarak Allahu feek.

      Sadaf makes a good point… wasn’t there anyone to speak up for her? Or at least calm the mufti down and take him away?

      Attempts to “modernize” and change Islam aren’t new. Didn’t this start right after the death of the Prophet SAW? The Rafidhis, the Mu’tazilites, and so on. During British colonialism, lot of money and effort was spent toward this in the centers of Islamic learning – Egypt, Turkey and India (before partition). Muhammad Abdu in Egypt, Kemal Ataturk in Turkey and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in India are few prominent examples.

      They reinterpreted Hadith according to “modern” times. They wanted to “bridge” the gap and make Islam conform with the secular values. With British help, they nurtured the elite and the intellectuals of the Muslim society. People say they had a profound impact on the leaders of those respective countries and how Islam / Islamic rule was implemented… but I, in the bliss of my ignorance, feel they could not do any damage to the Religion or the Ummah.

      Islam is strong, Alhamdulillah, and will continue to be so insha Allah, because it is Allah who is protecting it and it is not at the mercy of some “scholars” and “leaders”.

      My Ustaadh, Dr. R.K. Noor Muhammad would frequently say – Islam/Islamic knowledge stays only where it’s respected. So earlier it was in Egypt/India, now it’s in Saudia… who knows where it will be in the future…

      I do have one small criticism though. The article could have done without the “Please note,” especially the second point. It, in one sense, takes away the entire point of the piece, when the reader ends on that note.

    • Mohammed

      October 7, 2009 at 8:14 PM

      According to news reports, the teacher in the class actually clarified to the sheikh that “She takes off her niqab inside the class, but she only put it on when you and your entourage came in.” Please after that it seems he became more determined to force her to remove her niqab.


      • Mohammed

        October 8, 2009 at 12:42 AM


        Because this trash is the “Grand crap of Egypt”…they wont disobey him…you might go to jail for that….May Allah make it easy for niqabi sisters….

        and I would like to advice all other sisters to encourage and be there for your niqabi sisters who might go through tough times…

        It really hurts to see this wierd reaction from your own people…It is tough to see that your own sisters attacking niqabis due to their IGNORANCE…Wallahi ignorance….It is better to say something good or just tape your mouth….As Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) said that you might be thrown into the hell fire on your faces for what your tongue has said…..So becareful and mind your words….

  84. Umm Anas

    October 7, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatUllahi wa barakatuh,

    Yaa Shaykh Yasir, please tell me what I am supposed to say to my non-muslim family when they hear about this and I wear a niqab…

    We need a response that will clarify the issue for more than just the Muslims.

    Jazakum Allahu khairan,

    • umtalhah

      October 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

      wa alaikum as salam wr wb

      i am not sh. yq :) but i couldn’t resist…….

      first of all, don’t let this situation discourage or dishearten you. Allah (swt) has amazing ways of bringing khair. we all know stories of so many, many people who reverted back to islam after hearing/reading negative propaganda against islam.

      in fact, you can use this situation as a positive point. by the Mercy of Allah, this ummah has, has always had, and will always have, people (true scholars) who have both the courage and the knowledge to stand up to anyone (in spite of their status) if the true message of islam is being distorted.

      and thus u can explain to them where the true message of islam is to be found. that is to not take it from me or you or every muhammad, ahmed or fatima. rather we have the book of Allah and the authentically preserved Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (saw). and a true scholar will provide u with their proof for stating whatever it is they state about the religion of Allah. (just look at the number of books sh. yq has referred to in such a short article ma sha Allah).

      and i think the last 3 points at the end of the article are actually very important. sh. yq or anyone else is trying to establish the ruling regarding the niqaab here. what is being condemned here is the notion that niqaab is an unislamic practice.

      and perhaps to your non-muslim (may Allah guide them to islam too :)) family you can say that it was done by the wives and the companions of the Prophet and you feel closer to them and to Allah by doing it :)

      may Allah make it easy for you.
      ~ umtalhah
      p.s. i like your name :)

      • umtalhah

        October 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM

        ok, for some reason i was unable to edit my own comment. please read my 2nd last paragraph as such:

        and i think the last 3 points at the end of the article are actually very important. sh. yq or anyone else is NOT trying to establish the ruling regarding the niqaab here. what is being condemned here is the notion that niqaab is an unislamic practice.


  85. Mohammad

    October 7, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    jazakallah khair, Sh. Yasir for a great response. May Allah protect you and increase you in your knowledge. Ameen!

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  87. aideh

    October 7, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    JAZAKALLAHU KHEIRAN YA SHEIKH! may Allah reward you. This article NEEDED to be written.

    For all those who are against it, ask yourself, what if the 16 year old girl was your daughter or sister? Regardless of your opinion….it would be a sad and pathetic parent/family member that would not be offensed and yes MAD at the shaykh (no matter who he is) for his arrogant words and hateful actions. Since when is defending yourself and your muslim brothers and sisters, defending Islam against our religion? Are we Christians that we turn the other cheek? Even Christians don’t do that….don’t expect me to…

  88. aideh

    October 7, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    may Allah help this young Muslim sister stand strong on her religion in the face of adversity and trials. may Allah make us all firm on our religion.

    • Amani

      October 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM

      Yes, I would get him in trouble and take him to the authorities above him too. And if I was there, I would let my daughter or encourage my sister to talk back and say a loud and proud NO!

      However, I dont go around and spread this action of his for the world to know! This is fitnah, keep it within its borders and if its going to be public then answer in the best manner and offer sincere rebuttals

      Why is that so difficult? Or is it satisfying to play the shun and shoot with the pen gun game?

  89. Uthman

    October 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Assalam o alaykum


    JazakAllah khair Shaykh Yasir for posting this. I don’t understand why someone(a scholar for that matter) would treat a lady following Islam.

    I have made an observation. Sometimes some muslims criticize their brothers and sisters in Islam for practicing their faith and some secular non-muslims who are the dont-know-anything-about-islam-but-support-your-right-to-practice-your-religion, encourage muslims to practice their religion freely. Sad state of affairs indeed. I was once criticized for leaving my beard by a muslim. And he was like cut it short. It will look good.

    It comes from the heart when I say this, may Allah open our eyes and not make us blind to the truth!

  90. HT

    October 7, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    While reading this article, I didn’t think it was as complicated as everyone’s making it seem.

    The sarcasm was clever and for all we know, these may be the actual thoughts going through this “Shaykh”‘s head as he spoke to this girl!!

    And yes, sarcasm is found in the sunnah and in the stories of the sahabah so why the freak out?

    If you didn’t get it, move on.
    If you did, you’d know to appreciate it and move on.
    If you agree with Sh. Tantawi, this is not the place for you so go fume somewhere else.
    If you agree with Yasir Qadhi, then accept that as a human being, this was how he chose to express his thoughts and who are we to sanction him for it?

    Saying what WE think he should have done does not matter as that is only our opinion but if you feel that strongly about it, maybe you can go write a similar article how you believed it should have been written.

    If you can type a comment on an article, chances are you can write an article.

    He got his point across and did it with million dollar words and even gave us proofs as to why the situation was wrong.

    Either way, this article is just an article and to read too deep into it and start making claims about what kind of Muslim the author is or etc is actually even more detrimental.

    Jazak Allah khair Sh. Yasir for this great article and may Allah help that little girl and all those like her.

  91. Dawud Israel

    October 7, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    Tantawi is wrong but I fear people will start to think, “If we can attack Tantawi, a big shaykh at Azhar, then surely we have the right to attack other “smaller” scholars who don’t have as grand a rank as him!”


    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

      October 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

      Anyone who acts such as Tantawi did “attacks” himself. It is because of our love for knowledge and our ulama of all levels that such disgusting behavior carried out in the name of Islam and of knowledge demands such a strong response.

      Jazzak Allaahu Khayr Shaykh Yasir.

