The four eponyms of sunni islamic jurisprudence: An examination of the historical development of the dominant madhâhib and the polemic of Ijtihâd versus Taqlîd

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Abstract

: The framing of Islamic law in the first four centuries of Islam is of great significance to scholars. During this
period, the Islamic diaspora was in the earliest part of its development, establishing its identity and developing the
foundations of its knowledge principles. These times were tumultuous; yet, at the same time, what occurred during these
early centuries formed the bedrock upon which a further millennium of growth has taken place in this global religion.
Many forces were interplaying during these early years in the context of Islamic law. “Independents,” who formed a
majority of Islamic theorists, gradually disappeared and gave way to “Muqallidȋn” and there was discourse and
allegiance amongst “Rationalists” and “Traditionalists.” There was a shift away from early regional schools (of
thought) to personal schools and tremendous debate raged about Ijtihȃd and Taqlȋd. In more recent times, over the past
century, orientalist commentators on the period, who have painted a picture of these early centuries of the Islamic legal
system and jurisprudence as being somewhat cut and dry, have begun to be challenged. Schacht for example, who wrote
in the early to mid-twentieth century, later had his views nuanced by scholars such as Hallaq and others. This paper thus
examines the early formation of the four schools of Islamic law, recounts brief biographical accounts of their founders,
and discusses the challenges faced during those early years of Islamic legal history, which are a source of disagreement
among contemporary scholars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies
Volume10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Sunni
historical development
jurisprudence
examination
Law
school
diaspora
Islam
twentieth century
Religion
discourse
history
time

Keywords

  • Religion
  • Islam
  • Islamic Law
  • Sunni
  • Eponyms
  • Ijtihad
  • Taqlid

Cite this

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title = "The four eponyms of sunni islamic jurisprudence:: An examination of the historical development of the dominant madh{\^a}hib and the polemic of Ijtih{\^a}d versus Taql{\^i}d",
abstract = ": The framing of Islamic law in the first four centuries of Islam is of great significance to scholars. During thisperiod, the Islamic diaspora was in the earliest part of its development, establishing its identity and developing thefoundations of its knowledge principles. These times were tumultuous; yet, at the same time, what occurred during theseearly centuries formed the bedrock upon which a further millennium of growth has taken place in this global religion.Many forces were interplaying during these early years in the context of Islamic law. “Independents,” who formed amajority of Islamic theorists, gradually disappeared and gave way to “Muqallidȋn” and there was discourse andallegiance amongst “Rationalists” and “Traditionalists.” There was a shift away from early regional schools (ofthought) to personal schools and tremendous debate raged about Ijtihȃd and Taqlȋd. In more recent times, over the pastcentury, orientalist commentators on the period, who have painted a picture of these early centuries of the Islamic legalsystem and jurisprudence as being somewhat cut and dry, have begun to be challenged. Schacht for example, who wrotein the early to mid-twentieth century, later had his views nuanced by scholars such as Hallaq and others. This paper thusexamines the early formation of the four schools of Islamic law, recounts brief biographical accounts of their founders,and discusses the challenges faced during those early years of Islamic legal history, which are a source of disagreementamong contemporary scholars.",
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N2 - : The framing of Islamic law in the first four centuries of Islam is of great significance to scholars. During thisperiod, the Islamic diaspora was in the earliest part of its development, establishing its identity and developing thefoundations of its knowledge principles. These times were tumultuous; yet, at the same time, what occurred during theseearly centuries formed the bedrock upon which a further millennium of growth has taken place in this global religion.Many forces were interplaying during these early years in the context of Islamic law. “Independents,” who formed amajority of Islamic theorists, gradually disappeared and gave way to “Muqallidȋn” and there was discourse andallegiance amongst “Rationalists” and “Traditionalists.” There was a shift away from early regional schools (ofthought) to personal schools and tremendous debate raged about Ijtihȃd and Taqlȋd. In more recent times, over the pastcentury, orientalist commentators on the period, who have painted a picture of these early centuries of the Islamic legalsystem and jurisprudence as being somewhat cut and dry, have begun to be challenged. Schacht for example, who wrotein the early to mid-twentieth century, later had his views nuanced by scholars such as Hallaq and others. This paper thusexamines the early formation of the four schools of Islamic law, recounts brief biographical accounts of their founders,and discusses the challenges faced during those early years of Islamic legal history, which are a source of disagreementamong contemporary scholars.

AB - : The framing of Islamic law in the first four centuries of Islam is of great significance to scholars. During thisperiod, the Islamic diaspora was in the earliest part of its development, establishing its identity and developing thefoundations of its knowledge principles. These times were tumultuous; yet, at the same time, what occurred during theseearly centuries formed the bedrock upon which a further millennium of growth has taken place in this global religion.Many forces were interplaying during these early years in the context of Islamic law. “Independents,” who formed amajority of Islamic theorists, gradually disappeared and gave way to “Muqallidȋn” and there was discourse andallegiance amongst “Rationalists” and “Traditionalists.” There was a shift away from early regional schools (ofthought) to personal schools and tremendous debate raged about Ijtihȃd and Taqlȋd. In more recent times, over the pastcentury, orientalist commentators on the period, who have painted a picture of these early centuries of the Islamic legalsystem and jurisprudence as being somewhat cut and dry, have begun to be challenged. Schacht for example, who wrotein the early to mid-twentieth century, later had his views nuanced by scholars such as Hallaq and others. This paper thusexamines the early formation of the four schools of Islamic law, recounts brief biographical accounts of their founders,and discusses the challenges faced during those early years of Islamic legal history, which are a source of disagreementamong contemporary scholars.

KW - Religion

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KW - Ijtihad

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