Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Al-Azhar International Fatwa Center published, on Wednesday, a response to a question about the child Shenouda, who was found inside a church, and the issue of adopting him from a Christian family sparked widespread controversy in Egypt.
Al-Azhar International Center for Fatwa clarified its response to a question “about the religion of the child who was found inside a church,” saying: “This issue has scholars held multiple opinions, and the one that Al-Azhar tends to among these opinions is what a group of Hanafi gentlemen went to, It is that if a foundling child is found in a church and the finder is a non-Muslim, then he is on the religion of the one who found him.”
And he added: “And this is what the Hanafi masters stipulated in their books: “And if he was found in one of the villages of the people of the Dhimmi, or in a sale or church, he was a Dhimmi.”
A year ago, an Egyptian court issued a ruling ordering a child to be placed in a care home, and to change his name from “Shenouda” to “Youssef”.
According to Egyptian press reports, 4 years ago a Christian woman – who had never given birth before – found the child in a church, and decided to adopt him when she could not find his parents.
Later, another woman related to the Christian family informed the authorities of the existence of an unknown child, so that he would not receive an inheritance from the adoptive woman or her husband, according to reports.