Channel: Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful.
All praise is belongs to Allah Almighty and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Before we start, I would like to thank the Cardiff University, the Center for the Study of Islam in the UK.
Professor Sophie, Dr. Massoud who I know, Dr. mazzani, for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to be here today with you and share some words, some ideas, some thoughts, and I would like to thank all of you as well for taking out your precious time and attending this lecture or discussion.
The topic is actually a very important topic, very maybe sensitive topic, shall we say? The role as Sophie's just said role of a Mufti in inverted commas in the modern society, in in the West
in the 21st century.
I want to touch upon a few points, five or six different points. If I can't fit all of them in hopefully, by the will of Allah.
And then inshallah we can take some questions and maybe have some discussion.
The word Mufti as many of you may have previously come across the word Mufti is used in collaboration with another term on a regular basis which is fatwa. Yes.
Muslims know about for many non Muslims actually, maybe the first time they heard of the word fatwa was when the whole Salman Rushdie affair came about. For some, the word fatwa is
the first rule of killing somebody, or shooting someone or murder is like the fatwa that came out. So when that word is sometimes heard,
sometimes not knowing the reality of that term with that phrase, or that word, it can bring about some misconceptions. So I want to talk about the word fatwa. And then the word woof T and few other similar aspects.
The word fatwa in Arabic, which is a religious verdict, it's actually an Arabic term.
It's not an English term, it's an Arabic term. Also, another term used is fushia exactly means the same thing, footwear and footwear,
which is a singular word in Arabic, the plural is fatawa. So or in English, people like to just put the S at the end and say fatwas, but really the correct Arabic term is fatawa over tau V, basically refers to a unbinding religious ruling religious ruling, a non binding religious ruling.
Why I say non binding is because when somebody issues a fatwa, basically that person he or she is
providing the questioner with a ruling from an Islamic religious perspective and point of view.
But that view that is provided by the scholar by the Imam or by the Mufti or by the mafia because of the female version of a Mufti is Mufti. We don't only have a Mufti, we can also have a Mufti of course, which I may talk about if we have time.
That ruling is basically an advice, which is of course non binding. The person leaves your office as a move to move to and walks out the door. And then whether that person acts upon that non binding ruling or not. This has nothing to do with the person who gave the ruling. The person came himself or herself or the person phoned and asked the question wanted clarification. The religious advice was being provided was provided. And then it's between them and their God and their load and they own life and between them in their privacy, privacy, sorry, whether they act upon it or not. So this is why we say it's non binding religious ruling and
linguistically The word fatawa means in Arabic, it's a answer response to any question. It doesn't even have to be religious based. So if somebody asks me where is the Millennium Stadium from here, so if I tell that person, the Millennium Stadium is whatever, wherever, wherever, which is not too far away, we actually went close to the Millennium Stadium just had a quick look from outside. I've actually been before there, but my colleague hadn't seen it. So I wanted to show it to him.
That as from a linguistic point of view, a photo that would be a photo directions, you know, giving a response to anything.
That's why if you see in the Koran there are there are verses where the word fatwa is used in a non religious sense. So for example,
use of peace be upon him. When he was in prison. He was asked by some of his colleagues, and the Quran talks about this and says, relates what the person said, use of Athena the cerebral karate is actually asking him about a dream that he had. So you said tell me, so the word used about telling me he said, after dinner give me a fatwa basically, tell me inform me. So from a linguistic Arabic linguistic point of view, the word fatwa is like a answer to any any question. But then, of course, it became specifically and the word fatwa technically refers to a non binding ruling, as I just mentioned, and it is a answer provided for a religious based question. A lot of the times we hear
the term legal, you know,
the legal ruling, when we say legal and maybe I may use that term legal in today's discussion, we mean legally meaning islamically because legally here in this context is legally by law of the country. So I actually avoid using the term legally This is a legal legal ruling provided because a legal ruling is a a UK based law ruling. So we would say an Islamic ruling. So, it is a fatwa is a response to a question which is a which has to do with any matter of a
faith. So the person who is following the faith which is of course the Islamic faith, in this set in this context, if somebody comes to a Mufti seeks clarification, advice once an answer about any matter of Deen now matches of Dean because Islam is a comprehensive way of life. And there's aspects different aspects of a person's life that they need advice and guidance. So that question may be to do with number one creed aqeedah. So somebody might come to a Mufti and ask about his belief system? What do I believe? Do I need to order the attributes of God? Or what do I believe about the hereafter? Or what do I need to know about Hellfire? Or do I need to? I should have said paradise
first. What do I need to know about paradise? Or what do I need to know about angels? Anything to do with the matters of creed, or worship prayer, people regularly ask about prayer, fasting, whether it's charity, whether it's hedge, whether it's business, and commerce, and trade and finance, whether it's marriage, whether it's divorce, whether it's about inheritance, any issue to do with Dean, maybe sometimes it's just a clarification of a verse of a Koran. So which is the commentary and exegesis of the Quran? Somebody might say, I don't understand this particular verse, or this line or this word, can you provide an explanation? Or why does this particular Hadith The Statesman,
the prophetic statement? What does it mean? Or is this particular Hadith? Which is the statement of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam peace and blessings be upon him? Is it an absolutely rigorously authenticated one or not? Can you check the chain for me? Can you rigorously authenticate the chain so it could be any matter related to the person's faith, whether it's something practical, whether it's something based on that person's belief, or whether it's about some knowledge to deal with the Quran and Hadith, etc. So that's what that's basically what a fatwa is. And then from that photo, we have the word Mufti or a Mufti a Mufti is the one providing the response. And you have
Mufti which is a female version of the one who's providing the response.
