European Council for Fatwa and Research
The Seventeenth Ordinary Session of
The European Council for Fatwa and Research Held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
During the period
18th Rabi’ Al-Akhar- 2nd Jumada Al-‘Ula, 1428 AH
15 – 19 of July, 2007
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The final Statement of the Seventeenth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period 28th Rabi’ Al-Akhar – 2nd Jumada Al-‘Ula, 1428 AH corresponding to 15 – 19 of July, 2007
Praise be to Allah, the Worlds’ Sustainer, and peace be upon our leader Muhammad and on all his family and his Companions and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Judgment.
By Allah’s Grace and His Assistance the Seventeenth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period 28th Rabi’ Al-Akhar – 2nd Jumada Al-‘Ula, 1428 AH corresponding to 15 – 19 of July, 2007, chaired by His Eminence Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and attended by most of the Members of the ECFR and a number of guests and observers.
Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the ECFR, the opening meeting of the Seventeenth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was held at King Fahd Islamic Centre. It was attended by representatives of the religious communities in Bosnia – Judaism and Christianity – both Catholic and Orthodox- a number of diplomatic representatives of Muslim countries and a wide range of guests from the Bosnian people. In addition to the members of the ECFR, a great number of scholars from the Bosnian Headquarters of Sheikhs and Scholars from Bosnia and other countries and the Bosnian government representative Mr. Safwat Khalilufitch, Minister of Human Rights and Affairs of Refugees took part in the opening meeting.
Included in the programme of the opening session were a number of speeches delivered by some guests and members of the audience. These included a welcoming speech by Dr. Abdul Aziz Alakili, General Director of King Fahd Islamic Centre; a speech by the Bosnian government representative Minister Mr. Safwat Khalilufitch, a speech on behalf of Fiqh academies by the Assistant Secretary General of the Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ali Abdul Baqi; a speech by the Chairman of the Federation of the Muslim Organizations in Europe, Mr. Shakeeb Bin Makhluf; the guests’ speech by Dr. Ahmad Al-Assal and a wonderful speech by His Eminence, the Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Tserish. In their speeches, they welcomed the ECFR and paid tributes to its accomplishments over the past ten years. Also included in the opening session were a number of entertaining performances celebrating the tenth anniversary of the ECFR.
The opening meeting was concluded by a speech delivered by His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Qaradawi, Chairman of the ECFR in which he crystallized the essential role performed by the ECFR in the field of enlightening Muslims in Europe about their religion. He also shed light on the efforts exerted over a period of ten years to accomplish this goal. Furthermore, he deliberated on the universality of the message of Islam and the importance of dialogue in establishing relations based on peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims, especially People of the Book who share with Muslims the fundamental belief of Allah and the principles of morality and justice. Dr. Qaradawi invited the people of the Book to cooperate with Muslims with regard to matters pertaining to issues of commonalities.
Then the ECFR resumed the programme of its 17th session commencing with a seminar on “Muslims living in Europe: Citizenship and Integration”. During this session eight research papers, submitted, discussed and largely commented on, evolved around five foci:
First: Islamic foundations for citizenship and integration:
The following research papers were submitted and deliberated:
- “Islamic creedal foundation and objectives of citizenship and integration” by Dr. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
- “Fidelity of religion and citizenship ” by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Baiyah
In their conclusions, it is stated that, provisionally, citizenship and integration in European society are not only permissible for Muslims but also encompassed in the scope of Islamic objectives since citizenship, which has a constructive influence on relations between the two worlds, is deemed to be the bridge between the European world and the Muslim world. Muslim integration does not contradict the principle of religious fidelity and loyalty provided they are understood in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Second: European reality and citizenship
The following research papers were submitted and deliberated:
- “Rights of non-Muslim minorities in the Ottoman state” by Sheikh Mustafa Ughlu.
- “The historical experience of integration in Khusru Bek School” by Dr. Mustafa Seritsh
- “The Reality of Muslim existence in Europe” by Dr. Muhammad Al-Hauwari
In their research papers, they elucidated the Muslim reality in Europe in terms of Muslim population, development and general situation. They stated that Muslim existence in Europe is progressing in terms of stability and settlement. The third research paper includes a statistical study, which indicated that the Muslim population in Europe constitutes 37 millions. Dr. Hauwari confirmed that Islam has become an actual component of western society.
