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Praise be to Almighty Allah. Blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad and all those who followed his guidance.
Under the kind patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Fiqh Council, an affiliate of the Muslim World League (MWL) convened the International Conference on Fatwa and Its Regulations. The Conference was held in Makkah Mukarramah, the centre of Islam and Qiblah of Muslims from 20-23 Muharram 1430H (17-20 January 2009).
The Conference was inaugurated on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques by H.R.H. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of the Makkah Region, who read out the speech of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in which he welcomed the conference participants and said: “You are meeting today to tackle an important issue in order to safeguard the Muslim Ummah from a serious danger that is threatening it at a time when it is faced with external onslaughts aimed at distorting its image and fabricating the baseless allegations against it, and also when it is faced with many challenges in some of the Muslim countries, particularly what is happening now in Gaza is an example of this painful situation. All this necessitates that we mend our differences and unify our ranks in order to have one voice and face the world”.
He added: “Ignorance of religion and pursuit of whim in issuing Fatwa (religious ruling) is the most serious danger facing the Muslim societies, especially the young generations that have wrong perceptions, because of extreme views which some self-styled people have ascribed to the Islamic Shari’ah.”
He further emphasized: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls upon you to address the problems related to Fatwa and those who issue it. It is our hope that your conference will succeed in developing a scientific methodology to confront the irregular Fatwa with Shari'ah-based argument as well as thwart its impact by exposing the misunderstanding and bad inference of those who have committed such mistakes.” At the end of his address, he commended the endeavor of the Muslim World League in this regard.
H.E. Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the MWL Constituent Council also addressed the inaugural session and underlined the significance of this Conference as well as its expected resolutions. The Conference was also addressed by H.E. Secretary-General of Muslim World League, H.E. Secretary General of Islamic Fiqh Council and H.E. Mufti of Pakistan, Sheikh Muhammad Rafee Othmani, who spoke on behalf of the participants. They all praised the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the Conference, and its inauguration by H.R.H. Governor of the Makkah Region, as well as the keen interest of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia in proceedings of the Conference.
Participants of the Conference listened to more than forty research papers prepared by a number of specialized scholars. The Conference discussed the following themes:
1. Fatwa and Its Significance.
2. Fatwa and Affirmation of Established Fundaments of Shari’ah.
3. Collective Ijtihad and Its Importance in Solving Problems of the Age.
4. Change of Fatwa .
5. Irregular Fatwa and Its Danger.
6. Patching up.
7. Organizing Fatwa: Its Rules and Mechanism
8. Fatwas Issued on Satellite Channels and Their Effects
After thorough discussions on the research papers presented to the Conference and examination of opinions and suggestions submitted to the conference secretariat, the participants have adopted the following:
First: To issue a Charter of Fatwa by which the participants would abide themselves and call upon the Muslim leaders and masses to follow it.
Second: To adopt the general recommendations that deal with issues of Fatwa and the support of its institutions.
In view of the Israeli aggression and crimes that are taking place in Gaza, the participants issued the Statement of Makkah Mukarramah on Israeli War Crimes in Gaza.
First: Charter of Fatwa
Praise be to Allah alone.
Blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad and all those who followed his guidance.
The Muslim World League invited a large number of Muftis and Islamic scholars from all over the Muslim world for the International Conference on Fatwa and Its Regulations to discuss the issue of Fatwa; one of the most important issues of the day for Muslim.
The Conference was expected to elaborate the significance of Fatwa as well as its danger, due to the reasons that may cause rift in the ranks of Muslims and lead sometimes to dispute and disunity, and also to distortion of Islam’s image. Hence, they finalized the Charter of Fatwa which comprises three chapters and contains forty-one articles.
