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Sunday, 8 July 2007

Saleh Bin-Humaid Named World Fiqh Academy President

JEDDAH, 8 July 2007 — Dr. Saleh Bin-Humaid, chairman of the Shoura Council, has been named president of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), an affiliate of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). His appointment will be announced during an IIFA meeting in Malaysia tomorrow. Sheikh Bin-Humaid, who is also imam and khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, replaces Sheikh Bakr Abuzaid, who has chaired the academy for about 20 years. Bin-Humaid has previously worked as the head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs before his appointment as Shoura Council chairman in 2001. Based in Jeddah, the IIFA was established on the recommendation of the third Islamic summit conference in Makkah, which was held on Jan. 25, 1981. Its members include highly knowledgeable Islamic scholars, who are well versed in various topics and who issue Islamic rulings on contemporary issues on the basis of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi will open IIFA’s next meeting in Putrajaya, outside the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Hassan ibn Basfar, an expert at the academy, said a large number of Islamic scholars from different parts of the Muslim world would take part in the meeting to discuss a number of issues facing Islamic communities around the world. The issues to be discussed by the Putrajaya meeting include the rights and duties of Muslim women; activation of Zakat to combat poverty; human resource development in the Islamic world; the need to consider Shariah’s objectives while setting out Islamic laws and regulations; time sharing; and cosmetic surgery. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has called for the overhauling of the academy in order to assume its historic role and responsibility in resisting extremist thoughts and ideas. During past meetings, the IIFA has dealt with issues such as test-tube babies, milk banks, life-support machines, Zakat on rented farmland, Zakat on corporate funds, rates applicable to Zakat on currencies, Zakat on debts, Zakat on properties and land leased for non-agricultural purposes, Zakat on assets such as machinery, Zakat on leased properties, and Zakat on salaries and wages. Other topics discussed include men unnecessarily engaged in midwifery while Muslim female doctors are available; prayer and fasting in places where there is a marked disequilibrium between day and night; and rules regarding restricting the number of pilgrims in line with the capacity of the holy places.

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