Skip to main content Accessibility help

Early Islamic Jurisprudence in Egypt: Two Scholars and Their Mukhtaṣars

  • Jonathan E. Brockopp (a1)

Recent scholarship on the manuscript libraries of North Africa has substantially increased the amount of literature available for analysis of the formative period in Islamic law, particularly for the nascent Malikite school. Students of Islamic law are now in a position, for instance, to begin a re-assessment of the 9th century, the vital transition period between the ancient schools of the 7th and 8th centuries, and the establishment of the classical schools in the 10th and 11th centuries.1 Not only will these new texts make the process of establishment of the classical schools clearer, they will also provide a much stronger basis for the study of earlier centuries, throwing into question the canonical status that has been granted to early legal texts by Western and traditional Muslim scholars alike.

Hide All


Author's note: I would like to record my appreciation to the American Research Center in Egypt for funding a research trip to Egypt in 1995, and to Gerhard Böwering, Jamal Elias, Christopher Melchert, and Laurie Patton for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.

1 Wael Hallaq has recently reiterated the importance of the 9th century in Was al-Shafiʿi the Master Architect of Islamic Jurisprudence?International Journal of Middle East Studies 25 (1993): 597. Hallaq criticizes Joseph Schacht for glossing over the 9th century. But although this criticism may hold true for Schacht's early works, his later work demonstrates that Schacht was well aware of the significance of 9th century texts; see “Sur quelques manuscrits de la bibliothèque de la mosquée d'al-Qarawiyyīn à Fès,” Études d'Orientalisme, 2 vols. (Paris: Maisonneuve, 1962), 1:271–84, and On Some Manuscripts in the Libraries of Kairouan and Tunis,” Arabica 14 (1967): 225–58.

2 For his account of the ancient schools, see Schacht, Joseph, An Introduction to Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), 2640.

3 Calder, Norman, Studies in Early Muslim Jurisprudence (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993). I am not entirely comfortable with Calder's distinction between authored and school (or elsewhere “organic”) texts, in part because these distinctions are not entirely clear. It may be better to limit the term “school text” to refer only to a text that demonstrates incorporation of later sources into earlier ones (whereas a commentary maintains a clear distinction between original source and subsequent elaboration, a school text blurs these distinctions). The idea of “school texts” is by no means new or controversial, as medieval Muslim scholars were quite aware that many legal texts gained their final form over the course of generations. One example concerns one of the most famous books among early Malikite works, the Mudawwana of Sahnun ibn Saʿid (d. 854). Tradition holds that the Sahnun's Mudawwana had its roots in Ibn al-Qasim's lectures, was then written down and changed by Asad ibn al-Furat, and finally completely re-worked by Sahnun (see al-Mālikī, , Kitāb riyāḍ al-nufūs, 3 vols., ed. al-Bakkūshī, Bashīr and al-Muṭawwī, Muḥammad al-ʿArūsī (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 19811984), 1:261–63.

Calder's caution that we may not have the authentic voice that we would like to believe we have when dealing with these early texts is reasonable, even though his conclusions have come under fire. John Burton has criticized Calder for his dismissal of al-Shafiʿi's role in the formative period, as well as for some substantive errors in his reading of texts; see his Rewriting the Timetable of Early Islam,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 115 (1995): 453–62. Miklos Muranyi finds that Calder's theory-driven analysis leads him to overlook important evidence in early manuscripts; see Muranyi, , “Die frühe Rechtsliteratur zwischen Quellenanalyse und Fiktion,” Islamic Law and Society 4 (1997): 224–41.

For another position somewhat between Schacht's and Calder's, see Schoeler, Gregor, “Die Frage der schriftlichen oder mündlichen Überlieferung der Wissenschaften im Islam,” Der Islam 62 (1985): 201–30.

4 Hallaq, , “al-Shafiʿi”, 597. Hallaq names Schacht and Khadduri as two of the main sources for this characterization. But to be fair, it should be noted that Schacht may in fact have agreed with Hallaq's analysis, because Schacht's discussion of al-Shafiʿi's influence has more to do with his teachings on hadith than on uṣūl al-fiqh (see, e.g., The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1950], 57). Khadduri also recognizes that the Risāla “was written mainly as an apologia for the supremacy of traditions” (Islamic Jurisprudence: Shafiʿi's Risala [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961], 41), but then he continues to say that “after its fundamental ideas and arguments had been reformulated in Egypt, it represented a systematic and critical study of all the sources of the law” (ibid.).

