Fatwas on the Internet

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Fatwas on the Internet
Islamic Jurisprudence in the Age of Social Media
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The global access to knowledge and information enables Muslims all over the world to browse different interpretations of Islamic Law, discuss and share knowledge and opinions and ask religious scholars for advice via social media. This talk will explain how social media contributes to the diversity and further development of Islamic jurisprudence and how this influences Muslim communities. If you want to know more about Fatwas issued and discussed on the internet – don't miss this talk!
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RID welcome everybody to the talk that was on the internet Islamic Jurisprudence in the age of social media minus Miriam this is my Twitter handle usually in case you wanna
get in contact after the talk right here is
a short overview over what is going to happen in the next half hour and then I go with you through
Islamic Jurisprudence 101 just the very very very and did that as a whole semester on Islamic law and after half a year I felt like I had not understood the basics and also it is impossible to really explain it but we just try to go for the very basics then I brought you a whole bunch of examples
that are found on the internet that I deem interesting that I think are very good illustrating and how Islamic Jurisprudence has changed
through the advent of the Internet and social media and at the very end and we're going to draw some conclusions and just explain this means to the heart and things are pretty much everything is just a parody on a very conservative scholar that whenever you ask him for advice and you always gonna
tell you that everything is prohibited everything is forbidden everything is harm on and we're going to have a few more memes brother presentation a friend asked me yesterday if I had produced these means specifically for this presentation now I did not I did find all these means already on the internet and I just included them in the presentation alright Islamic Jurisprudence 101 what is a fact license the talk is called so that was on the internet and the fact that
contrary to common belief is just a legal opinion or a real religious ruling on a certain subject the most important thing to remember is that a fact that is not binding is really is just like you ask somebody whom you trust with some authority you somebody where you think he knows best he's he's an expert on a certain subject you ask him for advice and then he gives you this advice and this his opinion is informed ruling this is the fact that it's not like a lot if you break it you gotta go
to prison or something it's just the opinion of 1 single person this also means that you can actually ask different people people are different persons like should I do the thing you can answer certain scholars should I do the thing and he's going to say no but then you also have the opportunity to ask
5 other scholars should do the thing and maybe the other 5 scholars while also authorities in the field will tell you here you should do the thing that's alright and actually it's up to you you can decide whether you say well once said no 1 5 said yes I'm gonna say and the will of 5 because probably they are right and I should do the thing but you can also decide
differently you could also say I well I trust this 1 person more or I think that this person has more credibility or more authority and just go along with this type of this 1 person all right so we say it's effort is a legal opinion by a scholar or a person trained in Islamic law what does this mean it somebody who's familiar with the source material of Islamic Jurisprudence what is the source material and these are for the court on which is the holy scripture and in Islam and and the muslims believe it is given by God and it's also the so another as the teaching and the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad so basically what he has said and done on different subjects and the 3rd source is a generic as also consensus it means that different scholars agree on a certain question um and then you can derive from this the ruling and he has this analogy which means that there's already a ruling that was derived from the other sources like that and so now and and now we have a new
problem or a new circumstances new question and you just derived the answer for this new problem from rulings that already exists just as a side note what is Sharia Chevrier as a body of moral and religious law that is derived from the Holy Scriptures and as opposed to human legislation banning put that aside
and islamic art is incredibly complex and there's so much to say there's something different schools of law for example you probably all know that there's something Islam and Shiite slum and in Sunni Islam alone you have for a major different schools of law that have different opinions on different questions and depending on which school of law you follow you will have different interpretations of different questions then you have different schools of line Shiite slum so there's a huge variety of different opinions so just make this clear again a lot of people imagine Shari'ah offered to us is something that is written in stone as this is how it is it is really reversible and but there's a lot of room for interpretation and this is 1 of the major points and trying to make today so in the former times out before the advent of the Internet and social media
and you can basically only access to local scholars let's say you live in a small village in Egypt and your brother dies and leaves behind 2 small children and now you wondering whether the adoption of these children is alright in from a religious perspective so should you adopt these children yes or no and you're not sure about this but the only possibility that you have is to go to your local scholar your local Schafer maybe was preaching at the mosque and you ask this person and then you have this 1 opinion and then you probably go along with it later on still before the internet and some of those scholars would distribute their sermons
