Why so many fatwas in Dubai?
Does Dubai's high rate of fatwas have something to do with the mulit-media used (phone, fax, post mail, online) to facilitate issuing?
The Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai has issued over 58,000 fatwas during last year. Fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law that is given by a recognised authority.
Dr Hamed Al Shaibani, Director-General of the department, said all the fatwas given are derived from the Holy Quran and authentic sayings of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him).
“The department spares no effort in developing people’s religious awareness and introducing the teachings of Islam in the most tolerant, peaceful, reliable and attractive way possible based on authentic and acceptable sources.” Dr Shaibani said the department, being widely trusted locally and globally, receives hundreds of queries on numerous issues on a daily basis. “The 58,276 questions attended to were not only limited to religious or Shariah-related issues, but also spanned social, economic, commercial, family and daily affairs.”
The questions are answered in different languages including Arabic, English, French, Persian, Urdu and Pashto, were raised in person, by phone, fax, post mail, online and in fatwa sessions in the masjids, dignitaries’ special councils, and prisons.
“The department, with its staff muftis and scholars as well as reliable sources, which are based on the four schools of jurisprudence, has become a major source in fatwa giving locally and abroad,” Dr Shaibani said. Saleh Zayed, acting Head of the Documentation and Archiving section said all the questions received and answered have been analysed and archived. “The department has answered 53,139 queries on the phone and at the toll free number. These included 47,806 during working hours and 5,333 questions later on. Noting that some 1,682,387 people have visited the department’s website so far, Zayed said some 5,046 questions have been handled online. Fatwa requests may be submitted at the website http://www.iacad.gov.ae/EN/Pages/FatwaAdvancedSearch.aspx. The department issued 28 books spanning Shariah sciences in 2010.
The books issued differ in subjects, languages and ways of handling social problems as well as jurisprudence, economic and cultural affairs.
By Ahmed Shaaban