The Fatwa Approach Adopted at the General Ifta' De

The Fatwa Approach Adopted at the General Ifta' Department

Issues of Fiqh (or Islamic jurisprudence) are variable, addressing all practices of people in all life aspects. Muslim scholars wrote down numerous Islamic provisions and legislations allowing the divine wisdom to illuminate people's lives. Those provisions have a solid base for their legislative and jurisprudence stemming from the basic legislation sources: the Holy Quran, Sunnah, Consensus, Analogy and common benefits. This Fiqh heritage has been collected in four Islamic schools of thought (Madhaheb): Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. It is agreed upon those schools (madhaheb), and they are accepted as the path to achieve Allah's blessings and to protect the welfare of people and countries.
Since the General Department of Al Ifta' has been a part of the scientific progress for the general Fiqh movement, it decided to adopt one of those four schools as a base for its Fatawa (answers) in order to achieve the benefits and goals of the Fiqh movement in the Islamic history. Those goals include:
1.  Being safe with Allah and in the Day of Judgment by not changing anything permitted by Allah in Islam.
2. Achieving moderation which is a fundamental in the Islamic Shari’a and has been a constant in the heritage of the Islamic Fiqh.
3. Avoiding contradicting sayings and abnormal views which may cause flaws in practical and intellectual life.
4. Regulating fatwa and eliminating useless disagreements as much as possible. 
5. Assisting Muftis (people who provide Fatwa) to learn the Islamic legislations easily as it may take a life time for a Mufti to study and give fresh rulings on every issue he is asked about. Thus, learning the fatwa of previous muftis is an inevitable solution.
Al Iftaa Department has chosen the school of Al Imam Al Shafi'i as a base to which it refers in providing fatwa for two reasons:
1. It is the most common school (Madhhab) in our countries in history. Following the majority and what is common is a goal.
2. It is a moderate school/Madhhab gathering between the foundations of schools of thought and hadith. This Madhhab originated Fiqh innovations which have been and still a cause in achieving the interests of the nation and unifying Muslims. Noteworthy that this cause has been achieved by other schools/Madhaheb but Al Imam Al shafi'i’s school/Madhhab has been leading in this field.
The Department of Ifta'a's commitment to this Madhhab doesn't mean absolute imitation of all the innovations of the Faqihs (experts in Islamic jurisprudence), but the department has its advanced approach in benefiting from all items and topics in other schools/madhaheb taking into consideration the following:
1. If the case is related to a contemporary issue not mentioned in previous fatwa/innovations by Faqihs, or if it is one of the general topics important to the society or the nation as a whole, either in financial transactions, medical issues or others, then Al Iftaa Department must prepare special studies to research the issue within the frame of the evidence in the Shari’a law and Fiqh rules. In addition, it tries to balance the cons and pros to conclude a fatwa to be presented to the Iftaa Council. The Council holds discussions in order to reach a decision about the needed issue.
2. If the innovation of the Shafi'i Madhhab concerning a certain issue was not corresponding to the changing time, place and conditions in the time when the question is raised for the Mufti, this matter may cause troubles. The Department of Al Iftaa re-searches the question in line with the Fiqh rules and Shari’a goals benefiting from the innovations of all Islamic schools/Madhaheb in order to issue the fatwa which is the closest to the Shari’a rules and purposes.
3. In personal status or issues like marriage, divorce, heritage and custody of children, the Department of Ifta'a refers to the Jordanian Personal Status Law in its Fatwas to avoid any difference between Iftaa and Legitimate Law in the Kingdom. The law however is based on the innovations and opinions of Muslim Faqihs, selected according to Shari’a disciplines by specialized committees.
In that ways the muftis deal with the questions sent to them through different communication methods, according to regulated and coordinated steps starting from identifying the type of question and ending with sending the answer as soon as possible. However, any delay might be caused by the detailed study for tens of issues handled by Al Iftaa Department on a daily basis especially that Muftis know that they will be asked by Allah about every word they write, thus they prefer not to be hasty in issuing fatwa and answering questions.  

Summarized Fatawaa

Who is required to fast?

Any adult, sane, and hardship enduring Muslim person is required to fast unless there were prohibiting conditions such as menstruation and confinement.

It is impermissible to pay the Zakah for settling the debt of the deceased since Zakah is paid to eligible recipients who are alive. As for the debts of the deceased, they are to be settled from the estate before dividing it amongst the heirs, but if the deceased didn`t leave an estate, then it is desirable for his/her heirs to settle those debts if they can afford them.

What is the ruling on making up for missed fasting after the second half of Sha`ban (the month before Ramadhaan)?

One is obliged to make up for missed fasting before the start of next Ramadhaan, and regardless of offering it during the first, or the second half of Shab`an. This is because the prohibition mentioned in the Hadith is for offering absolute voluntary fasting in the second half of Sha`ban. And Allah Knows Best.

Is it incumbent on a family to provide for its old handicapped son and take care of him?

The family and relatives- e.g.brothers- of such a person are obliged to spend on him and take care of him if he didn`t have money of his own.