Responding from the Tradition: One Hundred Contemporary Fatwas by the Grand Mufti of Egypt

Nuri Friedlander, Tarek Elgawhary


This book is a collection of 100 fatwas (Islamic legal opinions) authored by the Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa with the express purpose of addressing issues that have been controversial amongst Muslims and have been the cause of discord.

“During his years as Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali has overseen the issuance of many important fatwas that strive to show Islam’s ongoing relevance to people of the 21st century. The corresponding methodology is characterized by a profound respect for tradition that is balanced by the recognition of its shortcomings, and illuminated by an understanding of the specific needs of the times in which we live.
Both the official and the non-official positions that Sheikh Ali has held have helped to cultivate the unique vantage point from which he perceives and assesses the concerns of the Muslim community. The fatwas gathered in this collection are the result of his exceptional experience. Certain fatwas may seem more immediately relevant than others; however, all have been of contemporary concern to some part of the Muslim community, and all pertain to issues that have fractured the community at one point or another.
Thus, the fatwas gathered here cover a vast range of topics while sharing a traditionally grounded methodology and an expansive and contemporary vision of the world. With this collection the author intends to end debates and animosity among Muslims not by merely asserting one position’s legitimacy over another’s, but by showing that the richness of the Islamic tradition provides a framework within which Muslims may disagree on details while uniting on overarching values.” -From the Translators’ Introduction

  • 9781891785443
  • 320

Product Description

Sheikh Gomaa has selected these questions from the many thousands that have been submitted to him over the years in his capacity as Grand Mufti as well as a respected expert in Islamic law previous to his appointment to that position. As someone who is constantly being exposed to the questions that Muslims today are actually concerned with Sheikh Gomaa is in an excellent position to understand which issues are crucial to the Islamic world today.

His mastery of the Islamic tradition combined with his extensive travel and study in other fields gives Sheikh Gomaa credentials that few others possess today. For the first time the Islamic legal opinions of this scholar who is recognized in both the Islamic world and internationally as one of the most insightful minds working in Islamic law today will prove invaluable to anyone interested in coming to a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the contemporary world.


"Ali Gomaa has emerged as one of the most influential Muslim scholars in the world today. This work provides a substantial representation of how he interprets Islam in the face of old and new challenges. It will be an indispensible resource for any student of modern Islamic piety, theology and law." -
John Esposito, University Professor, Georgetown University
"The translators have offered an important service in Responding from the Tradition by introducing the contemporary insights of one of the world’s most eminent Muslim jurists to an English-speaking audience. A distinguished scholar of Islamic law and spirituality, Sheikh ‘Ali Gomaa draws on his extensive traditional training, experience, and expertise to respond to wide-ranging questions about Islamic beliefs and practices in the modern world."
Mona Hassan, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies & History, Department of Religion, Duke University