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    Default Fatwa Authority

    Local press: A time of extreme fatwas

    By TURKI AL-DAKHEEL - Apr 2, 2010

    Some people criticize us for getting irritated with fatwas (Islamic rulings) despite asking for more freedom of expression. They are correct. We are really fed up with some of the more extreme fatwas, which are tantamount to jokes.

    We are bothered by such fatwas because they are not intellectual opinions. They are solely concerned with religion and as such they might have implications on people in this world and the life after.

    They become Shariah rules to be observed and followed. They are not individual views on topics such as universities, education, health, which represent a wide area on which people can tread and express their own views.

    We know that the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Ashaikh, leads prayers in Riyadh’s biggest mosque. He is available in his office and his telephones are always on. So anyone requesting a fatwa on a certain topic can always turn to him. Many members of the Ifta Committee have programs on satellite television and radio stations, partly so fatwa seekers can talk to them.

    I wish the Supreme Council of Scholars would take up the issue of those issuing fatwas when they are not qualified or authorized to.

    In the old times, the fatwa was strongly protected against intruders and unqualified scholars. It is imperative to confront those claiming to be religious scholars, when actually they are not.

    Sheikh Bakr ibn Abdullah Abu Zaid has written a good book called “Scholarization”, about the so-called religious sheikhs.

    Regrettably, it seems that religious students have not benefited from this book, otherwise we would not see these “scholars” appearing on satellite television to spread hatred and extremism by giving absurd fatwas.

    When we see strange fatwas on issues including killing rats, demolishing the Grand Mosque and murdering those who advocate the mixing of genders, we yearn for the old times when the fatwa was sternly protected.

    I hope that His Eminence the grand mufti and the Ifta Committee will take measures against unqualified scholars who give random fatwas, especially at a time where their numbers seem to have increased on satellite television.

    My fear is that we may reach a stage where everyone will have his own mufti!

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    Opinion divided on TV, online fatwa services

    1 September 2009

    The Internet, SMS text messaging and Q&A programs on satellite television have all made it easy for members of the public to receive answers and clarifications on Islam-related matters.

    The issue, however, is not so straightforward. Some people believe that modern means of communication give sheikhs limited time to think and deliver answers properly. On the other hand, those in support of such means of delivering fatwas say that there is no cause for concern since the majority of queries are repetitive and discussed by scholars before, allowing little room for error.

    Abdullah Manna, a Saudi writer, has coined a phrase to describe fatwas delivered through such modern means — “Takeaway Fatwas”. Manna said that Q&A programs on satellite channels have lost their educational and religious purpose and become business instead. He added that these modern means of communication provide sheikhs with a platform to compete with each other and increase their popularity.

    The growth and sustainability of such fatwa programs are largely due to the technological revolution as well as better and faster modes of communication fitted into profitable business models. These interactive programs are not only supported through advertising revenue, but also accrue revenue from viewers who telephone in on premium telephone lines.

    The producers of such programs repeatedly claim that they air these programs and provide fatwa services because of public demand. Manna, however, countered: “Do not speak for the audience. Most people seek to live moderately and concentrate on praying, fasting, paying Zakah and performing Haj. That is it. This is the extent of their response to their religious duties.”

    Manna believes that since Saudi society is a religious one, such scholars take liberty knowing full well they would not be criticized for speaking about religion. It is on account of this knowledge that they speak without any limits.

    Manna said “Takeaway Fatwas” go against the ethos of what fatwas should be.

    “Issuing a fatwa needs patience and close scrutiny. It also compels sheikhs to explore different opinions and the views of other fiqh schools before providing answers,”
    he said.

    It seems that most questions on fatwa programs and sites are about khulwa (illegal seclusion) and issues relating to beauty such as makeup, perfume and plastic surgery. The questions are also posed mostly by women.

    Other questions that frequently come up include participating in entertainment programs that offer prizes, questions about relations between humans and jinns, living in Western countries and dealing with non-Islamic banks and insurance firms.

    Questions during Ramadan mainly revolve around fasting. This year has, however, been unique with people asking whether it is necessary to perform prayers in mosques and whether they can avoid going for Umrah due to the swine flu epidemic. Some queries are more specific with people asking whether Makkah and Madinah are protected from the flu due to their holiness.

    Q&A programs are among the most popular television programs in the Kingdom with the MBC Efta’a program topping the list. The program, presented by Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Nouh, hosts Islamic scholars who answer queries from members of the public.

    4shabab is one channel that has gone against this trend and does not broadcast fatwa programs. “We do not want to copy other channels,” said Ali Al-Omari, chairman of 4shabab. “Also our target audience is the youth and we discuss issues that concern them in a program that is aired every Sunday. It is popular even though it does not include fatwas,” he added.

    Sheikh Abdul Mohsin Al-Obaikan said he sees no harm in such programs. “As long as the fatwa is from the ‘people of fatwa’ (scholars) and is clear, then there is no problem,” he said, adding that a fatwa is generally about what is “permissible” or “impermissible” and this can be communicated through an SMS or other means of communication.


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    No fatwa without approval

    By MOHD HUMAIDAN - Aug 2, 2010

    JEDDAH: Islamic scholars intending to publish religious edicts (fatwas) on contemporary issues have been told to contact experts at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs or Dar Al-Ifta (the Saudi fatwa authority) before approaching the media.

    Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh, who gave the instruction, pointed out that many of fatwas issued by individuals recently lack balance. "They should not publish fatwas except after consulting with other experts," he told the scholars.

    The minister also advised members of the public to receive religious edicts from authentic sources, which is the Presidency for Scholastic Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta) headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.

    He said he had noticed that some scholars were issuing fatwas on silly issues. "This will give a bad impression about the Kingdom being an Islamic state. We have so many other important issues to deal with. We have to confront terrorism and the move to link Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) with terrorism," he said.

    Asked about a recent fatwa that permits music, the minister said: "It's a personal matter and it will be better for a person to take the other opinion."

    Asked about regulating the collection of donations during Ramadan, Al-Asheikh said: "We have given instructions to all mosques not to receive donations in cash." The ministry has urged authorities of mosques that are built not facing the Qibla to make required changes as quickly as possible.


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    Default Who can give a Fatwa?

    Who is to be called "Shaikh"or "Imaam" in reality?

    Question:

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatu ALLAH wa barakatahu; is it correct to apply the term Shaikh to everyone from amongst the people. Especially since this term has become widely used, so we hope for some clarity in this.

    Answer:

    The term Shaikh in the Arabic language is not used except upon the kabeer (elder), either due to their being elder in age, or senior due to the level of knowledge they possess, or due to his wealth, and what is similar to this - and it is not applied to the sagheer (little one, i.e. little in age, knowledge, etc.) But as you have stated, it has become widespread now such that the ignorant person or the one who doesn't know anything is called "Shaikh", and this in my view is not befitting.

    Because if you applied to this person the term "Shaikh" and he is ignorant and doesn't know, the people will be deceived by him. And they will think he has some knowledge with him, and they will consult him for fatwas (Islamic rulings) and other than that, and a great harm will result because of this.

    And many of the people-we ask ALLAH to guide us and to guide them-they don't mind to give a fatwa if they are asked, even if they answer without knowledge. Because he thinks that if he says, "I don't know" this will decrease his status. But in reality if the person says about that which he does not know, "I don't know", then that is the completeness of his status. But the souls are accustomed to want to impress others, except those whom ALLAH the Mighty and Majestic protects from this. So what I see is that the term "Shaikh" is not applied except to those that deserve it, either by his age, or by his nobility, or due to sovereignty over his people, or because of his knowledge.

    And in a like fashion some of the people apply the term "Imaam" to the common Scholars, even if this Scholar is from the blind followers, they say he is an "Imaam". And this also is not befitting, it's befitting that the term "Imaam" should not be applied except on the one, who deserves to be an "Imaam", and he has followers, and his statements are held in high regard amongst the Muslims.

    And finally, you gave the salaams as did the brother before you when you wanted to ask a question, and this is not from the Sunnah. Because the companions, may ALLAH be pleased with them, when they wanted to present a question to the Messenger of ALLAH peace and blessings are upon him, they would not give him the salaams except for the one who was arriving at the sitting, this is the one who would give the salaams.

    Shaikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen





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    Fatwas only by senior scholars: King

    By FATIMA SIDYA - Aug 12, 2010

    JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has issued a royal order saying only approved scholars can issue fatwas (religious edicts).

    "As part of our religious and national duty we want you to ensure that fatwas are only issued by members of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars and other permitted people," King Abdullah said in the decree that was sent Thursday to Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who heads the Presidency for Scholastic Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta) as well as the scholars council.

    The decree also asked Al-Asheikh to report to the king on those fully qualified and eligible to issue fatwas.

    "Individual fatwas on personal matters such as matters of worship, dealings, personal matters are exempt from this ruling, but they should be between the questioner and the scholar. There should be a total ban on any topics involving strange or obsolete views."

    The king said the issuing of fatwas by unqualified persons was a violation of Islamic teachings.

    "We have observed the fallout from unqualified people issuing fatwas. It is our religious duty to stop them in order to preserve our religion, which is our dearest possession, and cut off an evil which, if we do not tackle now, will return with added force." the king added in the decree.

    "Religion is no place for bragging nor seeking worldly ambitions."

    The king said differences of opinion among scholars should be confined to their own circles and not involve other people.

    "We find some people undermining the role of official establishments and crossing into state jurisdiction. They pose as eligible scholars to dispute these religious establishments," he added.

    "This situation has prompted us to face them with determination in order to return them to the right path and make them understand the great role played by our religious establishments."

    Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh had warned earlier that many fatwas issued by individuals recently had lacked balance.

    They include giving permission to kill men and women who share workspaces or, more bizarrely, allowing them to work together if a woman breastfeeds her male colleagues.

    "They should not publish fatwas before consulting other experts," he said.

    The minister also told members of the public to only ask for fatwas from authentic sources, including Dar Al-Ifta.

    He said he had noticed scholars issuing fatwas on silly issues.

    "This will give a bad impression about the Kingdom, especially with it being an Islamic state. We have so many other important issues to deal with. We have to confront terrorism and the false allegations people make connecting Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) with terrorism," he said.

    Other fatwas, including giving permission for women to travel without a legal guardian, allowing men to pray at home instead of going to mosque and allowing people to celebrate birthdays have triggered heated debates among religious scholars.

    A number of leading sheikhs welcomed King Abdullah's decision.

    Sheikh Abdullah Al-Muslih, who hosts a fatwa program on a religious channel, said major issues requiring a fatwa should remain in the hands of top scholars.

    However, he added that personal matters such as how to pray, perform ablution or pay zakah were considered as educating the public and therefore exempt from the decree.

    Sheikh Saleh Al-Shamrani, a teacher at the Scholarly Institute for Islamic Studies, also agreed with the king's decree and said it would curb outlandish fatwas during Ramadan.

    "Lately, some people have had the nerve to issue random fatwas. Some of them have little religious education, while others claim they are scholars. It is time to return fatwas to qualified people who are fit to issue them," he said.

    "We have waited for this decision, especially as religious channels host people belonging to different intellectual schools of thought and the public might see their beliefs as the truth."

    Shaikh Abdul Muhsin Al-Obaikan, an adviser to the Royal Council who recently called for a minimum marriage age for girls, refused to comment when contacted by Arab News.



    comment:

    This problem of unqualified people giving fatwas, claiming to be (or level raised to) scholars, and confusing people is much worse in other Muslim countries.

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    King’s order on fatwas to ‘prevent confusion’

    By Abdul Mohsin Al-Harthi, Na’eem Tamim Al-Hakimand Talib Bin Mahfooz - 8/14/2010

    RIYADH/JEDDAH – The order of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to restrict the issuance of religious edicts (fatwas) to members of the Board of Senior Ulema is a wise action and would prevent confusion, said Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti.

    The royal order also banned tackling of any subject that is considered of “strange views or obsolete.”

