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Get Your Own Fatwa on the Internet

by Dr. D ~ August 12th, 2007

Muslims are increasingly turning to the ‘new media’ for their religious rulings, known as a ‘fatwa’. Traditionally fatwas have been issued by recognized Islamic scholars or major leaders. Now many are turning to imams on the internet or by telephone.

Should ‘good’ Muslims read Harry potter? What about suicide bombings, can they be justified? Is it OK for women to pluck their eye brows? These are samples of some of the questions that Muslims have asked for a fatwa ruling on.

Traditional sources in Islam are concerned about these radical new developments. In the past, fatwas were issued by a mufti, like Ali Gomaa, a Grand Mufti and Egypt’s chief Sunni Muslim authority. Gomaa heads Dar al-Iftaa (the House of Fatwas); which along with Al-Azhar University have been Egypt’s most important institutions for issuing fatwas and have influenced Sunnis everywhere. Gomaa has been highly critical of these new media individuals who issue fatwas independently of traditional Muslim authority.

Others view this as a promising vehicle for progress and change in the Muslim religion which has been rather stagnant and unchanging for hundreds of years.            *Top

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