fatwa

fatwa
fatwa
A fatwa (from Arabic fatā ‘to instruct by a legal decision’) is a legal ruling given by an Islamic religious leader. It came dramatically to western attention in 1989 when by such a ruling Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called for the death of the writer Salman Rushdie for publishing The Satanic Verses (1988), which many Muslims considered blasphemous. (The ruling was effectively withdrawn by 1998.) Fatwa is already undergoing extensions of meaning, and is erroneously used to mean ‘sentence of death’ (which, in the case of Rushdie, it meant only in effect). The plural in English contexts is fatwas, and the use of a verb form is also recorded:

• Unlike many writers and artists, Chahine hadn't been fatwaed, but he felt threatened nevertheless —New Yorker, 1995.


Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • fatwa — UK [ˈfætwə] / US or fatwah UK / US noun [countable] Word forms fatwa : singular fatwa plural fatwas an official order by a Muslim religious leader …   English dictionary

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  • fatwa — [fät′wä] n. [Ar] 1. Islam a religious and legal decree or edict issued by a council of religious leaders 2. loosely a death sentence imposed through, or as through, such a decree …   English World dictionary

  • Fatwā — otheruses4|the Arabic language word|the 2006 film|Fatwa (film)A fatwā ( ar. فتوى; plural fatāwā ar. فتاوى), in the Islamic faith is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwa is non binding, whereas… …   Wikipedia

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