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Al-Azhar rejects Islamic reform measure to curb verbal divorce

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6:54
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In Islam, all a man has to do is tell a woman three times that he is divorcing her, and she is out, without any rights. Egypt’s al-Sisi, who famously called for reform in Islam several years ago, had wanted a change in this, but no, al-Azhar rejected it. Islam is Islam. As Turkey’s Erdogan said a few years ago, there is no moderate Islam. Islam is what it is.

“Al-Azhar decision on verbal divorce came after ‘in-depth study’: senior scholar,” Egypt Independent, February 12, 2017:

The statement from Al-Azhar senior scholars on verbal divorce came after a in-depth study, said advisor to the grand imam Mohamed Abdel Salam. He denied any disagreement or clash between Al-Azhar and the presidency over the matter.

Abdel Salam added in a statement on Facebook: “Meetings over the past few days comprised scientifically profound debates among senior Egyptian scholars of different Islamic schools and jurisprudence regarding the issue of [verbal divorce]”.

Scholars, headed by Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb, unanimously agreed that verbal divorce in Islam is valid and divorce comes into effect once the husband verbally divorces his wife, without need to document it or have witnesses to the divorce, Abdel Salam said.

He accused the media of attempting to draw a rift between the president and Al-Azhar through incorrect interpretations of the former’s statements.

He also accused some media outlets of truncating parts of Al-Azhar scholars’ statement on verbal divorce, thus harming the overall meaning.

In a statement, the Council of Senior Scholars, the top body of Al-Azhar Institution, said this is what Muslims settled upon since the time of Prophet Mohamed if it meets the set conditions of divorce in Islam.

The decision comes against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s call for restrictions against verbal divorce and for a new law tightening divorce procedures for Muslims last month. He directed this request to al-Tayyeb in a speech at a ceremony marking National Police Day.

In clarifying its position, the council called upon the man who divorces his wife to document this divorce once it happens, in order to preserve the rights of the woman and the children.

The council also said, however, that the government has the right to take the necessary steps to enact legislation to ensure the imposition of deterrent punishment against those who abstain from documenting the divorce or are remiss in it.

The statement said the phenomenon of increasing divorce cases cannot be wiped out by conditioning the documenting or authentication, because the husband who belittles divorce will not be dissuaded by any conditions requiring him to stand before a Ma’azoun (public notary, marriage official) for divorce to take place.

The statement read: “the correct treatment for this phenomenon is through the care of young people and their protection from all kinds of drugs, and in educating them through different media, art, culture and general knowledge.”

Egyptian law currently grants a Muslim husband the right to divorce his wife in her absence and without her knowledge. He may initiate and conclude all the legal procedures himself, only informing her of the divorce at the final stage….


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