of effort was and opinions and rulings on violent T V 2 like that tapes videotapes or audio tapes and of course books
but maybe if you live in a small village you don't have access to books or maybe you can even read right so then you always fall back on your local scholar the the so it means that advice-seeking was always very very local of course there were a huge centuries of Islamic line Islamic school thoughts and so if you live in Baghdad or you go to the mass up Cairo you will actually find universities are huge Moss we have a lot of different scholars and then you can you go to these different scholars and ask them for different advice so now the Internet comes
around and online fat what services started around 19 nineties and only change the traditional local practices of advice giving because now we have the possibility to ask anyone anywhere in the world and for a certain ruling so if you live maybe still in a small village in Egypt and you wonder about this question if you should adopt the 2 children yes or no you can go on the internet and you can actually find the the opinion of a scholar in Indonesia or someone who lives in Canada or in South Africa or wherever and you can actually take an informed decision you can look for a lot of different opinions and you can actually decide which 1 you do invest or which makes the most sense to you
but now we went to look at the different a few different of these and online platforms can actually ask you a question and it's a little bit like uh for example when I use lactation I have a question that I have not encountered before I just google it and
very often somebody else had the problem before me so I just find the answer if I don't find the answer I just go to a platform of forum I n from a question and somebody's gonna answer it so this for example is the platform
of the shape as a dalliance senior Sistani he's a a scholar and some call him the spiritual leader of Iraqi Shia Muslims and he's very famous he has this huge platform he has a lot of people seek his advice he has put up a lot of what was and we see here that there is that the section that is called question and answer so 1 of the 1st questions years I have a girlfriend whom I like to marry in the future can express my love for her and people really have so many different questions that they're going to ask the scholars
online their questions like for example say you live in a country and and in in the north like in Greenland arising and for example of how do you fast during Ramadan when do you pray and there's continues day or nite where usually the prayer times coincide with the rising and setting of the sun so you can ask a scholar online for that but people also ask about anything really are to choose allowed in Islam and what about organ donation here this is the section question-answer and are so many
topics I can't scroll down I could believe that just to give you a few examples there's adoption alkyl autopsy animals uh buying and selling blood donation magic birth control and bribery and like backgammon so there really there is no boundary to the questions that you might have this is an
example that are found and very funny because it's very meter I already explained to you how you can actually seek advice you find many different answers and then you choose the 1 that makes more sense to you or you choose 1 from the scholar did you trust most so here somebody was
asking a scholar the scholar by the way is a shame Mohammed Saleh managedby then meet him again later and so just remember the name associated questionnaires it
where's the noise coming from Nova question was she had many fat was available to her and she chose the 1 she felt most comparable with and she has a long question detailing what question to
basically what she says there is so if I ask for a question like another question I ask for advice and then I choose the 1 that I feel most comfortable with is that OK or should I should I do it otherwise and then on the she gives a very very long detailed answer basically saying
on yeah that's true so a lot of people choose the 1 fact what it gives them the easiest way how it's and she said is also in the question I personally prefer to choose the
1 that is more strict and and the sheriff says yes people should not use the fact 1 that suits their wishes best or freeze them from any obligations but and just at the very end so this is the end of his answer and what I just found funny is this like related factors it's like if you like this part
what that was you might also be interested in and then you click can click on these the but yeah and this is another example of for a forum where you can ask you questions is called Islam sake exchange I only knew lattice exchange
numbers but it is also really cool and you can post a question and you finances so this person is asking is it allowed in Islam to load Koran into smartphone as PDF audio format then was more detailed questions about this for example is allowed to
enter the toilets when I have a smart phone in my pocket where the plant is loaded as PDF or audio format so this ratio 0 that modern times demand more info to us and it's quite interesting because that's gonna give him uh the answered yes it is permissible are different people answer actually and all the people
agree it is permissible to have the Holy Koran on your phone and also in your pocket as a PDF for all you formant because attention the text is stored in a binary and is then decoded which means that it has no defined religious existence so it's not the holy book per
say like physical but it's stored in binary so it's OK to have its uh on your phone or in your pocket and but no you should not take it on the 1 you should not read on and this is an example as from a few people that are also going to have a talk later
with and this is basically Allen for the German speakers and the audience is a youtube video from the Deputy it's uh it's my favorite videos of all times that they did it's called if Google wasn't a mom and it's perfectly illustrating what I just explained to you so this is the man and he's like Google USA goalie mom the people come to him and they have a lot of different questions and they ask him and then gives them the answers and and this is a nice example because somebody's asking can I wish my
