CAIRO: Dar al-Iftaa of Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to issue “sober fatwas” and overcome differences in views in an endeavor to confront extremism, Youm7 reported Sunday.
“We are now before great challenges, but we are stronger than them, and the cultural and religious relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are always stronger,” Youm7 quoted Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam at a seminar on the development of Egyptian-Saudi relations at the League of Islamic Universities in Cairo.
Saudi King Salman is scheduled to visit Egypt April 4 for five days.
“The [King’s] visit has multiple dimensions; other than the political aspect, it has cultural and economical dimensions in a summit of power and conscience of two countries whose value is known by everyone,” Allam said.
Dar al-Iftaa in Islamic countries is responsible for releasing opinions that address religious aspects from major state issues to people’s enquiries going about their daily lives. In Egypt, for example, the parliament banned female genital mutilation in 2008 after Dar al-Iftaa stated the practice was “un-Islamic.”
Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the most prestigious religious institute in the Islamic world, has embarked on consultations to establish and an Islamic scholarly alliance parallel to the military alliance announced by Saudi Arabia in December, in which Egypt is a member, sources at Al-Azhar told Youm7 Dec. 24.
Relations between Egypt and the oil-rich Kingdom bloomed after the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. In December, 2015, King Salman pledged that his country would increase investments in Egypt to more than 30 billion SAR ($7.9 billion) and provide Cairo with petroleum products it needs over the next five years.
However, the two countries’ perspectives on some regional issues such as Syria have not been identical; Egypt has stated it supports the “anti-terrorism” role played by Russia, while Saudi Arabia has condemned Russia’s interventions.
Additional reporting by Ismail Refat and Loai Ali