ZAMBOANGA CITY (December  27-31, 2017) – A fatwā is an Islamic legal pronouncement, issued by an expert in religious law (mufti), pertaining to a specific issue, usually at the request of an individual or judge to resolve an issue where Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), is unclear. Typically, such uncertainty arises as Muslim society works to address new issues – issues that develop as technology and society advance.

Regional Darul-Ifta’s mandate of promulgating and issuance of fatawa (legal opinions) pertaining to the whole breath of Islamic jurisprudence, from the ibadat to mu’ammalat (Ifta’) and establishing a system of unifying, standardizing, supporting and improving fatawa (legal opinions) and compiling khutabah, fatawa, and Islamic laws (Tadween). In formulating legal opinions, the Regional Darul Ifta’ shall consider the universally accepted methodology and the reality that the autonomous region is part of a larger secular republic.

The purpose of this activity was to issue rulings that are useful in the promotion of Islamic values and teaching. These rulings will greatly help in the propagation of a deeper understanding of Sharia and its importance in the day-to-day life of the Muslims. The En Banc Session gave updates on the recent networking/linkaging activities on the  Shari’ah Financing and Halal, the en banc plan to visit to Saudi Embassy and Position Paper on the proposed House Bill 5772 “An Act Institutionalizing the Payment of Zakat by Muslims in the Philippines creating the Philippine Bait-ul-Mal, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes” which is certified as urgent by the RDI Chairman, finalize the schedule of the 2nd Ulama National Congress and include the proposed Establishment of Young Ulama Congress, create Position Paper on the Issue posted in the internet degrading the reputation of the Regional Mufti of ARMM and to finalize schedule of the Ulama Conference on Moon-sighting, Hajj Simulation Workshop and Ramadan Activities.

A fatwa is based on three elements: deduction of rulings, awareness of reality, and connecting between them, which leads to the difference between fatwa and judgment.  Judgment should abide by sharia rulings because it becomes false, if it does not abide by them.  That is why, if the judge’s verdict violated consensus, it becomes null.  Yet, if there were alternatives as per fiqh then it is valid and applicable by people, as well as accepted by Allah.  It is for this reason that everybody should abide by the judicial judgment for Allah has given the judge an authority that has not been given to the jurist it is the authority to change reality.”

The En Banc Session ended  with a Position Paper for the Institutionalization of Zakat.

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