Fatwas: Their role in contemporary secular Australia

Black, Ann and Hosen, Nadirsyah (2009) Fatwas: Their role in contemporary secular Australia. Griffith Law Review, 18 2: 405-427.

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Author Black, Ann
Hosen, Nadirsyah
Title Fatwas: Their role in contemporary secular Australia
Journal name Griffith Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-3441
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 18
Issue 2
Start page 405
End page 427
Total pages 23
Editor Lillian Corbin
Bronwyn Statham
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Taylor & Francis Australasia
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Abstract In Australia, there has been confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the term 'fatwa'. This goes both to its meaning and also to the role fatwas fulfil for Muslims, whether in Australia or in other parts of the world. This paper seeks to address both of these issues, first by demystifying fatwa through exploration of the distinctive place the have in Islamic jurisprudence, and second by identifying the methodology used by jurists in ifta (the giving of fatwas), which has enabled Islamic law to be responsive to new developments and contemporary challenges. Given the recent expansion of technological, economic and medical advances and the pattern of migration of Muslims to secular societies, the paper argues that the need for fatwas is in fact increasing as Muslims strive to accommodate Islamic religious requirements within these new environments. The paper surveys the sources of Islamic authority in Australia, concluding that a process of collective ijtihad (independent legal reasoning) would best be suited to the diversity that is the hallmark of Islam in Australia. However, it is stressed that this would not lessen the primacy of Australian law but rather would complement it, as fatwas give guidance to Muslims Australians in the personal, individual and private spheres of life.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Tue, 22 Dec 2009, 10:20:50 EST by Vivianne Mulder on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law