All praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family, his Companions, and those who follow his guidance.
“Al-Musawwir” magazine has published an article in its issue no. 2166 on Friday April 15, 1966 A.D./1385 A.H., page 15 under the title:
The imported principles by Ahmad Bahaa’ Al-Deen
He wrote: “News from Saudi Arabia declares that the vice president of the Islaamic University there published an article two months ago in all newspapers in which he deemed lawful to kill anyone who says that the earth is round or that the earth circulates around the sun and not the opposite. To announce such an opinion in 1966, seems bizarre, especially in the age of space. The holder of that opinion has only one merit counted for him; that this opinion seems to be reasonable in light of the thoughts and opinions spreading in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nowadays. The rulers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have nothing to worry about but the imported ideologies and ideas. They only call for Islaamic alliance under the pretext of guarding Muslims against the danger of the extrinsic ideas, while, for sure, they intend socialism. They do not bother themselves to study the concept of socialism or social equity; rather, they adamantly reject it on the grounds of being imported…and so on.”
In reply to this, I say that this is a great lie. The article referred to by the author was published in all local newspaper in Ramadaan 1385 A.H. and read by all inside and outside the Kingdom. There is no mention in it of the earth’s roundness or that it is lawful to kill whoever holds this. The quotation I cited from the speech of the great scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allaah be merciful to him) includes proof that the earth is round. Thus, how on earth could Ahmad Bahaa’ Al-Deen or those who have transmitted this news to him propagate such falsehood and attribute it to an article that was published and read by people everywhere, may Allaah be Glorified! I wonder how brazen-faced is that slanderer! However, there is no wonder that such a lie is being woven by advocates of atheism and destructive ideologies. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: It is only those who believe not in the Aayaat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who are liars. It is also authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: Three are the signs of a hypocrite: when they speak, they tell lies; when they promise, they break their promise; and when they are entrusted, they betray. I only deemed it lawful to kill whoever claims that the sun is static and refuses to repent of this after clarification. This is because denying the circulation of the sun constitutes a denial of Allaah (Glorified be He), His Great Book, and His Honorable Messenger. It is well established in the Deen (religion of Islaam) by way of decisive evidence and Ijmaa` (consensus) of scholars that whoever denies Allaah, His Messenger, or His Book is a Kaafir (disbeliever) and their blood and wealth become violable. It is the duty of the responsible authority to ask them to repent of this; either they repent or be executed. Thanks to Allaah that this issue is not debatable among scholars... read more here.