Only State can declare jihad, says Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti

Only grand muftis were authorised to issue decrees and not semi-literate clerics who issued decrees after reading a few books being holed up in caves

The Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar University has said that the State was the only authority to declare a jihad.

“Groups like Daesh (the militant Islamic State) have strayed away from the message of Islam but they are targeting Muslim youths through social media,” Dr Shawki Ibrahim said while addressing a roundtable conference titled ‘Paigham-i-Pakistan and terrorism’ organised by the Council of Islamic Ideology in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Dawn reproted.

The conference discussed the practical aspect of the ‘Paigham-i-Pakistan’ to eradicate extremism and noted that the use of social media and internet was essential to counter the motives of the fanatics.

The grand Mufti of Al-Azhar said that only grand muftis were authorised to issue decrees and not semi-literate clerics who issued decrees after reading a few books being “holed up in caves”.

Referring to militant leaders with religious linkages, he said, “Similarly we need to counter the mindset which does not believe in boundaries of the states.”

Dr Ibrahim lauded the efforts of Islamabad against extremism and said that the ‘Paigham-i-Pakistan’ should be spread across the country to eradicate the extremist mindset.

He said that Egypt, too, was formulating a national narrative on similar lines and the document would be signed by mainstream clerics.

Dr Aftab Ahmed, a religious scholar, highlighted salient features of the Paigham-i-Pakistan, which offers a national narrative endorsed by clerics of all four major sects in the country — Barelvi, Shia, Deobandi and Ahlihadith.

 

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