The Middle East Media Research Institute recently highlighted a YouTube video issued by the former Mufti of Egypt, Nasr Farid Wassel, on May 7, 2011. In his presentation, MEMRI quotes him as saying:
The martyr bin Laden, Allah’s mercy upon him, waged Jihad for the sake of Allah against the Soviets and against America. … There was a call at the Al-Nour Mosque to pray for the soul of bin Laden, since he is a martyr. But I said that we were forbidden to pray for the soul of a martyr, and that bin Laden lives on. He is not dead. ‘Do not consider those who were killed for the sake of Allah to be dead. They live on, sustained by their Lord.’ Therefore, I said, immediately after his martyrdom, that he was a martyr, and that he had been killed by the enemies.
The link to the video clip presented by MEMRI can be accessed here.
Arab West Report spoke with Dr. Abd al-Muti Bayoumi, member of the Islamic Research Academy at the Azhar. Bayoumi did not know what would lead the former Mufti to issue a statement such as this. From his personal viewpoint, however, Bayoumi declared that bin Laden killed civilians, and therefore, was not a martyr.
Bayoumi stated that the Islamic Research Academy has not discussed the question whether or not bin Laden was a martyr.