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Friday, June 08, 2007

Are all Fatwa Declarations Legitimate?

Picture courtesy of Guide Instanbul

Over the past few years we have herd of the term Fatwa from the Muslim people of the middle east and it intrigues me to learn what a Fatwa really is. Step in and correct me if I am wrong and please comment if I am wrong!

My former line of thought was that a Fatwa was similar to Jihad and yet now I find that they are two very different things. Seeing that we are at war with a nation and I presume an entire region I would think that it might be a good idea to educate ourselves as to what these terms that are thrown around by our so called enemies mean.

I don’t have anything against someone that chooses to be a Muslim or was born a Muslim. I don’t have a problem with someone born in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim based theocracy and nation. Reading up on the faith that is Islam it is a very proud and non violent faith. Much like the Christian Bible, the Koran can probably be interpreted ten ways to Sunday and none of the interpretations is correct.

Take for instance the first Commandment of the Christian faith. Thou Shall Not Kill. If America is a religious Christian Faith society then according to this Commandment we should not have an army to defend us? No offense to all of my friends in service to our nation in the military intended. No pink slips will be issued to those in the military based on this post… Trust me on that one. My interpretation is very wrong but could the same mistake be made with the Koran?

Over at the Washington Post they explain what a Fatwa is from someone that should know…

Sheikh Ali Gomaa: When each person's unqualified opinion is considered a fatwa we lose a tool for reigning in extremism and preserving balance of Islamic law.
Almost two years ago the citizens of London were victims of a great atrocity. Those who perpetrated those crimes would like you to believe that they were inspired by the religion of Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is nothing in Islam that could ever justify these blatant acts of aggression. Islam calls on Muslims to be productive members of whatever society they find themselves in. Islam embodies a flexibility that allows Muslims to do so without any internal or external conflict. This is why we see a vast variety of cultural, artistic and civilisational phenomena all of which can be described as Islamic, ranging from the Taj Mahal in India to the winding streets of Fez to the poetry composed by English converts that represents not only the rigor of English verse, but also encompasses the beauty of Islamic piety.

This flexibility is not just present in the cultural output of Muslims; it is an integral part of the Islamic legal tradition as well. In fact, you could say it is one of the defining characteristics of Islamic law. Islamic law is both a methodology and the collection of positions adopted by Muslim jurists over the last 1,400 years. Those centuries were witness to no less than 90 schools of legal thought, and the 21st century finds us in the providential position to look back on this tradition in order to find that which will benefit us today. This is one of the first steps in the issuing of a fatwa (religious opinion/ruling).
- Washington Post

So I’m a little bit wiser today than yesterday. Fatwa is a religious opinion and or ruling on the religion of Islam. Islam is a religion that changes over the course of time and its history is relevant to the changes declared with a Fatwa.

So now I have to find out who is the equivalent of the Pope to find out how these Fatwa’s are issued and made part of the permanent Islamic law. Can anyone that is a Cleric issue a Fatwa? According to the article that is not the case. I’m wondering if the same rules apply as to all of those Jihad’s that everyone talks about in the Middle East?

My main point of this post is to think more about who we as a nation are as a target of Islamist misunderstanding of Americans as a people. If we can find the common links for change so two people can exist with understanding of one another then that is for the good of all people.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the Fatwa is a ruling based on religious grounds (i.e on the Koran) of some relevant action or whatever, as you stated, but it also must be made by someone who is Qualified to make such a ruling.

Just my 2 cents...


1:07 PM  

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