an Islamic religious decree issued by the ʿulama.

Origin of fatwa

First recorded in 1985–90, fatwa is from the Arabic word fatwā
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British Dictionary definitions for fatwa




a non-binding judgment on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized religious authority

Word Origin for fatwa

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fatwa

1620s, from Arabic fetwa "a decision given by a mufti," related to fata "to instruct by a legal decision." Popularized 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a ruling sentencing author Salman Rushdie to death for publishing "The Satanic Verses" (1988). It was lifted 1998.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper