The European Council for Fatwa and Research
The 26th Ordinary Session of
The European Council for Fatwa and Research
Held in Istanbul,
During the period
3rd – 7th of Al-Muharram 1438 HJ
4th – 8th of October 2016
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The final Statement of the Twenty-sixth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, held in Istanbul, Turkey during the period 3rd –7th Al-Muharram 1438 Hijra corresponding to 4th– 8th of October 2016 under the title “The Islamic guidance for establishing peace and security and preventing oppression and aggression”.
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 Twenty-sixth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was held in Istanbul, Turkey during the period 3rd – 7th Al-Muharram, 1438 Hijra corresponding to 4th – 8th of October, 2016, chaired by His Excellence Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, the Chairman of the ECFR, and attended by most of the members of the ECFR and a number of guests and observers.
The Twenty-sixth Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was inaugurated by a talk delivered by Sheikh Dr. Hussein Halawa, the Secretary General of the ECFR, highlighting the significance of this session regarding the future of Muslims in Europe. Afterwards the talk of the members of the ECFR was delivered by Prof. Dr. An-Najjar, in which he expressed gratitude to the Republic of Turkey, the hosting country, for the warm welcome expressed to all the members of the ECFR and the procedures applied to facilitate this session and the attendance of deputy cabinet chairman Qattan. Then a talk about the topic and significance of this session and the papers submitted in it was given by Dr. Ahmad Jaballah, assistant secretary-general of the ECFR. Successively, in his talk Mr Muhammad Jumaz the chairman of the Islamic affairs in the Republic of Turkey welcomed the attendees and highlighted the role of the ECFR in serving Muslims in Europe and stressed its Fatwas and resolutions and their impact on the spread of Islamic moderation in Europe. He also mentioned that Islam is the religion of mercy, our prophet is the prophet of mercy and the Islamic nation is the moderate nation, a witness to others. However, the painful reality indicates our shortcoming in fulfilling this duty. In the conclusion, a talk was delivered by His eminence Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, the Chairman of the ECFR, in which he expressed the importance of adopting a wise and reasonable approach for Da’wah and dialogue in the best manner. He stated that it is a collective responsibility to reflect the image of Islam in a civilized way. He demanded that Muslim scholars should exert extra efforts when serving the interests of the Muslim nation and that they should fulfil their role to accomplish its progress, since it is their responsibility before Allah. He concluded his talk by a synopsis of the exemplary prophet’s biography and the methodology adopted by the prophet’s Companions and their Followers, a theoretical and practical example for us.
Then the ECFR resumed the agenda of its Twenty-sixth Session, deliberating on a number of issues pertinent to the Islamic guidance for establishing peace and security and preventing oppression and aggression. The following papers were submitted:
- The Reasons of Ideological Deviation and Its Islamic Inclusive Solution (An Islamic Analytical Study) by Prof. Ali Al-Quradaghi.
- Peace in the History of Islam by Dr. Tahir Al-Mahdi.
- The Reality of Muslims in Europe between Citizenship and Marginalization by Dr Suhaib Hasan.
- International Support for Dictatorial Regimes and Its Impact on Increasing Terrorism by Dr. Jaser Uda
- Islamophobia and Its Expressions in Europe by Mr. Husam Shaker.
- The Causes of Radicalism and Experience of Dialogue with Extremists by Isam Al-Basheer.
- The Memorandum of Understanding and Coexistence in Consistency with Moderation and the Principles and Objectives of Coexistence by Ali Al-Quradaghi.
- Social, Educational and Political Reasons for the Phenomenon of Radicalism adopted by Some Youth by Mr Fransua Bergha.
- Terrorism: An Islamic Elaboration by Sheikh Hussein Halawa.
- The Qur’anic and Sunnah Texts of Jihad: How to Interpret by His Eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.
- The Concept of Martyr and Martyrdom in Islam and Its Impact on the Muslim Perception of Life by Dr. Jamal Badawi.
- Jihad: The State’s System of Defence by Dr Tahir Al-Mahdi.
- Takfeer (Religious disqualification) and Apostasy by Dr Abdussattar Abughiddah
- The Islamic Penalty of Apostasy and Freedom of Belief by Dr Khalid Hanafi.
- A Deeper Perception of Integration by Mr. Ahmad Al-Rawi.
- The Role of the Islamic Organizations in Protecting the Youth against Radicalism by Mr. Abdullah Mansour.
- The Islamic Address and Its Role in Establishing Moderation and Preventing Radicalism by Sheikh Ameen Al-Hazmi
- The Islamic Religious Scholarly Authority in Europe: Specifications, Forming Factors and Challenges By Dr Ahmad Jaballah
- The Experience of the Islamic Turkish Groups in Europe Regarding Establishing Islamic Moderate Religious Scholarly Authority by Dr Mustafa Ughlu.
