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Oran fatwaEdit

The Oran fatwa was issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Islam was prohibited in Castile in 1500–1502, and Muslims in the realm were required to convert and conform to Christianity.[1] The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, if necessary to survive.[2] It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.[3] The fatwa enjoyed wide currency among Muslims and Moriscos (Muslims nominally converted to Christianity and their descendants) in Spain, but its influence was limited to that country.[4]

Fatwa against Man sa yarbah al malyoonEdit

In 2001, Egypt's Grand Mufti issued a fatwa stating that the show "من سيربح المليون؟" (Man sa yarbah al malyoon? – literally "Who will Win the Million?"), modelled on the British show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, was un-Islamic.[5] The Sheikh of Cairo's Al-Azhar University later rejected the fatwa, finding that there was no objection to such shows since they spread general knowledge.

Fatwa regarding theologyEdit

"The Jafari fiqh of the Shi'a is a school of thought that is religiously correct to follow in worship as are other Sunni schools of thought."
A fatwa prohibiting insulting of the most religious figures of Sunni Islam was published by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, on 30 September 2010. The fatwa was issued following the insult of Aisha by Yasser Al-Habib.

The Fatwa against production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weaponsEdit

It refers to the fatwa against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons by supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei.[6] While the fatwa originally dates back to mid-1990s,[7] the first public issue of it is reported to be that of October 2003, which was followed by an official statement at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, two years later on August 2005.

The fatwa have received criticisms regarding the existence, applicability and constancy of it.[8][9] According to Khalaji, Khamenei may alter his fatwa under critical circumstances, in a similar manner as Khomeini did.[9] While, according to Gareth Porter in Foreign Policy, Iran has sincerely banned the atomic bombs considering the "historical episode during its eight-year war with Iraq", when Iran never sought revenge for Iraqis chemical attacks killing 20,000 Iranians and severely injuring 100,000 more.[7] Also, the fatwa is considered consistent with Islamic tradition.[9]

Fatwa against illegal hunting and wildlife tradeEdit

In March 2014 the Indonesian Council of Ulama (Indonesia's highest Islamic clerical body) issued a fatwa against illegal hunting and wildlife trafficking. The fatwa instructed Muslims to protect endangered species by conserving their habitat and stopping illegal trade. The World Wide Fund for Nature described the fatwa as a positive step.[10]

Fatwas against terrorism, Al-Qaeda and ISISEdit

Spanish Muslims proclaimed a fatwa against Osama Bin Laden in March 2005[11] issued by Mansur Escudero Bedate, Secretary General of the Islamic Commission of Spain. The ruling says that Bin Laden and "his" al-Qaeda had abandoned their religion and should thus be called "al-Qaeda terrorists" without using the adjective "Islamic". The fatwa urges other Muslims to make similar proclamations. They were followed in July 2005 by the Fiqh Council of North America, a ruling council that issued a fatwa against providing support to "terrorist" groups that make up their own rules by unjustifiably referring to Islam (see Istihlal).

Fatwa on terrorismEdit

The Fatwa on Terrorism is a 600-page Islamic decree against terrorism and suicide bombings released in March 2010. This fatwa is a direct refutation of the ideology of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It is one of the most extensive rulings, an "absolute" condemnation of terrorism without "any excuses or pretexts" which goes further than ever and declares terrorism as kufr under Islamic law.[12] It was produced in Canada[13] by an influential Muslim scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and was launched in London on March 2, 2010. Dr Qadri said during the launch "Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts." According to CNN, experts see the fatwa as a significant blow to terrorist recruiting.[14]

On July 2, 2013 in Lahore, 50 Muslim scholars of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) issued a collective fatwa against suicide bombings, the killing of innocent people, bomb attacks, and targeted killings declaring them as Haram or forbidden.[15]

Others have also declared that terrorism is not Islamic by issuing fatwas against terrorism and fifteen lakh Muslims support it.[16][17]

Fatwa on ISIS membershipEdit

On March 11, 2015, Syed Soharwardy, the founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, and 37 other Muslim leaders of various Islamic sects from across Canada gathered in Calgary and issued a fatwa condemning followers of the Islamic State (ISIS) as non-Muslims. Soharwardy cited capturing opponents and beheading them, killing Muslims who disagree with ISIS's actions, destroying mosques, burning enemy soldiers alive and encouraging Muslim girls to join ISIS, among others, as acts by ISIS that violate Islamic law. Under this fatwa, anybody who even wishes to join the group will be "excommunicated from the Muslim community" and no longer considered Muslim.[18][19]

