fat·​wa | \ ˈfət-wə How to pronounce fatwa (audio) , 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 Many want to believe that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s fatwa against the production and use of nuclear weapons will keep Iran a threshold state. Reuel Marc Gerecht And Ray Takeyh, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 In 2015, one person was killed in Copenhagen, Denmark, at a meeting meant to mark the 25th anniversary of an Iranian fatwa against British writer Salman Rushdie, which Vilks attended. NBC News, 4 Oct. 2021 But the president should also be steeling his countrymen for a prolonged encounter with, and battle against, militant Islamic groups who aim, as in bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa, to kill Americans. John Hillen, National Review, 10 Sep. 2021 Sistani issues his second political fatwa, urging the Iraqi people to remain neutral and not to interfere with the US forces. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 18 July 2021 Once again, Rushdie attempts to trace the expansion of the fanaticism that stifled free speech in other parts of the world, and led to the fatwa against his own life, into domains hitherto thought immune to repression and censorship. Michael Washburn, National Review, 13 June 2021 Zawahiri and bin Laden issue a fatwa, published in an Arab newspaper, stating that Muslims should kill Americans around the world. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 10 June 2021 Those same groups, strengthened after al-Sistani’s fatwa, are accused of terrorizing Christians and preventing them from returning home. Fox News, 3 Mar. 2021 Those same groups, strengthened after al-Sistani's fatwa, are accused of terrorizing Christians and preventing them from returning home. Star Tribune, 3 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of fatwa

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fatwa

Arabic fatwā

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The first known use of fatwa was circa 1889

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Cite this Entry

“Fatwa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatwa. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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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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