We shouldn’t hate on Shaykh al-Azhar Tantawi on his opinion, instead Protest against the Egyptian Universities ban on Niqab

Update: I am not defending Sh. Tantawi. All I am saying that it serves not purpose to hate on him, calling him various derogatory names. It won’t help to remove the ban on the niqab from the universities. We have to make dua and protest against the universities and government of Egypt to remove the ban inshaAllah.

Once I get this translated, you will see why.

Translation of this article:

Shaykh Tantanwi said he respects the niqab and that there’s no harm for niqaabis to come to his office in order to end this issue. He also confirmed that the niqab is a custom and not from worship (عبادة) and at the same time he stated he has no objection to it.

He denied what was published in some newspapers which quoted him saying to a pupil in an azhari school “if you were even a little beautiful you wouldn’t be wearing this”. He also denied saying that he knows the religion better than you and your family to the pupil.

He also made clear in a special statement, which he stated on the Egyptian program “The House is Your House” (a very famous talk show in Egyptian fyi) When I went to inspect one of the azhari schools (“Ahmad Libi” <- name of the school where the incident occurred, located in Nasr city behind the international park) at the beginning of the new school year, I entered the school accompanied by members of the school board (of that school) and came across approximately 15 students (all girls). One of the girls was wearing the niqab, so I said to her raise your niqab. Not only did she not responsed but she just stood there stunned. So then I requested the teacher to remove the niqab in order so that I can talk to her. The niqab was then removed by force. He then said to her, why do you wear the niqab when you’re with other female students? Then he stated there is no need for the niqab in this case. He also added there’s no stopping a female student from wearing the niqab while attending the morning assembly, but when she enters the classroom she must take the niqab off. Side note from translator: The third paragraph I changed a few pronouns from the original text fyi just so that the text would flow better< Just in case an Arab reads this translation mention this..

70 Replies to “We shouldn’t hate on Shaykh al-Azhar Tantawi on his opinion, instead Protest against the Egyptian Universities ban on Niqab”

  1. Honestly, people need to stop talking about this already. Stuff like this is going to continue to happen, so start lowering your expectations and step into the real world.

    @ Shoaib, wake up please. We don’t live in a utopia. The biggest driver in politics is personal motivations [i.e. the nafs] and nothing else. Its a dirty job, and filth is inherent in its nature. The ulama arent going to guide our politicians. Not now, not ever. Whether spiritual guidance, professional guidance, or any other type. Its not going to happen.

    And people need to cool it down with hyperbolic rhetoric. People talking big smack – SWEARING about how they’re going to strip Tantawi naked if they ever meet him, or about impeaching him, etc etc. Like serious, think before you talk and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

  2. it’s cool,

    Imaam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) said: “Many of the salaf used to forbid from going to the kings even for the one who wished to order them to do good and prohibit them from doing evil. Amongst those who forbade this were ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-Azeez, Ibn Mubaarak, ath-Thawri, and others from amonst the Imaams.

    Ibn Mubaarak said: “In our opinion, it is not enjoining good and prohibiting evil for one to go to them and order and prohibit them, rather enjoining good and prohibiting evil is related to avoiding them.” The reason for this is what is feared in regards to the fitnah by going to them, for when he is far from them, the soul suggests to the man that he should order and prohibit them, and be stern with him; when he is near to them, the soul inclines to them since the love of nobility is hidden in the soul, and therefore he flatters them, is friendly towards them, he may even be biased towards them and love them – especially if they act friendly towards him and are generous to him and he accepts that from them.”

  3. Maverick- The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said that the greatest Jihad is to speak a word of truth to an unjust tyrant. Is that not our Ulama guiding the politicians? THIS IS PART OF OUR HISTORY FOR GOD SAKES! READ THE BOOKS OF TAARIKH! God….

  4. Shoaib,

    Calm down. You sound like you’re about to go all frothy at the mouth. Trust me, I’m extremely familiar with all the usual old arguments you can dish out to support the idea of scholars advising rulers.But al-Suyuufi beat me to the punch, so make sure you read what he put up.