Christian friends Merry Christmas as a Muslim which is actually a question that really a lot of people have on these forums I found this very often many times it's a very common question that Muslims
have and then he says I have a hundred thousand dollars to say yes and if you say no and and and yeah you can choose
to take 100 thousand that they say yes or do you take the 1 that says no so check this out if your is a german speaker unfortunately don't have English subtitles yet but check this video out it's really hilarious I'll a lot yeah so and now we have a few very uh traditional
organizations that are affiliated with Islamic law that have found their way on social media and since I have
lived and worked for the 2 years in Saudi Arabia a lot of the examples that I'm gonna show you I'm are actually from Saudi Arabia so this is the Saudi religious police
and who found their way into where they have 185 thousand father this which is pretty decent I would say but we're gonna need some more celebrities who you more followers later and this is just an example of the treats and that they treated out recently a few days
ago it's a campaign that they do against terrorism and here it says I'm a Muslim and I'm against it so they have a social media
campaign against terrorism and which I find it interesting to see that they campaign on the internet and find the people I did bring bring their their subjects to the audiences now we
all know if you go online if you go to social media and you have a lot of followers and you have very strong opinions this can and very badly and for everybody but especially for the person with the strong opinions so this is the shape and monitored you remember I said before on 1 of the forums to give the answer for
1 of the questions and this happens in January of 2015 he's actually a cell discovered and in the generative 2015 it snowed very heavily in the north of Saudi Arabia and in the desert it was a lot of snowfall the people were really excited and they built a lot of snow actually they also build no
women and so cannot ends and you put out a line said snowmen snow women and so camels are an Islamic and and are thus prohibited he said and this has to do with the Islamic tradition of image representations you should not play God you should not create something that looks like living living being so he put on this fact finds its moment on Islamic you should not do Sloman and there was a huge backlash on the internet and social media people were really I've said and they said this ruling does not make any sense at all it's no means no women so camels um are not an insult Islam is perfectly fine to do that in this fact was ridiculous and he's just out of his mind and that this there was this huge
backlash and actually he was forced by this factors to take back the fat 1 or 2 altered slightly and because you look like a fool and everybody was thanking him so all yours kind of rowing bank and he said alright snowmen snow womenfolk else they are OK if there are not too many details on their faces and and I just find this very interesting
because it is 1 of actually many examples where scholars will form 1st bind backlash on social media to take back certain was all rulings that they had put out and there was another 1 I'm not sure it was the same scholar or another 1 but she put artifact what it said that men can divorce their wives by a text message people did not like this fact what he had to take a back and this is interesting because some people call this dynamic thinks that has happened on social media and a new form of a gene that we remember that I said before this is constant so like when people I agree on insert something you should it's understood as the consensus consensus of different scholars but some people
say like well if the whole Internet agrees that this fact was ridiculous this can also be seen as consensus and then maybe it's not a good fat line should be taken back so it's interesting because
it means that people can actually influence Islamic Jurisprudence they can each and every 1 of the people can actually influence which direction assignments uh jurisprudence is going it can reject bad or impractical for to us edges and the story and the Saudi's continue to make a lot of snow snowmen so
women so camels with very detailed faces so they didn't care about this and chef whether such shitstorm on his head the shape of and and also Saudis scholar
another example from Saudi Arabia also that this was at the end of 2015 the interesting thing is that he was the former head of the religious police in Macau so you would think that he is a rather conservative person right and is
very well known also our yes just 30 3 thousand followers but still be a lot of people know him and they known as a conservative so what happened was that a young girl are similar social media is it OK if I post the picture of my face for example on Facebook without a face veil without an account is that alright and he put out a fat client published it on Twitter and said yes it's perfectly permissible Astoria right you can
post a picture ofyou face and you can wear a job but you don't have to wear the face veil if you put up a picture of yourself on social media and in the few hours after he published this fact on Twitter there was huge shitstorm had like tens of thousands of replies and then it was everything between congratulations and like while you're more liberal than I ever thought and people who sent and
death threats and saw the way how he reacted I love this very much so there was everything internet was on fire and the day put out this fact what's the next day he goes to the most popular the
Saudi TV show we seen here and he brings along his wife and he says in this TV show not perfect if I look at me I have
my wife with me she's not wearing a face will am Anatolia right so of course he was barking even more debate with this and then this out a grand mufti the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia actually called him to heed calls into order it but the debate had already taken place so as I mean for ever people will know that there is a conservative Shahar says that it's OK to post a picture of the face online without a face the
