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'Hymen reconstruction fatwa' stirs controversy in Egypt

A fatwa by a senior Muslim scholar permitting hymen repair in certain circumstances has sparked controversy on social media, with critics fearing it may encourage girls to engage in sex out of wedlock.
Ragab Uwais poses for a picture with his bride before a video cameraman for their wedding video along Al-Gamaa Bridge connecting Cairo with its twin city of Giza, Egypt, June 11, 2020.

A controversial fatwa issued by a senior religious scholar permitting hymen repair or reconstruction has sparked heated debate on Egyptian social media platforms with supporters welcoming it as "sensible" and "long overdue," and opponents decrying it as fraud and deception. Critics feared it may pave the way for girls to have sex out of wedlock and resort to a quick fix before marriage.   

During a live broadcast on Dar al-Ifta's official Facebook page Aug. 31, Ahmed Mamdouh, head of Sharia research department and secretary-general of fatwas at Dar al-Ifta argued that hymen repair was "required and permissible in some cases such as when a girl had been raped or tricked [into having sex out of wedlock] and wished to repent or turn over a new leaf."

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