- The Turkish Experience in Protecting the Youth against Radicalism by Dr Akram Kalash
Detailed deliberation, conducted on the contents of the above-mentioned papers, resulted in issuing a number of resolutions, Fatwas and recommendations.
During four administrative meetings, the ECFR deliberated on the means of developing and promoting the active role and mission of the ECFR in the European arena. Henceforth the ECFR issued a number of administrative resolutions and recommendations. Moreover, it formed committees to set plans and commence the work and then report the results in the coming session, if Allah wills.
Below are the resolutions, Fatwas and recommendations pertinent to the topic of this session:
A Methodology of Interpreting the Qur’anic and Sunnah Texts on Jihad
The ECFR deliberated on this point and concluded as follows:
True understanding of the Qur’anic and Sunnah texts and authentic conception of the jurists’ perceptions pertinent to Jihad in an academic and moderate way prevents radicalism and misinterpreting texts out of their context.
In many cases radical views are founded on Qur’anic texts and authentic Sunnah texts misinterpreted or taken out of context or Sunnah texts, whose chain of narration is inauthentic and hence cannot be accepted as a basis for argument.
Among the rules of true understanding of the Qur’anic and Sunnah texts and authentic conception of the jurists’ perceptions pertinent to Jihad is the following:
First: Adopting the right approach to understanding the Qur’anic verses of Jihad:
One is to understand the Qur’an through understanding the Arabic language, metaphorical and other linguistic expressions in light of the context and the other verses elaborating on the same topic bearing in mind that the verses of the Qur’an confirm one another and explain each other. Allah says:
“وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا”
“If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.” (Trans. 04.82)
Second: Adopting the right approach to understanding the hadiths of Jihad:
It is a fact accepted by all Muslims that the Sunnah is the second source of Islamic legislation. The Sunnah here refers to the authentic Prophet’s sayings, actions and approvals narrated in hadiths the chains of their narrators are authentic, continuous, and regular. These hadiths do not contradict Qur’anic verses, more authentic hadiths nor the logic of knowledge or mind. They should be explanatory to the Qur’an and harmonious to the Dive Book and Justice.
Third: Adopting the right approach to understanding the Ancient Fiqh literature:
The right approach of Fiqh does not mean copying what is written in the old books but rather to exercise ‘Ijtihad (reasoning) in light of time, place and world, just as the early Muslim scholars exercised ‘Ijtihad in light of their time, place and world. What is appropriate period is not necessarily appropriate for another and what is appropriate for a place is not necessarily appropriate for another either especially as massive changes have occurred in our time. A true jurist should be able to set equilibrium between obligations and reality. Ibn Al-Qayyam says: “A jurist should not be overwhelmed by obligations and should not be headless of reality either.”
Fourth: Differentiating between fixed rules and changeable rules of Jihad:
When Muslim jurists talk about Jihad or war today, they should be aware of the huge fundamental changes that have occurred all over the world. In order to issue an authentic Islamic verdict one should differentiate between the fixed and the changeable rules. There is no doubt that there are a number of fixed rules for Jihad, e.g. the practice of people deterring one another as confirmed in the Qur’an, that the original basis for Muslim-non-Muslim relations is peace and that war is a temporary situation prescribed unto Muslims but they hate it, and that inviting people to Islam is to be conducted in a wise and good way and reasoning in the best manner. There are also changeable matters occurring in the world such as condemning wars and resenting them and those who wage them. In addition, people are willing to live and coexist peacefully, despite differences. There are international conventions such as the human-rights conventions, the United Nations conventions etc, mostly, respected by the entire world. Moreover, international bodies, e.g. the United Nations, The Security Council, The International Court of Justice, The UNESCO etc, have been formed and internationally recognized and hence secured international participation. As a result, there are duties of respect for the sovereignty of other countries, sorting out international disputes peacefully, and the prohibition of certain weapons. In addition, the world agreed on a number of conventions such as that treaty outlawing slavery and the Geneva convention on prisoners of war.
Based on the above-mentioned, we as Muslims, adhering to our Islam, Qur’an and Sunnah, can live in the world that preach peace and not war, in safety and not fear, with tolerance and not fanaticism, with love and not hatred, with dialogue and not clashing and recognizing and not denying one another.
We can live with the United Nations, international law, human-rights conventions, animal welfare, and the environment protection groups. No wonder, Islam is a pioneer in the field of setting international principles, protecting human rights, particularly those with special need, animal welfare, protecting the integrity of environment and the universal equilibrium.
The Reasons of Ideological Deviation of Muslim Youths
The ECFR deliberated on this point and concluded as follows:
First: Conceptual correction, ideological reformation and sound intellectual education that prevent one-tack thinking represent significant issues in Islam. This requires great efforts starting at home then in crèches and schools and ending at universities. This can be done though developing the right curricula and programmes.
