Let fatwa prevail
Five Islamic scholars yesterday requested the Supreme Court to cancel a High Court verdict that declared fatwa (religious edict) illegal, saying that fatwa cannot be stopped.
Fatwa is part and parcel of Islam, Islamic culture and its principle, the scholars said while placing their opinions before the Appellate Division during the hearing of an appeal that challenged the 2001 HC verdict.
The scholars are Mufti Mizanur Rahman Sayed, Mufti Kefayet Ullah, Mufti Ruhul Amin, Mufti Kafil Uddin Sarkar and Dr Abdullah Maruf.
The director general of Islamic Foundation Bangladesh selected them for giving statements on the status and application of fatwa to the apex court as per its earlier directive.
A six-member Appellate Division bench, headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, will continue hearing today.
The scholars yesterday told the court that fatwa is a means of interpreting Islamic principles.
It has been playing a vital role for centuries in answering questions raised by Muslim believers, they said, adding that fatwa is related to the existence of Muslims.
Only the scholarly persons, who have vast knowledge on Islamic jurisprudence, can be allowed to give fatwa, they said.
If fatwa is banned, the principles of the Holy Quran and Sunnah will be affected, the scholars said.
They, however, said the abuse of fatwa is a different factor, which has to be stopped by the law enforcers, administration and court.
On January 1, 2001, the HC declared illegal all punishments imposed in the name of fatwa after a hearing on a suo moto ruling of the HC. The court issued the ruling following a newspaper report on hilla marriage (marriage with a third person).
Mufti Mohammad Toyeeb and Abul Kalam Azad challenged the verdict at the SC the same year.