Jeddah (UNA-UNA) – The Secretary-General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), Professor Koutoub Moustapha Sano, affirmed that the Islamic Ummah everywhere is waiting for effective solutions from scholars to the accumulated problems and challenges of contemporary life as well as satisfactory answers to the developments and current issues (nawazil) that have been emerging in their societies.
He was speaking the opening ceremony of the twenty-fifth session of the IIFA Council, held yesterday, Monday (February 20, 2023), in Jeddah, under the auspices of Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Al-Mukarramah Region, represented by Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi, Governor of Jeddah.
“The current session comes after four years, during which humanity suffered unprecedented calamities and pains and experienced different forms of challenges and changes, especially with the emergence of new issues and problems that the world has never been familiar with,” Sano said.
He expressed the Academy’s gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, for the permanent care of the Academy and the support given to this session through the Saudi Permanent Mission to the OIC.
For his part, the IIFA President, Sheikh Dr Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid, stressed that the current session is diverse in terms of participation, topics, and the volume of research presented to it, indicating that the participants in the session represent the Ummah’s best scholars and thinkers.
He explained that the current session investigates fifteen topics that cover critical, contemporary issues concerning worship, the challenges to the family institution, sociology, education, and developments in finance and business.
“The hope is that you, the scholars and experts, undertake the obligation enjoined upon you by Allah to clarify (shariah rulings on contemporary issues) based on the Nobel Quran that Allah has sent as an explanation of everything, guidance and mercy; and following the guidance of the best of mankind and adhering to the approach of moderation, followed by the righteous predecessors (al-salaf al-ṣaliḥ) of the honourable Companions,” Sheikh Saleh bin Humaid said.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, explained that the themes of the current session are among the matters that impose themselves on the Islamic Ummah and its intellectual and religious think tanks, especially the IIFA.
He stressed that contemporary challenges invite scholars and thinkers to deal with them and work to educate societies in a way that preserves their religion and contributes to enhancing security and stability in their countries and the world.
“The OIC General Secretariat affirms support for the IIFA’s activities and calls on all Member States to support it. The General Secretariat also stresses the importance of supporting the IIFA Endowment Fund to achieve its noble goals and various initiatives,” Taha said.
The OIC Secretary-General emphasized that the teachings of the true Islamic religion encourage the education of girls and ensure the right to education for both females and males, pointing out that this issue, unfortunately, has returned to the discussion table again due to the misconception adopted by some groups in this era.
At the end of the ceremony, Prince Saud bin Jalawi, Governor of Jeddah, honoured the session’s sponsors.
The first day of the session witnessed the convening of 3 panel discussions. The first dealt with “clarifying the shariah ruling on compulsory education (religious and worldly) for both males and females in Islam”. While the second was dedicated to studying “The impact of Corona pandemic on the Shariah rulings on worships, family and crime” and “The impact of Corona pandemic on the legal rulings on contracts, transactions, and financial liabilities”.
The third panel discussion investigated the ruling on performing prayer (Salah) in a language other than Arabic with or without excuse and the ruling on following a prayer by listening to the mobile phone or the radio.
It is expected that the IIFA will issue resolutions dealing with these emerging issues within the framework of the authentic collective jurisprudential reasoning (ijtihad) of the scholars of the Islamic world in the current era.
The current session witnesses the participation of 200 scholars from the OIC member states with expertise and specialization in Sharia disciplines, economics, medicine, and sociology to discuss 160 research papers on the issues and topics of the session.