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Law, Empire, and the SultanOttoman Imperial Authority and Late Hanafi Jurisprudence$
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Samy A. Ayoub

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190092924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190092924.001.0001

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If Abū Ḥanīfa Were Here

If Abū Ḥanīfa Were Here

Authority, Continuity, and Revision in Late Ḥanafī Jurisprudence

(p.95) 3 If Abū Ḥanīfa Were Here
Law, Empire, and the Sultan

Samy A. Ayoub

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the legal writings of Ibn ʿĀbidīn, the “seal” of the late Ḥanafīs (khāṭimat al-muḥaqqiqīn), to capture the full development of the tradition of late Ḥanafism. This chapter argues that by situating Ibn ʿĀbidīn within what the Ḥanafīs themselves call the late Ḥanafī tradition, readers can better understand his strong emphasis on loyalty to early authorities and, at the same time, appreciate the crystallization of the identity, opinions, and authoritativeness of the later Ḥanafī jurists and their revisions of early school opinions. This chapter shows that Ibn ʿĀbidīn maintained the juristic trends of previous generations of Ḥanafīs, such as a distinctive late Ḥanafī identity and the place of sultanic authority in the juristic enterprise. Using the legal devices of necessity (ḍarūra), customary practice (ʿurf), change of time (ikhtilāf ʿaṣr wa-zamān), and others, Ibn ʿĀbidīn was able to change central Ḥanafī doctrines while justifying the changes by appealing to the school’s eponym and founders.

Keywords:   late Ḥanafīs, cash endowment, Abū al-Suʿūd, modernity, teaching Qur’ān, Ibn ʿĀbidīn

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