[ عربي ]

International Islamic Conference

Amman, 6/7/2005, (Communication & Information Division - Royal Hashemite Court) -- Leading Muslim clerics on Wednesday endorsed religious edicts (fatwas) forbidding the declaration of any Muslim an apostate (takfir) and limiting the issuance of religious edicts to qualified Muslim clerics in the eight schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

The endorsement of the edicts was part of a general statement emanating from the International Islamic Conference convened by His Majesty King Abdullah in the Jordanian capital, Amman. The joint statement, collecting signatures from scholars and clergy of the eight schools, is the first of its kind.

The statement, issued in the presence of King Abdullah, forbids declaring any adherent to any one of the eight schools of jurisprudence or to Sufism, an apostate; acknowledges the agreement among the eight schools on the fundamental principles of Islamic belief and practice; instructs the eight schools to establish a mechanism by which only qualified clergy could issue religious edicts and forbade the issuance of edicts by unqualified clergy; affirms the necessity and benefit of dialogue among the eight schools and urges Muslims to eschew discord and instead unite and fortify affinity among Muslim people and state.

The statement's terms of reference included religious edicts issued by ten of the most preeminent members of the global Islamic clergy ahead of the conference, which condemned the doctrine of takfir, among other things. The edicts were issued by Their Eminences Grand Imam Sheikh Al Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi; Grand Ayatollah Al Sayyid Ali Al Sistani; Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Jumaa; a compendium of Shi‘i clerics (both Ja‘fari and Zeidi); Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Khalili; the Islamic Fiqh Academy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Grand Council for Religious Affairs, Turkey; Grand Mufti of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Sheikh Izzeddine Al Khatib Al Tamimi, and the members of its National Fatwa Committee; and Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

Other elements of the statement were drawn from King Abdullah's address to the conference, which urged more than 170 scholars and clerics from the different schools of Islamic thought to unify the global Muslim community against threats to its integrity from both Muslims and non-Muslims. The King said that divisions within the global Islamic community, acts of violence and terrorism and accusations of apostasy and the killing of Muslims in the name of Islam violate the spirit of Islam and generate global turmoil because they give justification to non-Muslims to judge Islam according to acts that Islam disavows, and subsequently interfere in Muslims' affairs.

The King said it was unacceptable to call an adherent to any one of the eight schools of jurisprudence an apostate. All schools recognize the fundamental principles of Islamic belief and uphold the five pillars of Islam, he said, and therefore practice true Islam.

The mutual acknowledgement of all schools of Islamic jurisprudence would permit the emergence of a fundamental methodology in the issuance of religious edicts in order that those issuing edicts would be “qualified for this undertaking,” the King said

“This,” he said, “would end the practice of defaming others as apostates and close the door on ignorant people who practice killing and terrorism - of which Islam is innocent - in the name of Islam.

Click here for final conference statement