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Article: Al-Shāfi’ī’s Position on Analogical Reasoning in Islamic Criminal Law

This article will critically examine al-Shāfi’ī’s complex views on the use of qiyās as a method for establishing culpability under Islamic criminal law and, then explore how his position corresponds to the human rights paradigm in the contemporary age.

Al-Shāfi’ī has been unreservedly credited as one of the designers, if not the “master architect, of uṣūl al-fiqh. His most important scholarly work, Al-Risālah, clearly demonstrates his cognitive creativity in this field. One of the methodologies for the decision of cases under Islamic law that Al-Shāfi’ī championed is qiyās, which he equated with ijtihād. His balanced approach invites further enquiry into the extensive use of qiyās in general and in criminal law in particular. The extent to which qiyās can be applied to Islamic criminal law depends upon the degree or typology of qiyās being used, taking into account the Islamic theory of criminology. This article will analyse the position of al-Shāfi’ī in this regard. It will critically examine al-Shāfi’ī’s complex views on the use of qiyās as a method for establishing culpability under Islamic criminal law. It will then explore how his position corresponds to the human rights paradigm in the contemporary age. This article concludes that, while the use of qiyās in criminal law, especially in law of retaliation and predetermined punishments in accordance with al-Shāfi’ī’s approach is tantamount to incriminating a person based on less than certainty, it also represents the most promising way of protecting the right of victim.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Al-Shāfi’ī’s Position on Analogical Reasoning in Islamic Criminal Law: Jurists Debates and Human Rights Implications

Author: Luqman Zakariyah

Published in:International Journal for the Semiotics of Law – Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 30 (2):301-319 (2017)

 Language: English

Length: 18 pages

Al-Shāfi’ī’s Position on Analogical Reasoning in Islamic Criminal Law

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