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Difference between a Mufti and a Maulana

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Q. Please explain to me the difference between a Mufti and a Maulana. I have been told that a Maulana is higher in status than a Mufti. Is this correct information?

A. The title of a ‘Maulana’ is given to one who has completed a course of studies on Islamic education at the tertiary level. This program of studies is normally referred to as an Aalim Course, and takes between 5-8 years to complete. Upon successful completion of this course, the graduates are honoured with the title of ‘Maulana’. Having completed this course, students further their studies in the area of ‘Specialization in Fiqh’ (Islamic Jurisprudence) for another 1-2 years. This program is referred to as the ‘Ifta Course’, and entails extensive/comprehensive research and in-depth studies in the field of Islamic law and Jurisprudence. Upon successful completion, graduates in the higher program (of specialization) are given the title of ‘Mufti’.

From this, it is known that the qualification of a Mufti is higher than a ‘Maulana’, and the authority of issuing religious verdicts is entrusted to a Mufti or a Qazi, and not to a Maulana. This shows that the religious authority of a Mufti is higher than that of a Maulana.

This explaination is based on the system of Islamic education which has been well established for centuries in thousands of Islamic countries.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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