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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 interprets and expounds Islamic law (Sharia and fiqh).[1] Muftis are jurists qualified to give authoritative legal opinions known as fatwas.[2] Historically, they were members of the ulama ranking above qadis.[2]


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):[3]

  1. Knowing Arabic,
  2. Mastering the study of principles of jurisprudence,
  3. Having sufficient knowledge of social realities,[4]
  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.

European parallels[edit]

According to 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.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "mufti". thefreedictionary. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton (2016). A History of the Modern Middle East. Westview Press. p. 561. 
  3. ^ Reaching the status of mufti by Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera.
  4. ^ Ask the scholar, Islam online 
  5. ^ George Makdisi (1989) Scholasticism and Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West

External links[edit]