by Syed Mahmoud Ansari (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 7, Shawwal, 1434)
This once venerable institution has been reduced to a shell and its head doing the bidding of the corrupt rulers. It is a sad reflection to how far the Ummah has fallen.
It is depressing to see that the ‘ulama at al-Azhar, the leading institution in the Muslim world, are unable to stand up for truth and justice. The stand taken by the Shaykh of al-Azhar, Shaykh Ahmed al-Tayyib vis-à-vis the military coup in Egypt is disappointing. Instead of condemning the coup, he has joined the mass murderers. This may be expedient but it will cost him and the institution he leads dearly.
There was a time when Muslims worldwide looked up to al-Azhar for guidance and direction. This once venerable institution is little more than a shell of its former self today. No wonder the Ummah is in such sad state. Imams Abu Hanifah, al-Shafi‘i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal accepted punishment and prison terms instead of supporting and rubberstamping tyrannical rulers. I am sure Shaykh al-Tayyib quotes these great imams in his lectures but in real life, he deviates from the path of those lofty forebears. How sad!
Syed Mahmoud Ansari
Chicago, IL, US