    I’m not sure if you’ve actually ever been involved with politics, but its notoriously corruptive. The scholars should, at best, keep an arm’s-length distance from those who are advising the rulers and politicians. Otherwise they risk falling into the same cesspool that Tantawi has now found himself wallowing in.

    And for the record – no, the hadith of nabeyuna Muhammad [saws] that you paraphrased does NOT indicate that it can only be an aalim or a scholar of any sort who should speak up in front of an unjust ruler. It can be anyone who has a moral conscience.

  5. So are you saying people with moral consciences should keep an arm’s distance from advising rulers and politicians?

    How do you expect one to voice his/her opinions without becoming “corrupt”?

    This is pathetic.

  6. Shoaib,

    Either you don’t speak English as your native language and thus you have lack comprehension skills, or you;re just being intentionally stubborn.

    As I said, the scholars – if they wish to advise the rulers – should keep an arms length from them. In other words, you outsource actual F2F delivery of the advice to third parties, avatars, agents, etc.

    Furthermore, I said that one doesn’t have to be a scholar to advise a corrupt ruler. It can be anyone with a moral conscience; anyone who can differentiate right from wrong and doesn’t want to stay silent in the face of the same.

    And I totally disagree on your suggestion of using Musa [as] as an example. If you are familiar with the status of the Prophets, and you go back and read what al-suyuufi posted, then it should become clear to you why I disagree with using Musa [as] as an example. If it’s not so apparent to you, please let me know and I will elaborate.

  7. Maverick- so you do agree with scholars advising rulers?

    So we cannot use Prophet Musa as an example even though Allah does? lol

  8. @Shoaib – please go have a read on the links I posted earlier, if you can read or understand Arabic, you will understand Tantawi’s history. Also google him in Arabic and you find countless Arabic journals, Islamic and news sites that tackle his strange opinions.

    Everyone here by default should believe Tantawi, if he claims that he did not do as has been reported (as is the Islamic practice), however when multiple sources claim that he did so – then the position is either to stand back and remove oneself from the topic OR take a position that has the most weight and evidence. In this case it seems that the majority of sources claim he spoke in the a manner not befitting a scholar. This is aside from the fact that his opinion on niqab is questionable (and refutable) and the ban on niqab is a human rights violation. As someone else said on another site “If Tantawi banned the bikini, the human rights groups of the world would have a field day with Islam”

    The position he holds is one of the highest, Shaykh ul-Azhar, but in Islam we have no Pope nor single authority when it comes to Islamic law or Fiqh. He is known, look at his past fatawa and practice, to be someone of questionable conduct. In fact many other Al-Azhar scholars have refuted him and have gone against his opinions (many who did so had then been sacked, surprisingly).

    Tantawi is on the government payroll and therefore is compromised. But even if he wasn’t, many of his fatawa have been tackled, discredited and refuted by tons of great ulema across the world from Britain, US, to India, Pakistan, Saudi and Malaysia – from all backgrounds from Salafi’s, Ikhwani’s to Deobandi’s and Sufi’s.

    You must know that the corrupt governments will NEVER follow ulema, this is their own purpose. You control people by controlling the ulema and that is exactly what is happening.

    Why do you think the Egyptians call Tantawi “Sayyid Beh Okay'”??

    @everyone else: please keep your adab and do not insult or be rude. At the end of the day, we are all held accountable for the things we say. May Allah forgive us and guide us.

  9. well sticking to the issue with politics aside for a moment… I find it troubling that not every single person here, whether they believe niqab is a fard or not, isn’t appalled by the fact that he had the audacity to tell a woman to remove her niqab. How humiliating. That’s like forcing a woman to take off her hijab. Maybe men don’t realize but when a woman covers it becomes so apart of her that literally remvoing a niqab/hijab in the presence of a non-Mahram is like feeling naked, and the fact that people are defending him while seeing the obvious misguidance in what he did is very sad.

