It's about time this has been made clear, after many nonsense fatwas [think breasfeeding your driver] that have been coming out; it is truly welcome news that there will be some sort of regulation on what is accepted as a 'real' fatwa. Let's hope that people actually follow this and won't continue to issue fatwas left right and center because they think they can.
No fatwa without approval
By MOHD HUMAIDAN
Published: Aug 2, 2010 23:44 Updated: Aug 2, 2010 23:44
JEDDAH: Islamic scholars intending to publish religious edicts (fatwas) on contemporary issues have been told to contact experts at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs or Dar Al-Ifta (the Saudi fatwa authority) before approaching the media.
Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh, who gave the instruction, pointed out that many of fatwas issued by individuals recently lack balance. "They should not publish fatwas except after consulting with other experts," he told the scholars.
The minister also advised members of the public to receive religious edicts from authentic sources, which is the Presidency for Scholastic Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta) headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.
He said he had noticed that some scholars were issuing fatwas on silly issues. "This will give a bad impression about the Kingdom being an Islamic state. We have so many other important issues to deal with. We have to confront terrorism and the move to link Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) with terrorism," he said.
Asked about a recent fatwa that permits music, the minister said: "It's a personal matter and it will be better for a person to take the other opinion."
Al-Asheikh underscored Saudi Arabia's success in combating terrorism and its efforts to change the mindset of militants through counseling. Foreign leaders and officials have appreciated these efforts.
Asked about regulating the collection of donations during Ramadan, Al-Asheikh said: "We have given instructions to all mosques not to receive donations in cash." The ministry has urged authorities of mosques that are built not facing the Qibla to make required changes as quickly as possible.
Aug 3, 2010