Statement of His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia

September 16, 2012

From Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Muhammed Al-Ashaikh to all the Muslims that see this statement, may Allah protect them.

Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.

We praise Allah the Almighty who has favored us by making us the best community on earth, raised amongst us people ordering the good and forbidding evil, and who believe in Allah. He also showed His favor upon us by revealing to us the best of His books - the Qur’an, the Criterion. For He, whose name is majestic, said:

"Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable, and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward."

And the Almighty said

"Blessed is He Who sent down the criterion to His servant to be an admonition."

Then He further showed His favor upon us by sending from among us the best of all messengers and the seal of all prophets: Muhammad bin Abdullah, the Prophet, the Hashimite, al-Qurashi, the one who shone upon us with the light of prophethood and was honored by Allah with His message. And [Allah] sent him [His Prophet] to His creation, and singled him out for His honor, and made him His trustee between Him and His slaves, reciting unto them His signs and purifying them and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom, as He says:

"Indeed, Allah conferred [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error."

Allah established His oneness through the sending of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and through him He also erased polytheism. And the light that Allah sent him with was as life itself, as He says:

"And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing."

And He, the All-Knowing, says:

"And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path."

The sending of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a mercy to all of the worlds. As He says:

"We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds"

So this achieves total compassion which is both fitting for the livelihood of the believers in this world and in the next world:

"There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful."

He also came with the law of Islam, and that which was sent with Muhammad (peace be upon him) was meant to venerate the order of Allah. Indeed, mercy was come to the servants of Allah. As He, the Almighty, says:

"As for he who gives (in charity) and fears Allah, and believes in the best [reward of the Hereafter], We will ease him toward ease."

The people of knowledge have said concerning these verses that they are two principals that bring together the whole religion. In other words, veneration of the command of Allah and mercy for the slaves of Allah.

Thus, this great religion of Islam included goals based on the straight and natural [righteouss] disposition [of man], with common decency and ease in legislation, justice and equity, and [encouraging] giving in charity; until its affair reached as far as night and day, and people started entering into Islam in crowds.

He Allah predestined - and to Him belongs total wisdom - that truth and falsehood would clash. And from that clashing these haters of the prophets and messengers are an example of hatred of what they [prophets and messengers] brought [of guidance] from Him, due to the despicable nature of their inner intentions and corrupt consciouses. He, the Most High, says:

"And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy - devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. And [it is] so the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter will incline toward it and that they will be satisfied with it and that they will commit that which they are committing."

Likewise, the Almighty says:

"And thus have We made for every prophet an enemy from among the criminals. But sufficient is your Lord as a guide and a helper."

They also

"want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will complete His light even if they dislike it."

From these demons were demons of mankind and the jinn who, throughout history, used trickery and (sly) tactics in words and deeds to disparage His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). But Allah was sufficient for him against their plots.

This broadcast of the [offensive film] is in a long line of feeble and desperate attempts to abuse the honor of the Prophet (peace be upon him), which have been followed by reactions from the international Islamic community, illustrating how such obscene attempts are not approved of, neither by the intellect nor by the religion. Thus, we want to make clear to all the following important points:

First: This desperate criminal attempt to broadcast this abusive film will not harm the honor of the holy Prophet in any way. Nor is the religion of Islam harmed by it, as Allah raised the remembrance of His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And [Allah] placed lowliiness upon those that oppose him, whilst granting him the clear victory, protected him from [the evil plots of] mankind and sufficed him from those that mock him. And [He, Allah] gave him [the Spring of] al-Khawthar and made the one who scorns him to be cut off [from His Blessings]. He, praise be to Him, says:

"Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar. So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone]. Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off."

And He, the Most High, says:

"Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear victory. That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path. And [that] Allah may aid you with a mighty victory."

Allah also says:

"It is Allah that will protect you from people."

He also says:

"Is not Allah sufficient for His slave."

And He, the Most High, says:

"Indeed, We are sufficient for you against the mockers."

He, the Most High, has also stated:

"Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al-Kawthar. So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone]. Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off."

And every time an attempt is made by the criminals to dishonour the Messenger, then the more widespread the virtuous [standing of] the messenger becomes, which is a testament to the truthfulness of this verse.

Second: The Muslim is commanded in everything to follow the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and enact his prophetic way. This is in compliance with the verse:

"Indeed for you in the Messenger of Allah is a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much"

Therefore, with this mind, every Muslim when condemning this criminal act must observe the Islamic legislation and prophetic traditions so as not to allow their anger to lead them to transgress the Islamic boundaries; thereby actualising the very goals that this offensive film was intended for without even realising; denying the innocent person to be removed from the sinful criminal and, thereby, leading to the transgression of the blood and wealth of the innocent, subjecting public buildings to burning and destruction [and so on]. All these actions misrepresent Islam and are not liked by Allah. Nor are they from the traditions of the Prophet (may peace be upon him). And Allah criticised those people that destroyed their homes with their own hands and ordered us to take lessons from their situation.

It is appropriate to mention here that the Messenger is the one for whom we offer our selves, our families and our wealth in sacrifice. He himself was never mocked by people except it made him more persistent in his noble character and good manners, thereby exemplifying the verse of the Qur’an:

"And We already know that your breast is constrained by what they say. So exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him]. And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [of death]."

And Allah described him, saying:

"Indeed, you [O Muhammad] are upon very high character."

[We learn] in the Sahih of Bukhari and others, from Abdullah bin Amr (may Allah be pleased with them):

"It was asked: 'Tell us some descriptions of the Messenger of Allah in the Bible.' [So] it was said: 'He is described in the Bible with some descriptions from those in the Qu’ran: "O Prophet! Verily We have sent you as a witness and a preacher and a warner, and a protector of the illiterates. You are My slave and Messenger. I named you Mutawakil [the One Trusting in Allah]. You are not harsh, nor severe with the poeple, neither are you loud in the market place. You do not return a bad deed with a bad deed, but reward the bad with good, and forgive and pardon. I will not take hold of you [i.e. death will not come to you] until I straighten the crooked religion. Through you, I will open eyes that are blind, ears that are deaf and hearts that are closed, so that they say there is no god worthy of worship except Allah.'"

This broad objection in the Muslim world is not a source of positive constructive acts. Its time will not return and its impact will end as if nothing had happened. Therefore, of the greatest way to show support for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to follow his way and spread knowledge of his virtues and biography and openly declare the values of Islam and its teachings.

Third: The Muslims must be fully aware that this sinful criminal attempt was not intended to abuse the honor of Muhammad (peace be upon him), because they will never be able to do that. Rather, what we know for a surety, historically and to this moment in time, is that the enemies who stir these troubles have other motives, such as distracting the Muslims from what they are dealing with [in terms of] developing their countries and strengthening their unity, and their using all the means they have to progress and further their civilization. Therefore, the best response to these abuses is [for the Muslims] to continue moving ahead with persistence and determination in building and developing their countries, until they reach the level of responsibility and trustworthiness for the best of the nations to come out from all mankind.

Fourth: We take this opportunity to appeal and ask the world and international organisations to move to criminalise the act of defaming prophets and messengers, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad - prayers and peace be upon them all - who have in the conscience of humanity respect and reverence and honor. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has many such requests in this regard.

We ask Allah for good and justice to prevail around the globe and to help the Muslims be reunited and improve their situation: for He is Able to do so. And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.

The Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Head Cleric of the Committee of Senior Scholars, and Head Cleric of the Department of Islamic Research and Rulings.