Last Update 14:17
Sunday, 21 April 2019

Pre-prepared Friday sermons are of legitimate national interest: Egypt's endowments minister

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Aug 2016
Friday prayers
File Photo: Muslims praying during Friday prayers (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2484
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2484

Egypt's religious endowments minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that having pre-prepared Friday sermons is of "legitimate national interest," though he stressed that the "era of silencing people is over."

During a workshop on an integrated vision on the renewal of religious discourse during the Presidential Leadership Programme's (PLP) forum, the minister said that exploiting religious discourse for political and partisan purposes causes severe damage to society, stressing on the necessity of curtailing the efforts of those who would exploit religion.

Last Month, the endowments ministry announced that Muslim clerics will be required to read from a single script prepared by the ministry during the weekly sermon at Friday prayers, a move aimed at promoting moderate Islamic ideology and combating extremism.

"There is no religious source that prohibits a pre-written sermon, and we are in exceptional circumstances," the minister stressed.

He added that some in the country have been quick to reject the idea of a pre-written sermon without knowing the details.

Gomaa highlighted that these sermons would allow for the tackling of various topics throughout the year, adding that there are different programmes for the rehabilitation and preparation of preachers.

However, Egypt's top Islamic body Al-Azhar rejected last Wednesday the decision requiring preachers to read out a standardised, pre-written sermon during Friday services.

The Council of Senior Scholars, headed by Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, said the move amounts to "freezing religious discourse."

The Al-Azhar Mosque did not follow the ministry's standardised sermon last Friday, entitled "Cleanliness is a Civilised Behaviour," and instead gave a sermon on national unity and the rights of Christians in Islam, as announced on Al-Azhar's official website.

The ministry's decision sparked outcry among many clerics earlier this month, who said that scripted sermons would waste an imam's talents and fail to cater to different communities.

The ministry has been setting topics for weekly sermons at Friday prayers across the country since 2014.

Under the Egyptian constitution, the 1,000-year-old seat of Islamic learning Al-Azhar is in charge of regulating Islamic preaching and proselytising, while the endowments ministry is responsible for administering mosques and Islamic centres.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.