Fatwas promoting violence against a particular individualEdit

Fatwas involving violence are more likely to be well known than other fatwas, especially to non-Muslims. One possible reason is that non-Muslims regard most fatwas as not affecting them, but fatwas involving violence can potentially affect them. Fatwas do not only affect non-Muslims. It is important to note that a Fatwa is meant to be issued by a legal scholar, not by any political entity. Generally, any given case may have many fatwas (legal opinions) written by the scholars of the region and time. The fatwa backed by the State is the one with legal power.[citation needed]

Muammar al-GaddafiEdit

In 2011, an Egyptian Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, issued a fatwa that urged soldiers to kill Muammar al-Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, if they were able to do so.[20]

Geert WildersEdit

An Australian imam named Feiz Mohammad has issued a fatwa calling for the beheading of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, as of 2010.[21]

Jerry FalwellEdit

In an interview given on September 30, 2002, for the October 6 edition of 60 Minutes, American Southern Baptist pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell said: "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war."

The following Friday, Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, an Iranian cleric, issued a fatwa calling for Falwell's death, saying Falwell was a "mercenary and must be killed." He added, "The death of that man is a religious duty, but his case should not be tied to the Christian community."[22]

Salman RushdieEdit

One of the first well-known fatwas was proclaimed in 1989 by the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, against Salman Rushdie over his novel The Satanic Verses. The reason was an allegedly blasphemous statement taken from an early biography of Muhammad, regarding the incorporation of pagan goddesses into Islam's strongly monotheistic structure. Khomeini died shortly after issuing the fatwa. In 1998 Iran stated it is no longer pursuing Rushdie's death; however, that decree was again reversed in early 2005 by the present theocrat, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In 1991, Rushdie's Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed to death in Tokyo, and his Italian translator was beaten and stabbed in Milan. In 1993, Rushdie's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard was shot and severely injured in an attack outside his house in Oslo. Thirty-seven guests died when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey was torched by locals protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie's Turkish translator.

In February 2016, in celebration of the anniversary of the fatwa against Rushdie, Iranian state-run median agencies added $300,000 to the estimated $3.3 Million bounty for the death of Rushdie.

Taslima NasreenEdit

Fundamentalists in Bangladesh proclaimed a fatwa against Taslima Nasreen in 1993, against a series of newspaper columns in which she was critical of the treatment of women under Islam. The next year she wrote Lajja (Shame) which described the abuse of women and minorities. Again there were calls for her death, and her passport was confiscated. Within the legal system, she felt that she might have faced a jail term of up to two years, where she was likely to be murdered. She managed to escape the country via Calcutta, was granted asylum in Sweden, and then lived in Paris, and finally went to India. Even in India, she had to flee the city of Kolkata and move to Delhi under the Indian government's strict orders following riots in Kolkata.

Isioma DanielEdit

Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi, the deputy governor of Zamfara state in Nigeria, issued a fatwa in November 2002 calling for the death of journalist Isioma Daniel for comments suggesting that Muhammad may have chosen a wife from one of the Miss World contest.[23] Other Muslim authorities have questioned the validity of the fatwa.[24]

Mariwan HalabjaeeEdit

In an audio file published on the Kurdish website during September 2008, Mullah Krekar allegedly threatened to kill Mariwan Halabjaee, the Iraqi Kurdish author of Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam, who also resided in Norway. "I swear that we will not live if you live. Either you go before us, or we go before you," said Krekar.[25] Krekar compared Halabjaee with Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.[26]

In February 2012, Krekar confirmed in the Oslo District Court that he had issued a twenty-page fatwa against Halabjaee.[27] The fatwa was sent to several hundred Islamic scholars around the world. While Krekar said he thought he might be able to "guarantee the safety" of Halabjaee, Krekar confirmed that his fatwa "implies" that it is "permissible" to kill Halabjaee in Oslo or anywhere else.[27] Krekar compared Halabjaee to Theo van Gogh, the film director who was killed by an Islamist in the Netherlands in 2004.[27]

Ulil Abshar AbdallaEdit

In 2003, a group of Indonesian Islamic clerics from Forum Ulama Umat Islam issued a death fatwa against Ulil[28] for an article that Ulil wrote in Kompas in 2002, "Menyegarkan Kembali Pemahaman Islam" (Rejuvenating the Islamic Understanding)[29][30] that is considered heretical by the clerics. In March 2011, a letter bomb addressed to Ulil at Komunitas Utan Kayu exploded, injuring a police officer.

