CAIRO: Ahmed Al-Tayeb, president of Al-Azhar University, said in a statement that he’s yet to decide on the fate of Ezzat Attiya, head of the hadith department at the university and most known for his “breastfeeding fatwa.
Earlier this month, the Administrative Court annulled Al-Azhar’s disciplinary committee’s decision to expel Attiya after he issued a controversial fatwa concerning adult breastfeeding in 2007.
The statement suggests that Attiya may return to Al-Azhar but in an administrative position rather than his original position or as a teacher.
Attiya was expelled in 2007 when he suggested that symbolic breastfeeding could be a way around strict segregation of males and females. He had drawn on Islamic traditions which forbid sexual relations between a man and a woman who has breastfed him.
The statement has caused a media frenzy and an uproar from Islamic scholars forcing Attiya to issue a retraction and apology. In his apology, Attiya stated that breastfeeding a male colleague at work is reserved only for a special situation and that only a minority of scholars had supported this position.
Al-Tayeb is set to issue a final decision within days.