King Mohammed VI of Morocco has called for debate by African Muslim leaders and scholars, on “Fatwa,” which is the formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law, given by a qualified legal scholar known as a “mufti”.

Fatwas are usually issued in response to questions from individuals or Islamic courts.

The Moroccan Royal Majesty is of the view that such debates would help to forestall misunderstandings and misconceptions in their issuance and application and help promote tolerance.

He made the call in his goodwill message to delegates at the opening of a three-day conference held in Morocco’s fourth-largest city, Marrakech.

The conference which was attended by over 350 participants made up of male and female Islamic religious leaders known as Oulemas, from African countries, was held from July 8, 2023, to July 10, 2023, under the auspices of King Mohammed VI Foundation for Africa’s International, Scientific Conference on the ” Fatwa”.

This was in a goodwill message read on behalf of King Mohammed VI by Mr Ahmed Toufi, Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs.

He stated that the conference was part of efforts by the King Mohammed VI Foundation to bring together increase awareness and solidarity among individuals who support Islamic tolerance in Africa and throughout the world to dialogue and debate on issues concerning the development of Islam.

“The Foundation has constantly achieved its objectives since its formation eight years ago by gathering and organising the work of Muslim religious experts from all over the continent, including Morocco.”

The Moroccan monarch emphasised that the bond between his country and its sister African countries is based on mutual respect and adherence to moderate Sunni Islam and to Islamic faith and values.

He noted that there has been communication and connection between Sufi groups in African nations and the leadership of the Islamic faithful in Morocco for ages, adding that he has recently through his Foundation been able to develop an institutional framework to promote greater dialogue between Muslim religious scholars, lawyers and muftis.

“A forum like this one is required to address emerging issues with many facets of social and cultural life, as well as the requirement to develop and implement legal judgement on them.”

King Mohammed VI reminded religious leaders and experts of their duty and responsibilities to have a beneficial influence on people by emphasising the values of moderation balance on the one hand, and on the other, by counteracting any unfavourable influence that uninformed radicals may have on innocent and impressionable minds.