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This article is about Islamic scholars. For clothing, see Mufti (dress).

A mufti (/ˈmʌfti/; Arabic: مفتي‎‎ muftī; Turkish: müftü) is an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia and fiqh).[1] A muftiate or diyanet is a council of muftis.

According to University of Pennsylvania professor George Makdisi's paper "Scholasticism and Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West",, 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.

William Cleveland wrote in his A History of the Modern Middle East that muftis were "experts in Islamic law qualified to give authoritative legal opinions known as fatwas; muftis were members of the ulama establishment and ranked above qadis".

Within Islamic legal schools, a mufti is considered the pinnacle in the hierarchy of scholars because of the advanced training required for the individual aspiring to be a mufti. Originally, muftis were private individuals who gave fatwas informally, regulated their own activities, and determined their own standards of the fatwa institution. A mufti could also be defined as an individual well-grounded in Islamic law.


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):[2]

  1. Knowing Arabic,
  2. Mastering the study of principles of jurisprudence,
  3. Having sufficient knowledge of social realities,[3]
  4. Mastering the study of comparative religions,
  5. Mastering the foundations of social sciences,
  6. Mastering the study of Maqasid ash-Shari`ah (Objectives of Shari`ah),
  7. Mastering the study of Hadith,
  8. Mastering legal maxims.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "mufti". thefreedictionary. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Reaching the status of mufti by Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera.
  3. ^ Ask the scholar, Islam online 

External links[edit]