European Council for Fatwa and Research

Final Statement

The Twentieth Ordinary Session of

The European Council for Fatwa and Research

Held in Istanbul,



During the period

12th – 15th of Rajab 1431 AH

24th – 27th of June, 2010


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


    The final Statement of the Twentieth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was held in Istanbul, Turkey during the period 12th – 15th Rajab, 1431 AH corresponding to 24th– 27th of June, 2010


      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 Twentieth Ordinary Session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research was held in Istanbul, Turkey during the period 12th – 15th Rajab, 1431 AH corresponding to 24th – 27th of June, 2010, chaired by His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the Chairman, and attended by most of the Members of the ECFR and a number of guests and observers.

      The Twentieth Session was inaugurated by a speech delivered His Eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in which he welcomed the members of the ECFR and the attendees. He also, in brief, highlighted the history and the mission of the ECFR and the vital role performed by the ECFR regarding the affairs of Muslims living in Europe.

       Then the ECFR resumed the agenda of its twentieth session commencing with a deliberation on the main topic of this session i.e. “Endowments and wills in Europe evolving around the following foci:

First: A Foundational approach for Endowment:

A paper was submitted by His Eminence Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi entitled “The System of Endowment in Light of Islamic Texts and Objectives”. This submission was followed by deliberation by members of the ECFR.

Second: The Cultural Dimensions of Islamic Endowment:

 The following papers were submitted and deliberated:

  1. “Considering the Interest of Endowment and the Cultural role thereof” by Dr. Abdus-sattar Abu Ghiddah
  2. “The Cultural role of Islamic Endowment in the West” by Dr. Abdulmajeed Annajjar.
  3. “A Comparison between the Concept of Endowment in Islamic Culture and the Concept of Civic Society in Western Culture” by Sheikh Rashid Ghannushi.

Third: Endowment in Europe:

The following papers were submitted and deliberated:

  1. “Charitable Organizations in Europe and the Islamic System of Endowment” by Dr. Muhammad Annuri
  2. “Endowments and Wills in Britain Between Shari’ah and the Law” by Dr. Suhaib Hassan

Fourth: The investment of endowment

 The following papers were submitted and deliberated:

  1. Endowments and Wills and their relationship with Islamic Objectives” by Dr. Hamza Al-Sharif
  2. “The Investment of Endowment; old and new methods” by Dr. Ali Al-Qurradaghi
  3. “The Formula of Irsad[1] and its contemporary applications” By Dr. Abdussattar Abu Ghiddah

Fifth: Finishing adjured issues:

The following papers were submitted and deliberated:

  1. “The Islamic Rule of Health Insurance and a few forms thereof” by Dr. Ali Al-Quradaghi
  2. “The Islamic rule of Imposing Khul’[2] on a Husband by a Judge” by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Judai’
  3. “Conventional Marriage” by Dr. Al-Arabi Al-Bishri

Sixth: Urgent Issues for Muslims in Europe:

The following two papers were submitted and deliberated:

  1. “The Long Hours of Fasting in Some European Countries” by Dr. Muhammad Al-Hauwari
  2. “Ramadan’s Zakah and the Zakah of Wealth in Light of Current Changes” by Sheikh Unais Qarqah

On the basis of the presentations and having deliberated upon the above-mentioned papers, the ECFR reached the following conclusions:

 First resolutions



Resolution 1/20

Endowment and its rules 

Upon deliberating on the submitted papers on the issue of “Endowment”, the ECFR resolved as follows:

Deeming it an important part of its charity system, Islam has legalized endowment, especially charitable endowments, by Qur’anic and Sunnah texts and by the consensus of Muslim scholars. It is a method of the distinctive Islamic perpetual charity. The first Islamic endowment was the wealth of Muhairiq, a Jewish man killed in the battle of ‘Uhud while fighting with Muslims. In his will, Muhairiq gave all his wealth to the Prophet, peace be upon him, who gave it in charity by means of endowment. The Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, gave paramount importance to the issue of endowment as they donated a number of endowments. Afterwards Muslims devoted special care to setting up and running endowments throughout history.

An innovative aspect of Islamic culture is represented by setting up endowments dedicated to all fields of life e.g. estranged wives, those who give succour patients, strangers, broken vessels and animals.  

Nowadays Muslims all over the world and particularly Muslims in Europe are invited to revive the Sunnah of endowment, to develop endowments and to avail of their incomes in all legal fields by, for instance:

  1. Increasing the scope of endowments so that real estates, mobile wealth, perpetual and temporary endowments and money for loans and investments could be included therein.
  2. Not abiding by conditions stipulated by the donator if these conditions contradict Islam or have repercussions on the endowment itself or the beneficiaries thereof.   
  3. The necessity of developing and renewing endowments in terms of its Fiqh, methodology and scope, applying contemporary methods to preserve their land and buildings and increase their incomes.
  4. Exerting efforts to encourage rich, middle class Muslims and Muslims whose incomes are limited to contribute to endowments by donating what they can afford. Many small amounts if added together can mount up.
  5. Availing of the new formulas of endowments e.g. Murabaha[3], Mudharabah[4], Istisna[5]’, leasing and other formulas of funding based on private subscription.
  6. Availing of the experience of the specialized funds of endowments contributing to the development of Muslims’ situations and the situations of the entire society in the field of Da’wah, scientific development, family care, health care and protecting the environment.
  7. The obligation of preserving and developing endowments and their perpetuity so that they would not be either partially or fully idle through applying solutions provided by Islamic Fiqh, e.g. using some of their income for maintenance and restoration, exchange, Tahakur[6].
  8. Availing of the formulas of Trust, Foundations and associations as deemed to be types of the endowments.


