Scholar slams 'un-Islamic' practice Publish Date: Saturday,24 April, 2010, at 
01:18 AM Doha Time 
By Anwar Elshamy
Staff Reporter  

      Qaradawi: urges Islamic clerics to pay regular visits to Muslim 
minorities around the world

Qatar-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi yesterday slammed the 
practice of denying women access to mosques by Muslims of South Africa as well 
as of the Indian subcontinent and said that he was surprised that women were 
not allowed to attend any of his lectures in Johannesburg during his recent 
visit there. 

The scholar said the same tradition, which he called "un-Islamic", existed 
among the Muslims of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 
In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Qaradawi said that during his visit to South 
Africa, he was surprised by the "unreasonable practice" of not allowing women 
from entering mosques as well as by the ban to videotape his lectures in 

"It was my first visit to South Africa and I was impressed with its Muslim 
community's commitment to Islamic rules as well as its unity, but it was the 
ban on women's entry into mosques which drew my attention. I told the 
(community members) that this was un-Islamic and they should stop it," he told 
a congregation at the Omar bin Al-Khattab mosque at Khalifa South. 

"I know they did that because they follow the Abu Hanifa school of thought but 
they should know that time has changed. If Abu Hanifa himself were with us 
today, he would have changed his mind. It is unreasonable that women could now 
go to universities, markets and travel, but are not allowed to enter a mosque 
in some countries. I noticed a similar practice by Muslims in India, Pakistan, 
Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who follow the same school of thought."

One of Abu Hanifa's most famous religious edicts was that he allowed women to 
work as judges, he pointed out.  Qaradawi, who is the chairman of the 
International Union for Muslim Scholars, urged Islamic clerics to pay regular 
visits to Muslim minorities around the world, saying that this would enhance 
their link with Islam and protect them from "falling victims to Christian 

"I hope that Muslim philanthropists will arrange such visits so that we could 
help Muslim minorities," he said, while observing that the South African 
Muslims were keen on being in touch with Muslims elsewhere, and were fervent in 
their support of Jerusalem occupied by Israel.  

About the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, which caused massive disruption to air 
traffic around the world, he said that it showed the greatness of God's power 
which, he said, made humans "helpless" even with the best technology they had.

"Some call such acts wrath of nature, but who is behind nature? If the volcano 
had continued for more days, the world's airlines would have gone bankrupt and 
people would have been stuck everywhere," he added.

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