FILE – Egypt’s Mufti Shawky Allam FILE – Egypt’s Mufti Shawky Allam

Egypt’s Mufti affirms: Greeting Christ's birth is ‘righteous’

Sat, Jan. 6, 2018
CAIRO – 6 January 2018: Greeting Christians with Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ) has been a controversial issue in Islam, especially with a number of several old fatwas (Islamic rulings) that forbade it; Al Azhar Grand Mufti Shawky Allam, however, ended the debate with statements affirming that Egyptians as a one, united nation, must greet each other.

“These fatwas have now come away before in history. God in the Holy Quran mentioned the birth of Jesus, it said: ‘Peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive.’ This is our approach,” Allam said in statements to the “Mufti’s Interview” television show on Friday.

Allam said that greeting Christians on Christmas is an act of righteousness. “All other fatwas are no longer accepted or allowed in our society. It has always been our approach in Al Azhar.”

Egypt’s mufti also stressed that all Egyptians (Muslims and Christians) are considered to be one strong and united nation in the face of the challenges and difficulties that the country is going through.

“Our long history tells us that all of the attempts that targeted Egypt’s unity have failed. This reflects the real nature of our identity that managed to survive and last during all of the past years, as it will continue to be,” Allam added.

He explained the reasons behind disputes that emerged between the other nation’s factions saying that it is because of abandoning religions’ ethics and values. “In exchange they adopted violence and hatred.”

Allam stressed that the nation’s unity is one of the ethics that should be taught to everyone in their early stages. “Adhering to these values would be our chance to face violence, extremism and terrorism.”

Some of the non-Azharian scholars’ fatwas previously went viral spreading that greeting Christians in religious events is forbidden in Islam; which caused huge controversy in Egyptian society describing the fatwa as an ‘extreme rule’. Al Azhar (Egypt's top Islamic authority) later explained that greeting Christians is not incompatible with Islam teachings.
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