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A fatwā (Arabic: فتوى; plural fatāwā Arabic: فتاوى), is a considered opinion in Islam made by a mufti, a scholar capable of issuing judgments on Sharia (Islamic law). Usually a fatwa is issued at the request of an individual or a judge to settle a question where fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is unclear. Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ... A Mufti (Arabic: مفتى ) is an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa (plural of fatwa). // Role of a Mufti in governments In theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, and in some countries where the constitution is based on sharia law, such... Sharia (Arabic: transliteration: ) is the body of Islamic law. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Philosophers of law ask what is law? and what should it be? Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. ...

Contents

History

In the early days of Islam, fatawa were pronounced by distinguished scholars to provide guidance to other scholars, judges and citizens on how subtle points of Islamic law should be understood, interpreted or applied. There were strict rules on who is eligible (see below) to issue a valid fatwa and who could not, as well as on the conditions the fatwa must satisfy to be valid. Today many Muslim countries (such as Egypt and Tunisia) have an official mufti position; a distinguished expert in the Sharia is named by the civil authorities of the country. According to the Usul al-fiqh (Principles of Jurisprudence), the latter are as follows : Nations with a Muslim majority appear in green, while nations that are approximately 50% Muslim appear yellow. ...

  1. The fatwa is in line with relevant legal proofs, deduced from Koranic verses and hadiths;
  2. It is issued by a person (or a board) having due knowledge and sincerity of heart;
  3. It is free from individual opportunism, and not depending on political servitude;
  4. It is adequate with the needs of the contemporary world.

Today, with the existence of modern independent States, each with its own legislative system, and/or its own body of ulemas, each country develops and applies its own rules, based on its own interpretation of religious prescriptions.


Fatwa at national level

In nations where Islamic law is the basis of civil law, but has not been codified, as is the case of some Arab countries in the Middle East, fatawa by the national religious leadership are debated prior to being issued. In theory, such fatwa should rarely be contradictory. If two fatawa are potentially contradictory, the ruling bodies (combined civil and religious law) would attempt to define a compromise interpretation that will eliminate the resulting ambiguity. In these cases, the national theocracies expect fatawa to be settled law. Sharia (Arabic: transliteration: ) is the body of Islamic law. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...


In the majority of Arab countries, however, Islamic law has been codified in each country according to its own rules, and is interpreted by the judicial system according to the national jurisprudence. Fatawa have no direct place in the system, except to clarify very unusual or subtle points of law for experts (not covered by the provisions of modern civil law), or to give moral authority to a given interpretation of a rule.


In nations where Islamic law is not the basis of law (as is the case in various Asian and African countries), different mujtahids can issue contradictory fatawa. In such cases, Muslims would typically honour the fatwa deriving from the leadership of their religious tradition. For example, Sunni Muslims would favor a Sunni fatwa whereas Shiite would follow a Shi'a one. Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam. ... Shī‘a Islam, also Shi‘ite Islam, or Shi‘ism (Arabic ) is the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith. ...


There exists no international Islamic authority to settle fiqh issues today, in a legislative sense. The closest such organism is the Islamic Fiqh Academy, (a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)), which has 43 member States. But it can only render fatawa that are not binding on anyone.


Legal implications of a fatwa

There is a binding rule that saves the fatwa pronouncements from creating judicial havoc, whether within a Muslim country or at the level of the Islamic world in general: it is unanimously agreed that a fatwa is only binding on its author.


This was underlined by Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan, vice-minister of Justice of Saudi Arabia, in an interview with the Arabic daily "Asharq al awsat", as recently as on July 9, 2006, in a discussion of the legal value of a fatwa by the Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) on the subject of misyar marriage, which had been rendered by IFA on April 12, 2006 (see relevant excerpts in note below). [1] July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 175 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... April 12 is the 102nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (103rd in leap years). ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Despite this, some theologians present their fatwas as obligatory, [2] or adopt some "in-between" position.


Thus, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Muhammad Sayid Tantawy, who is the leading religious authority in the Sunni Muslim establishment in Egypt, alongside the Mufti of Egypt, said the following about fatwas issued by himself or the entire Dar al-Ifta: For other uses, see Sheikh (disambiguation). ... Al-Azhar Islamic university in Cairo Egypt Al-Azhar University is connected to the mosque in Cairo named to honor Fatima Az-Zahraa, the daughter of Muhammad, from whom the Fatimid Dynasty claimed descent. ... Nickname: Egypt: Site of Cairo (top center) Coordinates: Government  - Governor Dr. Abdul Azim Wazir Area  - City 214 km²  (82. ... Muhammad Sayid Tantawy (Arabic: محمد سيد طنطاوى ) is the Grand Imam (Head) of Al-Azhar Mosque, one of the most influential Sunni Muslim Institutions. ...


