[gha] Re: Peace, harmony, and mercy, the legacy of departing Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the "Muslim pope"

  • From: Leo Semashko <leo.semashko@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Dr. Robert Crane" <rcrane@xxxxxxxxxxx>, gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:04:23 +0400

Dear Robert,

Legacy of harmony in the world remains chaotic because all the leaders, 
including religious leaders and the UN, are totally ignorant in common science 
of social harmony, which is represented in the ABC of Harmony. Only on the 
basis of its knowledge, they can join together to harmonize purposefully the 
world from different perspectives: in religions, in politics, in the economy, 
in the information and etc. 

Who may interests the world's leaders, including religious, learn the ABC of 
Harmony and educate in it? Only then they will be able to provide global 
justice and peace in the world, based on scientific knowledge of social 
harmony. Only this knowledge provides a regime and order of most favored 
conditions and opportunities for the development of each and any part (group, 
nation, culture, religion, etc.) of the world as a whole, in all holistic and 
integral system of its interdependent parts. No other value, or an idea, or 
knowledge is not able to provide this global regime and world order of most 
favored for each of its parts, including every person on Earth of 7-10 

Therefore, your review about the ABC of Harmony, like everyone, is very of 
current importance and waiting for its understanding and recognition as a key 
knowledge of modern humanity to overcome his total ignorance in harmony, which 
prevents to his harmonious education and unity in harmony of all its diversity. 
Maybe you and Islamic world will understand and recognize it first? 

With love, best harmony wishes,


Dr Leo Semashko:
State  Councillor  of  St.  Petersburg,
Philosopher, Sociologist and Peacemaker from Harmony;
Director:  Tetrasociology Public Institute, Russia;
Founding President, Global Harmony Association (GHA);
Director, GHA Website "Peace from Harmony": www.peacefromharmony.org
World Interfaith Harmony Project on the ABC of Harmony Base:
GHA Program Book, The ABC of Harmony:
P/Web page: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253;
Address: 7/4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg 194356, Russia
Phone: 7 (812) 597-65-71; Skype: leo.semahko
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/leo.semashko?ref=tn_tnmn

----- Original Message -----
  From: Dr. Robert Crane, rcrane@xxxxxxxxxxx
  To: leo.semashko@xxxxxxxxx
  Sent: 25 февраля 2013 г., 10:35:55
  Subject: Peace, harmony, and mercy, the legacy of departing Grand Mufti Ali 
Gomaa, the "Muslim pope"