Principles and Fundamentals
Essence, Significance, Status and Areas of Fatwa,
Attributes, Conditions and Manners of
Mufti (Who Issues Fatwa),
Manners of Mustafti (Who Seeks Fatwa)
1. Fatwa is to inform about the ruling of Allah on the basis of evidence to those who ask about it. In fact, it is an explanation that Almighty Allah has enjoined to the Islamic scholars, as He says: (“And remember) when Allah took a covenant from who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it known and clear to mankind.” (Qur’an, 3:187)
Allah has warned against its concealment as He says: “Verily those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.” (Qur’an, 2:159)
Similarly, His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has warned against such concealment and said: “Whoever was asked about knowledge and he concealed it, he would be reined in with bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Abu Dawoud & Al-Hakim)
2. Mufti is the person who informs about the ruling of Allah on the basis of an evidence for those who ask about it.
3. Areas of Fatwa include all deeds of human beings such as belief, saying and action. It includes the believer’s relationship with his Creator, with himself and with others, as well as his relationship with the country in which he lives. It also includes the relation of a country with other countries in times of peace and war.
In other words, Fatwa is related to various areas such as creed, worship, dealing, finance, economy, family, polity, governance, judiciary and the like.
4. Significance of Fatwa is very high, as Mufti informs on behalf of Almighty Allah and His Prophet, and as Fatwa has its status, honour and reward, it has also its danger and harm for those who seek Fatwa as well as for other sections of the Muslim Ummah, if it was issued by those who are not qualified for it. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever was given a Fatwa without a (proper) knowledge, his sin would be on the person who gave him this Fatwa.” (Abu Dawood & Al-Hakim)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said: “ Verily, Allah does not remove knowledge from men, rather He takes back knowledge with the death of Ulema, and when there is no Alim, people take the ignorant people as their leaders. When they ask questions from them, they issue Fatwa without knowledge so they become astray and make others astray.” (Agreed-upon Hadith)
Therefore, the righteous predecessors - despite the abundance of their knowledge and keenness to educate the people and respond to their questions - used to refer these matters to others whom they thought to be more knowledgeable than themselves so as to avoid the responsibility and risk of issuing Fatwa.
5. Fatwa issued by a qualified person has a great impact on explanation of Islam's tenets and refutation of its adversaries' falsifications, as well as on affirmation of the fact that Islamic Shari'ah is good for all times and places to regulate at best the various economic, political, social, intellectual and administrative aspects of private and public life.
6. Status of Fatwa is in fact, Fardh Kifayah (an obligation if performed by some, others are relieved of it) as Almighty Allah says: “If a contingent from every expedition go forth to devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people, when they return to them, so that they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil).” (Qur’an, 9:122) However, it becomes Fardh Ain (obligatory) for a qualified Mufti in certain cases, when there is no qualified Mufti other than him.
7. It is prohibited for Mufti to issue Fatwa in the following cases:
a) If he does not know the ruling of Islamic Shari’ah about the question and cannot derive a ruling in accordance with the principles of Islamic Shari’ah.
b) If Fatwa is issued at the whim of Mufti, as Allah says in His Book: “Say. The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are, indecent deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah for which He has given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” (Qur’an, 7:33)
He also says: “But say not - for any false thing that your tongues may put forth - “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” so as to ascribe false things to Allah, for those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper. In such falsehood is but a paltry profit.” (Qur’an, 16:116-117)
In another place, He says: “To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to you. To each among you have We prescribed a law and an open way.” (Qur’an, 5:48)
c) When he is fully preoccupied and unable to ponder and examine the things.
d) When he fears that Fatwa will lead to undesirable consequences.
It is permissible for Mufti to abstain from issuing Fatwa in the following cases:
a) If he is afraid of any harm inflicted to him.
b) If someone can replace him.
c) If Fatwa is useless for the questioner.
d) If the question really does not exist.
8. Conditions for Mufti: There are certain conditions for Mufti who should not issue Fatwa without fulfilling these conditions. Similarly, no one is allowed to ask a Fatwa from him without these following conditions:
d) Knowledge of Islamic rulings and their evidences
e) Sound character, because a person who has bad faith or behaviour, is not suitable for issuing Fatwa, as his word cannot be taken seriously.