    As to the hosting of seekers of religious knowledge on some TV channels, the Grand Mufti said: “I hope there would be coordination with them and they should contemplate on this directive and they should know that it has been issued by the ruler. The objective is to prevent committing mistakes so as not to deviate from the consensus opinion and start forbidding some matters and making others permissible without proof.”

    On the question of allowing some religious scholars and famous sheikhs to issue fatwas, Aal Al-Sheikh said these matters would be taken into consideration in future and would be looked into.

    Meanwhile, Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdul Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance said the order will definitely check issuance of unwanted fatwas and would ensure that proper religious guidelines are issued by the competent authority.

    The minister warned that the approach of the Holy Book, the Sunnah and the guidance of the worthy ancestors is to be strict concerning fatwas.

    He pointed out that the jurisprudential rule is that the Shariah has come for the interests of the Muslims and to increase these interests as well as to prevent and curb evil and malicious acts.

    The minister said the characteristics of the person issuing religious edicts include being mature, just and being knowledgeable in the Shariah judgments and on the people’s conditions and intentions.

    If he does not know the real condition of the people, a distorted picture could be presented to him. Therefore, the person who issues religious edicts should verify all matters and weighing the advantages and disadvantages.”

    Dr. Ali Abbas Al-Hakami, member of the Board of Senior Ulema and member of the Supreme Judicial Council, described the royal order as “historic” that would put a limit to anomalous fatwas that cause confusion in the society.

    Dr. Al-Hakami said this wise decision would achieve the Muslims’ interest because the public issues concern all and hence, they should be controlled by restrictions preventing deviant


    ------------------------------------------------------

    Al-Sheikh: Plan to implement Royal Order on fatwas in offing


    By Abdullah Obaidallah Al-Ghamdi - 8/29/2010

    RIYADH –
    A new plan is in the offing to ensure that fatwas are issued only by approved scholars, in accordance with the recent Royal Order, said Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Board of Senior Ulema (Scholars).

    “We will exert every effort in implementing it and we hope Allah Almighty grants us success,” he said.

    On another subject, the Grand Mufti said that recognizing the Night of Al-Qadr is impossible, and people who claim to be able to do so are lying. He said the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not specify a certain day in Ramadan to be the Al-Qadr night. “How can we? It is something that was concealed from us,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti rejected calls made on some satellite television channels for Sadqa Fitr to be given earlier, so that this money can be donated to the Pakistanis affected by floods.

    He said it is impermissible to distribute Sadqa Fitr other than the last day of Ramadan or on the morning of Eid Al-Fitr. If it is given now, but distributed at the allotted time, then it is permissible.

    The Grand Mufti said, however, it is better for people to give charity if they want to contribute now to the Pakistanis. – Okaz/SG


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    Saudi blocks scholar website after fatwa control decree: report

    2010-09-03

    RIYADH, September 3 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia has blocked a website of a Muslim scholar, popular for dedicating a major section for issuing fatwas (religious edicts) to visitors seeking religious consultation, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya reported.

    The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) blocked access to Islam-qa.com (Islam: Question and Answer) of Saudi-based Syrian Sheikh Muhammad al-Munajjid apparently because of violating a royal order saying only approved scholars can issue fatwas, the network reported Friday on its website.

    Earlier this month, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issued a decree, restricting the issuance of fatwas to only approved members of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars.

    The move came after several fatwas issued by independent scholars have triggered heated debates in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

    The decree curtailed the appearance of a number of popular clerics in public media. Controversial Royal Court adviser Sheikh Abdul Mohsen al-Obaikan has been reportedly stopped from presenting his daily morning radio show in the wake of the royal decree.

    Another live daily show program featuring Sheikh Abdullah al- Rukban, a former member of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, was taken off air for the same reason.

    Another popular preacher, Youssef al-Ahmed, was ordered last week to stop giving unauthorized fatwas after he called for boycotting a supermarket chain that employs women as cashiers because it was a violation of Islamic law.

    According to Al Arabiya report, many scholars have removed fatwa sections from their websites after the CITC move.

    ------------------------


    KSA blocks a well known Islamic website ‘islamqa.com’

    by Muhammad Ben Riyadh - September 4, 2010

    It seems like the Communication and Information Technology Commission in Saudi Arabia have no mercy for Islamic sites lately.

