Subject : Seeking Fatwa from Expert Scholars is Obligatory
Fatwa Number : 3139
Date : 28-10-2015
Classified : "Principles of Fiqh "Jurisprudence
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the opinion of the General Iftaa` Department as regards religious and Fatwa programs broadcasted by some satellite channels which issue different Fatwas about the same topic, causing confusion to people? Are such channels permitted to issue Fatwas?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

People are eager to listen to scholars and learn from them to be more enlightened as far as religious matters are concerned, as indicated by the following verse, " ‘So ask the followers of the Remembrance if you do not know’."{An-Nahil/43}. Scholars are held accountable before Allah for clarifying the ruling of Sharia on people`s religious and worldly matters, and the issuance of Fatwas.

Clarifying the duty of the scholars and warning against concealing the truth, Allah, The Almighty, said(what means)," And when God made covenant with those who had been given the Scripture, 'You shall expound it to people, and not conceal it'. But they rejected it behind their backs, and bought with it a small price; how evil is what they have bought! "{Al-Imraan/187}.

As mass-media evolved, religious programs have been broadcasted regularly via different radio and T.V stations, so listening to fatwa and religious lessons have become more accessible to people. However, this is a double-edged weapon: people may listen to expert scholars, so they protect their religion and meet their religious obligations correctly, or they may listen to non-expert scholars, so they become more confused, and this leads to the spread of inaccurate Fatwas.

It is imperative upon every Muslim to understand religious issues from expert scholars since Allah, The Almighty, says(what means), "‘So ask the followers of the Remembrance if you do not know’."{Al-Anbia`/7}. Interpreting this verse, Al-Imam Al-Qortobi said, "Muslim scholars have agreed that the public should imitate their scholars, and that they are the addressees of the verse, " So ask the followers of the Remembrance if you do not know’."{Al-Anbia`/7}.

It is imperative that questioners do their best to choose the best of scholars. Al-Imam Ibn Serene said, " This knowledge is religion, so beware of whom you take it from. " scholars of Islamic Sharia are present in every country and people trust their Fatwas and methodology. Therefore, we advise the people of different countries to ask the specialized scholars of their countries because each country has different circumstances and customs with which the scholars of other countries may be unfamiliar.

We would like to point out that difference in some Fatwas may be commendable as it results from difference in understanding the Sharia evidence, the question`s circumstances, or the customs. This is why it was said in this regard:"Differences in my Ummah (Nation) are a source of mercy i.e. where difference is acceptable." And Allah knows best.



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