Are all fatawas checked by Mufti Ebrahim Desai sahib personally?

I’ve been a regular visitor of your website which alhumdu lillah provides guidance to lot of believers for their queries.

This site have been very informative for a comman man to get advice on various masails(issues) and is being explained in very logical manner with supporting authentic ahadiths.
Of-late I observed a drop in qulaity of responses. If I look at response for following 2 fatwa numbers (28861 & 28885)

In 28861, instead of explaining or responding to the question, the submitter (of the question) is being asked about his islamic qualifications. It is understood that if the person is qualfied enough he won’t come and ask here.This site is visited by people who trust and expect the response supported by ahadith. A simple response would have helped here and would have cleared doubts. the submitter has posted few things from different books , as he has been posed with those proof by the other people who support standing only after “haiyya alal falah”.

Similarly in 28885, the logic or reason given is weak in absence of supporting ahadith. If everyone start thinking like that then there won’t be any female doctor left in the country. Islaam appreciates and encourage studies (ilm) and if there are proper arrangements and hijaab rules followed, i don’t think there is any harm in studying medicine. Just saying “there is no scarcity of female doctors” doesn’t help layman or common people to justify this. 

When Mufti sahab (Ebrahim Desai) use to answer the queries I have never experienced any such issues. But now since these are answered by his students, it best to review their repsonses thoroughly before publishing it.
More important, this site is visited by common people and not by Muftis or Aalim, hence proper and detailed explaination is desired.

Please consider this as a feedback to improve and serve the community better. As said earlier i have been follower and regular visitor of this site and recommends many of my friends to post the queries here.
May Allah guide each one of us to the right path and bless us to speard beautiful religion of islaam.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

At the outset, we are glad to have the honour to serve the Muslim community for the pleasure of Allah Ta`āla. May Allah accept our efforts and make it a means of success and salvation in the hereafter. Amīn

We hope the following points clarify your doubts:

Your comment: “Of-late I observed a drop in quality of responses. If I look at response for following 2 fatwa numbers (28861 & 28885)”

Our response: We take note of your concern and we will be interested to know what yardstick or measurement you used to determine the “drop in quality of responses”. If you have issues with queries 28861 and 28885, it would be not be fair to downplay the thousands of other fatāwā online.

Your comment: “Of-late I observed a drop in quality of responses … When Mufti sahab (Ebrahim Desai) use to answer the queries I have never experienced any such issues. But now since these are answered by his students, it best to review their responses thoroughly before publishing it. More important, this site is visited by common people and not by Muftis or Aalim, hence proper and detailed explanation is desired.”

Our response: You seem to insinuate the lack of quality and academic skills of the students who are themselves competent and qualified maulanās (scholars). You must know well that Dār al-Iftā has an exclusive and vigorous process in assessing admissions for the Iftā course. Only those students who have been recommended by their previous principals and teachers and who have excelled greatly in both, academia (husn al-isti`dād) and personal development (husn al-akhlāq), are admitted at the Dār al-Iftā with a very strict code of conduct which is closely monitored by Mufti Ebrahim Desai saheb. By the way, Mufti saheb`s residence is next to the Dār al-Iftā and the students are constantly monitored by Mufti saheb.

Your comment: But now since these are answered by his students, it best to review their responses thoroughly before publishing it.”

Our response: As you may observe on the website, each response is sealed with “Checked and Approved by Mufti Ebrahim Desai“ (may Allah preserve him).

The answers to questions are not published and posted online but subsequent to approval and strict scrutiny from Mufti Ebrahīm Saheb.

Honourable Mufti Saheb adopts the following procedures before approving any answer:

  • He critically analyses each statement including its language, style, structure, lexical devices, presentation and references;
  • He may thereafter guide the student to a particular book or area of consideration;
  • Alternatively, Mufti Saheb may simply send the student away to apply his own discretion in analysing and correcting his response;
  • The students are required to present their references for every detail mentioned. Failure to present any reference would result in the response being rejected;
  • Mufti Ebrahim may change the answer and assess each answer with the same critical eye as done upon being presented in the first response. 
  • Sometimes, Mufti saheb may find it suitable and wiser to seek clarification before delving into juristic intricacies or irrelevant peripheries;
  • Mufti Saheb always advises his students to adopt a practical and moderate approach within the limits of Sharia. He also advises his students not to be harsh or rude to people. He advises that fatāwā is an ideal and great form of da`wah;
  • In response to a contemporary or controversial issue, Mufti Ebrahim Saheb also instructs the answerer to consult with other fellow colleagues or relevant professionals. Following appraisals from peers and professionals, Mufti Saheb instructs the student to work on the advices rendered. This procedure may take days and weeks and thus this may construe our delay in some responses.
  • Mufti Saheb also advises students to make lots of du`ā to Allah Ta`ālā for guidance in issuing the most suitable and appropriate ruling. Research alone is not sufficient. The guidance of Allah Ta`ālā is the ultimate guidance.

