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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Does Islam Permit Muslim Men to Rape Their Slave Girls?

By Bassam Zawadi
Source: https://www.call-to-monotheism.com/does_islam_permit_muslim_men_to_rape_their_slave_girls_

There are those who argue that since Islam permits Muslim men to have sexual intercourse with their slave girls, this then means that they also have the right to rape them.

This is absurd. The right to have sex with a woman does not necessarily imply that one has the right to rape her as well. To say that a Muslim man has the right to rape his slave girl is like saying that a man has the right to rape his wife; which is not true. Refer to this article.

Rape in Islam is completely forbidden. See this and this.

Imam Maalik said: Read more of this post

Freedom of religion and apostasy in Islam

 Abu Amina Elias June 19, 2014
Source: https://abuaminaelias.com/freedom-of-religion-and-apostasy-in-islam/

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Freedom of religion and apostasy are major issues challenging Muslims in our times. On one hand, we know that Islam strictly prohibits compulsion in religion. On the other hand, classical Islamic law has prescribed the death penalty for apostasy. These two aspects of our faith exist in tension with one another and the news media often highlights controversial cases in which someone in the Muslim world has been charged with apostasy. Each time we hear of these cases the Muslims erupt into bitter arguments, some siding with religious freedom and others siding with harsh punishment.

How can we reconcile these two teachings and find the moderate, middle path to which Islam calls us?

Freedom of Religion

Islam guarantees religious freedom for non-Muslims and prohibits forced conversion and spreading the religion by violence. This teaching is established in numerous verses of the Quran and in the Prophet’s practice. Read more of this post

Does 4:34 allow beating your wife under certain conditions?

Source: https://www.quranaloneislam.net/4-34-beat-your-wife

All you need is listen to your heart to know that beating your wife is inexcusable. Verse 4:34 of the Holy Quran has been extremely controversial, and rightly so, due to the fact that most Sunni scholars claim, under the influence of hadiths and sunna, that beating your wife is permissible under the conditions described in the verse.

We will not only explain that there is no ground whatsoever to be violent against your wife according to 4:34 or any other place in the Quran, but that, on the contrary, God enjoins a husband to protect his wife, love her, be kind and merciful with her and respect her in every way. The word that is at the core of the debate in 4:34 is the verb “daraba” which is almost systematically translated as “to beat” or “to scourge” in translations of the Quran throughout the world. We will witness that the verb “daraba” happens to have an impressive number of different meanings in Classical Arabic in general, and in the Quranic text in particular. This leaves the question open as to which meaning is the most appropriate in 4:34 given the context of the verse, sura and Quran in general. Read more of this post

The Prophet never beat women or servants or animals

Abu Amina Elias January 6, 2014

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Prophet Muhammad never struck a woman or a servant or an animal. He never beat anyone for any reason and he never hit anything unless he was defending himself in battle.

Aisha reported:

مَا ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَادِمًا لَهُ وَلَا امْرَأَةً وَلَا ضَرَبَ بِيَدِهِ شَيْئًا

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2328, Grade: Sahih

The Prophet warned us that Allah will retaliate on the Day of Judgment against those who wrongly beat others. Read more of this post

Quran strikes out wife beating

Source: https://www.islamicity.org/11451/quran-strikes-out-wife-beating/


The following verse is often misunderstood or misused by both Muslims and non-Muslims.  Yahya Emerick gives a detailed background and explanation of this verse in his translation and commentary of the Quran titled, “The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English.”

