Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Google A Fatwa

So you want to know some fact about Islam (for example is A equal to B). You decide based on severity of the question and the urgency, that an online fatwa site is the way to go. So you ask.

This will be how the typical reply seems to be composed.

Dear Brother / Sister in Islam,

We are very pleased/satisfied/impressed that you have chosen to further your knowledge of the deen and may Allah keep you always on the rightly guided path.


That is, of course, salutation. You expect that, and read on, wanting them to now answer your question. But the content will be slightly different.

To look at your question, is A = B, first we must understand where A and B are coming from. Before Islam, the root of the word A was from the A'ramic word 'Aaa'....

What?!

Now we look at historical contexts where A = D. Now D is slightly different from B, but we have the 2nd Caliph of the 4th Sultanate in the 1201 AD when ...

On and on ...

In the great work of Ahlan Wa Sahlan the great jurist Saqlain Al Karim has stated that A and Z are opposite in empirical terms ...

Finally,

So we can conclude that a majority of the jurists are of the opinion D may be equal to E in some situations, while a minority of the ulema are of the opinion that D can never be equal to E.

As for A = B?

Allah and His Messenger Knows Best.

Seriously, while the Internet is great for research and expanding one's knowledge and quick lookups, I have had too many people telling, "Look! This is Islamic! Here's a fatwa site" (and from the link you can see they have followed the first Google link to some keyword searches). Is that Islamic? And second, why don't these Fatwas ever get straight to the point?

21 comments:

mousehunter said...

Hahaha...so true! Seen many a site like this.

Organic-Muslimah said...

This post should be nominated for best blog of 2008. Just my opinion.

Right on!!!

'liya said...

LOL

Good one :D

Suroor said...

"why don't these Fatwas ever get straight to the point?"

Because all fatwa-scholars are possessed by female (therefore fitna) jinns

Ahmad said...

hahaha

Molly said...

word. did you ever read my post on how much I hate islamqa.com?

mezba said...

Mousehunter: too many to count!

Organic-Muslimah: thanx!

Liya: And check the grammar too, many times it's so wrong it's funny.

Suroor: And then of course there are fatwas like "we must not imitate the ways of the kuffar..." people throw around the word kuffar like an insult.

Ahmad: welcome to the blog.

Molly: No, I don't think so. Do send me the URL, please.

sophister said...

Haha, hilarious. One thing a student of knowledge told me once: "The Truth is nuanced" - and that is why they never get to the point.

shahrzaad said...

It seems fatwa-scholars are getting grown like mushrooms all over the web. I wonder, who is the reference that you know one is capable to have a fatwa? I wonder how suddenly we have many islamic sites with very obscure background and one can not guess from which sources they are supported. Really it should be a question in mind.

In Iran, usually just greatest scholars can give a fatwa and they are 6 or 7 persons. And also having permission for fatwa, needs confirmation of 5 of those fatwa-scholars.

With all this, still there are one or two among them who are enough good. And those good ones really made some changes, like Sanei's fatwas for women or fatwas for changing gender of transexual people, brain death, etc. I think this system is better and more helpful than having too many average scholars whose fatwas never get straight to a point!!

shahrzaad said...

Molly,
islamqa.com is a salafi site. I studied it and i didnt like its on surface discussions either.
Some of them are really weird. You think they are written intendedly by mysterious supporters and for some certain intentions.

Organic-Muslimah said...

We should have one of those count downs similar to ones they air on VH1: The best 100 fatwas of the 21st century.

My most memorable fatwa of all times from Islamqa.com is the one where an innocent young man describes how his maid accepted to become his slave, thus they've been having relations ever since.

I like to visit the site when I am down. It never fails to leave me with a smile :-).

~W~ said...

I second Organic's first comment.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Brother:

They don't get straight to the point sometimes because they really don't have a clear answer. That's what the "Allah knows best" is all about. Why don't they just say that they don't know? Or let you know that your question is stupid?

Stranger in this Dunya said...

LOL - yeah true sometimes!

Actually I have a book called something like 'Fatawa for women' and that annoys me too as there is mention of niqab in there. The scholar says there are many arguments showing that it is obligatory for women to wear but this is not the place to go into it. Huh? Fatawa for WOMEN... where is the place to go into a discussion on women's dress then?!

Umm Ibrahim

sonia said...

Brilliant mezba, as always. I like the ending particularly. they always end with "Allah and the Messenger Knows Best"

which doesn't really help if you're in need of figuring out whether you can wear sunglasses or not ..:-)

Rawi said...

LOL, good one Mezba! Back in college, during finals period when group studying in the musallah, my friends and I would procrastinate by browsing islamqa.com and some of the other more ridiculous websites. I think the best ones are always the ones about male issues (like, "does size really matter"--believe it or not, someone did ask that, and they even responded!!)

BTW, I know a Bengali woman here in Boston who does some research on cyber-muftis.

As for getting straight to the point, it's actually very telling that they don't or can't get straight to the point. Because there is no simple point to be made. It is only in the mind of the modernist reactionary literalist puritans that the truth is set in stone.

mezba said...

sophister: true, true. But sometimes, there just seems to be straight forward answers (for example can I beat my wife) yet these fatwa issuers will never get to the point (No!).

shahrzaad: welcome to my blog! I heard once Dr Tariq Suwaidan say everyone should issue opinions (fatwas) and let the best fatwa win. Now I don't know if that's the best way to go.

Organic-Muslimah: lol! I think that's one that needs to be done! Too bad the islamqa site seems to be in Arabic and not English - I would have loved to browse it for fun.

W: welcome to my blog.

Safiyyah: If they don't have a clear answer it should be specified.. sometimes it's just common sense (like can I attend my office's Holiday party)!

Umm Ibrahim: wow Fatwa for women eh? Can you give me the ISBN number, should be an interesting read!

Sonia: lol I think it's time we settled the sunglasses issue once and for all!

Rawi:
my friends and I would procrastinate by browsing islamqa.com and some of the other more ridiculous websites. me too! although there appears to be a few good ones.

Aafke said...

I'm visiting via Achelois blog. I am now ROTFL!!!
The comments too! :D
Thank you for making my day start with a LOL!

mezba said...

Aafke: welcome to my blog!

Muhamad Lodhi said...

Would one get a fat wah (i.e. a child's cry) if one asked whether fatwas are fatuous?

mezba said...

Muhammand: Sorry, didn't understand the question. You better google it! :-P