Mufti Saheb only approves and posts online a response once he is completely satisfied with the answer.




Your comment: “More important, this site is visited by common people and not by Muftis or Aalim, hence proper and detailed explanation is desired.”

Our response: Please clarify what proper and detailed explanation you desire. We attempt to present our answers in the most simplest and comprehensive manner and we avoid distractive and unnecessary discussion. The purpose of a ruling is not to present various proofs and evidences but to assist the people in acquiring rulings to their queries and in practising sharia correctly.

Your comment: In 28861, instead of explaining or responding to the question, the submitter (of the question) is being asked about his islamic qualifications. It is understood that if the person is qualified enough he won’t come and ask here. This site is visited by people who trust and expect the response supported by ahadith.”

We are willing to answer any response and serve the Muslim community in perfecting their religion. However, the question you refer to requires an answer which only a person with adequate and relevant academic background can comprehend. Furthermore, it seems as though you did not reflect over the mind-set of the questioner. Among the protocols of answering questions is to understand the nature of the question and the purpose for which it is written. We welcome any academic discussion but simultaneously we do not entertain any unfruitful argument.

Furthermore, it is appropriate, and sometimes necessary, not to respond directly to a particular query or to exhibit the answer online since it may have an adverse effect and laymen may not be able to comprehend the juristic intricacies. This may cause further doubt in the minds of people. Take the example of scientific researches and medicines. There are certain medicines and related scientific issues, such as paracetamol and its role, which every common person can understand and comprehend as is the case with basic fiqh rulings. Conversely, there are issues around other certain scientific researches and medicines which are complex and exclusive to academic discourses between professionals and thus outside the domain of a layman. It would be foolish for a doctor to explain such intricacies to a layman. A layman who has interest in delving in such academic discourses should primarily embark on the journey of acquiring basic tools and only then try to lift heavier weights.

Your comment: Similarly in 28885, the logic or reason given is weak in absence of supporting ahadith … Just saying “there is no scarcity of female doctors” doesn’t help layman or common people to justify this.”

Our response: The question asks that because of the need for female doctors, it would seem counterproductive to say women are discouraged from studying medicine. In answer to this question, the answer says the premise of the question is not acceptable as there are many female doctors available to treat female patients. Hence, the need the question assumes does not exist. Your dissatisfaction with the question comes from why there should be initial discouragement to begin with. This is a different question and does not directly relate to the question that was sent. The reason for the initial discouragement is that women are required not to leave their homes unnecessarily and not freely mix with other ghayr mahram.

Both these answers required hours of reflection and deliberation on how to address the question. An answerer must consider all possible implications of the answer he writes, and, in the words of Mufti Ebrahim Desai saheb, “we would rather err [in giving a fatwa] on the side of ihtiyāt and caution” than err in allowing actions which may open doors to sins and immodesty.

It must be noted that while we attempt to present our answers from a fair, honest and moderate perspective, we acknowledge there will be individuals with preconceived ideas and thoughts and who may not agree with our answers.

Furthermore, an answerer has to follow certain protocols and adopt a particular approach in answering question. You must appreciate the work of whether the Mufti Saheb himself or other students who are themselves qualified Ulamā. To answer questions is a big responsibility and not as straightforward as assumed by some. Ibn `Abidīn al-Shāmī (1252 A.H) writes in his treaties and protocol of a Mufti:

وحيث لم توجد لهؤلاء مقالة واحتيج للإفتاء

فلينظر المفتي بجد واجتهاد وليخش بطش ربّه يوم المعاد

فليس يجسر على الأحكام سوى شقي خاسر المرام

[The Mufti is obliged to follow the earlier defined jurists and the stipulated protocols in issue the ruling.] Where there is no opinion expressed from the worthy jurists and a ruling is sought, then the Mufti is required to contemplate and apply his academic abilities with assiduity. Also, he must fear the seizure of his Lord on the Day of Judgement [and not be neglectful and hasty in issuing a verdict]. Only a misfortunate person who is lost in his purpose is brave enough to issuing a ruling [recklessly or unthoughtfully].

A question deemed simple to answer by layman may require the answerer to spend days and nights searching for the correct answer while surfing dozens of books. The answerer is tasked with not simply finding a quote from one book but from multiple books. Furthermore, the rulings to a particular issue may differ in different books and therefore the answerer must explore further books to ascertain the grading and the reasons for tarjīh and superiority of the ruling and distinguish the correct and muftā bihī ruling from others and that which is the most appropriate for issuing a verdict on.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net