Al Azhar approves to beat the wives "without breaking any bones" and unleashes the controversy

Wives can be beaten as long as no bones are broken as a result of the beating. The declarations of the great imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed el Tayeb, sheltering


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Wives can be beaten as long as no bones are broken as a result of the beating . The declarations of the great Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed el Tayeb, sheltering a gender violence that is still a taboo enclosed within the walls of Egyptian homes has unleashed the umpteenth debate that splashes the most prestigious institution of Sunni Islam.

The Tayeb uttered his words during a television program he directed during the holy month of Ramadan. "The remedy that the Koran offered is to strike in a symbolic way with the purpose of reforming but without causing harm, harm or pain," the religious leader argued before his viewers. "The texts of the Koran and the provisions of Islamic legislation are valid at all times and in all places," he stressed.

The head of an institution based in Cairo, which claims to be the beacon of Sunni Islam, based his words on some verses of "the surah of women" of the Koran. " Men are in charge of women by virtue of the preference that Allah has given to some over others (...) There will be those who are straight, obedient and keep, when they do not see, what Allah commands to keep. But those whose rebellion you fear, admonish them, do not sleep with them, beat them, but if they obey you, do not seek any means against them, "says the verse.

According to El Tayeb, the action of a man to beat his spouse " has some rules and limits ". "You must not break a bone, or cause damage to an organ or limb of your body, or strike it with the hand on your face or leave it wounded or cause psychological harm." The objective is to hit him in a symbolic way with the Swak [ a small stick of wood used in ancient times to clean teeth ] or the brush of our time, "said the great imam.

His verbiage has raised dust adding to the criticism that Al Azhar receives, in the eye of the hurricane by the school curriculum in the wide network of educational centers that he administers in the most populated country in the Arab world. "The opinion of the sheik allowing the man to beat his wife is his main ideology and his speech is recorded in video and audio, " condemned MP Mohamed Abu Hamed.

The fatwa (Islamic edict) of El Tayeb has also met with those who argue that the Koran allows and enshrines gender violence. An opinion held by the Egyptian television presenter Islam al Behiri, a reformer sentenced to prison for insulting the religion that was pardoned by President Abdelfatah al Sisi at the end of 2016. The theologian alleges that the first scholars misunderstood the terms of the Qur'an and disregarded the context and the real meaning of the said ayah.

Other religious, on the other hand, have ratified the position of El Tayeb. "One night the Prophet Mohammed went to graves in present-day Saudi Arabia, and one of his wives, Aisha, out of pure jealousy pursued him to find out where he was going, and once there, she returned early so as not to arouse any suspicion. prophet knew it and, when asked, he punched him in the chest, "he recalls in statements to THE WORLD Ahmed al Azhari, an Egyptian sheikh. "The objective of hitting the woman is to punish her and discipline her , not to hurt her," he insists.

Cornered by the controversy, Al Azhar has tried to retreat. In a statement released by the media, the institution indicates that " mistreated women have become one of the causes of psychological damage that is reflected negatively in the family." "The intellectual of Mecca, Ibn Atta, is among those who refused to beat his wife and considered that it did not contravene what the Koran says," the note adds.

In the text, the sheikh shows his willingness to open "the debate among scientists" about gender violence. "I hope to be able to live to see legislation in our Arab and Islamic world that criminalizes the mistreatment", affirms El Tayeb trying to reduce the controversy. It is not the first time that Al Azhar is involved in similar controversies. The most liberal sectors accuse him of trying to stop the increasing rate of divorce through sheikhs that advise women to resist for the sake of the family unit.

Sexist violence is a taboo of long shadow in the conservative Egyptian society. There are not even statistics on reported cases or deaths among the walls of homes. It is one of the reasons used to explain the increase in divorces . Half of the new marriages end in rupture. In Egypt, with 100 million souls, a new divorce is formalized every two and a half minutes.

"The main causes of these figures are gender violence and abandonment, violence is the most dramatic reason, husbands assault their spouses," Mahasen Saber, a woman who runs a radio that offers a voice to divorced. "We get many testimonies from women who denounce the blows of her husband and the reaction of their own family, that the only advice they provide is to put up with it."

Violence within the marriage is not a new issue. It is a recurring query for Dar el Ifta, an official Egyptian body responsible for publishing religious edicts. On its website, the consultations are dispatched with an argument similar to the one that fueled the controversy : "The academics unanimously agreed that hitting does not intend to harm the wife or insult her." It is permissible, but not mandatory, in cases where that such conduct is not an insult to the spouse or does not harm her but simply shows the dissatisfaction of the husband and his anger for having neglected his duties. " In such circumstances, Dar el Ifta advises a light hit "without leaving a signal" with a "toothbrush or anything else that is not a tool to lift".

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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ref: elmuldo