               The preeminent leaders of Christianity and Islam are retiring 
almost on the same day.  Each leaves a legacy of harmony in a chaotic world.
               Perhaps next year the award should be given to him.  I’ll have 
to look at the United Nations award to him for his quotes on harmony and 
               Today, God willing, I will write a review of the GHA’s book.
Dr. Robert Crane
Full Professor - Center of the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Tel: +974 445 42822         Fax: +974 445 46620        Mobile: +97466766013 
P.O Box: 34110 Doha, Qatar
Email: rcrane@xxxxxxxxxxx
Website: www.qfis.edu.qa                                
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From: sociology_of_islam-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:sociology_of_islam-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sherifa Zuhur
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:12 PM
To: Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies
Subject: [Sociology_of_islam] (no subject)
Some of our list members may be interested in the following, both as a document 
and evidence of 
the goals and accomplishments of the outgoing Grand Mufti.  (There seems to be 
a typo in the article in the dates given for 
Muhammad Abduh's life span, where it reads "1945;" most sources claim he was 
born in 1849, and his tenure as Grand Mufti was 1899 - 1905.)   
Sherifa Zuhur, IMEISS 
Reuters Faith World.  Guestview: " Negotiating change in the Islamic religious 
By Guest Contributor FEBRUARY 21, 2013
The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the 
content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Ali Gomaa will soon 
step down from the position of Grand Mufti of Egypt that he has held since 
By Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa
It has been said by many that Egypt is going through difficult and trying 
times. Today, however, I would like to share with you my true feelings of 
optimism and hope for our country and our people.
We are a mere two years from the 25 January revolution. These past two years 
have indeed witnessed great challenges and difficulties.  And though it seems 
that we are still struggling, I believe it is imperative to join hands together 
to bring about a strong, independent and stable Egypt. And while there will 
continue to be disagreements among the different political parties and segments 
of society, this is a natural outcome of a truly functioning democracy. I am 
calling upon all political leaders to put aside their individual interests and 
work together, putting  the interests of the nation and its people at the 
forefront. This political stability will pave the way for growth in the economy 
and development of the various sectors of Egypt’s economic life.
The Islamic religious establishment in Egypt, too, has not gone untouched by 
the momentous changes and developments brought about by the revolution. One of 
the great demands of the revolution was the restoration of transparency and 
accountability to all of Egypt’s great institutions. This has enabled the 
establishment, symbolized by its central institution, Al-Azhar, to gain some 
distance from the state itself, and become more independent – a move I 
anticipated some years ago by working to gain the independence of Dar al-Ifta 
or the Egyptian House of Fatwas from the Ministry of Justice. As a result of 
this greater independence, Al-Azhar has been bolstered in its historic role in 
the religious landscape of Egypt. This burgeoning independence has allowed us 
at al-Azhar to make concrete plans for enhancing its profile and reach 
throughout the world. This includes plans to launch a satellite television 
channel to spread the true message of a moderate Islam from the authority of 
Egyptian Islam. When it is on the air, this channel will render a great service 
in countering the misguided opinions which populate the various satellite 
channels today, and distract from the true meaning of Islam.
Perhaps the most central result of this development is the restoration of the 
famous Council of Senior Scholars (Hay’at Kibar al-Ulama). CSS is now on its 
way to becoming a full-fledged entity, with its own charter and by-laws. It is 
now the supreme body in Islamic affairs in Egypt as per the new constitution, 
and it is immune from government interference and the orientations of political 
parties. As a result, it has gained the confidence of the Egyptian populace, 
and this will enable it to expand its role not only in Egypt but throughout the 
world. I am a member of the CSS, and I can say with full sincerity that all 26 
members of the council are intent on transforming it into a world-class 
One of the indications that the Hay’at Kibar al-Ulama has independent 
jurisdiction without outside pressure is the professional and free process by 
which they elected the next Grand Mufti. This procedure is a milestone in the 
religious establishment and gives the Mufti himself a wide sphere of 
opportunity to administer the Dar al-Ifta freely and in a manner he deems 
Amongst the religious establishment, also, I should mention the Central 
Authority for the Sufi Orders (Mashyakha al-Turuq al-Sufiyya), the great 
reservoir of spirituality and religiosity in Egypt. This is as important pillar 
of the religious establishment, regularly infusing spirit and humanity. I am 
pleased to say also that this institution is following suit, and planning to 
make similar changes so as to develop the infrastructure and organization of 
the Sufi Orders so that it can continue to play its crucial life in the 
religious life of Egypt.
This is why I spend my last few days in the position of the Grand Mufti of  
