fatwa

[faht-wah]
noun
an Islamic religious decree issued by the ʿulama.

Origin:
1985–90; < Arabic fatwā

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World English Dictionary
fatwa or fatwah (ˈfætwɑː)
 
n
a non-binding judgment on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized religious authority
 
[Arabic]
 
fatwah or fatwah
 
n
 
[Arabic]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fatwa
1625, 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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