    After blocking two Islamic blogs (benaa.com, lojainiat.com*) and an Islamic portal (islamlight.net) in march. Today the commission is blocking a well known web site of Islam Question and Answer (islamqa.com). The website which is under Scholar Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajid supervision and contains his Fatawa is a well known Islamic site around the world which has contents in around 10 languages. The web site might be blocked according to a recent royal decree to forbid fatwa from unauthorized people.

    The blocking raised many question on Saudi blogs about the double standards CITC is using.

    Some people wonder as there is many anti-Islam, anti-religion and sexual content on the web that still open. Some comments questioned allowing Youtube.com and blocking such Islamic web site. the CITC place a blocking on some Youtube.com per video content and by using tag system which leaves many sexual content open for the public and there is less moderation on other video sharing sites. Other comments stated that Sheikh Muhammad Saleh should get the permission to issue fatwa as he is well respected and a knowledgeable person which was taught by Imam Ibn-Baz and got his support to be imam and orator.

    It was reported lately that CITC has stopped SMS service “Jawal Zad” the sheikh own which sends Islamic messages to subscribers over SMS.

    When the Islamlight.net web site was blocked Shickh Muhammad Al-Habdan the website supervisor wondered how dare they block our site which is conservative and leave web sites like “elaph.com” and “alwatan.com.sa” even though it’s attacking Sharia (Islam Law and way of life)

    AlRiyadh news paper have reported in 01/09/2010 that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia said, the implementation of this decree will be declared after Eid (1th of Shawal Hijri month) which is 10-11/09/2010. That makes CITC decision a hasty one.

    * lojainiat.com/ was opened months later, the web site claim to have a connection with Saudi Prince Khaled Ben Talal

    comment:

    It seems, again, the Saudi royalty have been given a free pass to post what they wish and run whatever (website) they want.


    ------------------------


    Al-Oudah blocks fatwa site

    By ARAB NEWS - Sep 9, 2010

    JEDDAH: The IslamToday website of prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Salman Al-Oudah has blocked its fatwa section that contains 500,000 religious edicts in order to avoid the closure of the website by Saudi authorities.

    “We apologize that we cannot receive any requests for fatwas until further notice,” the administrator said in a statement posted on the website.

    The move came after the Telecommunications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) blocked some websites such as “Islam: Question and Answer” and Qadinet.

    The ban is likely to extend to a long list of fatwa websites in response to a Royal Decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah restricting the issuance of fatwas (religious edicts) to members of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars (CSIS).

    Fatwas on personal matters such as matters of worship, dealings, personal matters are exempt from the ruling, but they should be between the questioner and the scholar. “There should be a total ban on any topics involving strange or obsolete views,” the royal order said.

    Al-Oudah, supervisor of the website, has said that his answers to questions of readers and the general public were just his opinion and could not be considered as a fatwa. However, he preferred to close the section that receive more than 4,000 questions daily.

    Earlier, Royal Court adviser Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obaikan has been stopped from presenting his daily morning radio show. Another live daily program from Sheikh Abdullah Al-Rukban, a former member of the CSIS, was also taken off air.

    Al-Obaikan used to appear every day on the program “Fatwas on Air” to answer questions and issue rulings on a number of contemporary issues. Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa and Guidance Saleh Al-Asheikh asked all imams, preachers and khateebs of mosques to follow the king’s order on fatwas.


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    Scholars to look at consolidation of fatwas

    RIYADH – The Board of Senior Ulema is scheduled to meet at the end of the month to discuss the consolidation and centeralization of fatwas – religious rulings or edicts – in the Kingdom.

    According to Al-Watan newspaper, the Board, which is concerned at the increase in the number of fatwas being pronounced on satellite television channels and Internet websites, is seeking to limit the task to only those who are qualified and authorized.

    “The Board of Senior Ulema will meet on Jan. 31 to study the centeralization of fatwas, but we can’t say if the issue will be resolved in the same session or in following sessions,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al-Hamoud, Director of the Religious Research Administration.

