About the General Fatwa Department

History of the Fatwa Department:


The 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.


The Fatwa Department remained in this state until Sheikh Hamzah al-Arabi was appointed Mufti of the Kingdom by a Royal Decree in 1941.


In 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.


Owing 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.


The 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:


In 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 issues.


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 affairs.


6. Offering opinions and advice in matters presented to it by state agencies.



Summarized Fatawaa

Can the Christian widow whose husband is Muslim become an heir of his?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
A Christian widow can`t inherit her Muslim husband because their religions are different. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

Should a woman who broke her fast because of delivery make up for missed fasting days before the next Ramadhaan, and what is the expiation due on her in case she delayed making up for them ?

She should make up for missed fasting days before the start of next Ramadhaan if possible, but if she didn`t while being able to, then she is obliged to make up for them along with feeding a needy person for each delayed day of the missed fasting days. However, if she wasn`t able to make up for the missed fasting days before the start of next Ramadhaan, she has to fast a day for every day that she missed, and no ransom is due on her.

Is it permissible for us to sever ties of kinship if our blood-relatives` gatherings involve acts of sin?

Maintaining kinship ties is mandatory, thus if visiting your blood-relatives hinders their sinful acts , then you should do so. However, if their sinful acts persist while you are at their gathering, then it is sufficient that you maintain kinship ties via telephone and the like.

Is it permissible to distribute the raw meat of the vowed animal sacrifice amongst the poor, or to offer it to them in cooked form?

It is impermissible for the vow-maker to eat from the vowed animal sacrifice, rather, he/she should distribute it as he/she had intended upon making the vow, but if the vow was a general one, without any specification then, it is better to give it as raw meat.