(Source: Wikipedia.org) SHAH ALAM, 24 Nov 2008: Muslims should accept all fatwa or opinion produced by scholars, said the National Muslim Chaplain for American Muslims, Sheikh Yusuf Estes.
Estes said that “when scholars announced a fatwa, you don’t go shopping for another opinion.”
The imam was speaking at a talk on The Truth about Muslims held at MBSA Hall Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam yesterday, one of several such talks he is holding here.
Estes, 64, a former Protestant Christian minister from Ohio, United States, converted to Islam in 1991. He is the director of the Islamic Mission Foundation International and has travelled to more than 50 countries giving lectures on Islam to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Estes said it is dangerous for Muslims not to agree to something written in the Al-Quran, adding that scholars are the right people to refer to when having doubts.
Asked to give his view on the recent National Fatwa Council ruling on yoga, he said arguments should not take place as scholars have a better understanding about Al-Quran and Islam.
“And don’t bother explaining to your non-Muslim friends, because they can do whatever they want. But we as Muslims have our limitations,” he said.
However, Estes said that each individual is entitled to choose their religion, adding that Islam is “not a forced religion.”
He said in the US, everyone had the right to choose their faith, but those who choose Islam willingly should also be ready to observe its way of life.
On Islamic laws, Estes said its implementation should be executed in stages.
“[It] should not be done all at once. We’re not ready for all that yet. Let’s go step by step.”
On the current deteriorating image of Islam and its link to global terrorism, he said acts executed by certain quarters of Islam don’t represent the religion as a whole.
“Islam is perfect, we humans are not,” he said.
About 600 people attended his talk, which was organised by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Al-Nidaa’ Malaysia, Badan Kebajikan Telekom Malaysia, and the Islamic Propagation Society International (Penang).