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Waqf in Zaydī Yemen

Legal Theory, Codification, and Local Practice

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Eirik Hovden

Islamic foundations ( waqf, pl. awqāf) have been an integral part of Yemeni society both for managing private wealth and as a legal frame for charity and public infrastructure. This book focuses on four socially grounded fields of legal knowledge: fiqh, codification, individual waqf cases, and everyday waqf-related knowledge. It combines textual analysis with ethnography and seeks to understand how Islamic law is approached, used, produced, and validated in selected topics of waqf law where there are tensions between ideals and pragmatic rules. The study analyses central Zaydī fiqh works such as the Sharḥ al-azhār cluster, imamic decrees, fatwās, and waqf documents, mostly from Zaydī, northern Yemen.

Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition

Ibn Quṭlūbughā’s Commentary on The Compendium of Qudūrī

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Talal Al-Azem

In 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.