Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam called on Egyptians to disregard “attempts to taint the [draft] constitution” and urged them to participate in the upcoming constitutional referendum..
In a conference held on Sunday to recap Dar Al-Ifta’s year-in-review, Allam denied that the draft constitution, on which a referendum will be held over 14 – 15 January, contradicts the Islamic Sharia, reported state-run Al-Ahram.
Allam stressed that Dar Al-Ifta’ “never was and never will be party to any political equation,” adding that the institution will only side with Egypt’s best interests. The Grand Mufti emphasised the sanctity of “all Egyptian blood” and the importance of stopping bloodshed, reported Al-Ahram.
Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta’ issued 500 Islamic fatwas in nine different languages during the year 2013, Allam announced.
During Sunday’s conference, the Grand Mufti launched an initiative to estabish an observatory to track and respond to Islamic fatwas that declare people “infidels”. The observatory, which would operate under the auspices of Dar Al-Ifta’, would aim at “shielding people” against such fatwas. The outcome of this initiative will be submitted to the Ministry of Endowments.
Sunday’s conference was attended by several public figures including presidential media advisor Ahmed El-Moslimany and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Badr Abdelatty.
The Egyptian Dar Al-Ifta’ is among one of the most prominent organisations for issuing fatwas as a part of the Haneef Doctrine of Islam established in 1895 globally. It is mainly responsible for drawing the line between what is religiously correct and what is prohibited for Muslims worldwide.
Although they are recognised under one of the four Islamic pillars in Egypt, the fatwas issued by Dar Al-Ifta’ are not legally binding unless the state officially adopts them. Dar Al-Ifta’ also offers advice for legal institutions in Egypt.