Men are (qawwamun) responsible,1 for the welfare of women since God has given some (of you) more (faddala) wherewithal 2 than others, and because they must spend of their wealth (to maintain the family). Therefore, pious and devout women safeguard the private matters that God would have them (hafitha) safeguard. 3 As for those (women) from whom you fear (nushoozahunna root nushooz)aggressive defiance, 4 caution them (to piety). (If they remain unmoved by your words), then leave them alone in their beds, and finally, (if they continue in their aggressive defiance), then (waidriboohunna root daraba) separate 5 from them. However, if they accede to you (by abandoning their aggressively defiant behavior), then you have no (legitimate) grounds to act against them (any further), and God is full of knowledge and greatness. 6 [Quran 4:34]

Background on verse 4:34

The women of Mecca were traditionally subservient to their husbands, for Mecca had a harsh and cruel culture, whereas the women of Medina were more used to standing up to their husbands, as it was a more cosmopolitan environment. After the Meccan immigrants were settled in their new homes in Medina, some men began to notice that their wives were starting to challenge them and talk back to them – even in contempt. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab went to the Prophet and complained about this on behalf of himself and his male friends. The Prophet innocently suggested to the men who felt that their families were in turmoil to do daraba (a word that can mean either separation or hitting someone, among a dozen other things).

However, the next morning around seventy women complained to the Prophet’s wives that their husbands had physically abused them. The Prophet became upset when he heard about the complaints, and he declared that any man who beats his wife “is not the best of you,” which in prophetic lingo means “they’re the worst of you.” He also said that any man who beats a woman is not a good man. In other words, the men had misinterpreted or misapplied what the Prophet meant by daraba. (Abu Dawud, Nisa’i, also see 2:231) The historian, lbn Sa’d, includes a quote from the Prophet about this incident in which he addressed his male followers, saying, “I cannot bear the thought of a man with the veins of his neck swollen in anger against his wife while he’s fighting against her.” (As quoted in Women of Medina, translation, by Aisha Bewley.) Then the Prophet awaited a ruling from God, and this verse was revealed.

Qawwamun – To stand up

1 The word qawwamun comes from a root word that literally means “to stand up.’ In this verse, it is used to mean safeguarding another’s business, to protect their interests, to preserve and to maintain the safety of women. (Think of the English phrase used to remind men of their implied duties towards their families: ‘Stand up and be a man.’) This verse, then, does not say that men are the overlords of women or arc dictators over them. Rather, it states that men must protect and look after women.

Fadl – More bounty

2 The term fadl, which is translated here as given more wherewithal, can mean more bounty and even excelling in an amount over something. Some commentators say that fadl refers to the fact that men get twice the inheritance of a female, (an amount that they then use to spend on the women in their lives).

The wording here doesn’t mean that women are not capable of earning more money than men, for even the Prophet’s first and only wife for over twenty years (Khadijah) was wealthier than he, nor does it mean men are better than women, as some superficial chauvinists have tried to read into this verse. Rather, it is an all-encompassing idea tied to a practical financial reality, and perhaps, if you want to stretch the meaning, it may also suggest that men have been given certain specific physical qualities that may better suit them to protect and support their families in a dangerous world: qualities ranging from more aggressiveness in defense against enemies to extra muscular strength to enable them to labor under more arduous circumstances. (This is similar to the Latin concept of virtu, or manly responsibility, from which we get the English word virtue.) Under this logic, because God made men more suited to protect and maintain their families in an uncertain and difficult world, men are thus ‘appointed’ to be officially responsible for caring for the women in their lives.

There is nothing wrong Islamically if a woman supports herself, especially if she has no other options, nor are women forbidden to work or engage in business, even in classical Islamic theology. (Three of the Prophet’s wives, Zaynab bint Jahsh, Umm Salamah and Safiyah, continued to earn their own money while being married to him, and his first and only wife of twenty-five years, Khadijah, had been a successful businesswoman. The wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud made and sold handicrafts to support herself. There are many other examples of Muslim women having independent jobs and livelihoods from the Prophet’s time until the end of the classical period abound.)

The idea is only that if there is a man in her life, then he must shoulder the greater share of the burdens of the family’s expenditures and needs both in finances and security. Any money a woman earns is hers to save, invest or spend without any obligation to give it to her husband or spend it on the family.

