- This article is about an Islamic scholar. Mufti can also refer to civilian dress.
(مفتي) is an Islamic
scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia
). A muftiat or diyanet is a council of muftis.
A Mufti will generally go through an Iftaa course and the person should fulfill the following conditions set by scholars in order that he may be able to issue verdicts (fataawa). They are five:
First: He must be a Muslim.
Second: He must have reached the age of puberty.
Third: He must be just and trustworthy.
The scholars have unanimously agreed upon these first three.
Fourth: Ijtihad. This is the opinion of a majority of the scholars.
Fifth: He must have the qualities of intellect and be of a good mind. So the verdict of a one who makes too many mistakes is not correct.
The authority of the Mufti
An example of the influence of the mufti can be taken from this incident in Tunisia: Habib Bourguiba
, the late President of Tunisia
once argued in 1961 (1381 Muslim Calendar) that "fasting
" during Ramadan
should not be observed for it reduces productivity. He then appeared on television with his cabinet, eating and drinking during Ramadan. Bourguiba then asked the Grand Mufti
of Tunisia, Sheikh Altaher Ibn Ashoor
(الشيخ الطاهر بن عاشور), to issue a fatwa
accommodating the desires of the state.
The Grand Mufti of Tunisia went on television and addressed the audience and read sura Al-Baqara:183 (2:183) :
- ''O you who believe! Observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious.
- God said the truth (صدق الله العظيم), and President Habib Bourguiba lied.
Then issued a fatwa that not observing Ramadan is a sin and whoever doesn't observe the fasting has knowingly rejected his well-known religious duty forcibly and added that fasting does not reduce productivity.