Ministry of Religious Endowments granted on Aug. 7, for the first time since
2014, Vice President of the Salafist Call Sheikh Yasser Borhami a preaching
permit for Friday sermons between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31 at Al-Kholafaa Al-Rashdeen
Mosque in Alexandria.
repeatedly sparked controversy in the past with the Fatwas he issues, including
one barring Muslims from sending holiday greetings to Coptic Christians, another
banning people from watching soccer games and one forbidding children from
decorating their bedrooms with Disney character posters.
Ministry of Religious Endowments issued a law in June 2014, according to which
only imams who are graduates of Al-Azhar University are authorized to preach,
and only after passing an interview with the nationwide endowments directorates
affiliated with the ministry, which in turn issue the preaching permits.
granted to Borhami includes seven instructions he must follow: First, he must
abide by the unified sermon imposed by the Ministry of Religious Endowments, as
per its July 2014 decision. Also, Borhami must abide by the Ash’ari doctrine, a
moderate Islamic school of thought adopted by Al-Azhar. Second, his sermon must
not exceed 15-20 minutes.
must not address any political or controversial issue in his sermon and no
fatwas shall be pronounced in mosques. In addition, no religious lessons shall
be given other than the Friday sermon preapproved by the ministry. Borhami must
abide by the instructions issued by the ministry. He is also not allowed to
move from one mosque to another unless there is prior approval from the
director of the endowments directorate, the director of the department of
preaching permits at the ministry and the area inspector appointed by the
ministry to monitor preaching across the country. Finally, the permit shall
also be considered personal property and must be preserved.
of Borhami to preaching has raised many questions and criticism from secular
citizens in Egypt, such as intellectual Khaled Montaser, and from
parliamentarians such as Nadia Henry. This is mainly because Borhami’s fatwas
in the past promoted hostility toward Copts, and he has not apologized for them.
Meanwhile, Samir Sabry, a prominent Egyptian lawyer, filed a complaint against
Sheikh Mohammed Khashaba, undersecretary of the Ministry of Religious
Endowments in Alexandria, who granted Borhami the preaching permit.
regard, Abdul Moneim Shahat, the spokesman of the Salafist Call, told
Al-Monitor, “Borhami holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar
University, and he applied in this capacity for the preaching permit before the
Ministry of Religious Endowments, not in his capacity as deputy head of the
Salafist Call. The Ministry of Religious Endowments does not deal with
organizations such as the Salafist Call, but deals with each person as an
individual by assessing them to ensure they meet the conditions required to
obtain a preaching permit.”
noted, “The new measure taken by the ministry now includes its instructions —
which were repeatedly published before — in the permit. What I am not sure of
is whether the ministry decided on generalizing this measure to all permits, or
whether it was something specific to Sheikh Borhami. But the instructions are
not new, and there are no specific instructions that were only formulated for
“The existence of a peaceful Salafist movement that rejects bloodshed and
respects the tacit understandings [reached] with non-Muslims is the first
guarantee to curb the spread of violence and takfiri [extremist] orientations.”
Salafist Call was founded in Egypt in 1977. At first, its activities were
limited to social and preaching work, and it refused to participate in
political life. Meanwhile, the security forces were lenient toward the Salafist
Call, compared to other Islamist movements, because it [the Salafist Call] did
not seek to reach power and its presence undermined the Muslim Brotherhood’s
monopolization of the Islamist current in the country.
the January 25 Revolution the situation changed. The Salafist Call formed its
political wing, the Nour Party, which won 112 out of 508 seats in parliament in
the 2012 legislative elections. After June 30, 2013, the movement faced
increasing calls to dissolve it under the pretext that it is a religious party
despite supporting the revolution. The army, however, rejected those calls as
the dissolution of the Salafist Call would have changed the balance of power
among Islamist currents. And thus, although the Salafist Call still enjoys
political support, it came under harsh media campaigns, and ultimately faced a
setback in the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning only 12 seats out of 596.
Karima, a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, told
Al-Monitor, “I feel that Salafism is being swept out of Saudi Arabia to be
settled in Egypt with the help of international parties and forces that do not
want stability in Egypt. And while Al-Azhar University professors are not
allowed to speak out and preach, Borhami, the author of radical fatwas and
patron of Salafism in Egypt, is granted this permit.”
professors who oppose the current regime in Egypt do not receive their
preaching permits from the Ministry of Religious Endowments despite meeting the
There is a
tendency today to get rid of Salafism in Saudi Arabia. Several Salafist
preachers, fearing the campaigns led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
have fled to Egypt and settled mainly in Alexandria, the stronghold of Salafism
added, “Salafists led by Borhami consider all Muslims [Sufis and Shiites] who
do not adhere to their ideology as apostates, and accuse Al-Azhar of corrupt beliefs
for following Ash'ari doctrine. Salafism spread in Egypt through Gulf funds and
the movement managed to create bases for extremist thought through [media]
channels. For example, Sheikh Mohammed Hassan — a leading Salafist preacher —
is building a 30-acre Islamic complex in 6th of October City, with nurseries to
teach children the principles of Salafism. Salafism is not a threat to
Al-Azhar, but a threat to Islam.”
of the parliamentary Religious Committee Amr Hamroush told Al-Monitor, “I strongly
condemn the recent decision by the Ministry of Religious Endowments to grant a
preaching permit to Borhami — even if such permit was for a month or subject to
restrictions — because this man did not apologize for past extremist fatwas.
Borhami’s thoughts have not changed, even if he pretends to abide by the
provisions of the Ministry of Religious Endowments to be able to preach.
Therefore, I ask the ministry to reconsider this permit and withdraw it.”
Headline: Is Salafism making comeback in Egypt?
Basit - Hussari - Minshawi - f
Inna alddeena AAinda Allahi alislamu wama ikhtalafa allatheena ootoo alkitaba illa min baAAdi ma jaahumu alAAilmu baghyan baynahum waman yakfur biayati Allahi fainna Allaha sareeAAu alhisabi
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Allah's attributes:Swift in taking account] [Islam] [Knowledge] [People of the Book:differed among themselves]
Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime  took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them. But as for him who denies the truth of God's messages - behold, God is swift in reckoning! - 3:19 (Asad)
Waman yabtaghi ghayra alislami deenan falan yuqbala minhu wahuwa fee alakhirati mina alkhasireena
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Hereafter] [Islam]
For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost. - 3:85 (Asad)
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) delivered a sermon and said, "O people! You will be gathered before Allah barefooted, naked and not circumcised." Then (quoting Qur'an) he said:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. A promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.." (21.104) The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, "The first of the human beings to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham. Lo! Some men from my followers will be brought and then (the angels) will drive them to the left side (Hell-Fire). I will say. 'O my Lord! (They are) my companions!' Then a reply will come (from Almighty), 'You do not know what they did after you.' I will say as the pious slave (the Prophet (ﷺ) Jesus) said: And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up. You were the Watcher over them and You are a Witness to all things.' (5.117) Then it will be said, "These people have continued to be apostates since you left them."