  92. Pingback: Shaykh Yasir Qadhi delivers a much deser… « Talk Islam

  93. Asim Khan

    October 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    That was hilarioussssssss

    It took me a few lines to catch on to the sarcasm at first I was thinking, damnz what happened to Shaykh YQ, he is getting a little soft on us praising Mubarak and his regime.

    But ohh mannn, I wish the guy is reading this article. Even a non-muslim would not dare force a sister to take her niqab off and then comment on her face. This is the peak of arrogance. I sincerely hope its not true because it hurts to read stuff like this as a muslim. May Allah guide us all and give us hidaya and help us to implement the shariah and sunna in our lives as the early generations did. Aameen.

  94. Ikram Kurdi

    October 7, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Is there a video of this event? Who is the trusted source that imparted this piece of news to you guys? I am not saying it is false.

  95. justabro

    October 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    May Allah Azza Wa Jal reward the young sister in abundance for her courage. Ameen

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  97. Nadim

    October 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    It is interesting to note that there is a national debate in France about the ‘burqa’ and all of a sudden, Tantawi comes to save the Muslims against this ‘cultural innovation’. Is it a coincidence? All I can say for sure is that Sarkozy must be so happy!

  98. Abu Turab

    October 7, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    From culture and not from Islam?? Well the Egyptian government knows a thing or two about culture… the official clothes of the country written in their constitution is pants and shirts!! They don’t even have the pride in their own cultural clothes.

    When I was in Egypt back in 2004, we were actually stopped by guards when we were going to pray Thuhr at a naadee (a recreation area that is government property) that we could not wear thaubs on government property. To which we responded, we could go to the white house in a thaub and no one would say anything!!


  99. darthvaider

    October 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    jazak Allah khayr shaykhanaa :)

  100. Dawud Israel

    October 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    How about a niqaabi protest outside Tantawi’s house?!

    • MuslimahCA

      October 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

      Lets do it!

    • Maverick

      October 8, 2009 at 12:56 PM

      I think we should flood the internet with obviously doctored photos of Tantawi himself wearing the niqab. And perhaps link to his earlier, agreeable stance on it too.

      Make a cartoon out of him, have the caption saying “who needs politicians when you have folks like Tantawi?”

      ukhrj min misrinaaa ya Hosni!!! we want PRESIDENT TANTAWI 2010!!! YEA!!


  101. ursister

    October 7, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Asalamu Alikum warahmatu Allah

    Jazak Allah khair Shaykh Yasir.

    Alhamdulilah, regardless of their efforts to put an end to the spread of Niqab in Egypt, it is becoming extremely popular and a very common site. Also, there are many Egyptian scholars who still encourage the niqab publicly.

    Perhaps Allah willed khair for this girl, in that now she is being defended by Muslims all over, even by respected Shuyukh all the way in the U.S. Allahu Akbar!

    There still remains much khair in the Ummah, Alhamdulilah.

  102. Nihal Khan

    October 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    I’ve come to a conclusion why our Ummah how some really screwed up leaders.

    A messed up kid is sent to an Islamic school for reformation, but instead, he ends up messing up 10 other kids. The kid becomes a messed up hafidh, and then a messed up alim, and later a messed up mufti. He later took a seat of high power, gave messed up fatwas, and in the end, messed up the ummah to an extent…true story.

    Messed up? or what??

    • MuslimahCA

      October 7, 2009 at 4:52 PM

      Is that really his bio? I wouldnt be surprised!

      May Allah protect us from messed up anything!

    • D.D

      October 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM

      I think that what you said was pointless.

  103. AbdelRahman Murphy

    October 7, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

    Sahih International: O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.

    There is a certain level of investigation that should occur before anyone is insulted.

    I know Tantawi isn’t exactly Shaykh ul Islam, and I know he does like and appreciate attention, and I know he is old and possible senile, and I know that he’s from a farm town so he speaks very brashly, but we have to realize that Masr Al-Yawm, the newspaper that reported the aforementioned incident, is known as more of a tabloid than a reliable source.

    I would love to support the fight against scholars abusing power, but first we have to prove that he did, not just by saying “I heard someone’s aunt told someone’s uncle who told my second cousin who told me that…”

    • Abdullah Badr

      October 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM

      I have posted this video above, you can hear an eyewitness who sounds very credible, especially as he tries to add some nice Islamic advice but is cut off by the newscaster:

      Also you seem to have made this point a few times about his possible senility and age. This might indeed be an excuse for him in the afterlife, but he has a track record of such arrogance and rejection of accepted views, therefore from our standards we need to judge him based upon his history.

      Our religion does tell us to be realistic and not shove our heads in the sand.

  104. Kareem

    October 7, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    I’m not a big fan of the niqab with a couple exeptions but Tantawi regardless how many ijazah’s he holds was out of line and if the girl wanted to keep it on then who is he to verbally bully her like that? Fear of meeting Euro-western standards shouldn’t have Muslims scared to wear hijab or grow the beard or to have Muslim countries and their authority figures try to conform to that.

  105. Suhaib

    October 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM

    Appointed by Hosni Mubarak?

    That’s all I needed to know :)

  106. Mostafa Habib

    October 7, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    The above article, with all due respect, is a ridiculous article. I will not be talking about niqab fatwas because I simply don’t have enough knowledge about that. However, if you are looking for what I agree with on this issue look at this link. I will only comment about the way this article is being conveyed in the light of actual facts or lack there of.

    My argument is as follows:

    1. Credibility!! Bro. Qadhi is not absolutely credible in and of himself, no one is, and last time I checked Bro. Yasir Qadhi was a well renown scholar in the west. I’ve always appreciated a lot of the lectures he gives. However, how can any scholar, when writing an article, not have any references to sources? Especially with something so well “sarcastically” crafted and something that is a criticism of another scholar? No matter how many times you believe tantawi makes mistakes it is simply put, fitnah to propagate something about him that isn’t true.

    2. Research!! I am not in favor or against Tantawi in this event which presumably happened. I simply am saying I have done my research and here is what I’ve found. I have found only two original links to two articles about this issue.

    a) I checked the link a brother posted above. As a post above reveals, that NY Times article does indeed quote all it’s crucial info from from Al-Masry Al-youm’s article. (It’s only in Arabic and I do not have the time to translate, my apologies)

    b) I’ve received on facebook another link from a good friend with an opposing argument from a Shiekh named Ali Abu Al Hassan. He’s probably someone off the radar of Muslim scholars in America, but here is that article (again in arabic)

    Now, we have two opposing opinions, do we just take one on face value? or do we consider this a neutral case until proven otherwise? To be able to face Allah on the day of judgment, I will take the second one. I will assume innocent until proven guilty. I hope everyone reading does the same.

    I would urge Bro. Qadhi to either present proof or a valid (third) source of this happening with all the details that were written in his article or simply apologize for he is only human.

  107. Pingback: Egypt cleric 'to ban full veils' « Ginny's Thoughts & Things

  108. Sally

    October 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    i find this whole incident so infuriating! this is the reason why the West doesnt take Arabs seriously, and why there is so much cultural baggage!!! This Shaykh is so wrong, in so many ways.. and the Egyptian slang comment he said to the poor girl makes me so angry!! How dare he!!! What makes him think he can talk to someone like that! I havent read the comments, and I hope there is some misunderstanding, b/c really, this is so disheartening.

  109. MM Associates

    October 7, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    posted by abu abdAllah.

    SubhanAllah. 230+ comments so quickly… Shaykh Yasir, I love you for the sake of Allah. Your wit really worried us when it was turned on Macs versus PCs… Now your humor in this article seems to have unleashed a storm of comment greater than those released by articles about jinn, single women, and democracy combined. Maybe Muslims really need lessons in humor appreciation? Or keyboard-abstinence?

    As for the content of some of the comments I read… I pray that the authors do not find themselves bankrupt before the gates of Paradise, and I remind myself thus, as well.

    • Yes Boss

      October 7, 2009 at 10:14 PM

      I suggest you stay neutral, it’s not proper blogging etiquette to turn against the opinions of your own readers.

      • Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

        October 8, 2009 at 9:09 AM

        It’s proper Muslim ettiquete to warn people from sin.

  110. Calcutta Express

    October 7, 2009 at 6:08 PM

    I’m waiting for some rich pious prince to swoop in and marry this girl. Boo yah evil guy! Man i wish I was a prince… or pious :(

  111. Mohammad Khamisha

    October 7, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    We are so emotional that it is very easy for our enemies to incite us and we are at each others’ throats. Let’s get real and be cool. It is fine to have a different opinion, just don’t try to force it on others.

  112. Huddi

    October 7, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    May Allah show us the truth as truth, and falsehood as falsehood, guide us to the truth, and protect us from falsehood.

  113. MW_M

    October 7, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    I’m surprised no one has updated wikipedia yet….

  114. Pingback: Shaykh Yasir Qadhi delivers a much deser… | Marriage Blog

  115. Poor one

    October 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    What disturbed me is this
    the validity of ones right to express their opinion as to whether or not the sh in this article to use sarcasm is dictated by people. It seems like people immediately condemn those that merely suggest that sarcasm wasn’t needed. Subhanallah… More time should be spent by people to understand the Quran and follow the salaf and be moderate according to the Quran and sunnah but it’s frightening how some people might just come to this more frequently than turning to the Quran and helping a homeless…

  116. AbdelRahman Murphy

    October 7, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    For those who attribute negativity to Azhar – this specific event isn’t any sort of reason to say that Azhar has lost credibility. You might point out other reasons for discussion, but no one takes Tantawi seriously anyways. Why do you think the Arab world isn’t going crazy about this? Because he’s been seen as a figurehead for all 15 years he’s been Shaykh Al Azhar, or so they call him.

    • Student

      October 7, 2009 at 9:11 PM

      @AbdulRahman scroll up and look at the comment I posted with regard to this.

      Unfortunately it and other institutions have lost an eye of credibility amongst the public and academic realms. It’s not the ONLY institution but it shows you the trend that it has set if the longest running islamic institution, with all it’s glory, legacy, and grandeur, has fallen, and it’s true scholars banned.

      Oh and he’s had over 40 years probably attachment to Al Azhar in some form or fashion, and he is not the only one with this systematic breakdown of Al Azhar’s tradtitional ideology, save even the secularists.

  117. usamuslim

    October 7, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Ma’qal ibn Yassaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If one of you were to be struck in the head with an iron needle, it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman he is not allowed to.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5045).

    “Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much”
    [al-Ahzaab 33:21]

    This infallible one, the best of mankind, the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection, did not touch women. This is despite the fact that the oath of allegiance was originally given by hand. So how about men other than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?

  118. MuslimintheUS

    October 7, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Salaam alaykum,

    I’ve been reading about Al-Azhar in my classes and independently and was wondering what our relationship with it should be. As one of the most respected institutes of Islamic learning, some would say the best, I’m naively inclined to feel that it should serve as our authority, but is that the way I should go about thinking about Al-Azhar? What should our relationship with it be?

  119. adimeforyourtime

    October 7, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    ameen to all the thoughtful duas in the comments above. for the sweet girl. for the sheikh. for the ummah. for humanity. for strength, for mercy, for guidance and for forgiveness. ameen ya rabb al 3lameen.

  120. Pingback: Who has the right to judge? Judging the Judgmental « The Chaplain

  121. umeabdallah

    October 7, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    You guys may want to see what really Tantawi has started:

    TORONTO – Middle Eastern garments designed to cover a woman’s face are “medieval” and “misogynist” symbols of extremism with no basis in Islam, a Canadian Muslim lobby group said Wednesday as it urged Ottawa to ban the burka and the niqab.

    The Muslim Canadian Congress called on the federal government to prohibit the two garments in order to prevent women from covering their faces in public – a practice the group said has no place in a society that supports gender equality.

    “To cover your face is to conceal your identity,” congress spokeswoman Farzana Hassan said in a telephone interview, describing the issue as a matter of public safety, since concealing one’s identity is a common practice for criminals.

    The tradition of Muslim women covering their faces in public is a tradition rooted more in Middle Eastern culture than in the Islamic faith, Hassan added.

    There is nothing in any of the primary Islamic religious texts, including the Qur’an, that requires women to cover their faces, she said – not even in the controversial, ultra-conservative tenets of Sharia law.

    Considering the fact that women are in fact forbidden from wearing burkas in the grand mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, it hardly makes sense that the practice should be permitted in Canada, she said.

    “If a government claims to uphold equality between men and women, there is no reason for them to support a practice that marginalizes women.”

    The proposed ban would include the burka, an iconic head-to-toe gown with a mesh-like panel over the face that allows the wearer to see and to breathe, as well as the niqab – a veil that leaves only the eyes exposed.

    Hassan said the ban would not extend to the hijab, a traditional headscarf that does not cover the face.

    The proposed ban comes on the heels of reports that Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, dean of Egypt’s al-Azhar university and the country’s highest Muslim authority, is poised to issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against the garments.

    Media reports Monday said Tantawi described the face coverings as “a custom that has nothing to do with the Islamic faith.”

    Mohamed Elmasry, former president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said he agrees the tradition has its roots in cultural customs rather than religious teachings, but that the issue is irrelevant in Canada where the practice is not widespread.

    Elmasry disputed suggestions that the garments pose a security threat, saying only a minority of Muslim women living in Canada feel the need to conceal their features in public.

    He said he believes those women should have the freedom to decide whether they wish to cover their faces, and that a ban would limit freedom of expression.

    “People feel it’s part of their identity, people feel it’s part of their culture,” Elmasry said. “It’s not for you and me to decide.”

  122. Rabiah

    October 7, 2009 at 10:26 PM










  123. Shibli Zaman

    October 7, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    as-salamu `alaykum,

    I don’t know why Shaykh Yasir has been writing stuff like this. I don’t like this style of writing and it is beneath him. Allahu-l Musta`an.

    Shaykh Yasir, if you’re reading this…you don’t have to spice up your writings with what you think is humor and what you think to be witty sarcasm. Your writings have always been strong on their own and will get even more respect without this frivolity.

    May Allah give you success in this world and the next. Amin. was-salam

  124. zaki

    October 7, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    This is certainly not the first time that Tantawi has made comments that would make even the docile Muslim’s stomach churn with cringeworthiness.

    I thank Yasir Qadhi for not following the attritious silence shown by other students of knowledge.


  125. dawud farquhar

    October 7, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    This incident may well become the last knell in the coffin of Tantawi. The little influence and following which he did have will ‘inshaa Allaah vanish and leave this so-called Imam irrelavent within the Ummah.

  126. Ibn AbuAisha

    October 7, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum Shaykh Yasir,

    Were Ibn Al-Qayyim alive today, you would be one of his prized students in the Western hemisphere. Ahsan-Allahu Ilayk Ya Shaykhana. This article is a shining example that you have mastered the writing skills of the great medieval scholar, albeit in English. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it as it reminded me of our discussion of Ibn Al-Qayyim’s “Deconstruction of the Madhhab of Shaykh Ar-Raees” in his As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursala.

    May Allah reward you and your family immensely, and ease the path to completion of your dissertation!

  127. abu Rumay-s.a.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    Has there been any official response to this by the “ulama” of Egypt (or any other Muslim country) or the Jabhat Ulama Al Azhar?

    Another important point to differentiate between the “Azhars”. Brother (Yusuf) explained it in an earlier thread which is appended below..

    “…it really needs to be understood that Al-Azhar is not a monolithic institution. Jabhat Ulama al-Azhar, an external organization of major scholars from Al-Azhar, tends to oppose the “official” positions of al-Azhar of recent times quite often. Regarding Obama’s visit, they released this statement.