Hafiz – Safeguard

3 A believing woman guards her husband’s secrets, lawful private business and intimate details, even as she guards her virtue and fidelity. Men are also expected to do likewise for their wives. This principle of confidentiality and faithfulness is the basis of a successful marriage, and it is also the most important thing that married people owe to each other.

The Prophet once asked a group of male and female followers if they knew of people who talked about their intimate lives in public.  The men were afraid to admit it, but a teenage girl raised her hand and said, “Yes, by God, the men talk about it, and the women do, too.” Thereupon the Prophet said to the group, “Do you know what those people who do that, are like? They’re like a male and female devil who meet in the street and satisfy their desires in front of an audience.” (As quoted in The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam by Yusuf al-Qaradawi.) Also see 30:21 where the Qur’an also exhorts married couples to dwell together in affection and harmony, part of which is the understanding that intimate and private details must remain private.

Nushooz – Aggressive disrespect

4 The Arabic term used here for aggressive conflict (nushooz) is derived from nashaza which means to be elevated (i.e., haughty) or to be in marital discord, though in practical usage this word refers to those who no longer treat their spouses with the respect and kindness that each owes to the other, and instead openly disrespect and treat their spouses in a defiant and contemptuous manner over a period of time.

Some scholars have suggested that it can also include those spouses who make no secret of their attraction to others, as illustrated in a tradition from the Muslim collection in which the Prophet said, as part of his farewell pilgrimage, that it’s a husband’s right that his wife doesn’t allow strange men to sit on their marital bed. See footnote below where the narration is quoted in full.

In the case of this verse, if the husband is fulfilling his duty and supports the family in justice and honor, then the wife should be loyal and faithful to her mate. For a wife to betray her husband by treating him with sustained contempt or by cavorting with other men shamefully or by revealing his private affairs maliciously, thereby treating him as an enemy, and further still, to live in open defiance of him – that’s a recipe for marital disaster.

Nushooz, it should be mentioned, does not apply to simple disagreements, arguments, emotional outbursts, a lack of domestic skill or the daily give and take of marital life. Although the Qur’an does allow both men and women to initiate divorce, (and Muhammad said it was the most hated thing in God’s sight, out of all the things that believers are allowed to do), the basic goal is to keep families intact, especially if children are involved. Therefore, this issue of severe marital misconduct is addressed for both males and females. As for recalcitrant males doing nushooz, see 4:128.

Daraba – Separate

5 Talking, boycotting intimacy, and then – daraba. What does this word mean and what was the intent of its usage in this verse? This word is often understood and translated as ‘beat’ or ‘strike,’ and this unfortunate interpretation has given rise to a great amount of unnecessary controversy and caused unconscionable violations of the Islamic rights of women.

When this verse of the Qur’an was revealed to him, the Prophet said of it that he had hoped for one thing from God but had received another. What did he hope for and what did he receive? As the evidence will show, he neither hoped for beating, nor received the command, but something else entirely, which he also disliked, i.e., the recommendation to separate or divorce.

Traditional Islamic jurists have been unanimous in rejecting the idea that this verse gives a man permission to physically assault his wife in order to harm her. Those jurists who have allowed the man to strike his defiant wife have insisted that it be done no more than once and that it be no more than a light tap to express disapproval. (See Ibn ‘Abbas’s ruling of using a toothbrush, for example.)

Other jurists have said that the word daraba in this verse is to be understood as separation. If a man feels hostility from his wife, he must cool his anger by leaving the house (possibly leading to a divorce, which may give the wife pause for thought and leave room for reconciliation). Those who favor the second viewpoint out that this is the process that the Prophet followed when he was having trouble with some of his wives (who were disrespecting him over his self-imposed poverty).

