In a development that illustrates the immense power wielded by Shariah scholars in the Islamic world, Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa permitting Egyptians to skip going on hajj for a second time to use the money saved to donate to a special fund to help the Egyptian government’s fiscal woes.
Qaradawi is on the Shariah advisory boards of several major financial institutions.
Shariah scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi has issued a fatwa (religious edict) that could help in the recovery of the Egyptian economy by pumping in a much-needed $2bn, says an Egyptian Islamist writer.
Fahmi Howaidi, in his weekly column in Al Sharq said that he had obtained a fatwa from Al Qaradawi that if accepted by the religious circles in Egypt could persuade Egyptians to postpone their plans to go for an Umrah or a second Haj and donate that money to a special fund to salvage the national economy.
“Egyptian government is in need of $2bn to meet the needs of the remaining part of fiscal year ending in June and this is the exactly the amount spent by Egyptians every year on Haj and Umrah,” said Howaidi.
He said he had asked Al Qaradawi if it was possible from a religion point of view to persuade people to donate the money to a special fund to rescue the national economy instead of travelling to practice their religious duties.
The scholar was also asked if the Zakat money could also be used for the same purpose rather than giving it directly to the eight beneficiaries mentioned in detail in the Holy Quran.
In case of emergencies and disasters in Islamic countries the ruler has the right to restrict performing Umrah as well as a second Haj, both are not obligatory (only optional) in Islam, Al Qaradawi was quoted as saying by Howaidi.
“ Such kind of a Fatwa is an important doctrine in Islamic life if it is approved and adopted by Islamic institutions for public good,” said Howaidi.