This essay presents a survey of legal ḥawāshī (glosses) produced by Shāfiʿī jurists between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries. I outline the particular features of the legal ḥāshiya, the kind of legal reasoning that it promoted, and the structure of scholastic authority within the legal school that it embodied. I argue that the rise and decline of the ḥāshiya genre is reflective of broader trends in the evolution of Islamic scholarship.
A good example is Baber Johansen, The Islamic Law on Land Tax and Rent: The Peasants’ Loss of Property Rights as Interpreted in the Hanafite Legal Literature of the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods (London: Croom Helm, 1988).
Al-Kurdī, al-Fawāʾid al-madaniyya, 36. The same phenomenon can be observed among the Mālikīs; see Abū ʿĪsā al-Mahdī al-Wazzānī (d. 1342/1923), al-Nawāzil al-jadīda al-kubrā, ed. ʿUmar b. ʿAbbād, 12 vols. (Rabat: Wizārat al-awqāf, 1996–2000), 12:328.