The Prophet is the model for how to interpret and implement the Qur’an, so we need only look into the three-step process he followed to understand how to apply this verse here in question. (See 33:21)

When he was facing defiance (nushooz) from his wives, the Prophet first talked to them; then he boycotted sleeping with them – for an entire month. Finally, when they kept vexing him and treating him in an unreasonable way, he offered them a divorce. (See 33:28-29) The Prophet went through all three steps outlined in this verse, and he never laid a hand in anger on any of his wives. A’ishah said, “The Prophet never beat any of his wives or servants.” (Ibn Majah, Nisa’i)

The Prophet also said, “No Muslim man should ever hit one of God’s female servants.” (Abu Dawud, Nisa’i, Ibn Majah) A man named Mu’awiyah went to the Prophet and later reported this exchange: “I went to the Messenger of God and asked him, ‘What do you say about (how we must treat) our wives?’ He replied, ‘Give them food like you have for yourself, and clothe them with what you clothe yourself, do not smack their faces, and do not angrily ignore them in public.'” (Abu Dawud)

So it is clear that both the Qur’an and the Prophet categorically forbid the harming or physical abuse of women. Now looking at this verse even closer, since daraba is used here in the singular (one-time) verbal form and not in the intensive (do it repeatedly) verbal form, it’s also clear that it could hardly refer to a physical assault. Who hits somebody once when they’re beating them? Yet, a separation or a divorce from a spouse is something that is done usually only once, if ever.

During his last pilgrimage, the Prophet said, “Be mindful of God regarding women, for they are your responsibility. You have rights over your spouses, and they have rights over you. It’s your right upon them that they not let anyone you dislike enter onto your bed and that they not commit open lewdness. However, if they do that, then God has allowed you to ignore them in the bedroom and separate (daraba) from them, without committing violence (i.e., by not assaulting your wife).” (Muslim)

Therefore, when interpreted with the Prophet’s application of this verse, coupled with relevant Qur’anic and hadilh references, this verse actually forbids abusing women at all and instead counsels trial separations (perhaps leading to divorce) as the last resort open to a man who is utterly dissatisfied with an incorrigible situation. This more defensible and historically appropriate interpretation is now becoming more widely accepted in the Muslim mainstream and has been offered as a legitimate interpretation since the early 1990s in popular Islamic publications such as Islamic Horizons and elsewhere.

For more on the legal validity of this interpretation, see the book entitled, Marital Discord, by Abdul Hamid Abu Sulayman, published by the conservative Sunni Muslim think tank known as the International Institute of Islamic Thought (INT), London, 2003.

Autonomy for women

6 Muslim women are allowed to argue and disagree with their husbands. The Prophet’s own wives used to do this often, and even when he was the caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab commented on this by saying it was their right to do so because they provide the benefits of child care, lawful intimacy and house care.

Excerpted from The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English by Yahya Emerick


Al-Azhar Lecturer Suspended after Issuing Controversial Fatwa

June 3, 2007



Al-Azhar Lecturer Suspended after Issuing Controversial Fatwa Recommending Breastfeeding of Men by Women in the Workplace

By: L. Lavi*

The head of the Hadith Department in Al-Azhar University, Dr. Izzat Atiyya, recently issued a controversial fatwa dealing with breastfeeding of adults. The fatwa stated that a woman who is required to work in private with a man not of her immediate family – a situation that is forbidden by Islamic law – can resolve the problem by breastfeeding the man, which, according to shari’a, turns him into a member of her immediate family.

The fatwa sparked a storm of protest in the Egyptian public arena, especially within the religious establishment. It was harshly criticized by Muslim Brotherhood MPs, who even brought it up for discussion in parliament, as well as by Egyptian intellectuals and columnists.

In response, Al-Azhar University formed a special committee to debate the fatwa, and on the recommendation of this committee, Dr. Atiyya was suspended. The Egyptian information minister ordered the removal from sellers’ shelves of the issue of the government weekly Al-Watani Al-Yawm in which the fatwa had been published.

Dr. Atiyya, on his part, published a retraction and apologized, saying that the fatwa was no more than a personal interpretation of a certain hadith, and furthermore, that the hadith in question relates a particular incident that occurred under specific constraints, and has no general applicability. However, Al-Azhar refused to accept his apology.

