Fatwa in Contemporary Societies 2024
Keynote Speeches
Empowering for the Future:
The Transformative Role of Fatwas in Shaping Muslim Communities
Nazirudin Mohd Nasir
Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin Mohd Nasir
Mufti of Singapore

Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin will explore on the pivotal objective of nurturing intellectual and ethical empowerment of confident Muslim communities through the Fatwas. He will discuss the critical function of Fatwa institutions in facilitating the adoption and internalization of enduring values and established principles of Islam into the very essence of the Muslim communities, to nurture Muslims who is resilient and confident in navigating the increasingly complex socio-religious issues and challenges, as responsible stewards of their faith and leaders of the community and humanity at large.

Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin Mohd Nasir was appointed as Mufti of Singapore in March 2020. As the chair of the Fatwa Committee, he takes the lead in providing guidance for the Muslim community's religious life. He is also a member of the Presidential Council of Religious Harmony, Singapore.

Prior to becoming Mufti, Dr. Nazirudin led religious policy and development work in Muis. He has a wealth of experience in areas such as Islamic education, fatwa and religious policies, and interfaith and social cohesion work. He was instrumental in developing fatwas such as organ donation and joint-tenancy, and in formulating ethical positions on biomedical issues. In recognition of his exceptional leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was awarded the prestigious Imam Al-Qarafi Award in 2022 by the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide, led by Egypt's Dar al-Ifta.

Dr. Nazirudin obtained his degree in Islamic law from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, as well as an M.A. (with distinction) in comparative law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and an M.St. in religion from Oxford. He was conferred a D. Phil in the study of Abrahamic religions from the University of Oxford, UK. He was a Chevening scholar, Institute of Advance Studies of the Humanities-Alwaleed fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and is an Associate Faculty member at the Singapore University of the Social Sciences. He was recently conferred Singapore's Public Administration Service Medal (Silver).

The Evolution of Fatwas in Contemporary Contexts:
Navigating Diversity and Complexity
Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam
H.E. Prof. Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam
Grand Mufti of Egypt

H.E. Prof. Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam will examine the evolving concept and role of fatwa in today's dynamic and plural world. He will discuss tools, methodologies, and concepts in cultivating progressive fatwa thinking and institution that safeguard human dignity and promote compassion and harmony in diverse contemporary societies. Particularly, he will discuss the key concept of Fiqh Aqalliyyat in providing practical solutions that are in line with Islamic principles while also taking into account the realities of the unique circumstances and challenges faced by minority Muslim communities.

H.E. Prof. Dr. Allam will also discuss the significance of capacity building for religious leaders to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in issuing fatwas in the current age, and the need for greater collaboration among global fatwa institutions in face of increasingly complex realities.

A distinguished scholar and prominent figure in the Islamic world, H.E. Prof. Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam is the Grand Mufti of Egypt and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide.

Dr. Allam is widely recognized for his extensive research and prolific writing on various topics related to Islamic Jurisprudence, including women’s political engagement, criminal justice, the codification of Islamic law, religious minorities, and Islamic thought. Dr. Allam’s outstanding contributions to promoting interfaith understanding and combating violent extremism have also been recognized internationally, with awards such as the Best Promoter of Interfaith Understanding by the Interfaith Alliance in South Korea in 2014, and the Medal of Excellence in Pakistan in 2018.

Dr. Allam earned his degree in Shariah and Law from Al-Azhar University in 1984, and later obtained his PhD in Fiqh from the same institution in 1996.

Community-Centred Fatwa Issuance:
Building Trust and Inclusivity
Amany Lubis
Prof. Dr. Amany Lubis
Council Member of the UAE Council for Fatwa

Prof. Dr. Amany Lubis will explore the critical role of public engagement throughout the process of fatwa issuance, from the development to the communication of fatwas, and the challenges and opportunities it presents. She will discuss strategies in achieving a more inclusive and comprehensive engagement, to empower Muslim communities and foster an impactful and credible process of fatwa issuance that is responsive to the evolving needs of its community.

