Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Reactions to the Establishment of New Dar-Al-Fatwa in Afghanistan

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Reactions to the Establishment  of New Dar-Al-Fatwa in Afghanistan

Few days ago, the president established a New Dar-Al-fatwa (Religious Fatwa Issuance Center) aiming to have a specific address for issuance of religious fatwa in Afghanistan. As described by officials, this Dar-Al-Fatwa will be fully independent in terms of budget and issuance of fatwa throughout the country. It is also said that the Dar-Al-Fatwa will deals with community problems such as violence against women and children, family and community morality, promotion of administrative ethics and overall giving responses to religious questions through telephone calls. Also, the members of the Dar-Al-Fatwa will be chosen from among well-expert scholars who have a comprehensive knowledge of the state and are committed to contemporary system life.
The establishment of this center has caused various reactions to throughout the country. The media, especially social networking users, have made a lot of remarks about this emprise. A number of analysts link it to the sensitive step of election and peace process saying that the president needs to strengthen its position among the people and religious scholars while others believe that he may have political need to it in the future. There were also a few who believe that the establishment of this center is needed. For example, the 8am quoted form Tahmina Shujah, a social activist, believes that the establishment of this center will aware the people from wrong fatwa and misuses; but Abdull Wadood Pidram, another a social activist, believes that the Dar-Al-fatwa will not be effective in Afghanistan because the fatwa which was issued by Ulema Council has not decreased the war and extremism in the country. Overall, many think it increases the extremisms and will not have the ability and impartiality to issue accurate fatwa.
It seems that all those who oppose or doubt about the creation of such a center in Afghanistan do not have a proper understanding of the functions and necessity of such institution in the country.The existence of such institution under name of Dar-Al-Fatwa or Fatwa Council has long history in Islamic countries. It has had also a vast operation, functionality and good history among Muslims and Muslim countries. The most effective Dar-Al-Fatwa has been established in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and some other Islamic countries, and so far they had great achievements and fruits in social and cultural arena of these Muslim countries.
In particular, one of the most important functions of Dar-Al-fatwa in other countries is propelling people to secularization of those Muslim societies; Contrary to what was claimed about the establishment of such an institution that contributes to the spread of extremism, Dar-Al-Fatwa and fatwa councils in those countries have led to religious tolerance and the consolidation in those countries. Specifically, the existence of such an institution in Egypt and Turkey has helped the religious teachings reach Muslims through the right channel and prevent the intermingling of religious matters with political and social affairs.
In our country, the existence of a strong and creditable center can end the dividing social behavior caused by religious teachings and will greatly help to unite the people. As we know, every year there is a general confusion among the people due lack of such creditable address. For example, the days of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha cause a lot of differences and inharmony among the people. People have no option other than follow the fatwa maker of neighboring countries and celebrate Eid in different days; however, such differences are natural and normal from religious viewpoint, but its social and political consequences are very heavy and irreparable. In fact, it sparks a kind of dissension and social frustration. Therefore, the creation of an independent Dar-Al-fatwa combined of all Islamic sects and ends such vain differences.
One of the most important functions of Dar al-fatwa can prevent religious extremism providing solitary interpretation and views on issue of peace and war in the country. As we know, the ongoing war and the successive terrorist attacks of extremist groups are justified with religious laws and teachings. If an institution can provide a common and unified view of genuine Islam on the basis of human rationality and logic of religious concepts, there will no longer be room for the growth of extremism. At present, the terrorist and extremist groups are abusing the name of Islam and Islamic values with launching the worst acts of inhumane action.
One of the cases that repeatedly used as a religious justification for all disasters in Muslim world is the religious term of “jihad”. If an institution can issue a genuine religious fatwa will absolutely opposes extremist perceptions of Jihad,  it will be the greatest service to the Muslim people.The Consideration of some critics as if the creation of such a center will lead to extremism is either due to their unawareness or political intention. As a Muslim country with around 35 million people and severe vulnerabilities due to low awareness, we extremely need to have such an independent internal center. Otherwise, it would lead to unfavorable consequences due to imports of wrong fatwa from outside.
In clearer term, Dar-Al-fatwa will rescue the people from different so-called scholars who are addicted to production of political fatwa. It will also rescue the people from the fatwa of some middle-aged scholars who unknowingly encourage the people to extremism and division. In fact, it was a dangerous gap using the people as a weapon against innocent people of Afghanistan. In recent months Taliban and Daesh terrorist group have successively assassinated the genuine religious scholars who played the same awaking role in Afghanistan. 

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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