9. If a scholar is capable of Ijtihad, he must issue Fatwa according to his Ijtihad, and the person who follows any school of Islamic jurisprudence and did not reach the level of Ijtihad, however he can carry out Takhreej (attributing the prophetic sayings to their sources) or Tarjeeh (weighing up what is more correct), such a person is allowed to issue Fatwa on the basis of Mujtahid scholars’ statements or on the basis of stronger evidence among these statements.
And a person whose level is less than that is allowed to issue Fatwa according to the evidence that he knows from his own school of Fiqh or from any other schools of Fiqh.
10. Most important attributes which a Mufti should possess are mentioned in the following:
a) He is intelligent and can correctly distinguish and explain what is difficult and clarify what is ambiguous.
b) He possesses perseverance, carefulness, tolerance, respect and sobriety.
c) He knows the conditions of those seeking Fatwa as well as the situation they live in either by his own experience or with the help of those who have such experience.
d) He has the experience of applying the rules on situations, either by learning from those who have relevant experience or by studying their Fatwas and looking into their sources and methods of applying the rules on actual situations.
11. Duties and Manners of Mufti:
a) To be sincere to Almighty Allah and fear Him at all times.
b) To consult scholars and specialized persons in case, there is some confusion on the ruling.
c) To refrain from issuing a Fatwa when the ruling is not clear for him and not to feel embarrassed from saying: “I do not know.”
d) Not to hesitate in Fatwa when the ruling becomes clear to him.
e) To preserve the secrets of those who seek Fatwa.
f) To advise the person who seeks Fatwa on its useful aspects and give a consideration to the educational and ethical aspects of his Fatwa.
g) Not to target the personality of Mufti while discussing his legal opinion.
12. Manners of the person who seeks Fatwa:
a) To avoid a question that leads to suspicion in his faith and behaviour.
b) To search for qualified Mufti whether personally or on the advice of a trustworthy person, or the like.
c) To be keen to know the correct ruling and not to search for someone who issues Fatwa that suites his wish and whim.
d) To behave well with Mufti and not try to confuse him.
Problems, Causes and Effects of Fatwa
13. Most significant problems facing Fatwa at present are in the following:
a) Some self-proclaimed Muftis keep away from the middle path based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and adopt one of the two extreme views: either hard line or excessive leniency.
b) Some Fatwas are issued on the basis of odd opinions which are not supported by the authentic and correct evidence.
c) Some Muftis issue individual Fatwas on contentious issues which are related to human societies and have a general nature, besides the complexity of Fatwa, as it has now turned from single-discipline framework to multi-discipline framework. This makes Fatwa a difficult discipline which cannot be undertaken by an individual alone.
d) Some Fatwas are issued in contradiction to the principles of faith, objectives of Islamic Shari'ah and rules of ethics as well as to the rulings which have been legislated on the basis of established textual evidence.
e) Fatwa is issued by those who do not fulfil the conditions of a Mufti as well as they do not possess the attributes and manners of a Mufti.
f) Some of those who do not possess in-depth knowledge of Islamic Shari'ah have audacity against Fatwas of God-fearing scholars and decisions of the Islamic Fiqh councils.
g) Some Fatwas contradict each other on similar issues, which sometimes lead to confusion and doubt among the general public.
h) Some Muftis discuss in details difference of opinions without mentioning the preferred opinion.
14. Most important reasons for problems of Fatwa at present are in the following:
a) Weak knowledge about the Islamic texts and their implications as well as about the rules and regulations that govern the inference, interpretation and explanation.
b) Scarcity of those who are qualified to issue Fatwa and possess the conditions, qualities and manners of a Mufti.
c) Pretext of preserving the interests and meeting the imaginary needs and necessities.
d) Claim of modernization and adjustment with the present age.
e) Fatwa is sought by some information media from those who are not qualified for that.
f) Consideration of certain interests, whims, and desire of fame, publicity as well as the absence of piety.
g) Lack of understanding the implication of Tayseer (facilitation) in Islam.
h) Some of those who issue Fatwa do not have the understanding of ground realities and comprehension of negative and harmful consequences, in case, Fatwa is issued in such circumstances.
15. Most important negative effects resulting from such problems are in the following:
a) Declaring Halal (permissible) as Haram (forbidden), and Haram as Halal, an act that is considered one of the major sins which take the believer away from the fold of Islam.
b) It becomes common that one charges another with Kufr (disbelief) for committing sin and sheds the blood of Muslims as well as turns against the rulers.
c) Distorting the image of Islam and spreading hatred against it.
e) Appearance of disunity in some Muslim societies and division of Muslims into groups and parties.
f) Disturbing security and stability and diverting the attention of Muslim Ummah from what is more important and appropriate for the society.
g) Appearance of suspicion and doubt among members of the society and their rulers.
h) Weakening the established bodies of Fatwa and causing dissatisfaction among members of the society against their Fatwas.
i) Undermining the righteous scholars and accusing them of being rigid and strict in their Fatwas.
j) Resorting to unlawful manipulations and following the odd opinions that are contrary to the established evidences as well as using the inappropriate patch-up of views in pursuit of whim and desire, or for the sake of others’ desires.
Solutions and Regulations
The most significant solutions and regulations
for giving Fatwa its appropriate place:
16. To deepen awareness in the community and individuals about the importance of issuing Fatwa, and explain that it is not an expression of personal opinion, a utilization of mere intellect, a response to human emotions or a realization of certain worldly interests. It is an elucidation of laws and rulings that Almighty Allah has ordained for His servants.
17. To base Fatwa on correct knowledge derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah or from an established religious basis such as Ijmaa (consensus of Muslim scholars) or Qiyas (inference), as Almighty Allah says: “(O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Qur’an, 4:59)
He also says: “O people of the Book! There hath come to you, Our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book, whereas Allah guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light - guideth them to a path that is straight.” (Qur’an, 5:15-16)
He also says: “Follow (O men!) the revelation given unto you from your Lord, and follow not, as protectors other than Him. Little is ye remember of admonition.” (Qur’an, 7:3)
Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I indeed left you on the right clear path whose night is as clear as its day, and anyone who deviates from it will destroy himself, and whoever of you, who survives, will see many differences. Then you have to stick to what you have known of my Sunnah as well as the tradition of Guided Caliphs.” This Hadith was narrated by Ahmed, Ibn Majah, Ibn Habban and Al-Hakim in their books of Hadith.
18. To be cautious of any pressures put on Mufti in his elucidation of ruling ordained by Almighty Allah, as He says: “Those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him, and fear none but Allah, and enough to Allah to call (men) to account.” (Qur’an, 33:39)
19. To take every precaution not to call a Muslim Kafir (infidel) as it is not permissible to call a Muslim infidel unless he commits an act that is clearly against Islam, because calling a Muslim infidel is considered one of the major things that the Prophet has warned us to keep away from them. He said: “If a man said to his fellow, “You’re an infidel.”one of them (who is not observing the truth) will bear the consequence of the curse.” (Agreed-upon Hadith)
20. To be cautious of misleading Fatwas that call people to shed the innocent blood without any justification, and to emphasize that preservation of life is considered one of the major objectives of the Islamic Shari’ah. Almighty Allah says: “On that account, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of whole mankind.” (Qur’an,5:32)
21. To follow compulsorily the rulings supported by a textual evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as it is truthful and just, and there is no truthfulness and justice in what negates it, and also because, it is an interest, and there is no interest in what contradicts it. An interest that contradicts the textual evidence is not an interest indeed. It is merely a whim and desire that has become attractive to the human souls, and customs and traditions have made it so-called interest. Almighty Allah says: “It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.” (Qur’an, 33:31)
He also says: “ Then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous chastisement be inflicted on them.” (Qur’an, 24:63)
He says as well: “So take what the Messenger gives you and refrain from what he prohibits you.” (Qur’an 59:7)
Thus, statements and actions are weighed according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Anything that contradicts them is not accepted from anyone whatsoever his status may be.
Imam Al-Shafi’ee said: “People have consensus that if Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) becomes clear to an individual, he must not leave it for the saying of another individual.”
22. To be cautious of using unlawful tricks for making the forbidden things in the Islamic Shari’ah permissible, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews, when animals’ fat was forbidden for them, they justified and sold it.” (Agreed-upon Hadith)
It has been reported by authentic sources that the Prophet's companions were unanimous on prohibition of using the unlawful tricks. The consensus of the Prophet's companions is one of the strongest and most authentic evidences in this regard.
23. Significance of preparing Fatwa in a proper and lucid drafting, away from extreme summarization and monotonous expansion, with the mentioning of related conditions and restrictions, so that Fatwa may not be understood wrongly, and exploited by those who want to create disputes among Muslims. Almighty Allah says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and speak righteously.” (Qur’an, 33:70)
24. Not to mention extensively the jurisprudential difference on an issue, and in such cases, Mufti should select one of the statements that has stronger evidence.
25. To warn against irregular Fatwa that contradicts the textual evidence in the Qur’an and the Sunnah as well as the consensus of the righteous predecessors of this Ummah, and also to warn against taking up such Fatwa, or following the person who issues it, or reporting and propagating such a Fatwa, because it is against the Islamic Shari'ah, and also because such Fatwa is not considered to be a legitimate difference in the Islamic Fiqh.
26. The methodology of Islamic Shari'ah is based on moderation. It is not based on mere hard line or mere leniency. This has been the methodology of the righteous predecessors. Almighty Allah says: “Thus have made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witness over the nations and the Messenger a witness over yourselves.” (Qur’an, 2:143)
27. To emphasize the importance of trust in Fatwas of righteous scholars and to be content with them and spread them in the society, because these Fatwas have great effect on leading the people to moderation in belief, worship and dealings, as well as to keep them away from extremism, bigotry, carelessness and decadence.
28. It is obligatory for Muftis to shoulder their responsibilities and confront the odd Fatwas with appropriate response, as this will serve the interest of Islam and Muslims in the following ways:
a) To unify the ranks of Muslim Ummah, preserve its identity and strengthen its stand on the Islamic Shari’ah.
b) To maintain the moderation of Muslim Ummah in its faith and highlight the real image of Islam.
c) To make the members of Muslim society content with Fatwas issued by Muftis.
d) To end extremism, bigotry, carelessness and decadence.
e) To expose the atheistic and blasphemous views and slogans.
f) To maintain security in the Muslim society and prevent the Muslim bloodshed and protect their property and honour.
29. To lay stress on difference between Fatwa of Tayseer (facilitation) regulated by the rules of Islamic Shari'ah, and Fatwa of Tasaahul (taking liberty) which is not regulated by those rules. Tayseer is not meant for taking liberty. It is meant for facilitation and not to cause any hardship to the person who seeks Fatwa as well as to cautiously provide the easier option in case, arguments of the two options seem equal.
30. To warn against taking liberty in Fatwa, whether it is through leniency in seeking evidence and ruling or through leniency in seeking concessions and justification of doubts.
31. Tayseer (facilitation) is not the only purpose that is taken into consideration by Mufti, in fact, there is another purpose that must be taken into account, it is to take the person who seeks Fatwa away from following his whims and making him obedient to his Lord, Allah.
32. Rules of Tayseer (facilitation) in Fatwa include the following:
a) It is in accordance with the principles of Islamic Shari'ah and its evidence.
b) It should not lead to relinquishing from obligations.
c) The requirement of Tayseer is realized through removing the public or private hardship.
33. Mufti must not resort to patch-up or adopt the weak opinion, and similarly he should not incline to the jurisprudential concession unless its conditions are fully fulfilled.