Resolution 2/20

Health insurance

Upon deliberation on the issue of health insurance, the ECFR resolved the following:

Individual and group health insurance should be conducted in collaborative insurance companies, if available. Where such companies are not available, it is not forbidden for Muslims to have health insurance in commercial insurance companies since it is a necessity.

Resolution 3/20

Conventional marriages

Upon deliberation on the issue of health insurance, the ECFR resolved the following:

First: Conventional marriage refers to the Islamic marriage fulfilling all Islamic conditions and prerequisites, yet it is not officially registered.

Second: The ECFR recommends that neither conventional marriage nor civil marriage is sufficient. Both of them should be carried out. Since it is not registered, depending only on conventional marriage might lead to the loss of rights of one party. Since it does not fulfill certain Islamic conditions and prerequisites and as it has results contradicting Islam, civil marriage alone is not sufficient.

Third: A mere combination of conventional marriage and civil marriage that does not organize the effects and rules of both of types of marriages leads to a dilemma, since in the case of disagreement, on the basis of which marriage will the disagreement be settled?

The ECFR proposes to establish a committee from Islamic jurists and solicitors to agree on a form attached to the certificate of civil marriage.


Resolution 4/20

Transferring Zakah abroad

Upon deliberation on the issue of transferring Zakah abroad, the ECFR resolved the following:

The ECFR confirms its previous Fatwa issued in the 11th session stating that originally Zakah is payable to people living wherein the donor resides. Nevertheless, Zakah can be transferred donor’s relatives, afflicted people and people of urgent needs may avail thereof.


Resolution 5/20

The value of Ramadan’s Zakah paid in cash in European countries

Upon deliberation on the issue of the value of Ramadan’s Zakah in cash in European countries, the ECFR resolved the following:

Since it is permissible to pay Ramadan’s Zakah in cash, one should take into consideration the alteration of prices according to time and place.

Resolution 6/21

The differences of the fasting hours in the countries of high latitudes

 Upon deliberation on the issue of the differences of the fasting hours in countries situated at high latitudes where the fasting hours might be as many as 23 hours a day and deliberating on the opinions given by a number of scholars summed up as follows:

First: People residing in such countries should fast the same number of hours the Meccans fast and then break their fast even if it is in the daytime.

Second: People residing in these countries should fast a number of hours equal to the longest hours of fasting in the furthest point reached by Muslim expansions.  

The ECFR resolved the following:

The ECFR overlooks the above mentioned opinions since the legality thereof is not supported by proofs and the timing of fasting they specify is different to the specified timing of fasting i.e. from dawn to sunset.

The ECFR adopts resolution No. 3 pertinent to the timing of prayers and fasting in countries of high latitudes issued by the Fiqh Academy attached to the Islamic World League in the fifth session held on the 10th of Rabi’ Ath-Thani 1402HJ corresponding to the 4th of February 1982 stating:

“As for specifying the time of fasting in Ramadan, mature Muslims should refrain from food, water and all other things breaking their fasting from dawn until sunset in their countries as long as they can differentiate between the day and the night therein and the total number of hours thereof is 24 hours. It is permissible for them to eat and drink (not alcohol as it is forbidden for Muslims) and have legal sexual intercourse at night even if it is short. Islam is for all people regardless of the place wherein they reside. Allah said: “and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall.”(Trans. 02:187) As for him/her, who cannot observe fasting for these long hours or a doctor informs him/her that or he/she thinks that most likely fasting will cause his/her death, serious sickness, increase his/her sickness or slow his/her recovery, let him/her break his/her fasting and make up the same number of days he/she misses in any other month when he/she can fast. Allah said: “So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up) from other days.”(Trans. 02: 185) Also Allah said: “and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” (Trans. 22:78) 

The ECFR recognizes that the hardship that does not allow people to do their jobs makes breaking their fasting permissible. The ECFR perceives that there is flexibility with regard to determining the commencement of fasting especially as the sign of dawn is not there in such countries in certain times of the year. This could be utilized to lighten the hardship faced by Muslims when determining the time of fasting.

The ECFR recommends that this fatwa should be interpreted respectively in full conformity with Muslims’ situations in Europe in terms of their jobs, professions, how they can be affected by the long periods of fasting and the hardship shouldered by Muslims as a result of the long periods of fasting.