The discussants requested more academic field statistical research papers on European reality in general and Muslim reality in particular so that integration could be accomplished on the basis of understanding. Included in this section is also a historical experience of non-Muslim integration in Islamic society e.g. the Ottoman state and Islamic schools in the Balkans from which lessons have been drawn as a guide for future integration.
Third: Future objectives of integration and citizenship
The following research papers were submitted and deliberated:
- “The impact of Muslim integration in North America” by Jamal Badawi
- “Citizenship in non-Muslim countries, forbidden or permissible ” By Dr. Salah Sultan
- “Partnership in civilization is an approach of integration” By Dr. Abdulmajeed An-Najar
It is worth mentioning here that integration as mentioned in the above research papers means positive integration. In some of these research papers it is stated that partnership in civilization which means involvement in development via giving and taking, when becoming part of the Muslim culture, facilitates positive integration and good citizenship.
All discussions and comments stressed that Muslim integration should be practically interpreted as positive integration wherewith Muslims attain material and spiritual accomplishments in favour of the societies they are related thereto. Nevertheless, many interpositions reflected Muslims’ up-to-date shortcomings in this regard and their heedlessness of such an objective deemed to be one of the most important approaches of integration.
Fourth: Rules and regulations of integration
The following research papers were submitted and deliberated:
- “European policies and their role in Muslim integration” by Dr. Muries Burkhar
- “Rules of positive integration” by Sheikh. Hussein Halawa
- “The Muslim as a citizen in Europe” By Sheikh Faysal Maulawi
The above mentioned research papers highlighted the fact that the matter of issue i.e. integration is fraught with traps and could end up instead as assimilation as was the case for some Muslims. Hence, regulations and rules that organize the process of integration in the right, moderate and productive channel should be set to prevent isolation, as well as, assimilation. Some of these rules are:
- Defining the targeted integration and specifying its concept in a way that distinguishes it from assimilation as targeted by some organizations. Some participants appealed to the ECFR to communicate with European organizations to reach an agreement regarding the concept of integration.
- Muslim integration should be dependent on preserving Muslim distinctiveness i.e. creed, rituals, morality and Islamic rules portraying flexibility with regard to Islamic rules liable to Ijtihad.
III. Integration should be accomplished in the light of laws that regulate European societies. It is worth mentioning here that these laws give enough room for positive integration, yet they are not used by Muslims.
- Integration should be based on academic research of European reality.
- Integration should be based on utilizing opportunities and the huge number of facilities available in European society.
- Integration should be founded on continuous dialogue with the cultural, political and social components of European society.
Fifth: Means and mechanism of integration
The following research papers were submitted and deliberated:
- “Muslims in Europe between the duties of citizenship and preserving their identity” by Dr. Ahmad Jaballa
- “Islamic rule regarding Muslims’ social and political participation in non-Muslim societies ” by Hamza Ash-Sharief
- “The role of Da’wah in accomplishing citizenship” by Matwali Musa
- “The role of dialogue in citizenship and integration” by Sheikh Rashed Ghannushi
- “The role of the Muslim family in integration” by Sheikh Salem Al-SHeikhi
- “Citizenship through the principle of congregational purification and reformation” by Dr. Ahmad Al-Imam
- “The role of Muslim organizations in integration” by Mr. Shakeeb Bin Makhluf
The above mentioned research papers, while confirming the paramount importance of performing Da’wah to accomplish positive integration, recommended that such a role should be performed in conformity with the requirements of European reality. They also made reference to the many current mistakes and encouraged their avoidance.
The above mentioned research papers, while stating that the most important mechanism and reasons for integration were purifying the individual and the congregation and elevating them to the ideal and exemplary level, highlighted the importance of enlightening Westerners about Islam, its foundations and values as a preparation for the positive accommodation of Muslim integration.
