The AAP also reported (emphasis mine) that ...
The case of Masaba, an Islamic cleric, captured public attention some three months ago when he admitted to having 86 wives.The word fatwa has been translated as "death sentence". I'm not sure where AAP managed to generate or manufacture this translation.
The revelation attracted sharp criticism and indignation from Islamic clerics with the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the Nigerian Muslim umbrella body that slammed a fatwa, or death sentence, on Masaba.
Even someone with the most elementary knowledge of Arabic knows that the term fatwa has little or no relation to death. The Arabic word for death is mawt, and the word for killing is qatl. Neither of these words have an relation to fatwa.
Indeed, the term fatwa refers to an influential but non-binding legal opinion on the application of Islamic sacred law to novel situations. Islamic sacred law's criminal jurisdiction does contain a small number of offences carring capital punishments, known as hudood. Little novelty is involved in these areas of criminal law.
Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf