Learn Shafi'i Fiqh in English.

Get my latest book, the Evident Memorandum, today.

Buy Now

Comment: Banning chairs is nonsense

MuslimMatters writes: Standing is obligatory only for Takbeer Tahreema in Fardh salah (Obligatory Prayers) with which the prayer begins. After that a person can sit. This is the opinion of imam Shafaee and others. People should not take their Shāfiʿī fiqh from the previous paragraph. Rather, the ruling is that individuals who are able to stand must do … Read more

Comment: 13 Ridiculously Bizarre Fatwas Given by Islamic Scholars

Another faux fatwa anthology is making the rounds. This one comes from Parhlo. The article’s analysis and examples are severely flawed. The article’s analysis comes in its introduction.

Well, we can’t really comment on the thought process behind issuing these fatwas, but to a common mind they hardly make any sense. Being a Muslim I know how important Fatwas are in Islam, however in the past few years their importance have decreased, not because of changes in our religion but only because of some scholars have issued some pointless fatwas. This shows that they have very little or no knowledge of Islam or Muslims. Here are some Bizarre Fatwas issued by some Islamic clerics, which are nothing but false and are portraying a wrong image of Muslims…

It is interesting how the article laments the poor state of fatwas and blames Muslim scholars for this state, all while ignoring the role of non-scholars. The article declares that the fatwas were issued by people who lack scholarship and ignores how those fatwas issued by non-scholars ever even came to be known. A fatwa can only be issued by a scholar. Someone who has little or no knowledge of Islam or Muslim cannot be a scholar. So how can it be the fault of scholars when a non-scholar issues a non-fatwa, and people aware of its illegitimacy then spread it through various forms of media as an example of failed Islamic legal scholarship, where it is then spread even wider by the general public – including a large number of Muslims who denounce it as a legitimate example of illegitimate scholarship?

Read moreComment: 13 Ridiculously Bizarre Fatwas Given by Islamic Scholars

The UAE Mars fatwa that never was just won’t go away

Last year I wrote one or two entries about the Mars fatwa purported to have been issued by the United Arab Emirates’s General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE). This report spread virally through mass- and social media, even though the initial report was full of information which, if anyone had bothered to check, … Read more

Synthetic tissues and Islamic bioethics fatwas

A recent Daily Anatomy’s Photo concerned products from synthetic medical product manufacturer SynDaver Labs: SynDaver™ Labs manufactures the world’s most sophisticated synthetic human tissues and body parts. The SynDaver™ Synthetic Human bleeds, breathes, and employs hundreds of replaceable muscles, bones, organs, and vessels which are made from materials that mimic the mechanical, thermal, and physico-chemical … Read more

Irshad and fatwa: clarifying what is meant by Singapore’s MUIS

A few days ago I shared an irshad (“irsyad”) from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) regarding the use of guide dogs. The MUIS website includes fatwas and irshad. Although there are stylistic resemblances, the distinction between fatwa and irshad is not immediately clear. Irwan Hadi, MUIS fatwa council secretary, clarified the difference. Irwan … Read more

WANTED: Fatwa against playing with toes while driving

An opinion piece in The National calls on muftis to pass fatwas to deal with driving frustrations in the UAE. In addition to the obvious things like driving without a license, not wearing a seat belt, and reckless driving, the author also wants a fatwa against people placing their feet on the dash while driving. … Read more

Dated fatwas direly needed for demands of the global digital audience

My fatwa web alerts have been abuzz with articles concerning Muslims saying “rest in peace” when expressing condolences for the death of non-Muslim. Initial reports claiming that a fatwa was issued in response to a recent death were subsequently retracted upon examination of the date of the initial article’s source for the fatwa. This blog post concerns the role of dates in the development of this story, and the need for fatwas to be dated. It does not concern the deceased, the contents of the fatwa, nor the circumstances which triggered it to be spread.

Read moreDated fatwas direly needed for demands of the global digital audience