When this is put to the mufti, the answer will be simply "Yes," and from this decision there is no appeal, so that the mufti is supreme judge in his own district.
After three or four years, fortified with the certificates of his various professors, he seeks a place in a law-court or as a teacher, preacher, cadi, or mufti of a village or minor town, or else one of the innumerable posts of confidence for which the complicated ceremonial of Mahommedanism demands a theologian, and which are generally paid out of pious foundations.
He nominates the Sheikh ul-Islam or mufti (q.v.) of Constantinople (grand mufti), who is his representative in the imamate and issues judgments in points of faith and law from which there is no appeal; but the nomination must fall on one of the mollahs, 2 who form the upper stratum of the hierarchy of ulema.
A fatwa is a decision according to Koran and Sunna, but without reasons, on an abstract case of law which is brought before the mufti by appeal from the cadi's judgment or by reference from the cadi himself.
The grand mufti of Constantinople is, as we have seen, nominated by the sultan, but his hold on the people makes him quite an independent power in the state; in Cairo he is not even nominated by the government, but each school of law chooses its own sheikh, who is also mufti, and the IIanifite is head mufti because his school is official in the Turkish Empire.