The chairman of the newly established Emirates Fatwa Council vowed on Monday to wage a pre-emptive war against extremists and rogue fatwas.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, who is also chairman of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, said following the first meeting of the council in Abu Dhabi it was decided that the council will endeavour to regulate religious fatwas, ensure preaching of the true and moderate values of Islam and combat extremism and radicalisation.
“The rogue fatwas greatly damaged and burdened the Islamic nation and promoted evil and misery. These fatwas led to blood shedding and destruction of nations,” Shaikh Bin Bayyah said.
The UAE Cabinet last month set up the UAE Fatwa Council — a single authority — to regulate fatwas and ensure preaching of the true and moderate values of Islam.
The council will be the official reference for fatwas in the UAE and will work to unify efforts, visions and objectives to regulate the work of government agencies, institutions and individuals regarding fatwas.
The UAE has become the first Arab country to enact a law that criminalises the belittling of religions and all forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.
Shaikh Bin Bayyah said the establishment of this sole fatwa authority was necessary because many individuals had started bypassing the authority of official religious bodies and issued fatwas that caused disputes and dissent among Muslims.
Dr Mohammad Matar Al Ka’abi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi’s General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, said the council will oversee all fatwa centres across the country and issue general fatwas on various issues or at the request of governmental institutions or individuals, and to train muftis (Islamic scholars) to develop and foster their skills.
Dr Al Ka’abi added the council will be also tasked with publishing Islamic studies and researches related to various development fields and overseeing the fatwa centre at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
The Council will represent the UAE in all conferences, forums and international jurisprudence councils related to the fatwa affairs and other relevant jurisdictions.
The council features high-profile scholars in the country including Omar Habtoor Dhibi from the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al Haddad from the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, Salem Mohammad Al Doubi from Sharjah Department of Islamic Affairs, Shamma Yousuf Mohammad Al Dhaheri from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Ebrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali from Umm Al Quwain Court, Abdullah Mohammad Ahmad Al Ansari from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments and Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad Yousuf Al Shehi from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.