Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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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 against th…

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Shehabuddin, Elora, “Fatwa: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0080>
First published online: 2009

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