    The “official” Al-Azhar opposes the Jabhah and refuses to recognize them, even though some of the most senior scholars of Al-Azhar are members. This is because they always issue statements opposing the type of positions the “official” Al-Azhar has become known for in the past century which don’t reflect the history and heritage of it.

    There is a sense of embarrassment from the direction of the “official” Al-Azhar towards the Jabhah because they have demonstrated for years and years how the “official” Al-Azhar has moved further and further away from what made this institution beloved to the Ummah.”

  128. dawud farquhar

    October 8, 2009 at 2:29 AM

    Al Jazeera covering the fallout here:

    I want to see and hear a strong reaction against Tantawi’s agenda from other REAL scholars from the Muslim world.

  129. Umm Makhtoom

    October 8, 2009 at 2:40 AM

    JazakAllah Sheikh for the amazing article! Awesomeness as expected! =D

  130. AbuUmar

    October 8, 2009 at 2:46 AM

    Europe takes advantage of Egypt’s Tantawi niqab ban calls

  131. Ron Ibn Abi Paul Al-Anti Illuminati

    October 8, 2009 at 2:59 AM

    This is sad. I coined a new nickname for him: Sheikh Tauntawi! Get it? TAUNT-awi! Because he taunted a poor helpless teenage girl! Pure gold I tell ya!.

  132. SP

    October 8, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    I think there is more to this than just the niqab issue. I think this highlights the fundamental flaws of Islamic countries in the middle east. The government gives people positions of authority based on support for them rather than merit. It is a little known fact that Shaykh Tantawi was a supporter of Hosni Mubarak, I also have no doubt Scholers like Shiekh Yusuf Qardawi and others in the east have not got positions of authority due to speaking out again the governemnt. It is a similar situation in other muslim coutries. Compare than with the western countries, the scholers of authority are there due to merit

    So for those who thought the middle eastern muslim countries were a better place than the western countries, think again.


  133. abu hammaad

    October 8, 2009 at 4:18 AM

    SP, this matter is far greater than a mere government mouth-piece (tantawi) wanting to change the dynamics of the niqab debate. This is an inherent attempt to impose a liberal/secular value within the Muslim world, which even the French would be proud of!

    This matter should not remain passive within the Ummah but rather a concerted effort needs to be made to make sure this ignorant ruling by a wilfully ignorant (or senile) individual does not cause hardship and tribulation for Muslim women in other parts of the world whose governments are itching to propse similar Islamophobic measures.

    But it seems they may have already begun as AbuUmar pointed out with his link.

  134. kamal

    October 8, 2009 at 4:33 AM

    More tragic news, thanks to this dirty old man who likes to taunt and look at teenage girls:

    • Ikhlas

      October 8, 2009 at 10:03 AM

      LOL. It ALL makes sense now!

  135. Durrah

    October 8, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    May Allah reward you sheikh for this article, it really made me feel better to know that we still have people to defend our deen

    All of what I can say is may Allah guide that so called shiekh Tantawi to the truth so he can’t correct his stupid, disguesting mistake and learn some manners!!

  136. Faisal Siddiqui

    October 8, 2009 at 6:33 AM

    Excellent response!

  137. Pingback: Tantawi, Egypt and Niqaab « Her Writings

  138. HijabMan

    October 8, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Amir (MR): I’d like you to name one of my shirts that uses sarcasm. The answer, my friend, is zero. They use humor. They use clear statements. No double meanings.

    As far as God using sarcasm in the Qur’an. Yasir Qadhi is not God. God can be arrogant, because God is the greatest. That doesn’t mean you can be arrogant.

    As far as coke being useful. There are plenty of HEALTHY alternatives to using ‘coke’ to give people a sugar rush. The idea that you are identifying a soft drink as healthy and good to drink is baffling to me, considering the amount of obesity, diabetes, etc in this country. Muslims as champions for junk food, my worst nightmare.

    My point is this:

    * [BITING] Sarcasm is not an effective way to communicate. It can create hurt feelings, anger, tension and confusion. *People of good character recognize that* and use other methods to express themselves.
    * Not all sarcasm is bad; when used in creative writing or dramatic presentations, it can be entertaining and humorous. However, it is not how you should be communicating with people on a regular basis.

    This sarcasm was at the expense of another human being, and therefore, I am against it.

    • Boo yah!

      October 8, 2009 at 8:29 AM

      This sarcasm was at the expense of another human being, and therefore, I am against it.

      I am against you. Ohhhh!

    • Atif

      October 8, 2009 at 10:59 AM

      I’d like you to name one of my shirts that uses sarcasm

      “Frisk me, I’m muslim” and “Go ahead, profile me” The wearer of the shirt doesn’t really want to be frisked or profiled, but is making a sarcastic statement regarding racial profiling.

      * Not all sarcasm is bad; when used in creative writing or dramatic presentations, it can be entertaining and humorous. However, it is not how you should be communicating with people on a regular basis

      Then we are actually in agreement here. Sh. Yasir isn’t sarcastic on a regular basis, he felt that the use of sarcasm was appropriate in this situation.
      Sarcasm is basically verbal irony. It was highly ironic for a “huge shaykh” to behave the way he did, so it’s appropriate to use verbal irony to condemn his actions.

      This sarcasm was at the expense of another human being, and therefore, I am against it.

      Really? You’ve never said anything like, “Bush was an excellent president?”

      • Gohar

        October 8, 2009 at 2:14 PM

        i like your little picture in the corner

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      October 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM

      As far as coke being useful. There are plenty of HEALTHY alternatives to using ‘coke’ to give people a sugar rush. The idea that you are identifying a soft drink as healthy and good to drink is baffling to me, considering the amount of obesity, diabetes, etc in this country. Muslims as champions for junk food, my worst nightmare.

      Yes, but that neither contradicts that its useful, and can have positive health benefits when a situation demands its need. As with Coke, no one is advocating the use of sarcasm on a regular basis, only when the situation demands.


  139. CallingforAction

    October 8, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Calling: All Muslim Matters readers, 8000+ students of Al-Maghrib, DeenPorters, Sunni Pathers, MSAs, Masajid, Muslim Bloggers. Enough talk! Its time for action! Please flood the e-mails for your respective embassies with letters of protest. Sample letter follows. Edit as you please or write your own.

    Subject: Letter to President Mobarak Protesting Sheikh Tantawi’s Outrageous Behavior

    Honorable President Mobarak:

    Assalamualaikum. I am distressed by the recent event involving Sheikh al-Azhar Muhammad Tantawi and a high school girl. The honor of a Muslim woman is not something trivial. Since the Sheikh is appointed by the Egyptian government I strongly protest his behavior and demand that the Egyptian Government:
    1. Immediately and unconditionally apologize to the girl and her family;
    2. Reprimand Sheikh Tantawi for his actions and replace him with a reputable scholar.
    3. Desist from banning the niqab anywhere in Egypt.
    4. Issue a statement of support for all Muslim woman globally who choose to wear the niqab. Muslim women are under siege everywhere. It is the duty of the government of a Muslim country to support our freedom of choice to wear the niqab.

    I pray to Allah Subhanu Taala for the right guidance of all members of your government and your appointees. Ameen.

    Here’s the e-mail for the Egyptian Embassy in Washington:

    I would also encourage a similar e-mail addressed to Sheikh Tantawi.

    Honorable Sheikh Tantawi:

    Assalamualaikum. I am distressed by the recent event involving you and a high school girl. You have brought shame and ridicule upon a great Islamic institution by this action. The honor of a Muslim woman is not something trivial. I protest your outrageous behavior very strongly and demand that you:

    1. Immediately and unconditionally apologize to the girl and her family;
    2. Resign immediately from your position.
    3. Desist from calling for a ban on the niqab anywhere in Egypt.
    4. Issue a statement of support for all Muslim woman globally who choose to wear the niqab. Muslim women are under siege everywhere. It is the duty of Muslim scholars to defend a Muslimah’s freedom of choice to wear the niqab.

