File - Al Azhar Mosque - Wikimedia Commons
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.
Al-Azhar refusal ignited the Endowments Ministry's anger; which responded saying that fatwa has been one of its specializations for long time and that they have a specific department for issuing fatwas (Islamic verdicts).
Sources from the Parliament told Egypt Today on Monday that regular meetings are still being held to reach a solution suitable for both parties.
Here are the most important articles included in the new draft law:
- The new law completely prohibits issuing any general fatwa for the public unless it is through: “the Supreme Council of Scholars in Al-Azhar, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah, Al Azhar's Islamic Research Academy and the General Department of Fatwa affiliated with Endowment Ministry.”
- The law states that any other odd, or illegal fatwa issued by people who are not affiliated with the specified entities will be countered by all possible means.
- The law also limits and controls the use of social media to issue fatwas unless through the listed entities by the law.
- According to the draft, people who breach the law’s articles will be jailed for no longer than six months and fined with no more than LE 5,000 or either of the punishments.
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.
This new anticipated 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 entitled “The Role of Fatwas in Stabilizing the Society” on October 17 to 19, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, said that Egypt nowadays is facing an unprecedented wave of distortion of Islam’s teachings issued 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 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.