KAIROUAN- On May 3, 2013, the city of Kairouan was visited by the Egyptian preacher Sheikh Muhamad Hassan after doing a series of visits to a number of other cities.
He arrived to Tunisia on April 29. He was invited by a number of religious associations including the Reform and Preaching group, headed by Habib Ellouz, a member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) corresponding to Nahdha party.
He was welcomed by dozens of his supporters at the Tunis- Carthage airport. Extensive security enhancements were made to protect the preacher anticipating probable acts of violence against him by his opponents.
His schedule started with a visit to the Athletic Dome at El- Menzeh after the prayer of Maghrib on April 30. On the following day, Mai 1, he was hosted at the stadium in the city of Bejah after the prayer of Asr. And his third lecture was made at the city of Hammamet after the prayer of Asr, on Mai 2.
The preacher, Sheikh Muhamad Hassan, was welcomed by a great number of people at the Great Mosque of Kairouan along with regional authorities of the city.
He claimed that he came all along from Egypt to Tunisia, not to support a political party or any kind of movement, but merely for the love of Tunisia and to inform Tunisians about God’s Almighty wisdom.
Addressing the audience, he said:” Sons and daughters, if you were ever asked about your Sheikh, then say your Sheikh is the prophet Muhamed (PBUH). If you were asked about your religious approach, then say it is the Qur’an and Sunnah. If you were asked about your people, then say He named you Muslims.”
During the prayer of Al- Jumu’ah, he recited some prayers that made many of the attendees cry out of reverence.
Street vendors took advantage of the visit. Food stands were spread everywhere on the streets in the area where people where gathering and getting prepared for the lecture of the Jumu’ah prayer. Not only food was put for sale, but also religious books, perfumes, and herbs.
Supporters of the preacher believed that this act helped turning the economy’s wheel in Kairouan. Opponents disagreed saying that a fine number of the attendees were nothing but opportunity seekers or curious participants who wanted to hear the lecture from the horse’s mouth and not necessarily supporters and admirers.
On the same day, he delivered a lecture at the Great Mosque of Msaken after the prayer of Maghrib. There are still two more lectures to go on May 4. The first one will take place at the Fateh mosque in the city of Mahdia after the prayer of Dhuhr. And the second and last one will take place at the Lukhmee mosque in the city of Sfax at 5:30 P.M.
The debate is still on bouncing between proponents and opponents. Should the latter make a big deal out of it every time a preacher visits the country? Or should they simply get used to it?