5 The interesting issue of the influence of Western scholarship in modern Muslim reform movements has only recently been probed. Note, for instance, the influence that al-Shafiʿi's ideas of knowledge (from the Risāla) had on Muhammad ʿAbduh; see Calder, Norman, “Ikhtilâf and ijmâʿ in Shâfiʿî's Risâla,” Studia islamica 58 (1983): 67.

6 It is worth remembering that the roots of European interest in Islamic law are clearly found in colonialism. It is no coincidence that the early studies of the Malikite school are in French, the Shafiʿite school in Dutch, and the Hanafite school in English. These 19th-century scholars chose a few key texts for study and commentary, thereby instigating a tradition that has had enormous influence in academia.

7 To the works by Calder and Hallaq mentioned earlier, add Melchert, Christopher, “The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, ninth–tenth centuries, C.E.” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1992).

8 Muranyi, Miklos, ʿAbd Allāh b. W/ahb: Leben und Werk (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1992), and idem, al-Ğāmiʿ, 2 vols. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 19921993); Brockopp, Jonathan, “Slavery in Islamic Law” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1995); Ossendorf-Conrad, Beatrix, Das “K. al-Wāḍiḥa” des ʿAbd al-Malik b. Ḥabīb (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1994). For bibliographical information and analysis of other recently published Malikite texts, see Brockopp, Jonathan, “Rereading the History of Early Mālikī Jurisprudence,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 118 (1998). Some scholars believe it may be possible to recover texts from the 8th century, as well. Sezgin's arguments to this effect are well known (Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, 9 vols. [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1967–]), but see also Motzki, Harald, Die Anfänge der islamischen Jurisprudenz (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1991).

9 For elaboration of this argument, see Muranyi, “Die frühe Rechtsliteratur.”

10 Al-Muzanī's Mukhtaṣar is published in the margins of al-Shāfiʿī, , Kitāb al-umm, 8 vols., ed. al-Najjār, Muḥammad Zuhrī (Cairo: Bulāq?, 1961); a portion of Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam's Mukhtaṣar is edited and translated in Brockopp, “Slavery.”

11 At this early stage, one cannot speak of a Hanafite school in Egypt, although some judges were appointed directly from Baghdad and are identified as Hanafites in the historical literature. A case could be made for a nascent Awzaʿite school, though more work remains to be done to demonstrate this (see Muranyi, Miklos, “Das Kitāb al-Siyar von Abū Isḥāq al-Fazārī,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 6 [1985]: 6397; Conrad, Gerhard, Die Quḍāt Dimašq und der Maḏhab al-Auzāʿī [Stuttgart: Steiner, 1994]). Finally, Schacht belittled the idea of Egypt as the site of an ancient school, but analysis of works by Ibn Wahb and Ashhab ibn ʿAbd al-Aziz (d. 819) may challenge this view if their dependence on Egyptian sources proves to be significant.

12 A similar problem obtains for the published version of al-Muzanī's Muktaṣar and for many other published exts from this period.

13 For a list of these recensions, see Brockopp, “Rereading the History.”

14 Brockopp, , “Slavery,” 114 ff.

15 Such critical assessment is available for some texts outside of the canon. See Muranyi's, Miklos work n al-Majishun and Ibn Wahb (Ein altes Fragment medinensischer Jurisprudenz aus Qairawān [Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985], and ʿAbd Allāh b. Wahb); and Brockopp, “Slavery,” on Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam. Although this ork suggests that Calder's conclusions are premature, they do not mean that his approach is wrongheaded. n fact, he is correct in privileging the interpretive framework over positivist constructions of exts. It seems to me, however, that in order for such a framework to be able to make sense of a textual radition, the individual components of that tradition must first be accounted for; therefore, the task of diting and analyzing the manuscript base is primary.