Second: Ideological deviation, the source of all types of evil and corruption, results in misbehaviour and bad characteristics.
The ideological deviation in Islamic society is due to a number of factors. Following is the most important factors:
- Wrong religious education pertinent to relationship and images particularly in relation to magnifying the concept of Takfeer (religious disqualification), Tabdee’(religious novelty) and Wala’ and Bara’ (Loyalty and disassociation)
- Dictatorship, political oppression, suppression and depriving people of their freedom all over the Muslim world.
- The Muslim youths in the Muslim world are disappointed and despair that peaceful ways could lead to just regimes that respect people’s choice and right in life, freedom and dignity.
- High levels of ignorance about major issues such as understanding Wala’ and Bara’ (Loyalty and disassociation), Takfeer (religious disqualification), Jihad, Dar Al-Harb and Dar Al-Islam (the land of war and the land of Islam), etc due to the following reasons:
- Literal interpretation that overlooks the meaning, objectives and the fundamental rules applicable when interpreting Islamic texts.
- Adhering to texts subject to a number of interpretations
- Being selective regarding religious texts
- Classifying a matter of divergent opinions as a matter of consensus, converting means into objectives and exaggerating in prohibiting rather than bearing in mind the original permissibility.
- Describing those who have no knowledge as religious scholarly authorities and exerting efforts to remove the scholars’ role and turning the youths away from them by distorting their image.
- Backwardness, poverty, unemployment and economic problems.
- The limited role of Islam in Muslim lands as it is not allowed to perform its proper role in people’s lives, laws and legislation.
- International support for dictatorial and suppressive regimes in some places in the Muslim and Arab world, and hijacking peoples’ choices and desire for freedom and dignity.
- The operations of killing and terrorism, e.g. Syria, Palestine etc, executed by states and regimes about which the international community remain silent. All of this leads some young Muslims to react in an unacceptable way and be disappointed and hence radicalized.
Fourth: A successful treatment is that that tackles all reasons leading to ideological deviation in a scientific method founded on the concept of availing of every effective tool, old and new experiences and the adoption of philosophy of being reflective.
Terrorism: An Islamic Elaboration
The ECFR deliberated on this point and concluded as follows:
Islam prohibits terrorist acts on the part of individuals, groups and states against any human with regard to his/her religion, his/her blood, his/her mind, his/her wealth and his/her honour. Islam forbids any activity that aims to terrify people or practise aggression against their lives, freedom, security or wealth. In fact, Islam condemns every action that sheds the innocents’ blood or takes the life of the secured people or spread mischief in the earth, regardless of the faith of the perpetrators, since our religion respects humans’ lives, protects their rights and prohibits aggression on them classifying it as one of the major sins. Allah says:
“أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ”
“whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it shall be like killing all humanity; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race.” (Trans. 05:32) The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says: “A believer continues to guard his Faith (and thus hopes for Allah’s Mercy) so long as he does not shed blood unjustly”. Bukhari 68862
Islam urges all people to not only remove but also uproot all social, educational, political and economic causes of terrorism, which make people outrageous and violent. These reasons constitute the environment, where deviated ideology and religious fanaticism flourish. Islam establishes the principle that the Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand people are safe, and the believer is the one from whom people’s lives and wealth are safe.” Nasa’i No 2627 and Tirmidhi 4995. Tirmidhi ranks this hadith as Hasan Sahih. Establishing justice, giving people their due rights, no double standard, paying attention to the youths and giving them the right opportunity to contribute positively to the society they live in represent the most effective solution to the phenomenon of terrorism.
Understanding and Coexistence According to Moderate Methodology
The ECFR deliberated on this point and concluded as follows:
- A number of Islamic texts indicate clearly that Islam, founded on being dutiful towards Allah and kind to all people has been revealed as a mercy to all that exists. Allah says:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
“We have sent you as a benevolence to the creatures of the world.” (21:107)
- Islamic moderation requires equilibrium and justice in ideology, belief and behaviour.
- Allah has appointed all people as His vicegerents. Allah says:
وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ
“He positioned the earth for all the creatures” (Trans. 55:10). All people share the earth. Hence, they should coexist together to enjoy its advantages.
- Originally, relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is founded on peace, coexistence and cooperation. In the case of oppression and aggression, reaction is permissible according to divine legislation as well as international laws.
- Islam sets a number of great principles to strengthen this relationship the foremost of which are:
- All human beings come from Adam and Eve. They are honoured and have equal rights. Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ
“Indeed We have honoured the children of Adam” (Trans. 17:70). Allah enjoins kindness to all kinsfolks. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
“O people, observe your duty towards your Lord who created you from a single cell, and from it created its mate, and from the two of them dispersed men and women (male and female) in multitudes. So fear God in whose name you ask of one another (the bond of) relationships. God surely keeps watch over you.” (Trans. 04:01)
- One should accept that diversity of religions, sects and ideologies is one of Allah’s ways just as diversity of colours, languages; characters and universal phenomena are is one of Allah’s laws.
