Islamist Cleric Gharyani Issues a Fatwa Again Against Multiple Hajj and Umrah Trips – Al Marsad

The pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Tripoli based Government of National Accord (GNA), Sadiq al-Gharyani, former Grand Mufti of Libya who has been impeached by the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR), issued a fatwa once again prohibiting Libyans who previously performed pilgrimage or Umrah, of travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual rituals of Hajj, or visit the Kingdom for Umrah, for a second time, regardless of their financial ability, under the pretext that visiting Saudi Arabia boosts the economy of a hostile country.

[Libya, 10 August 2019] – Sadiq al-Gharyani renewed a fatwa that he issued previously, provoking a new wave of criticism by several Libyan religious and social figures who accused him of using his former official rank for political and personal reasons by confiscating the worshippers’ rights of performing their religious rituals, violating the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, that do not limit the number of visits the faithful can conduct to the Muslims’ holiest shrines.

Islamist cleric Sadiq al-Gharyani prohibits Libyans from performing Hajj and Umrah more than once.

The controversial fatwa contradicts the dozens of visits the radical Mufti and members of his own family have conducted, during his study and teaching career in Saudi Arabia. Gharyani reiterated a previous fatwa that called on Muslims around the world to boycott Hajj because the Saudi government, he claims, is using the pilgrimage revenues to “commit crimes against Muslims”.

Who is Gharyani Against and Why?

Gheriani, who was hosted by the “Islam and Life” television program broadcast weekly by the Islamist al-Tanasuh Satellite Channel, said that his religious fatwa is based on the hypothesis that Saudi Arabia supports what he called “the tyrants and the unjust rulers”—alluding to Field Marshal Haftar, Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA)—and therefore he argues that it is not religiously permissible to repeat the Hajj and Umrah trips which consolidates the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Gharyani denounced LNA General Command’s Martyrs Committee, which comprises the families of the victims of the war against terror, for receiving 1,000 Hajj visas this year, claiming that the reason for this is to enable Haftar to console the families, and to provide an incentive for more youth to enlist in the Libyan National Army to “kill their fellow Libyans” in Tripoli. The cleric hinted sarcastically that Haftar’s initiative to provide pilgrimage visas to the families of the martyred LNA soldiers aims at encouraging others to follow suit.

Furthermore, Gharyani accused Saudi Arabia of “conspiring and collaborating” with the unjust and the tyrants “to kill Libyans and destroy Libya.” Therefore, it is religiously prohibited, according to the Gharyani, to perform Hajj and Umrah again because this means, as he claims, pumping additional funds to the Saudi treasury.

Former senior Awqaf officials, pilgrimage committees’ coordinators, ulema, and a number of former administrators in the Dar-al-Iftaa, where Al-Gharyani still exerts his control, claim that his stance is based on personal and vengeful grounds, and is politically motivated by his current support for the forces fighting with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (LNA).

Sadiq al-Gharyani has a track record of issuing extreme fatwas and has been one of the key instigators of extremist religious political discourse in Libya. It is no surprise that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR), have issued a list of entities and individuals wanted for supporting terrorism—and one of the individuals on the list is none other than the former Grand Mufti of Libya, Sadiq al-Gharyani.

Gharyani and Qatar

The main reason behind urging Libyans to refrain from making Haj and Umrah more than once is because of Saudi Arabia’ unequivocal position towards the regime of Qatar which supports the Muslim Brotherhood and all types of radical and extremist groups through. Qatar’s support for these extremist networks is how the Qatari Intelligence apparatus spreads the agenda of creative chaos in the Middle East and North Africa. It aims at overthrowing the existing governments through a systematic destabilization process which empowers the Gulf gas giant to expand its political dominance over the entire region.

Fatwas issued by the former Grand Mufti of Tripoli serve the Qatari religious propaganda machine supported by the Muslim Brotherhood’s electronic army, and numerous multi-faceted Islamist media platforms. On more than one occasion, Gharyani urged the Libyans to express their gratitude for the Qatari assistance that contributed to the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in 2011. It is little surprise then that the controversial cleric has stood in solidarity with the State of Qatar since the first days of the Gulf crisis.

Observers see that Gharyani’s fatwas, in spite of their Libyan context, reflect a wider global political stance that supports the Qatari position and the forces loyal to Doha and Turkey in the Libyan capital, given the small percentage of the Libyan pilgrims’ spending compared to more than two million Muslims who perform the annual pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca.

Gharyani and Palestine

Furthermore, Gharyani urged Libyans that instead of spending money on Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, to contribute the expenses instead to support the Palestinian cause. He added that “this is an Islamic duty that must be observed, through physical or financial participation,” and wondered why people abandoned this duty throughout the whole Muslim world.

The former Mufti also criticized those who “flock to Hajj and Umrah several times, squandering their money on Saudi hotels and shopping centres that surround the Holy Shrines, and abandon the Islamic duty of jihad with money and self in Palestine, where the money should be spent.” In response to this argument, several critics requested the Mufti to send his own son, Suhail, to the occupied lands in Palestine, instead of performing rhetorical jihad in the luxury hotels of Istanbul, London, and Doha, and the offices of Dar-al-Iftaa and the studios of Al-Tanasuh TV.

In response to this argument, several critics requested the Mufti to send his own son, Suhail al-Gharyani, to the occupied lands in Palestine, instead of performing rhetorical jihad in the luxury hotels of Istanbul, London, and Doha, and the offices of Dar-al-Iftaa and the studios of Al-Tanasuh TV.

This is not the first time that the extremist cleric Gharyani proposes this idea as he had previously expressed it last April, whilst on exile in Istanbul before returning to his domicile in Tajoura. When he returned back to Libya he declared his solidarity with the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and its President, and the forces and militias loyal to the GNA government—after years of dispute during which he issued a fatwa inviting people to fight against some of the GNA-affiliated forces that he now supports, including, but not limited to, the Special Deterrence Force, which he has repeatedly and vehemently criticized, derogatively categorizing its elements as an unjust rapid deployment force.

© Al Marsad English. 2019.



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