    I pray to Allah Subhanu Taala for your right guidance. Ameen


    I couldn’t find the al-Azhar e-mail as their English site is not working. Anyone with that info please post it here. The e-mail for the Supreme Council of Universities is:

    If some one can start a collection to publish an open letter in an Egyptian Newspaper or even NYTimes that would be great. I will certainly chip in.

    Now get going!

    Jazakum Allahu Khairan.

    • CallingforAction

      October 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM

      I e-mailed the embassy and apparently their mail box is full. You may try these other two emails:


      Cultural and Educational Office:

      Does anyone have the e-mail for the Ministry of Higher Education in Egypt?

      • Volleybeard

        October 8, 2009 at 7:30 PM

        Can we get some email’s against the attempt at banning niqabs in Canada.

  140. kamal

    October 8, 2009 at 8:55 AM


    • CallingforAction

      October 8, 2009 at 9:22 AM

      Jazak Allah Khair. Does anyone know how to start an on-line petition? If so, please do it. I dont , otherwise I would have. We need Muslims from all over the world protesting this event. The repurcussions of the Sheik’s action can be far reaching as seen from the latest Italian/Canadian move.

  141. Alhamdullilah

    October 8, 2009 at 9:02 AM


    Asalamu Alaykum,

    I would recommend Muslim Matters at least please remove the portion of the title “With Scholars Like These” – no matter how we differ, we must still show respect and graciousness to our elder and shaykh.

    Alhamdulillah, I benefited from reading Shaykh Qaradawi’s fatawa from 2006 on

    Qadr’Allahu wa maasha’a fa’al. Please sisters, don’t ever remove you niqab when you don’t have to – such as this situation – and always stand up for your beliefs and what you believe is right.

    Asalamu alaykum

    • hansa

      October 8, 2009 at 9:13 AM

      You should be content that YQ has at least given him the title of scholar, no one denies that he is a ‘scholar’, he despute his level of scholarship. There is a difference.

      The title of the thread is in no way disrespectful.

    • Abdullah Badr

      October 8, 2009 at 9:21 AM

      I think you are confused akhi…

      The article is not about Sh. Qardawi (a respected scholar who has been quoted by Shaykh Yasir in his classes), but rather about Sh. Tantawi.

      • Alhamdullilah

        October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

        No, the mention of Shaykh Qaradawi’s fatawa was additional information. I know who the scholar of concern is. Jazak’Allah khayr.

  142. Mirza

    October 8, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    CALM down before makinga fun of such a big scholars..till two days back he was the most respected person and just becuase he asked you to do somthing you have been practising for ages without knowledge he has forbidden…I CHALLENGE ANYONE OF YOU TO PROVE PROPHET MUHAMMED PBUH ASKED WOMEN TO DO NIQAB OR ALLAH ASKED THIS IN QURAN..Niqab is cultural..Hazrat Ayesha did niqab as culture of Quresh after islam..There some Extremist who does Niqab with first cousin sisters husband also..therefore you will neve have family union nor family events if you cut off yourself from all the relatives..I agree Hijab is must but not niqab at this extreme..No one and no scholar in this planet have Quranic evedence or Hadith Evedence to prove Holy Prophet muhammed asked for Niqab

    • umm yahya

      October 8, 2009 at 9:28 AM

      Your comments are blasphemous! Learn before you speak, there is ample evidence in the Tareekh al Islam, in the Sunnah and in the established Tafseer of the Qur’an from which it can strongly be infered that the niqab is at least, recommended, not fard.

      As for your comments about our Mother A’ishah (RA), all the wives of the Prophet (SAW) are a role model for Muslim women!

      Hadith – Bukhari 6:282
      ‘Aisha(R.A.) used to say: “When (the Verse): ‘They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,’ was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.”

      Hadith – Abu Dawud, Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin
      When the verse “That they should cast their outer garments over their persons” was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

      Hadith – Recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and ibn Majah
      Narrated ‘Aisha (RA) who said, “The riders would pass us while we were with the Messenger of Allah). When they got close to us, we would draw our outer cloak from our heads over our faces. When they passed by, we would uncover our faces.”

      Tafseer – Ibn Katheer
      “Allah commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of their homes.”

      Tafseer – Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457
      Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (ra) the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word ‘Alaihinna in this verse”

      Tafseer – Alu’si, Rul-ul-Ma’ani, Vol. 22, p. 89
      “Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qatadah (ra). The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity).

      So, whether agreeing that niqab is required or not, one must surely acknowledge that it is a desirous sign of piety. What better example of sunnah to follow for a muslimah than that of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and his wives RA. Every Muslimah is encouraged to cover to the fullest, showing only one or both eyes.
      A woman does not have to wear a niqab (affixed veil), but she should emulate the female companions by using her hijab or other items, to lift and cover her face when a non-mahram man approaches.

      Hadith – Muwatta 20.16
      Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that Fatima bint al-Mundhir said, “We used to veil our faces when we were in ihram in the company of Asma bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq.”

      Edited. No personal attacks pls.

  143. hansa

    October 8, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Just like his dubious fatwa on riba 20 years ago, Tantawi clearly is not as learned as he arrogantly claims to be with another episode of shooting himself in the foot.

    He needs to be discredited and banned from taking any religious office. He needs to be tried in a Shari’ah court for blasphemy.

  144. Lozah

    October 8, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    Great article Sh.Yasir! I was worried for a few seconds after I read “Hosni Mubarak the great leader of Egypt”, I’m Egyptian so I was about to get really offended when I read that. But elhamdulellah a few more sentences and I realized you were being sarcastic. I have two points I want to make:
    1) I wasn’t surprised by Tantawi’s statement that the niqab is unIslamic because it’s well-known throughout the country that he’s been a mouthpiece for the regime for years. What did shock me was his utter disrespect for the girl and for the thob he’s wearing by saying what he said to her, and by forcing her to remove the veil in public. Honestly I do believe he’s getting a bit senile (as are many in this regime).
    2) As for whether or not this incident has been reported accurately, all I can say is it was reported by the Egyptian independent media a couple of hours after it happened. There’s a talk show called 90 Minutes and it’s known for its strong unbiased media coverage. A journalist called into the show and reported word for word what happened, he said he was there as it happened. If you understand Arabic you can watch it here

  145. Ghufran

    October 8, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Now that’s what I call some good ol fashioned Islamic sarcasm :D

  146. umm yahya

    October 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    * Ridiculing a Woman in Niqab *

    In Surah At-Taubah 9:64-67, we read:

    The hypocrites fear lest a Sûrah (chapter of the Qur’ân) should be revealed about them, showing them what is in their hearts. Say: “(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allâh will bring to light all that you fear.”

    If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allâh (swt), and His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?”

    Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimûn (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).

    The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islâm has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allâh’s Cause) alms, etc.]. They have forgotten Allâh, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).

  147. Abu Ninja

    October 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    Why was Yasir Qadhis reply to the brother who called Tantawi a dog deleted?

    Why was my reply to Yasir Qadhis comment deleted?

    Please dont reply with a simple standard excuse.. as forget about editing, but MM have completely removed the posts in question.

    Whats with this nazi style of censoring peoples posts?

    Can someone from MM please explain why this happened?

    Jazakallah khair

    • Yusuf Smith

      October 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM

      The whole thread was deleted.

      However, I do think comparing a “shaikh” who harasses a young girl to a dog is insulting. I know a blind woman who had a big fight on her hands when she became paralysed as well, and the hospital wanted to take her guide dog away.

      • Buddy

        October 8, 2009 at 1:29 PM

        The Prophet (s) insulted individuals when it was appropriate, much worse than calling the person a dog.

        In this case however, I would say the insult was towards the dog. Dogs are God fearing animals, more than any man I know.

    • Amad

      October 8, 2009 at 11:09 AM

      If you think “nazi style” includes deleting comments where we call other human beings dogs, then unfortunately you will continue to see that style bro.

      We try to maintain a standard for conversation… calling others dogs or other direct personal attacks falls below it.

