Open Letter To The Government Of Saudi Arabia

We have been receiving unsubstantiated reports of the imminent execution of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni and Dr Ali al-Omari via various media platforms. If these reports are false meant only to defame the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

If however there is any truth in the reports, we appeal to the authorities to display clemency based on the Prophetic tradition that states: “Avoid applying punishments as long as you are able to find an excuse to avert them,” (Sunan Ibn Majah) It is no secret that the Muslim world is going through exceptionally turbulent times; it is difficult enough to talk about the problems we face as an ummah, let alone find solutions for them. The clarion call to leadership in the Muslim world is to manage their differences through dialogue and tolerance, since violence only begets violence.

It will indeed be catastrophic if reputed Islamic scholars who enjoy international recognition and who are regarded as beacons of guidance and proponents of tolerance and moderation are executed in the name of anti- terrorism for expressing scholarly views. Such dastardly action will only serve to marginalize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the global ummah and prove to be counter- productive for its long term stability.

Our appeal to you is apolitical and is motivated by the prophetic tradition that says: “Religion is naseehah. The people said: “To whom?” The Prophet ﷺ said: “To Allah and to His Book, and to His messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and to the common folk of the Muslims.” [Muslim]

We trust that you accept this ‘naseeha’ in the spirit that it was intended and that you will withdraw the execution order (if such an order has actually been issued) and that you will summarily release scholars who are incarcerated for simply articulating judicious and scholarly views regarding the political climate in the Kingdom.

UUCSA is an umbrella body comprising nine affiliate members. It represents approximately 1500 Muslim Scholars. It has a national foot print across the nine provinces of South Africa.

Statement Issued: 28 May 2019 corresponding to the 22 Ramadhan 1440 A.H.