Paying special attention to the significant role of family, deemed to be the cradle where man acquires his Muslim identity and learns positive integration into the society to which he is related, is one of the means of positive integration. Family is also deemed to be the first cradle to instill the authentic citizenship that requires respecting society and working in favour thereof. In parallel, efforts should be exerted to qualify the Muslim family to perform its significant role in the process of positive integration. In addition, all other organizations, e.g. Islamic schools, Islamic centres, mosques and clubs, influencing the Muslim character should endeavour to prepare Muslims for positive integration in European society.
The above mentioned research papers and discussions stressed the importance of Islamic organizations in Europe regarding the process of positive integration starting from raising awareness of the authentic concept of integration and deep-rooting the culture of institutionalism among Muslims in Europe. This is encouraged by the fact that European society, to which Muslims are related, is an institutional society where integration is not viable except through this culture that enables Muslims deal on the basis of productive partnership. This proved to be a significant approach. It is self-evident that organizations have a significant role in being open with European society so that Westerners can be enlightened about Islam and Islamic values creating a bridge between them and Muslims in Europe, which is a reason for accomplishing positive integration.
Most of the points of integration have been deliberated on in the above mentioned research papers submitted in the seminar and comments were submitted. Nevertheless, some points e.g. the legal and philosophical dimension of integration are still in need of elaboration
The agenda of this session was resumed and the ECFR deliberated on a number of questions and issued fatwas.
An entire meeting was dedicated to discuss the issue of new crescents (i.e. Muslim calendar) in order to reach a suitable fatwa that would remove the hardships that Muslims in Europe are facing and diminish the annually frequented disagreement especially at the commencement of the month of Ramadan and Shauwal. The following research papers were submitted on the matter of issue:
1- “Determining the commencement of lunar months on the basis of astronomy or sighting the crescent” by Dr. Muhammad Al-Hauwari
2- “Three issues pertaining to crescent” by Abdullah Al-Judai’
3- “Is the commencement of Ramadan or sighting the crescent the Islamic legal reason for observing the obligatory fasting of Ramadan?” By Sheikh Faysal Maulawi
4- A practical and educational vision regarding sighting the crescent by Dr. Salah Sultan
Upon deliberating on all the above mentioned research papers in the seminar, the ECFR issued the following:
Citizenship and its requirements
Upon deliberating on a number of academic research papers on the issue of integration, the ECFR confirmed its previously issued resolution pertaining thereto (17/3), and added:
The authentic Islamic opinion states that citizenship in non-Muslim countries is permissible for Muslims, whether indigenous or naturalized citizens. As for the proofs submitted to back its impermissibility, they could be either authentic, yet not supporting the prohibition or non-authentic hadiths not deemed to be proofs in Fiqh.
The ECFR perceives that citizenship of non-Muslim countries does not contradict religious fidelity since a Muslim’s residence in a non-Muslim land does not require the fulfillment of certain requirements of citizenship contradictory to his religion e.g. defending his country against aggression. Muslims, by virtue of their religion, should be the first people to defend their country and, likewise, they should not be involved in any act of transgression executed by their country against any other country whether a Muslim state or a non-Muslim.
Coexistence and respecting others represent elements of the duties of citizenship that include portraying morality e.g. justice, cooperation to enjoin good and advice in conformity with laws in effect to rehabilitate what causes harm either to people or the country.
Specifying the concept of integration and its requirements
Upon deliberating on the research papers elaborating on the agenda of this session, the ECFR issued the following resolution:
The European policies of integration are formed of two trends:
First: The trend that encourages assimilation even though it might lead to giving up the religious and cultural peculiarities of assimilated communities.
Second: The trend that encourages setting an equilibrium between the requirements of integration and the requirements of preserving religious and cultural peculiarities.
The ECFR perceives the second trend as the manifestation of positive integration whose requirements should be specified vividly: The requirements of Muslim integration in European societies are reciprocal responsibilities shared by Muslims as individuals and organizations on the one hand, and the rest of European society, both individuals and organizations, on the other hand.