16 See, for instance, the exemplary work of Ossendorf-Conrad, , Das “K. al-Wāḍiḥa” 750.

17 To glean this literature solely for facts is to discount much of its content as irrelevant. Calder's call for urther analysis of the mythical element in this literature, what he terms “imaginative constructs” (Studies, I), is a helpful suggestion to begin the process of analyzing these stories for their meaning within a eligious context. Such a study could help reclaim the value of this material as didactic and interpretive iterature.

18 In “al-Shafiʿi,” Hallaq demonstrates that certain books entitled “Uṣūl al-fiqh” have noting to do with egal theory (pp. 588–90) and suggests that all references to early works of ṣūul may turn out to be false.

19 This interpretation was first suggested to me by Professor Rosenthal, Franz in 03 1992.

20 Works by both of these scholars have been edited and published. See Khoury, R. G., ʿAbdullāh b. Lahīʾa (97–174/715–790): Juge et grand maître de l'éicole Égyptienne (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1986);. David-Weill, , Le Djāmiʿ d'lbn Wahb, 2 vols. (Cairo: Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 19391948); and Muranyi, ʿAbd Allāh b. Wahb.

21 For the life of ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam, see al-Dhahabī, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Ta'rīkh al-lslām, 37 vols., ed. Tadmurī, ʿUmar ʿAbd al-Salām (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 19901995), years 211–20, pp. 220–22; al-Yaḥṣubī, ʿIyāḍ ibn Mūsā, Tartīb al-madārik, 3 vols., ed. Bekir, Ahmed (Tripoli: Dār Maktabat al-Ḥayāh, 1967), 1:523–28; Khallikān, Ibn, Wafayāt al-aʿyān, 8 vols., ed. ʿAbbās, Ihsān (Beirut: Dār Sader, 1968), 3:3435; al-Nadīm, Ibn, al-Fihrist, ed. Flügel, Gustav (Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel, 18711972), 199; al-Shīrāzī, , Ṭabaqāt al-fuqahāʾ, ed. cAbbās, Ihsān (Beirut: Dār al-Rāʾid al-ʿArabī, 1970), 151; Bekir, Ahmed, Histoire de I'école malikite en orient (Tunis: Imprimerie de l'U.G.T.T, 1962), 9196; Brockopp, , “Slavery,” 2286; Rosenthal, Franz, The Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960), 3:674–75 s.v. “Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam” Sezgin, , Geschichte, 1:467–68.

22 al-Ḥakam, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd, Futūḥ Miṣr wa-akhbāruhā, ed. Torrey, C. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1922).

23 al-Ḥakam, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd, Sīrat ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, ed. ʿUbayd, Aḥmad (Cairo, 1927). Also, ʿAbd al-Rahman cites his father at least five times in Futūḥ Miṣr for information on ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs.

24 Several of these fragments are quite substantial, including ms. Azhar (ftqh mālikī 1655), which is 544 folios long. See Brockopp, “Slavery,” A–2 to A–34.

25 In Kairouan, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam was an important source for Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani's Kitāb al-nawādir wa-l-ziyādāt. See Bredow, Mathias von, Der heilige Krieg (Ğihād) aus der Sicht der mālikitischen Rechtsschule, Beiruter Texte und Studien 44 (Beirut: Steiner, 1994), 10; and Murayni, Miklos, Materialien zur mālikitischen Rechtsliteratur (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1984), 9–12.

26 the text of this commentary is preserved in two of the extant manuscripts for al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr; see Brockopp, “Slavery,” app. A, for a description of the manuscripts.

27 For the Arabic text, see Brockopp, “Slavery,” A–60; for analysis of the umm walad within al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr, see ibid., 221–35.

28 Anas, Mālik ibn, al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, 2 vols., ed. Sharaf, Ḥasan ʿAbd Allāh (Cairo: Dār al-Rayyān li-l-Turāth, 1988), 2:137. Interestingly, this statement in the Muwaṭṭaʾ stems from a juristic dictum that Malik cites on the authority of ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab. This is a rare case of Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam paraphrasing a juristic dictum that does not originate with Malik. Although it is possible to perceive this as a move by Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam to replace companion authority with Malik's authority, it seems more likely to me that Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam simply did not differentiate between the legal opinions that Malik claims for himself and those Malik derives from others.

29 It is worth noting that a parallel is found in al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar (5:286), one of the few times that ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam agrees with a Shafiʿite text without backing from the Malikites.

30 The problem of the various stylistic components in Malik's, Muwaṭṭaʾ has not been adequately researched. Although al-Shaybani's recension (ed. al-Laṭif, ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ʿAbd [Beirut: al-Maṭbaʿa alʿIlmiyya, 1979]) depends almost exclusively on Malik's hadith, ignoring his juristic dicta, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam disregards hadith. Both hadith and juristic dicta are found in Yahya ibn Yahya's recension (often published), as well as those of al-Tūnisī, ʿAlī ibn Ziyād (d. 800), Qiṭʿa min Muwaṭṭaʾ Ibn Ziyād, ed. al-Nayfar, Muḥammad ibn Shādhilī (Tunis: Dār al-Tūnisiyya li-l-Nashr, 1978 and Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1980); al-Ḥadathānī, Suwayd ibn Saʿīd ibn Sahl (d. 854), ed. Turkī, ʿAbd al-Majīd (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1994); and al-Zuhrī, Abū Muṣʿab Aḥmad (d. 856), 2 vols., ed. ʿAwād, Bashshār (Beirut: Muʾassasāt al-Risālah, 1992).

31 Due to the fact that Malik's dicta are paraphrased in Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam's text, this dependence is only apparent on close comparison of al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr with the Muwaṭṭaʾ. But it is worth remembering that al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr was presented to an audience that was very familiar with Malik's words and that would have recognized them as such.

32 Melchert coins the term “school consciousness” and suggests that the Malikite school did not fully develop until rather late (Formation, 282 ff.). In his survey, he briefly mentions al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr (p. 305), but ascribes no significant role to the text.

33 We know of this work only through the substantially revised version transmitted by Saʿīd, Saḥnūn ibn, Al-Mudawwana al-kubrā, 16 vols. (Cairo: Bulaq, A.H. 1323). If the stories asserting that Sahnun later added hadith to the Mudawwana are true, then Ibn al-Qasim's original text could have resembled al Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr more closely in terms of style.

34 Schacht noted this phenomenon in Introduction, 60–61.

35 ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam was criticized for his methods by Yahya ibn Maʿin in an interesting altercation recorded by ʿIyad, Qadi (Madārik, 1:526–27). This criticism may have been deserved, because another of his works (Sīrat ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, ed. ʿUbayd, Aḥmad [Cairo, 1927], 17) does not cite authorities for every statement but begins with a list of those scholars on whom the book is based.

36 For al-Muzani, see al-Nadīm, Ibn, Fihrist, 212; al-Shīrāzī, , Ṭabaqāt, 97; al-Subkī, , Ṭabaqāt al-Shāfiʿiyya al-kubrā, 10 vols., ed. al-Ḥulw, ʿAbd al-Fatāḥ Muḥammad and al-Ṭanāḥi, Maḥmūd Muḥammad (Cairo: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Kutub al-ʿArabiyya, 19641976), 2:93109, #20; Calder, , Studies, 86104; Heffening, W., The Encyclopedia of Islam, new edition, 7:822, s.v. “al-Muzani” Melchert, Formation, 138 ff., 164–73; Sezgin, , Geschichte, 1:492–93; Wüstenfeld, F., Der Imam el-Schāfiʿi seine Schüler und Anhänger bis zum J. 300 d.H., 3 vols. (Göttingen: Dieterich, 18901891).

37 Al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar is found both in the margins to vols. 1–5 and in vol. 8.1 have examined three manuscripts of the Mukhtaṣar, preserved in the collection of the Egyptian National Library (Dār al-Kutub): fiqh shāfiʿī 13 (film 40767); 242 (film 4779); and 268 (film 42922). These manuscripts often de viate from the printed text, demonstrating the need for a critical edition of this work. Al-Muzani also wrote other works, some of which have survived (see Sezgin, , Geschichte, 1:488, 492–93).

38 “Teacher” is a debatable term, as the formation of legal scholars from this period has hardly been studied. Al-Subki (2:93) writes that al-Muzani related hadith from Nuʿaym ibn Hammad and al-Shafiʿi. Al-Dhahabi (Taʿrīkh, A.H. 261–80,66) adds ʿAli ibn Maʿbad ibn Shaddad to this list. My thanks to Christopher Melchert for this reference.