what we also see is that there is interaction between different types of media and this is a Turkish Scottà this is an example also from last year from 2015 his name is ali is that image and he was on a TV show up when he was talking about the question if oral sex is permissible and end this example went viral because the TV host had a very hard time keeping a straight face was just cracking up all the time she was giggling she was laughing and she thought that his views were ridiculous because what he said was and he was talking about advanced oral thanks and
she was like whatever is advance oral sex and people on social media we're talking about this for days and some ridiculing him not hating on in and there was a huge debate so what we also see is that
these discussions of very often not very often it's like there's somebody on the TV and a talk show or talking about a certain subject people watch this and you probably know this from Germany
other countries as well people watch this then they will talk about this and then people actually and the it like this it would
just do get it we get to the intention that there is a discussion about it maybe they have not seen the TV show that uniquely but that could be someone who will send them the link to the YouTube video blob about and then the the whole discussion just blows up angles um of space so always interaction this happens very often something happens and he then people go crazy on on social media about the subject and these discussions about Islamic law give a lot of people the opportunity to talk rather freely about subjects like sexuality you and rob openly and on social media because if it's in the framework
of a discussion about Islamic law Mr. redefine right because you just discuss whether this is permissible and no and the question of oral sex is by the way I wonder I have also run across very very often and just to mention it there's a study shave his name is up to a hub and I to III and he made very positive comments about oral sex he said it is perfectly permissible between husband and wife as long as it does not replace the penetration and nobody fluids must be swallowed so oral sex is perfectly fine and is another example also from last year
and it is the a Tunisian friends transgender person I went on to be on a TV show huge national discussion in Tunisia about transgender in general and how is the lot treating them is sex reassignment surgery permissible in Islam yes or no and futile yeah alright
we don't need some more celebrities and I use the term that we use the TV shift from Al-Jazeera and he's originally from Egypt but he has been living in Qatar for many many years and he is most famous for his TV show on Al-Jazeera that is called a study a lot higher than the Shari'ah and the life where his discussion that discussing many of the questions and of this are that is permissible in Islam he's answering questions that people can send in talking to people
column on the show and this show is really really famous it has like 60 million viewers worldwide also you had like more than 1 million followers and if you just
imagine that Edward Snowden has 2 million followers right now I think that's a lot yeah he has also published more than 120 boats sees a huge celebrity in the Arab world
uh this guy's called the social media King Mohammed LREC and he has this is Facebook page he has almost 22 million lights on his Facebook page and is very apt in social media in general and in use on all these platforms I don't even know all of them I guess
and but you can follow him everywhere he's
also study writer and scholar and uses some of the and even his Wikipedia article it is mentioned that 1 of his distinguishing features is that he has multiple social media exposure but he also holds very anti-Semitic views and and he this distancing himself from imizes but he was also accused to have contributed to the radicalization of some young British people and these are just 2 of those multiple Twitter accounts this is private we're county as
171 thousand followers on his private Twitter account and this is a Twitter account that he has just for this fact was
right and that has also 63 thousand followers on Twitter just where
publishing fat mn that example is that their religious battles taking place on the Internet this is an example and where some people have had to page out in protest of the execution of the shift in the learning mother in Saudi Arabia uh this is an example where I
think the the web page of an Australian airport has been hacked and there are many many more examples where some followers of different schools of thought different schools of law have hacked each other's websites is very often between Sunni and Shia groups and that was an example in 2008 where hundreds of Shia websites were hacked by a group of and that was probably and made up of of Salafism about hobbies and then there was retaliation and hundreds of some of the websites were hacked and so forth and so on OK
we're going to the end Coke Side West now this uh gentleman over here is the study grand move the highest authority in Saudi Arabia and religious authority and he does not have a Twitter account but what he does have is a problem and the problem is that and there is a hoax fat while in circulation and that he had actually never made so it appeared on the internet somewhere and that he had said that
it's OK uh if a hungry man eats his wife or parts of her body in the case of famine or if feeding his wife would result in savings alive and he has denied there's a hundred and thousand times that you know internet words if the hoaxes out there ones like you can never put the genie back in the bottle and the 1st mention of this hoax and appeared on the moroccans attack satire block that is similar to the and so but if nobody makes and the effort to trace it back it's just out there for ever and you just you can get rid
of that people still ask today about this start line is like I never said that but that's now that's all
