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Islamic Legal Interpretation : Muftis and their Fatwas

This book is the product of a huge collective effort by scholars from all over the world to study Islamic Fatawa, or legal opinions of the Shariah, issued by those qualified to do so, the Muftis.

For more than a millennium, fatwas have guided and shaped Muslim understandings of Islamic law. The whole world knows of Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa in the Salman Rushdie case, yet this key institution in Muslim society has not been the subject of a major examination until now.

Ranging in import from the routine to the revolutionary, and in form from one-line answers to short treatises, fatwas have served to reaffirm received wisdom, caution against error, and chart novel responses to changing circumstances. The interpreters, the muftis of Islam, have included the greatest independent scholars of the ages, heads of large state bureaucracies, and unassuming jurists in local districts. Their vital task, which continues today in published collections as well as on radio and television, is to strive to interpret God’s design for the Muslim community.

Islamic Legal Interpretation uses an approach unique in Islamic studies, a casebook of expert analyses of fatwas from a wide range of times and places. The editors’ first chapter sets forth the origins, classical diversity, and modern development of the fatwa, while the following chapters illustrate particular opinions and their contexts. The approach throughout is interdisciplinary, as historians, lawyers, language specialists, and social scientists address fatwas as fundamental sources on both Islamic legal thought and Islamic social history.

Table of Contents

I. Theoretical Perspectives. 1. Muftis, Fatwas, and Islamic Legal Interpretation / Muhammad Khalid Masud, Brinkley Messick and David S. Powers. 2. Ifta and Ijtihad in Sunni Legal Theory: A Developmental Account / Wael B. Hallaq

II. The Pre-Modern Period. 3. Learning at Mosques in al-Andalus / Manuela Marin. 4. Caliphal Legitimacy and Expiation in al-Andalus / Maribel Fierro. 5. Ibn Taymiyya on Leadership in the Ritual Prayer / Bernard Weiss. 6. Use and Abuse of the Law: A Mufti’s Response / Nissreen Haram. 7. Dhimmi Women and Mourning / Seth Ward. 8. The Art of the Legal Opinion: al-Wansharisi on Tawlij / David S. Powers. 9. When Women Went to Mosques: al-Aydini on the Duration of Assessments / A. Kevin Reinhart. 10. Child Marriage in Seventeenth-Century Palestine / Harald Motzki. 11. Eleven Fetvas of the Ottoman Sheikh ul-Islam ‘Abdurrahim / Colin Imber

III. The Early Modern Period. 12. The Fatwas of Condemnation / John Ralph Willis. 13. Fatvas as Asymmetrical Dialogues: Muhammad Karim Khan Kirmani and His Questioners / Setrag Manoukian. 14. Sacred Space and Holy War in India / Juan R. L. Cole. 15. Two Fatwas on Hajj in British India / Barbara D. Metcalf. 16. Apostasy and Judicial Separation in British India / Muhammad Khalid Masud. 17. Are Wahhabis Kafirs? Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and His Sword of the Haramayn / Usha Sanyal. 18. The Lions of Qasr al-Nil Bridge: The Islamic Prohibition of Images as an Issue in the ‘Urabi Revolt / Rudolph Peters

IV. The Modern Period. 19. An Argument about How to Argue / William R. Roff. 20. The Council of Indonesian ‘Ulama’: on Muslims’ Attendance at Christmas Celebrations / Mohamad Atho Mudzhar. 21. A Modern Indian Mufti / Gregory C. Kozlowski. 22. Mut a: Regulating Sexuality and Gender Relations in Postrevolutionary Iran / Shahla Haeri. 23. The Complementarity of Ifta and Qada: Three Saudi Fatwas on Divorce / Frank E. Vogel. 24. The Fatwa as an Instrument of Accommodation / Aharon Layish. 25. Postmortem Examinations in Egypt / Vardit Rispler-Chaim. 26. Tantawi on Banking Operations in Egypt / Chibli Mallat. 27. Operation Desert Storm and the War of Fatwas / Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad. 28. Media Muftis: Radio Fatwas in Yemen / Brinkley Messick

Appendix: List of Fatwas.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Islamic legal interpretation : Muftis and their fatwas

Editor(s):   Muhammad Khalid Masud,  Brinkley Messick,  David S. Powers

Publisher:  Oxford University Press

 Language: English

Length:431

ISBN:  0195979117

Pub. Date:  2012/12/25

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