34. Ijtihad changes with the change of conditions and situations, as new happenings may take place at variance with the previous happenings. If Mufti finds that the previous stipulation is weak or does not exist or some other stipulation has become more apparent due to a real and legitimate reason, it is valid for him to look into a change in his Fatwa.
However, Mufti must not tend to change his Fatwa, merely because of a need or interest that has no legitimacy in the Islamic Shari'ah. Likewise, he should not stick to his Fatwa at all times, instead, he should follow the way of well-versed scholars who rely on textual evidence and carry out Ijtihad in revision and correction of a ruling.
35. Change of Fatwa whether due to the change of traditions and customs, or due to legitimate emerging interests, or due to moral decadence of the society, or due to the requirement of governing policy is bound with stipulation that such a change does not contradict the definite texts, Shari’ah rules, fundamental principles as well as aims and objectives whose fulfillment is required for the obedience of Almighty Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him). It is wrong to think that the rulings of Islamic Shari'ah change with the change of time in accordance to the requirements of imaginary interests, even though it leads to a contradiction with a textual evidence or consensus of the Ummah.
36. To emphasize the significance of Fiqh councils and other institutions of Ifta and collective Ijtihad in compliance with the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as the tradition of Guided Caliphs and righteous predecessors.
37. Issues of the Muslim Ummah which are of public nature and general character and deal with the society as a whole and which are different from the individual issues and are classified as public and complex issues require collective Ijtihad, combining the Fiqh scholars and contemporary experts. Almighty Allah says: “ When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have known it from them (direct). Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah unto you, all but a few of you would have followed Satan.” (Qur’an, 4:83)
38. The collective Ijtihad is closer to the truth and it is a cause for more acceptance and satisfaction of Muslims at large. It has a great significance for following reasons:
a) Institutions and bodies of the collective Ijtihad comprise a number of Fiqh scholars and experts who have adequate qualifications and experiences. Fiqh scholars have in-depth knowledge of the texts as well as their implications and objectives while experts are well aware of the real situation and its effects. A ruling of Islamic Shari'ah is composed of the textual knowledge and expertise of the real situation.
b) Discussions in the institutions of collective Ijtihad may bring to fore the points that were hidden, and clarify the things that were not clear, and remind the matters that were forgotten.
c) The collective Ijtihad is a means of organizing Ijtihad and Fatwa, and also a means to prevent those who are not specialized from indulging into the fields which are not relevant to their specialization. It also puts an end to the chaos of irregular Fatwas that are issued through various information media.
d) To avoid the shortcomings that may take place in the individual Ijtihad as well as the influence of certain tendencies.
e) To harmonize the different viewpoints and minimize the areas of disagreement among Muslims.
39. Fatwa based on necessities should be governed by certain regulations which include the following:
a) It is issued through a collective Ijtihad, if it is related to the Muslim Ummah as a whole. Such a Fatwa should not be issued by individuals unless the necessity becomes a consensus.
b) For assessment of needs and necessities in the specialized matters such as medicine, economy or the like, assistance would be sought from the concerned specialists and experts, as Almighty Allah say: “So ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” (Qur’an, 16:43)
c) The specific Fatwa that is based on necessity should not be generalized to all situations, times or persons as the extent of necessity is properly evaluated, and it is an exceptional case that ends with termination of the condition that necessitated it. As far as possible, there should be an attempt to find an alternative for it.
40. Importance of following the easy jurisprudential rules with their conditions while issuing Fatwa for Muslim minorities in order to secure them their religious life and look forward to contribute towards the spread of Islam.
