Islamic Legal Genres – Maribel Fierro

On June 30, 2021, Maribel Fierro (CSIC- Madrid) presented “Fatawa compilations: exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West.” Fierro’s lecture examined trends of fatwā compilation in Andalusia and North Africa. Fierro argues that the Almohad period (1121-1269) produced only one fatwā compilation and that the presence of fatwā compilations is closely connected to two phenomena: legal codification, and the presence of “Sunnī-style ʿulamāʾ.” By this latter term Fierro meant the presence of a legal institution independent of the Caliph-Sultan’s authority. She showed how the presence of various voices of near equal standing, debating points of law, generates fatwā compilations and that therefore a great discrepancy in authority causes the decline of the genre. Read more on our blog and watch the video today.