AN OVERVIEW OF SELECTED MASLAHAH BASED FATWAS RELATING TO FAMILY LAW ISSUES IN MALAYSIA
Keywords:maslahah based fatwa, fatwa involving family law, status of fatwa, family law and Islamic law in Malaysia
Islamic law is primarily based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w). Due to the changes in place and time, there are occasions where new cases may not have clear and direct principles from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w). Accordingly, solutions for new cases require the exercise of ijtihad and application of fatwa in establishing new rulings. This study deals with selected maslahah based fatwas on issues relating to family law in Malaysia. The study is undertaken in order to provide an overview on the issuance of maslahah based fatwa relating to family law issues, so that sound new rulings could be established for the benefit of the whole nation. Focus is made on fatwas that have been issued relating to child marriages, legitimacy of children and ascription of paternity, jointly acquired property and suckling relationships. In Malaysia, family matters fall under the jurisdiction of the state. Therefore, if a new case arises and it requires a legal opinion, a State based fatwa will be issued. The study adopts a qualitative research methodology based on available library-based materials. State fatwas are also referred to and examined. Finally, the article suggests improvements to the exercise of ijtihad and the issuance of fatwa in Malaysia.
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