Consuming alcohol does not invalidate a Muslim’s fast, according to some interpretations of senior Egyptian cleric Ali Gomaa’s comments on the issue.
“The religion forbids transgression – the act [of drinking alcohol] itself is not connected to worship. In other words, the fasting person who breaks their fast with alcohol has not invalidated the day’s fast. What they have done is fallen into sin,” Gomaa said in a programme on an CBC, an Egyptian satellite network.
“Does it make any sense to tell someone they can’t fast because they drink? What we ought to say is that when fasting, do not drink alcohol. We should encourage righteousness, shun evil and avoid judging,” he added.
The cleric’s remarks were particularly controversial as they come as the holy month of Ramadan approaches, when Muslims abstain from consuming lawful food and drink from dawn till dusk.
It follows more controversial statements made by Gomaa just a fortnight ago.
Egypt’s former grand mufti appeared to promote a conspiracy theory linking the coronavirus pandemic to 5G technology, a claim debunked by experts and formally refuted by the WHO organisation.
During his television appearance, he claimed 100,000 satellites were launched to orbit around the earth and transmit 5G, leading to an imbalance in the electromagnetic field, which works to spread the contagion.
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi heavily relies on Gomaa, a scholar invested with state authority to issue fatwas, to shore up support among the country’s religious power base.
The cleric has been widely criticised for his acquiescence with, and promotion of, Sisi’s brutal regime.