A fatwā (Arabic: فتوى) is the term used for the legal opinion or learned interpretation that the Sheikhul Islam, a qualified jurist or mufti, can give on issues pertaining to Islamic Law and relating to a specific issue, usually at the request of an individual or judge to resolve an issue where Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), is unclear.
Typically, such uncertainty arises as Muslim society works to address new issues – issues that develop as technology and society advance. “Can a Muslim be involved in cloning?” for instance.
We might compare a fatwā to the legal ruling of a high court or the Supreme Court, depending on the authority of the mufti behind it. However, a fatwā is not binding as is the verdict of the secular courts; while correct and applicable to all members of the Muslim faith, the fatwā is optional for the individual to respect or not.
Below you can find some of recent questions and fatwas from MAI.