History of the Fatwa
Fatwa Department of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was founded in 1921. Since its formation, it has relied upon
Hanafi fatwas which were in use during the Ottoman era, and the Mufti has
answered the questions of members of the public, whether they relate to worship
or financial transactions or personal statutes, and it has assigned a mufti to
each judge in cities both large and small.
The judge seeks the mufti's assistance in solving social problems, just
as the mufti refers to the judge matters which are not within the mufti's
jurisdiction and which require evidence and witnesses.
Fatwa Department remained in this state until Sheikh Hamzah al-Arabi was
appointed Mufti of the Kingdom by a Royal Decree in 1941.
1966, the Islamic Religious Endowments system was formed, of which section nine
included regulation of fatwa affairs, and the mufti was associated with the
Minister of Endowments. Because of this,
the articles stipulated that the Grand Mufti should hold, in partnership with
the Director of Preaching and Guidance, periodic meetings for the direction of
muftis and the organisation of their work, due to the fact that the muftis were
engaged in preaching and guidance as well.
to the appearance of new matters in the lives of citizens, and to the
multiplicity of issues and the large number of schools of law, the public
interest called for the issuing of a decision which formed a fatwa council
headed by the Chief Justice. The council
met to examine the following matters: new issues, issues that concern the whole
community, issues that are referred to the mufti by public bodies such as
ministries or companies. As for other
issues, the Mufti of the Kingdom or the muftis in the cities and governorates
would address them.
system of administrative organisation of the Ministry of Religious Endowments
advanced, and with it advanced the fatwa system, and so the creation of the
Fatwa Department was completed in 1986, although the mufti remained associated
with the Minister of Religious Endowments, who in some cases may not have
studied Shari'ah; consequently, the Chief Justice remains head of the fatwa
council, because the Chief Justice must always be qualified in Shari'ah.
Independence of the
General Fatwa Department from the Ministry of Religious Endowments:
2006, a law was passed which declared the independence of the General Fatwa
Department from the Ministry of Religious Endowments and other official bodies,
and the rank of the mufti became equal to the rank of a minister in the
country, and by this the Fatwa Department became independent of other state
agencies, and the work of organising and strengthening fatwa affairs is still
being conducted by legal scholars and specialists in the sciences of Islamic
legislation. The duties are divided
between them, and each section is responsible for care and treatment of one aspect
of the needs of the community.
Tasks of the Fatwa
Department, as determined by law:
The law determined
the tasks and duties of the department as follows:
1. Supervising and organizing
of fatwa affairs in the Kingdom.
2. Issuing fatwas on
general and specific matters in accordance with the provisions of this law.
3. Preparing of the
required research papers and Islamic studies on important matters and emerging
4. Producing a
periodic specialist academic journal concerned with the publication of reviewed
academic research papers in Shari'ah and Islamic sciences and related fields.
5. Cooperating with
scholars of Islamic law in the Kingdom and outside of it regarding fatwa
6. Offering opinions
and advice in matters presented to it by state agencies.