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A Letter to my daughter, Ola

October 12, 2017 at 1:34 am

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi on 20 October 2015 [Omar Chatriwala/Flickr]

My daughter and my baby Ola… Apple of my eye, my heart, and the seed I once sowed in the garden of my soul. To you, dearest daughter, I shall give my heart as present and inside it you will find all the love that it bears for you; and then out of that love will blossom all the feelings I have for you, and out of them will flourish my devout faith in you.

Sweetheart, you have been in the prisons of tyrants for more than 100 days now, and how heavy and unrelenting your days become when you are aggrieved! A day would feel like eternity. These days of injustice will, if God wills it, become part of your past, and you will come back to your husband and to your family and home, safe and sound.

You used to trust the distance between you and the people who can hurt you, and you were indeed far away from them. You were born in a land which is not theirs; you attended schools and universities that differed from theirs; and you worked in offices different from theirs. So, what is this grudge they bear against you?

You are a wife, a mother and a grandmother, a peaceful woman and an officer at your country’s embassy, whose nationality you hold. They have nothing to do with your work. You do not even engage in politics, your husband does, through the Al-Wassat party, a party that is licensed and legally recognized. And despite that, they arrested him for more than two years, and he was tried and they found nothing against him, so he was acquitted and released, and then he was taken back once again; because he is your husband!

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Any man is presumed innocent until he has been proven guilty, as this law and any law sees it. The essence in every accusation is the innocence of the man who is accused, as long as he is not convicted by a fair court, and he has the right to appeal the court’s decision as well as resort to cassation. And courts of cassation do in principle stand with the accused until his acquittal or condemnation, and only Allah can then watch over them.

Why are you being treated so harshly! Why this solitary imprisonment in a narrow cell, where one cannot tell the night from the day?! But why imprisonment at all? Why did the newspapers and news bulletins so slanderously report the trial? And why all of this denial of basic rights, from visits, healthcare and medicine?! You did not commit any evils, big or small, for which you deserve punishment in this world or in the hereafter, and you did not participate in any demonstration or adventure. Years have passed and you were allowed to travel in and out of the country, and travel back and forth, and no one would tell you a word! What has changed today?! It is as if they suddenly remembered that you are the daughter of al-Qaradawi!

Dear daughter, your father has always held his religion at heart when dealing with people, when teaching it to people, as a scholar, mufti, as a teacher, and poet and writer who has never betrayed his nation, squandered the message it had to the world, or ever lied to it, ever since people knew him until he became more than ninety years old.

He visited all continents and moved from one interesting country to an even more interesting one. He has always defended the Cause of the Umma. He has never abandoned Muslims whenever they needed him. If they did not like this, it is because they do not care about Islam, nor do they care about the Umma and its civilization, its religion and culture, so how can this be your fault? Why are you being punished for this? Or why are they punishing your father through you?!

They have tried your father. They only see him as a participant in the great gatherings of Al-Azhar. He is president of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, and of a number of scientific and advocacy institutions, as well as a member and expert in the great jurisprudential assemblies.

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When he was facing these charges, he was a member of the Supreme Council of Scholars and the Islamic Research Academy in Egypt. He then resigned from both of them when he saw that they did not take initiatives to meet on their own to discuss the great issues that Egypt was going through, so he bid them goodbye and returned to the country of his choice.

So why did they try him based on a bizarre charge: that he participated, at the age of eighty-five then, in breaking into prisons and removing the prisoners from a prison that he has only heard of when he heard this accusation, an accusation that he was not even informed of, neither in Egypt nor in Qatar?!

They poured all their anger and hatred on a free woman, and they wanted to subdue her, but it is Allah who wanted to subdue them, and it is Him who is keeping an eye on her with His Eye that knows no sleep, and is protecting her with His unconquerable Power.

My daughter Ola, Allah wanted you to be aptly named, and to elevate your lot during this life and the hereafter, as well as increase the weight of your good deeds. You, in your narrow cell, are much more respected than your oppressor in his high palace is, and you dearer to Allah and the hearts of his people than he is. Many Muslims and believers in all four corners of the earth are asking Allah for forgiveness and are praying for you and for your oppressed brothers and sisters for a speedy release and an urgent revenge from your oppressors. These prayers will not go in vain, either during this life or in the hereafter.

Relax, calm down, and smile, you and your husband, and trust that a good prayer coming from the oppressed confined in their prisons is capable of ruining the oppressors’ world and turn them into losers, and your Lord is not oblivious to what they are doing, and those who were unfair will be punished duly, and only then will they know how their end will be.

Your father, Youssef Al-Qaradawi

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.