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The Ẓāhirī Madhhab (3rd/9th-10th/16th Century)

A Textualist Theory of Islamic Law

Series:

Amr Osman

In this book, Amr Osman seeks to expand and re-interpret what we know about the history and doctrine of the Ẓāhirī madhhab. Based on an extensive prosopographical survey, he concludes that the founder, Dāwūd al-Ẓāhirī, was closer in profile and doctrine to the Ahl al-Ra’y than to the Ahl al-Ḥadīth. Furthermore, Ibn Ḥazm al-Andalusī may have had a damaging effect on the madhhab, which never actually developed into a full-fledged school of law. By examining the meaning of ‘ ẓāhir’ and modern scholarship on ‘literalism’, he challenges the view that Ẓāhirism was literalist, proposing ‘textualism’ as an accurate reflection of its premises, methodology, and goals as a hermeneutical and legal theory.