- Originally, problems should be sorted out through dialogue and reasoning in the best manner in consistency with the Qur’anic methodology and the Prophet’s guidance.
- In principle, people should treat each other on the basis of justice, equality, mercy, kindness, fulfilling covenants, values and high morals.
- In principle, in Islam, one should not categorize a Muslim, who bears witness that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger and does not deny an essential aspect of Islam, as a non-Muslim.
- Jihad in Islam refers to doing one’s best to serve the religion and help people. Fighting is permissible only when its conditions are fulfilled. Then one should adhere to its ethics. It should be to prevent oppression and transgression and achieve freedom for all. This is a state’s legal right according to international laws of defence.
- Verses, where the term Wala’ (Fidelity) is mentioned, refer to supporting a cohesive united society i.e. the society of rights and responsibilities. Wala’ (Fidelity) refers to supporting truth against falsehood, goodness against evil and unity against division. Verses, where Bara’ (Disassociation) is mentioned, refer to support during disputes and oppressive wars.
- Classifying the land into land of Islam and land of war is limited to its time. Apart from the countries fighting Muslims, nowadays all countries are categorized as lands of treaty and safety, as there are embassies. In addition, they have entered into international treaties.
The Criteria for the Islamic Religious Scholarly Authority for Muslims in Europe
The ECFR deliberated on the urgent need of Muslim individuals and groups in Europe for rightly guided Islamic religious scholarly authority to provide them with Islamic guidance and Fatwas. The ECFR is also aware that the current confusion about the Islamic religious scholarly authority, due to the availability of multiple sources contacted through various means especially electronic means, requires specifying a number of criteria for a good choice of Islamic religious scholarly authority:
First: One should seek religious advice from scholars, who, while being aware of European context, have Islamic knowledge and are capable of forming Islamic rules and Fatwas in European context.
Second: The ECFR stresses the importance of the Islamic scholarly bodies comprising a number of specialized Islamic scholars, e.g. Fiqh academies and the ECFR deemed an Islamic board specialized in issues pertinent to Muslims in Europe.
Third: The ECFR highlights the importance of the contemporary means of communications that can be used as a link among Imams, Da’ias and the Muslim public in Europe.
Praying in an Advanced Position to the Imam Due to Lack of Space
Question: We offer our congregational Salah in a two-story building. The lower floor is bigger and hence it is classified as men’s prayer hall where we offer our five daily Salahs and the Friday Salah. Some sisters request that the lower floor should be an exclusive women’s prayer hall to offer congregational daily Salahs as well as the Friday Salah and attend lectures delivered at the mosque. However, the way the lower floor is designed allows women to be few meters ahead in front of the Imam. We are uncertain so please illuminate us. Some Muslims, frequenting our mosque, perceive it as impermissible, whereas we, the board of management, believe that in the case of necessity it is permissible. In addition, it helps our sisters take part in our activities. Could we do this until we find a suitable place? We would like to adopt you as our Islamic religious scholarly authority in all our Fiqh and Fatwa issues such as Ramadan crescent and other occasions. We believe that you are the best to answer our questions as we live in Europe. We are looking forward to seeing a committee of the ECFR here in Italy. We pray to Allah to give you success and reward you abundantly.
Answer: In principle, in congregational Salahs the Imam stands in front of those led by him and that they cannot be in a position advanced to the Imam unless it is urgently needed in consistency with the hadith, in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, states: “The Imam is appointed to be followed.” Agreed upon. Bukhari 72206880378 and Muslim 41404120411. The Muslim scholars argue that the term Imam is derived from Amam (in the front). Moreover it was the practice of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, during the Prophet’s lifetime and afterwards.
There is no harm if, due to certain reason such as the size of prayer hall, some Muslims stand in an advanced position to their Imam. According to the Maliki School, standing in an advanced position to the Imam for no reason is disliked as stated in Mukhtasar Khalil on the list of the disliked acts: “Praying between columns and in front of the Imam for no necessity.” According to the Maliki School, if there is a reason, e.g. lack of space, standing in an advanced position to the Imam is permissible and not disliked. This opinion is adopted by Ishaq Ibn Rahwiya, Abu Thaur, Ash-Shafi’i’s old school, and Daoud Adh-Dhahiri.
We recommend you to allocate part of the lower floor for women provided that it accommodates them and if not then the entire lower floor in consistency with the above-mentioned argument.
