Cairo, 25 Nov. (AKI) – The research council of the Al-Azhar University – the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning – was due to meet on Thursday to discuss approving the medicinal use of cannabis , especially to relieve symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver.
During its monthly meeting presided over by the prestigious Islamic university’s head sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, the council will analyse the therapeutic use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, from the point of view of Sharia, or Islamic law, official daily al-Ahram reported.
Users of marijuana risk prison in many north African and Middle Eastern countries. Some American states like California permit use of the drug for medical purposes, although a California popular referendum earlier this month failed to garner enough votes to fully legalise it.
“They particularly want to know if using cannabis is allowed under Sharia after some research in the United States concluded that it is something that works,” said Muhammad Wasil, a Cairo University medical researcher.
If its research council agrees, the Al-Azhar council could issue a religious edict or fatwa that could influence Muslim attitudes toward medicinal marijuana use around the world.
Founded in the late 10th century for Islamic studies, Al the Al-Azhar iUniversity is the world’s leading centre for Arabic literature and the study of Sunni Islam.