Egyptian authorities are investigating a prominent journalist for his remarks questioning a miracle attributed to the Prophet Muhammad.
The journalist, Ibrahim Issa, claimed that the “Isra and Miraj”, also known as the “night journey” in Islam, is a “completely delusional story”, sparking a controversy in the country.
According to Islam, it was a two-part journey that Prophet Muhammad took, first from Mecca to Jerusalem, and then ascended to the heavens, around the year 621. It is considered among the most notable events in Islam and also finds a significant mention in the Quran.
On Friday, while speaking on a TV channel, Mr Issa said that preachers who only cite books confirming the event have fundamental “Salafist views”. Such views do not offer a wider understanding of Islam, he claimed, according to Middle Eastern news website The New Arab.
Soon after, his views were condemned by Egypt’s highest theological authority Dar Al-Ifta, which contested that the Isra and Miraj journey by Prophet Muhammad “definitely happened, and cannot be denied in any way” in a seven-point response on Saturday.
In a sharp rebuke, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered “investigation measures” against the journalist.
Officials from the Islamic country’s supreme council for media regulation have said that they will prepare a report “to take legal action in case of violation” of its codes, according to The Arab News.
Mr Issa’s remarks have been widely criticised on social media. Egyptian actor Mostafa Darwish withdrew from the movie The Atheist, because its script was written by Mr Issa.
This is not the first time he has stirred controversy with his comments. Last year, Mr Issa said that he was surprised to see a pharmacist reading the Quran, and suggested that he should prioritise reading about medicine instead.
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