• Peter Kupisz

Egyptian Coptic Priest Challenges Islam - Father Zakaria Botros

Father Zakaria Botros is an Egyptian Coptic priest who is best known for his critique of Islam (and defense of Christianity) on a television show that broadcasts throughout the Middle East and the world. Botros’ mastery of classical Arabic has allowed him to study the Quran and early Muslim texts (e.g. hadith) in great detail. Much to the chagrin of Islamic scholars, he presents his discoveries on his satellite TV channel - alfadytv. Unsurprisingly, his shows have created a great deal of controversy. One particular revelation involved an authentic hadith which instructed women to "breastfeed" grown men. To make matters worse, one of Islam's highest authorities issued a ruling legitimizing the practice. The website orthodoxytoday.org explains more.


Botros spent three years bringing to broad public attention a scandalous -- and authentic -- hadith stating that women should “breastfeed” strange men with whom they must spend any amount of time. A leading hadith scholar, Abd al-Muhdi, was confronted with this issue on the live talk show of popular Arabic host Hala Sirhan. Opting to be truthful, al-Muhdi confirmed that going through the motions of breastfeeding adult males is, according to sharia, a legitimate way of making married women “forbidden” to the men with whom they are forced into contact -- the logic being that, by being “breastfed,” the men become like “sons” to the women and therefore can no longer have sexual designs on them. To make matters worse, Ezzat Atiyya, head of the Hadith department at al-Azhar University -- Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institution -- went so far as to issue a fatwa legitimatizing “Rida’ al-Kibir” (sharia’s term for “breastfeeding the adult”), which prompted such outrage in the Islamic world that it was subsequently recanted.

Reference

Raymond Ibrahim, “Islam’s ‘Public Enemy #1,’” OrthodoxyToday.org, April 1, 2008, http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles8/Ibrahim-Islams-Public-Enemy-Number-One.php.

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