All praise is due to Allah and may the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon His Prophet peace be upon Him. Whomever Allah guides no one can misguide and whomever Allah misguides no one can guide him or her back to the right path.
In recent days, Sheikh Salih Lelhedan has been under attack for a Fatwa which he issued where he allegedly say the owners of TV channels that broadcast prohibited and immoral programs should be killed. and even though Sheikh was asked about this Fatwa and he furthur explained what he meant by the Fatwa, this didn't spread and come up to light. and those most people were shocked by this Fatwa and misunderstood the words of the Shiekh, especially with the Media coverage of it.
As usual, some people read or heard some news from here or there, and regardless of the source and authenticity, start spreading it, like a fire in a wooden house. Unfortunately those people are mostly Muslims, and of course people like the enemies of Islam, and the people of innovation, use this opportunity to attack Islam or a certain Sheikh or ideology in Islam.
So to give a clear picture here about what’s going on......
Let’s start by introducing Sheikh Salih Lelhedan.
Who is Sheikh Salih ????? And I’m sure a lot of people haven’t heard of him. Especially in Muslims outside Saudi, and this is something expected, when today, people with half knowledge and some good public speaking, rock up in every single TV channel and are hosted daily in programs and are heard or seen in all sorts of media, while on the other hand people with knowledge and who spent their lives learning – and not teaching – until their eyebrows – and not beards – turned gray, memorizing volumes of books in religious knowledge and not booklets, those people on the other hand became behind the scene, and you’d never hear about them unless you see them face to face.
For those who don’t know Sheikh Salih, he was the secretary of the first Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia the Sheikh and Imam Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al El Sheikh. And he has been a member in the Committee of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia, since it was established in 1391 (37 years ago) and until this moment. And on top of all of this, he is the top judge and the head of the Supreme Judiciary Council in a Muslim country which uses Islamic Laws and Shariah in its Judicial system, which is a position considered to be one of the most sensitive and crucial jobs in the country which accommodates some of the top and most knowledgeable scholars and Olama’ on the face of earth, and considered to be the references for Fatwa and rulings for hundreds of millions of Muslims around the globe.
In simple English, we say that we are not talking about a student of knowledge, or an emotional youth, or a guy Sheikh who recently got his bachelor in Islamic studies and he wants to make a fuss about it, we are talking about one of the most knowledgeable scholars walking on the face of this earth.
And we mentioned this for a simple reason, which is, when a great scholar issues a ruling, he doesn’t issue it out of an emotional reaction or based on an order from someone higher than him. Also when a great scholar issues a Fatwa he thinks hundreds of times before uttering a single word, and makes sure that every single aspect is supported by evidence from Quran or Sunnah. Add to all of this, that a great scholar knows very well the great responsibility about issuing Fatwa and rulings.
But Subhan Allah...... the enemies of Islam, and even Muslims with sick souls, who like to fish in the dirty water, always try to find gaps where they can attack Islam and Muslim scholars through it. And this what happened with Sheikh Salih Lelhedan.
Sheikh Salih didn’t bring anything new and didn’t say anything wrong, but rather the enemies of Islam, and even the enemies of the Da’wah in Saudi Arabia may Allah preserve it, as well as the liberal media in the Muslim world, and those who see the implementation of Islam in Saudi as extreme and goes against their desires and want to attack the country of Tawheed, the nest of the Salafi Da’wah and the factory of Scholars, those are the ones who started twisting the words of the Sheikh and taking them out of their context.
And unfortunately, with the spread of ignorance amongst people, a large majority of Muslims took the Fatwa, read it and read what the media said and accordingly interpreted the Fatwa, to be an open war and a death sentence on bosses of TV channels. Even though the Fatwa is so clear and simple.
Looking at the Fatwa, we’ll see that the bit which was misunderstood was when he said
“ those who spread Fitnah and immorality: if it was possible to stop them and still they wouldn’t stop, It might be allowed to kill them, because those who spread corruption in belief and actions, if their harm can’t be stopped through punishments less than the death penalty, They may be executed through a judicial (ruling) "
And here is the text in Arabic.
إن من يدعون إلى الفتن : إذا قُدر على منعه ولم يمتنع قد يحل قتله ، لأن دعاة الفساد في الاعتقاد أو في العمل إذا لم يندفع شرهم بعقوبات دون القتل جاز قتلهم قضاءً .
And here, as we can see, the Sheikh is talking from a Judge’s point of view. A judge who works within a Muslim Judicial system.
Where he says, if those people who spread immorality were asked to stop, by the Muslim ruler or government through sanctions or just simple orders, but still they wouldn’t obey that order. They can be taken to court and go on a trial and their punishment can reach the death penalty if the judge or the Muslim ruler or government sees that the harm they are causing is so great and they tried stopping it through sanctions and peaceful methods but still didn’t work and the only way to stop their great harm from reaching the society is through the death penalty then the ruler or the judge can ask for it and seek after this punishment through a judicial process. And this is clearly said by the Sheikh, in the last bit of the phrase.
So in simple English what the Sheikh is trying to say is.....
For those people who are responsible of spreading such a Fitnah and harm, Islamically you could be taken to court and face the death penalty for the harm you’re causing if you were ordered to stop and warned by you didn’t.
And all of this is based upon a well known rule in Islam, which anyone who read a bit about the Islamic judicial system would know, which states that the ruler, government or simply the people in authority have the right in some specific scenarios and situations to execute a person if they see that this would stop a very great harm from spreading amongst the Muslim society and would bring a very great benefit to it. BUT of course all of this done after meeting the conditions and through a judicial process and according to the Shariah law, or what some people prefer to call, a trial. Where the person is given a chance to talk or repent. And this what the Sheikh meant by saying
“ if it was possible to stop them and still they wouldn’t”
Just notice how the Sheikh always kept the death penalty a probability
“It might be allowed to kill them”
“They may be executed through a judicial (ruling)”
And this shows how the Sheikh knows exactly what is he saying. Because the death penalty is just an option and a last one and is not definite, and other punishments or sanctions can be applied. And the people who decide this are the people in authority, after looking at all the aspects of the crime and the consequences they decide what would be suitable to stop such a crime. And one of those options can be the death penalty.
At the end.......
All we have to remind our brothers and sisters with is, Sheikh Salih Lelhedan is not the first to be lied upon, but rather many scholars in the past faced such a thing, scholars who are greater in knowledge and older in age than Sheikh Salih. And the Sheikh didn’t face all of this except because he is talking the truth, and is saying it from a heart which feels jealous for the religion of Islam and the Muslim Ummah.
Enough for the Sheikh our trust, and our Dua’s especially in those days and nights.
And Subhan Allah who knows??
Maybe Allah brought up this trail and test to the Sheikh so that the Muslims who fear Allah and trust the Sheikh would remember him in their Dua’s especially in this blessed time of the year.
All we have to say is......
May Allah preserve our Sheikh Salih Lelhedan and increase him in knowledge and extend his life among us and help us follow his footsteps and allow us to meet him in Heaven with the Prophets and Companions.
PS: this is the authentic Fatwa in Arabia
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17-Sep-2008 05:59 PM
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- Apr 2007