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13th Fiqhi Seminar

Date: 13-16, April 2001
Venue: Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed, Katauli, Malihabad, U. P. (India)
Subjects: Change of the Nature of Substances, Investment of the Zakat Money, Forced Marriage, Business Deals Through Modern Communication

The following resolutions were adopted by the thirteenth Juristic Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) held on 13th -16th April 2001 at Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed, in Kkatauli, Malihabad, U.P.

Change of the Nature of Substances:

The following resolutions were adopted by the thirteenth Juristic Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) held on 13th -16th April 2001 on the subject of the Change of the Nature of Substances at Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed, Katauli, Malihabad U.P.

  1. The sanctity and profanity of the substances described as forbidden or impure in the Shariah pertain to the essence of the thing in question. Any change in the original identity or nature of the thing due to a human action, chemical or non-chemical reaction process, or due to physical and environmental impacts without involving any human action will abrogate the earlier Shariah injunctions about it. Here no discrimination will be made between absolute and non-absolute impurity.

  2. What we mean by change of nature is the change in the particular properties of a thing that pertain to its identity. The presence of the reminiscent of other ineffective properties not reckoned in the original identity of a thing does not hinder the process of change in the nature of a substance.

  3. If there is only an intermixture of forbidden and impure substance with a permitted and pure substance and there occurs no change in the original identity of the substance, it will still remain forbidden and impure.

  4. This seminar observes that it is necessary to seek the opinion of the scholars of chemistry before arriving at a decision on the change of the nature of substance in alcohol and gelatin. This seminar, therefore, calls upon the officials of the Islamic Fiqh Academy to postpone the decision on this subject till another seminar to be held in the near future, so that necessary information’s on this issues are collected from the authentic sources and conveyed to Islamic scholars and jurists to help them arrive at a right decision.

  5. This seminar urges the Muslim scientists as well as the leading personalities of the Islamic world to discover the substitute in herbs, physical objects and legitimate animals for forbidden and impure ingredients used in drugs for medical purposes, so that Muslims may avoid medicines containing forbidden and dubious substances as, being Muslims, it is their religious and moral duty.

Investment of the Zakat Money:

The Thirteenth Juristic Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) held on 13th –16th April 2001 (Corresponding to 18-21 Muharram 1422 H) discussed the matter of investing the Zakat money and adopted the following resolutions in the light of the opinions presented by some academic institutions.

  1. In many countries and regions Muslims are reeling under utter poverty and economic backwardness. Non Muslim and the Qadyani missionaries are making hay of the situation arising from Muslims, ignorance of religion and economic backwardness. By extending financial help to these poor and ignorant Muslims the missionaries are befriending them for the sole purpose of diverting them form their true faith. To Counter this situation it is extremely necessary to take steps for the well being of such Muslims and remove poverty rampant among them and to help them get rid of the specter of hunger and starvation that has jeopardized their faith and religion. These Muslims deserve the most to be given the Zakat money. It is the responsibility of Muslims in every country and region to send their Zakat money to such poor Muslims and also to help them monetarily from other heads of charity in case the Zakat money falls short of meeting the needs of hunger stricken Muslims.

  2. The beggars and the needy have ownership rights on whatever they receive in Zakat. If a beggar or needy person or a group of them invest the money received in Zakat in a business to benefit from the capital in the days to come, it will be permitted and the person who has given money will be treated as the payer of Zakat.

  3. A person or group paying the Zakat are not permitted to invest the Zakat money in a beneficial business in order that the proceeds are distributed among those entitled for receiving Zakat. The Zakat will not be treated paid in this manner.

  4. According to Shariah it is permitted to purchase certain machines and equipments keeping in view the industry and craft in which the beggars and needy persons may be interested, and give the same in the latter’s possession. It is also permitted that taking into consideration the commercial needs of a beggar, a shop is built with the Zakat money and is given in the possession of the beggar. Thus the person spending money on the equipment or the shop will be treated as having paid the Zakat.

  5. If someone builds living quarters or shops and gives the same to beggars and the needy for residence and commercial activities without making the occupants owners of the property it will not be treated as payment of Zakat.

  6. While paying Zakat care should be taken that the needy persons entitled for Zakat in one’s neighbourhood are not ignored.

Forced Marriage:

Decisions:

The Thirteenth Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) held at Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed at Katauli in Malihabad district deliberated on the incidents in Britain and other Western countries of forcing girls by their guardians to marry the men of latter’s choice and took the following decisions:

  1. On the attainment of adulthood the Shariah gives to a boy or girl right to choice in the matter of marriage and make decisions about themselves. This individual freedom is one of the characteristics of the Islamic Shariah. A number of modern eastern and western communities who have given rights to women are much indebted to the Islamic teachings.

  2. It will be quite unfair on the part of a guardian to force his ward to take in marriage a person whom he or she does not like. Guardian’s insistence on his choice and using coercive means to make his ward yield amounts to violation of individual rights, which the Shariah never approves.

  3. It is better for young boys and girls to prefer the marriage proposal offered by their guardians. This is because the guardians, due to the love and affections they give to youngers and the experiences of life they possess, are expected to have taken into consideration the interest of the young boy or girl for whom a matrimonial alliance is being sought.

