Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar on the so-called “Window Shopping of Fatwa”

It has been widely publicized and discussed in many platforms, as well as in the media, that Shariah scholars are open and vulnerable to window-shopping of fatwa. In brief, window shopping of fatwa means that scholars are open to give the fatwa based on the best offer of the client.

On the other side of the coin, any bank, any client might go and approach any scholar whom they thought can give the fatwa that they desire in the first place and this has been deemed to be negative in the nomenclature of the discussion.

I would like to put on record that window-shopping of fatwa is much more of the negative perception by many stakeholders, the media, and some of the quarters of the industry.

Window shopping of Fatwa

In practice, I have not seen any action of window-shopping of fatwa.

In fact, if anyone of the scholars were to do that, they may do that provided they are able to provide strong justification.

It doesn’t matter who gives the fatwa; it doesn’t matter who is the client; what matters most for Shariah advisory is the quality of the fatwa.

You may give a different fatwa, you may have different interpretation and perspective, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

What matters in the eyes of the Shariah is the ability to articulate a strong fatwa, a good fatwa, though it is different from the mainstream fatwa and we cannot call this a window-shopping of fatwa, this is a fatwa based on conviction, based on articulation, and based on the proper argument by any scholar of the world and we cannot point our finger to him that he is part of the window-shopping of fatwa.

He has the duty to discharge his own interpretation and intellectual capacity to achieve at a certain particular opinion and this is good for the industry – we need many scholars to have different point of view to push and to promote the product in to, if you like, new markets, new interpretation, and new products to be developed in the industry.

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