Egypt Independent

Friday sermons to discuss religious prohibition of suicide



The Religious Endowments Ministry instructed the Imams of all mosques in Egypt to focus on the prohibition of suicide in Islam during this week’s Friday sermon.
 
In a press statement on Thursday, Minister of Endowments Hamdi Zaqzouq said this week’s Friday sermon in all mosques nationwide will be focused on “the Islamic ruling on suicide.” Zaqzouq went on to say that the sermon will include proofs from the Quran and Sunnah that suicide is forbidden.

Analysts say recent self-immolation acts in Egypt, now numbering about nine, seem to be driven by complaints similar to those that mobilized Tunisians to topple President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last week.

In Egypt and around the region, many complain of the soaring prices of basic goods, lack of jobs, poverty and repression by authoritarian governments.

In a worrying trend, several Egyptian’s have committed suicide or attempted it recently. On Thursday, a policeman committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in front of stunned colleagues inside a police station in the North Sinai Peninsula.
 
Last Tuesday, another police officer shot himself in the Nile Delta governorate of Menoufiya. On the same day, in the canal city of Ismailia, a third policeman shot himself in the head, although not fatally.

In Egypt and around the region, many complain of the soaring prices of basic goods, lack of jobs, poverty and repression by authoritarian governments.

Analysts say there is no sign yet of momentum toward a broader uprising that could overwhelm Egypt's vast security apparatus. But Tunisia's events have attracted broad attention and vigorous calls via the internet for political change.

Protests in Tunisia erupted after the suicide of vegetable trader Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, who set himself on fire on 17 December after police seized his grocery cart.

Egypt's Al-Azhar University has warned those considering such an act that suicide, for any reason, is banned in Islam.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa said citizens' anger had reached an "unprecedented" level and warned the region's leaders, who gathered at an Egyptian resort on Wednesday for the Arab Economic Summit, to focus attention on solving economic and political problems like those that sparked Tunisia's upheaval.

Egyptian officials have sought to play down the possibility that Tunisia's uprising is spreading.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.