      P.S. Shaykh Yasir agreed on removing the comment as well his response.

      • Qas

        October 8, 2009 at 11:38 AM

        My take on comments being censored: One less statement you might be accountable for in front of Allah.

    • Calcutta Express

      October 8, 2009 at 12:25 PM

      obviously ninja tactics… but you should be able to pick up on that :)

  148. imran

    October 8, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Of course we have a right to judge a person; certainly only Allah SWT knows the intentions and the sincerity of a person, but where a person’s apparent condition is known through his speech or action, we have a right to judge him based upon what we see.

  149. Abdullah M

    October 8, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    I’d like to view this tragic incident in a different light. I personally think that Tantawi’s behaviour towards the teenage girl was a reflection of his hatred and intolerance towards the Ahlul Hadeeth. In Egypt I know that that most niqabi Muslimah generally identify themselves with this jama’ah and the growing trend to wear the niqab started in the 80’s – Ask any taxi driver in Cairo about who these women are and they will respond Ahlul Hadeeth (or other various strands of them).

    Therefore, by reading between the lines and keeping in mind the history of Tantawi’s and Al Azhar’s attitude towards the Ahlul Hadeeth, this is an opportunity to show “who’s boss” and proceed to ban a very powerful symbol of da’wah Ahlul hadeeth.

  150. Umm Ibraheem

    October 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    After reading this article I am utterly SHOCKED! Not by the incident that took place, but by the way it has been reported.

    Who are these ‘reliable eye-witnesses and the media’ ? I would be particularly interested to read a first hand account from these witnesses.

  151. Samaha

    October 8, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    I wanted to ask, where did you get this version of how the girl was forced to remove her veil. From every article I read, the girl doesn’t normally wear niqaab and wore it in honor of Tantawi’s visit. It also seemed as though she took it off at first request. Mind posting a link to your source so that the rest of us can look into it?

    I see nothing changes around here – attack all differences of opinion – and I’m not talking about Tantawi, I’m talking about attacking commentors like hijabman. Yeah, I know, I’m next on the hit list – go ahead make fools out of yourselves. I can’t wait to watch temper tantrums over posts being removed for inappropriate use of language. How many dissenting opinions have to be removed for that reason? Just curious.

    • umm yahya

      October 8, 2009 at 12:05 PM

      Don’t worry you post does not warrant deletion as you have not used vulgar language.

      This news story was mentioned by a no. of reporters and eye witnesses who were there at the location, when it happened. A video has been released on youtube showing a clip of a popular Egyption talk show where a reporter who was present gave his account. It does not stray from what YQ has written.

      Also, there are a no. of Arabic newspapers reporting the same thing. Now I would like to ask where did you get your details from? Which articles? Care to post?

      • Samaha

        October 8, 2009 at 12:24 PM

        I’m not worried about the tone of my posts. I was raised better than to resort to vulgarity.

        The earliest articles that I read, I have posted on my blog – I like to let people know where my information comes from. One of the sources is islamonline. As I looked for information that collaborate the story given here, I’m finding less information about the actual forced removal of the veil.

        It might be beneficial if you post links within the actual article that sends us to these videos and news reports. There is a benefit to doing this because it helps document the event – it might be harder to locate these videos and articles later down the road.

        Can I ask – are there any conflicting reports between the reporters that were there? Or are all reports saying the same thing?

  152. Abu Adam

    October 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Salaam aleikoem,

    The article is very good, Mascha Allah.
    May Allah be with you and May Allah Guide us all. May Allah guide the Shaich Of Al Azhar. I hope he will resign from his post and give his post to Ulema of Azhar that are rightfully guided. There are enough good Ulema in Azhar, but this miscreature of Husni Wont let them rule al Azhar.

    May Allah be with the egyptians that are once again being tested, Amien Amien Amien,

  153. Abdullah M

    October 8, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    Looks like there is a basis for my suspicion:

    “There are (also) government concerns about Salafism,” Rashwan notes.

    Salafis put the emphasis on spreading the puritan creed of emulating the practices and beliefs of early Muslims.

    They are reportedly gaining more grounds in many Muslim countries, particularly Egypt, and have major theological differences with Al-Azhar, the highest seat of religious learning in the Sunni world.

    “Al-Azhar has always had a cautious dislike towards other trends that challenge its legitimacy,” Rashwan said.

  154. hijabihoodlum

    October 8, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    let’s counter extremism with more extremism, YES.


  155. Abu Bakr

    October 8, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    In sha Allah, he will die in a commode or something of the like… his type usually do.

    A fitting end to a crappy life.

    As Sh. Ali Timimi once said, “Everyone knows, that for two chickens, one can get any fatwa he likes in Egypt.”

  156. Shibli Zaman

    October 8, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    My God! Do you people eat gunpowder for breakfast? Some of you have the manners of beasts. How does it help your Akhirah to call ANY Muslim a “dog” or “trash” over differences of opinion in Fiqh?! MANY scholars had utterly ridiculous Shaadh opinions in Fiqh over the centuries, but no responsible minded Muslim ever used these terms for them. All of you claiming the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) behaved like this or encouraged Muslims to behave like this towards their fellow Muslims in disagreement are lying upon him.

    I hope that Shaykh Yasir realizes that he set the precedent for this and changes his approach in the future, insha’ Allah. The clear illegitimacy of Shaykh Tantawi’s actions could have been addressed in a far more concise, respectful and, above all, DECISIVE manner.

    This is all I’ve seen here:

    – Shaykh Fulan says “Mmm! Mmm! Chocolate good!”
    – 1,000 giddy followers giggle in the comments section, “OMG!! Shaykh Fulan is da BOMB! He rocks! I never knew Chocolate could taste so good! We are not worthy! We are not worthy! Emanrush! Emanrush!”
    – Shaykh Fulan basks.
    – Rinse and repeat.

    Its all really juvenile and self-serving.

    • slaveofAllah4lyf

      October 8, 2009 at 2:00 PM

      its not about difference of opinion…its about MAKING (FORCING) THE SISTER TO REMOVE HER NIQAB, SHOWING ARROGANCE, TAUNTING HER ABOUT HER BEAUTY, KISSING MUBARAK n WESTERN A** n THN BANNING EVERYONE WEARING NIQAB TO ENTER ANY SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY OR HOSTEL SPONSORED BY AL AZHAR….i hope you are in your mind for supporting that piece of crap… just look at this scenario….your sister is studying in a school, she wears a niqab, this piece of crap comes in n asks her to remove it, ur sister says no, this dog says ur niqab has nothing to do with Islam, remove it, ur sister again says no, this trash says i said u already niqab has nothing to do with Islam, n I KNOW ISLAM MORE THAN YOU AND THOSE HU GAVE U BIRTH…..thn ur sister gets scared coz tht piece of monkey crap shouts, so ur sister removes it…thn tht khabees taunts ur sister, saying wat wud u do if u were a LITTLE beautiful implying U r not at all beautiful…..wudnt ur blood boil…if it wud thn remember tht gal is ur sister…but if it wudnt…im sorry to say but the Prophet (PBUH) called ppl hu dont feel anything wen ppl come n play around with their female family member’s respect n dignity…DAYOOS…..i dont know wat its called in english….more over now imagine this scenario…ur sister away from all or you is studying in Al Azhar university….she lives in its hostels…n she wears niqab…thn suddenly they ban the niqab…n so ur sister refuses to remove her niqab so they throw her luggage out…nd ur sister is pushed by a male police out of the hostel…..n ur sister has nowhere to live now n shez crying outside…wudnt ur blood boil???? if this wudnt make ur blood boil…i dont know wat wud…..well if i was there i’d break tht dogs head…

      • Shibli Zaman

        October 8, 2009 at 2:11 PM

        My sister actually does wear Niqab, but do you know why your hypothesis is nonsense in my case? My sister would never be alone to endure this in the first place. So since I, and/or any male member of our family, would have been there, we would have stood and debated the Shaykh politely without abuse as did my Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (رضي الله عنهم) and said, “You will remove her Niqab over our dead bodies.” I would have done this even though I do not even agree with my sister’s insistence that it is Wajib.

