Five leaders of Islamic organisations have called on Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi to provide proof that he is a descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
One imam went further, saying if Al-Rawi can prove that he has sacred lineage then he should be ashamed of himself because he drinks alcohol and eats pork.
Al-Rawi has denied he drinks alcohol or consumes pork.
The Islamic leaders’ condemnation of Al-Rawi’s comments on his ancestral ties has come following an exchange between him (Al-Rawi) and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan at the Senate sitting Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain on Wednesday.
Ramlogan had asked Al-Rawi if he should bow to him because he was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, making reference to Al-Rawi’s admission of this in an interview back in 2010.
Al-Rawi had indicated that his 43rd grandfather was a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Islamic leaders held a news conference at the Nur Islam Mosque, El Socorro yesterday to condemn the “mockery” being made of Islam during the Holy month of Ramadan.
Imam Aazan Piprawala of the Debe Islamic Association said having heard the remarks on Al-Rawi’s lineage, he contacted Mufti Waseem Khan, principal of the Dar Uloom Trinidad and Tobago Ltd who is also the Imam of the Warrenville Jama Masjid.
He said Khan advised that such a claim cannot be accepted until proof is shown and if present, the Dar Uloom will make a statement.
Piprawala said Khan indicated that it should however be understood that a person’s claim to be related to the Prophet Muhammad has no special significance in Islam and it is all about the individual faith, practice, deeds and righteousness.
“When somebody has the audacity to claim that they belong to the lineage, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, we ask them to prove it, one, and two, if they so belong they should be ashamed for having engaged themselves in fetes, going to the Parliament building and consuming pork and wine and intoxicants wherever they go to parties and so on,” said Piprawala.
“If you claim to be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, then he should never engage in that behaviour....he should be ashamed of himself if he is truly a descendant of the Prophet,” said Priprawala.
He said that such comments can only serve to anger and outrage the Muslim community in the sacred time of Ramadan.
Prophet Muhammad is revered in Islam to be the last Prophet from Mecca sent by God to mankind and who unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam.
The following are some of the remarks made by other Islamic leaders:
Imtiaz Mohammed - President of the Islamic Missionaries Guild
Mohammed said the Islamic community was concerned when religion and the names of prophets were being used as “picong” in Parliament.
He said he endorses the advice of the Dar Uloom and would like to see Al-Rawi present evidence.
Mohammed said Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad to be the “greatest human to walk this earth” and if Al-Rawi has proof of being a descendant then they would like to see him follow in the footsteps of the prophet.
He warned that politicians and people generally be very careful in the comments they make about the Prophet and Islam.
Imam Sheikh Munaf Mohammed of the Caroni Masjid
Mohammed said that there have been many uncles of the Prophet Muhammad who did not accept Islam.
He said if a person claims to be a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, it adds nothing to his credibility or respect and reiterated that it has to do more with one’s traits, belief and practice.
He said “Al Rawi” means a narrator and the name is associated as one who narrated the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
Imam Rasheed Karim of the Felicity Jamaat
Karim said from the beginning of time people claim to be God, prophets of God and descendants of God.
He warned too that people must be cautious when making statements about Islam as the world have seen situations where people are perpetuating sins and attributing it to religion.
He said this issue was a “big concern” in the Islamic community because it was in the public domain through the media..
He said when such statements about lineage are made, it must be supported by proof and proper conduct.
Brother Aflam Ghanny of the Nur E Islam Jamaat El Socorro
Ghanny said he accepted the advice of Dar Uloom on Al-Rawi, “if he has proof, bring it immediately” and if he does not, must apologise to the people of this country.
He said Al-Rawi should be ashamed to be making such statements in the Holy month of Ramadan.