Fatwa: Overview
(3,197 words)

In Islamic legal parlance, fatwa (fatwā, pl. fatāwā) refers to a clarification of an ambiguous judicial point or an opinion by a mufti , a jurist trained in Islamic law, in response to a query posed by a judge (qāḍī) or a private inquirer ( mustaftī ). It is not a binding judgment or verdict – that is for a judge to deliver. Although the practice of issuing fatwas dates back to the earliest days of Islam, the term gained worldwide notoriety in 1989 following Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa aga…

Cite this page
Shehabuddin, Elora, “Fatwa: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 28 July 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0080>
First published online: 2009



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