Oxford_Handbook_of_Islamic_Law_The_Class.pdf - Classical PeriodScripture Origins and Early Development Oxford Handbooks Oxford Handbooks Online The

Oxford_Handbook_of_Islamic_Law_The_Class.pdf - Classical...

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4/5/2017 Classical PeriodScripture, Origins, and Early Development - Oxford Handbooks 1/35 Subject: Law, History of Law, Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law Online Publication Date: Apr 2017 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199679010.013.13 The Classical Period: Scripture, Origins, and Early Development Mariam Sheibani, Amir Toft, and Ahmed El Shamsy The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law Edited by Anver M. Emon and Rumee Ahmed Oxford Handbooks Online Abstract and Keywords This article examines whether the Qur’an served as a source for the early jurists during the classical period; whether Hadith reports contain authentic information regarding Muhammad’s sayings and actions (and if they do not, when and how they became attributed to him); whether and how the regional legal traditions were transformed into legal schools centered around particular individuals; and how the nature of legal reasoning changed within this period. The article first revisits the debates regarding the role of the Qur’an and Hadith, respectively, in the formulation of Islamic law. It then reviews scholarship on the phases of Islamic law’s development, beginning with the emergence of geographically defined legal traditions and culminating in the formation of the legal schools and their distinctive theoretical principles and substantive doctrines. It concludes by suggesting directions for future research. Keywords: Qur’an, Hadith, Muhammad, legal schools, legal reasoning, Islamic law, legal traditions Much of the historiography of Islamic law in the period between the seventh and eleventh centuries is rooted in positions taken on one central question: is the traditional Muslim account of the genesis of Islamic law reliable? This traditional account, in a nutshell, says that Islamic law originated in the rules and instructions propounded by Muhammad, and that after the exodus to Medina and the establishment of a Muslim polity these rules grew into an extensive body of laws rooted in the Qur’an. After Muhammad’s death, his successors continued to implement the Qur’anic laws as well as others based on the Prophet’s precedent. In addition, they solved issues that were not explicitly covered by the former two sources by employing individual reasoning ( ra’y ). Some of Muhammad’s companions who were recognized for their legal acumen settled in the newly founded garrison towns, establishing regional traditions of legal learning in these locations. Between the second quarter of the second Islamic century and the middle of the third (roughly 740–860 CE ), a handful of prominent jurists systematized earlier legal thought and laid the foundations for enduring legal schools with their own legal literatures. Within this traditional narrative, the aspects that have prompted extensive debate concern the following questions: whether the Qur’an actually served as a source for the early jurists; whether Hadith reports contain authentic information regarding Muhammad’s sayings and actions (and if they do not, when and how they became attributed to him); whether and
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