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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Should we address Sheikh Sudais as "His Excellency" "His holiness" ??? Never.


Imam Al Sudais's India visit to lecture at the Deoband seminary is sending some sections of the Muslim community into overdrive. I received a card from the India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC) in Delhi to attend an address by 'His Holiness', Imam-e-Haram, Dr Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, presently imam of the mosque in Mecca. The accompanying letter details the imam's achievements including his educational degrees in sharia law. In 2005, he received 'The Islamic Personality of the Year' award and stood nominated for the Dubai International Quran Award, which he accepted.  
The 'His Holiness' came as a jolt, for no such prefixes have ever been added to Prophet Muhammad's name or that of his companions, who rank the highest in Muslim piety.
As one devoted to Islam, i believe using the Quran to name an award belittles the sanctity of God's word and borders on blasphemy. Legitimising such an award by its acceptance seems a worse action. The early history of Islam contains no examples of spiritual or religious leaders accepting state or private awards. On the contrary, sharia and prophetic traditions frown upon those who seek or allow public adulation, for all righteous deeds are for God alone.

The Deoband leadership has requested that Al Sudais not be frisked during his visit to Parliament. Due respect must be accorded to the visiting imam, because he leads the prayers at the Kaabah. This reverence flows from 'where' the prayers are led and not because of 'who' the imam is. To quote Arshad Madani of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind, "Sheikh Al Sudais is the highest religious leader of the Muslims". This is misleading because Al Sudais merely represents the highest-ranking sacred space.


Sadia Dehlvi in Times of India. More Here and Here.

6 comments:

Umair said...

Please read the comments by Sheikh Abdul Rahman As-Sudais in his Khutbah on Friday, 18th Feb, 2011 about the unrest and a wave of revolutions in Middle East and African Nations and published in Arab News.

Imam and Khatib at the Grand Mosque in Makkah Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais has warned Muslims against endangering the safety, stability and better interests of their countries.

“True patriotism is not shouting slogans but sincerity, positive approach, transparency and credibility. Real patriots should not trade national pride for the dictations of intruders,” said Sheikh Al-Sudais in his sermon at the Grand Mosque on Friday.

The sheikh also stressed the need for healthy national sentiments to protect the dignity, security, justice, discipline and peace of a country.

Al-Sudais urged Muslims to make concerted efforts to defend their nations and judiciously solve their issues.

The imam warned people against the designs of the enemies of Islam to destabilize their countries, and called on believers to fear Allah in a world roiled with sedition, crises and radical alterations.

He demanded worshipers adhere to religious laws and avoid schism and disputes, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

He stressed the need to strengthen family ties so that family life is not wrecked by vicious influences.

He concluded the sermon with a prayer calling on Allah to protect the land of the two holy mosques and other Muslim countries from all forms of sedition and disturbances.

Anonymous said...

Sadia Dehlvi is correct in her criticism on addressing sheik sudais as His excellency.Even JIH people addressed him with this title.They prefixed H.E before his name in the banner prepared for his reception.

Sheikh Ibrahim Ulavi said...

Mr Anonymous.
It is shocking to note that such a blunder has been committed in the Markaz itself.

The news report of the event in the SIO website too the "His Excellency" word has propped up in two, three times.(See : http://sio-india.org/zones/head-quarters/612--imamul-haram-shaikh-abdur-rahman-sudais-laid-the-foundation-of-students-islamic-center.html) But, the reporter of Arab News has faithfully avoided the usage of the word "His Excellency". (See : http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article332158.ece)

Noorul Ameen said...

It is shocking indeed! I have grown up reading inspiring articles with screaming headlines like "There is no His Highness or His Lordship or His Excellency in Islam"

Sheikh Sudais is an important personality and highly regarded by Muslims all over the world. But it does not justify or qualify Him to be addressed as His Exceleency.

Moreover it is not his fault. Infact he may not like it to be addressed in that way. It only shows our servant mentality. We always tend to crawl when asked to bow.

Akber Ali said...

Let us have good opinion about our leaders there. Having Husn-e-zan is a form of worship.

The word "His Excellency" could have been mentioned there inadvertantly by some low level functionery of the Jamaat. Nobody would have thought over it.

So let us not take it seriously. Mistakes happen. To err is human. The Jamaat people too are human. Let us forgive and forget.

Anonymous said...

As salamu allaiqum

sir add this link to your blog

http://jumbofiles.com/user/amel_soname

so people can download abdul rahman sudais quran recitation

this is sheikh sudais complete quran in win rar link
http://www.filejumbo.com/Download/93F7FE513D61B4B6

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