        What I would not have done is sit on the internet and use inexcusably foul language for an aged scholar in his absence. I wouldn’t insult my parents like that.

        • slaveofAllah4lyf

          October 8, 2009 at 2:27 PM

          “why your hypothesis is nonsense in my case? My sister would never be alone to endure this in the first place. So since I, and/or any male member of our family, would have been there, we would have stood and debated the Shaykh politely without abuse”

          I asked you to imagine that n not tht that wud really happen….n moreover nor u nor any of ur male family member can be with ur sister in a ladies school….

          “What I would not have done is sit on the internet and use inexcusably foul language for an aged scholar in his absence. I wouldn’t insult my parents like that.”

          scholar??? yeah ryt…parents?? tht guy is not my parent…..

          • Shibli Zaman

            October 8, 2009 at 2:39 PM

            scholar??? yeah ryt…parents?? tht guy is not my parent…..

            When you have to do nothing more than just quote them, that is a truly interesting specimen.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      October 8, 2009 at 2:05 PM

      Its all really juvenile and self-serving.

      What about caricaturing all the replies as your last post does? Is the following insult on, let’s say 50 Muslims, in the comments section from good manners:

      – Shaykh Fulan says “Mmm! Mmm! Chocolate good!”
      – 1,000 giddy followers giggle in the comments section, “OMG!! Shaykh Fulan is da BOMB! He rocks! I never knew Chocolate could taste so good! We are not worthy! We are not worthy! Emanrush! Emanrush!”
      – Shaykh Fulan basks.
      – Rinse and repeat.

      If so, I’d like to know what the appropriate time and place is that I can use sarcasm like this to humorously point out the failings of others.


      PS – LOL @ Gunpower for breakfast, have to make a mental note to remember that one.

      • Shibli Zaman

        October 8, 2009 at 2:36 PM

        What about caricaturing all the replies as your last post does? Is the following insult on, let’s say 50 Muslims, in the comments section from good manners..

        If so, I’d like to know what the appropriate time and place is that I can use sarcasm like this to humorously point out the failings of others.

        When you are dealing with ill-mannered children, then, at times, sarcasm can be justified to elucidate their ridiculous behavior.

        Not when you’re dealing with a major scholar who is very senior in age to you when he makes a major bungle.

        Allahu-l Musta`an, I thought these were things parents taught their children. I guess I’m “old school”.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          October 8, 2009 at 2:43 PM

          So scholars get a pass, and layfolk don’t? I thought the more knowledgeable an individual, the more the responsibility and accountability – should it not then be the reverse, that all these “children” get a pass for ignorance whereas the Grand Shaykh of Al Azhar does not?


          • Shibli Zaman

            October 8, 2009 at 2:59 PM

            Yes. An 80+ year old man acting out of senility should be treated with more respect than an 8 year old child acting out of puerility…even moreso when the old man is a scholar of Islam.

            He has his obligations and responsibilities and you have yours. If he fails his, why should you fail yours? Who wins? No one.

            This was an opportunity to really hit the message home about behaving properly in ikhtilaf. It was an opportunity completely lost to the point of become its very antithesis.

          • Qas

            October 8, 2009 at 4:24 PM

            “An 80+ year old man acting out of senility should be treated with more respect than an 8 year old child acting out of puerility…even moreso when the old man is a scholar of Islam.”

            Not when that 80 year olds proclamation does global damage.

      • Shibli Zaman

        October 8, 2009 at 5:39 PM

        Qas, that is a good point that holds some water. I’m sure you can find a few examples in history where noteworthy scholars made statements akin to, “That guy was a total retard”. However, should we make those exceptions our standard? We have far more examples where they didn’t behave that way.

        Imam Ahmad (رضي الله عنه ورحمه) never abused his inquisitors and the damage they did to him personally as well as to the entire Ummah far exceeds this silly exchange between Shaykh Tantawi and the 16 year old girl. Even though Imam Ahmad said he would not forgive the scholars amongst his inquisitors, he did not, in what I recall from my limited knowledge, abuse them with rude epithets.

        We need to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard.

      • MM Associates

        October 9, 2009 at 2:39 AM

        Brother Siraaj:

        If so, I’d like to know what the appropriate time and place is that I can use sarcasm like this to humorously point out the failings of others.

        I don’t think the sarcasm is the problem. It’s the taunting and mockery that is.


  157. Asad

    October 8, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Jazak Allah Khair Sh Yasir for writing this and bringing much needed attention to the subject

  158. Maverick

    October 8, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    To everyone who’s mad at Shk. Tantawi – chill out. This wasn’t entirely unexpected, after all there are good reasons why we’ve been warned about those shyoukh who are affiliated, or associate with, the rulers and kings. There becomes an obvious conflict of interest which prevents the scholar[s] from maintining impartiality, scholastic integrity, and allegiance to truth and justice.

    To everyone who’s mad at Shk. Qadi – chill out. He doesn’t need to be all solemn and condemnatory about this, since Tantawi’s error is blatantly apparent [post-verification of the reports] and plenty of other shyoukh past and present have already issued statements that are sufficient to address Tantawi’s new opinion, since its actually an old one.

    Sarcasm is a literary device used by writers and scholars from all walks of life, and as people have pointed it out, even God uses it in the Qur’an. I mean – come on … the ayah where Allah ta3ala says “How can God have a Son if he doesnt even have a wife?” … if that isn’t sarcasm then i don’t know what is. Notwithstanding a recognized mufassir’s additional comments on that specific ayah. You can disagree with Shk. Qadhi’s method and his use of such a literary device, but that doesn’t mean you go all berserk and hyperbolic.

    Shk. Tantawi made such remarks publicly. If the State will not intervene in this matter – as it seems it will not – then the broader, global Muslim community should, and it will. Like it or not, the mob has real political muscle to flex. Tantawi can, should be, and will be lampooned and excoriated for his remarks and unacceptable behavior.

    This issue is not similar to rival schools arguing with each other, this issue is about a scholar – make no mistake, he IS a scholar even if he’s made irresponsible remarks and judgements in the past – saying something that is clearly alien to Islam whether you agree with niqab or not.

    One of the litmus tests that the Western Muslim community should now apply, is to test Obama’s words when he was in Cairo and spoke in defense of Muslim womens’ right to veil and wear hijab / niqab without interference from the State or other authorities. Via respective embassies, formal channels of protest must be used, and Obama’s administration must be told to walk the talk.

    All options on the table should be used to get Tantawi to reconsider his actions.

    • Shibli Zaman

      October 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM

      I mean – come on … the ayah where Allah ta3ala says “How can God have a Son if he doesnt even have a wife?” … if that isn’t sarcasm then i don’t know what is.

      Brother, that is not an example of sukhriyah. The best example of a possible antiphrasis is 44:49:

      ذُقۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡڪَرِيمُ
      “Taste thou this! Truly wast thou Mighty full of honour!”

      Allah knows best

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  160. TAIREK

    October 8, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    very interesting im glad that ALLAH supanah Wata’ala gave me common sense and if one is sincere to ALLAH then will be guide right, then the timing of being rightly guided wil only be when ALLAH allows it to maifest……..niqab should be worn by woman who at least have alittle bit of beauty….or if they very ugly hehe!!!

  161. Dawud Israel

    October 8, 2009 at 4:55 PM


    I’m putting together a team of brothers and sisters to be a stronger voice for these sorts of issues, especially towards the non-Muslim mainstream community.

    So if you are interested in volunteering regularly for:
    a) writing (for newspapers)
    b) vlogging (on Youtube)

    Please send an email to me at

    It would be awesome to get our voices heard, rather remain isolated commenting solely on this Muslim blogs, where really substantial nothing gets achieved. I know some of you already are active with this, ma sha Allah, but this is more for newbies but if you are experienced you can help out and contribute your expertise and help give direction. You’ll be working with a team and it’ll be coordinated for maximum benefit for our community at large so you won’t be on your own.