The ECFR recommends Muslims residing in these countries to ask their local jurists about the hardship, which permits them to break their fast resulting from the long hours of fasting.   

Adjourned issues

Resolution 8/20


Upon deliberation on the issue of wills, the ECFR resolved the following:

Due to the need for more theoretical and practical studies, the ECFR adjourns issuing resolution on this issue to a coming session, if Allah wills.

Second Recommendations:

With regard to the issues covered by the above mentioned papers and issues pertinent thereto the ECFR issued a number recommendations as follows:

First: Inviting scholars, intellectuals, Muslims congregations and countries to revive the concept of endowment, raise awareness about it as a means of power for Islam and Muslims and as an expression of brotherhood in Islam and humanity and to fulfill its urgent requirements and development.

Second: Exhausting every possible means to restore the confiscated endowments as it is the case in the Balkan. According to Islamic legislation, this confiscation is deemed to be an act of violation against the donators’ wills evaluated by Islam. Hence, all decisions taken regarding the confiscated endowments are null since the rights thereof are not cancelled by the factor of long time.

Third: Complete eagerness to institutional running of the projects of endowments, replacing the individual administration of endowments with institutional administration and availing of the western experience in this regard.

Fourth: Forming a committee from Muslim jurists to form a standard document (deed) for endowments to secure Islamic conditions and objectives.

Fifth: Organizing a seminar on contemporary issues of Zakah as a preparation to scheduling it as a point for deliberation in the next session.

 Sixth: The ECFR stresses its previously issued condemnation of the vicious attack conducted by the Zionist entity against Gazans. The ECFR appreciates efforts exerted by sincere free citizens in Europe and outside Europe, Muslims and non-Muslims who showed solidarity with the oppressed against the oppressors endeavouring to relieve the calamities of the besieged Gazans suffering oppression and transgression, who are deprived of their basic foods, medical and educational rights. The ECFR pays tribute to the several humane campaigns, e.g. the freedom flotilla that sailed from Europe, aiming to break the embargo by taking supplies of foods, clothing and medical needs to Gaza. The ECFR condemns the brutal aggression perpetrated by the Zionist entity against the world’s armless civilian free citizens.

Seventh: The ECFR urges all Muslims, advocates of human rights and supporters of the oppressed all over the world, to continue their support of the Palestinians’ right of good life and the liberation of their occupied lands. The ECFR recommends that continuous efforts should be exerted until this occupier, which has no respect for elderly people or mercy for women and children, is removed. This occupier has killed a huge number of those who showed resistance. The ECFR recommends the continuous operation of the crossings to remove the hardship of the oppressive siege. The ECFR recommends that European leaders and officials reconsider their attitudes regarding the issue of Judaicising Jerusalem, the violations of Al-Aqsa mosque, demolishing the houses of Jerusalemites forcing them to migrate and setting up settlements on usurped land challenging the feelings of millions of Muslims, international values and the international foundations of coexistence.

Eighth: The ECFR expresses its outrage caused by the Swiss referendum that banned marinates deeming it a violation to Muslims’ religious and human rights. The ECFR appreciates efforts exerted by the European Council that appealed to Switzerland to revoke this ban out of respect for religious and human rights.           

The ECFR concluded the twentieth session confirming the usual recommendations regarding Muslims issues as follows:

  1. Observe all rights and reflect a good image and a benevolent example through words and deeds.
  2. Be creative and inventive and encourage that on all levels.
  3. Do their best to bring up the new Muslim generation – boys and girls- in a contemporary Muslim way via opening schools and educational and recreational centers to protect them against deviation.
  1. Work hard to establish firms and financial institutions that do not get involved in illegal transactions.
  1. Work hard to form legal (Shari’a) committees to regulate their family affairs according to shari’a and in conformity with the laws of the country where they live.
  1. Work hard to attain the recognition of the state where they live of Islam as a religion and of Muslims as a religious minority like other minorities in respect of enjoying their complete rights and organizing their personal affairs, such as marriage and divorce according to the tenets of their religion.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 behavior. The Council also recommends that Muslims in general and those dwelling in the West in particular 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)

In its 20th session, the ECFR deliberated on a number of Fatwas on various issues pertinent to Europe and issued suitable answers.

Upon the completion of academic deliberations, the ECFR declared that the next session will be held around mid 2011.

The Council concluded the proceedings of the20th Session by addressing sincere thanks, prayers and appreciation to the al-Maktoum Charity Committee for their continuous support and sponsorship of the Council. The Council also extends sincere thanks to the Turkish Government for facilitating the holding of this session in Istanbul, their cooperation with the ECFR general secretariat and the granting of entry of visas to the members.

The ECFR thanks the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World for their cooperation to hold this session.

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.

[1] Endowment under the ruler’s control

[2] Terminating marriage

[3] sale of a product, which includes the price of the product and incurred expenses with an increase known as profit.

[4] To give money to a second party to trade in it and share the profit

[5] To say to second party “make such a thing for me” describing it. The second party accepts and the first party pays in advance.

[6] lease or contract is intended to retain the land planned for building or planting