Men can marry their daughters, says Egyptian cleric

Can  Men can marry their daughters? Egyptian Salafist cleric Mazen Al-Sersawi has come up with whisk controversy, after a video in which he said that Islam allows men to marry their illegitimate daughters went viral.

In the video, Al-Azhar lecturer cites prominent Muslim jurist Imam Al-Shafi’i as saying that illegitimate daughters are not officially attributed to their fathers and can be married to them. Al-Sersawi is a teacher of Hadith at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, known as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university.


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In the 2012 video that recently resurfaced online, he said Imam Al-Shafi’i – one of the four great Imams of Islamic jurisprudence – is known for saying men may marry their own daughters that are born out of the wedding. Al-Sersawi explained that if a man has an extramarital relationship with a woman and she gets pregnant an give birth to a daughter, he is allowed to marry his illegitimate daughter. Attempting to show off the repulsive ruling, Al-Sersawi said that according to Al-Shafi’i, the girl that is born of due to extramarital relation is not really his daughter as she is the result of adultery.

She is not his daughter according to Sharia. She is not officially attributed to him,” he said, adding that illegitimate daughters do not carry their fathers’ names. Al-Sersawi admitted “this is a major howler in the school of Imam Al-Shafi’i,” but went on to say “it is incomparable to his many good deeds.” While Al-Sersawi is not the only Muslim preacher to attribute the ruling to Imam Al-Shafi’i, several clerics have pointed out that it has been misinterpreted.

According to Sheikh Mohammad Hassan, a Salafist cleric, Al-Shafi’i said if a man commits adultery with a woman, he is allowed to marry her daughter as long as he is not her father.

Additionally, the late Muhammad Metwali Al-Sharawi, an Islamic scholar and jurist, and the former Egyptian minister of Endowments has previously asserted that Islam absolutely forbids men from marrying the daughters of women they have had extramarital sex.

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