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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
13. Others
14. Calendar

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Islam / Sharia /
Arabic: fatwāPlay sound

Fatwa is a legal statement in Islam, issued by a mufti or a religious lawyer, on a specific issue.
Fatwas are asked for by judges or individuals, and are needed in cases where an issue of fiqh is undecided or uncertain. Lawsuits can be settled on the basis of a fatwa.
It is vital that a fatwa not be based upon the muftis or lawyers own will and ideas, but rather rendered it in accordance with fixed precedent.
Today, fatwas have limited importance in most Muslim societies, and are normally used only in cases of marriage, inheritance and divorce. The importance of a fatwa depends on its acceptance among most people, and if people don't care about it, it is in reality powerless.
In 1989, "fatwa" became an often mentioned term around the world, following Ayatollah Khomeini fatwa issued on Salman Rushdie for his novel, "Satanic Verses". Containing a death penalty, "fatwa" has erroneously come to be understood as nothing but a death penalty. The fatwa reads:
The author of The Satanic Verses, a text written, edited, and published against Islam, against the Prophet of Islam, and against the Koran, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents, are condemned to capital punishment. I call on all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to execute this sentence without delay, so that no one henceforth will dare insult the sacred beliefs of the Muslims.

By Tore Kjeilen