Al-Samarqandī’s Third Masʾala

Juridical Dialectic Governed by the Ādāb al-Baḥth

In: Oriens

Abstract

This article presents, analyzes, and attempts to explain what is probably the most difficult of three problem-questions (masāʾil) contrived by Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī in the closing section of his Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth. The “third masʾala,” from the science of juridical disagreement (khilāf), argues the Shāfiʿī position for the father’s right to guardianship of compulsion (wilāyat al-ijbār) over the virgin major. And in so doing it offers a sophisticated model of a post-classical juristic dialectic articulated in streamlined modes of objection and response, replete with variant species of dilemmatic syllogisms and reductios, and interwoven with logical-philosophical axioms.

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