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mufti

mufti (mŭf´tē), in Islamic law, attorney or judicial/religious scholar who writes his opinion (fatwa) on legal subjects for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases. The recorded opinions of the muftis are a valuable source of information for the actual working of Islamic law as opposed to the abstract formulation. Only in the fields of marriage, divorce, and inheritance are the fatwas binding precedents; on other subjects they might be set aside. In the Ottoman Empire the muftis were state officials, and the mufti of Constantinople was the highest of these. The British, who retained the institution in some Muslim areas under their control, gave to the office of Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, great political importance.

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mufti

mufti1 a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. Recorded from the late 16th century, the word comes from Arabic muftī, active participle of 'aftā ‘decide a point of law’.

In the Ottoman Empire, the Mufti (or Grand Mufti) was the name given to the official head of religion within the state, or to a deputy appointed by him as chief legal authority for a large city.

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mufti

muf·ti1 / ˈməftē/ • n. (pl. muf·tis) a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters. muf·ti2 • n. plain clothes worn by a person who wears a uniform for their job, such as a soldier or police officer: I was a flying officer in mufti.

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mufti

mufti2 plain clothes worn by a person who wears a uniform for their job, such as a soldier or police officer. Recorded from the early 19th century, the word may come humorously from mufti1, in a reference to a costume of dressing-gown, smoking-cap, and slippers, suggesting the appearance of a stage ‘mufti’.

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Muftī

Muftī (Arab.). In Islamic law, one qualified to give a fatwā, legal opinion on a disputed point of law. Such a person had to be a Muslim, of upright character, with appropriate knowledge and experience in legal matters. The office of muftī was elaborated in the Ottoman Empire.

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mufti

mufti Muslim priest or expounder of the law. XVI. — Arab. muftī, active pple. of 'aftā give a fatwā or decision on law. The sense ‘plain clothes’ (XIX) may be a joc. allusion to the costume of a mufti on the stage.

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mufti

muftifooty, putti, sooty, tutti •shufti • casualty • deputy •butty, cutty, gutty, nutty, puttee, putty, rutty, smutty •mufti, tufty •bhakti • subtlety • humpty-dumpty •Bunty, runty •bustee, busty, crusty, dusty, fusty, gusty, lusty, musty, rusty, trusty •fealty • realty •propriety, society •loyalty, royalty •cruelty •Krishnamurti, Trimurti •liberty • puberty •faggoty, maggoty •Hecate • chocolatey • Cromarty •commonalty • personalty • property •carroty • guaranty • mayoralty •warranty • admiralty • severalty •poverty •Alberti, Bertie, dirty, flirty, shirty, thirty •uncertainty •Kirstie, thirsty •bloodthirsty

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MUFTI

MUFTI (ˈmʌftɪ) Military minimum use of force tactical intervention

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Mufti

MUFTI

The mufti, or jurisconsult, stands between man and God, and issues opinions (fatwa, pl. fatawa or fatwas) to a petitioner (mustafti) either with regard to the laws of God or the deeds of man. In early Islam the mufti operated as a privately funded, free agent who was independent of state control. As successor to Muhammad in his role as jurist, the mufti was to exemplify sound juridical wisdom and moral rectitude. His knowledge of the Arabic language, the Qur˒anic sciences, and hadith traditions had to be thorough, as did his grasp of legal reasoning. Such idealized standards eventually yielded to societal needs, until, by the turn of the tenth century, the office of the mufti required that he be thoroughly grounded in no more than juridical precedent within a given school of law.

A mufti is distinct from a judge (qadi) in several ways. The judge's authority is generally delegated by the state, whereas the mufti's is delegated by his peers; the judge's ruling is final, or subject to limited appeal, whereas that of a mufti is but one of many competing juridical opinions; and the mufti rules most often on questions of law, whereas the qadi rules on fact.

A mufti must always appear dignified and neatly dressed, for he serves as a model of good behavior in public. He must avoid delivering opinions when angry, ill, or weary, and also when there appears to be a conflict of interests.

See alsoFatwa ; Qadi (Kadi, Kazi) .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Masud, Muhammad Khalid; Messick, Brinkley; and Powers, David S., eds. Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and their Fatwas, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Muneer Goolam Fareed

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