The parliamentary committee of religious affairs and endowments, headed by Osama Al-Abd, approved in principle a draft law, submitted by committee member MP Omar Hamroush, on Tuesday, to regulate the issuance of fatwa (edict) in Egypt.
The committee also approved another draft law to regulate the work of Dar Al-Ifta, Egypt’s principal Islamic legal institution for issuing a fatwa, which was submitted by Al-Abd.
In a media statement, Al-Abd said that the committee will prepare reports on the two draft laws to be submitted to Ali Abdel Aal, the parliament speaker, for discussion in a general session.
Egypt has been attempting to regulate the issuance of edicts as it lacked verification from the concerned religious institutions. Most of these edicts were widely debated among scholars and citizens.
A fatwa is normally issued by a recognised religious authority or individual based on the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s teachings for guidance (Sunnah) on the routine of daily life subjects, such as marriage and inheritance.
In Egypt, Dar Al-Iftaa, under the ministry of justice, is the official institution devoted to issuing fatwas, along with Al-Azhar’s clerics, based in nationwide offices. For example, all court sentences of death ought to be approved in consideration with Dar Al-Iftaa.
The parliament’s move came to settle the division between Egypt’s top religious institutions Al-Azhar and the ministry of endowment, as each entity believes that it has the right to issue a fatwa.