Shaykh Adnan Araour on the Destruction of Shrines

This is not in response to the recent criminal bombing of the shrine of Shaykh Muhammad Jarabeh by Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo, but to the question whether shrines would be demolished after the fall of the Assad tyranny. The example of the shrine of Our Lady Zaynab in Damascus is given. It is not a secret that his Salafism disapproves of such shrines to begin with and calls many practices of people and scholars alike ignorant, impermissible, innovation to even polytheism. Indeed, this Salafism calls for their destruction and Shaykh Araour does not directly dispute that. This is a difference of opinion that cannot be overcome, and there are many more between all sorts of communities.

However, that should not prevent people of different ways and creeds from peacefully living together in the same country. What does threaten such co-existence is when people’s rights and properties are not secured. This is what happens when a band of extremists goes to a shrine and decides to blow it up. Imagine what would happen if others would decide to treat their rights and properties in the same way. Once the regime falls, this situation does not change as the state cannot infringe upon these rights either. If it would, as the Assad regime has done, the result is revolution.

Shaykh Araour knows well that the above strife is not what Islam prescribes, and mentions a few things. First, teaching and explaining comes before implementing rulings. Second, there is no forcefully imposing of religion. He then gives the example of Shaykh Sa`id al-Jami of Hama from over a century ago, and that because of him alone no single grave is “worshipped” in the city of Hama. [Unless we share the same definitions, this is news to me.] Things have to change in he hearts of people, as he sees it.

In other words, he may believe what he believes even though it is contrary to Sunni tradition, but he does not seek to impose his views on others by force. This is very important. Shaykh al-Yaqoubi calls everyone in the revolution to condemn what happened, and it would by reassuring to many and of great benefit if he would speak out. It will not convince Jabhat al-Nusra itself, as they do not follow him to begin with; but it could clarify things for those in Syria who look up to him and might have been mislead or could still be mislead by such extremists into committing criminal acts. Perhaps he could insist through his FSA leadership contacts that action is taken.

2 thoughts on “Shaykh Adnan Araour on the Destruction of Shrines

  1. Mohammed Sergie

    First, I’m a big fan of your blog. Your insight on religious issues has been extremely valuable. Second, I would really like to get in touch with you to share information on a project I’m working on. Please send me an email and keep up the great work.

  2. Hussain

    Salam Alaykum,

    Generally speaking though, what would be the ruling if there is a will to follow religious rulings, but there are wide discrepancies in the interpretations?

    As an example, if there is a true complete religious revival in the Indian Subcontinent which causes a ‘revolution’, the only thing I can imagine is rival sides (let us imagine Barelvis, die-hard Salafis, and Deobandis) killing each other street to street since there is already a deeper hatred that has brewed on for decades- since there are large swathes of each side that consider the other literally as apostates and zanadiqa who can (or have to) be killed. So how should a situation like this be handled? Any traditional ‘Aalim who has commented on this matter?


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