Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frightened and confused Muslims turn to fatwa factory for comfort - UAE issues 1,000 fatwas a day in 2010 - figure expected to rise

Curious to know ~ how many laws are there in Islam? To be a good Muslim one must likely have to follow ~ up to a 1/4 million rules ~ then and only then will the God Allah be pleased. [Figure a lucky guess!!]

More I think ~ what is most pronounced about Islam ~ is what is 'not' permissible. So that the more things that are added to this list adds to the Muslims' sense of separateness ~ which has a supremacist basis ~ as those who don't forbid these things, of course ~ are seen as not being as worthy ~ so that the things that are forbidden are like the feathers on an exotic bird ~ for the Muslims ~ the more you adorn yourself with them ~ the theory is the more superior the bird.

Religious edicts or fatwas issued by UAE in 2010 is expected to exceed 350,000, averaging almost 30,000 fatwas a month, or 1,000 a day, a daily reported on Tuesday.

The Fatwa Center at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) in Abu Dhabi opened up in 2008, as a response to people’s request to know what is permissible and not in Islam, and started offering the service in English after hitting success, the UAE-based The National reported.

"This decision was based on the tremendous interest in the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments website, both locally and internationally, and to help non-Arabic website visitors benefit from our services," Dr. Mohammad Mattar al Kaabi, Awqaf's director general told the newspaper. "The fatwa center is a true success."

Due to its increased popularity, the center is looking forward to double its current figure of around 50 muftis or religious scholars to answer questions of the Muslim devotees in the country.

Questions are either submitted online, via text or over the phone.

Type of questions

The most common questions are about how to conduct certain prayers or specific queries related to Zakat (charity) and Haj (pilgrimage).

Other miscellaneous questions, include whether body paints in the form of gold are acceptable, or if it is allowable that half sisters to shake hands with their brothers from mothers who are Christians.

One fatwa also called on worshippers to avoid eating garlic before heading to the mosque, as it can offend those trying to pray.

During heated football tournaments, the noisy vuvuzela warranted a fatwa, "whoever brings it or trades in it, must ensure that its power is not over 100 decibels so as to avoid damaging people's hearing,” The National cited the edict from center’s website.

On more fatwas regarding noise pollution, one fatwa said that it is not legal to kill a "noisy" donkey, animal or bird, no matter how loud or inconvenient its utterances may be.

And for more harmonious co-existence, watching TV channels or checking websites that instigate hate or division should also be avoided.

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