Prof. Dr. Amany Lubis is a Council Member of the UAE Council for Fatwa. She is the Rector (and first women Chancellor) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University Islamic (UIN) in Jakarta, and lecturer at the Postgraduate School of Strategic and Global Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Indonesia.

Dr. Lubis served as the Chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council for Women, Youth and Families, and the Member of the Board of Trustees Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Abu Dhabi. She has participated in international forums, and published extensively on various topics related to Islamic law and ethics, including family law, technology, and environmental ethics.

Dr. Lubis completed her undergraduate studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. She then continued her masters and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic (UIN) Jakarta.

Designing Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Approaches
in Developing Nuanced and Contextualised Fatwas
Koutoub Moustapha Sano
H.E. Prof. Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano
Secretary-General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (Majma' al-Fiqh al-Islami al-Duwali)

H.E Prof. Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano will explore the importance of a deep and comprehensive understanding of the lived realities in the process of Fatwa issuance. He will discuss ways to develop collaborative and interdisciplinary tools critical in the process of fatwa issuance of today, to facilitate the unpacking and understanding of complex and multifaceted contemporary and future issues faced by Muslim communities and the development of nuanced and contextually relevant fatwas to address current and emerging needs.

H.E Prof. Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano is the Secretary-General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (Majma' al-Fiqh al-Islami al-Duwali), board member of the Muslim Council Elders, and the Co-President for Religions for Peace. He has published several outstanding research papers, and is the author of over twenty-five published books.

Dr. Sano was a university professor and trustee of the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), founding director of the International Institute for the Unity of the Islamic Nation in Malaysia, and chairman of the Shariah Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions. He served as the Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of International Cooperation and African Integration, Minister of Diplomatic Affairs in the Office of the President, and Diplomatic Advisor to the President in the Republic of Guinea.

Dr. Sano obtained his degree with first class honours in Jurisprudence and its Fundamentals and his magister degree with a mention of excellence in the Fundamentals of Jurisprudence from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He received a PhD in Law (subspecialty in Fundamentals of Jurisprudence) with distinction and a postgraduate degree in Islamic Finance and Banking from IIUM Centre for Economics, and a PhD in Islamic Sciences (Islamic Finance) with a very honorablehonourable distinction from the Higher Institute of Theology of Al-Zaytuna University, Tunis.

Farah Mahamood Aljunied
Ustazah Farah Mahamood Aljunied
Director of Higher Education and Research, Muis, Singapore

Ustazah Farah Mahamood Aljunied was recently appointed to lead the Higher Education and Research Cluster in Muis. Her work provides her the opportunity to nurture future Asatizah for Singapore by providing them various learning and development opportunities at the postgraduate level. This includes the provision of the Postgraduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Societies (PCICS) for returning graduates from Islamic Universities who intend to apply for the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) qualification; and conduct, discourse and publication of research works that seek to develop contextualised bodies of knowledge on socio-religious issues that are typical for Muslim communities living in secular states and advanced economies through the Research Programme in the Study of Muslim Communities of Success (RPCS).

Ustazah Farah's years at Muis have seen her covering various aspects of Education-related work which include the development and implementation of the revised Joint Madrasah System's (JMS) primary, secondary and pre-university level Islamic Studies Integrated Curriculum, the management and development of Singapore students in Islamic Universities overseas, and the development and the conduct of the part-time Mosque Madrasah programme known as aLIVE (Learning Islamic Values Everyday) as well as the revision and implementation of Mosque Based Kindergartens' curriculum.

Due to her experience and strong background in education and early childhood, Ustazah Farah is also actively involved in various Islamic parenting talks and seminars like Islamic Parenting Seminar in 2014, and Parenting IRL: Raising the Snapchat Generation in 2016. She also conducts training programmes for Asatizah through the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programme.