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Subject : Uniting Fatwas Bodies

Fatwa Number : 746

Date : 23-05-2010

Classified : "Principles of Fiqh "Jurisprudence

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Fatwas differ from a country to another; don't you think that it's time to form an Arab Iftaa Council to control that?

The Answer :

All praise be to Allah; Peace be upon His Messenger Prophet Mohammad.

Fatwas in Islam have a great significance, featured in the Quranic verse that links Fatwa to Allah in Surat Al Nesaa: 127 as Allah Says: ”They ask your legal instruction concerning women, say: Allah instructs you about them.” And He Say: ''They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "Allah directs (thus) about Al-Kalalah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs)'' (Surat Al Nesaa: 176).

The first to issue Fatwa was Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as his companions used to ask him and he would clarify the religious ruling and provisions about the issues they asked. Allah Says in (Surat Al-Nahil :44),"and We have sent down this Remembrance, so that you may explain to mankind what has been revealed towards them, and that they may ponder.''

We admit that fatwas do differ from a country to another or from one place to another. The difference emerged with the development of the four Islamic schools of law due to varied reasons stated in the scholars' books and related to issues that differ in the way different people may understand them. Muslim scholars of those days who had varied fatwas didn't mean to make a difference in fatwa, but they had the same goal: to reach the right ruling of Islamic Law in accordance with the orders and teachings from Allah. Hence, the difference means that this Sharia is flexible and suitable for every time and place.

Noteworthy to mention is that the difference in Fatwas occurs only in sub-issues of which people's understanding may vary, but the basic issues related to the Doctrine of Faith are unified and have no differences. Difference in sub-issues is a human attribute, which indeed forms no risk for the Muslim nation. The companions of Prophet Mohammad and the scholars after them used to have differences in the sub-issues despite their unity. It is a form of mercy and tolerance in this doctrine . Imam Malek (May Allah be pleased with him) said about this matter to Haroon Al-Rasheed when the latter suggested to force people to abide by Malek's books: "Oh, Ameer Al-Mu'mineen, the differences between scholars is a sign of mercy Granted by Allah Almighty to the nation. Each (scholar) follows what he sees right, and they all follow the guidance and what Allah Almighty wants". However, the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) difference must be based on a right Sharia evidence, but lacking this evidence means that the Fatwa is based on human desire. The difference resulting from such case is disagreeable. In the Muslim World today, there are Fiqh assemblies having a group of reliable scholars issuing tens of fatwas and Fiqh decisions that are based on Sharia provisions. And Allah Knows Best.



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