Ahmed el Shamsy

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

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Shafiʿis are adherents of the Sunni school of legal thought based on the legal paradigm of Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafiʿi (d. 204 ah/820 ce). During his lifetime, al-Shafiʿi attracted followers in Mecca, Baghdad, and Egypt by composing and teaching works on law and legal theory; the latter genre can be said to have been inaugurated by him. By the 4th/10th century, the centers of the Shafiʿi school were located in Iraq and Khurasan. The rivalry that emerged between the Shafiʿi and Hanafi schools in the Abbasid realm gave rise to numerous polemics, refutations, and counterrefutations, serving as a powerful engine for the development and increasing sophistication of legal thought. From the 7th/13th century onward, Shafiʿism has been predominant in Egypt and Syria, the Kurdish areas of Anatolia and Iraq, and southern Yemen, from where Shafiʿism was carried to East Africa and across the Indian Ocean, as far as today’s Malaysia and Indonesia. Shafiʿism is characterized by a common discourse on positive law and legal theory, as well as a genealogical tradition expressed in biographical dictionaries of Shafiʿi jurists in particular times and/or places. In addition, Shafiʿi scholars made important contributions in the fields of theology, Sufism, constitutional theory, and Hadith scholarship.

Article.  6835 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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