And we have the most ft who is asking the question, seeking clarification, seeking advice, etc. Now, the word Mufti as I just said that the one who's responding or answering the question, but I want to mention one point here, that the word woof t can be understood in three different ways.
Classically, the word Mufti was used
For a person who we know as a mage the head moister head is someone who has the tools.
Due to that person's intense and deep knowledge and understanding of the sacred text, this person's deep understanding. He has the tools or she has the tools to extract and derive and deduce laws,
Islamic laws from the sacred texts. This was a much debate. So classically, a Mufti was
emotionally it was used for a bush to hit somebody who had those tools.
That's number one.
In current times, the term Mufti is used in two senses.
In most parts of the world, Mufti is state appointed. So if you go to the Arab world,
especially the Islamic countries, a Mufti though there will be 14 people qualified to be ruthless. But none of them will have the title Mufti before their names, they'll just be shaved or doctor. Now we have documents. So this is a Mufti. So anyone who who has knowledge of Islamic law,
anyone able to anyone who is capable of responding to questions based on their based on the knowledge of Islam is a Mufti. So in the Islamic world in the Arab world, the term Mufti is given by the government and sometimes you could be a government Mufti as well.
Where you issue fatawa, and fatwa, what we what the government likes. So anyway, that can happen. But it's just state appointed. So you might have three of these state appointed of the country and then there's a Grand Mufti. Whereas in the subcontinent like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, these countries, the system is slightly different. Whereas if a student studies studies, the basics, every student will study the basics of becoming a religious scholar, they will start off 678 years depends on the curriculum, these are private institutions in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. And many of these institutions now we have in England, which are predominantly based on the same pattern,
because most of the Muslims majority, especially since the 70s, and 60s are the Muslims who came from the subcontinent. So they have a lot of these institutions known as data rooms, or whatever you want to call them. And they have the same system. So it's like a system where you study 678 years, that's the basic study course where you start off with the basic Arabic language, grammar, no sort of syntax grammar, and
then you move on to some other topics you study soudal Hadith, which is the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, principles of God, and you study the Quran, translation, the meaning of the commentary of the Quran, and then you go on to study the six books of Hadith, in detail all of that. And thereafter, you go into special specialization, just like in a university degree of postgraduate degree, you go into a special, you specialize in a particular field. So there are students then after completing those 678 years, it depends some places seven years, some place eight years, based on I mean, in the UK, it's mostly about six, six years, or seven years, you have a choice, an option
or an option to specialize in a particular field or area. So somebody might say I want to go and specialize in Hadeeth sciences. So that person will dedicate two years to the specialization of Health Sciences. So a Mufti would be someone who would go and specialize, will be called the hot sauce specialized in the science of Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic law. So it's all about halal and haram. It's all about do's and don'ts. Islam is not just about do's and don'ts, but it is a lot about do's and don'ts like many other faiths, Islam has the legal Islamic rulings like externally where you can do you can't do and there are also internal laws. And also Islam is about
spirituality. It's a whole comprehensive way of life. So therefore, it's about what a Muslim is allowed to do, and what a Muslim is not allowed to do. And then of course, within that you have differences of opinion different schools of thought, you have the Hanafi chef, a Maliki Hanbury, the four major legals Islamic Sunni schools of Islamic law and then the non Sunni once you have like this idea, and others, so
anyone, any student who graduates graduates from this specialization cost of two years or three years again, it could be two, it could be three, the third year, and I will mention about me, I've been told I don't like to talk about myself production and so suddenly a long email saying, this is about you in capital letters, talk about yourself where you who you are, as a human being somebody came to a companion or you know, we thought he said, Oh, who are you? He said, Well, in a larger nominal misdemeanor, just a man from the normal believers. So But anyway, because he emphasized that might have to, I don't have to blow my own trumpet and
Neither is there anything to blow anyway. So
I will talk about what I did. But just this is just a brief introduction. And I know time is short, but I just wanted to mention this that in the current times, this is how the term is used. So therefore, within Muslims like I was once traveling somewhere
to one of our countries and there was a I think the Assyrian study in Syria for a while there was a Syrian friend of mine.
So he said to me, and I get this question sometimes from non subcontinent Muslims who gave you the title Mufti, which which, which which, you know, President appointed to the Mufti did, you know,
the prime minister or the president of a Muslim country, or david cameron did, he phoned you and say your estates moved to England?