"Fatāwa issued by Al-Azhar are not binding, but they are not just whistling in the wind either; individuals are free to accept them, but Islam recognizes that extenuating circumstances may prevent it. For example, it is the right of Muslims in France who object to the law banning the veil to bring it up to the legislative and judicial authorities. If the judiciary decides in favor of the government because the country is secular, they would be considered to be Muslim individuals acting under compelling circumstances." Otherwise, in his view, they would be expected to adhere to the fatwa. [3] Al-Azhar Islamic university in Cairo Egypt Al-Azhar University is connected to the mosque in Cairo named to honor Fatima Az-Zahraa, the daughter of Muhammad, from whom the Fatimid Dynasty claimed descent. ... The French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools bans wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French public (i. ...


In Morocco, where king Mohammed VI is also Amir al-Muminin (Commander of the faithful), the authorities have tried to organize the field by creating a scholars' council (conseil des oulémas) composed of muslim scholars (ulema) which is the only one allowed to issue fatwas. In this case, a national theocracy could in fact compel intra-national compliance with the fatwa, since a central authority is the source. Muslims in other nations would obviously not be required to obey it. US President George W. Bush talks with His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in the Oval Office Tuesday, 23 April 2002 King Mohammed VI (Arabic: الملك محمد السادس للمغرب), also King Mohammed Ben Al-Hassan is the current King of Morocco. ... Amir al-Muminin (Arabic أمير المؤمنين) usually translated Commander of the Faithful or Prince of the Faithful (a better translation might be Leader of the Believers), is the Arabic style of Caliphs and other independent sovereign Muslim rulers that claim legitimacy from a community of Muslims. ... Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) (Islamic clergy) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ...


Some contemporary fatawa

Fatawa are expected to deal with religious issues, subtle points of interpretation of the fiqh, as well as various mundane matters, as exemplified by the cases cited in the archives linked below. In exceptional cases, religious issues and political ones seem to be inextricably intertwined, as exemplified by the following fatawa:


Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 pronounced a death sentence on Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses. Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini ( ) (Persian: روح الله موسوی خمینی RÅ«ollāh MÅ«savÄ« KhomeynÄ« (May 17, 1900[1] – June 3, 1989) was a Shi`i Muslim cleric and marja (religious authority), and the political leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of... Salman Rushdie (Hindi: Urdu: سلمان رشدی,) (born Ahmed Salman Rushdie, on June 19, 1947, in Bombay, India) is a British-Indian essayist and fiction author. ... The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdies fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Muhammad. ...


Yusuf al-Qaradawi released a fatwa on April 14th 2004, stating that the boycott of American and Israeli products was an obligation for all who are able. The fatwa reads in part: This article or section seems to contain too many quotations for an encyclopedia entry. ...

If people ask in the name of religion we must help them. The vehicle of this support is a complete boycott of the enemies' goods. Each riyal, dirham …etc. used to buy their goods eventually becomes bullets to be fired at the hearts of brothers and children in Palestine. For this reason, it is an obligation not to help them (the enemies of Islam) by buying their goods. To buy their goods is to support tyranny, oppression and aggression. Buying goods from them will strengthen them; our duty is to make them as weak as we can. Our obligation is to strengthen our resisting brothers in the Sacred Land as much as we can. If we cannot strengthen the brothers, we have a duty to make the enemy weak. If their weakness cannot be achieved except by boycott, we must boycott them.
American goods, exactly like the great Israeli goods, are forbidden. It is also forbidden to advertise these goods, even though in many cases they prove to be superior. America today is a second Israel. It totally supports the Zionist entity. The usurper could not do this without the support of America. “Israel’s” unjustified destruction and vandalism of everything has been using American money, American weapons, and the American veto. America has done this for decades without suffering the consequences of any punishment or protests about their oppressive and prejudiced position from the Islamic world.[1][2]

Other meanings

Fatawa like the above have drawn a great deal of attention in Western media, giving rise to the use of the term fatwa to apply to statements by non-Muslims that advocate an extreme religious or political position, and loosely or as slang for other sorts of decrees, for example: Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ...

"The pope issued a fatwa."

Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope of Rome...