Following are some of the most important requirements that Muslims should fulfill. Not only do these requirements not cause any wrongdoing, but they are also encouraged by Islam:
- The necessity of learning the language of European society, its culture and systems and subsequently abiding by public laws in full conformity to the divine verse: Allah said: “O you who believe! Fulfill (all) obligations”(Trans. 5:1)
- Contribution to societal affairs and keenness to attain accomplishments of public interest in full conformity to the divine Command: Allah said: “And do good that you may prosper”(Trans. 22:77)
- Endeavouring to find a job so that a Muslim can be active and productive and dependent on himself while benefiting others in full conformity to the Hadith in which the prophet –peace be upon him- said: “The giving hand is better than the taking hand” (Trans. Agreed upon).
Following are some of the most important requirements that we hope European society fulfills:
- Establishing justice and equality among all citizens with regard to all rights and responsibilities in general, and in particular, protecting freedom of expression, freedom of religious practices, and social rights – the most significant of which are equal access to work and the principle of equal opportunities.
- Combating racism and obliterating factors leading to Islamophobia especially in the media.
- Encouraging initiatives of religious and cultural awareness between Muslims and non-Muslims in a way that leads to integration of members of one and the same society.
In order to accomplish positive balanced integration:
v The ECFR urges Muslims to preserve their Muslim identity without leading an isolated lifestyle but rather integrating in their societies in a way that does not lead to assimilation. It also urged Muslims to establish Da’wah and educational organizations needed to accomplish positive balanced integration.
v The ECFR appeals to European societies and in particular organizations concerned with the issue of integration to portray an open approach towards Muslims and to communicate with Muslim organizations e.g. the ECFR, to study integration and facilitate the means therefor, in such a way that benefits society and supports its progress and stability on one hand and on the other hand enables Muslims to preserve their Muslim European identity.
Forming a committee to follow up the issue of integration
The ECFR decided to form a committee to follow up the issue of integration whether in relation to Muslims or official organizations and civil societies.
Verifying the commencement of lunar months
Upon deliberating on a number of research papers on this topic, the ECFR issued the following resolutions:
- Astronomical calculations have become one of the contemporary sciences that have reached a very high level of accuracy with regard to the courses of planets. This is especially so in relation to calculating the positions of the earth and moon in relation to each other so that there is no room for doubt at any time.
- The moment of the waning of the moon is a universal event occurring all over the globe in the same moment. Years in advance, astronomical calculations can specify with significant accuracy when it will happen. The occurrence of such an event astronomically marks the culmination of the last month and the commencement of a new month. Such waning of the moon could occur at any moment of the day or night.
- Islamically to prove the commencement of new month the following conditions should be fulfilled:
v The waning of the moon should have already occurred.
v The moon sets after the sun sets even a moment afterwards which means the commencement of the new month. This opinion of reliable scholars is harmonious with reliable astronomical phenomena.
v Choosing the geographical location of Mecca as the foundation for the above mentioned two conditions.
- European countries should apply this rule to determine the commencement and the culmination of lunar months, especially the month of Ramadan and the month of Shauwal. Specifying these months in advance helps Muslims to fulfill their rites and celebrate and organize the festivals and occasions pertaining thereto.
- The ECFR recommends its members, Imams and Islamic Scholars, both living in Muslim and non-Muslim societies, to endeavour to instill a culture of portraying respect to the definite outcome of astronomical calculations when stating the impossibility of sighting the moon due to the waning of the moon. In this case people should not be urged to try to sight the moon and claims of sighting the moon should be rejected.
- The ECFR, God willing, will issue a calendar that states the commencement and the culmination of each month on the basis of this resolution.
Establishing a Muslim Society in Western Countries
Taking into consideration the fact that in our village there are three scholars, who are not fulfilling their duty, as the rest of the Muslim community do not have enough knowledge, what is the best way to preserve the Muslim community in our village located in the West?
Muslims residing in the West are supposed to endeavour to preserve their Muslim identity in the environment, no matter how small it is, to which they are related. To preserve the Muslim community first there is a need for determination and will resulting from the strong faith in Muslims’ hearts. Second there is a need for Islamic knowledge. You should keep reminding the three scholars of their duties and help them to resolve the problems that hinder them from fulfilling their duties.