Head of the Al-Azhar Hadith Department: Breastfeeding Allows a Woman to Be With a Man in Private

Dr. Izzat Atiyya explained his fatwa in an interview with Al-Watani Al-Yawm, the weekly of Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Front party. He said: “The religious ruling that appears in the Prophet’s conduct [Sunna] confirms that breastfeeding allows a man and a woman to be together in private, even if they are not family and if the woman did not nurse the man in his infancy, before he was weaned – providing that their being together serves some purpose, religious or secular…

“Being together in private means being in a room with the door closed, so that nobody can see them… A man and a woman who are not family members are not permitted [to do this], because it raises suspicions and doubts. A man and a woman who are alone together are not [necessarily] having sex, but this possibility exists, and breastfeeding provides a solution to this problem… I also insist that the breastfeeding relationship be officially documented in writing… The contract will state that this woman has suckled this man… After this, the woman may remove her hijab and expose her hair in the man’s [presence]…

Dr. Atiyya further explained that the breastfeeding does not necessarily have to be done by the woman herself. “The important point,” he said, “is that the man and the woman must be related through breastfeeding. [This can also be achieved] by means of the man’s mother or sister suckling the woman, or by means of the woman’s mother or sister suckling the man, since [all of these solutions legally] turn them into brother and sister…

“The logic behind [the concept] of breastfeeding an adult is to transform the bestial relationship between [two people] into a religious relationship based on [religious] duties… Since [this] breastfeeding takes place between [two] adults, the man is still permitted to marry the woman [who breastfed him], whereas [a woman] who nursed [a man] in his infancy is not permitted to marry him…

“The adult must suckle directly from the [woman’s] breast… [This according to a hadith attributed to Aisha, wife of the Prophet’s Muhammad], which tells of Salem [the adopted son of Abu Hudheifa] who was breastfed by Abu-Hudheifa’s wife when he was already a grown man with a beard, by the Prophet’s order… Other methods, such as [transferring] the milk to a container, are [less desirable]…

“[As for the possibility of using a breast-pump, which] increases the production of the milk glands… that is a matter for doctors and religious scholars who must determine if the milk [thus produced] is real milk, i.e., if its composition is identical to that of the [woman’s] original milk. If it is, this method is permissible…

Dr. Atiyya also said: “The fact that the hadith regarding the breastfeeding of an adult is inconceivable to the mind does not make it invalid. This is a reliable hadith, and rejecting it is tantamount to rejecting Allah’s Messenger and questioning the Prophet’s tradition.”[1]

Al-Azhar Examines the Fatwa, Suspends Dr. Atiyya

In response to the uproar caused by the fatwa, Al-Azhar university formed a committee of several experts on hadiths to investigate the matter. According to a senior Al-Azhar source, the university president also ordered Dr. Atiyya to publish an apology, and the latter complied and retracted his fatwa,[2] explaining: “My statements on the issue of breastfeeding an adult were based on the imams Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Al-Shawkani and Amin Khattab [Al-Subki], and on conclusions I drew from the statements of Ibn Hajar [Al-Askalani]. However, I hold that only the breastfeeding of an infant creates a family relationship [that prohibits marriage between the parties and allows them to be together], as the Four Imams [i.e., the founders of the four Sunni legal schools] said, while the [act of] breastfeeding a grown man [mentioned in the hadith] was a [specific] incident that came to serve a [specific] purpose, and the fatwa I issued was based solely on my personal interpretation. Based on what I have learned with my brothers the religious scholars, I apologize for my earlier [statements] and retract my opinion, which contradicts [the norms accepted] by the public.”[3]

However, the Al-Azhar Supreme Council, headed by Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, refused to accept Dr. Atiyya’s apology, saying, “We must not be too lax in matters of religion, especially when the matter at hand is a fatwa that significantly affects people’s actual lives, inclinations, and views – because it speaks to their natural emotions which [lead them to] embrace what is permitted and shun prohibitions.” Tantawi said, “Society cannot tolerate [a fatwa] that undermines its religious stability. There is enough chaos with all the unsupervised fatwas [published] on some satellite channels. We will never permit this chaos to spread to the religious establishment and to Al-Azhar.”