    If he felt niqab isn’t a fard he simply should’ve told her and walked away. No matter what kind of scholar someone is they have no right playing the prophet and acting like they have the authority to undress a woman like that. I pray that everyone, including myself, be guided on the right path.

    Had this been a girl with no hijab being forced to wear it the response would’ve been very different. “Oh no one has the right to force her to wear it!” blah blah blah

  10. Assalamu alaykum

    The real Issue is This is Tassawuff, this is Sufism, Tanatawi and the rest of sufi in Egypt, which I live and studied there. And I was in Egypt when Tanatawa make this statement. Is just the proof how Sufi are against Ahul Sunnah.

    Sufis of Egypt hold that, niqab is not fard.

    In fiqh there are different opinion. Some say its not some say it fard.

    In Egypt dawatu salafiya mashallah is growing, and many of the women in Egypt , in the past did not even wear Hijab. Mini skirts, the half naked.

    Alhamdulillah because many of the Shayook in Egypt who upon dawatu salafiyah giving dawah call the people to what is correct many of the women start wearing Hijab, then many of them starting wearing Niqqab.

    Tons of Women in Egypt for big city, to village areas women wear Niqqab alhamdulillah. This is a sign that people are very much aware of Islam and are coming to the correct understanding of Islam.

    Sufism is like Christianity for a government, it help control the people to keep them ignorant of religious matters or other affairs and of knowledge. Makes the government easy to control them. That why you find the goverment that are not on Islam they are Sufism, Aqeedah Asharia Sufis is the goverment relgion. Because it base upon falsehood and the relgion of the Countries are sufis.

    Country like Morocco, Egypt, Tunisa, Pakistan Afganstan etc.
    You find most Muslim country goverment opress the people they are under Sufism, Aqeedah Ashari.

    Just like America you find the people mostly Christians and you see the falsehood of their beliefs produce, people who no morals, no understand of God, killers, Murders, rappest etc.

    You find most of the Muslims Sufi countries in too political problems. Backwards, oppressing each other. This is the effect of their false beliefs in Sufism which lead them away from the Truth. Like the Issue in Sudan.

    You notice how all the Sufis in this Site are all quiet, except for trying cover up the dirt for his sufi brother Tantawi. For those Sufi scholars of the past like Imam Gazali rahimallah who when he died, he rejected sufism in their aqeedah. Sufis of the past who were upon the sunnah had the best of manner Tantawi have the worst may Allah guide him Ameen.

  11. @ Muhammad Amreeki

    Jazakallhu jhayr for the decent post and naseeha.

    A few questions bro.

    1.) You said Tantawi is a Sufi and that they dont hold niqab to be fard. Can you please clarify your statements? I know sufi women who wear niqab – and I’m sure others here do also – and Tantawi didnt just say “niqab isnt fard” he outright said niqab has no part in our Deen altogether. So how do you reconcile these two points with what you said?

    2.) You opined that more and more women wearing niqab means more people are coming to a correct understanding of Islam. I presume, based on this opinion, as well as what I mentioned in point No.#1 about your thoughts on niqab being fard [or not, that you hold that niqab is completely fard on any woman past the age of puberty and in her child-bearing years who steps outside of her house, and that you do not accept the hijab-and-abaaya outfit which leaves the face exposed? Did I understand you correctly?

    Jazakallahu khayran

  12. Yes brothers I say it again THE SUFIS OF EGYPT HOLD THE NIQAB IS NOT FARD!

    This is why Tantawi made his statement. Ask ANY SUFI SHAYKH IN EGYPT IS NIQAB FARD THEY WILL ALL SAY NO!


    For Egypt the Sufi women wear does not even Niqab they wear head scarf, or hijab, those in Egypt who are sufi who cover their face, that is a few its because Arab Culture, because she married or of Azhar shaykh say if she ugle she should wear it vise versa also.

    And for the record all the scholars in AZHAR ARE NOT SUFI SOME ARE FROM AHUL SUNNAH SOME ARE SALAFI. Some are on other crazy stuff also. But the Creed of Azhar is Creed Ashair Sufi

    In the post i wrote read it again I talking about Egypt.

