In the last episode of his Ramadan program on Egyptian Television, the Grand Imam, "I call on husbands and wives to take advantage of these blessed days to reconcile and promote the spirit of friendliness and love at their households".
- “I hope to see, during my life, laws criminalizing beating in our Arab and Muslim world.”
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Aḥmed Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, said that scholars should address the phenomenon of parents’ refusal to marry their daughter to an adequate person who proposes to her. The Imam’s call for countering such common phenomenon is meant to save the victims in our Arab countries. Typically, the suitor can be rejected for reasons related to the issue of pride among families, and not because of any reasonable or logical criteria.
During the last episode of his Ramadan program, “Sheikh Al-Azhar Talk” on the Egyptian TV, the Imam stressed the necessity to avoid creating an opinion on the suitor based on the question of pride among families, because this is an inhuman attitude. He explained that all people belong to Adam who was created from dust. Such biased attitude used to prevail before Islam; and Islam has come to demolish it.
The Grand Imam also called for giving the woman her right to accept to marry the person she deems appropriate when one proposes for her marriage. He also called on the parents to avoid making obstacles before the woman who wishes to marry a competent person whom she desires and who desires her, especially when he is religiously and morally committed and can financially support her. His Eminence also pointed out that putting obstacles here means preventing an adult sane woman from marrying a suitable man when she asks for this, and when both of them desires the other.
The Grand Imam also stressed that when the woman’s guardians reject a competent suitor, this is an obvious act of injustice from which many women suffer. He noted that women are deprived of many of the their legitimate rights due to misinterpreting religious texts in favor of customs and traditions at the expense of Shari‛ā law and religion. Islam is often subjected to distortion due to those bad customs of which Islam is innocent, and has actually come to eliminate.
The Grand Imam advised the husbands and wives to take advantage of these blessed days to reconcile with each other and promote the spirit of friendliness and love at their households. He also recommended that they not let the blessed ‛Eīd Al-Fiṭr come while there is a wife far from her husband, and that husbands should take the initiative to go to the homes of their in-laws to bring their own children back to the atmosphere of joy within the family. He remarked that good word and good treatment both establish a family and protect it from dispersion and loss.
At the end of this year’s final episode of the “Sheikh Al-Azhar Talk” program, the Grand Imam called on academies, parliaments, and councils of elders to consider preventing husbands from beating their wives and children, and prohibiting beating in general. Although beating, which is only symbolic, may only be permitted with strict conditions, the law maker has the right to restrict this permissible behaviour if he sees that real harm may result. In my opinion, beating wives is extremely harmful to women in general, and to married women in particular.
His Eminence also pointed out that beating wives causes psychological harm, the case which is negatively reflected on the whole family. Ibn ‛Aṭā’, the well-known jurist of Mecca, was among the early opinions that refused beating, not considering his ruling any contradictory to what is stated in the Qur’an. This is because symbolic beating is only permissible for one to take or leave. We have no objection at Al-Azhar to open debate on this issue for discussion among scholars. He concluded the episode, noting, “I hope to see, during my life, laws criminalizing beating in our Arab and Muslim world.”