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Thursday, March 05, 2009

UAE cleric: Women can become Muftis

Occasionally, a fatwa can be surprising in a pleasant way:
The Grand Mufti of Dubai, the leading Islamic legal scholar, has ruled that women can hold the position of mufti and issue religious rulings relevant to both men and women on every aspect of life.

Dr. Ahmed al-Haddad, Director of the Dubai Fatwa Department, issued a fatwa stating women can apply alongside men for the position of mufti.

"If a woman reaches the level of education that enables her to issue fatwas, then she has the right to work as a mufti and issue fatwas on all possible issues," Haddad said in his ruling.

Since issuing fatwas means informing people of the laws of God, anyone who has the required knowledge has the right to do so, said Haddad, citing a verse from the Quran that requires those who know about God's laws never to withhold the knowledge they have.

"These instructions from the Quran include everyone, male or female" Haddad said.

Islamic scholars define the position of "mufti" as someone who is qualified to apply the laws of God and the teachings of the prophet to contemporary issues, and Haddad underscored that such an ability is not confined solely to men.
Of course, any woman that actually tries to do this will be placing her life in her hands.