Blog’s buffet fatwa comments quoted in The Independent

The Independent yesterday quoted some of my comments concerning the ban on all you can eat buffets.

Musa Furber, a fellow scholar who claims to also be qualified to issue Islamic edicts, wrote on his website to clarify the thinking behind the sheikh’s decision.

He said: “The Sheikh’s reasoning is that “the value and quantity of what is sold should be pre-determined before it is purchased.” This is not surprising or shocking since one of the requirements of a valid sales transaction (bayʿ) in Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī fiqh is identifying the goods being exchanged. So the Sheikh’s ban is reasonable if we treat the all you can eat buffet as a sales transaction.”

Furber added that Sharia law was open to interpretation on the matter – if buffets were regarded as a paid-for service, for example, the stipulation regarding “unknown goods” would not apply.

They must have read the comments before the update mentioning how Sh Salih bin Fawzan al-Fawzan announced on his website that he did not declare all you can eat buffets unlawful, but rather said that [the sold good] is unknown since it is not permissible to sell an unknown good until it is defined and known.

UPDATE The Independent’s article is being repeated by others, using almost identical content and language. If they had read the blog piece they would have caught the very significant update at the end. Here’s one example in The Belfast Telegraph.