Visions of Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory (
uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of
Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of
Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition, Talal Al-Azem argues for the existence of a
madhhab-law tradition’ of jurisprudence underpinning the four post-classical Sunni schools of law. This tradition celebrated polyvalence by preserving the multiplicity of conflicting opinions within each school, while simultaneously providing a process of rule formulation (
tarjīḥ) by which one opinion is chosen as the binding precedent (
taqlīd). The predominant forum of both activities, he shows, was the legal commentary.
Through a careful reading of Ibn Quṭlūbughā's (d. 879/1474)
al-Taṣḥīḥ wa-al-tarjīḥ, Al-Azem presents a new periodisation of the
Ḥanafī madhhab, analyses the theory of rule formulation, and demonstrates how this
madhhab-law tradition facilitated both continuity and legal change while serving as the basis of a pluralistic Mamluk judicial system.