Melchert writes (Formation, 164) that al-Muzani read the works of Abu Hanifa, but my comparison of al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar with the books of Abu Hanifa's student al-Shaybani reveals very little agreement in terms of content.

39 Although no study has been made of teaching patterns in this early period, my reading of the biographical sources suggests that it was common for students to begin studies at an early age. By age twentythree, it seems, al-Muzani should have already begun the apprenticeships that would lead to teaching. Melchert also suggests that in the 9th and 10th centuries, a child would begin memorizing the Qurʾan at age eight and studying hadith at age eleven (private communication, August, 1996). For a study of patterns in 11th-century Nishapur, see Bulliet, Richard, “The Age Structure of Medieval Islamic Education,” Studia Islamica 57 (1983): 105–17.

40 al-Kindī, Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf, Kitāb al-wulāh wa-kitāb al-quḍāh, ed. Guest, Rhuvon (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1912), 508. See also Melchert, , Formation, 138.

41 In his Kitāb al-miḥan (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-lslāmī, 1983), Abu al-ʿArab makes no mention of al-Muzani.

42 The printed text (al-Umm, 1:2) reads: “qāla Abū Ibrāhīm Ismāʿil b. Yaḥyā al-Muzanī, raḥimahu llāhu: ikhtaṣartu hādha l-kitāba min ʿilmi Muḥammad b. Idrīs al-Shāfʿiī, raḥimahu llāhu, wa-min maʿnā qawlihi (Al-Muzani said: I have compiled this book by summarizing al-Shafiʿi's legal knowledge [ʿilm] and the meaning of his juristic dicta).” The term ʿilm is ambiguous, but its apposition to qawl (juristic dicta) suggests that it refers to a collection of hadith by al-Shafiʿi (the term taḥaddatha used by al-Subki [2:93] may be relevant here). Compare al-Shafiʿi's own definition of knowledge in al-Risāla, ed. Shākir, Aḥmad Muḥammad (Cairo: Dār al-Turāth, 1979), 357–60. Calder claims that al-Muzani's introduction must be a later addition (Studies, 88).

43 Al-Muzani, , Mukhtaṣar, 8:274–75. Note that the various cases are introduced by the phrases wa-in and fa-in, a stylistic device often found in Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam's Mukhtaṣar and other early legal texts.

44 Importantly, the use of these stylistic devices is consistent in the manuscripts I have consulted in the Egyptian National Library, even though the content of particular legal arguments varies substantially.

45 Al-Muzanī, , Mukhtaṣar, 5:274–75. For analysis of the mukātab contract, see Brockopp, , “Slavery,” 194205.

46 The Kitāb al-aṣl, attributed to al-Shaybani, promotes the opposite viewpoint: “I asked: What is your opinion if [the master] does not write in his contract: ‘you are free when you pay me all of your contract,’ is he emancipated if he pays? He replied: Yes” (Kitāb al-aṣl, 5 vols., ed. al-Afghānī, Abu l-Wafāʾ [Beirut: ʿĀlam al-Kutub, n.d.], 3:338). See also the discussion in Rušd, Ibn, Bidāyat al-mujtahid wa-nihāyat al-muqtaṣid, 2 vols., ninth printing (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1988), 2:375–76.

47 My research has not yet revealed any other text as a source for al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar, but contradictions between this text and al-Shafiʿi's Kitāb al-umm lend strength to this theory. Calder advances a more radical theory, claiming that although al-Muzani adequately paraphrases the text of Kitāb al-umm (Studies, 91), the bulk of material in both texts “must be attributed to the generations after Muzanī and Rabīʿ” (ibid., 104).

48 Al-Muzani writes on two occasions (4:26, 5:20): hādhā ʿindī ghalaṭ (this, in my opinion, is an error).

49 On these same issues, al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar is always in agreement with the Kitāb al-umm. See Brockopp, “Slavery,” app. B.

50 It would be possible, of course, to maintain that the reason that al-Muzani does not follow al-Shafiʿi's Risāla is that the Risāla actually dates from a later period. Lack of reference to this text is fundamental to Calder's assertion that the Risāla must date from the end of the 9th century (Studies, 224–28). Compare, however, Burton's discussion of this point (“Rewriting the timetable,” 460–61), and Wheeler, Brannon, Applying the Canon in Islam (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), 268.