  4. The execution of marriage contract pertains to the pronouncement of consent at the time of the Nikah ceremony. The moment an adult boy or girl pronounces their consent the Nikah is executed.

  5. In case a Shariah Judge or a legal body is convinced of the coercive means resorted to by a girl’s guardian to force her for marrying a male she does not like and has been made to pronounce consent under threat and the girl does not agree to continue this alliance and demands separation while the husband is not prepared to be separated from her, the Shariah Justice has right to nullify the Nikah in order to save the girl from injustice.

Business Deals Through Modern Communication:

Decisions:

  1. “Majlis” (sitting) means the state in which two parties are engaged in deciding a deal. The purpose in “Ittihad –e- Majlis” (unity of sitting), is to inter link the proposal with consent at a time while “ikhtilaf –e- majlis” means that the proposal is not inter-linked to consent at a time.

  2. In a sale deal the proposal and consent will be acceptable if done through telephone and video conferencing. If the parties are present at a time on Internet and the consent is expressed from the second party soon after the proposal is made by the first one, the deal will be confirmed and the parties will be treated as “muttahidul majlis”.
    (b) In case one party proposed a deal on the Internet and the second party was not then present on the Internet. The second party latter received the message. This will be a mode of business through writing. The moment the second party will read the message he will have to express this consent instantly.

  3. In case both buyer and seller want to keep a secret of their deal and use a secret code any attempt on the part of a third person to decode the secret will be unfair. However, if the right of preemption or Shariah right of a person is involved in that contract or deal he has a right to know about the secret deal being negotiated between the two parties.

  4. The matter of Nikah is more complex than a sale deal as the former involves an aspect of ibadah and requires two witnesses. Therefore, direct proposal of marriage and pronouncement of consent on Internet, Video Conferencing and telephone is not reliable. However, Nikah will be valid in case an attorney is appointed for Nikah proceedings on these electronic media and the two parties make proposal and pronounce consent before their witness on behalf of the attorney. In such an arrangement the witnesses should have been familiar with the person appointed as attorney or his name with his father’s name and residential address is mentioned at the time of proposal and consent.

Sanctity of Dowry:

Decisions:

More than hundred religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought in the country attending the thirteenth Juristic Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy held on 13th-16th April 2001 at Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed at Katauli in Malihabad district signed the following decision:

This session of the Islamic Fiqh Academy expresses deep concern over general mentality of putting bridegrooms on sale rampant in the Muslim society where boys are treated as a market commodity. Not only the boys themselves make higher demands of dowry but also their parents and relatives. They are on a look as to who makes the highest bid for them. Shariah prohibits taking from the girl’s party anything in the name of social customs or prevalent dowry. Rather, Shariah has entrusted men with bearing the expenses of matrimony as ordained by the Qruan.

Today, we have reversed this Quranic principle and women are forced to spend money on matrimony. Sometimes the groom’s party makes a clear demand for dowry while at others it is received under the garb of customs and rituals. The Shariah forbids all such forms of acceptance and offer.

This session of the Academy calls upon the Muslims of India to set the Muslim society on the path shown by the Prophet (pbuh) and to execute matrimonial alliance in a simple fashion, avoiding all sorts of extravagance. They should hold matrimonial ceremonies without forcing the girl’s party to yield to their undue demands and strictly follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

Unanimous Stand of Scholars of All Schools of though on the Shariah Status of Mosque:

About one hundred twenty distinguished religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought from all over the country attending the thirteenth juristic seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy held on 13th -16th April 2001 at Jamia Syed Ahmad Shaheed at Katauli in Malihabad district took the following decision under their signatures:

The stand of Islam about the status of mosques is quite clear. Scholars have unanimity on the point that a mosque once constructed shall remain a mosque till the Day of Doom. It can neither be sold or brought nor be gifted to any one. No individual or government can change its status. Mosque is, in fact, a piece of land endowed to the cause of religion and worship. A mosque is not a set of walls and arches and the material used in construction. Hence, if the structure of a mosque is demolished aggressively or no prayers are offered in it for a long time it shall cease not cause to the a mosque. Shariah obligates the Muslim to resume offering prayers in it.

The purpose of a mosque is to worship the Creator of the universe and to negate everything other than Allah. Permission can never be granted to build an idol temple in place of the mosque, as it will be detrimental to the cause of the mosque. It will not only be against the principle of religion and faith but also against reason to make use of a thing for a purpose contrary to it.

Islam is the sole representative of the unity of Allah. It invites the entire humanity to the eternal truth that the Creator of the entire universe is the Absolute Being who does not take partners with him. Besides, it also teaches us co existence and justice and does not believe in compulsion in religion. It forbids people from grabbing the individual, social or religious property of a community to convert it forcibly in to a mosque. Therefore, it is wrong to claim both historically and religiously that the Muslims forcibly occupied the property belonging to another community to turn it into a mosque.

This seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy unanimously clarifies it that any compromise aimed at changing the status of Babri Mosque or any other mosque to convert it into a temple shall never be acceptable to the Muslims of India.

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Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) (IFA) was established in 1988 at New Delhi under the guidance and supervision of the great known Islamic Scholars.

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