Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawky Allam said on Tuesday that Muslim scholars need to engage in a reform of religious discourse, adapting their interpretations of Islamic law in line with changes in society, according to state-run news agency MENA.
Allam said the issue of reforming religious discourse is one of the key issues facing Egyptian society, and scholars must respond realistically to the way society changes over time.
"There are ongoing changes resulting from technological development," said Allam, "and it's necessary to have a disciplined mind that deals with those changes in the framework of sharia. So we can start from the approved sharia text, but must also take into account this development."
The grand mufti made the comments in an interview conducted in Algeria, where he arrived on Monday for the 13th forum on the doctrine of the Malikis. The event is being attended by a large number of clerics and religious jurists from different parts from the Arab and Islamic world.
Allam also commented on strange fatwas that are occasionally issued, saying they are an attack on Egyptian society and its unity. He said that Egypt is firm in rejecting "these failed and desperate attempts at division."
He continued: "These fatwas do not help society to settle down, and that violates the Prophet's methodology. Because in history, at the beginning of Islam, the circle [of inclusion] of Muslims and Christians was wider."