51 See particularly al-Shafiʿi's discussion of legal knowledge (al-Risāla, 8182) and ijtihād (al-Risāla, 487503).

52 Melchert draws a distinction between commentaries written on the canonical texts of the school and commentaries written by students on their teachers' texts as a type of legal training; see, for instance, the discussion of al-Karkhi's Mukhtaṣar in Formation, 234. This latter commentary is, for Melchert, the hallmark of a self-conscious school trying to perpetuate itself. See also Calder, , Studies, 246.

53 Abbott dated a papyrus fragment of Malik's Muwaṭṭaʾ to the 8th century (Abbott, Nabia, Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri, 2 vols. [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967], 2:121); Khoury dated a fragment of a papyrus by Ibn Lahiʿa (d. 790) to the beginning of the 9th century (ʿAbdullāh ibn Lahīʿa, 232); and Muranyi has worked with manuscript fragments from Ibn Wahb and al-Majishun dating to the end of the 9th century (Fragment, 10; ʿAbd Allāh b. Wahb, 1:50–60). All these texts develop rules on the basis of Prophetic hadith.

54 In this case, I agree with Calder, who states that al-Muzani's Mukhtaṣar does not fit the notion of a mukhtaṣar as a “single redactional effort brought to bear upon a fixed body of materials” (Studies, 87). As for ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam's text, it is instructive to note that it was originally far longer than Malik's Muwaṭṭaʾ.

55 Much has been written on Imam al-Shafiʿi; some of the most important sources are ʿIyāḍ, Qāḍī, Madārik, 1:382–96; al-Dhahabī, , Taʾrikh, A.H. 201–10, 304–42 (see references in the footnotes); al-Shīrāzī, , Ṭabaqāt, 7173; Sezgin, , Geschichte, 1:484 ff.; The Encyclopedia of Islam, 4 vols., 1st ed. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 19131938), 4:252–55, s.v. “al-Shāfīʿī” (see the bibliography); and Schacht, Joseph, “On Shāfīʿī's Life and Personality,” Studia Orientalia loanni Pedersen (Denmark, 1953), 318–26.

56 According to biographical sources, ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam and his sons Muhammad and ʿAbd al-Rahman are all buried there, and al-Muzani is buried nearby, though on a recent visit I found only one cenotaph dedicated to “ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥakam.” According to Creswell (Creswell, K. A. C., The Muslim Architecture of Egypt, 2 vols. [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959], 2:6476), this cenotaph belongs to “Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Ḥakam.” It is uncertain whether the father or the son is meant here, because the name could be Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam or Abu Muhammad ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam.

57 Historical sources also suggest that ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam, al-Shafiʿi, al-Muzani, and al-Tahawi may have been tied to the same political family in Egypt, although this hypothesis needs more proof.

58 Ashhab ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz was one of the four great Egyptian students of Malik ibn Anas and appears to have been closely tied to the Ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam family.

59 Khallikān, Ibn, Wafayāt, 4:194. Qadi ʿIyad recorded a similar story centuries earlier, substituting al-Qasim, Ibn for Ashhab, (Madārik, 2:66), although it is not possible that Muhammad learned much from Ibn al-Qasim, who died when Muhammad was nine years old.

60 Khallikān, Ibn, Wafayāt, 4:194.

61 Ibid., 2:291.

62 See, for instance, al-Subkī, , Ṭabaqāt, 2:94.

63 It is regrettable that Muhammad ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn Abd al-Hakam's polemical text against al-Shafiʿi (Kitāb al-radd ʿalā al-Shāfīʿī fimā khālāfa fihi al-kitāb wa-l-sunna; see Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ, , Madārik, 2:64) is lost.

64 Calder provides a useful résumé of these differences (Studies, 89).

65 This cross-fertilization may help explain the occasional intrusion of Shafiʿite opinions into al-Mukhtaṣar al-kabīr; further, Qadi ʿIyad records an unusual anecdote of al-Shafiʿi using ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-Hakam's library of Malik's books (Madārik, 1:392).

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed