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Abla Al-Kahlawi: Renowned Egyptian Female Preacher Dies at 72

Dr. Abla Al Kahlawi, a famous Egyptian Islamic preacher, died Sunday 26 January at the age of 72, after battling COVID-19, her family said.

The daughter of Mohamed Al Kahlawi, one of the best known modern Muslim nasheed artists, Al Kahlawi was born on December 15, 1948.

She was an Egyptian Islamic preacher and a professor of jurisprudence at the College of Islamic and Arabic Studies for girls at Al Azhar niversity.

Al Kahlawi joined the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University, implementing her father’s wishes, and specialized in Islamic law, where she obtained a master’s degree in 1974 in comparative jurisprudence, then a doctorate in 1978 in the same specialty, and moved to more than one position in university teaching.

Al Kahlawi went to the Holy Kaaba to teach daily lessons after the Maghrib (dusk) prayer for women. These lessons lasted from 1987 until 1989, during which Muslim women were received from all over the world.

Al Kahlawi established a charitable association in the Mokattam neighborhood to take care of orphaned children, cancer patients and elderly Alzheimer’s patients under the name “Good Women Society,” in addition to the “Good Remains” charity complex in Mokattam.

How did the tweeters mourn her ?

The Egyptian preacher, Abla Al-Kahlawi, topped the Google search engine in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

On Twitter and Facebook, her fans in a number of Arab countries mourned her by launching a hashtag bearing her name and recalling her experience as one of the most prominent female models in the fields of jurisprudence and Islamic thought.

“Mama Abla” or “the icon of female preachers”. This is how Egyptian tweeters, lamented the preacher Abla Al-Kahlawi. In their view, she is a “non-traditional preacher” and “the best ambassador for Ash’ari and central Islam.”

She reached out to many official bodies and media platforms, such as the Egyptian House of Ifta, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

 The wife of the Egyptian President has mourned her, in addition to public figures such as advocates, politicians and artists.

At the beginning of the millennium, Abla Al-Kahlawi appeared on the religious channel “Iqra”.

She was firmly embedded in the minds of her followers with her soft style, her gentle and reverent voice, and her white clothes, which she was keen to appear in throughout her media career.

Al-Kahlawi thus went against other female preachers of that period, “who were known for their involvement in the chaos of fatwas and for their argumentative issues in a way that was predominantly stubborn and had the tone of intimidation,” according to what they said.

Some believe that the late preacher avoided delving into the thorny doctrinal questions about dress, veil and art, and focused instead on the biography and the ethical and spiritual aspect, thus being “closer to Sufism.”

But the calm tone that characterized Al-Kahlawi seemed to others evidence of its “surrender to the rulings of its society and the traditional religious establishment that still favors men over women and confines them to certain positions.”

Despite the admiration of her tweeters with her speech, some believe that she “did not succeed in removing the religious discourse from the circle of monotony.”

Some also believe that Al-Kahlawi did not play an effective role in the political events that Egypt went through, as they believed that it was adopting a discourse that relied on steadfastness and calm and refused to change or depart from the ruler.

On the other hand, Tweeters describe her reservations about expressing her political views as a “right decision.”

Dr. Abla Al-Kahlawi played an important social role through the “Good Women Society,” which she established with the aim of caring for orphans, the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients. She also launched another home for the family and support for mothers and daughters.

She was called “the mother of the girls,” as she is the mother of three girls who lost their father early. Nevertheless, Al-Kahlawi was able to reconcile her advocacy and charitable work with caring for her family.

She succeeded in occupying several academic positions and surpassed men in the advocacy and jurisprudence field. She is one of the few who have been able to achieve this.

For years, Abla Al-Kahlawi presented several religious programs on a number of Arab and Egyptian channels.

In recent years, she devoted herself to charitable work and programs, until she became old and sick, so she resorted to social networking sites to continue her activities.

Weeks before her death, she stepped up her campaigns to provide oxygen to Corona patients who are sponsored by her charity.

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