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Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period

Mālik and Medina is an analytical study of applied legal reasoning in the Muwaṭṭa⁠ʾ of Mālik ibn Anas (d. 179/795) and the Mudawwana of Saḥnūn ʿAbd al-Salām ibn Saʿīd (d. 240/854).

This book studies the legal reasoning of Mālik ibn Anas (d. 179 H./795 C.E.) in the Muwaṭṭa’ and Mudawwana. Although focusing on Mālik, the book presents a broad comparative study of legal reasoning in the first three centuries of Islam. It reexamines the role of considered opinion ( ra’y), dissent, and legal ḥadīths and challenges the paradigm that Muslim jurists ultimately concurred on a “four-source” (Qurʾān, sunna, consensus, and analogy) theory of law. Instead, Mālik and Medina emphasizes that the four Sunnī schools of law ( madhāhib) emerged during the formative period as distinctive, consistent, yet largely unspoken legal methodologies and persistently maintained their independence and continuity over the next millennium.

Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period is an updated revision of my doctoral dissertation, “Mālik’s Concept of ʿAmal in the Light of Mālikī Legal Theory,” which I wrote at the University of Chicago in 1978 under the supervision of Fazlur Rahman, Wilferd Madelung, and Jaroslav Stetkevych. Neither the dissertation nor any part of it was ever published, although it was available through University Microfilms from the time of its acceptance. Although it received some attention in academic circles, the dissertation’s principal findings and corollaries for modern research have until now remained largely outside the purview of contemporary academic study. More than three decades have passed since the dissertation was written. The intervening period has witnessed rich and promising proliferation in Islamic studies, especially law and ḥadīth. Valuable primary sources have been published, and noteworthy research has appeared in secondary literature. In updating my doctoral research in Mālik and Medina, I have reviewed and utilized the academic contributions of the last decades, which has placed the original work on stronger foundations and made it a new book with important supplementary materials, corrections, and new insights. I hope it will constitute a positive addition to the study of Islamic legal origins and stimulate original research in this immensely important field, which, as Ignaz Goldziher recognized over a hundred years ago, is an indispensable part of the general study of Islam….

About the Author

Umar F. Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1978) taught at Windsor, Temple, Michigan, and King Abd al-Aziz universities. He currently teaches at Darul Qasim (Chicago) and has published several books and articles related to Islam and Islamic studies.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period

Author(s): Umar F. Abd-Allah

Publisher: BRILL

 Language: English

Length: 566 pages

ISBN: 978-90-04-24788-8

Pub. Date: 28 Mar 2013

Malik and Medina Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period

About Ali Teymoori

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