‎100 British Imams and scholars write letter of support ‎for the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar


Imams and Muslim scholars of the United Kingdom have sent a letter of commendation for the work of ‎Al-Azhar and the Grand Imam, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar.‎

2018-01-15 15:52:34Z    

In an unprecedented first, British Imams as well as male and female Muslim scholars of the United ‎Kingdom have come together and written a statement of commendation in a letter of support for the ‎historical and grand institution of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, and its Grand Imam, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb ‎Shaykh al-Azhar.‎

The letter, issued on Friday 12 January 2018, pays tribute to the long-standing history and service of Al-‎Azhar to the religion of Islam, the Muslims and the wider world – a service that spans over a thousand ‎years. The letter acknowledges the leadership and role played by the honourable Grand Imam of Al-‎Azhar in light of the events of 2017 and the present challenges facing the people of the world. ‎

The efforts of Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar in promoting the moderation of Islam and countering ‎extremist and terrorist thought; building bridges with other faith communities around the world as well as ‎institutions such as the Vatican in Rome, the Anglican Church and the Coptic Church; initiating ‎conferences, peace-building initiatives and various councils bringing people together from diverse ‎backgrounds; standing up for the right of under-privileged and persecuted people around the world and ‎leading humanitarian missions such as for the Rohingya; and standing up for the right of Palestinians and ‎the historical and religious issue of Jerusalem, have all been highlighted in the letter.‎

The letter comes at a time when Al-Azhar is to host a landmark international conference on Jerusalem ‎bringing people of different faiths and backgrounds together as well as experts in different fields, which is ‎to be held in Cairo, Egypt, in the middle of January.‎

Full text of the letter headed ‘Statement of Commendation’:‎

Al-Salamu ‘Alaykum.‎

As the new year of 2018 commences and the welcomed ‘Al-Azhar International Conference on ‎Jerusalem’ being held in Cairo approaches, we – the under-signed British Imams and scholars of the ‎United Kingdom – take this opportunity to extend gratitude and commendation for the scholarly ‎leadership demonstrated by al-Azhar al-Sharif and its Grand Imam, His Excellency, Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb ‎Shaykh al-Azhar, in light of the circumstances and challenges of the present age.‎

There is no doubt that al-Azhar al-Sharif has been a bastion of Islamic scholarship for over a thousand ‎years and has played a vital role in assessing and dealing with changing times and issues. It has maintained ‎the central moderation and peace of Islam and protected the religion from extremist contamination. Over ‎the centuries, it has gained prominence and a firm place in the hearts of Muslims around the world. ‎Today, beneficiaries of al-Azhar al-Sharif are found in all regions of the world, and Islamic scholarship is ‎indebted to the treasures of knowledge and wisdom that the luminary scholars of al-Azhar al-Sharif have ‎presented over the past generations.‎

In recent times, the world has appeared at a crossroad, facing challenges in many ways; from extremist ‎narratives plaguing the religion to bloodshed and violence perpetrated in the name of religion; from ‎demands of globalisation to humanitarian crises in many lands; from economic expediency of the ‎powerful to political chaos of the less powerful. In short, the present age has brought many challenges ‎that the Muslim community around the world is facing. ‎

In this regard, we commend and applaud the wise and scholarly leadership provided by the Grand Imam, ‎Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb Shaykh al-Azhar, at an institutional level inside al-Azhar al-Sharif, as well as for the ‎wider world, including the Arabs and Muslims. In particular, we commend the honourable Grand Imam ‎for the following initiatives:‎