I get those questions, then I have to explain that look, this is just a metaphorical way. This is a subcontinent thing, because my background is a continent, even though I was born here, and I studied the Arab world as well. But because of that aspect, anyone? And that's why you just mentioned to Bella Bella, I think, yes. So you have like hundreds of people with the title movies, anyone who just studies that two, three years of specialization course. Whereas in the Arab world, you could have 400 people studying the same course. But nobody has the title of Mufti before their name. It's only someone who is appointed by the government. So it's not a problem. It's just like a difference
of maybe lands or areas. So classically, it was pushed ahead. In the current times you have the Arab and Islamic world, understanding of the term Mufti and the subcontinent understanding of the word Mufti. So for that, let me just clarify that and the word was dufty. In Arabic means the one who's asking the question in the Hadith, the messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he actually said, in one Hadith, that is Stephanie foul buck, ask seek fatwa from your heart. Actually, the greatest Mufti in Islam is someone's heart. Because if Mama harkavy Sonic, the sin or something which is considered to be unlawful in Islam, the definition of a sin, according to the prophetic Hadith is
that which causes uneasiness in your heart. So 80% of the times anyone with a sound hearted, sound natured heart will realize themselves morally, ethically, what is right and what's wrong, you don't need to go and ask them to Oh, can I? Can I do a scan? Or, you know, can I can I cheat the system? Or can I do some fraud? I mean, at 6070 80% of the laws, everybody knows themselves. Maybe sometimes people only go to ask when they know it's maybe heroin, but let's just find someone who might, you know, so we get away with it. But it doesn't work like that. If we don't if we know it's wrong, and, you know, we think that's it. You know, in the next life, when God asks us, we'll just say, you
know, this person told us so it's off my back. So
the greatest Mufti is actually the hot
stuff the kullberg.
before going on to mentioning some of the things that how I work or any Mufti works in modern day Britain. there's a there's a difference between a Mufti and a party you have two terms you have Mufti or the God is a judge. So you have if de, which is the
the act of providing religious rulings and you have a DA, which is the judiciary system, a court of law. Now the difference between the two even classically, and even in Islamic countries, you have a Mufti and you have a hardy so you go to, for example,
any Muslim country go to Kuwait to go to Bahrain or go to Saudi Arabia, I don't know to use the term Saudi Arabia for that country. But anyway, it's called Saudi Arabia.
or whichever of these countries you'll have a Mufti and you'll have a party. So God is the judge who's sitting in the court. The difference between the two positions or the two,
two positions or the two types of work? You have fatwa and you have goddess and the Mufti and accardi is that a Mufti provides a non binding ruling, he or she just provides the questioner with the religious ruling about the particular matter, but does not enforce it. The court is an enforcer. So that's his role, he will have to enforce it. That's one difference between the two. The second difference is that the judge the Hardy, when the case or the scenario comes to his court, that court he will have to sort of
get to the bottom of the case he will bring in witnesses who will ask for witnesses. The Mufti doesn't need to do that. Like many times questions come to me. If it's a marital dispute, the wife will come or she'll call and she'll talk and she'll talk a lot about her husband, but I'm not going to try to find out. Is it true what she's saying about her husband? She could be wrong. And many times she she's probably exaggerating. Everyone exaggerate sometimes the husband's exaggeration. I mean, everyone Exactly.
Every time now I've only had one case where out of hundreds of cases where somebody phoned in who was actually a woman, she, she actually said, I have marriage problems, but it's all my fault. So he wants out of hundreds of cases, all the times like the husband say, Yeah, I know. I have some false. Yeah, but and then the list starts like, his she's like this, and she's like that. But she does this. And she does this. And the wife has said, Now I'm not an angel as well. Yeah. But and then the big everyone blames the other party. So
this is what happens. So we don't need to bring ask them for which this is or what you're saying is right. The answer is like, if what you are saying is the truth, then this is the correct truly, if you what you're saying is not the truth, then this is not the answer. We don't provide it with a second sentence, but it's always the answer is always it starts with in the asked situation in the question in the situation that you've asked about, based on the facts that you have provided? If what you have provided in your letter is true, then this is an Islamic verdict. Now, whether it's true or not, that's up to you and you know, it's so sometimes the answer, maybe not really a correct
answer for the person to take away with because they have not provided with the correct details. So this is the difference between the coda and the fatwa system or a Mufti and a judge.
And also, there's a third difference, but we don't have time to go into it, but it basically it's a small difference, which is that the judicial system the court system, the court is only deals with
issues to which you know, basically external loads, which has to do with disputes, and has no connection with things like belief system, whereas the movie as I mentioned, the beginning, he will receive a question about anything and everything from A to Zed from dream interpretations, to you know, what should I read when when when, when I get scared, or, you know, I'm sharing so much or you know, anything, or like someone says, somebody sent me a message the other day, say, I want to get married, and I want to get married now, please help. He's like, Sure, I want to get married and I want to get married now, please help.
What can I do? Okay, you know, kind of, so
it's anything anyway. So that's basically a brief intro to the work now.
There's no time but I want to talk about two other things, but I think I'm gonna miss them. One was that this is a very,
a very delicate position to be in islamically
it's a very prestigious place but as with any position, like you can, you know, maybe relate to it or any position being a director of Institute being an Imam, being a scholar, being a doctor being a medic, with position with authority with the territory, responsibility comes about and this is why this is a very delicate type of situation to be in islamically reason being is because you as a Mufti or a Mufti or you are basically in between a person and their God. This is not like, you know, islamically we don't have like, you don't need to get to God through someone. But this is just like, you're actually like, among a group, I am one of the great scholars said, and move to Morocco and
anila. He is a signature on behalf of Allah, it's like you are actually telling the person that they have trust on you, that this is what God wants. The only reason they're trusting you is because they think that this is what you are saying is what God really wants from them.