    This is a beginning and something I’ve been meaning to get up and running for a long time, so this isn’t exactly “re-actionary,” but in sha Allah, “actionary.”

  162. Rabiah

    October 8, 2009 at 5:20 PM

    good to see how many Muslims care. we just need to bring our feelings out to the world and let them know what is going on and how wrong it is.

    Jizak Allah Khair

  163. muslim.sister

    October 8, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    WOW…this is fitna!

  164. Zubair Khan

    October 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    Did anyone bother to verify whether he actually said that or not? Tantawi came out with a press release saying that he didn’t actually say those things to the girl but he still holds the niqaab as cultural:

    That news source that originally came out with the story is known for lying and bashing people. We basically backbit Sh. Tantawi since we blasted him in articles like the one posted here. He will have a lot of fun collecting people’s hasanaat on the day of judgment who did gheebah on him. There’s a reason in Islam we verify news before acting on it, especially if we’re going to harshly criticize the person like that. May Allah forgive us.

    • Ahmad AlFarsi

      October 9, 2009 at 12:52 AM

      I doubt the genuineness of that article. Sh. Yasir said in his article that the events have been related by many trustworthy Muslim sources in addition to the media… simply because one article says otherwise, or Tantawi might be bactracking, doesn’t change what probably transpired….

      • MM Associates

        October 9, 2009 at 2:41 AM

        Brother Ahmad al-Farsi, my only worry is that we also had similar occurrence with the Michael Jackson issue.


  165. Saarim

    October 8, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    Zubair, Tantawi has many other mistakes compard to this one such as shaking the hand of the war criminal, Shimon Peres, his absolute silence when the Egyptian regime handed over some Muslim sisters to the Coptic Church and many others. If anything, there should be more criticisms of this court scholar who always the line of the Egyptian gov’t.

  166. Zubair Khan

    October 8, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    That still doesn’t change the fact that if he truly didn’t say those things to the girl, as he claimed in the article, people backbit against him and bashed him for things he didn’t say. There is no way you can justify that, no matter who the person is. Gheebah is gheebah.

    • MW_M

      October 8, 2009 at 10:09 PM

      Ouch! May Allah (SWT) forgive us all for our backbiting….

      • Ikhlas

        October 8, 2009 at 10:30 PM

        hmmmm..he still forced her to take it off by his own account…
        Also he is retracting the statement cuz of the amount of backlash he is encountering.

    • Ahmad AlFarsi

      October 9, 2009 at 12:51 AM

      I doubt the genuineness of that article. Sh. Yasir said in his article that the events have been related by many trustworthy Muslim sources in addition to the media… simply because one article says otherwise, or Tantawi might be bactracking, doesn’t change what probably transpired…

  167. peacerose

    October 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM

    Quite simply, one of the signs of the day of judgement is that the scholars will decrease in number , thereby taking the knowledge with them. Result??? DAJJALS AGENTS TAKE OVER.
    …”And a truth will be made to be a lie and a lie will be made to be a truth”.
    I have just seen the video of the sisters who have been refused entry, I want to cry. In Manchester,England here, 20 muslims graves were desecrated, what else can we expect when people who should know better undermine the God given rights of a woman.
    How can we blame the non muslims when the enemies of Islam are amongst us?

  168. Poor One

    October 8, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    I am more and more convinced that people are really giving their hasanaat away while doing gheebah. Subhanallah. What is this comment that I read, Shaykh “Taunt” this that? Why is MM only censoring what they deem to be offensive but gheebah, a Kabeerah from the sins is espoused on such a so called Islamic forum and totally ignored. Another hujjah and proof that one of the signs of the day of judgment as in Saheeh hadeeth, people watching sin being committed and don’t even stop it.

    Truly, I am more than convinced that MM diverts people away from memorizing Quran, understanding of beautiful hadeeth and practice of moderation according to the salaf….

    I’m not coming here again.

    • unemployed

      October 9, 2009 at 1:38 AM

      The harm Mr. Azhar has caused is just too much to bear. We have to discuss about this wise scholar, who has strengthen the agenda of the western countries to ban niqab. Today he spoke about niqab, tomorrow (Allah forbid) he might speak about hijab. Therefore, I don’t see anyway out except for speaking about Mr. Azhar, or as you cite do “gheeba” about him.

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  171. MM Associates

    October 9, 2009 at 2:36 AM

    In the two comments above mine, both of them (Peacerose and Poor One) have opposing views, but both claim that it is a “sign of the end of times.” Really, we Muslims have the flair for the melodramatic.

    Peacerose says:

    Quite simply, one of the signs of the day of judgement is that the scholars will decrease in number , thereby taking the knowledge with them. Result??? DAJJALS AGENTS TAKE OVER.

    You’re at a 10, when you need to be at a 2, or a maximum at a 4. “Dajjal agents take over.” Overstatement maybe? Taking it way over the top perhaps?

    Poor One has an opposite view of PeaceRose, yet also concludes that:

    Another hujjah and proof that one of the signs of the day of judgment as in Saheeh hadeeth, people watching sin being committed and don’t even stop it.

    You really think that this single event is a “hujjah” for the signs of the end of times? “Hujjah” is a very strong term!

    My comment has nothing really to do with what side you are on (i.e. either supporting or opposing Sh. Tantawi). It really has to do with the fact that we tend to speak in religious hyperbole all the time. Even the du’as invoked by some are just way overboard. It reminds me of the language used in Civilization (a computer game) in which medieval rulers would address the leaders of enemy nation-states, i.e. overly flowery, melodramatic language that just looks silly in the twenty-first century.

    Anyways, even if one views niqab as something “only cultural,” why the need to ban it in all-girls schools? Surely those who banned it were familiar with what has happened in France; didn’t they have enough common sense to know what kind of message this would send to non-Muslims? i.e. even the Muslims are banning it in their schools.

    Additionally, Sh. Tantawi may have a point that a girl doesn’t need to wear niqab in an all-girls school. But then he asked her to remove it in front of HIM. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Sh. Tantawi is not a girl.


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  174. wael77

    July 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    It stands to reason that a government whose mission is to destroy the Islamic faith in the hearts of its people would appoint religious leaders who are committed to the same mission.

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  176. Ikf

    August 7, 2016 at 2:52 AM

    There cannot be two opinions about what Tantawi said and did to the teen-ager niqab-clad girl was absolutely immoral and downright horrific. It would be sick to justify Tantawi’s behavior in any shape or form.
    Only Allah and his Messenger are beyond criticism – Tantawi is an ordinary human being. So, let’s not worry about some disagreeable terms being used on these forums.
    Now, if we forget the brash mannerism of Tantawi for a moment, didn’t he say that niqaab has nothing to do with the religion…that is it is only a part of some culture? I believe he said that and Yasir Qadhi tends to confirm exactly that through various hadith/historical reports that niqaab was customary among many Arab women of Prophet Muhammad’s times. Rather, Qadhi goes to this ridiculous assumption that even though the Rasollallah (sws) reportedly prohibited women to wear niqaab during the state of the Ihraam, some women violated his commands to ‘circumvent’ it by ‘covering’ their faces with OTHER pieces of cloth! “Remove the niqaab” obviously means “show your faces” – and if some woman feels uncomfortable with the command of the Prophet (sws) and finds ways to go around it, is certainly in error. Having said that, I have often doubted the veracity of at least some of the historical/hadith reports. Reports are just that – reports. Let’s not believe in those stories the way we believe in the Qur’an!
    Finally, I do not understand the disclaimer of Qadhi at the end of the article. He seems to avoid the religiosity of the issue of the Niqaab. What are his views about the niqaab is anybody’s guess – at least from the point of view of this article and his disclaimer at the end of the article.

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