Mālik and Medina

Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period


This book studies the legal reasoning of Mālik ibn Anas (d. 179 H./795 C.E.) in the Muwaṭṭa’ and Mudawwana. Although focusing on Mālik, the book presents a broad comparative study of legal reasoning in the first three centuries of Islam. It reexamines the role of considered opinion ( ra’y), dissent, and legal ḥadīths and challenges the paradigm that Muslim jurists ultimately concurred on a “four-source” (Qurʾān, sunna, consensus, and analogy) theory of law. Instead, Mālik and Medina emphasizes that the four Sunnī schools of law ( madhāhib) emerged during the formative period as distinctive, consistent, yet largely unspoken legal methodologies and persistently maintained their independence and continuity over the next millennium.

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Umar F. Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1978) taught at Windsor, Temple, Michigan, and King Abd al-Aziz universities. He currently teaches at Darul Qasim (Chicago) and has published several books and articles related to Islam and Islamic studies.
“…an enormously important study of early Islamic law that does for the Mālikī school what has not been achieved for any of the other schools, namely, providing a systematic analysis of its foundational texts of positive law.” - Ahmed El Shamsy, in: Ilahiyat Studies 5/1 (2014), pp. 126-131.

" Mālik and Medina demonstrates the profound value of reading classical works of Islamic law thoroughly and paying close attention to their authors' technical terms. No contemporary reading of the Muwaṭṭa in Western scholarship comes close to what Wymann-Landgraf has accomplished. The author is to be praised for publishing his ground-breaking research, which also engages in secondary literatures in German, English, and Italian..." - Scott C. Lucas, University of Arizona, Tucson, in: Journal of the American Oriental Society 137/3 (2017)

Chapter I: Mālik in Medina
Chapter II: An overview of Mālik’s Legal Reasoning
Chapter III: Medinese Praxis through the Eyes of Others
Chapter IV: Medinese Praxis in the Eyes of the Mālikī Tradition

Chapter V: Mālik’s Terminology
Chapter VII: the Sunna-Terms
Chapter VII: Terms Referring to the People of Knowledge in Medina
Chapter VIII: References to Medinese Praxis
Chapter IX: Amr-Terms Supported by Local Consensus
Chapter X: AN: Al-Amr ʿIndanā

Conclusion: Mālik and Medina in Perspective
Academic libraries and institutions, undergraduates, graduates, post-graduates, instructors, professors, and specialists as well as educated laypersons interested in Islamic law, ḥadīth literature, general Islamic studies, and the history of law.