Early Islamic Legal Theory: The Risala of Muhammad Ibn Idris by Joseph Lowry

By Joseph Lowry

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

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

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E. The Fourth Mode of the BayÊn: Stand-alone Sunnaic Texts In this mode of the bayÊn, rules are expressed through Sunnaic texts that are self-sufÀcient. Accordingly, this variety of the bayÊn mirrors the Àrst mode of the bayÊn, in which rules are expressed through selfsufÀcient QurxÊnic texts. ShÊÀ{Ò offers no examples of this variety of the bayÊn at this point in the RisÊla, but his discussion of how to interpret Sunnaic legal texts accounts for more than one-third of the text of the RisÊla (¶¶569–1308).

Burton’s work on ShÊÀ{Ò, including his RisÊla, represents a real advance over previous analyses for its simultaneous focus on ShÊÀ{Ò’s theory and the examples of legal reasoning that illustrate that theory. Burton has, however, limited his investigations principally 37 See his “Traditionist-Jurisprudents and the Framing of Islamic Law,” ILS 8 (2001), 383–406 and “The Meaning of QÊla ’l-ShÊÀ{Ò in Ninth Century Sources,” in J. , {Abbasid Studies (Leuven: Peeters, 2004), 277–301. 38 “The Legal Hermeneutics of al-ShÊÀ{Ò and Ibn Qutayba: A Reconsideration,” ILS 11 (2004), 1–41.

4 SpeciÀcally, it describes the Ànite number of textual arrangements employed by God to express legal rules. 3 On the term bayÊn in general, see G. von Grunebaum, “BayÊn,” EI2 I, 1114. ” It is used in this sense in medieval Arabic literary theory. , R. Allen, The Arabic Literary Heritage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 390, 392; K. Abu Deeb, “Literary Criticism,” in: CHALABL, 339–387, 381 (used by {Abd al-QÊhir al-JurjÊnÒ in describing God as the founder of the science of rhetoric). 4 ShÊÀ{Ò’s usage of the term bayÊn foreshadows, perhaps, the concept of khi¢Êb, the term used for God’s addresses to humankind, in mature uÉÖl al-Àqh: “The term khi¢Êb refers to speech in relational terms that entail intention on the part of the speaker.

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