RIYADH: Fatwas previously issued by the Permanent Committee of Iftaa and certified by the former Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz, appear to be inconsistent with a fatwa issued by the Committee last week deeming women working as cashiers impermissible in Shariah, Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported Sunday.
According to one fatwa approved by the late Bin Baz and which can be viewed at the website binbaz.org.sa/mat/4110, Islam “does not prevent women engaging in work or business”, and “a human being, man or woman, is required to work and practice business.”
The fatwa continues, according to Al-Hayat: “It is acceptable for women to work for what men require and for men to work for what women require in a way that does not harm either of them.”
A previous fatwa from the Iftaa Committee at alifta.net states that “it is permissible for men and women to practice business and gain profit”, while “Fatwa No. 3880” states that a woman “is permitted to go to the market to sell and buy if there is a need and if she covers her body with clothes that do not reveal her figure, and does not engage in doubtful mixing with men”.
Al-Hayat, citing two further fatwas regarding the permissibility of women working in agriculture and medicine, posed the question of whether the recent fatwa from the Permanent Committee of Iftaa annuls the previous ones, and further noted that the current Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh was a signatory to one of the previous fatwas - No. 16654 – which permits women to work.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette