fat·​wa | \ˈfət-wə, ˈfät-wä\

Definition of fatwa 

: a legal opinion or decree handed down by an Islamic religious leader

Examples of fatwa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Shortly before the attack struck, the clerics had issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and urged peace talks to end the Afghan war. Rahim Faiez And Amir Shah, Fox News, "Suicide bombing targets gathering of clerics in Afghanistan, killing 7," 4 June 2018 After consulting with doctors, Khomeini sanctioned gender-transition surgery in a groundbreaking fatwa. Washington Post, "Iran’s transgender people face discrimination despite fatwa," 21 May 2018 The fatwa also said that killing people by any means, including with bombs and suicide attacks, are sins in Islam. Washington Post, "Taliban calls Islamic Scholars conferences a US process," 26 June 2018 The fatwa also said that killing people by any means — such as bombs and suicide attacks — as well as violent acts, including robbery and kidnapping, count as sins in Islam. Rahim Faiez And Amir Shah, Fox News, "Suicide bombing targets gathering of clerics in Afghanistan, killing 7," 4 June 2018 Seventy prominent Muslim scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia issued the fatwa, or edict, at a conference in Indonesia on ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan. Fox News, "Muslim scholars: Suicide attacks violate Islamic principles," 11 May 2018 The Afghan Ulema Council, which includes Muslim clerics, scholars and men of authority in religion and law from across the country, issued the fatwa at a gathering on Monday in Kabul that hosted around 2,000 council members. Fox News, "Afghanistan's top religious council bans suicide attacks," 4 June 2018 Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa, or religious decree, calling on the faithful to kill Mr. Rushdie, who went into hiding. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Peter Mayer Revived Penguin Books by Giving Readers What They Wanted," 25 May 2018 Most responded to a fatwa, or religious edict, from Iraq’s most influential cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and joined an array of militias, some of them backed by Iran. Isabel Coles And, WSJ, "After Defeating Islamic State, Iraq’s Shiites Turn Ire Toward Government," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fatwa.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fatwa

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fatwa

Arabic fatwā

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Statistics for fatwa

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for fatwa

The first known use of fatwa was circa 1889

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More from Merriam-Webster on fatwa

Nglish: Translation of fatwa for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fatwa for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fatwa

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