And, you know, this is the only reason they don't want to know you as a person they want. They are only asking you because they trust you in expounding or clarifying or explaining what God wants. So it's a very prestigious place, but we find classically, like some of them said that a scholar of Islam, a Mufti is between God and His creation. So he should be very careful how he gets in between making mistakes. You know, there's heartbeats, like, whoever asks a question for us to be ready
for us to be ready for can if Muallem and after who, if without knowledge and the conditions the person gave the fatwa or the religious ruling than the sin is not the person who took away the wrong ruling. The sin is on the person who provided the wrong ruling. So there's cases where sometimes a Mufti can make a mistake. Like I know one of my teachers, he was, you know, under conditions like a Mufti should not be as answering questions when he's in an imbalanced state, when you're really hungry, when you're really thirsty when you're really sad, or when you're really happy. Because you could you know, your mood or your imbalance in your, in your nature may affect you, and you're
providing of the correct routing. So there was one chef who actually his father passed away just two, three years, two, three days after that, and somebody on the street asked him a question and then after he gave the answer, it was a answer to do with divorce. And he actually said, the divorce did not happen or you happen and it was vice versa, the correct ruling
And then he realized that what did I do, and then he actually had to try to search, it took him two weeks to find where this person is, because he is so fearful that I have provided a wrong ruling, he has taken away that ruling, he is going to act upon it, and I will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. And God will ask me about this, not him. So he actually literally for two weeks, he said, I could not even eat. You know, my conscience was such that it was so difficult because I had to find this person. Where is he? Because sometimes that's why in the middle of the road, it's disliked, or it's not recommended to provide rulings? Because how can you get back to that person?
And this is why we have now proper, you know, organizations, which I may just talk about briefly. So it's a very prestigious place to be in this this examples like earlier on that people like him a medic, who was asked sometimes 48 questions about 32. He said, I don't know, there's examples in the time of the just at the time of the Prophet peace be upon him the Sahaba the companions, that people would just delegate the question, don't ask me ask him, he goes, somebody else asked her. So someone else asked someone else. So they were very, very fearful about it. But moving on, and just quickly,
like documents who said this is about you. So what I did was how I studied, I studied started off like he did as well, and many others, which is the basic study. And I already pointed towards some things briefly,
where I mentioned that students study with the start with the basic course of being a scholar, these are private interests in institutions. In the Britain in Britain,
in the Arab world, they are recognized in Britain, some places they may be recognized, maybe to to an extent, it could be a BA degree, or some places, it could be an equivalent to an MA, it depends there are some some places where like markfield, for example, they sometimes if they see that, if there's quality and the caliber is there, they could take it to an equivalent to an MA but it's a 678 year study, but basically before that as well, like for example, myself, I started from a young age.
My father is a scholar he is he's originally from India, and he's been an Imam. He's in his 70s for many, many years in Leicester. So basically, I since I, you know, open my eyes, the only thing I've seen in my home is like, study on Islam, and people memorizing and scholars are coming. And it's just, and this was in, you know, of course, before 911, he was very easy at that time, to to, you know, some of the things which we used to take for granted at that time.
I used to memorize the Quran at a very young age. Now, when when a child is young, what normally happens in many, many of these institutions is because your young child, you don't really understand anything, but you just memorize, basically. So it's because you know, you're young, and you have a sharp memory and you're able to memorize. So I actually started memorizing the whole Quran, which is an Arabic I started actually when I was six. And I completed that memorization when I was nine, it took three years. So at the age of nine, I completed the memorization of the Quran. But that doesn't mean I've understood anything. It's just like part fashion, you know, it's like, just absolute
parrot fashion. Then later on when you start studying, then what you've memorized earlier on, when you were young, you start studying and I went to an institution here in England, and I studied the basic seven year course where I talked about the Hadith and where the teacher teaches and you take the knowledge and the explanation you learn Arabic language and Islamic jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence and Hadith and all the different different topics, the six books of Hadith hedaya, which of which is a very, very there has been actually translated into English a very important book of Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic law, non Muslim, who translated Hidayat James
Robertson, I think, Hamilton Yes, he translated hedaya, which is a not the complete entire hedaya he just translated commercial law because When, when,
when India was a colony, and that time, they wanted to know what the Islamic law states so we actually translated parts of hidayah, which is commercial law, Penal Law, not not worship and pray and all of that because it was in the court system. So you study all of that one of the most difficult books Actually, I teach that at the moment, even just this morning, I had a small lesson of the day, which is in Arabic.
And it's a book in Hanafi jurisprudence. I will talk about this because then you have forced low Sunni schools of Islamic law. So he Daya is a very important book in the Hanafi School of Islamic law and just like that, we have major books in the shelf or the molecule, the humbling after that I studied, and I went to do I
carried on and I took that specialized
cost to hospitals will fail for two hours if the way basically you you've already studied Islamic jurisprudence, but now you get a practical training. I actually went to Pakistan a study two years. Some of you may have heard of
a scholar who is world renowned scholar. He's actually he was a judge as well here. He has a degree in law in economics and many other aspects of world renowned scholar justice Mufti talking with money, Islamic Finance, you may have heard of him, he was on the Sharia Board of America and many others and he still is on many, many boards.
He's still alive. milaap preserving protecting is close to 70. I met him last week, I think I was in Abu Dhabi and I met him there he was at an international conference. He's been teaching there for 40 odd years.
This is actually one of the books that he wrote is in Arabic, this is called a Zulu, if tau dabboo the principles of fatwa and its etiquette, we actually studied this book with him.
So I studied there in Pakistan.
And in that course, what basically happens is you are getting and receiving not just him, but there's many other teachers you are receiving practical training of how to respond to questions. So what you learned in theory over the past six, seven years, you
now put that into practice. So they have a massive dollar lifter, dollar lifter is the institute where I mean, it's a massive place, but section is Donald if the way they receive two 300 queries per day, whether it's postal, whether it's online, or people coming personally, and they have like 20 of these, there's two people just their job is from nine to five on the phone. So like Salaam Alaikum. Yes, yes.