41. The person who issues Fatwa through information media especially on live transmission should possess the following characteristics:
a) Capability of recalling the Shari'ah rulings on issues under question as well as their conditions, regulations and restrictions while issuing a Fatwa.
b) To be cautious of illegitimate objectives posed by those who seek Fatwa, and not to issue Fatwa on what is superficially presented by the seeker of Fatwa to reach his illegitimate objective, and to avoid talk about the issues which are against decency or which should not be presented to the general public.
c) To try to know as far as possible the purpose of questioners, their customs and conditions, which may affect the ruling and issue Fatwa that corresponds the situation of the person who seeks Fatwa.
d) Not to issue Fatwa on the judicial issues which require the hearing of statements from other concerned parties, and similarly on the public issues that require a collective consideration.
e) To appear in an appropriate look and not to involve in any thing that violates the Islamic Shari'ah during show of the programme.
f) If Fatwa is specific to the person who seeks Fatwa, Mufti should clarify it.
Participants of the Conference have come out with the following general recommendations whose adoption will give due attention to Fatwa and necessary support to its institutions all over the Muslim Ummah:
1- Importance of Muslim countries’ due attention to the application of Islamic Shari'ah in all aspects of life.
2- To take care of teaching the principles and regulations of Fatwa as well as the attributes, conditions and manners of Mufti in the colleges and higher Shari'ah institutes.
3- To incorporate the contemporary collective Fatwas in the curriculum of general education.
4- To organize symposiums, conferences and meetings by Fiqh councils, institutions of Fatwa, colleges and institutes of Islamic Shari'ah in order to shed light on Fatwa, its rules and regulations, and to explain significance of Fatwa and its danger as well as the people's need for it.
5- Muslim countries' care to the institutions of Fatwa and availability of Muftis in all parts of the country as required by people in order to facilitate them and remove their hardship.
6- To give attention by all Fiqh councils and institutions of collective Ijtihad to the following areas:
a) To work for tackling the issues especially those which are contentious and others that have newly emerged in the life of Muslims, and give priority to the issues which are most pressing and affecting the Muslims.
b) To help the Muslim societies benefit from their efforts and resolutions by their propagation and application.
c) To interact and coordinate among them regarding their common obligations, and enhance the spirit of cooperation and integration as well as to avoid repetition and contradiction.
d) To do the Fiqh orientation of relationship with non-Muslims in the local and international situation in the light of Shari'ah rulings and religious tolerance.
7- To encourage the Muslim countries and concerned organizations to render the moral and material support to the institutions of collective Ijtihad so as to enable them carry out their duties and shoulder their responsibilities.
8- To urge the government and non-government bodies of the Muslim Ummah to refer the contentious and new emerging issues to the Fiqh councils as well as to the established bodies of Fatwa, and to implement the resolutions and Fatwas issued by these councils and bodies.
9- To appeal to the Muslim states to safeguard the status of Fatwa and Muftis through the following:
a) To take the necessary steps which ensure the independence of qualified and official Mufti in his Fatwa, away from any undue influence.
b) To prevent those who are not qualified for Fatwa and those who take undue liberty or follow whims and unlawful tricks from issuing Fatwa with the aim of protecting religion and society.
10- To call the various information media to publicize the resolutions of Fiqh councils and Fatwas of established institutions of Ifta, and to introduce them and not to allow those who are not specialized in the Islamic Shari'ah to take up such issues and create doubts about them.
11- To urge those in charge of various information media to abide by the following:
a) Not to allow those who are not qualified for Fatwa academically and practically to issue Fatwas through information media.
b) Not to publish or promote irregular Fatwas and seek the help of trustworthy scholars to ascertain what should be published and what is not.
12- To encourage the Fiqh scholars and those who issue Fatwa to utilize various information media in the promotion of virtue and knowledge of Islamic Shari’ah that leads to the welfare and advancement of Muslim Ummah.
13- To call those who issue Fatwa as well as the Shari’ah boards to benefit from what is issued by the Fiqh councils and institutions of Fatwa.
14- To encourage the members of teaching staff in the universities to teach their students the resolutions of Fiqh councils, research centres, senior Ulema boards and to make use of these resolutions in the academic research.
15- To establish higher institutes of Ifta where outstanding graduates of the Shari'ah colleges can be admitted for further qualification and training of this job.
