This book focuses on the history and work of the Saudi Dār al-Iftā, one of the most central modern Islamic official religious institutions. The study was undertaken from two perspectives: (1) Dār al-Iftā creation, power structure, functions and the sociopolitical environment in which it operates; and (2) The actual work of this institution, mainly the mechanisms by which modern Saudi state muftis cope with clashes between Wahhābī idealism and the reality of an evolving society. This is a critical work which updates the readers' grasp of contemporary law and society in the modern Saudi state, in particular, and in Islamic jurisprudence in general.
Muhammad K. Al Atawneh, Ph.D. (2004) in modern Islamic Studies, Ben Gurion University, is senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University. He has published extensively on Islamic law and society in contemporary Arab and Islamic worlds with an emphasis on Wahhāb Islam.
"[...] Muhammad Al Atawneh presents a convincing study informed by original sources like, among many others, Umm al-Qura newspaper and royal decrees. Many examples, a general index, and a number of useful appendices (translations of analyzed fatwas, organizational chart of Saudi ifta', glossary of Arabic terms) round off this insightful book." – Jens Kutscher, in:
H-Soz-u-Kult, May 2012.
This book is primarily intended for researchers in Islamic studies, but will also interest non-specialists who want to learn about modern Islamic society.