The New International Encyclopædia/Mufti

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MUFTI, mūf'té (Ar. mufti, expounder of the law). The name of a Mohammedan official who expounds the law according to the Koran and traditions; according to his decision, delivered in a memorandum called a fetwa, the cadi, or judge, decides the case. In Turkey the Grand Mufti, or Sheikh ul-Islam, is the head of the Moslem Church, and is appointed by the Sultan. He is the supreme chief of the ulemas or body of Mohammedan theologians. His fetwa is extremely powerful, even under certain circumstances may depose the Sultan. The title mufti is also applied to juris-consults attached to local government councils in the Turkish Empire, but the power of the muftis, with the exception of the Grand Mufti, is largely nominal.