Egypt’s top Islamic authority rejects president’s proposal on verbal divorce

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi’s suggestion for legislation that would invalidate the practice of men verbally divorcing their wives has been rejected by the country’s top Islamic authority.

According to Al-Azhar’s Council of Grand Clerics, verbal divorce, when appropriately declared by husbands with sound minds, has been an undisputed practice since the days of the 7th century Prophet Muhammad.

As a way to compromise, the council proposed harsher penalties for those who don’t swiftly document such divorces.

El Sisi sometime last month expressed shock at the high divorce rates in his country leading to his suggestion that legislation be adopted so a divorce would be legal only in the presence of a state-authorized cleric.

El-Sissi has spoken in the past of reforming Islamic teachings in order to combat extremism.

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