Self-evident is the need of the Muslim women for attending the Friday Salah and other religious functions and lectures. Hence, they should not be deprived of their right. It is authentically narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “Prevent not female votaries from going to the mosques.” Agreed upon. Bukhari No 900 and Muslim No 442
Zakah and Tax
Question: when one sells premises by law s/he should pay 35% of the total profit. If it is time to pay Zakah before the time when the tax is due, shall one pay Zakah on the total price of the premises or deduct the tax first?
Answer: Since the above-mentioned tax of 35% is a permanent duty on the premises, the due Zakah should be calculated after deducting the tax.
The Zakah on Held Finance
Question: A merchant, who is trading in mobile phone, buys a large quantity of mobile phones from a telecommunication company. Afterwards he sells them as retail trading. The company he buys from stipulates that he should pay a deposit equivalent to the value of his annual transactions. This deposit is lodged in the company’s account as a security fund. It remains in the company’s account during the period of transactions that may continue for long years during which he is denied access to the deposit. The transactions are usually conducted based on deferred payment but not later than 45 days. Should he pay Zakah every year on his deposit?
Answer: The telecommunications are a service and Zakah is due on the entire income of the mobile phones sold to customers. As for the deposit, it is not an increasing fund and is not under free hand ownership as the owner is not in a position to invest it. Hence, Zakah is due on it only once when repaid to its owner.
The Zakah on a sum a Contractor is paid in advance
Question: Some customers order building a house and pay a sum in advance. In the case when it is time to pay Zakah prior to building the house, shall I calculate the Zakah on the amount mentioned in the contract or deduct the construction cost first?
Answer: The Zakah due on fund is calculated based on the remaining part at the end of the year. Since the construction cost is covered by the Zakah payer, it is to be deducted prior to the Zakah calculation bearing in mind that any row materials owned for the purpose of trading after manufacture and any other profits and guaranteed debts are to be included.
The Zakah Due on Premises Prepared for Trading
Question: An Estate merchant enquires: When I offer, for instance, a house for sale, it might take me years to sell it. Should I pay Zakah on this house every year, while being offered for sale or only once when sold? If Zakah is due every year, should it be calculated on the value of the house or the cost price? If Zakah is calculated on the value of the house but sold cheaper, can the extra payment be deducted from the next year due Zakah?
Answer: Since it is prepared for trading and not for using it as accommodation, Zakah is due on the house offered for sale. The due Zakah, i.e. 02.5%, should be calculated based on the value of the house at the end of the year. This Zakah is due once every Hijra year. Hence, one cannot pay Zakah once for a number of years. In addition, the due Zakah is not dependent on the price it is sold at but rather its value at the end of every year. However, if, due to recession or administrative issues, one cannot sell it, Zakah is due only once when selling it.
The Zakah on State Grants for Orphans
Question: In the case of father’s death, state grants his children sums lodged in accounts and can only be accessible when the children become 18 years old. Is Zakah prescribed on these sums?
Answer: The majority of the Muslim scholars state that Zakah is due on orphans’ finance provided that it is not less than the specified minimum, remains in their possession for one full year and meets all other conditions, whereas Abu Hanifa expresses a divergent view unless it is related to crops.
The preponderant opinion is that expressed by the majority of the Muslim scholars since the Islamic texts that prescribes Zakah are expressed in general terms and hence they are applicable to all types of finance that fulfil the conditions. Allah says:
خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“Of their goods, take alms, that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth.” (Trans. 09:103)
وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ
“And those in whose wealth is a recognised right for the (needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking)” (Trans. 70:24-25)
The majority of the Muslim scholars also quote the hadith in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “Trade with the property of orphans and then it will not be eaten away by zakat.” Bu as for the case, known as death grants, you are enquiring about, since it is not accessible for the orphans or their guardians until they reach the age of 18 years old, it is not covered by the above-mentioned rule. For this category Zakah is due once when received.
The Zakah Deducted from Tax As It Is Paid to Charity Organization
Question: The French tax regulations give 60% tax allowance of any amount of donations granted to organizations educational and charitable etc. For instance, if the due Zakah is €1000 the state will cover 60%. In this case, has he paid his due Zakah?
Answer: The Zakah in the above-mentioned case is as follows:
- Zakah is due on the amount remaining after paying tax
- Tax is deducted before calculating Zakah but not counted as Zakah
- Tax allowance or exemption is to be included when making calculation to pay Zakah.
The Calculation of the Fasting Ransom
Question: How to calculate the ransom for breaking fasting in Ramadan?
Answer: There is no doubt that fasting during the month of Ramadan is an obligation prescribed for all adult Muslims except for the elderly and Muslims suffering from chronic diseases and Muslims in similar situations, where they do not observe fasting for reasons. They should pay ransom. Allah says:
وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ
“For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent.” (Trans. 02:184)
It is reported that Ibn ‘Abbas states that this verse is not abrogated and it refers to the aged men and women, who cannot fast. Hence, they should feed one poor person per day. Bukhari No 4505
Al-Qurtubi argues that it is consensually stated that the elderly men and women, who cannot observe fasting or can but with severe hardship, should break their fast.
