Fatwas To End All Fatwas

The lack of a central hierarchy within the Muslim religion has led to an infinite number of men capable of issuing a Fatwa about this or that which might be accepted this person or that person. Several recent Fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia have created some confusion, particularly after Sheikh Abvdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan issued a Fatwa which claims a man can be considered the son of a woman who breast feeds him. Many women rights activists regarded his comment as ludicrous. But, when Abdel Al-Kalbani, a Riyadh cleric who is the first black imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah issued a Fatwa that music is OK and there is nothing in Islamic scripture that makes music, haram, forbidden. Obeikan also raised some hackles by saying compulsory midday and mid-afternoon prayer sessions could be combined to help out with hot weather conditions.

The Fatwa wars have begun. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh warned the people of Saudi Arabia against “abnormal fatwas which have no support from the Quran.” These wars may reflect an ongoing conflict between those seeking to transform the Muslim religion into one which takes into account the year is 2010, not 810.