Sir America, okay, speak to a person for 10 minutes. So America is like 95. I've seen that like two people, that's their job. Three people, their job is just to talk to people who come personally, there's a few who just take letters, there's a few just on email.
And there's, you know, head, Mufti is there as well. So this whole section of it's a very busy place.
So that's where students get practical training. So now when the questions come, they basically give these questions to the students. So you start off with the easy ones. So in the first few months, like if I offer my Salah my prayer and praying, and if if I make a mistake, or if I sit down instead of standing up or shall I do simple questions, then as your training goes more and they are checked by the teacher, they are not given back to the question until they're not checked and approved by the Mufti who are the qualified teachers who have been given stamp by their teachers. So you carry on with that then you might get some more complex questions like the ones on business trade might be
something to do with the banking system, something to do with divorce marriage inheritance, as the second year you get more complex and this is the practical training of how to respond to questions while you're studying until then, you you cannot
every question that you will respond to you will it will be approved and stamped by the Mufti is there so they will stamp it they will approve it? Sometimes they will, you will write an answer. Now this answer how'd you write this answer? Basically, there are reference books.
Some questions, they will they will require simple answers. Like for example, if somebody is asking that, can I can I
drink alcohol? Who doesn't know from the Muslims that alcohol consumption is unlawful? So you just say yeah, it is unlawful. It is not allowed in Islam. It is sinful. I once gave a lecture somewhere and somebody said don't use the term sinful because sometimes some of the non Muslims who are not accustomed to you know what, in what context you're talking, it comes across like a derogatory word. So I tend to sometimes when there's a mixed audience, avoid using the word sinful, it's impermissible or it is not allowed according to Islamic law. Because sinfulness it gives some sort of like it's immoral or dirty, maybe you know, so, anyway, so it is impermissible. But for that you
will just provide a reference from the Quran. The Quran says, this is a verse chapter, this verse number this, this is what it says. But many of the times it's not those type of questions. It's like which is not clearly in the Quran. It's not clearly in the prophetic statements. Sometimes they may be just Hadith, so you provide that. But you will go to the reference works of the particular schools, if it's the Hanafi school, there are reference works in like eight volumes, 10 volumes, 12 volumes, 14 volumes, 30 volumes. There's one book lm absorbed in 30 volumes, actually the author of that wrote two thirds of that in a well,
at the top of his memory. Mr. massassi he was, he was imprisoned by the government. by the governor that time, I think he was from right now currently Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan or somewhere Kyrgyzstan, and he was actually imprisoned house arrest right in the bottom of the wealth. So he has to tell a student come every day at the top of the world and I'll dictate from here
And you right? And he's so that I don't even waste my time here. And he's actually wrote two thirds of those 30 volumes with from his memory, no reference books, nothing like and he just dictated and he wrote and the books published 30 volumes. So you have, basically you refer to these books you find what applies. Many of the issues will be you'll find clear rulings. Okay, you go to rod de matar, which is a reference book in the Hanafi school, you'll find in the chapter of business and trade something which is clearly providing a ruling for this person's question. Sometimes it's modern issues,
like medical issues, or where you will not find someone somebody wants to know about organ transplantation or blood donation. So you will not find key explicit rulings for that you have later books now scholars from in 70s, like I said, they've been responding to new issues. There's International Islamic academies, like there's one in Jeddah, in Saudi, based in Saudi Arabia, its international Board of scholars from throughout the world. And they've discussed they've had seminars and discussions and debates on organ transplantation and blood transfusion and, and shares and bankings and everything, basically. So you have that as well. material, you look at that
material. In the subcontinent, you have like 1215 volumes of books were published of question and answers. So you have chapters where people asking questions, answers, question answers you look into, basically it is most of the work is already done, you just as a scholar, you just have to find
and look at your context. And see if the context is the right context. That's the art. The context is the right context. And then provide that religious ruling. Sometimes you could disagree based on the context, etc.
So that's what I did there. And then afterwards, I actually went to study Syria after that, where I did a bit of comparative Falcon, I was doing some other things besides, you know, just because just improving my Arabic and few other things, and just having a holiday as well. And just traveling around and I went to a lot of Muslim countries, Jordan and Syria, bring peace to that land. And many some other countries I went to, just to study, right. Nothing else. Just be very careful. Today, you have to just clarify everything.
So I went to Egypt, where you went, you studied as well, I went to Yemen, just to study, okay, just to study just to see and just travel and see different, different institutions and actually nice holiday.
Briefly now, just a couple more points.
What are the meanings of people asking a Mufti question before it was just people used to send letters post. But now we have all different means.
Post the letters like I particularly right now I have, like an institute known as double lifta. It's online as well.com. Some of you may have heard of it, maybe controversially, some of you may have heard of it. And I will just talk about that as well briefly later on in a few minutes. But
it's an institute, it's connected to our messages, you have another so we have like different aspects as a school, you know,
we have a school there. So academic studies are studied as well. But this is just one department was just where I am at.
I also do teaching and some other things. But with this institute, I'm there a few hours every day, three, four hours a day, where if somebody wants to come and see me, right, they will book in an appointment, they will call and say okay, I want to come see you next week. Wednesday. 11am. Yes, come down. No problem. Yeah, I'll give them some tea as well provide some tea biscuits. And they'll sit down there relax, and they want to ask a question. They might it might be about divorce, you might be one marriage, it might be about the dispute with their father over the business colleague or whatever. It could be about anything, just simple. They want to know what does Islam say? So I
will provide the ruling. Sometimes just an advice, sometimes it's a proper Islamic legal ruling. So personally, people come.
