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Position of Fatwa in The Constitution: A Legal Analysis

Mohd Kamel Mat Salleh, Adibah Bahori and Mohamad Azhan Yahya

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 4, December 2021


Keywords: Civil law, fatwa, federal constitution, Shariah law

Published on: 13 December 2021

Fatwas in Malaysia seems to be existing without legal power and value since they are not mentioned literally in the Federal Constitution. Accordingly, there has been a perception of fatwa institutions issuing fatwas without legal authority to bind Muslims to certain legal decisions and views. Hence, this study is to clarify that fatwas are valid and recognized as part of the legal reference in Malaysia. More importantly, this paper refutes the claim that fatwa is unconstitutional in terms of its legal position. Additionally, this study intends to clarify that the philosophy of federalism practiced in Malaysia is solid evidence that fatwas are indeed an authoritative source of law in Malaysia. This study is conducted qualitatively using document analysis instruments with reference to the Federal Constitution and legal provisions practiced in Malaysia. Investigation of this study found that fatwa and its institutions in the country are valid according to Malaysian law. However, they are not mentioned literally in the Constitution, particularly fatwa authority that involves state jurisdiction in Islamic affairs. Moreover, this paper is highly significant to highlight the validity of fatwa from the Constitution perspective and further support the authority and credibility of its institutions according to Malaysian law.

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