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

I`m married to an American citizen who used to be married to a man in Mexico and filed for divorce there. It is worth pointing that in America she isn`t registered as married. When she arrived in Jordan, her lawyer called and told her that she got the divorce, and based on this we got married in Jordan. What is the ruling of Sharia on this?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of The Worlds. May His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
You haven`t mentioned whether this woman has converted to Islam or not. If she had embraced Islam and three menstrual cycles passed, but her first husband hasn`t converted to Islam, then her relationship with him is over. If you married her after this (Passing of three menstrual cycles and first husband not having embraced Islam) then your marriage is valid. However, if she didn`t convert to Islam then your marriage contract with her is invalid and you have to wait until she gets divorced by her first husband and observes Iddah, which is three menstrual cycles. Afterwards, you can conclude the marriage contract. We pray that Allah doesn`t hold you to account for what you have done because you thought she was divorced. We recommend that you seek Allah`s forgiveness as much as you can and do righteous deeds. We also advise you to marry a Muslim woman to preserve your and your children`s religion since Almighty Allah says {What means}: " Wed not idolatresses till they believe…" {Al-Baqarah, 221}. It is true that marrying a Kitabi (One who believes in a book of sacred scriptures and with whom a Muslim may marry in what is deemed a lawful marriage) is permissible, it involves great risks, as stated in the aforementioned verse. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

What is the ruling on reciting verses of the Holy Quran on water, then drinking it?

It is permissible to recite Quran on water, then drink it as a kind of treatment since the Quran heals. Allah, The Almighty, says:” We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.”{Al-Isra`/82}.

Is the Saum(Fasting) of someone who ate and drank forgetfully while offering fasting of oath expiation invalidated ?

Whosoever eats, or drinks forgetfully is exempted by Allah; therefore, he/she shouldn`t break their fast whether it was obligatory, non-obligatory, or expiatory.

Is Zakah(obligatory charity)due on land intended for selling?

Yes, lands intended for selling are evaluated, and Zakah is paid according to their estimated value after a lunar year had lapsed, but if the owner didn`t pay the due Zakah, then he should do so after selling them.