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Muslim scholar Qaradawi faces deteriorating health after Covid-19 infection

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Prominent figures took to Twitter to request prayers for the Doha-based Islamic scholar after sources confirmed his deteriorating health condition.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who contracted Covid-19 earlier this month, is now facing a deterioration of health, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) confirmed on Monday.

The 95-year-old sheikh, founder of IUMS, is regarded to be one of the most prominent religious authorities in the Muslim world and has been a vocal critic against autocratic regimes in the region. 

“We ask you to increase prayers for his eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as his illness becomes more severe,” the group said on Twitter.

Read also: Renowned Qatar-based Muslim scholar Qaradawi contracts Covid-19

“We hope the righteous prayers of the faithful fasting people eases his illness and accelerates his recovery. God, we ask you to heal the pain of the sheikh of Islam and scholar of modern times, his eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi,” it added.

News of his deteriorating condition prompted an outpouring of prayers from scores of influential figures online, including Egyptian Islamic researcher, Isam Talimah.

“We ask you to be diligent in praying for his eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, as his illness has become severe. He is in need for your prayers in these blessed days,” Talimah, a student of Qaradawi, said.

 

Prominent Qatari media personality Jaber Al-Harmi tweeted in support of the Doha-based scholar.

“We ask God Almighty, Lord of the Mighty Throne, in these blessed days and virtuous nights, to grant a speedy recovery to his eminence  Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and to dress him with health and wellbeing,” Al-Harmi said.

Popular Al Jazeera journalist and presenter, Khadija Benguenna was also among the first to call on her 1.7 million Twitter followers to pray for the sheikh during the holy month of Ramadan.

I ask you to make an effort with me to pray for his eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi…Make your prayers firm for him in these blessed hours of this blessed month. May God reward you,” she tweeted.

Earlier this month, a statement on his official Twitter account confirmed the scholar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Days later, IUMS issued a statement to dismiss rumours of his death and said he was back home with his family.

“Rumours about the death of the scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi – may God protect him – the founding president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars is totally untrue,” IUMS said in a tweet last week.

“The virus that he contracted was like a flu on him, and he only stayed in the hospital for hours. He is now among his family and children, and he asks you to pray for him,” the statement added.

Vocal opponent

Qaradawi was long regarded as the main religious reference for Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The 95-year old Egyptian – a vocal opponent of President Abdelfattah El-Sisi – was sentenced to life in prison in absentia following the country’s 2013 military coup.

While his fierce opposition to autocratic regimes and unwavering support for the Palestinian struggle for independence have endeared him to millions around the world, this has also earned him the wrath of governments in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Damascus and other Arab capitals. 

Qaradawi moved to Qatar in 1961, seeking refuge in Doha after being imprisoned several times in his native Egypt. He eventually settled in Qatar and was granted citizenship. However, his residency in Doha heightened tensions during the 2017 illegal air, land and sea blockade.

Qaradawi is considered a moderate and an advocate for democracy and has also been particularly vocal in advocating for victims of rape, honour killing and other social topics. The scholar has authored several books on a number of issues and also founded the Islam Online website.

In 2001 he was part of a delegation to Afghanistan to convince the Taliban not to destroy Buddhist statues at Bamyan.


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