Nowadays, also many people call as well. So I have actually I have for many years, for the past seven, eight years, I've specified two hours every single day for phone phone calls. So two to 4pm. f before in a few years ago used to be in the evenings. And actually, the evening times, a lot of people used to call, but now it's in that daytime, so now only the serious ones will call because they will take time out from their work.
Before you were six, eight slyke you know, just sleeping and I was just scratching my head and maybe I was wondering that, you know, on the moon if somebody went on the moon and they saw like what they do to the moon or do ablution and so it's just now it's just a serious people. So
It's very busy, the line is very busy because I don't, from what I've been told by a lot of people that there are not not many services where it's just designated every single day, five days a week, two hours phone line, people call from all over like, not just in England, I have many calls. I've had calls from Brazil, from from Uruguay from Paraguay. from Argentina, I thought he was messy calling me from Argentina, but he wasn't.
But from all sorts of parts of the world, even Pakistan, I said to the person in Pakistan, you've got scholars in Pakistan, why you asking me is Islamic country, I call it but I thought he just probably wanted you to talk in English practice in English, maybe. You know, in Pakistan, some people they just like to talk in English, or they just feel that Oh, if it's someone in the West, they probably you know, they're more they might understand the issue better. Maybe the moolah here is probably backward. That's how it is in Pakistan and places like that. Anyway, from different parts of the world and from Europe all the time from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, it's just and from
here as well, actually, most people are from outside Leicester, where I'm from the court, plus the people very nice. And that happens with most scholars, and mostly moms, the people in your own community, they will just, you know, like they say, we've got a saying that someone within your own, you know, they say or do curcuma alborada I don't know what that phrase is how you say is the equivalent of that in English.
Anyway, it's like, you know, if someone some in house, something close to you, we don't value it. Not that they need to value me anything like that. But just anything when we have it close to us, we don't value it. So anyway, phone line.
People do but I'm very strict with my mobile. So I don't give my number out to anybody. Because once before you when I used to give it out, I used to have phone calls at 1:25am. So now Molly come Okay, we just thinking we're reading something, I don't understand something or something like that. Oh, can you tell me what the names of the people have? You know, the people of the cave. And the when they went and you know, they had some names? We were just scratching our heads. A few friends here. We're just having some shisha we thought we'll call you 1:25am Come on, have a life. You know. So therefore, things like that. You know, it's just random ridiculous questions. Sometimes you get as
well. But phone calls now social media, Facebook, Twitter, people, people tweeting me, how can you give a first 140 characters? I actually tweeted, I said, it is impossible to give a fatwa and 140 characters you can't I mean, you'll misunderstand what I'm saying. So I have a very strict policy is tweeting is just for the social advice. And just really, you know, Facebook, and Twitter is just just general stuff, nothing, you know, hardcore religious law basic. It's just simple things about just social life, etc. So the people asked via Facebook, numerous especially since I started my Facebook page. Every day, there's about 15 messages in the inbox from different parts of the world
this question that question this question, even though I've put a template that questions fatwas will not be answered on this Facebook page for that go to the website. But still, I don't know if people read that or not. I don't know. It's just I don't read that they still ask.
so from all different ways, and also personally, pew, somebody might just meet you in the road like humans as well. You know, I've had people asking me for it was in Tesco. Like, I'm buying some milk on Nando's. Oh, yeah, I just remember rhinos, come on, I'm buying milk here. I've got a life. I need to go home. You know, can you please My hands are freezing. I've got two cold bottles of milk. You know? Sometimes you have to be you have to be polite. It's a very testing type of situation. You have to decline and refusing the polite is a waste sometimes it's very difficult because people sometimes when they call you they'll call you you know, they miss call you wants this person Miss
call me like 27 calls. I was I was busy. I think I was praying or something. And my phone was in my bed. And then 27 times when I went looked it was 27 from the same number.
Same number twice once then, of course, the person's busy. There are tickets people don't sometimes don't follow those tickets. Anyway, so this is the means.
And then there's two, two ways of giving fatwa or the Mufti works, basically now this is where when the online issue comes, I have a website doretta.com. And there's give you examples as well. But there's different topics.
Were regarding which I've provided, but
what was I going to say?
Okay, I'll leave that.
That the role? I didn't I was going to say something but I've just come from a mind to have probably come back again. The role of a Mufti is basically this, that this person has to ask the answer questions in every aspect of the person's life. Like I said, worship, purity of belief. So different, different aspects. Yeah, what I was going to say was I have this online website. Now there's two types of fatwas. Some are specific to the person's question. So if the person comes and asks the look, this is my situation. I want to Islamic distribution of the estate.
