Al-Azhar unsure about sukuk bill

Al-Azhar’s Senior Scholars Authority held an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the Shura Council’s bill on sukuk (Islamic bonds), which President Mohamed Morsy sent to them to determine if it is compliant with Sharia.

The board discussed the draft law for four hours, and had reservations regarding Article 20, said a source. The article stipulates that the legal committee that would determine whether the sukuk conform to Sharia would be formed by the finance minister, in contradiction with Article 4 of the Constitution, which says that Al-Azhar would rule in all matters regarding Sharia.

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Amhed al-Tayyeb met with former Prime Minister Abdel Aziz Hegazy to solicit his opinion on the sukuk, and whether they could constitute a threat to national security.

In a statement released Monday, Al-Azhar said the Senior Scholars Authority decided to form a jurisprudence committee to prepare a report on points of contention in the sukuk bill.

The board plans to continue discussing the draft law until Thursday, and then submit their comments to Morsy.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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