A heated wrangle broke out between Islam Al-Buhairi, an Islamic researcher and revivalist on one hand and Abdullah Rushi, a representative from Al-Azhar mosque on the other. The debate was hosted by Ossama Kamal on the Egyptian TV Al-Qahira wa Al-Nas on April 4.
The debate developed from tackling huge issues on Islamic jurisprudence into a non-productive semantic difference of whether Allah can imagine or not.
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According to Al-Buhairi, the followers of the prophet Muhammad are the ones who were born or converted to Islam after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad.
“The followers [of the prophet] have no sanctity. They were men and we are men,” said Al-Buhairi referring to the need of scrutinising the Hadith collections of Mohammad Al-Bukhari and Muslim Al-Hajjaj, Persian Islamic scholars lived in the ninth century.
The Former authored the hadith collection Sahih Al-Bukhari including 7257 sayings and acts of the prophet Muhammad, whereas the latter authored the hadith collection Sahih Muslim including 9200 acts and sayings of the prophet Muhammad.
Al-Buhairi called for examining the interpretations of other ‘men’. He also demanded from Islamic scholars to stop taking Islamic sources for granted because they sometimes contain discriminatory, violence-inciting and illogical arguments
“They had opinions which we would never be able to imagine. This is what we inherited.
“All the bloodiness, killing, sectarianism, backwardness and extremism we are living have jurisprudential basis and not related to the manuscript,” Al-Buhairi explained.
Leaving all the above-mentioned arguments unanswered, Abdullah Rushdi responded by accusing Al-Buhairi of misrepresenting Allah when he said that “Allah could imagine” in one of his appearances on television. “Allah doesn’t imagine,” said Rushdi. “This is unacceptable because Allah doesn’t have an imagination but he knows everything.”
Al-Azhar committee filed a case against Al-Buhari for “calling the percepts of religion in question and inciting a communal strife among Muslims.”
Al-Azhar refused to call ISIS militants infidels (Kafer) claiming not to have the right to call Muslims infidels no matter what their sins were, mentioned Al-Buhairi as a comment on Al-Azhar’s proceedings against him.
In response to Al-Buhairi statements, the Salafi Muhammad Hassan said: “Throughout history, those who fought against Allah and his messenger have never succeeded.”
The Egyptian hard-line Salafist Abu Ishaq Al-Huwaini described Al-Buhairi a year ago as an ignorant, who thinks “Christians are not infidels”.
You can watch the video in Arabic below: