Istihlal (Arabic: استحلال istiḥlāl) is a term used in Islamic jurisprudence, or fiqh, to refer to the act of regarding some action as permissible, or halaal, although it is haraam; the implication is that such a regard is an erroneous and improper distortion of Islamic law. The word "istihlal" is derived as Stem X of the Arabic consonantal root ح-ل-ل meaning "to untie", "to solve", "to dissolve", "to open", "to release", etc. [1]

The term "istihlal" came to prominence in the Western news media on 11 March 2005, the first anniversary of the Madrid bombing attacks of 2004, when the Islamic Commission of Spain (La Comisión Islámica de España) issued a fatwa, or religious opinion, denouncing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda for engaging in istihlal with respect to the waging of jihad through terrorism, and the killing of women, children, and noncombatants. [2][3]


  1. ^ Hans Wehr. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic: Third Edition. ed. J. Milton Cowan. Spoken Language Services, Inc. Ithaca, New York, 1976. ISBN 0-87950-001-8.
  2. ^ "Bin Laden fatwa as Spain remembers". CNN. 2005-03-11. Archived from the original on 2005-07-11. Retrieved 2005-08-17.
  3. ^ "La Comisión Islámica de España emite una fatua condenando el terrorismo y al grupo Al Qaida" (in Spanish). WebIslam Comunidad Virtual. 2005-03-05. Retrieved 2008-08-30. Full text of the fatwa issued by La Comisión Islámica de España against Osama bin Laden and Al Qa'ida.