Quotes

  • "In Sunni Islam, a fatwa is nothing more than an opinion. It is just a view of a mufti and is not binding in India." ― Maulana Mehmood Madani, president of the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind [4]
  • "The current fashion for online fatwas has created an amazingly legalistic approach to Islam as scholars - some of whom have only a tenuous grip on reality - seek to regulate all aspects of life according to their own interpretation of the scriptures." ― Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, January 17, 2006
  • Excerpts from an interview given by Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan, vice-minister of Justice of Saudi Arabia, to the Arabic daily Asharq al awsat on July 9, 2006, in which he discusses the legal value of a fatwa by the Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) on the subject of misyar marriage, which had been rendered by IFA on April 12, 2006:
Asharq Al-Awsat: From time to time and through its regular meetings, the Islamic Fiqh Academy usually issues various fatwas dealing with the concerns Muslims. However, these fatwas are not considered binding for the Islamic states. What is your opinion of this?
Obeikan: Of course, they are not binding for the member Islamic states.
Asharq Al-Awsat: But, what is the point of the Islamic Fiqh Academy's consensus on fatwas that are not binding for the member States?
Obeikan: There is a difference between a judge and a mufti. The judge issues a verdict and binds people to it. However, the mufti explains the legal judgment but he does not bind the people to his fatwa. The decisions of the Islamic Fiqh Academy are fatwa decisions that are not binding for others. They only explain the legal judgment, as the case is in fiqh books.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Well, what about the Ifta House [official Saudi fatwa organism] ? Are its fatwas not considered binding on others?
Obeikan: I do not agree with this. Even the decisions of the Ifta House are not considered binding, whether for the people or the State.

Mullahs in the court of a Qajar monarch, Iran. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Brian Whitaker is the Middle East editor for the British newspaper The Guardian since May 2000. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...

See also

A Mufti (Arabic: مفتى ) is an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa (plural of fatwa). // Role of a Mufti in governments In theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, and in some countries where the constitution is based on sharia law, such... The title of Grand Mufti (Arabic: ‎) refers to the highest official of religious law in a Sunni Muslim country. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ijmāʿ (إجماع) is an Arabic tern referring to the consensus of the ummah, the community of Muslims, those practicing Islam, or of the ulema, those learned in the relevant topic. ... A tafsir ( (Arabic: تفسير) tafsīr, Arabic explanation) is Quranic exegesis or commentary. ... The following list consists of concepts that are derived from both Islamic and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words in the Arabic language. ... Posek (Hebrew פוסק, IPA: , pl. ... A fatwa (Arabic: ), is a legal pronouncement in Islam, issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue. ... Papal bull of Pope Urban VIII, 1637, sealed with a leaden bulla. ... Osama bin Laden wrote what is referred to as a fatwa in August 1996[1], and was one of several signatories of another and shorter fatwa in February of 1998[2]. Both documents appeared initially in the Arabic-language London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi[1][2]. At the time...

External links

Fatwa websites

  • [http://www.Daruliftaa.com / Darul Iftaa of Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al Kawthari
  • [http://www.SunniPath.com / Website of scholars such as Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
  • [http://www.islamonline.net/livefatwa/english/select.asp www.IslamOnline.net / Contemporary islamist scholars from North America, Europe, MiddleEast and featuring Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
  • [http://www.darululoomkhi.edu.pk/ Fatwas by Mufti Taqi Usmani
  • [http://www.islamtoday.com / supervised by Sheikh Salman bin Fahd al-Oadah - Saudi Arabia, maintained in 4 different languages viz. English, Arabic, Francais, Chinese.
  • [http://www.survivorsareus.com / Fatwas by Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid of Saudi Arabia and Dr. Abdullah Faqih of Dubai.0
  • Website of Mufti Ebrahim Desai
  • www.Islam-QA.com supervised by Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, Saudi Arabia, maintained in 7 different languages viz. English, Arabic, Urdu, Francais, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish.
  • Fatwa by Majelis Ulama Indonesia
  • Fatwa about Islamic Economics by Dewan Syariah Nasional of Majelis Ulama Indonesia
  • / (Salafi/Wahabi), Saudi Arabia.
  • [http://www.dar-alifta.com / Darul Iftaa of Egypt

Also mirror site www.eFatwa.com This article or section seems to contain too many quotations for an encyclopedia entry. ...


References

  1. ^ http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543874
  2. ^ http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1119503545220&pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaEAskTheScholar


  Results from FactBites:
 
Fatwa (236 words)
Fatwa is a legal statement in Islam, issued by a mufti or a religious lawyer, on a specific issue.
Fatwas are asked for by judges or individuals, and are needed in cases where an issue of fiqh is undecided or uncertain.
Today, fatwas have limited importance in most Muslim societies, and are normally used only in cases of marriage, inheritance and divorce.
Fatwa (236 words)
Fatwa is a legal statement in Islam, issued by a mufti or a religious lawyer, on a specific issue.
Fatwas are asked for by judges or individuals, and are needed in cases where an issue of fiqh is undecided or uncertain.
Today, fatwas have limited importance in most Muslim societies, and are normally used only in cases of marriage, inheritance and divorce.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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