2010-10-08
  Source: Alarabiya

Azhar scholars slam meeting with Iran officials

A block of scholars from al-Azhar has welcomed the decision of their grand Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed al-Tayyeb to cancel a meeting with the Iranian vice president and tourism minister Hamid Baghai.

Al-Azhar, which is the world’s center of Sunni Islam, has also called to blockade any meeting with Iranian officials unless the Islamic Republic changes course and destroys the shrine of Abi Lulu’a al-Majusi, the killer of the second caliph (Prophet’s companion) Omar bin al-Khatab.

Sunni Muslims believe that the first four caliphs after Mohammed have rightfully took his place as the leaders of Muslims, leaving a huge contrast with Shiite Muslims who believe that the only heirs of the fourth companion, Ali, are the legitimate successors to lead Muslims.

Baghai visited other sites

But in 2007 Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Taskhiri, secretary-general of the Tehran-based World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought sent a letter to the International Union of Muslim Scholars saying that the Iranian authorities have closed the tomb.

Rifaa al-Tahtawi, a spokesman of al-Azhar said al-Tayyeb lectures every Tuesday and is keen to keep his schedule on time, and the Iranian delegation was late in requesting a meeting with al-Tayyeb despite their four days stay in Egypt to sign the airline agreement, connecting Cairo and Tehran for the first time after 30 years of severed relations.

Al-Tahtawi also pointed out that Baghai has visited a couple of mosques highly revered by Shiite Muslims, including al-Sayyeda Zainab (the daughter of the Prophet), al-Sayyeda Nafisa (Prophet’s granddaughter from Hussain), and Imam Hussain (son of the Prophet).

Head of the scholar’s block, Dr. Mohammed al-Biri said that Iran did not offer much to close the gap between the two sects, and called Iran to erase what is offensive to Sunni Muslims.

Killer of Omar

Abu Lulu’a tomb is in the city of Kashan and has few visitors, and is only symbolic as his body was buried in Madina, in Saudi Arabia.

Islamic Action Front, the arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has sent a letter to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei to destroy the tomb to mitigate Sunni-Shiite relation.

Islamic Action Front’s secretary general Hamza Mansour has also emphasized his Fatwa in a letter to Khamenei to forbid insults and tirades on the Prophet’s companions.

Mansour also commented on Yasir al-Habib, whose Kuwaiti citizenship was stripped after he made derogatory statements about al-Sayyeda Aysha, (Prophet Mohammed’s wife) and several of the prophet’s companions.

He said that al-Habib’s comments are no different than what Islam is facing from slander in Europe and Tel-Aviv, and taking the same mode of assaults Muslims are enduring in Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

He also called for Sunnis to be able to build their mosques wherever they please in Tehran, just as Shiite Muslims can build their mosques anywhere.

Mohammed Salim al-Awa, secretary general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars told Al Arabiya that the "the tomb is for an old Sufi person in Iran, with few visitors, and the Iranian authorities have closed it."

The source from: Alarabiya


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