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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 Allusion

Authority by Allusion

The Legacy of al-Suyūṭī in Contemporary Egypt

(p.173) 5 Authority by Allusion
The Legal Thought of Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti

Rebecca Skreslet Hernandez

Oxford University Press

The final chapter brings the discussion of al-Suyūṭī’s legal persona squarely into the modern era. The discussion explores how contemporary jurists in Egypt use the legacy of the great fifteenth-century scholar in their efforts to frame their identity and to assert authority as interpreters and spokesmen for the Sharīʿa in a political arena that is fraught with tension. In the midst of Mursī’s embattled presidency, leading scholars at Egypt’s state religious institutions rushed to news and social media outlets to affirm their status as representatives of “orthodoxy” and to distance themselves from more extreme salafī trends that threaten to change the way Islamic law is practiced in the modern Egyptian state. It is striking how closely the image of the moderate Sunni, Sufi-minded, theologically sound scholar grounded in the juristic tradition (according to the accepted legal schools) fits with the persona that al-Suyūṭī strove so tenaciously to construct.

Keywords:   ʿAlī Gumʿa, Aḥmad al-Ṭayyib, salafī, YouTube, legal precepts, manhaj, legal methodology

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