95 year old Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi 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.
The Doha-based Islamic scholar is currently in good condition and receiving all necessary medical care, the statement added, requesting prayers from his 3 million Twitter followers.
تبين إصابة سماحة الشيخ القرضاوي بفيروس (كورونا)، وهو بحالة جيدة والحمد لله، ويتلقى الرعاية الصحية، وهو يطمئن محبيه، ويسألكم الدعاء له بالشفاء والعافية.
— يوسف القرضاوي (@alqaradawy) April 17, 2021
“Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has tested positive for Covid-19. He is in a good condition, praise be to Allah. He is receiving medical care and wants to reassure his followers, asking that they pray for his recovery and good health,” the tweet said.
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.
Qaradawi was long regarded as the main religious reference for Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
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 IslamOnline website.
In 2001 he was part of a delegation to Afghanistan to convince the Taliban not to destroy Buddhist statues at Bamyan.