right and don't fall for that crazy fat what is either falls just opinion it's a very good article the link is down here but you can also just google that the title of this article and a quote from the article the problem is that crazy fat was always go viral but they'd banking always languages so far behind and as I said hoaxes are
hard to kill once they're out in the world and very often the hopes that was involved some these a sexual practices or at a really ridiculous and they may serve to satisfy negative stereotypes about Muslims so if you see a fact but is particularly crazy either somebody just made up to slender Muslims in general and to serve stereotypes all right somebody will has this opinion has put out the stuff that maybe is just 1 guy with a crazy opinion right so don't judge don't think that all Muslims think this if you find a fact why that is particularly ridiculous on but as
conclusions and what have we learned in the last half hour and you can actually do pick and choose and you can do well informed
decisions you have a lot of different answers for you questions available to you that you can choose from and this is both good and bad because it can all it can either mean that if you your an Islamist terrorist air and you want to find out whether it's OK to slaughter all Jews and Muslims said all Jews and Christians and Muslims who don't think the way you think you will definitely find a what what it says it's OK so if you pick and choose you will always find something and that this was supporting you in your opinion that you already hold and by there's also just to give you the opposite example there's also school of thought of Islam Islamic feminism and these are a lot of scholars who call for the reinterpretation of the source material they say it there are a lot of feminist thoughts in around and so now we just have to on of them so if you are an Islamic feminist you will also find fat while supporting I going to word being independent and raising your children as a single parent whatever and so we always find a yeah the opinion that suits you best and also we have found that everybody can participate in the discussion nowadays due to
social media there some kind of democratization of Islamic Jurisprudence that's Jemison said before everybody can participate in the way in which direction Islamic Jurisprudence is moving we have interaction between different types of media and the last thing that I want to leave you with this don't fall for that crazy fat what either falls or just an opinion so think you're it
the no I think based so little time for some questions and then that's the chance to us Meriam whatever you want
the there is a question of so please don't ask me something that I can answer the hi I missed the 1st 5 minutes of the
talk so I hope I'm not putting anything but are these pages you shall some English how are
they not trolled the ship of I mean there's so much opposition against Islam on is enough to building anything but it's happening and how there is a lesson why are these pages that are or how do they are they getting trolled or and if yes the Munasinghe against because all they could imagine 100 words from shoulders up of the terms which I think I OK and I'm not sure and sure that many of these that platforms actually have good moderation and I think he underestimated the
number of Muslims in the world and the number of these platforms that we have so even if you were saying today you want to troll the shit out of them good lack you have a lot to do there are a lot of platforms and not and I'm not I'm
not saying you I'm just saying there's a lot of work you have to do and the there are so many of
these are just a few examples there are hundreds of thousands but yet the things doing OK also I mean of course I showed you examples in English but of course most of the discussion takes place in Arabic but also in English I showed you wish examples so other
questions 1 last question maybe it
and um things I also missed the 1st part so same thing excuse me if I'm repeating and
I'm wondering I mean for me it seemed like this might have an impact also on off yeah of of Muslims themselves rather having more questioning approach to fuck cluster maybe it was before like you
can compare so much online that maybe add another like before that's where my question is going on you know you can you can compare someone says is someone says that so you
you see there's some contingency Wilson Hall of the decided upon so my question is on how did it actually worked before for for some of the many Muslims to have like 1 the mom
or is it is it already traditionally something that you you can take several people and ask them their opinion and then you see which is right for you so this is something you to compare between frontal also or or has been there all along I mean uh just
like today depends on how much time and money you have to actually spend time on researching right
if you only have 5 minutes you have on is that much time to research if you had time and money back then you could actually travel to some of the centers of his life I do just that about that and you can talk to 500 scholars and we different opinions if you don't have the time you thrown back to your local scholar basically just like today the it
1 last last question over here so this is a question about the diaspora style communities Muslims living in you the smaller
villages are places where there are not many mosques or Islamic communities has internet in your research have you found the Internet has increased participation or filled in the gap or yeah I
would say is that I mean there was 1 of the main points of all presentation that it has filled gaps that have been there before people just did not have the other possibilities to access and this knowledge and now they have and the internet is pretty much everywhere even in the small village said in Upper Egypt for example
you still can access the internet and find all the answers that you looking for OK thank you
very much Marianne for this insightful talk about smart whereas in the social media
surrounding this link you very much so warm
up allows failure here uh
let me looking