The assembly members gathered on Thursday and voted on each of the 234 articles in the draft constitution.
“Islam is the state religion, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic sharia are the main source of legislation,” an agreed clause read.
The panel also approved a clause stating that the principles of Christian and Jewish legal traditions would guide their personal and religious affairs.
The final draft is expected to be sent to President Mohamed Morsi for approval, before being put to a popular referendum.
Muslim Brotherhood – whose candidate won the presidential vote six months ago – hopes the move will help end protests against the president.
On November 22, Morsi signed a controversial decree allowing him to “issue any decision or law that is final and not subject to appeal.” The declaration also prohibits courts from challenging the president’s decisions.
He also ordered a retrial of security officials involved in the deadly crackdown of popular protests that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.
The move drew calls for nationwide protests from opposition forces who branded the declaration as “a coup against legitimacy” and “a major blow on the revolution that could have dire consequences.”
On Wednesday, the Egyptian president dismissed criticism of the decree and said, “My chief responsibility is to maintain the national ship to go through this transitional period. This is not easy. Egyptians are determined to [move] forward within the path of freedom and democracy.”
He reacted to the latest protests against the decree, saying that it is a temporary measure and he plans to surrender his special powers when a new constitution is in place.
Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace prize laureate and the former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week that Morsi had “usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh.”
During the Wednesday remarks, however, Morsi also rejected the allegations that he is a new dictator and pointed out that he had personally suffered from crime and corruption.