Islamic authority rejects Egypt’s move to reform divorce

Source: Associated Press

By HAMZA HENDAWI
Today

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s top Islamic authority on Sunday rejected President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s suggestion that legislation be adopted to invalidate the practice of Muslim men verbally divorcing their wives.

It marked a rare instance of a public institution contradicting the president, who has presided over a wide-scale crackdown on dissent in recent years while seeking to rally the country’s entrenched interests behind him.

The Council of Senior Clerics in Al-Azhar — the highest authority in Sunni Islam — unanimously ruled that verbal divorce, when meeting all requirements, has been an undisputed practice since the days of the 7th century Prophet Muhammad.

The requirements, it explained, included that the man has a sound mind, full consciousness and uses appropriate phrasing. Muslim women in Egypt cannot verbally divorce their husbands but can apply for divorce in a court of law.

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