During the Second International Conference for the UAE Council for Fatwa, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, launched the “Abu Dhabi Charter for Scientific Developments”, in the presence of His Excellency Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the UAE Council for Fatwa, His Excellency Dr. Omar Habtoor Al Darei, Director General of the UAE Council for Fatwa, and a number of senior officials from various Fatwa and Shari’a-related bodies from around the world
This charter is the first of its kind at the regional level, and it addresses Fatwa institutions, bodies and cadres who specialize in Fatwa and Shari’a. The charter is issued with the aim of urging the need for consolidation of efforts, exchange of expertise and the identification and formulation of the most accurate perceptions possible of scientific developments, with a view to achieving a religiously correct and balanced conceptualization that corresponds to the challenges and changes in today’s world
His Excellency Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the UAE Council for Fatwa, explained that the charter is based on the national vision of the UAE in accordance with the qualitative projects and proactive initiatives of the state in 2023, the Year of Sustainability, calling it, “A response to the emergence of new inventions and discoveries, the current rapid digital development that causes a paradigm shift in various areas of life, such as health, economics, space science, energy, climate, agriculture and artificial intelligence, and addressing the questions arising about the provisions of Shari’a concerning those changes, as there is no reference text or previous examples to be used in measurement and jurisprudence.”
His Excellency added that the charter also considers the fact that Fatwas require jurisprudence based on both the full understanding of the systematic and fundamentalist Shari’a controls, and a full identification of perceptions regarding existing scientific and current development in order to see them in the light of Fiqh and Shari’a, saying, “This requires taking into consideration reason, function, benefit and drawbacks of such new variables that affect people’s lives and livelihood, all based on an understanding of the core of Islamic values. Islamic jurisprudence takes into account the aims and objectives of life’s elements, realities and the need to be open to developments and advancement, and the use of modern science and experience for the benefit of mankind, and the comprehensive conceptualization of all the scientific and factual dimensions considered in the issuing of Fatwa in accordance with the scholarly principles, purposes and rules of Shari’a, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the issuance of Fatwas that correspond to the reality and expectation of current times, characterized by ease of communication and enormous technical development.”
His Excellency Dr. Omar Habtoor Al-Darei, Director General of the UAE Council for Fatwa, said that the charter is a starting point in the process of linking scientific developments with Shari’a principles and values, finding appropriate solutions, proposing appropriate formulas and effective methodology for dealing with developments, while maintaining adherence to Shari’a and Fiqh, and an understanding of reality and purposes, that connect the ever-changing reality, Shari’a, and the relevant scripture, at the very same time.
He added, “The charter provides a scholarly reference and a specific framework and approaches to manage Fatwa regarding scientific developments, and the rules and methods utilized in dealing with them, based on the essence of conceptualizing such developments, which includes inclusiveness, jurisprudence, extrapolation and integration, through exploring Shari’a, scientific considerations, necessary determinants, accommodation of modern applications, and maintaining sustainability based on Fiqh and Shari’a principles that require extensive efforts to pave the way for positive interaction with new cosmic science and knowledge.”
The Second International Conference provides a global platform that emphasizes the leading role of the UAE in the field of scientific and technological developments, showcasing openness to various scientific fields and cultures while ensuring that national values emanating from the teachings of Islam and noble Emirati humanitarian principles are properly upheld and applied. The Conference serves to strengthen the role of Fatwa bodies and institutions in the field of cultural jurisprudence and Shari’a, while keeping pace with recent developments, activating the tools of cultural Fiqh jurisprudence and renewing the means to reach correct judgments that accommodate accelerated scientific and technological progress in societies