In a historic move, Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council allows women to issue fatwa

Riyadh: In a historic move, Shoura Council authorized Saudi women to issue fatwas ending 45 years custom of only specialist men issuing fatwas in Kingdom. This proposal which was made by one of the member of Shoura Council in its 49th meeting got approved by 107 votes.

According to the report published in Arab news, female muftis are to be chosen by a royal decree.
It may be mentioned that last march, this demand was made by women members of the Council. They said that the issuing of fatwas should not be restricted to men.

It is also reported that the Council also demanded the establishment of Ifta-affiliated endowments and work.

This decision of Shoura Council is welcomed by many residents including specialists in Islamic law and jurisprudence.

Appreciating the move, Saad Al-Quwaie, Professor of Juristic Policy at the Naif College for National Security said that the participation of women in Islamic jurisprudence is important.

Women are the important part of the Islamic communities,  Al-Bishi, a specialist in Shariah policy said. He also said that allowing them to issue fatwas would benefit the community. This recommendation is in parallel with Kingdom’s goal, he added.

It may be noted that earlier, Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a royal decree allowing women to drive in the kingdom. This decree highlights how Saudi tries to reform its reputation that was damaged for not allowing the women to drive in public.

It is believed that beyond the effects it could have on Saudi Arabia’s image abroad, letting women drive could help the Saudi economy. Low oil prices have limited the government jobs that many Saudis have long relied on, and the kingdom is trying to push more citizens into gainful employment, including women.