The Saudi royalty has now moved in to regain control over the issue of religious orders and ruling, also known as “fatwas,” due to conflicting interpretation of the Koran by many Muslim scholars and clerical organizations, which causes more misunderstandings among the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In mid-August this year, Saudi King Abdullah has issued a royal decree, which states that only the official panel appointed by him may issue the fatwas that would answer the questions on how ordinary and pious Saudis should live their lives.
Following the decree, various websites and satellite stations propagating the conflicting teachings were shut down or have voluntarily stopped from interpreting or issuing fatwas.
King Abdullah even publicly reprimanded a preacher after calling for a boycott of a supermarket chain for hiring female cashiers.
Prior to the royal order, many clerical organizations such as the Council of Senior Religious Scholars were issuing different fatwas that are often viewed by regular Saudis and other Muslim religious leaders as “unnecessary” to a modern Muslim society.
Some examples of which, were fatwas against boy and girls sharing the same swimming pool and bringing flowers to patients, which scholars claimed “causes mischief and evil” or “imitates Allah’s adversaries.”
Many scholars believe that King Abdullah’s orders were needed in order for Saudi Arabia to move forward and embrace modernization, without harming the laws of the Koran.