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Imamiyah (Shiite): An Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudential Sects

Jurisprudential Material and Methodology

Their material, like Narrator Jurists, was traditions, but their way was different:

1-    Evaluating traditions,

2-    choosing the traditions that cause certainty,

3-    Issuing fatwas only by text of traditions,


Famous Traditionist Jurists

–         Ali b. Husain b. Bābwayh Qumī (d. 329 A.H.),

–         Sheikh Kulaynī, Muhammad b. Ya‘qūb Kulaynī Rāzī (d. 329 A.H.),

–         Muhammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walīd (d. 343 A.H.),

–          Abū al-Husain al-Nāshī, Ali b. Abdu Allah b. Waṣīf (d. 366 A.H.),

–         Sheikh Ṣadūq, Muhammad b. Ali b. Husain b. Bābwayh Qumī (d. 381 A.H.). He has more than 200 compilations in the field of Ḥadīth, jurisprudence, and theology. He and his father are called: Ṣadūqayn.


Jurisprudential Texts

At the time of this school, fourth century, jurisprudential books were compiled of jurisprudential traditions, but without referring to traditions’ narrators. Some of jurisprudential books written in this way are as follows:

–         Al-Fiqh al-Raawī: it is doubtful whether its writer is Muhammad b. Ali Shalmaghānī, known as Ibn Abī al-‘Azāqir (murdered at 322 A.H.); or Sheikh Ṣadūq’s father, Ali b. Husain b. Bābwayh Qumī (d. 329 A.H.). The author was acquainted with text, conditional and unconditional parts, and, also, the abrogating and the abrogated parts of traditions. He presented derivatives of jurisprudence in original text of traditions, without stipulating that they are Ḥadīths.

–         Al-Muqna‘: written by Sheikh  Ṣadūq,

–         Al-Nihāyah: written by Sheikh  Ṭūsī,


4-3- The School of Uṣūlī (legal theoretician) Jurists

This school started at about the beginning of great occultation, by earlier scholars: Ibn Abī ‘Aqīl ‘ummānī (coeval with Kulaynī, 329 A.H.), and Ibn Junayd Iskāfī (381 A.H.). It put an end to the school of traditionist jurists. This school is continued until present time.


Jurisprudential Material and Methodology

Their material is more than traditions. However, their way is based on different type of principles including lexical, Uṣūlī (related to the principles of jurisprudence), and jurisprudential. Hence, juridical deduction is a comparative work.


Jurisprudential Sources

Their sources are The holy Qur‘an, sunnah, consensus, and reason (which was added later). These sources are for achieving religious precepts, but in cases where is impossible to obtain a religious precept, the practical principles as istiṣḥāb, barā’ah (exemption) etc. should be resorted.

About Alireza Mosaddeq

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