‎1. ‎Organising landmark al-Azhar international conferences, such as Freedom and Citizenship; ‎Diversity and Integration, and the al-Azhar International Peace Conference, in Cairo, Egypt, with ‎Pope Francis of the Vatican, and building bridges with the Catholic Church.‎
‎2. ‎Building bridges between people by pursuing foreign tours to meet with state and faith leaders in ‎many countries including Italy, Germany, Netherlands, France, Australia, etc.‎
‎3. ‎Building bridges with Archbishop Justin Welby and the Anglican Church in England.‎
‎4.‎Setting up the award-winning Egyptian Family House project, bringing the Muslims of Egypt and ‎the Coptic Church closer together.‎
‎5. ‎Leading the global Muslim Council of Elders.‎
‎6. ‎Developing the al-Azhar Centre for eFatwa Online.‎
‎7. ‎Setting up the al-Azhar Observer for Countering Extremism and Terrorism.‎
‎8. ‎Despatching humanitarian aid missions from al-Azhar to the countries of Africa and for the ‎Rohingya community in Bangladesh.‎
‎9. ‎Consistently highlighting the religious and historical reality of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, ‎standing up for the right of the Palestinians, and organising the upcoming al-Azhar International ‎Conference on Jerusalem.‎
‎10. ‎Developing and strengthening the World Organization for al-Azhar Graduates and its branches ‎around the world, in order to spread the moderation of Islam to confront extremism, and to ‎correct the false image of Islam.‎

We congratulate the honourable Grand Imam on being duly recognised as the most influential Muslim in ‎the world for 2017 by The Muslim 500. We remain prayerful for the success of positive endeavours and for ‎the institution of al-Azhar al-Sharif.‎