is an Islamic distribution of an estate? How does it take place? So he will say, my father passed away. And there's my mother have two brothers. I have two sisters, I have aunts, uncles, these are the people. This is how much he left. He left this property, another property this much in cash. Well, how do you divide it? So now you give a private answer those answers I will never put besides the one I have online, I have hundreds of private answers going, which are short to the point the person doesn't even need evidences. So you don't need he trusts you he's coming to trust you us telling him what, what the answer is, this is how it's divided. Or this is what happened. Is this a
divorce islamically or not? And you give a private answer, and the guy's happy and he goes away. online or general answer. So this is a general footer. And that's why I actually don't like to come my general first was as it was, and that's what on the website after a few years, actually change it to latest 10 articles or latest 10 answers because they are not specifically for to us such they don't follow the guidance of Fatah because you don't need to give you know every scenario at all. It's very specific. But these are answers. So because it's general. So I try to cover every aspect. The first scenario, the second scenario, the third scenario, the fourth scenario, all the evidence
is Quranic verses Hadees. And this is where the challenge comes in that I also try to mention the full schools of law. So like this is the Hanafi opinion, this is the chef opinion, this is the Maliki opinion. This is the humble opinion, this is their evidences, this is their evidences. So from whichever angle is like a, like a research article. And it takes time. Some of them are 10 pages long, some are 20 pages long. And people can read that read them. I used to write a lot before when I wasn't too busy. But now it's very difficult to write all these long articles, and I'm not getting paid for them as well. If I was then I would still be writing but I don't you know, so. This
is why scholars and imams when they do work, it's like you know, a lot of it is voluntary. Like you're you don't have a nine to five job. Like I said 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock, it's all voluntary, you're doing social advising, you're a counselor, you're a social advisor, you're you're someone just you sometimes have to just, you know, like an ear to listen to like some special assistance, like I just want to talk to you for 20 minutes. And just, they just feel better after that. Rather than talk to a friend. I've spoken to the mom, they've just been better, because they've taken off all the problems of the heart. So we just have to be a listener. So these are the different roles of
a Mufti, basically social advisor, good listener, and every different aspects. Now, finally, the challenges and this is very important. There's a few challenges of Mufti in this current 21st century or in the modern times whatever is especially specifically in the West, but wherever in the world.
The first challenge, I feel is that because times have changed,
times meaning, of course, we time keep times keep on changing it was different 300 years ago, is different now. And specifically because of you know, the current climate after 911 one of the greatest challenges that
Okay, that was mentioned as the fourth challenge. But the first basic channel is that a challenge is that because things change and evolve, technology wise, etc. The Mufti has to be very well aware and acquainted, and he needs to be quite deep in his understanding of current affairs, and especially the the country or the place where he's living in this is very important. There's a great saying of one of the greatest moms of the Hanafi school. His name was Mr. Mohammed Hassan, he used to say, he said, melamine FBR is the money for jail, whoever doesn't know about the context of his time, he is actually an ignorant person, despite having the knowledge of Islam. He used to actually go into the
marketplace and just sit there with the traders for five, six hours and just watch how people trade. What are the habits so that when he is able to understand the context of people's issues and problems, so that's one of the important challenges to understand the current context and the country you're living in, what kind of background people are coming from what they are accustomed to what they are used to what they are seeing, what how they feel. And this is why one of the greatest responsibilities of of a Mufti or an Imam, or Islamic leader, or Islamic advisor, or, or Islamic teacher, is to put themselves in the shoes of the questioner before answering the question. So like,
if I was on that side, like you go on that side and sit there and see if I was in that kind of difficult situation, employment problems, you know, difficult employment issues right now going on and you know, tough times and the cost of living, etc, etc. So be in that state, and then try to respond to the question. So that's a very important challenge. Second, number two, is that he needs to provide a very important responsibility and challenge is to provide an alternative. So it's not just about saying, Okay, this is what Islam says unlawful, this is lawful and lawful, lawful, no. The responsibility is actually to provide an alternative where you can provide an alternative. You
can't have an alternative for everything because
Okay, this is alcohol. So don't drink, you know, whiskey, but he is brand new, you know, of course, sometimes there's no alternative, maybe you could say just have Red Bull. I don't know if that's an alternative. But
providing alternative use this line of job is not permissible according to Islamic law. Maybe if you tweak this, if you change this, or if you try it this way, then this becomes harder. So that's a very, very difficult challenge, very difficult challenge. Number three, just 234 and five and then inshallah I'm going to end the Mufti needs to understand the needs of the people because, you know, when there's difficulties and hardships, we have a principle in Islamic jurisprudence, which is agreed upon, that
necessities make prohibitions lawful. So if somebody is dying out of hunger, they could eat pork islamically, somebody is dying out of thirst, not just that they could, they must otherwise it's so exciting, you become sinful for not eating pork, you become sinful for not drinking alcohol, if you're thirsty, and there's no other drink. So to situations of need and necessity to to determine whether that person is in that situation of absolute dire necessity or need, so maybe he could get something which is illegal. I mean, islamically impermissible unlawful? Can it become permissible in this case for this person. So that's a very important challenge for a Mufti. And finally, this point
is very important. I'm going to end with this point. that a
lot of times when, because there's a big challenge for just generally for anyone speaking about Islam, not just a Mufti, not just an Imam, but anybody. And the challenges that we have a lot of these so called blogs, and bloggers and people just writing, you know, all sorts of whatever they want to write. But it seems that sometimes anyone who is talking anything about Islam in any context, there's always an attack. And the reason for that is that sometimes it's misunderstood. It's like, Okay, this chair, or this Imam or this move to is not is violating human rights, or is violating these rights or that right, and there's a misunderstanding, what's happened is that like,
