Al Azhar Cleric Terms Salafists as Non-Sunnis

Muslim Clerics attend the Sunni Conference in Grozny, Chechnya

Cairo- In a speech to Muslims worldwide and the West, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb had renounced all radical takfiri-inspired actions, saying that such deeds are in no way related to the teachings of Islam’s fundamental Sunni sect.

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, accompanied by a personal delegation, says that his country spends relentless efforts to curb the spread of radical ideology, which is considered foreign to the Chechen society, reported a source close to Cairo-based Azhar Mosque.

Kadyrov also added that the Grand Imam’s visit to the republic will further bolster these efforts and anchor moderation as a track for Chechens.

Read also- Over 100 Muslim Clerics Attend Sunni Conference in Chechnya

Observers see that piling fears across the world wrongly link actions of ultra-hardline terror groups that cherry pick religious texts to validate violence and transgressions against humanity. Islam officially disowns any form of takfiri-styled action.

El-Tayeb said that reasons behind the extremism the Muslim nation is experiencing are the wide-spreading perversion rest in misrepresented and depraved teachings going around which scar the Sunni sect’s true image.

The top Muslim scholar then confirmed that the sole salvation and solution for such an abomination is the true interpretation and abiding by the true Sunnah teachings of prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and companions.

Kadyrov had received El-Tayeb at the airport and had kept his company until the Grand Imam arrived to the presidential palace in the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Grozny. The head of the Republic escorting the top Muslim scholar was seen as a sign of great respect held by the Chechens for both Egypt and the Muslim world, especially in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

The head of Egypt’s top Islamic institution had long stressed that major religions, including Islam, forbid shedding blood of the innocent, and assaulting or terrorizing them. “In Islam, deviating from that is a major crime and corruption on earth, which Islam orders to counter and protect society of its devastating effects,” he said.

“In Islam, preaching about God is defined to be through wisdom and rational conversation that does not insult others or their beliefs. The Quran states that there is no compulsion in religion,” El-Tayeb was cited earlier Sunday.

For his part, Kadyrov underlined that the people of Chechnya faithfully adopt Azhar’s Sunni creed and teachings, adding that the Egyptian institution had preserved Islam against extremism for over a thousand years.

Saudi Cleric opposed the stand

Saudi Arabian clerics have vehemently opposed the recent remarks by Egyptian Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who allegedly excluded Salafists from Sunnis during a religious conference in Chechnya, Russia.

While the ongoing Sunni Conference in Grozny, Chechnya, Sheikh Tayeb said that Salafists were not Sunnists, as he went on to define what is meant by Sunnism.

The online Arabic-language Ray al-Youm website said in a report on Monday that the remarks caused a storm of anger among pro-government clerics in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Clerics alleged that the discourse presented by the Egyptian cleric during the conference was linked with a policy to weaken Wahhabism practiced in Saudi Arabia and establish a new, dominant Sunni leadership under the auspices of al-Azhar in Egypt.

Several Saudi clerics said the conference, attended by thinkers from Egypt and other Sunni-dominated countries, was an attempt by the Russian government to deepen the gap between Saudi Arabia and Egypt — two leading Sunni Muslim nations of the world. 

As many as 100 Muslim clerics from different regions of the world including Russia, Syria, Turkey, India, Britain, Lebanon, Egypt, South Africa and Jordan, attended the Grozny conference on August 25-17 to disassociate themselves and Sunnism from the Takfiri terrorist groups that have been wreaking havoc in the Middle East and other places.

The scholar attendees, most of them well-known in the Muslim world, said the groups like Daesh, which fight under the banner of Wahhabism, have no links to Sunnism altogether.

The Saudi government, along with its allies, has been among the main sponsors of Takfiri militants.

According to reports, the Riyadh regime has recently stepped up its support for Takfiri militants in the face of the Iraqi army’s upcoming liberation of Mosul and the Syrian army’s advances in Aleppo and elsewhere.


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