    Board member Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Dawoud, however, told Al-Watan that he knew nothing of the move. “I don’t know anything about the issue of unification of fatwas. The only person authorized to be asked of the matter is the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti,” Al-Dawoud said. – SG

    http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=20100125612 98

    -------------------------------------------

    Now Website for Authentic Fatwas

    P.K. Abdul Ghafour - 7 October 2007

    The Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta), the Riyadh-based organization comprising prominent Islamic scholars that issues fatwas, has set up a website for its religious rulings. The site (www.alifta.com) provides quick access to the fatwas issued by Dar Al-Ifta, which is affiliated to the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.

    The site features fatwas issued by prominent Islamic scholars and has devoted a section for the fatwas of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz, the former mufti who died in 1999.

    Visitors to the new website will be able to ask questions on various topics and get replies from well-known scholars.

    The launch of the website comes in response to calls for the authentication of religious edicts in Saudi Arabia. Certain radical groups sometimes issue sketchy fatwas urging Muslim youths to take part in jihad. The website is aimed at giving Muslims a place to review authentic and widely accepted fatwas issued by the Islamic authority in the Kingdom.

    On the main page of the site, one can find the fatwas of the permanent committee for ifta, fatwas of Sheikh Bin Baz, and of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars as well as the Islamic Research Magazine.

    The site also contains some of the Hadiths reported by prominent women followers of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) including Khadeeja, Safiya, Zainab, Hafsa, Aisha, Fatma, Asma bint Abibakr, Um Salama and Um Dardaa.

    Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom welcomed the new fatwa website and said it would help the public to receive authentic religious rulings and opinions on various issues.

    Mohammed Habeeb, director general of the Dawa Center in Al-Salama district in Jeddah, said Dar Al-Ifta’s site is very informative and would benefit a large number of people worldwide. However, he stressed the need for further developing the site with interactive facilities.

    “People have been waiting for this site for quite a long time,” Habeeb told Arab News. “It is a nice website containing religious edicts made by prominent scholars like Bin Baz and Bin-Othaimeen.”

    He called upon Dar Al-Ifta to translate the religious rulings into English and other major languages. “There is a multi-language website set up by Egypt’s Al-Azhar. Many foreigners make use of it.”

    Saudi Arabia has emphasized the need for the compilation of religious edicts in order to unite Muslims. In a previous statement, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal underscored the important roles that Islamic institutions, such as the Islamic Fiqh Academy, play in protecting Islamic beliefs and ideology.



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    First helpline in UAE to fight extreme interpretations of Islam

    October 10, 2008

    Muslim clergies in the UAE have put in place the world’s first Islamic helpline in an attempt to root out extreme interpretations of Islam by extremists. The UAE, which established the call centre three months ago, ensures that the rulings based on Islamic law comply with the government’s moderate religious stance.

    “The hardest questions I am asked involve sex. I feel shame, but I have to answer the questions because it is my duty,” Mufti Abdulrahman Ammoura was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Friday.

    His advice counts as an official fatwa in the UAE, under new rules issued by the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

    A group of
    48 Islamic scholars and Imams man the call centre telephones from morning till evening and deliver rulings in an attempt to root out extreme interpretations of Islam.

    Muslims from all over the world are reaching out to the helpline, with organisers putting the number at about 3,700 calls a day.

    The helpline staff work in teams, with six men and two women on six-hour shifts and a skeleton staff takes calls for “religious emergencies” during the night, the report in the British daily said.

    Callers have a three minute time slot and have the option of choosing service in Arabic, Urdu or English.

    The authorities are surprised by the overwhelming response. “We were not prepared for the popularity. Already, we get more calls than Emirates Airlines,” one official said.

    With growing popularity of the service, plans are being sketched to employ extra 50 muftis and open satellite centres elsewhere in the Muslim world.




    ------------------------------------


    Islamic helpline could see centres opened across the globe

    By Daily Mail Reporter - 10th October 2008

    The world's first Islamic helpline in Abu Dhabi is so inundated with callers it could be expanded across the globe.

    The service receives around 3,700 calls a day, many of them from Britain, and advice given by a team of muftis now counts as an official fatwa - or religious edict - in the United Arab Emirates.


