Egypt's al-Azhar bans cleric for singing Umm Kulthoum on television

Egypt's al-Azhar bans cleric for singing Umm Kulthoum on television
An al-Azhar cleric has been banned from his official duties after singing on a television talk-show while wearing his uniform, an Egyptian ministry statement said.
2 min read
24 Sep, 2017
The cleric sang a number of songs on an Egyptian talk show [ON Ent/YouTube]
An Egyptian imam from the world-famous al-Azhar institution was banned from speaking and preaching on religious affairs after singing a song on a television talk show.

Sheikh Ihab Younis, who is now under investigation by the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Affairs, was filmed singing a song by Umm Kulthoum on an Egyptian satellite channel, while wearing the official uniform of the al-Azhar institute.

"Due to the actions that are contrary to the nature of the work of the imam and the requirements of his duty, the Head of the Religious Sector and Chairman of the Values Committee at the Ministry of Awqaf, Sheikh Jaber Taya, decided to ban Sheikh Ihab Younis from his duties pending the results of the investigation," a ministry statement said.

The cleric sang Umm Kulthoum's 'Lessa Faaker' as well as a range of other songs, while accompanied by a live band on 'Sit al-Husn', a talk show broadcast on Egypt’s On TV last Monday.

Al-Azhar University is widely viewed as the Sunni Muslim world's leading Islamic institution.

Last week, another cleric from the institution was also ordered to stay off the air after he made the grave error of arguing in favour of necrophilia with a ruling that allows husbands to have sex with their dead wives.

Egypt's state media watchdog on Monday banned Sabri Abdel Raouf from making television and radio appearances over his deadly serious religious edict on so-called "goodbye intercourse", according to daily Youm7.

The professor of comparative jurisprudence at al-Azhar University made the remarks last week on a local television programme.

"People who do this are perverts, I mean she is dead, how could anyone accept such a thing," Abdel Raouf said when asked if the act was permissible.

"However, is it considered adultery? If husbands do this they are going against societal norms, but they are not punished in the manner of adulterers."

"It is permissible even though it is a shameful, unnatural act," he added.

The scholar argued that because some schools of Islamic thought allow spouses to wash the bodies of their deceased partners before burial - this also technically allows intercourse.

Al-Azhar University has announced it has summoned Abdel Raouf for questioning over his "unauthorised media appearances".