Arabic pl. Acts, works, deeds, actual practice. One of many terms referring to a multifaceted concept of precedent. Malik ibn Anas (d. 796) first introduced the amal (practice) of the people in Medina as a highly authoritative source of making rules. Maliki scholars of later times recognized this concept. In time other schools recognized amal (to varying degrees) as legal authority. In legal theory, amal (sing.) refers to the acts of the Prophet.