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It is basically the opinion of an Islamic Scholar, issued by an expert and competent in the Islamic religious law; who is called "Mufti". He issues verdict about particular issues in the light of the Holy Quran, Sunnah and Ijma (consensus or agreement of the Muslim learned and pious Scholars on the religious issues).

Fatwa is derived from the basic root word "Fata", which means an explanation or clarification of a specific issue according to three basic sources that mentioned above. The importance of Fatwa about the issues that occur in our daily lives cannot be denied by anyone in the society. One can ask learned, religiously well-known and pious scholars if he/she does not know or find any detail references about the issues, as Allah says:

"So ask of those who have knowledge [learned religious men], if you know not." (An-Nahl 16:43 and Al-Anbya' 21:7)

Numerous verses in the Holy Quran highlight the importance of fatwa. Among those is this verse:

"They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "Allah directs (thus) about Al-Kalalah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs)". (An-Nisa' 4:176)

Ifta (giving Fatwa) is an honourable position and a great rank. A "Mufti" (the one who gives fatwa) must be learned and pious person, because he is the inheritor of the Prophet PBUH in conveying the true Message of Islam in the form of rulings on different issues. And he must be mujtahid (one who is gifted and capable of knowing the secrets of the Quran and the Hadiths.).

Imam Shafi, said:

"It is not allowed for anyone to give a fatwa (ruling on Shariah issues), except one who is entirely knowledgeable of the Holy Quran including the verses that are abrogated and by which verses they were abrogated, and which verses resemble each other in the Holy Quran and the chapters that revealed in Makkah or Madinah. He must know the whole collections of the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), both the authentic and the false (weak or fabricated). He must know the Arabic language of the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with its grammar and eloquence as well as know the poetry of the Arabs. Moreover, he must be aware of the culture of the various people who live in each different nation of the society. If one has all these attributes, he may tell and inform the people what is permitted (halal) and what is forbidden (haram). Otherwise he has no right to issue a fatwa."

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