any other faith, Christianity, Judaism, Islam is no different. Every faith has do's and don'ts nose, so like, for example, in Judaism, you know, there's certain things you can do certain certain things you can't do, actually, there's more strict laws in Judaism than even Islam. So like, for example, studying an animal before slaughter, actually in Judaism, it's Haram, it's sinful, okay? It's don't use the term Hold on, but it's sinful, it's not allowed and the meat becomes impermissible. Likewise, in Islam, it's the same ruling. So there are do's and don'ts. Now, anyone who takes on a faith, nobody, it's it's def taken on that faith themselves. Nobody's forced them. And there's no
force in Islam for anyone to take on any faith. And neither is there any force on anyone to act upon any faith. It's purely between that person and their load, if they want to themselves want to practice on Islam, or Christianity or Judaism. And they come to a scholar or Bishop or Rabbi or whoever, what does our religion say about this particular thing? Because I want to act upon what my religion says. Then the scholar or the Mufti is just providing a ruling. So for example, if somebody comes and asks a Mufti about inheritance issues, the Quran says, inheritance, the male receives two shares, and the female receives half I mean, there's wisdoms behind it. And that's what another
challenge today is because of post 911. Everything we have to before in the early times, you just have to say this, and that's it stop. But now we have to explain the wisdom because to be politically correct, because of the atmosphere, so why is it to not you know, why is it a double than a female? What's the reason what's the wisdom is, it's because the husband has to provide and the what, all the wisdom and everything even for Muslims, because Muslims, you know, are living in a climate where they are being challenged. So everything requires a lengthy, detailed explanation, all the wisdoms and the reasoning behind it and why this ruling has been given. So
when a religious ruling is being given, this is it's not enforcing anything on anyone. So for example, if and as we said, that is there's every topic, so somebody might come to ask a question about, say this brother comes and asks a question to a Mufti will come to ask me. Do I have to wake up in the morning and offer my fudger prayer for juries? The first prayer for those who don't know,
which is 4:30am as a Mufti or any mom or a doctor, or a doctor, like in Arabic, he would say, yes, you have to
worry about what if I don't wake up and I don't pray?
You will be committing a sin. according to
Islamic faith. It's a sin. you're violating a law. You are just obeying God.
That's it. Okay? He walks away. Now, the Mufti doesn't now go and start checking Is he really waking up or not?
You go, you wake up, you sleep, you wake up, you wake up at 12 1pm or whatever, that's you. And that's got nothing to do with me. I have just told you that it is obligatory for you to wake up. But I am not enforcing anything on you. It's your private decision. And it's your private choice. It's your personal choice. Now, if somebody turns around if and says that this Mufti is violating this person's international human rights to sleep.
How absurd. Does that sound? Yeah,
exactly. In the same way, if it's a matter of marriage, if it's women's right, or anything, if you're giving a private ruling, because in those issues straightaway, are just I read an article. These are basic human rights, you know, that the woman is getting receiving half a share of inheritance, basic human rights violating human rights. Nobody's forcing it upon them. This is what I believe. If the questioner wants to take that as well, up to you if you don't want to not a problem.
Likewise, like fasting, if somebody comes and asks me, do I have to fast in the month of Ramadan? Yes, can I eat? No, until 8pm, you are violating my international human rights to eat.
not violating you eat, you can eat two plates of biryani, and have Donald kebab and chips and burgers and go McDonald's or whatever, nothing to do with me. I can't change it. I can't say you can eat, I will have to say you can't eat. But whether you do eat or not, that's totally up to you. So if it's the same in prayer and fasting, likewise, if it's marriage, if it's divorce, if it's business law, if it's inheritance, wherever everybody is free, they have basic human right to do whatever they want to do. But the Mufti will only be providing what he thinks is an Islamic ruling, this is what I believe in. But you there's no force of compulsion on you to act upon it in any way,
shape, or form. And because of not understanding this, we have a lot of this in the current media climate. And especially my website was quite a bit, he came in panorama and few other places, I was attacked. And the reason was, and the reason is, is because what I've written on there, what I've said every 80 to 90% of images of the whole country would give you the same answer. But the only differences and every person's house has books. Every scholar has a library of books, exactly what's written on my website, because I've taken from the same books, but the only difference is minds online, and that's not online. So because there's a place online to find it. It's in the Quran,
sometimes just by for example, I'm finishing I know you've given two minutes. But like, for example, you know, one big issue is that
there's a hurry for messenger peace and blessings be upon him said that, in a marriage, a woman must must fulfill the sexual needs of her husband. If she doesn't, then the angels cause her. Okay. Now that was taken so much out of context, like, oh, there's basic rights human woman writes, like the men maybe take, you know, it sounds like you know, he's going to take a gun or a, you know, like a bat or something. So you better you know, do it, whatever, I'm going to shoot you, whatever. That's how it sounds. I had to provide clarification that look islamically men have sexual rights, and women, both parties are religiously obliged. Both the husband and wife This is not just a man's
right? This woman's right. I have cases where women are complaining about their husbands that they're not fulfilling our sexual needs. In many cases, both of them are religiously obligated to fulfill if they don't they are sinful if they're sinful. What does that mean? The sin is in the next life, nobody is going to do anything to in this life. The sin is in the next life. If you have an excuse, not a problem islamically if anybody has an excuse, then they're not sinful. If whether they have an excuse they don't have an excuse. No, we're not going to judge them is between them and God in the next life. Nobody can force anyone in this life basically. So this is how thick is understood
and it's misunderstood by many people and that's why a lot of these controversies come up, but I'm just going to end and sorry for going on a tangent about this last topic, but inshallah I hope this provided some guidance. Thank you very much.