||This article is incomplete. (March 2015)|
Type of site
|Available in||Arabic, English, Japanese, Chinese, Uighur, French, Spanish, Indonesian, Hindi, Russian, Urdu, Turkish and Bengali|
|Created by||Muhammad Al-Munajid|
|6,524 (July 2016[update])|
IslamQA is a website providing information regarding Islam in accordance with the Salafi school of thought. It was founded by Muhammad Al-Munajjid and is the most popular Salafi website in the Arab-speaking world.
The service was one of if not the first online fatwa services. The launching of IslamQA.info in 1997 by Muhammad Al-Munajjid marked the beginning of a Salafi attempt to answer questions by making their own interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.
IslamQA is available in 12 languages, including English, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Russian, French, and Spanish, the website provides fatawa covering basic tenets of faith, etiquette and morals, Islamic history, and Islamic politics.
According to Alexa Internet in June 2013, Islamqa.info was ranked #12,038 in the world with a bounce rate of roughly 75% (i.e., 75% of visits consist of only one pageview) and search engines accounting for 35% of visits. In July 2015, Islamqa.info was ranked #6,787 in the world with a bounce rate of roughly 69.9% and search engines accounting for 46.7% of visits. In 2015, Alexa lists the site as the most popular on the topic of Islam.
Fatwas in the media
The fact-checking website Punditfact mentioned Al-Munajjid's justification for why women should not drive, as published on IslamQA.info, when deciding the factual accuracy of the claim that Saudi Arabia was the only Muslim-majority nation that did not allow women to drive. The fatwa was quoted saying: "It is well known that (driving) leads to evil consequences which are well known to those who promote it, such as being alone with a non-mahram (marriageable) woman, unveiling, reckless mixing with men, and committing haraam (sinful) actions because of which these things were forbidden."
One of IslamQA's fatwas on slavery — specifically of men having sex with female slaves — has been noted in the media as one of many similar fatwas published by Islamic scholars on the role of women in Islam. The fatwa was quoted stating that a Muslim wife "has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves or to his having intercourse with them [...] The scholars are unanimous in this assessment, and no one is permitted to view this act as forbidden, or to forbid it. Whoever does so, is a sinner, and is acting against the consensus of the scholars." Calling IslamQA founder and General Supervisor Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid a "revered Saudi-educated Salafi scholar," journalists Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa quoted part of his fatwa: “Praise be to Allah, Islam allows a man to have intercourse with his slave woman, whether he has a wife or wives or if he is not married. A slave woman with whom a man has intercourse is known as a sariyyah (concubine) from the word sir, which means marriage.”
Al-Munajjid's fatwa on homosexuality, which he called "one of the greatest crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds" was quoted by the National Review as an example of "Sharia's oppressive and often brutal strictures against homosexuality."
Controversy in Saudi Arabia
The website was banned in Saudi Arabia because it was issuing independent fatwas. In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's Council of Senior Scholars has sole responsibility for issuing fatwas. The Council was granted this exclusive authority to issue fatwas by a royal edict issued in August 2010 (while restrictions had been in place since 2005, they were seldom enforced); this move was described by Christopher Boucek as "the latest example of how the state is working to assert its primacy over the country’s religious establishment." IslamQA.info was still banned as of July 2015.
- "islamqa.info Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Richard Gauvain, Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God, p 355. ISBN 9780710313560
- "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it" Deutsche Welle. 10.01.2016
- Kadri, Sadakat (2012). Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia ... macmillan. p. 207. ISBN 9780099523277.
- Jonathan Schanzer, Steven Miller, Facebook Fatwa: Saudi Clerics, Wahhabi Islam, and Social Media, p 51 -52. ISBN 9780981971261
- Alexa website: IslamQA retrieved February 5, 2013
- Alexa website: IslamQA retrieved August 4, 2015
- Alexa website: "Top Sites in: All Categories > Society > Religion and Spirituality > Islam" retrieved July 31, 2015
- Greenberg, Jon (7 October 2014). "Obeidallah: Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim nation where women can't drive". Punditfact. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Nomani, Asra Q.; Arafa, Hala (11 October 2015). "Inside the World of Gulf State Slavery". Daily Beast. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Does the ruling on driving a car vary from one country to another? - islamqa.info". islamqa.info.
- Knipp, Kersten (10 January 2016). "Women in Islam: Behind the veil and in front of it". DW. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Ruling on having intercourse with a slave woman when one has a wife - Islamqa.info". islamqa.info. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016.
- "The punishment for homosexuality - islamqa.info". islamqa.info.
- MCCARTHY, ANDREW C. (14 August 2013). "Obama's Gay-Rights Hypocrisy". National Review. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Saudi Arabia blocks 'Islam Question and Answer'," Al Arabiya (in Arabic), September 2, 2010
- Christopher Boucek, "Saudi Fatwa Restrictions and the State-Clerical Relationship," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 27, 2010 (accessed November 18, 2013).
- Christian Science Monitor: "Saudi Arabia presses 'YouTube imams' to toe the line on Yemen - Popular Muslim clerics are using social media to stir dissent beyond the purview of government-controlled mosques and satellite TV stations. Saudi Arabia is sensitive to criticism of its war in Yemen" By Taylor Luck June 2, 2015 "Now Saudi authorities are cracking down on online dissent, blocking several popular sites – such as those of clerics such as Mohammed Munajjid and Abdulrahman Barrak – for 'promoting bold ideas and theses.' "