COVID-19: Prominent Kuwaiti preacher Falah Mandakar, known for his anti-extremism stance, succumbs to the virus.

Kuwait’s leading Muslim preacher Falah Mandakar, known for his anti-extremism stances, has died due to coronavirus, media reports said. He was 70.

Earlier this month, the popular cleric tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalised. He had earlier announced a fatwa (a religious edict) that those dying from COVID-19 are “martyrs,” according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.

A mentor of several Kuwaiti and foreign Muslim preachers, Mandakar had worked as an English-language teacher before he studied Islamic Sharia law in Saudi Arabia.

He staunchly preached against terrorism and radicalism, and penned 11 books. He was so ascetic that he did not hold a mobile phone, Al Rai reported.

Several Kuwaiti personalities have mourned Mandakar.

“With extreme sadness and grief, we have received the news of death of eminent Sheikh Falah Mandakar,” said head of the Kuwaiti parliament Marzouq Al Ghanim. “We ask God Almighty to bless him with his boundless mercy,” he added.

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