Farag FodaEdit

In June 1992, Egyptian writer Farag Foda was assassinated following a fatwa issued by ulamas from Al-Azhar who had adopted a previous fatwa by Sheikh al-Azhar, Jadd al-Haqq, accusing Foda and other secularist writers of being "enemies of Islam".[31] The jihadist group Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya claimed responsibility for the murder.[32]

Miscellaneous fatwasEdit

On December 2, 1947, the University of Al-Azhar religious scholars, the most respected in the Sunni Muslim world, called for holy war against the Zionists.[33]

In April 1974 the Muslim World League issued a fatwa stating that followers of the Ahmadiyyah movement are to be considered "non-Muslims".[34]

In 2001, religious authorities in the United Arab Emirates issued a fatwā against the children's game Pokémon, after finding that it encouraged gambling, and was based on the theory of evolution, "a Jewish-Darwinist theory, that conflicts with the truth about humans and with Islamic principles".[35]

In Syria, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badruddin Hassoun issued a fatwa prohibiting every type of smoking, including cigarettes and narghile, as well as the selling and buying of tobacco and any affiliation with tobacco distribution (see also Smoking in Syria).

Yusuf al-Qaradawi released a fatwā on April 14, 2004, stating that the boycott of American and Israeli products was an obligation for all who are able. The fatwā reads in part:

If people ask in the name of religion we must help them. The vehicle of this support is a complete boycott of the enemies' goods. Each riyal, dirham ... etc. used to buy their goods eventually becomes bullets to be fired at the hearts of brothers and children in Palestine. For this reason, it is an obligation not to help them (the enemies of Islam) by buying their goods. To buy their goods is to support tyranny, oppression and aggression. Buying goods from them will strengthen them; our duty is to make them as weak as we can. Our obligation is to strengthen our resisting brothers in the Sacred Land as much as we can. If we cannot strengthen the brothers, we have a duty to make the enemy weak. If their weakness cannot be achieved except by boycott, we must boycott them.

American goods, exactly like the great Israeli goods, are forbidden. It is also forbidden to advertise these goods, even though in many cases they prove to be superior. America today is a second Israel. It totally supports the Zionist entity. The usurper could not do this without the support of America. "Israel's" unjustified destruction and vandalism of everything has been using American money, American weapons, and the American veto. America has done this for decades without suffering the consequences of any punishment or protests about their oppressive and prejudiced position from the Islamic world.[36][37]

Sheik Sadeq Abdallah bin Al-Majed, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan, issued a fatwā that prohibits vaccination of children claiming it is a conspiracy of the Jews and Freemasons.[38][39]

In 1998, Grand Ayatollah Sistani of Iraq issued a fatwā prohibiting University of Virginia professor Abdulaziz Sachedina from ever again teaching Islam due in part to Sachedina's writings encouraging acceptance of religious pluralism in the Muslim world.[40]

In September 1951, the mufti of Egypt issued a fatwa stating that both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola were permissible for Muslims to drink. In order to arrive at that decision, the Department of Fatwas had the Ministry of Public Health analyze the composition of the two drinks. As they did not find the pepsin or any narcotic or alcoholic substances to be present, nor any "microbes harmful to health", the mufti found that it was not forbidden under Islamic law.[41] Occasionally the debate regarding whether or not Coca-Cola or Pepsi is drinkable by Muslims does continue to appear, notably recently in 2012 when a French study was released declaring that Coca-Cola contained a small amount of alcohol. Muslims are not permitted to drink alcohol, however the amount of alcohol found in the beverage was discovered so small as to be permissible according to the fatwa system.[42]

In 2003, on his television show John Safran vs God, Australian comedian John Safran tricked Sheikh Omar Bakri into placing a fatwā on Safran's colleague Rove McManus by showing him falsified evidence seeming to indicate that McManus had been making fun of Islam.