    Matter in fact the sufis of Egypt so lost, I used to live and study in Egypt, Many private schools in Egypt that are not religious sufis of azhar hold that muslims children can celebrate xmas, easter and non relgious schools in Egypt hold them celebration , x mas and christmas trees, easter and these holidays from Sufis of azhar saying they can have these holidays because they not worshiping them, they make fatwaa for this.
    Audubillahi min shaytan fee Azhaar.

    Brother about Niqab there it difference of opinion that fall all the way back to the four Imams of fiqh.

    They differ in this some say its not fard some say its fard. I follow the opinion it is fard. When there fall a difference of opinion in a issue of ahul sunnah I do not make big arguement because the salaf differ on this issue. So if a women just wore hijab, I do not scold her or make fun of her etc.

    Tantawi hold its not part of the deen, Tantawi is a lair, when you read the tafisr about Hijab, the Ansari Women not just cover their faces they cover the face and left one eye out. Read reference

    Tafseer – Ibn Katheer
    “Allah commanded the muslim women to cover this sheet on top of them to cover their bodies except one eye, when it is necessary for them to come out of their homes.”

    Tafseer – Commentary by Ibn Jarir and Ahkam-ul-Quran, Vol.III, p.457
    Imam Muhammad bin Sirin said: “When I asked Ubaida bin Sufyan bin al-Harith (ra) the meaning of this verse and how the jalbaab was to worn, he demonstrated it to me by pulling a sheet of cloth over his head to cover his entire body, leaving the left eye uncovered. This was also the explanation of the word ‘Alaihinna in this verse”

    Tafseer – Alu’si, Rul-ul-Ma’ani, Vol. 22, p. 89
    “Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Al-Mundhir described the method of wearing the jalbaab according to Ibn Abbas (ra) and Qatadah (ra). The sheet should be wrapped around from the top, covering the forehead, then bringing one side of the sheet to cover the face below the eyes so that most of the face and the upper body is covered. This will leave both eyes uncovered (which is allowed in necessity).

    Tantawi the lair when he say its not part of the deen.

    Its reported

    Hadith – Bukhari 6:282

    ‘Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): ‘They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,’ was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.”

    Tantawi and the rest of the lairs in Egypt, People who are not Mutazim of Egypt think that Islam and the Sunnah are keeping the Muslims from Progressing. This is the understanding of People of Egypt that are not Mutazim [ not on deen]. They want to be more like the West in thinking, believing that this will advance them. Tantawi and the rest of the lairs like him in Egypt are against ahul sunnah and think Niqab is not from Islam, they are thinking in the small brains that, its part of the Arab Culture of the past, the backwards Arabs before Islam.

    Because of Dawatu Salafiyah in Egypt is growing and more and more women are Muntaqiba [ s wear Niqab] starting to come to the sunnah they fear this and see it as become Backwards and not progressing.

    In Egypt, I live there and Study there and my family from there, I have traveled and studies there for two years. Every Town, there a salafi shaykh, even village that a salafi shaykh, Egypt have many villages and salafi scholars. You will find these places people hold on to the Islam are busying them self with knowledge. You will find majority of the people in these salafi community who are women Muntaqiba. Women in Niqab and men with their Thoub, Many men with their Lihya [ beard].

    You go to the places of the Sufis in Egypt what you will find – nothing, but thousands of sufis from all over the world going make pilgrmag to place like sufi grave of Badwi in city call Tanta in Egypt. And Masjid Husain while the sufi lie and claim Husain radi allahu anhu grave is there. You will find the sufis not busy them self with knowledge but you find thousand of sufis from all over brake their necks to visit these grave sites. The government love the way of life because it leave the People Blind.

    When you go to the Area of Sufis water down scholars you will find their cities and villages the people hearts of empty not upon relgion find the men smoking Shisha. Not just for Egypt for all country the people of Mostly Sufi and Shia like North African, Yemen, Countries of Sufis you find Majority of the Muslims WEAK in Faith into to Haraam. Alowing the Muslims to follow their desires.