‎[ENDS] ‎

Concise List of Signatories:‎

‎1.‎Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, Retford
‎2.‎Allama Dr Mohammad Shahid Raza Na’eemi OBE, Leicester
‎3.‎Shaykh Ahmad Nisar Beg Qadri, Manchester
‎4.‎Shaykh Umar Hayat Qadri, Huddersfield
‎5.‎Allama Masood Alam Khan al-Azhari, Nottingham
‎6.‎Prof Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Luton
‎7.‎Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Leeds
‎8.‎Shaykh Mohammad Yazdani Raza Misbahi, London
‎9.‎Allama Pir Syed Ishtiaq Hussain Shah Gillani, London
‎10.‎Maulana Shabir Hussain Rabbani, Glasgow, Scotland
‎11.‎Allama Syed Tariq Masood, London
‎12.‎Shaykh Hesham Mohamed, Stoke-on-Trent
‎13.‎Qari Hafiz Muhammad Ali, Sheffield
‎14.‎Bakhtyar Pirzada al-Azhari, Retford
‎15.‎Shaykh Mohammad Imran Abdali, Birmingham
‎16.‎Qari Sher Muhammad Qadri, London
‎17.‎Maulana Hafiz Gul Muhammad al-Azhari, Retford
‎18.‎Maulana Hafiz Mahboob Hussain al-Azhari, Retford
‎19.‎Allama Zein Hud al-Azhari, Birmingham
‎20.‎Imam Mohammed Asad Ali, London
‎21.‎Imam Muhammad Habibur Rahman Khan, Dunfermline, Scotland
‎22.‎Imam Abu Baqar Ali al-Azhari, Bradford
‎23.‎Sahibzada Hamad Zahir Siddiqui, Birmingham
‎24.‎Hafiz Tahir Rafiq al-Azhari, London
‎25.‎Ustadh Jamil Akram, Retford
‎26.‎Maulana Mushtaq Hussain al-Azhari, Retford
‎27.‎Ustadh Hasan Jamaal Khan, Peterborough
‎28.‎Imam Mansoor Mahmood, London
‎29.‎Ustadh Hasan Jeelani, Nottingham
‎30.‎Imam Mohammed Umar Nawaz, Cardiff, Wales
‎31.‎Maulana Aftab Muhaudden al-Azhari, Batley
‎32.‎Imam Kamran Liaquat Ali, Bradford
‎33.‎Ustadh Mohammed Mahfooz Wasif, Burton-upon-Trent
‎34.‎Imam Usman Kayani Chishti, Blackburn
‎35.‎Imam Shahed Tameez, Birmingham
‎36.‎Ustadh Abu Adam Akhlaq al-Azhari, Birmingham
‎37.‎Imam Ahmad Ayaz Ur-Rahman Irfani, Bedford
‎38.‎Imam Muhammad Irfan Chishti MBE, Manchester
‎39.‎Shaykh Rizwan Hussain al-Azhari, Southampton
‎40.‎Hafiz Musaddaq Shaheen al-Azhari, Peterborough
‎41.‎Imam Iftikhar Daad al-Azhari, London
‎42.‎Imam Hassan Rabbani al-Azhari, Glasgow, Scotland
‎43.‎Imam Mohammad Amir, Stoke-on-Trent
‎44.‎Ustadha Areeba Hassan, London
‎45.‎Ustadh Mohammed Hasan Patel, Bolton
‎46.‎Ustadh Haroon Mohammed, Stockton-on-Tees
‎47.‎Maulana Mohammed Adam Raza, Retford
‎48.‎Hafiz Issarar Hussain, Nottingham
‎49.‎Ustadh Mohammed Mahin Saiyed, Birmingham
‎50.‎Mr Imran Hussain, Birmingham
‎51.‎Imam Muzzamal Hussain Ahmed al-Azhari, Manchester
‎52.‎Imam Mansoor Mahmood al-Azhari, Kirkcaldy, Scotland
‎53.‎Imam Faisal Ali Khatab, Birmingham
‎54.‎Imam Muhammad Asim Chishti, Bristol
‎55.‎Ustadha Farkhanda Khatoon, Nottingham
‎56.‎Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad Siddique, London
‎57.‎Qari Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Khan al-Azhari, Nelson
‎58.‎Ustadh Mohammad Imran Sulaman al-Azhari, Oadby, Leicestershire
‎59.‎Ustadh Mohammad Haroon al-Azhari, Bradford
‎60.‎Ustadh Amanullah Munir, London
‎61.‎Maulana Mubashir Iqbal, Manchester
‎62.‎Ustadh Haseeb Ul Rehman Akhtar al-Azhari, Banbury
‎63.‎Abu Awais Imam Muhammad Zahoor Chishti al-Azhari, Oldham
‎64.‎Ustadh Ibrar Hussain, Blackburn
‎65.‎Ustadh Osman Ali, Birmingham
‎66.‎Ustadh Kaleem Haider al-Azhari, Liverpool
‎67.‎Ustadha Zulaikhah Jamil, Retford
‎68.‎Ustadh Arif Adam, Bolton
‎69.‎Maulana Muhammad Ishaq, Retford
‎70.‎Imam Ghulam Moyhuddin al-Azhari, Ashton-under-Lyne
‎71.‎Imam Mohamad Nizaal Khodabux, London
‎72.‎Imam Hafiz Sajjad Hussain al-Azhari, Blackburn
‎73.‎Ustadh Muhammad Ayaz al-Azhari, Coventry
‎74.‎Imam Nazam Nawaz, Bedford
‎75.‎Ustadh Dawood Masood, Luton
‎76.‎Hafiz Muhammad Bilal Mudassir, Accrington
‎77.‎Ustadh Faraz Abid, Peterborough
‎78.‎Ustadh Naveed Hussain al-Azhari, Leeds
‎79.‎Ustadh Zagham Ali Mohammed al-Azhari, Retford
‎80.‎Ustadh Faizul Hassan al-Azhari, Burton-on-Trent
‎81.‎Ustadha Rukhsanda Khatoon, Cardiff, Wales
‎82.‎Ustadh Muhammad Ali Tanveer, Woking
‎83.‎Ustadha Bushra Miskeen, Redditch
‎84.‎Ustadha Sidrah Ahmed, Southampton
‎85.‎Ustadh Amar Hafiz, Sheffield
‎86.‎Qari Muhammad Zia, Oldham
‎87.‎Mr Ansar Hussain, Milton Keynes
‎88.‎Hafiz Siraj Iqbal, Stockton-on-Tees
‎89.‎Ustadh Summon Zaib Hussain, High Wycombe
‎90.‎Hafiz Shakeel Qadri, Bristol
‎91.‎Maulana Khalid Patel, London
‎92.‎Imam Assad Hussain, Stoke-on-Trent
‎93.‎Ustadh Hamzah Hassan, Oxford
‎94.‎Maulana Yusuf Murray, Birmingham
‎95.‎Ustadh Ammar Siddiqui, London
‎96.‎Imam Khurram Rafiq, London
‎97.‎Qari Tanweer Ahmad, Glasgow, Scotland
‎98.‎Allama Fiaz Ahmed, Glasgow, Scotland
‎99.‎Hafiz Faiz Javed, Glasgow, Scotland
‎100.‎Miss Aneesa Hussain, Dewsbury‎

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