Another example of a fatwā is forbidding the smoking of cigarettes by Muslims.[43]

In September 2007, the Central Java division and Jepara branch of the Indonesian organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (the Awakening of the Religious Scholars) declared the government's proposal to build a nuclear power station nearby at Balong on the Muria peninsula haram or forbidden. The fatwā was issued following a two-day meeting of more than a hundred ulama to consider the pros and cons of the proposal addressed by government ministers, scientists and critics. The decision cited both positive and negative aspects of the proposal, which it had balanced to make its judgment. Key concerns were the question of long-term safe disposal and storage of radioactive waste, the potential local and regional environmental consequences of the plant's operation, the lack of financial clarity about the project, and issues of foreign technological dependence.[44]

In 2008, undercover reporting by a private TV channel in India showed several respected clerics demanding and receiving cash for issuing fatwās. In response, some were suspended from issuing fatwās and Indian Muslim leaders announced that they would create a new body that will monitor the issuing of fatwās in India.[45][46]

In 2008, a Pakistani religious leader issued a fatwā on President Asif Ali Zardari for "indecent gestures" toward Sarah Palin, U.S. Vice Presidential candidate.[47]

In 2008, Indian Ulama from the world-renowned seminary of Deoband have categorically issued a fatwā against terrorism and mentioned that any sort of killing of innocent people or civilians is haram (forbidden).[48] The fatwā also clarified that there is no jihad in Kashmir or against India as freedom of religion is guaranteed by the state as any state that guarantees freedom of religion cannot have jihad sanctioned against it.[49] This fatwā was reiterated in 2009 where Indian Home Minister P. Chidrambram hailed the move.[50][51]

Deoband Ulama in India have repeatedly mentioned that the Taliban government in Afghanistan was un-Islamic. This was most recently reiterated at a convention in Karachi in 2009.[52] These include the idea of establishing shariah rule with force in the name of Jihad and levying of jizya on Sikh citizens of Pakistan, which was termed as nothing more than extortion by armed gangs.[53] The stand was explained by Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi as below

This can't be called a war in the name of Islam. Even during a legitimate jihad, which is fought not by a rag-tag army of misguided youth but by the state against identified aggressors, Islam has set certain principles like you can't harm the old, sick, women and children. You can't attack any place of worship. But terrorists kill people indiscriminately. They are earning Allah's punishment.

Suicide bombing in any form has also been declared haram by Indian ulama.[54] This stand is also supported by Saudi scholars such as Shaykh Muhammad Bin Saalih al-'Uthaymeen, who have issued fatawā declaring suicide bombings are haram and those who commit this act are not shaheed (martyrs).[55]

In 2012, Sheikh Murgan Salem al-Gohary of Egypt, a former Taliban, issued a fatwa calling for "the destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt", because "God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols."[56] Egypt is host to thousands of ancient statues and drawings that mainstream Muslims have not been bothered by for the past 1400 years.[citation needed] These monuments are a major attraction to tourists and scientists interested in ancient Egyptian culture, and not worship. It is unclear why the pyramids were added to the fatwa because they are tombs of pharaohs and not statues or idols.

In 2012, Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, issued a religious edict prohibiting contact and cooperation with foreign media outlets because they seek to "spread chaos and strife in Muslim lands". He added that contacting foreign media outlets to "divulge the country's secrets or address various matters" was tantamount to "treason and major crime". He said that "It is not permissible and is considered betrayal and assistance to the enemies of Islam." Also, "A believer has to help keeping security, that of his nation and community, and protecting his religion."[57]

In 2011–2012, Abdel-Bari Zamzami of Morocco issued a series of religious edicts that a man has the right to engage in sexual intercourse with his wife up to six hours after her death.[58] Despite recognizing that such an action is despicable in mainstream society, Zamzami persisted in backing his original fatwā, claiming marriage does not end in death.[59] Zamzami also announced that it is against the religion to take to the streets after the King delivers a speech; this fatwā made the population, as well as the media, question his intentions.[60]

In 2012, the Indonesian Ulema Council issued an edict for Muslims not to wish Christians a happy Christmas. The edict said that wishing a happy Christmas was akin to confirming the "misguided" teachings of Christianity.[61]

In 2013, the grand mufti in Kashmir issued a fatwā terming singing as un-Islamic, forcing Kashmir's only all-girls rock band to abandon it.[62]


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External linksEdit