Makkah : On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal opened the International Conference on Fatwa and its Regulations here yesterday. More than 170 scholars from around the world gathered at the headquarters of the Muslim World League (MWL) for the five-day event organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, an affiliate of MWL.
In his opening speech, read out by Prince Khaled Al Faisal, King Abdullah urged the Muslim Ummah to close their ranks and confront the challenges facing it in one voice. King Abdullah said the Muslim Ummah was facing “various forms of campaigns against it, including fabricated accusations, and wars in Gaza and other places.”
“The current situation demands the unification of Muslim ranks and facing the world with a single voice after patching up rifts and burying differences. However, internally the Islamic world has been plagued by an extremely negative phenomenon, which is the tendency to deliver fatwas by unqualified persons, especially on satellite television channels, the Internet and other modern channels of communication,” he said. King Abdullah said that the time has come for an unified Islamic stand to advance the basic cause of moderation in Islam and fight back those who have wanted to hijack the essence of moderate Islam and turn it into an ideological concept of extremism, he said. Today’s Islamic communities need to be protected from the chaos of irresponsible extremist Fatwas that could affect the right creed and straight path of new Muslim generations, he said.
In his speech, Prince Khaled Al Faisal stressed that the time has come for an unified Islamic stand to advance the basic cause of moderation in Islam and fight back those who have wanted to hijack the essence of moderate Islam and turn it into an ideological concept of extremism. “Today’s Islamic communities need to be protected from the chaos of irresponsible extremist Fatwas that could affect the right creed and straight path of new Muslim generations,” he said while urging Islamic scholars to counter irresponsible Fatwas by the “intruders” on Islamic jurisprudence, providing them with all help needed from Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the situation in Gaza, Prince Khaled said what is happening there is agonizing for the entire Muslim Ummah. Israel, he said, is violating all norms of a civilized society and indulging in a genocide of the Palestinians. “It is genocide of humanity,” he said.
The conference is aimed at issuing a Fatwa Charter defining the Shariah rules governing issuing of religious edicts (Fatwas). Addressing the conference, MWL Secretary General Dr. Abdullah Al Turki said that the unprecedented Zionist aggression against the Palestinians is in stark violation of the UN resolutions. He said there is an organized campaign to divide the Muslim Ummah and the ignorant people are giving religious edicts against the tenets of Islam to misguide, mostly, the young generation who have no concrete understanding of Islam. “It is Muslims’ negligence to practice their religious obligations and distancing themselves from the teachings of the Holy Book and the Sunnah that really make them weak,” he observed. Dr. Al Turki said earlier that the participants will discuss shortage of muftis in some Islamic countries and the possibility of providing these countries with credible and qualified muftis.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, urged the people not to give any heed to Fatwas which are being televised by different channels by unknown and untrustworthy people. Saleh Bin Zaben Al-Marzouki, head of the Muslim World League’s Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Academy, said that unqualified ‘clerics’ have harmed the Islamic law with their ungrounded Fatwas.
Sheikh Yousuf Al Qaradhawi, president of the International Union of Islamic Scholars is among the scholars attending the conference. The conference is aimed at issuing a Fatwa Charter defining the Shariah rules governing issuing of Fatwas. Major topics to be discussed by the conference include collective Ijtihad and its importance in today’s world, danger of odd rulings, Fatwa and its importance, alteration of a Fatwa, Fatwa reinforcing established facts in Shariah, fabrication, ruling and mechanism of Fatwa, and issuing Fatwas on satellite channels.