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The Legal Thought of Jalal al-Din al-SuyutiAuthority and Legacy$
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Rebecca Hernandez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805939.001.0001

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Authority by Association

Authority by Association

Consensus vs. Ignorance in al-Suyūṭī’s Legal Opinion on Logic

(p.63) 2 Authority by Association
The Legal Thought of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti

Rebecca Skreslet Hernandez

Oxford University Press

In another controversial fatwa, al-Suyūṭī claims to represent a consensus of scholars opposed to the study of Greek logic on the grounds that it can lead to philosophical speculation of a heretical nature. While ostensibly a condemnation of logic, upon closer examination this fatwa serves to bolster al-Suyūṭī’s own claim to have achieved the rank of mujtahid (scholar capable of independent reasoning) in spite of his own lack of expertise in the discipline of logic. He tries to position his own opinion as being in line with those of the great scholars of the past or, in other words, with his “community of practice.” In fact, no such consensus against the study of logic existed during al-Suyūṭī’s time, thus making the “logic” of al-Suyūṭī’s logic fatwa even more tortured.

Keywords:   logic, consensus, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, ijtihād, community of practice

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