A mufti (/ˈmʌfti/; Arabic: مفتي) is an Islamic scholar who
interprets and expounds Islamic law (
Sharia and fiqh). Muftis are
jurists qualified to give authoritative legal opinions known as
fatwas. Historically, they were members of the ulama ranking above
1 Background history
4 European parallels
6 See also
8 External links
With the introduction of the secular court system in the 19th century,
Ottoman councils began to enforce criminal legislation, in order to
emphasize their position as part of the new executive. This creation
of the hierarchical secular judiciary did not displace the original
Shari'a justice developed along lines comparable to what happened to
the organization of secular justice: greater bureaucratization, more
precise legal circumscription of jurisdiction, and the creation of a
hierarchy. This development began in 1856.
Until the Qadi’s Ordinance of 1856, the qadis were appointed by the
Porte and were part of the Ottoman religious judiciary. This Ordinance
recommends the consultation of muftis and ulama. In practice, the
sentences of qadis usually were checked by muftis appointed to the
courts. Other important decisions were also checked by the mufti of
the Majlis al-Ahkdm or by a council of ulama connected with it. It is
said that if the local qadi and mufti disagreed, it became customary
to submit the case to the authoritative Grand Mufti.
Later, in 1880, the new
Shari'a Courts Ordinance introduced the
hierarchical judiciary. Through the Ministry of Justice, parties could
appeal to the Cairo
Shari'a Court against decisions of provincial
qadis and ni'ibs. Here, parties could appeal to the
Shari'a Court open
to the Shaykh al-Azhar and the Grand Mufti, where other persons could
Lastly, judges were to consult the muftis appointed to their courts
whenever a case was not totally clear to them. If the problem was not
solved, the case had to be submitted to the Grand Mufti, whose fatwa
was binding on the qadi.
A mufti will generally go through a course in iftaa, the issuance of
fatwa, and the person should fulfill the following conditions set by
scholars in order that he may be able to issue verdicts (fatwas):
Mastering the study of principles of jurisprudence,
Having sufficient knowledge of social realities,
Mastering the study of comparative religions,
Mastering the foundations of social sciences,
Mastering the study of Maqasid ash-Shari`ah (Objectives of Shari`ah),
Mastering the study of Hadith,
Mastering legal maxims.
In the 1800s,and still seen today, Muslims relied on building trust
with people and forging partnerships, a very important aspect of
Islamic life. The mufti was an example of this. In a time where people
were often self-financed and independent, kinship often substituted
for markets where preexisting bonds of trust facilitated cooperative
ventures. These kin-based partnerships had many limitations. For
example, if seeking a mufti's advice, the wealth and relationship of
the family to the
Mufti can cause seniority and sentiment to dictate
decisions. Hence, there was social gains from institutions supportive
of these cooperative ventures across these groups. This dependency on
trust, and personal relationships has been said to have been the cause
of the Middle East's descent from its Golden Commercial Age.
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania professor George Makdisi, the
term mufti is a direct equivalent of the later western term professor,
meaning one who is qualified to profess independent opinion on a
subject (same as fatwa). According to him, this was the highest level
of academic credentials in classical Islamic academic tradition, above
mudarris (doctor meaning teacher), and faqih (meaning Master)--a
hierarchy later adopted in Western academic tradition.
Mufti, Mirza Huseyn Qayibzade of Tbilisi
Travelling Mufti's of the Ottoman Empire
Mufti, Jakub Szynkiewicz
Mufti, Absattar Derbisali
Mufti in Indonesia
Mufti, Talgat Tadzhuddin
Mufti delivering a sermon
Mufti, Ebrahim Desai
^ "mufti". thefreedictionary. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
^ a b William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton (2016). A History of the
Modern Middle East. Westview Press. p. 561.
^ Peters, Rudolph. "Islamic and Secular Criminal Law in Nineteenth
Century Egypt: The Role and Function of the Qadi". Islamic Law and
Society 4, no. 1 (1997): 70–90.
^ Reaching the status of mufti by Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera.
^ Ask the scholar,
^ Kuran, T. (2011). The long divergence: How Islamic law held back the
Middle East. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
^ George Makdisi (1989) Scholasticism and Humanism in Classical Islam
and the Christian West
Look up mufti in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The ethics of Muftī by
Imam Ibn Khaldûn(in French)
"Muftī". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
"Mufti". New International Encyclo