“Radical”? Hardly. Al-Azhar University one of the world’s leading Islamic universities. Associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, it is renowned as “Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university” and Egypt’s oldest degree-granting university.
MEMRI: In an address posted on the Internet on June 26, Egyptian cleric Muhammad Zaki, secretary-general of the Al-Azhar Dawa Committee, said that the Ramadhan “has never been a month for the lazy or “a month for tormenting one’s body or for sleep.” It is a month for Jihad, he said.
Following are excerpts:
Muhammad Zaki: The Muslims have never started a war. They have never initiated an attack against peaceful people. They are always the ones who are attacked. Can the fending off of aggression be considered terrorism? Or is it the legitimate right of people everywhere and anywhere? The Quran says: “Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged.” The Quran does not say “those who fight” but rather, “those who are being fought.” It means that the others are always the ones who initiate the fighting.
The wars have always been asymmetric – in the number of soldiers, in equipment, in capablities, and in preparedness. Nevertheless, because they were blessed by their (Ramadhan) fasting, and due to the spiritual might gained by their fasting, which had an effect on their wounded bodies… (The fast) bestowed calm upon their hearts and souls, and strengthened their wounded bodies. Thus came the victory from Allah in the Battle of Badr, followed by the even greater victory of the conquest of Mecca, as well as the surrender of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes, and in our day and age (sic), the vanquishing of the Mongols at Ayn Jalut, and the greatest victory over the Crusaders at Hittin, followed by the conquest of Andalusia. Ramadhan has never been a month for the lazy. It has never been a month for tormenting one’s body or for sleep. It is a month for Jihad – Jihad of the soul, Jihad against Satan, and Jihad for the sake of Allah.