Sunday, July 31, 2005

Another New Word, By Golly!

I've been seeing it printed and written and hearing it spoken relentlessly on tv, radio and in the newspapers. To my knowledge, it's never been defined. We're supposed to know what it means because it's some kind of islamic term.

Fatwa. I gather from context that it means something like "sending a message," yet another not-too-clear, too-often-used buzz-phrase that's been inflicted 'pon us in the past few years.

It's usually used in an islamic sort of context, so I would think it might be a variety of arabic lingo, except that, so far, it's only been spelled one way. I guess I should be looking for other creative spellings of the word in the near future.

It's indeed wonderful, living in a global community!

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


The Wine Commonsewer said...

A fatwa (Arabic: فتوى) plural 'fataawa', is a legal pronouncement in Islam, issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue. Usually a fatwa is issued at the request of an individual or a judge to settle a question where fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence, is unclear. A scholar capable of issuing fataawa is known as a Mufti.

Because there is no central Islamic priesthood, there is also no unanimously accepted method to determine who can issue a fatwa and who cannot, leading some Islamic scholars to complain that too many people feel qualified to issue fatwas.

In both theory and practice, different Islamic clerics can issue contradictory fatwas. What happens then depends on whether one lives in a nation where Islamic law (sharia) is the basis of civil law, or if one lives where Islamic law has no legal status. It should be noted that many nations in which Muslims make up a majority of the population do not recognize Islamic law as the basis of civil law.

In nations based on Islamic law, fatwas by the national religious leadership are debated before being issued and are decided upon by consensus. In such cases, they are rarely contradictory, and they carry the status of enforceable law. If two fatwas are contradictory, the ruling bodies (which combine civil and religious law) effect a compromise interpretation which is followed as law.

In nations that do not recognize Islamic law, religious Muslims are often confronted with two competing fatwas. In such a case, they would follow the fatwa of the leader in the same religious tradition as themselves. Thus, for example, Sunni Muslims would not hold to the fatwa of a Shiite cleric.

? said...

never heard of it myself

kalisekj said...
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