You should also look for a qualified Imam who would take on the responsibility of providing the Muslim minority there with Islamic guidance and the Muslim minority or Islamic organizations, whether the official or popular organizations, which appoint Imams in western countries, should cover his and his family’s expenses. In case this is not viable, then you have to go to the nearest Islamic centre or the nearest scholar who is aware of European reality since this is a condition stipulated for correct Fatwas.
Uncovering for medical purposes
After delivery my wife’s stomach remained large. At that time the doctor said it would return to normal after a period of time. Nevertheless, this has not happened. So my wife visited the doctor again and the doctor prescribed massaging her stomach. This massage would be done by a female nurse (non-Muslim) and the treatment involves uncovering certain parts of the body that should be covered. In light of that, is this treatment permissible?
This treatment is permissible as it is necessary even though it might involve uncovering certain parts of the body that should be covered. Efforts should be exerted to keep the parts, which should be covered, covered. But it is not normal for the stomach to remain big. Hence, treating it to have the normal form is permissible. This is based on the opinion of the majority of Muslim scholars who state that women should cover from the navel to the knees in the presence of another woman. Two Muslim scholars stated that it is incumbent on the woman to cover her private parts in the presence of another woman. On the basis of the latter opinion, this treatment is permissible provided the private parts are covered. The fact that this treatment is done by a non-Muslim female nurse makes no difference since according to the preponderant Muslim opinion, parts that a Muslim woman should cover in the presence of another Muslim woman are the same parts that she has to cover in the presence of a non-Muslim woman.
Chatting on line with a member of the opposite sex
What is the Islamic rule regarding the issue of chatting on line with a member of the opposite sex with the intention of marriage?
Chatting on line with a member of the opposite sex is similar to conversation that does not involve vision which is permissible, provided the topic of conversation is compatible with Islamic rules while observing the Islamic rules that include:
- The topic of the conversation should be decent and permissible.
- The girl does not appear on the screen except when observing hejab
- It should be within the limits needed for marriage and not for entertainment that leads to impermissible issues.
What is the Islamic rule regarding dyeing Man’s hair?
To colour gray hair with the same colour, e.g. black, it was before turning grey is disliked in the case of old people according to a hadith reported by Jaber stating that on the day Mecca was conquered Abu Quhafa was brought and his hair and beard were utterly grey. The prophet –peace be upon him – said: “Colour this in any colour besides black.” This opinion is held by a group of Maliki, Hanbali and other Jurists, whereas another group of scholars from among the Companions, the Followers and the Hanafi School of Fiqh perceive it as permissible.
As for the young and middle-aged people, dyeing hair is permissible. The opinion of the Companions and the Followers should be interpreted to mean within this aging group.
Greeting non-Muslims in Islamic Greeting
Is it permissible to greet a group of Muslims and non-Muslims by saying As-salamu Alaikum “peace be upon you”?
Greeting a mixture of Muslims and non-Muslims by saying As-salamu Alaikum “peace be upon you” was done by prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- as stated in a hadith narrated by ‘Usamah and reported in the two Sahih Books and other books: “The prophet –peace be upon him- passed by a mixture of Muslims, idol worshippers and Jews and greeted them.”
Moreover, it is absolutely permissible to greet non-Muslims using the Muslim word Salam “peace”. Likewise, it is permissible to use any other word as long as the connotation thereof is not prohibited. This is the opinion of a number of Muslim scholars from the Companions, e.g. Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Mas’ud and Abu Tumamah, and the Followers e.g. Amer As-Sha’bi, ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdel-‘Aziz, Al-Auza’i and Sufian Ibn ‘Uyainah. This opinion was perceived as preponderant by a number of recent scholars e.g. As-Sayid Rashid Rida. This is the authentic opinion.
Drawings of living beings for educational purposes
In early stages of education it is very important for children to draw pictures. Nevertheless, some people say drawing living beings e.g. man and animals is not permissible. Consequently the child is not allowed to draw what he is asked to draw at school. What is the Islamic rule in this regard?
Drawing for educational purposes is permissible. Islam permits toys that have the forms of statues used for playing and entertaining. Hence, permitting drawings of living beings for educational purposes is of more importance that should be taken into consideration. This is confirmed by contemporary research papers proving the significant importance of drawing in forming children’s characters and discovering their talents. Islam strictly prohibits statues and drawings used for glorification whose disadvantages outweigh their advantages.
Marriage with intention of divorce
It has become a phenomenon in Britain that some Muslim men marry more than one woman in the period of month time. They marry with the intention of divorce. In this marriage the woman remains a wife for two weeks or perhaps more or less than that. It has gone so far that a man says to another: “I will be the first man to marry this woman when you divorce her. I have booked her.” In these cases the wife is usually an eastern European from the people of the Book willing to come to Britain. The man will marry her for a couple of weeks and then divorce her and bring another one to do the same thing.
The marriage contract is deemed to be a solemn covenant and is usually entered into with the intention of continuity unless there emerges a necessary termination.
The type of marriage described in the above mentioned question is not permissible since it is a manifest breach of the initial marriage system and it is similar to the prohibited Nikah Al-Mutt’ah. The fact that a deal is made by a number of men to alternatively use her as a unit of pleasure and the existence of a number of agencies organizing that matter stress the prohibition. Such behaviour makes the woman a cheap commodity, violates her dignity as a human being and is classified as a manifestation of taking advantage of others’ difficult situations.
Moreover, this marriage is not sanctioned by law in civil registration offices and Islamic centres. In its fifteenth session, the ECFR issued a resolution stressing that it is essential to register marriage contracts in a registrar’s office while observing marriage procedures at Islamic centres as a means to preserve the rights pertaining to the husband, wife and children.
Disposal of a present that contains alcohol
If someone gives me a present that contains alcohol, will it be permissible to give it to a Christian friend?
It is not permissible for the Muslim to accept a present that contains something prohibited e.g. alcohol. If he does, it will not be permissible for him to own it since what is forbidden cannot be valued or owned by the Muslim. Consequently it cannot be used, sold or granted. Moreover, whoever is exposed to such a situation should destroy it. Ibn ‘Abbas narrated: “A man gave to the prophet –peace be upon him- a bottle of alcohol. So the prophet –peace be upon him- asked him: “Do you know that Allah has made it forbidden.” The man said: “No.” and then he whispered to another man. The prophet –peace be upon him- asked him: “What did you say to him.” The man said: “I told him to sell it.” the prophet –peace be upon him- said: “Allah, who has made it forbidden to drink, made it prohibited to sell.” So the man opened it and poured it until the bottle was empty. (Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih)
This hadith states that it is forbidden to make any use thereof.
Zakah imposed on security money
According to the letting system in Europe, the tenant should pay a deposit, to be repaid at the end of tenancy. Should Zakah be collected with regard to a deposit owned for one year while reaching the minimum of imposing Zakah?
The deposit paid by the tenant to the landlord is owned by the tenant but not guaranteed. It is just like a debt the repayment of which is not guaranteed. The tenant does not have it under his control. It might be repaid to him in full or partially. Hence, no Zakah is to be collected with regard to the deposit as long as it is not repaid. When it is repaid, Zakah of one year should be applicable.
Life-guard in a mixed swimming pool
I work as a life-guard at a swimming pool, so I have to watch swimmers. Some of the swimmers are women and they are often dressed in their swimming suits. Is it permissible for me to do this job?
There is no harm in working as a life-guard at a mixed swimming pool provided you observe the Islamic requirements i.e. avoiding looking at organs that should not be seen and avoiding forbidden privacy and the forbidden intermingling. It is apparent that you are committing prohibited deeds e.g. seeing women’s body. This is forbidden except in cases where it is strictly necessary.. We recommend that you continue in this job while looking for another opportunity that does not make you commit prohibited deeds.
Anesthetizing the patient to relieve his pain
I am a nurse and I tend patients suffering from laryngeal cancer. Sometimes, due to a jugular vein cut, a rupture occurs, which horrifies the nurse and the patient who sees himself bleeding until he dies. In case the doctor, who can do the operation to stop the rupture, is absent, the nurse is supposed immediately to anesthetize the patient so that he does not see the event. What is the Islamic rule regarding this anesthetizing injection that might kill the patient before he dies from rupture?
