ON FATWAS: TEN QUESTIONS I HAVE YOU MAY SHARE
Fatwas are non-binding and one can choose to follow or not, since
there is no central authority in Islam. I have these questions though for us to explore:
1. if the argument is that only
experts can issue fatwas, who then are the experts in matters of human
spirituality and from which (legitimate) school of thought ought an expert come
2. in addition, what ideological basis will the fatwas be produced?
3. in matters of "ijtihad" or reasoning (accordingly, preferable sources of
construction of knowledge after the Quran and hadith) to arrive at the
fatwas, what method is used and where would the source of information
4. in addition, what is the nature of the
"sociology of knowledge" would the non-legal-binding-religious opinion.
a.k.a. fatwas emanate from and in addition, what constitute the idea of an
5. does this mean one can only draw his/her arguments from "purely Islamic sources"? (what are 'Islamic sources, in this case)?
6. how would one apply the principles of "epistemology" or in
philosophical discourse "Theory of Knowledge" to the study of the
genealogy or the production of fatwas?
7. if the fatwas are derived form the hadiths (traditions), how does one authenticate the tens of thousands of hadiths?
8. if they are derived from the Quran, how does one ascertain the
definite-mess and the denotative-connotative aspects of the verses that
some of them also "cancel" each other out depending on the time they
9. if they were directly revealed, as
believed, how much is human agency involved in the compilation of the
scripture itself, through the process of textual construction produced
via human biases build into the selection and editing process?
10. in addition, how "cultural" is the character of fatwas and how much
of these "freshness of ideas of religious interpretations" can
withstand the test of postmodernity and deconstructionism as ways to
appreciate the dialectical nature of knowledge?
these are some questions I have. Please share them and let us enlighten each other with satisfactory answers ... -- ar