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An Overview of the Most Controversial Fatwas in Egypt

October 8, 2017
Photo Credit: AP

In recent weeks, several contentious Fatwas have surfaced on media outlets, resulting in uncertainty in public opinion regarding the validity of these Fatwas.

From endorsing necrophilia to claiming that sexual intercourse with animals might not be religiously prohibited, these Fatwas received backlash as well as sparking debates.

Deputy Minister of Endowments Fouad Abdel Azim told Egyptian Streets that these Fatwas are odd and aim to stir controversy.

“These so-called scholars solely care about media and fame, they are not experts. Furthermore, if they are experts, they only promote peculiar ideas,” Abdel Azim said.

He went on to say that the key role of a Muslim scholar is to explain and simplify the Islamic teachings to people, not to capitalize on bizarre opinions and sell them to public opinion. Abdel Azim further urged those who appear on media outlets, who promote these Fatwas, to retreat from their doings and to adhere to the Islamic teachings and stop trading on media with the Quran and Sunna.

In response to how to combat these Fatwas, Abdel Azim said that there is an old protocol between media channels and the Ministry of Endowments. This agreement includes scholars who are qualified to appear on media outlets and discuss religious topics. He, however, condemned some outlets that deliberately choose controversial figures and host them for the sake of creating a hassle.

Abdel Azim concluded by saying that within the scholars’ community, everything is open for discussions whether it is an academic research or papers. However, not everything should be discussed on media to flare up dissension.

A few examples of Fatwas that sparked controversy include, but not limited to:

Necrophilia is not religiously prohibited

Preacher Sabry Abdel Raouf said that a man can have sexual intercourse with his dead wife. He further added that this is not considered prohibited because it takes place within marriage frame.  Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) banned Abdel Raouf from appearing on media outlets following his statements.

Egypt’s Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa described the statements as defamatory to Islam.

Illegal Excavation of Antiquities is Allowed

The former head of the Edicts Committee at Dar Al-Iftaa Abdel Hamid Al-Atrash triggered controversy when he said that any person who finds a treasure or an antiquity can keep it, recommending that they have to give away part of it to charities.

The statements of Al-Atrash received a strong backlash from Mulsim scholars, as they believe that will encourage illegal excavation and stealing Egypt’s heritage.

Sexual Intercourse with Animals is permissible

Preacher Soaad Saleh stated during a TV interview that several scholars approved of sexual intercourse with animals and validated it. However, she explained in other interviews that she touched upon this topic in light of renewing the religious discourse and to avoid discussing them again in the future.

Drinking Liquor without getting drunk is not sinful

Famous Islamic Cleric Khaled Al-Gendy previously stated that drinking liquor without getting drunk is not sinful, contradicting what is common between Muslims. Several other Muslim scholars suggested the validity of this Fatwa as well.

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