Egypt with a great sense of optimism, enthusiasm, and confidence in the 
capacity of Egypt to grow in faith and prosperity. The opportunity to serve in 
this office has been a great honour, which is only compounded by the wonderful 
relationships that I have been able to cultivate both within the remarkable Dar 
al-Ifta team, in Egyptian society and in the whole world at large. I look 
forward to continuing to solidify and further develop these relationships in my 
capacity as a member of the Council of the Senior Scholars after my tenure.
I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge my successor in this 
role, Dr Shawqi ‘Abdel Karim Allam, the new Grand Mufti of Egypt, and wish him 
every success in fulfilling this important role which is so central to the 
everyday religious practice and guidance of millions of Egyptians. We have 
every confidence that he will continue to lead this important institution to 
ever greater heights and carry on the legacy of the towering figure of the Dar 
al-Ifta, Imam Muhammad Abduh (1945-1905).
It is not without pride that I mention that we leave for you a vibrant 
institution, one which has few rivals in the sheer scope of work that it does. 
The Dar al-Ifta is no longer simply a site for the issuing of fatwas. While 
this remains the central element of our institutional identity, it is also a 
multifaceted organization which engages in research, outreach, the training of 
future leaders, and coordinating with international organizations to spread the 
message of peace, harmony and mercy that defines Islam.
From an administrative standpoint, I have been at pains throughout my tenure as 
Grand Mufti to modernize the procedures, protocols, and organizational 
structure of the Dar Al-Ifta. Under my supervision, the Dar Al-Ifta has 
transformed from an organization closely associated with the personage of a 
singular jurist engaged in the solitary enterprise of responding to his 
immediate constituents, to a modern institution comprising a fatwa council, 
committees of experts, and an internal system of checks and balances. This 
transformation has been carried out in view of the rapidly changing 
circumstances of modern Egyptian society, and indeed the particular position of 
the Islamic world at large. For the past few years, we have made great strides 
in broadening the aims of the Dar Al-Ifta, and increasing our accessibility so 
as to cater to the religious needs of a greater swath of Egyptians and Muslims. 
Among these advances has been the introduction of greater and better avenues 
for interaction between the people and the Dar Al-Ifta, including a call 
center, communication via email and websites, and Facebook and Twitter 
accounts. Our staff has grown exponentially, and so, therefore, has our 
capacity to better serve people Egypt and the world. The motivation behind 
these moves has always been to facilitate access to the leadership and guidance 
of the Dar Al-Ifta as much as possible.
This has also rendered us more accessible to the world outside of Egypt, both 
Muslim and non-Muslim. We now receive requests and delegations from all over 
the world, making us a truly international leader in the interpretation of 
Islam. As well, we have invested a great deal of effort into training the 
world’s future muftis. In this regard, we initiated a mufti training program 
for students abroad conducted entirely through correspondence, allowing us to 
strengthen and entrench the moderate Islam for which Egypt is celebrated. We 
have participated in numerous conferences aiming to spread this message, 
allying with global organizations of all sorts in order to make it clear that 
Islam and its leadership are willing and able to embrace the challenges of this 
world with open hearts and minds.
These efforts have not gone unrecognized. Over the past few years, the Dar 
al-Ifta has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards, including from 
the United Nations. And the Grand Mufti has been honoured by universities for 
his leading role in putting forth the true face of Islam.
Nor has the Dar al-Ifta forsaken its role as an academic institution. We have 
published numerous works touching on all matters of contemporary interest. 
These include a voluminous encyclopaedia tracking the fatwas of the Egyptian 
Dar al-Ifta. We have also placed a great deal of emphasis on training students 
and researchers to conduct studies in accordance with an objective scientific 
methodology. To encourage this practice, and to delve deep into some 
specialized matters, the Dar has established under my tenure an academic 
journal which produces world-quality research on matters of Islamic 
Finally, the Dar has made great strides to increasing the transparency of its 
operations. In this regard, I submitted a copy of the archive of the fatwas of 
Dar al-Ifta since its inception in 1895 to the National Archives so that they 
may be accessed by all.
My goal has always been to grow the Dar al-Ifta as an independent institution, 
with its own system of administration and budget allocation, and a vibrant 
intellectual life, engaged with people from all sectors of society so as to 
push forward the message of a peaceful, moderate Islam. I am proud to say that 
we have succeeded to a very large extent in accomplishing all of these worthy 
goals. I have no doubt that the next administration will agree with me that 
these are indeed worthy goals, and will do its utmost to further them, in the 
interests of Egypt and Islam. 

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  • » [gha] Re: Peace, harmony, and mercy, the legacy of departing Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the "Muslim pope" - Leo Semashko