Only Islamic scholars with a permit should be allowed to issue a fatwa

QIYAS and Ijtihad are two important pillars of Shariah. The first is the term for analogical deductions based on the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah and Ijma, the consensus of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The second refers to the process that scholars adopt in reaching a juristic conclusion. Shariah also allows scholars to extract religious rulings and issue fatwas (religious edicts) in line with the circumstances and conditions prevalent at a given time.

Today some scholars issue fatwas based on circumstances and conditions that were prevalent in previous times. Such fatwas do not fit our time and usually do more harm than good. Scholars play an important role in our daily lives and represent Muslims to the entire world. When we get confused about a certain issue, we ask renowned scholars to help us understand and clear things up according to Shariah.

We all know about the ferocious wars being waged against Islam abroad. Some of these wars are political in their nature while others are economic. There are some parties who are trying to make people believe that Islam and terrorism are synonymous. Islam is not the reason why we see brutal killings around the world. Therefore, Islamic scholars who are not renowned or eminent should stop issuing fatwas. A fatwa should be issued by a renowned scholar who is knowledgeable and who only issues the fatwa after he has exhaustively studied and investigated the issue.

An Islamic scholar is like a doctor. One simple mistake can lead to death. It is like an engineer who is inexperienced and does not have in-depth knowledge about civil engineering. The building he constructs will surely collapse.

I suggest that the authorities issue permits to scholars who are allowed to issue a fatwa. No one should be able to issue a fatwa without prior permission. No fatwa should be published in newspapers or aired on TV without the proper permit. Of course, the authorities will only issue such permits to scholars who meet the proper criteria. Any scholar who issues a fatwa that confuses members of the public or stirs up public opinion should be held to account.

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