By the recommendation of the special committee formed to examine the fatwa, Al-Azhar decided to suspend Dr. Atiyya pending further investigation of his case.[4]

Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments Dr. Muhammad Hamdi Zaqzouq likewise criticized the fatwa, saying: “Fatwas like these harm Islam, serve our enemies and push the public towards backwardness and ignorance.”[5]


Muslim Brotherhood MPs: This is an Erroneous Fatwa

The issue of breastfeeding adults was brought up for debate in the Egyptian parliament. Sabri Khalaf Allah from Muslim Brotherhood bloc in the parliament told the Al-Arabiyya TV website that some 50 MPs had discussed the issue, had expressed concern over the fact that the fatwa had been published in the media, but had refrained from submitting a parliamentary question in order to avoid creating too big an uproar.

Dr. Sayyid Askar, a Muslim Brotherhood MP and former member of the Academy of Islamic Studies, said that the hadith on which the fatwa is based is indeed authentic and valid, but that the accepted view among Muslim scholars is that it refers to a specific case and cannot be applied to other cases. Therefore, he concluded, Dr. Attiya’s fatwa is an erroneous fatwa that goes against the consensus. “In our modern society,” he added, “it makes no sense to talk of breastfeeding adults.”[6]

Intellectuals Object: The Koran Forbids the Breastfeeding of Adults

Dr. Abd Al-Fatah Asaker, who studies Muslim tradition, denied the validity of the hadith on which the fatwa is based, claiming it is nonsense and criticized the publication of Abd Al-Qadir’s book which regarded it as valid.[7] In an interview with Al-Watani Al-Yawm, he said: “Would Dr. Abd Al-Mahdi [Abd Al-Qadr] agree [to let] his wife, daughter, sister or even his mother breastfeed a grown man – whether a stranger or a family member? Would the Muslim scholars [want people] to say that their wives breastfeed any man who comes along?

Asaker argued that the hadiths of Muslim tradition, even those that appear [in reliable compilations like those of] Al-Bukhari and Muslim, are invalid if they contradict what is said in the Koran, which states: “Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; [that is] for those who wish to complete the [full period of] suckling [Koran 2:233].” Asaker argued that after this period ends, breastfeeding is forbidden, and added that the story of Salem is a legend spread by the enemies of Islam with the aim of discrediting Aisha, to whom the hadith is attributed. “It is inconceivable,” he concluded, “that Islam, which commands the believing [men and women] to lower their eyes [in modesty], should permit a strange man to place his mouth on the breast of a married woman and suckle from [it].”[8]

Liberal Muslim thinker Gamal Al-Banna argued that, in ancient times, the issue of breastfeeding adults was not sensitive, but today times and perceptions have changed. He added, “We always call [to distinguish] within Islamic tradition [between] hadiths which were published in [certain] circumstances that have changed [and hadiths that remain valid]…”[9]

Egyptian Columnist: The Fatwa Reflects Intellectual Petrifaction

Al-Sayyid Abd Al-Rauf, former editor of the Egyptian religious government weekly Aqidati, wrote in his regular column: “Strange and bizarre fatwas [like the one published by Dr. Atiyya]… sometimes stem from a desire to gain publicity by unusual means that lie outside the consensus, and [sometimes stem] from failure to understand the [current] reality of the Islamic nation. The reality of the modern world, with all its struggles and changes, requires new outlooks that acknowledge the Islamic legal tradition and maintain its principles, [but at the same time] deal with the changes in [this tradition] – in accordance with the principle that fatwas must change with time and place.

