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Friday, February 15, 2013

ON FATWAS: TEN QUESTIONS

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 from?

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 come from?

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 "Islamic scholar"?

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 were "revealed"?

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

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia no one is qualified to give fatwa; that's why they have Fatwa Council. To give fatwa must be answerable to Allah at Mahsyar. So must gain knowledge close to eg. Iman Shafie etc.Muslim's general duty to upkeep this people.

kampong lad said...

Follow those who do not ask of you [any] payment, and they are [rightly] guided. Surat Yā-Sīn - 21

this is the answer to your questions.

Annakholat Atastokhdevishizar said...

To give fatwa must be answerable to Allah at Mahsyar.- Anon 918 pm

Sure, but still the followers should use their judgment as well; not to depend on fatwas blindly. do not be the people as described in Quran:

8:22- Indeed, the vilest of living animals, in God's sight, are the deaf, the dumb and those that do not use their intellect

33:67- And they will say: O our Sustainer! Behold, we paid heed to our leaders and our great men, and it is they who have led us astray from the right path.

17:36- And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these you will be questioned.

so, unless muslims verify each fatwa themselves using Quran, they are not obliged to follow ANY fatwa. lots of muslims have followed the footsteps of the Jews and Christians:

Quran 9:31-They have taken as Lords beside God their Rabbis and their Monks and the Messiah son of Mary , when they were bidden to only worship One God.

muslims don't have rabbis and priests but we have ustaz, mufti, ulama' and whatnot whose words are easily accepted by muslims although they are bullsh*tting. aren't the muslims going the Jewish/ Christians' way?

ArthAl said...

Kampong lad, please define 'rightly guided'. And don't forget to include citations and other proof. Am I qualified? I scored A+ for my moral lesson at SPM level. I am a teacher. I read holy books. I do not smoke. I do not drink alcoholic beverage. I do not do drugs. I support Sabah FA (No devil symbols on their crest). I do not even participate in any lucky draws as it is similar to betting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Azly sir,
Can you explain question no 8 with examples of the mess that you say, please.
I would like to learn.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Azly:
On question no 8.
I think the mess of Quran verse cancelling another quran verse is just an interpretation/tafsir of the quran. In truth no Quran verse ever cancell any other quran verse.
maybe you are talking about alcohol and gambling,
If you read the Quran without references to the hadith or tafsir Ibni Kathir, you would fing that alcohol and gambling is abhored but never haram. It is fatwas that say alcohol is haram using the cancel or "mansuh" dogma.

from Pak Yeh a "Quran only Muslim"

Anonymous said...

One has to grow up, especially in a multi-cultural society like Malaysia, and live long enough and encounter plentiful experiences of varied nature with all the men and god-men around, to discover the dichotomy between spirit and spirituality. Spirit, by itself, is not evil (after all nothing more than fermented fruit juice). Only abusing it is.

In my life experience, I find more of the cool, cunning and calculative types in the drink brigades than those who lose half their sobriety drinking. The latter are open books, who can reveal everything about themselves and others they know of, if you care to ask. They can cry, pat a stray cat or dog and feed them and readily give a dime to a beggar asking for alms.

Deception is an accomplished art.

I have seen high society Arab men (and women) who unrobe their robes and order their Scotch once on the board the aircraft. In fact the powerful and mighty may be the worst of the lot with some being even the guardians of their own faith. Whether in the Middle-East or Malaysia we have heard enough stories about Royal Houses having secret wine cellars.

The best fatwa is one you create for yourself. Just ignore or reject those fatwas and the voices that spout them that do not stand up to reason, logic and reality.

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