Despite the agreement that the ransom is specified as feeding one person per day, divergent opinions have been expressed regarding the amount of food offered as a ransom. According to the Maliki and Shafi’i Schools, the ransom is made of one Mud of the food commonly consumed in the locality of the person offering it. The Mud refers to one quarter of a Sa’, which is a weight that varies depending on the type of food one is weighing. Nevertheless, the most accepted weight is 2.4 or 2.5kg. According to the Hanafi School, the ransom refers to one Sa’ but if what is offered is wheat then half a Sa’.
The preponderant opinion for us is that estimating the ransom by Mud or Sa’ is based on ‘Ijtihad (reasoning) but not on a text that proves one opinion and negates the other. Hence, some scholars of the early Muslim predecessors interpret the ransom in a more inclusive way that includes bread and meat. It is authentically narrated that in the year in which he passed away, Anas Ibn Malik was not capable of observing fasting in Ramadan and so he fed thirty poor people with meat and bread and handful or two handfuls extra. In another narration about him, it is stated that when he became too weak or old to observe fasting in Ramadan he ordered to offer meat and bread to poor people until they were full.
Based on the above-mentioned argument, it is better to interpret the ransom as two meals or their value offered to a poor person in return for each day that one does not fast. These two meals are to be of the average food consumed by the person offering them. Allah says:
وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ
“For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent.” (Trans. 02:184)
Nowadays feeding a poor person is not achieved by the offering of one quarter of a Sa’ i.e. half a kilo or even a kilo of wheat. The feeding refers to feeding until one is full for a day. This can be achieved by offering two meals if one can afford them, but if not then s/he should pay what s/he can afford i.e. one quarter or half a Sa’ or a full Sa’ as stated above.
The norms of the place where the giver lives should be taken into consideration. There is no harm to give the ransom to charitable organizations to deliver it to the right beneficiaries.
Starting a Broker Agency for Insurance and Working in This Field
Question: What is the Islamic rule regarding starting a broker agency for insurance and working in this field? I have experience in this field. I discovered that the company, where I work, enters into contracts based on lies, deception, fraud, and theft and taking advantage of law, a situation that drove me to quit my job hoping to find a legal alternative i.e. Islamic insurance subjected to conditions stated in contracts of insurance.
The way to achieve it is by inaugurating an agency, where I can be a broker between the company and the customers. I will explain the contracts in a very transparent way that does not involve the above-mentioned issues e.g. deception, fraud, etc. This means that the contracts will based on clarity and detailed explanation of the customer’s rights, how to obtain his/her rights, how to nullify the contract when justified, etc.
Answer: Since you are aware that the insurance broker agency, where you work, enters into contracts based on lies, deception, fraud, and theft and taking advantage of law as you stated, it is not permissible to continue in this job. You should try to find another job, where the above-mentioned violations are not committed. Hence, your decision to inaugurate an insurance broker agency, where work is conducted in a legal way, is correct. Allah enjoins working for legal earnings and shunning illegal earnings. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ
“O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will” (Trans. 04:29)
The Bidah Divorce and the Divorce Issued during Anger
Question: What is the Islamic rule regarding the Bidah divorce and the divorce issued during anger? People as well as Muftis in our area are uncertain about this issue.
First: The Bidah divorce refers to any divorce inflicted on the wife while menstruating or postnatal period or during a period of cleanliness (of menstruation) where the husband has had sexual intercourse with her. The Muslim scholars unanimously state that it is not permissible. Nevertheless, the majority of the Muslim scholars perceive it as effective and recommend the husband to revoke it. Some scholars, e.g. Malik and a narration about Ahmad, state that it is incumbent upon the husband in this case to revoke it quoting the hadith in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered Ibn ‘Umar to revoke the divorce he inflicted on his wife during her monthly period. Apparently, it is an obligation, an opinion adopted by most of the Muslim scholars.
Since it is a divorce, which Allah has not legislated for and is not permissible, some Muslim scholars classify the Bidah divorce as invalid. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet, peace be upon him, states: “If anyone practices an action in a way other than our practice, it is rejected.” This opinion is adopted by some scholars of the early Muslim predecessors, Ibn Taymiya and Ibn Al-Qaiym.
Since the answer to the above-mentioned issue is based on ‘Ijtihad (reasoning), we classify the second opinion as preponderant, since it is consistent with the objectives of Shari’ah in terms of achieving stability, peace and preserving the family unit. These are the most important objectives in this regard.