“In some instances, fatwas like this also reflect a frozen outlook, a petrified point of view, and an insistence on drawing conclusions from an incident that occurred to specific individuals in specific circumstances, applying them to a different reality, and [then] publicizing [this] ruling…

“Some clerics are dragging the nation back [into the past] or are spreading opinions that provoke conflicts and struggles. Some do it to satisfy the rulers, whether in quest for power, publicity and money or out of belief in ancient opinions, and without exercising their own minds…”[10]

Uproar in Ruling Party Weekly over Publication of Fatwa

The interview with Dr. Atiyya published in Al-Watani Al-Yawm, the weekly of the ruling National Democratic Party, caused an uproar among party members, and the Egyptian information minister ordered that the issue with the interview be removed from sellers’ shelves.[11] Dr. Ali Al-Din Hilal, member of the party’s general secretariat, said: “Al-Watani Al-Yawm is the newspaper of the party, which expresses its ideas and opinions.” Hilal decried the publication of Dr. Atiyya’s opinions, saying that “they are damaging to all of us, especially since we bring them into our homes, and our children read them.” Many party members sent faxes to the party secretariat in which they expressed their opposition to the articles on the fatwa in Al-Watani Al-Yawm. They claimed that these articles were damaging to the newspaper and to party members, especially during the elections campaign, when there are more people looking out for the party’s mistakes.”[12]

In response, Al-Watani Al-Yawm published a clarification: “We emphasize that we are opposed to the fatwa. When we published it… our aim was to direct attention to the existence of such ideas in Al-Azhar, [and to the fact that these ideas] are to be studied in Al-Azhar in the coming year… We emphasize that our aim in publishing [the interview] was not to endorse the fatwa; rather, it was an attempt to bring [the fatwa] to the attention of the senior Al-Azhar scholars, so that they would investigate its author, especially since he is head of the Hadith Department in the Faculty of Theology, and the alumni [of this faculty] are thousands of preachers who occupy the pulpits of the mosques, and spread [the opinions] that they have learned to the public in Egypt and in the [rest of the] world. We hoped that Al-Azhar would speedily intervene and clarify the truth to the public…

“Since Dr. Atiyya has expressed very bold opinions on the Egyptian culture channel, which is broadcast into every Egyptian home – and this without needing [any] permit, as he is part of the Egyptian Information Ministry – and since his ideas were provocative to us, we saw it as [our] duty to approach him and discuss [his ideas] with him, and so we did… We recorded his answers on two tapes. Due to their boldness, we feared that he would [later] retract [them], so we asked him to write them out in his own handwriting. But he did not retract his ideas, [but] wrote us his bold opinions in his own hand…”[13]

*L. Lavi is a research fellow at MEMRI

Source: https://www.memri.org/reports/al-azhar-lecturer-suspended-after-issuing-controversial-fatwa-recommending-breastfeeding-men?fbclid=IwAR0UvoZ74iK8pPT8tMIkDef-NsK6Bk5-m7HT_xpLQK4hUyi5DD24DB8FHhs

[1] Al-Watani Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 15, 2007.

[2] Alarabiya.net, May 21, 2007.

[3] Al-Watani Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 22, 2007.

[4] Al-Ahram (Egypt), May 22, 2007.

[5] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 22, 2007.

[6] Alarabiya.net, May 16, 2007.

[7] Before the publication of Dr. Atiyya’s fatwa, Dr. Abd Al-Mahdi Abd Al-Qadir, another Al-Azhar scholar, published a book proposing a similar solution based on the same hadith.

[8] Al-Watani Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 15, 2007.

[9] Alarabiya.net, May 16, 2007.

[10] Aqidati (Egypt), May 22, 2007.

[11] Al-Wafd (Egypt), May 21, 2007.

[12] Al-Misriyyun (Egypt), May 19, 2007.

[13] Al-Watani Al-Yawm (Egypt), May 22, 2007.