    When Shaytan trap of the Muslims with this Sufism, in the Creed and beliefs, every thing else after in Deen felled because they deviated from the most import Pillar. Who is Allah in Tawheed and Creed. When they deviated from Creed, every thing Else felled easy . Just like in Egypt the Sufi beliefs was what got the women out of hijab in the fist place.

    When the Colonist took over most of the Arabic Speaking Country, those inside of the Courtries who accepted the colonist were from the Sufis, this is part of history like in Morocco the sufis accept the French rule. In India when the British took over, they used a divent sufi to make a other sufi order to stop muslims from finding Jihad.

    Just like after 911 in US sufi Daee by the name of Hamzah Yusuf said no ayah in Quran talks about Jihad. All the firemen who died in Trade Center was Shaheed. Lie on Allah to please the nafs of the kufur.

    In Egypt the sufis beliefs what go the women out of hijab. When you deviated for the Main beliefs every thing else in deen fall easy.

    Scholars on the sunnah salafi shayook who many years in Egypt give dawah got the women back into Hijab, and Niqab. The divents are angry and making their attack in Egypt upon Ahul Sunnah wa Jammat.

    Most of you who defend it have no proof they talk from pure desires.

  13. Ahl us-Sunnah has two views of Niqab: 1) fardh, 2) mustahabb.
    Even Tantawi mentioned this fact in his Tafsir of the ayaat of Hijab. And even if one doesn’t take it to be fardh, then that doesn’t automatically remove it from the religion.

  14. al suuyuufi

    I get in more detail, Tantawi and the Egyptian government claim its for the protection of the women in their all girl schools and female dorms. Because groups of thieves break inside. And in Egypt this is so in Cairo many type of thieves and liars amongst the people.

    So they banding the Niqab from the women wearing it. First in their all women schools they have male workers and teachers. Professors education the women this why some women wear Niqab.

    Tell me those from the US, Canada, UK, Australia etc. When I travel with the women in my family who wear Niqab or even Hijab, and there is some type of security. What dot hey do, they have a women guard or police take the women in Private and search them or allow the woman to lift their veil to look at her face. in NY they screen every child that walk through their door.

    Even the non Muslim women in US Air port is search by a woman. If Tantawa was really for their safety they would practice this. You tell me the Kufur have more brain and compassionate for women then the believers. Even in the Air port of Egypt women in Niqab and hijab are search by women.

    No his statement and their actions is against the Islam and the dawatu salafiya to weaken their women. Education is dear to all Egyptian. Egypt is a poor country a lot of people study in Azhar if they are not rich to get a basic education. So this action is attack upon the people of the sunnah there. Because if their women want this education come out of niqab.

    For the record in Egypt when a women wear hijab in 60 percent of the time its not Proper hijab. Its head scarf and jeans dont believe me look it up on google video see how most hijab women dress not in Egypt in most Muslim country. That is not hijab. So most hijabi wear in Egypt jeans or what they call a jeep [jean skir] and head scarf. Most of the salafi sisters are Muntiqba. [ cover the face].

    They attack the women I tell you one, Once there was a shaykh by the name of Muhammad Abdul Whabb al Bann al Misre he died last month in Saudi rahimallah, he gave a dars about women he said ” when I teach a man I teach that one person. But when I teach a woman I teach a whole nation.” the wisdom behind that is women she have children and raise children, so for a lot of muslims the mother is their first teacher so education of women is very important for all nations. Imam Bukharee mother who took him to seek ilm when he was young, he was from the yateeem.

    Ibn Tamiyyah from his teachers 8 of them were women, and some of these women where from his own family.

    The first to accept Islam from the Prophet sallahu wa alahe wa sallam was his wife Khadija who surported him in this.

    So these attacks are against ahul sunnah wa jammat.

  15. @Muhammad:

    Bro, my questions were really simple. They do not require such lengthy tracts of information, most of which I did not read. I would appreciate it if you could help me out by giving short, simple answers to the questions above.

    Jazakallahu khayran

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