No doubt, religious channels are one of Allah's Favors for Muslims in recent years. The one who denies the effect which these channels cause for the Muslim community is either a denier or extremely ignorant. Many youth, men and women, are given guidance by these channels and by their callers and the people who work their whom we consider faithful. Allah (may He be Exalted) is their Reckoner and we do not recommend them before Allah (because He knows them better).
These channels have plentiful qualities which raise their importance in these critical times in which internal and external, religious, cultural, individual and collective seditions take place.
It is enough that these channels created a kind of informational confrontation in the ongoing battles between the party of the disbelief and the party of faith. It became an outlet for many callers and scholars who suffered vexations and afflictions until Allah prepared for them these universal satellite outlets that overpass all limits by the command of Allah. They reach millions of Muslims who are thirsty to understand this true and easy religion and to understand the creed, monotheism, and juristic rulings for many issues in their lives.
However, these channels are like any other business; in its beginning it is affected by internal affairs, such as regulation, exhibited substances, the quality of the introducer or the lecturer, and their consideration for the circumstances of different countries. In addition to external matters that are often out the reach of the people in charge of these channels, callers, and scholars. There is no doubt —with Allah's Willing— that these matters can be maintained by the passage of time and cause a kind of change that increases the benefit and blessings.
From the matters that should be considered —from my point of view— is Fatwas which are given through satellite channels whether they are on air or previously prepared.
This is one of the issues that scholars should take care of because of its great importance and effect. It is somehow reporting from Allah, conveying wisdom to the people, and imposing it on the people. Knowing the Qur'an and the Sunnah result in either seeking lawful matters or abandoning the unlawful. Committing a mistake in one of them turns the Shari`ah upside down and tightens things for people or showing lenience which violates the objectives of Shari`ah.
Let it be known that the Fatwas of satellite channels are connected with many other points in terms of qualifications of a Mufty (Islamic scholar qualified to issue legal opinions) from one side and in terms of a questioner, his environment, culture, the circumstances of his country, habits, traditions, and customs from the other hand. What suits a person does not suit the other in regard of Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) in juristic matters and not in issues related to the well-established matters in religion such as beliefs and general fundamentals.
Perhaps Allah (may He be Exalted) facilitates searching these issues, one at a time. However, in this article, I give an advice for the callers and those who are responsible for these satellite Islamic media because of something I noticed through talking to some people which lead to dangerous indicators, according to my view. They have bad effects on the creed of a Muslim and on his faith with the Fiqh of Islam and the matter of Fatwa.
Indeed, that matter which I felt and many Muslims had expressed is the difference of Fatwas concerning one issue which ranges between permission and prohibition although the issue is the same. This causes a kind of distraction to Muslims because how could there be two different Fatwas to the same question? How could a person give a Fatwa of permissibility while the other gives a Fatwa of impermissibility although the case is one and sometimes the questioner is one?
This contains negative consequences, especially in these times where ignorance of religious fundamentals spread, in addition to understanding the issues of disagreement, Ijtihad, differences of juristic opinions, differences of opinions according to the evidence and considering the gained benefit. In addition to other issues which are understood by the well-established scholars, and which the people who attribute themselves to knowledge do not understand because they force the people to follow one understanding and one opinion.
Moreover, they call others mistaken and innovation doers, what about other regular Muslims?!
Indeed, the difference of Fatwas, by this way, causes people to lose confidence in scholars as well as in Shari`ah and makes the enemies of Islam exploit this issue, which many Muslims do not understand, in claiming that they issue Fatwas according to their whims not according to juristic proofs. They also exploit this announced disagreement in disseminating doubts, such as claiming the instability of Shari`ah. In addition to, the long list of these wicked evils resulting from this matter and need quick treatment to stop their danger. My view is, it is not permissible for anyone to give a Fatwa according to his Ijtihad or claiming that no one should object to the knowledge and understanding they reached and such claims.
In order to organize these Fatwas, I see that we should follow the following steps:
1- Unification of rulings according which scholars issue verdicts to stop these evils which result from the multiplication of Fatwas in one case. Establishing a committee of well-established scholars in Islamic Jurisprudence, its proofs, and the objectives of Shari`ah where none but its members. Issuing Fatwas should be according to one of the considerable doctrines away from partiality to one of them. However, it is for controling the mess of Fatwas and their impact on the creeds of people and their attitude of Shari`ah.
2- Working on educating people religiously and preparing them to accept multiplicity in Fatwas based on Ijtihad through spreading knowledge of these methods because this is a kind of the wideness, mercy, and inclusiveness of Shari`ah, and not part of disparity and disagreement.
3- Stopping live Fatwas and using instead messages or E-Mails in order to consider the difference of environments and cultures, and considering the differences upon which Fatwas may differ from one person to another under the wideness of Shari`ah, its proofs, and its inclusiveness. Many people use a word that has special circumstances or a Fatwa that suits some people in different situation, which should be eliminated.
Perhaps this reference explains the complete meaning and establishes the idea of exerting efforts in gathering people and removing disparities which could lead to distrust the religion based on misunderstanding and haziness. Allah is the One whose aid is to be implored and upon Him we depend. May Allah send His Peace and Blessings on our Prophet Muhammad.
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