The fatwa monitoring observatory : ...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The fatwa monitoring observatory : infedilizing fatwas are seen as legal permits for killing which undermine the objectives of Islamic law

The fatwa monitoring observatory : infedilizing fatwas are seen as legal permits for killing which undermine the objectives of Islamic law

The fatwa monitoring observatory at Dar al-Iftaa issued its first report on “The influence of politics on infedilizing fatwas”. The report said that the Observatory picked up several political fatwas that were issued from 25 January Revolution until present. The report emphasized that fatwas have become one of the issues necessitating increased regulation and juristic founding.

The report showed the increasing vehemence of the political fatwas issued by non-specialists after 25 January revolution, especially with the rise of the different trends of political Islam. It confirmed the issuance of a religious fatwa in response to every political statement whether it supports or rejects it. This no doubt shows that these fatwas are directed to achieve certain political partisan gains and use religion to polarize its followers, exploit the religious fervor of the people, weaken their adversaries by issuing infedilizing fatwas targeting their opponents, the cultured, and police and army personnel whom they consider tyrants.

The report showed that after analyzing these fatwas, it was found that they lacked not only intellectual and scholarly scholarship but even the minimum scholarly accredited requirements for issuing legal verdicts. And because their issuers are not aware of the grave consequences of the rulings they issue, their fatwas led to the destruction of societies and foment sedition among the people of one nation. Furthermore, infedilizing fatwas are seen as legal permits for killing and blood-shed which undermine the objectives of Islamic law.

The report presented a number of political fatwas which contributed to societal division in Egypt and incited fighting which include among others:
- A fatwa allowing killing anti-Morsi protesters who participated in the 30 June demonstrations.
- A fatwa issued before 30 June 2013 prohibiting any anti-Morsi protests.
- A fatwa prohibiting taking Dr. Mohammed Morsi to trial.
- A fatwa allowing killing the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- A fatwa prohibiting participating in the constitutional referendum.
- Fatwas permitting killing Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Minister of Defense, as he is considered an apostate.
- A fatwa on the permissibility of divorcing a pro-Muslim Brotherhood wife.
- A fatwa permitting burning police cars and stations and attacking officers’ houses and properties.

Dr. Ibrahim Negm, Advisor to the Grand Mufti of Egypt and the report supervisor, stressed that infedilizing fatwas lead thousands of youths towards extremism and murder, seeking alleged martyrdom.

The report reached several conclusions and recommendations listed as follows:
1: It affirmed that legal verdicts influence and are influenced by all aspects of life and the people must be aware of the dangers of undertaking this task.
2: It recommended the necessity that official fatwa issuing institutions undertake the task of treating societal discord resulting from fatwa chaos. A fatwa should not be influenced by partisan politics and should only follow al-siyasa al-shar’iyyah (the ordinances of Islamic governance).
3: The report highlighted the position of Dar al-Ifta` and its moderate methodology which restores balance to the political arena and the Egyptian society. Its role is therefore instrumental in guiding, correcting, and clarifying any opinion in favor of a particular political direction and which attempts to imbue it with a religious hue to influence public opinion.

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