From God's Speech to Islamic Law: Defining the Qurʾān

Rumee Ahmed

in Narratives of Islamic Legal Theory

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640171
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738074 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Islamic Legal Studies

From God's Speech to Islamic Law: Defining the Qurʾān

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This chapter explores how two medieval Islamic legal theorists, Abū Zayd al-Dabūsī and Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Sarakhsī, treated the Qur'ān as a legal document in their respective legal theories. This is explored through three topics: firstly, the miraculousness and inimitability of the Qur'ān; secondly, clear and ambiguous verses; and thirdly, abrogation theory. Each of these topics is examined in detail and the key terms of each are elucidated and analyzed. The chapter focuses on the intricate definitions accorded to these terms, and demonstrates that the slight differences between the two authors disclose major doctrinal differences about the way in which Islamic law ought to be applied. The conclusion provides a specific example of how the differences in definition that the authors accorded key terms might affect the way novel jurisprudence is derived.

Keywords: Islamic; legal theory; usul al-fiqh; Qur'an; mutashabih; abrogation theory; iʻjaz

Chapter.  21512 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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