Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've got a fatwa for you!

In keeping with the theme of the week, Aslan stated that fatwas (via the Internet) are now a dime a dozen and the faithful can shop for the ones they want to follow (sort of like scanning the bookshelves in a xtn bookstore for the "right" parenting book or the right way to pray... you decide, rather than relying on a papal bull or encyclical). No relying on clerics to issue how to practice the faith; you can pick the fatwas you want to follow!

Here's fatwaonline.com for a sample of how the Internet is changing the face of Islam.

Islamonline.com combines the latest news events with fatwas (see lower righthand box as you scroll).

Gives some substance to the ideas Aslan is expressing: reformation, baby, and we get to watch it happen.

3 comments:

my15minutes said...

These are entertaining to read. Vis a vis: (the) gravity (of masturbating) is regarded the same as eating from the (already) dead carcass (i.e. if you have no other food and fear you will die if you do not eat from it), so it is not permissible for him to do so except for that which alleviates the dire necessity.

I always thought that the whole purpose of the M word was "alleviating the dire necessity"!

And what about positions for urination? Well, there's an answer for you! " It is disliked for a person to urinate whilst he is standing, unless he is in need to do that, such as he has an illness and is unable to sit, then there is no harm in him urinating whilst standing." Whew.

And THIS is what the reformation of Islam is about???

julieunplugged said...

I got a huge kick out of them too. Endless rules to follow. Reminded me some of Jewish laws for keeping kosher.

The thing to remember about Islam is that it is all about right practice, rather than a philosophical obsession of right belief. The beliefs are simple. The practices determine one's holiness. So just as we have endless philosophical debates about whether Jesus is all human and all God, ontologically, whether or not we are saved by grace, works or parts thereof, what heaven really is, what is a soul, how does one achieve salvation, they have debates about how to best honor God through the actions of their bodies.

This emphasis is foreign to the cerebral western mindset but not so surprising to those from the Middle East, especially Jews. :)

Julie

Dave said...

This story came across the UPI wire yesterday... it's relevant to this topic so I'll quote it in full:

Muslim women gather to plan council

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- An international group of Muslim women has met in New York to plan the first all-female council formed to issue fatwas, opinions based on religious reasoning.

The women, from 25 countries, hope to give the female perspective on Islamic Law on issues including domestic violence, divorce and inheritance, the Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

There are very few women around the world who are officially sanctioned to issue fatwas, and some have questioned whether more conservative Muslims will give any weight to the opinions of the female council.

Rebab al-Mahdi, a political scientist at the American University in Cairo, predicts the council will described as part of "a Western cultural invasion."

"This is what conservative clerics always say, and people listen," she said.

The leader of the initiative, Daisy Khan, who serves as executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, stressed the importance of the council.

"Islam is a religion of law, and it is important to express the principles of social justice within the framework of Islamic law," she said. "This is why we need muftias, in order to do that. Otherwise, it falls on deaf ears."

(Dave) I like that the executive director's name is "Daisy Khan." I can't help but think of Daisy Duke and Daisy Mae from Li'l Abner - American icons both. And now here they go issuing fatwas of their own... Good for them, I say.