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Chapter Summary

This book investigates the history and work of the Saudi Dār al-Iftāʾ, one of the most central modern Islamic official religious institutions. This study was undertaken from two perspectives: (1) its creation, power structure, functions and the sociopolitical environment in which it operates; and (2) its actual work, mainly the mechanisms by which modern Saudi State muftīs cope with clashes between Wahhabi idealism and the reality of an evolving society. Modern-day Saudi-Wahhabi muftis remain, to a large extent, faithful to transmitted tradition. The differential approach of Dār al-Iftāʾ to contemporary issues is a manifestation of the seemingly paradoxical coexistence of progress and preservation, and reflects the social and cultural tensions within both the liberal and the traditional segments of Saudi society.

Keywords: Saudi Dār al-Iftāʾ; Saudi-Wahhabi muftis



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