Second: The divorce issued during anger: Muslim scholars express divergent opinions about it as detailed below:
- In the case when an angry man, but his anger does not change his face and does not affect his mind so he is aware of and means what he says, issues a divorce, there is no controversy regarding the validity of this divorce.
- In the case when a man, who is so angry that he is not aware of and does not mean what he says issues divorce, there is no controversy regarding the invalidity of this divorce. The Prophet, peace be upon him, says: “’There is no divorce and no manumission at the time of coercion.’
- In the case when a man, who is between the above-mentioned two cases, issues a divorce the validity of his divorce is subject to divergent opinions, the most preponderant of which is that stating its invalidity since it is included in the above-mentioned hadith. In addition, divorce is a free will action that causes serious results. Hence, intention should be very clear and one should not be compelled or angry when issuing divorce. A number of Muslim jurists, including TauusAl-Yamani and Ismail Ibn Ishaq, two of the greatest Maliki jurists, argue that a divorce issued by an angry person is not valid. In support of their argument they quote the Qur’anic verse in which it is stated:
لَّا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ
“Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths.” (Trans. 02:225) Some Muslim jurists, e.g. Ibn ‘Abdeen, state that the anger that counts is that that makes one acts in a way or utter words he usually does not when he is not angry. In addition to this, Ibn Al-Qaiym adds that when he is no longer angry he should regret what he said or did. This regret proves that he did not mean the divorce.
The ECFR recommends that you should discuss the matter with the Imams and jurists in your area to determine the level of anger in light of the above-mentioned argument.
A Divorcee Receiving by Law Pension of Her deceased Divorced Man
Question: A woman, whose husband divorced her two years ago, receives part of his pension as the law of the country where she lives gives the divorcee part and the wife part of the deceased pension. Is the divorcee entitled to what she receives?
Answer: In Islam a divorcee, whose waiting period is over, as the case in this question, has no entitlement in her divorced man’s wealth and pension, which he earned or was entitled to in his life. However, the state pension and social insurance are not included in the inheritance he leaves since it is a finance gained after his death. It is the state’s duty towards the family of the deceased, who is entitled to pension. Hence, if the law in your country gives the divorcee part of the pension, there is nothing wrong if she accepts it.
The Islamic Banking Products
Question: BAWAG P.S.K. and FN 2025240X are planning to provide Muslims in Austria with Islamic banking products. It was planned to provide current banking products including crediting in the first half of 2016 and in the second half of the same year provide investment products that satisfy the needs of Muslim in Austria.
The above-named bank is planning to provide the Islamic banking products. Every product includes remote and direct banking transactions in all its branches (in return for a small fee), ATM services, and bankcards. In addition, one may perform any Islamic banking transactions through THANK YOU service. When performing any transaction via one’s card through this service, the customer automatically receives — and hence may avail of several options.
In addition, the following services are provided:
Emergency withdrawal – fund services – changing accounts – closing accounts – account information on the phone.
The first account will be opened through the current account. As for the other two accounts, they will have two facilities i.e. shopping credit and credit card. The above-named bank will not pay interest on the deposits and will not charge interest on overdrawn funds.
To avail of this service one is to pay monthly fees consistent with the current account system. In addition, when one avails of the banking services, s/he will pay customer service fees according to the tariff of the above-named bank. The BAWAG P.S.K bank and customers directly enter into the contracts of the above-mentioned banking products.
The BAWAG P.S.K bank, moreover, manages funds for investment companies, e.g. the French company AMUNDI SA deemed one of the biggest fund management European companies. These companies adopt Dow Jones Islamic index, an international industrial Islamic index that represents the first industrial index for Shari’ah compliant shares. Dow Jones index is adopted to measure the level of investment based on obtained license. In addition to the fact that this index helps limit the expenses of researching and investment files, an Islamic board comprising specialized international Muslim scholars confirm the compatibility of these investments with Shari’ah. These funds are invested in companies the business of most of which is extraction and manufacture of row materials (oil, copper, aluminium, and Nickle), technology, industry, power and telecommunications. These investments are joint stock and shared venture usury free investments. They are liable to profit and loss. Each fund will be accredited by the Islamic Control Board (AMUNDI ISLAMIC SICAV). Payments to these funds can be made monthly or once off and withdrawal will be in the same way. None of these funds has been approved in Austria yet, since approval requires an application submitted by the BAWAG P.S.K bank and the investors. Based on its technical, legal and professional experience, the BAWAG P.S.K bank will include the Shari’ah compliant banking products.
Answer: We would like to express our gratitude to you for raising this question about the bank to the ECFR. However, since the ECFR does not have enough information and the documents and contracts have not been submitted to it for review, the ECFR will not be able to give answer. If you would like to have an accurate answer, the ECFR will be delighted to refer you to a board of experts in Islamic banking.
