By Joseph Lowry

ISBN-10: 9004163603

ISBN-13: 9789004163607

ISBN-10: 9047423895

ISBN-13: 9789047423898

The Risala of al-Shafii (d. 204/820), the earliest preserved paintings of Islamic criminal concept, has been understood in past scholarship because the elaboration of a hierarchy of assets of legislations (Quran, Sunna, consensus, and analogical reasoning).

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Additional resources for Early Islamic Legal Theory: The Risala of Muhammad Ibn Idris Al-shafi-i (Studies in Islamic Law and Society)

Example text

In the preceding example, as analyzed by ShÊÀ{Ò, the Sunnaic precedent—Mu˜ammad’s performance of three ritual washings—both included and complied with the minimal form of the rule appearing in the QurxÊn. In this instance, it appears that the QurxÊn and the Sunna independently express different components of a complex of rules, but that the QurxÊn’s rules are, perhaps, presupposed by and independent of those found in the Sunna. 9 I have not reproduced the whole of ShÊÀ{Ò’s argument here, but the rest of it aims to make the same point, namely that the QurxÊn is self-sufÀcient in this instance and that, although the Sunna adds some details, compliance with the QurxÊnic rule alone represents full compliance with the law on this point.

Of these, Khadduri’s contains much useful information in its introduction, and Souami’s is the easiest to use with the standard edition of the Arabic text. 20 introduction show how speciÀc hermeneutical rubrics align precisely with ShÊÀ{Ò’s various categories of the bayÊn, and how those hermeneutical techniques function at the level of the discrete problem as well as at the level of ShÊÀ{Ò’s conceptualization of the law’s architectonics. This chapter offers many in-depth analyses of the RisÊla’s individual example problems as illustrations of ShÊÀ{Ò’s hermeneutical rubrics.

This is a bayÊn, and a favor from Him. (RisÊla ¶114) Thus, God has provided the tools for Muslims to Ànd the direction of Mecca, just as He has allowed jurists to Ànd an answer to an otherwise apparently unregulated legal problem and, at least potentially, to derive an actual, metaphysically correct solution. This notion ties in to a larger theological idea that informs ShÊÀ{Ò’s legal thought generally: The law is absolutely all-encompassing. The Àfth variety of the bayÊn proves that this is so, since it shows that even for situations not expressly provided for in the QurxÊn and the Sunna, God has furnished a method (inference, istidlÊl ), a tool (mind, {aql), and relevant information (signs, {alÊmÊt) which, when used in conjunction, lead to an answer.

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Early Islamic Legal Theory: The Risala of Muhammad Ibn Idris Al-shafi-i (Studies in Islamic Law and Society) by Joseph Lowry


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