There is no harm in anesthetizing the patient suffering from laryngeal cancer to relieve him from his pain provided the dosage is less than the amount that may kill him; otherwise it will be included within the scope of Active Euthanasia that the ECFR prohibited in a previous resolution.
Recommendations and suggestions made by the ECFR to Muslims living in Europe:
- Abiding by laws pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
- Abiding by all laws and regulations set by official authorities.
- Improving the image of Islam and Muslims through abiding by the great principles and values of Islam and embarking on Islamic awareness programmes.
- Transcending inherited habits and traditions that distort the image of Islam.
- Embarking on courses and programmes that help to accomplish positive integration.
- Qualifying Imams and those who work in Muslim affairs so that they might become exemplary in accomplishing positive integration. Preparing a chosen number of Muslims who can communicate well with the West so that they can speech about Islam and present its wonderful image.
- Establishing integrated Islamic centres that, in addition to mosques, encompass libraries, cultural, social and sporting clubs, restaurants etc. While focusing on activities of integrationsg. scouts and Islamic awareness weeks, they should have a wide range of religious, cultural, social and sporting activities
- Active and positive contributions to civil societies, environmental and social activities of neighbourhood and civil activities organized at the state level.
- Implementing institutional work and shunning the formation of racial, dogmatic, party or sectarian ghettoes.
- Forming legal committees to defend the rights of minorities and combat racism.
- Endeavouring to attain recognition of Islam as a religion and of Muslims as a minority, like other minorities, in respect of their rights guaranteed by legislations, constitutions and conventions.
- The ECFR, on the basis of its previously issued resolutions, confirms the importance of the Muslim political contribution.
Recommendations to civil societies and decision makers:
- Endeavour to terminate all forms of racism that Muslims sometimes suffer when dealing with others and racism that Muslims suffer in European administrations.
- Create channels to communicate with Muslims at all levels.
- Facilitate job and educational opportunities for Muslims and treat them in the same way other minorities are treated.
- Appeal to audio and visual media to apply an objective approach when tackling Muslim affairs.
The ECFR, as usual, recommends Muslims living in Europe to fulfill all their responsibilities, reflect a good Islamic image and be exemplary with regard to their words and actions. The ECFR recommends them to commit themselves to what is stated in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah and what Muslim Fuqaha’ (jurists) have unanimously agreed upon regarding the obligation of fulfilling the requirements of citizenship and residence and abiding by the law and general regulations in the countries where they live. The ECFR also recommends them to shun all form of violence and, in conformity to Islamic commands, apply an approach of mercy and clemency when dealing with people and condemn whosoever goes astray from this right path.
The Council also recommends Muslims in general, and those dwelling in the West in particular, to adhere to Allah’s religion and brotherhood, tolerance, moderation, and cooperation in matters of benevolence and righteousness. They should also adopt quiet dialogue and sound methods to solve controversial problems away from the programmes of strictness and paths of extremism that would distort the image of Islam and badly harm Muslims in general, and Muslim minorities in particular. The enemies of Islam and the ignorant thereof would defame it and warn others against it and its followers and instigate other nations against it. Allah Almighty says: “Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (An-Nahl 125)
The Council concluded the proceedings of the 17th Session by addressing sincere thanks and appreciation to the Islamic headquarters of Sheikhs in Bosnia and Herzegovina for hosting this session. The ECFR expresses its gratitude to all the brothers and sisters from Bosnia who contributed to the success of this session. Especial thank is presented to the King Fahd Islamic Centre for hosting the celebration of ten years of excellence of the ECFR. A special gratitude is presented to the Bosnian Government for facilitating entry visas for members of the ECFR. Especial thank is presented to the al-Maktoum Charity Committee for their continuous support and sponsorship of the Council. Especial thank is also presented to the general secretariat of the ECFR and all the brothers and sisters who facilitated this session. Finally, thank is presented to the members of the media, who covered the session.
Our last prayer is praise be to Allah
 People lived during the lifetime of prophet Muhammad and died as Muslims
 People lived during the lifetime of the Companions and died as Muslims
 The Book of Al-Bukhari and the Book of Muslim
 Non-perpetual Marriage