16- To confirm the previous resolution adopted by the First World Forum for Muslim Scholars and Intellectuals convened in Makkah Mukarramah 1426H in which it called the Muslim World League to establish a high commission for coordination among Fiqh councils and Fatwa bodies in the Muslim world
on Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
Praise be to Almighty Allah .
Blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad and
all those who followed his guidance.
The Muslim scholars who participated in the International Conference on Fatwa and Its Regulations convened at the Muslim World League in Makkah Mukarramah from 20 to 23 Muharrum 1430H (17 to 20 January 2009) issued the Statement of Makkah Mukarramah on the Israeli War Crimes in Gaza, as follows:
The Muslim scholars and Muftis who participated in the International Conference on Fatwa and Its Regulations, looked into the tragic happenings and the atrocious war crimes perpetrated by the occupying Israelis against the people of Gaza, which resulted in killing the children, women and old men, as well as demolishing the houses upon the heads of their dwellers, and destroying the mosques, schools, relief centres, hospitals, international agencies and hunting the medicos and first-aid workers, and preventing the food, fuel and medical supplies from reaching the people of Gaza.
In the wake of shouldering their responsibilities, carrying out their duties, standing for true witness and support of their oppressed Muslim brothers in Gaza and other Palestinian territories, participants of the Conference decided the following:
1) The Gazan people's defence of their life, property and land is a legitimate religious duty and a human right recognized by all the heavenly religions and man-made laws and human traditions. Almighty Allah says: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given to fight, because they are wronged; and verily Allah is most powerful for their aid (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause; for verily Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (Able to enforce His Will).” (Qur’an, 22:39-40)
2- It is obligatory to support the oppressed people of Gaza through different legitimate and available means, at all levels and take up their issue with every authority and organization. Almighty Allah says: “The believers, men and women, are protectors of one another.” (Qur’an, 9:71) The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A Muslim is brother to a Muslim; let one not oppress another or betray him. Whoever takes care of his brother's need, Allah will take care of his need.” (Agreed-upon Hadith)
3) It is obligatory to support the Palestinian cause in general and stand with the Palestinian people until they recover their rights and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
4) To call upon the Arab and Muslim leaders to intensify their efforts through the best of their international relations to condemn the Israeli aggression and remove its effects as well as to take the measures that prevent the repetition of this treacherous aggression and ensure the withdrawal of aggressive forces and the lifting of oppressive siege and opening of the boarders permanently in accordance with the divine rules, the international laws, human right conventions which incriminate the siege of civilians.
5) Necessity of speeding up all forms of humanitarian and relief support with food, medicine, fuel and all kinds of human support for the people of Gaza.
6) To call upon the information media and human rights organizations to expose the crimes committed by Israel and prepare to put their perpetrators on trial.
7) To take the legal measures with the international legal organizations and human rights agencies to put the aggressors of Gaza on trial as war criminals, and claim indemnities from them in accordance with the human laws and conventions.
8) Participants of the Conference appeal to their brothers in Palestine to settle their differences and unify their ranks so that they are united in defence of their rights as well as in support of their just cause before the world and its organizations as well as before every peace-loving person.
9) The Muslim scholars appreciate the keen interest shown by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud in the Palestinian cause in general, and his human stance towards the people of Gaza and the tragedy caused by the Israeli crimes as well as his allocation of one billion dollar for reconstruction of Gaza, and also what he did earlier for treatment of the injured, as well as his keen interest in Arab unity and serious joint action at the Arab Summit held in Kuwait from 22 to 23 Muharram 1430H (19 to 20 January 2009).
They hope the Muslim World League would express their gratitude and appreciation to him.
The Muslim scholars also appreciate the efforts of different countries as well as government and non-government organizations which stood with the people of Gaza.
Praise be to Almighty Allah.
Blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad and
all those who followed his guidance.
on Fatwa and Its Regulations
Islamic Fiqh Council
Muslim World League
20-23 Muharram 1430H
(17-20 January 2009)