• October 18, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Clarifies Contention Points in Article 2 of Constitution

Muslim Brotherhood Clarifies Contention Points in Article 2 of Constitution

Article II of the Constitution was for so long: "Islam is the state religion, Arabic is the official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation".


The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) has traditionally interpreted the phrase "Islamic principles" as "clear and conclusive texts with peremptory provisions".

As these provisions represent only a small proportion of Islamic law, and since the majority of the Egyptian people are eager to live in the shade of Islamic law, Islamists in the Constituent Assembly (CA) attempted to replace the phrase "and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation" with "and Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation".

However, others – namely secularists and liberals – refused that amendment, and insisted on the constitutional article remaining as is. The SCC interpretation of the phrase was re-considered,  though. There were long debates and discussions, with a number of suggestions put forward to clarify what is meant by "the principles of Sharia".

These ended up with a consensus between all currents and orientations to add an article in the General Provisions chapter of the new draft constitution, which reads "the principles of Islamic Sharia include general evidence and fundamentalist bases, rules and jurisprudence as well as sources accepted by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars".

Signing their agreement to this text were several leaders from different currents and orientations in the Constituent Assembly, and so the issue has been resolved.

We hope everyone would commit to fair-thinking, validate information, and behave wisely, so as not to give an excuse to those interested in disbanding or undermining the CA and halting the process of writing the Constitution, thereby disrupting the forthcoming parliamentary elections and maintaining the state of anxiety and legislative vacuum – as a prelude to destabilizing and even toppling the current, freely and democratically elected regime.

Dr. Mahmoud Ghozlan

Member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and Member of the Constituent Assembly

Cairo – October 17, 2012