About fatwa


Fatwa is veryimportant in Islamic law and Islamic jurisdiction.Fatwa is basically opinion of Islamic scholar about a specific issue in the light of Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Moreover, Fatwa has been given a very important position in Islamic Finance Industry Shariah advisors are practicing as an independent body with the responsibility of issuing Shariah Rulings or fatwa to the various issues in the Islamic banking and finance industry.

The Practical implications of fatwa in Islamic finance are evident in the daily business operations of Islamic banks and Islamic financial institutions. There are several fatawa in Islamic finance issued by competent scholars in various areas of Islamic banking and finance; these are issued through Shariah board, individually or through collective ijtihad and fatwa; by fiqh academy or Shariah council.

Islamic finance today had shown fast growth and development in the critical role of fatwa in the Islamic financial system.

Meaning of Fatwa:

Fatwa derived from the root word Fata which means clarification, explanation and newness but in the light of Quran and Sunnah. According to the Islamic School of thoughts Fatwa is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by a reliable and competent Islamic Scholor.

Furthermore, there are two different opinions over the authority issue Fatwa or decision under the light of Quran and Sunnah according to the Sunni school of thought Fatwa is non-binding whereas in Shia school of thoughts it could be depending on the status of the Scholor. 

Fatwa of Sahaba (Companions):

It is very important and deserves highest consideration, they being close to the Prophet (PBUH) and because of their direct knowledge from the Prophet (PBUH). It's referred to both as qawl al-sahabi, and fatwa al-sahabi, normally means an opinion that the Companion of Prophet (PBUH) had arrived at by way of ijtihad or the other word we can say a considered opinion “fatwa”, or a judicial decision that the Companion had taken on a matter in the absence of a ruling in the Qur'an, Sunnah and ijma.

There is some disagreement as to who is a Sahabi but most commonly it is believed that anybody who met the Prophet (PBUM) in his lifetime is called Sahabi or companion. Some Hadith and Quranic vers indicates the importance of Sahaba and their importance in the views of Prophet (PBUH).

Scope of Fatwa:

Fatwa covers a wider scope, including matters of legal theory, theology, philosophy, and creeds, which are not included in fiqh studies. From the perspective of judicial authority, realm, and enforceability, fatwa is contrasted with qa"a or court judgment. The major difference between the two is in their enforceability, qa"a is binding and enforceable whereas fatwa is voluntary.

From the perspective of moral and religious obligation, fatwa is contrasted with taqwa or

Piety. For instance, a fatwa may allow choice between a lenient and a severe view about the permissibility of a certain matter, or it may resort to legal devices to circumvent the strict implications of a law, but taqwa may not approve of such strategies.

Characteristics of fatwa Authority in Islamic:

Any person who declared as a Mufti should possess the following characteristics.

He should have a pure intention to guide the questioner and never to misguide him.

  • He should have deep insight, equanimity and tranquility.
  • Mufti must be qualified and of profound knowledge.
  • He should have a firm religious background and deep knowledge.
  • In his capacity as a religious leader, the Mufti should have adequate means to earn his livelihood.
  • He should be aware of daily life and contemporary issues.

Issuing Fatawa without having qualification to do so is a critical sin. Allah has warned us against that, saying: "And speak not, concerning that which your own tongues qualify (as clean or unclean), the falsehood: "This is lawful, and this is forbidden,' so that ye invent a lie against Allah. Lo! Those who invent a lie against Allah will not succeed.” (An-Nahl: 116)”

Principles of jurisprudence and Fatwa:

According to the principles a fatwa must meet the following consideration in order to be valid they are.

  • The fatwa is in line with relevant legal proofs, deduced from Qur'anic verses and hadiths provided the ahadith was not later abrogated by Prophet (PBUH).
  • It is issued by a person or a board having due knowledge and sincerity of heart;
  • It is free from individual opportunism, and not depending on political servitude;
  • It is adequate with the needs of the contemporary world.

Legal implications of a Fatwa:

It is commonly agreed that a fatwa is only binding on its author. During the Mughal Empire in subcontinent the chief mufti was designated as Shaykh al Islam. Mufti were also appointed to various other positions including market inspectors, advisor to government on religious affairs and served as market inspectors.

But under the colonial rule the madaris took over the role of mufftia as religious guides and they issue fatwa and the place from where they issue the fatwa normally called Dar ul Ifta.

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was held in January 1981 and they established an Islamic Fiqa Academy that fulfil the needs of day to day problem which muftis face in economic, political, scientific, and technological fields.

Fatwa Development in the view of Different Islamic Schools:

1. Malki Schools:

Imam Malik's influence of Hadith in his Ijtihad is very clear and therefore Imam Malik considered the Master of the Hadith School. Imam Malik having some views before issuing the fatwa he dislikes to issue the fatwa for something which does not happened, he gave his valuable opinion in the light of Quran and Sunnah when something happened in real case which needs and Islamic ruling.

Fatwa observed by the Maliki School based on Quran, Hadith, Ijmah, Amal ahl al Madina, Fatwa of companion of Prophet (PBUH), Masaleh al Mursalah, Istihsa, Sadu

Darrai and Al urf. Imam Malik recorded over 1700 ahadith in his book Muwatta of which over half are the sayings and fatwas of companions of Prophet (PBUH).

2. Hanafi School:

Imam Abu Hanifa was the master of this school but his methodology in fatwa is bit different from the Imam Malik due to the normative influence. The major source of Hanfi school for fatwa based on Quran, Hadith, Ijmah, fatwa of the companion, Qiyas, Masaleh al Mursalah, Al urf and Istihsan but they are not taken Hadith as a back boon for  the fatwa.

3. Hanbali School:

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was the maser of the Hanbali School.The following sources they are taken for the issuing of fatwa the Holy Quran, sunnah, ijma, fatawa of the companion of the Prophet (PBUH), al ahdith al mursal and qiyas.

One of the Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyin al jawziyyah quotes imam al Shafi said that it is better for us to follow the ra'y of companions rather than to follow our own opinion. Ibn al-Qayyim explains that the Companions knew more about the

teachings of the Prophet than what has come down to us in the form of Hadith narrated by the Companions

Fatwa and Islamic finance:

Today during the economic growth and day to day challenges into the Islamic financial sector people avoid to invest due to its very hard to make difference between the halal and haram business and new advancement in business dealings fatwa play a vital role and its is the major responsibility of the muftis according to the light of shariah standards with the Ijmah resolve the problem.

We can observe the significant role of fatwa in the following:

  • To ensure compliance of all financial transactions with the rules and principles of Shariah
  • Settle unclear issues in banking and finance by issuing Islamic ruling.
  • To make sure that the requirements of Islamic law are fulfilled when new products are created before marketing.
  • To show the rules of Shariah by issuing fatwa when needed by the industry.
  • To show what is lawful and what is unlawful in the financial transactions in banking and finance.

Fatwa issued by Shariah board or advisory Shariah council:

Today we have most commonly three different school of thoughts in our Islamic financial sector they are Pakistani school, Gulf school and Malaysian school of thought each region has a different structure and different legal framework which govern his sharia body or council.

The sharia advisory board or council based on the people having the solid knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic finance and Islamic Law. The main objective of the shariah board or council to provide the concrete information under the light of Quran and Sunnah by follow all the major requirements that are necessary for the fatwa to resolve the financial issues.