Egypt's Dar al-Ifta issued a religious edict (Fatwa) stating that online chats between men and women are not permissible, Ahram Arabic website reported on Saturday.
Dar al-Ifta, the main authority responsible for issuing religious edicts, prohibited on its official website chats between men and women who are 'foreign to each other'.
The edict, issued as an answer to frequently asked questions regarding the matter, said online chats between men and women are "frivolous, evil and open the door for the devil, corruption and Fetna (a disorder that can cause wrong temptations)."
The Fatwa allowed, however, chat in "cases of necessity."
Dar al-Ifta also mandated that a woman should not send her pictures to those she doesn't know "to protect herself" and –"preserve her dignity."
The edict added that these pictures are widely used "in corrupted acts by deviants, and it is deemed foreign to our religion."
In further explanation, the edict states that "repeated experiences prove that-in our time- [online chats] waste time and are a purposeless utilisation of time."
The edict was met with ridicule from some Egyptians on social media.
According to a statistics issued in September 2013, Egyptian Internet users reached 37.14 million.