Religious Policies of the Caliphs from Al-Mutawakkil to Al-Muqtadir, A.H. 232-295/A.D. 847-908

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

The judicial appointments of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs reveal their religious policies better than the chronicles alone. Al-Mutawakkil has been characterized as reestablishing traditionalism, but his judicial appointments suggest only limited support for that tendency. His successors al-Muntaṣir, al-Mustaʿīn, and al-Muʿtazz did not pursue substantially different policies. Al-Muhtadī did: he sacked all but ḥanafī qādīs and promoted the rationalist ḥanafī al-Khaṣṣāf. It was almost a restoration of the policy of his father, al-Wāthiq. He was overthrown and his policy immediately reversed by the regent, al-Muwaffaq, who sponsored a middle system of jurisprudence between the extremes of ḥadīth and raʾy. His successors, al-Muʿtadid and al-Muktafī, did not maintain this policy; however, it was the tendency out of which grew the classical schools of law in the fourth/tenth century.

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