The ECFR encourages setting up financial institutions that provide Shari’ah compliant products. At the same time the ECFR stresses the importance of having Islamic control board to oversee the work of these institutions and correct their contracts.
First: The ECFR supports Muslims’ positive integration in Europe in order to achieve active participation represented in the form of good citizenship that guarantees rights and help one fulfil his/her duties.
Second: The ECFR Appeals to the Islamic organizations in Europe to pursue their work aiming to achieve positive integration in civil society and participation in all fields of its institutions, public services, and contribute to the safety and the security of the European societies.
Third: The ECFR supports private educational institutions run by Muslims in Europe in order to perform their duty of presenting moderate and contemporary education that corrects concepts and renew Islamic thoughts.
Fourth: The ECFR appeals to European governments to support peoples’ efforts to obtain freedom and democracy and review the policies the outcome of which supports dictator practices in countries, where Muslims constitute majorities. This support serves the interest of radical groups.
Fifth: All religious scholars should condemn misinterpretations of religious texts, which overlook their historical context and hence give justification to violence. They should also condemn unfair policies in the West and elsewhere that create extremists, who resort to violence.
Sixth: It is necessary to develop and renew the religious address, modernize its tools and mechanism in order to cope up with the continuously renewing reality. It should express Islamic characteristics of moderation and renunciation of violence and extremism. It should be a wise address delivered in the best manner and support the values of citizenship and coexistence.
Seventh: Religious speakers, both Imams and others, should be qualified and educated about religion and its objectives as well as their context and its requirements and the results of actions in order to avoid repercussions influencing society or Islam that may result from a convulsive misguided talk.
Eighth: The ECFR appeals to Islamic centres to perform their role in instructing young Muslims about the duty imposed on them by the covenant of citizenship in Europe regarding preserving social peace, eagerness to help people, shunning emotions that may tempt some of them to leave their countries in the name of Jihad or other things founded on misinterpretations of texts that overlook context and hence lead them to their destruction.
In this context, the ECFR highlights that despite that it is a duty to support the oppressed and forbid oppression and transgression, it is not permissible for Muslims to support their brethren in any way inconsistent with Shari’ah or incompatible with law. In addition, Muslims are not allowed to cause harm to their societies. Allah says:
وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“But do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.” (Trans. 02:190)
Ninth: The ECFR appeals to Muslims in the West to embody Islamic values and ethics in their behaviour in order that their existence in the West becomes a big gate to introduce Islamic moderate values and that they warn against behaviour incompatible with Islamic ethics since it turns people away from Allah’s way. They should not act in a way that enables those who have prejudice to take advantage and distort the image of Islam and Muslims in the West. They should exert effort to introduce Islam through civilized means and tools compatible with law and the rules of coexistence and do not threaten social peace.
The ECFR confirms the usual recommendations issued to Muslims residing in Europe as follows:
- Observe all rights and reflect a good image and a benevolent example through words and deeds.
- Muslims should be creative and encourage creativeness at all levels.
- Exhaust every possible means to bring up their children; boys and girls, according to Islamic contemporary concepts through establishing educational and recreational schools and centres to protect them against deviation.
- 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 keeping the requirements of the pledge of security and the terms of citizenship and residence in the countries where they live.
- Shun all types of violence and adopt a merciful and wise approach when dealing with all people by virtue of their Islamic obligations and condemn any other behaviour.
- Adhere to Allah’s religion and brotherhood, tolerance, moderation, cooperation in matters of benevolence and righteousness, and 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 those ignorant of it would defame it and warn others of 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 Twenty-sixth Session and resolved that its Twenty-seventh Session will be held on 17th of Shauwal 1438 corresponding to 11 July 2017.
The ECFR would like to thank its general secretariat and all the brothers and sisters who contributed to the success of this session.
Our last prayer is praise be to Allah and may Allah’s peace, blessing and mercy be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family and his Companions.
 Al-Tabarani, Al-Awsat, V4, P264, Al-Hafish Al-Haithami ranked it as Sahih depending on the opinion of his Sheikh Al-Hafidh Al-Iraki, Mujama’ Al-Zawaild, V3, P67, Al-Baihaqi, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, V4, P107 ranking it as Marfu’ to ‘Umar. Al-Baihaqi states that its narration is authentic and is supported by narrations about ‘Umar
 Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, Taghleeq Al-Ta’leeq, V4, P177-178 with authentic chain of narrators
 Agreed upon. Bukhari No 5258 and Muslim No 1471. Ibn Abdeen, V3, P233, Al-Dusuki, V2, P361-362. Ibn Taymiyah, Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra, V3, P225
 Agreed upon. Bukhari, No 2697 and Muslim No 1718
 Fatwa No 85 (08/13) issued by the ECFR
 Ahmad, Musnad, No 26360, Abu Dauud No 2193, Ibn Majjah, No 2046, and Al-Hakim,