Collection of fatawa of the Mufti Ahmed ef. Mostarac

  • Mustafa Hasani, prof.dr.


Collections of fatawa present primary sources, not only for religious, but also for cultural, political, legal and economic history of certain regions. Because of way how it was written and type of codexes in which were recorded, as a result of long period of interpretation of many issues by individual muftis or by collection of fetawa by different muftis,

  • this legal literature is written record of time, which covers many questions from everyday life, since fatwa in Ottoman times had social and public-legal character.

On the other side, in difference with court decision, scope of fatwa is much larger. Fatwa deals not only with legal issues but also with mat- ters regarding belief, ritual, ethics and social customs. Among the ulama from Bosnia and Herzegovina were muftis who recorded their own or other’s fatawa in separate collections. Until now it is known that it was done by Sarajevo mufti Hasan Livnjak (mufti from 1612-1618), mufti from Banja Luka Sheykh Muhamed (...), mufti of Mostar (Ahmed ef. d. 1776) and mufti from Prusac Ibrahim Munib (1787/88). This work aims to present Collection of fatawa by Mostar mufti Ahmed effendi. Ahmed son of Muhamed (d. 1776) was a very prominent mufti and mudarris from Mostar. There is very little information about his life and work. Reason of this could be found in the fact that in our bio- bibliographic literature he was identified with Ahmed son of Mustafa (d.1679 or 1686) who was, according to some researchers, mufti from Mostar too. Mufti Ahmed effendi Mostari has written many works in the fields of Islamic law. His most important work is Fatawa-i Ahmediyye (Collection of fatawa). This work was many times copied, but the first two copies of the collection of fatawa are dated from the year 1773, which means that its copy was done during the author’s lifetime. This fact tells us about the great authority, which he had while he was performing his duty as a mufti. On the other side it tells us about the popularity of his work among scholars, particularly among qadis and muftis, who in fact used his collection of fatawa as reference work in their daily duties.

When we talk about fetwa it is necessary to underline form of fatwa, and specifically, different ways of protection of fatwa from possible forgery. This Collection of fetawa was divided according to classical pattern on books (kitab), chapters (bab). Another division was done according to sources of law which mufti used as a reference work. In the first part of collection, which starts with the Book of cleanliness and continue further in standardized sequence, the mufti has cited Shari’a, from where it could be seen that he used rich Fiqh literature, while in second part of collection he gives fatwa interpreting Qanun.

It has been mentioned for a long time that Muhamed Mujic (1920- 1984), a Bosnian orientalist, translated collection of this fatawa, but this information we could not confirm. Regarding this matter we have contacted his colleagues and son, but we could not get his translation. What is certain is that, ten of translated fatawa, were published in an article signed by the translator M. Mujic.