The Fatwa that Cannot Be Given
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
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And which One Does Not?)
Nothing Religious about Fatwa
There are some Fatwas that cannot be voiced.
And what is a Fatwa? A Fatwa – or Futya – is only an opinion, albeit, generally speaking, a carefully considered one, especially when it comes from a truly competent and conscientious source.
Otherwise, like in so many other things in life, fools may rush where angels would fear to tread.
Some ignorant people, of late, have been calling a Fatwa a “Religious” opinion, and it is not.
That is partly because there is nothing in Islam that is strictly or purely “Religious,” including opinions and ideas.
Islam Is a Comprehensive System from God
Islam is a most comprehensive, divinely created, system of thought, belief and behavior that spans the entire gamut of life on earth, in all aspects, and for all human shapes and formations, be they individuals, groups, societies, nations, cultures or civilizations.
Islam goes beyond that to cover all existence, from the minutest particles on earth to the largest planets and stars in the farthest galaxies.
In other words, Islam is the system that sustains and runs the universe.
Islam is the code by which the Creator operates his Creation.
A Fatwa Is Not a “Religious Ruling”
Some other equally ignorant people call a Fatwa a “Religious Ruling.”
And it is neither. It is not “religious” and it is not a “ruling.”
Islam is not a “religion” because that which we commonly refer to as religion is for the most part a human artifact. It is devised and cobbled together by one or more individuals, acting alone or in concert, generally over a period of time, often a very long period of time.
As for the word “Ruling,” that suggests a duly constituted authority of some kind, such as a court of law in a lawful government or political structure of some kind.
But those issuing a Fatwa these days hold no such positions of power or authority in most cases.
As for a lawful and legitimate government, the only one Islam elevates to that ethereal plane is the one referred to by Abraham Lincoln as “the government of the people, by the people.”
And it is a government that is put together by People – any people in any society, regardless of their race or religion – utilizing their own full, free and duly informed choice and consent.
And without any duress or coercion of any kind from any source, financial, political, military or mass media driven and orchestrated.
All other forms of governments such as hereditary monarchies or military or civilian dictatorships are blatant usurpations of power by sundry thugs and tyrants. And they are all illegitimate and unlawful ab initio.
They are the kind of Tyranny to all forms of which people like Thomas Jefferson swore eternal hostility upon the altar of God.
No Binding Power
That is why a Fatwa per se has no binding power on anyone, except perhaps the source expressing that particular view or opinion.
The Fatwa, therefore, is not a controlling authority for anyone’s actions or conduct, whether that is an individual, group or society.
I Don’t Issue Fatwas
And I am not someone who may be trigger-happy with a Fatwa, even though I may – or may not – possess the technical or paper qualifications and requirements to do so. Never been one all my life.
Yet, there is one Fatwa that leaps to mind and leaps to the lips all the time. And yet, paradoxically, it is one that cannot and perhaps should not be voiced.
At least not easily or lightly.
And quite likely not in public hearing.
And, maybe, in the end, it is not a Fatwa at all, but only the way I feel about this particular matter. And, after all, that is what a Fatwa is at bottom: the way one feels about something, especially after having given it careful thought.
The Way We Talk
I often think about the way we talk: the substance and style of our speech.
How does that correlate, I ask myself, to who we are and what we have, even though it does – all the time and in more ways than we realize.
We often talk about things we don’t know. And we talk about things we should not talk about. At least not the way we often do.
And how often do we say things that are best left unarticulated.
And how injurious to ourselves and to others our speech often is!
And to something everyone knows and refers to as truth!
To facts! To reality!
And yet we never stop talking. We never stop to think.
Our one great big excuse may be that is how we have all been brought up: to talk; to talk; and to talk some more; and never allow a pause in between, either to think or to ask a question.
Talk, as they say in America, is cheap.
No wonder Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says, what I am paraphrasing here:
“It is our tongues that lead us straight into hellfire.”
That One Fatwa that Goes Missing
So, here is that one Fatwa that goes missing, and that cannot be given, at least not easily, at least not in the sense in which most people would understand it if they read it or hear about it.
And that Fatwa is this, and yet it is not a Fatwa, but little more, perhaps, than a wistful, whimsical remark, because the urge to voice it is so overpowering:
Anything that comes out of the mouth of anyone of us that is not “Alhamdulillah!” is Kufr!
I can add some qualifications and hedges if that would make some of us feel a little better. I can say, for example, things like: “If we really understand.”
Or things like: “If we really know what we are doing.”
“Or what we are saying.”
But when all this is said and done, the bare fact remains, to my mind, exactly what I said:
Anything that we say that is not “Alhamdulillah!” is Kufr!
That is how I feel about it. And very strongly too.
If we understand this one thing, we would know what exactly it is that we owe God. And how we should all conduct ourselves toward him.
And toward his creation!