    It was set up by the UAE Government to try and root out extreme interpretations of Islam issued by unqualified scholars and follows the moderate Maliki school of Sunni Islam.

    Forty eight muftis staff the phones, along with some female scholars. They have to be carefully screened by the authorities and must have impeccable Islamic law credentials.

    The service is operated by teams of six men and two women working six-hour shifts between 8am and 8pm. A skeleton staff responds to 'religious emergencies' during the night.

    Abdulrahman Ammoura, 48, one of the most distinguished muftis in the Gulf, told The Times: 'I am tired, so tired. I hear ringing in my ears.'

    Responding to one call from a woman suffering domestic violence, he urged her not to get a divorce. He said: 'It is better for him to find help. A woman living alone with children could face too many problems.'

    The service is available in Arabic, Urdu or English and the muftis use headsets and computers with internet access so they can consult online resources before issuing their rulings to Muslim callers.

    Users are also able to send in questions via Arabic SMS through the website, awqaf.ae (http://www.awqaf.ae/)


    The international number is (971) 800 2244.





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    Who can give a Fatwa?

    It is reported that Imâm Mâlik – Allâh have mercy on him – was asked, “Who is allowed to give religious rulings (fatwâ)? He replied:

    Issuing fatwâ is not allowed except for a person who knows what the people have differed in. It was said, ‘Do you mean the different views of the people of opinions (those who depend more on analogy and speculation)? He replied, “No, [I mean] the different views of the Companions of Muhammad – Allâh’s praise and peace be upon him. And he must also know the textual evidence that abrogates [other rulings] and that which is abrogated [by other texts], both in the Quran and the hadîth of Allah’s Messenger – Allâh’s praise and peace be upon him. Such a person can issue fatâwâ.

    Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr, Jâmi’ Bayân Al-’Ilm wa Fadlihî article 1529.

    It is reported that ‘Abdullâh b. Al-Mubârak – Allâh have mercy on him – was asked, “When can a person issue an edict (fatwâ)?” He replied, “When he is knowledgeable about the narrations (hadith and traditions of the Salaf), and has insight into [juristic] opinion.

    Ibid. article 1532.


  11. #11
    Zain Ul Abideen Malik Array
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    One thing is very clear to me. Islam is a very simple religion. Most of the injunctions of Allah are in the form of principles. Some of them are related to logic and some to ethics. These principles are conceivable by any ordinary intellect (it is not necessary to be a philosopher to grasp it) and we carry these principles in our hearts naturally. Allah only reminds us of these principles and confirms us the validity of those. In our practical life we generally contradict and evade those principles for the reason that we fear that sticking to those principles will incur loss to us in this world. Allah just assures us: “O mankind, follow the path you already know to be rational and good and do not be afraid. It will lead you to success in the end. Your taking of other courses in order to secure your worldly gains will ultimately ruin you.”

    But afterwards, in the course of history, people got themselves busy with delicate scholasticism (aqayed), unnecessarily huge jurisprudence (shariya) and monastic practices (tariqa). I find the Quran to be not at all interested in such disciplines.

    As these things got very complicated and the leaders of these disciplines never encouraged the masses to think and to walk on their own lest they go astray, people began to ask questions on all sorts of trivial things forgetting the main issues.

    Now we are sinking in the floods of fatwa.
    Zain Ul Abideen
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    Fajr Qall: 1st Muslim prayer call Alert system, especially for Fajr Prayer.

  12. #12
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    As with any legal system, not anyone is competent to deliver a fatwa, which refers, simply, to a non-binding verdict of Islamic jurisprudence. Competency comes from a rigorous legal education from within the tradition of Islamic jurisprudence, with a mastery of a particular school of law, and training in the practical application of that school on contemporary issues. There is a whole science, entitled the etiquette of verdict (adab al-fatwa), that the prospective issuer of fatwas (or someone known as a mufti) needs to learn, in order to ensure all verdicts are clear, accurate and valid.
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  13. #13
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    if you are asking about anything and do not know what to do, go to http://en.islamkingdom.com/Fatawa
    http://en.islamkingdom.com


 

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