MAKKAH – International Islamic Fiqh Academy issued here Sunday fatwas or religious edicts on issues concerning Zakat, waiting period for a person who has gone missing, marriage of underage girls, maximum duration of pregnancy, and the right of a guardian.
The academy issued clarification on an earlier decision about prayer timings in countries situated between latitudes 48 degrees and 68 degrees north and south.
The edicts were issued during the academy’s 21st session, said Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Abdullah Abdulmuhsin Al-Turki.
The first edict said that Zakat was not compulsory on a creditor for debt which has not been repaid for any reason, but a creditor should pay Zakat on investment debt. If the investment debt has not been repaid for several years, its Zakat can be delayed until it is collected. In this case, the creditor should pay Zakat for the past years. The Zakat should be paid every lunar year. The Zakat is calculated on the investment for the past lunar year without the profits for the coming years.
The edict on the waiting period for a person who has gone missing states that the Qadhi should take a decision to declare the person dead. But the waiting period should not be less than one year and should not exceed four years from the day the person went missing. The circumstances of each case should be taken into consideration. After the elapse of the period decided by the Qadhi, the person’s wealth should be divided and his wife has to observe Iddah.
As to the marriage of underage girls, the Fiqh Academy decided after reviewing many researches and hearing many discussions that the matter needs further research. It also needs more study of statistics as well as social, psychological, medical and legal findings on the subject.
As regards the maximum duration of pregnancy, the academy said that Shariah does not contradict scientific proof, and so the Fiqh Academy has decided that the longest pregnancy duration is one year after the separation of the couple.
The academy said that guardianship will be transferred to the next person if a guardian does not care for his dependent who is sick. The guardian of the sick person should permit conducting a medical procedure if it is in the interest of the sick person.
(Saudi Gazette / 17 Dec 2012)
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