[faht-wah] /ˈfɑt wɑ/

an Islamic religious decree issued by the ʿulama.
a non-binding judgment on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized religious authority

1620s, from Arabic fetwa “a decision given by a mufti,” related to fata “to instruct by a legal decision.” Popularized 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a ruling sentencing author Salman Rushdie to death for publishing “The Satanic Verses” (1988). It was lifted 1998.


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