About the General Fatwa Department

History of the Fatwa Department:


The Fatwa Department of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was founded in 1921.  Since its formation, it has relied upon Hanafi fatwas which were in use during the Ottoman era, and the Mufti has answered the questions of members of the public, whether they relate to worship or financial transactions or personal statutes, and it has assigned a mufti to each judge in cities both large and small.  The judge seeks the mufti's assistance in solving social problems, just as the mufti refers to the judge matters which are not within the mufti's jurisdiction and which require evidence and witnesses.


The Fatwa Department remained in this state until Sheikh Hamzah al-Arabi was appointed Mufti of the Kingdom by a Royal Decree in 1941.


In 1966, the Islamic Religious Endowments system was formed, of which section nine included regulation of fatwa affairs, and the mufti was associated with the Minister of Endowments.  Because of this, the articles stipulated that the Grand Mufti should hold, in partnership with the Director of Preaching and Guidance, periodic meetings for the direction of muftis and the organisation of their work, due to the fact that the muftis were engaged in preaching and guidance as well.


Owing to the appearance of new matters in the lives of citizens, and to the multiplicity of issues and the large number of schools of law, the public interest called for the issuing of a decision which formed a fatwa council headed by the Chief Justice.  The council met to examine the following matters: new issues, issues that concern the whole community, issues that are referred to the mufti by public bodies such as ministries or companies.  As for other issues, the Mufti of the Kingdom or the muftis in the cities and governorates would address them.


The system of administrative organisation of the Ministry of Religious Endowments advanced, and with it advanced the fatwa system, and so the creation of the Fatwa Department was completed in 1986, although the mufti remained associated with the Minister of Religious Endowments, who in some cases may not have studied Shari'ah; consequently, the Chief Justice remains head of the fatwa council, because the Chief Justice must always be qualified in Shari'ah.


Independence of the General Fatwa Department from the Ministry of Religious Endowments:


In 2006, a law was passed which declared the independence of the General Fatwa Department from the Ministry of Religious Endowments and other official bodies, and the rank of the mufti became equal to the rank of a minister in the country, and by this the Fatwa Department became independent of other state agencies, and the work of organising and strengthening fatwa affairs is still being conducted by legal scholars and specialists in the sciences of Islamic legislation.  The duties are divided between them, and each section is responsible for care and treatment of one aspect of the needs of the community.


Tasks of the Fatwa Department, as determined by law:


The law determined the tasks and duties of the department as follows:


1. Supervising and organizing of fatwa affairs in the Kingdom.


2. Issuing fatwas on general and specific matters in accordance with the provisions of this law.


3. Preparing of the required research papers and Islamic studies on important matters and emerging issues.


4. Producing a periodic specialist academic journal concerned with the publication of reviewed academic research papers in Shari'ah and Islamic sciences and related fields.


5. Cooperating with scholars of Islamic law in the Kingdom and outside of it regarding fatwa affairs.


6. Offering opinions and advice in matters presented to it by state agencies.



Summarized Fatawaa

What is the ruling on a woman driving a car?

It is permissible for the woman to drive a car, but it is impermissible for her to travel unaccompanied by a Mahram(Unmarriageable kin).

Is it permissible for a man to propose to a woman during her `Iddah(waiting period)?

It is impermissible to propose to a woman in her `Iddah, but there is no harm in making an implication to such an end in case she was observing it due to the death of her husband.

What is the ruling on working for orphans' institution?

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
There is no sin in working for orphans` institution. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

What is the ruling on exchanging kisses and hugs between husband and wife during the day in Ramadan?

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. It is disliked to kiss one`s wife during the day in Ramadan, and it is recommended to avoid that. And Allah the Almighty knows best.