Parliament Religious Committee approves new law to control odd fatwas
According to statement issued by the parliamentarian Religious Committee on Wednesday the draft law was issued by more than 80 Parliament members. The new law is expected to control the odd fatwas that were issued during the past period through media outlets and that caused huge controversy amid Egyptians. This wave of fatwas also raised questions regarding the entities entailed to issue fatwas inside the country.
CAIRO - 25 June 2015: The discussions are still ongoing inside the Parliament regarding the new general fatwa regulating law, after Al-Azhar's (The highest Sunni religious authority) refusal for some of its points, especially regarding organizations entitled to issue fatwas inside the country.
According to the newly approved law, a scholar who is proved incompetent for issuing fatwas will be punished with a fine of not more than LE 20,000 and not less than LE 10,000 if he uses media to issue fatwas. The punishment also doubles if the punished person decides to reappear on media to issue fatwas for a second time.
This law comes within the framework of Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism, extremist ideology and odd fatwas that incite sedition, in light of the recent increase in the number of fatwas issued and the number of people preaching about religious habits on social media.
In a statement before the conference titled “The Role of Fatwas in Stabilizing the Society”, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, said that Egypt nowadays is facing an unprecedented wave of distortion of Islam’s teachings by unlicensed persons.
“Unfortunately, some have been allowed to issue flawed fatwas that distort Islamic Sharia and violate Islam's true teachings," said Tayeb.
Fatwas are Islamic religious rulings issued by a recognized religious authority or individual, based on the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s teachings for guidance on the routine of daily life subjects such as marriage and inheritance.
In Egypt, Dar Al-Iftaa, under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, is the official institution devoted to providing fatwas on its website, along with the clerics of specialized offices at Al-Azhar, Egypt's top religious authority. For example, all court sentences of death must be approved by Dar Al-Iftaa.
CAIRO - 14 March 2018: A draft law on regulating fatwas (Islamic edicts), which Parliament's Religious Committee will call for consideration in the next plenary session, might put an end to a series of groundless fatwas issued by unlicensed and unqualified preachers in the media. The move aims to further reform religious discourse.