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HomeEgyptEgypt Taps Religious Authorities to Address Family Planning and Addiction Issues

Egypt Taps Religious Authorities to Address Family Planning and Addiction Issues


CAIRO: The Egyptian government is deploying religious institutions to tackle population growth and substance addiction issues.

The recent collaboration with the Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa aims to rectify religious misunderstandings surrounding family planning.

Dr. Abdel-Fattah El-Gendy, a scholar from Al-Azhar, commented on the initiative in a discussion with Arab News.

He asserted the religious acceptability of birth control, given the motive of spacing pregnancies for reasons such as protecting the mother’s health or allowing her to dedicate adequate time to raising her existing children.

Egypt’s population has reached 100 million, the statistics agency said, highlighting the threat of overpopulation in a poverty-stricken country where many live in crowded megacities. (AFP)

He warned against the misuse of birth control to permanently cease childbirth, which contravenes religious teachings aimed at preserving procreation.

“Birth control is a concept not disregarded in the noble Sunnah, analogous to separation, a practise that was permissible during the time of the Prophet Muhammad,” he said.

“As noted in the narration by Imam Muslim in his Sahih, the Prophet’s companions practised separation with their wives and this practice was not forbidden by the Prophet.”

The government’s engagement with religious advocacy bodies in social issues extends beyond birth control.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that it was engaging with imams in the campaign “You Can Be Valued By Others” to encourage recovered addicts to spend their summer vacation away from environments that could potentially trigger relapses.

Dr. Menen Abdel-Maqsoud, secretary-general of the Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Authority, explained to Arab News: “The activities of the campaign include religious seminars presented by a group of imams in all affiliated hospitals and centers — in cooperation with the Ministry of Awqaf.”

He said the goal is to increase religious awareness among patients and support their recovery.

Abdel-Maqsoud added that the campaign fell within the framework of the “100 Days of Health” campaign.

It is initiated through the secretariat for 23 mental health and addiction treatment hospitals and centers, spread across 16 governorates.

The secretariat has also joined hands with cultural and sports clubs to organize various cultural, artistic, sports and religious activities inside and outside of the hospitals and centers.

Source: Arab News

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