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Foundation of Islamic Studies Module 4.5-Bilal Philips-www.islamicgazette.com

Foundation of Islamic Studies Module 4.5-Bilal Philips-www.islamicgazette.com

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Published by: Abd Al Mateen Yousuf on Mar 13, 2012
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Islamic Online University The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com1
IslamicOnlineUniversity
 
Islamic Online University The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com2
ِ ﺔﱠ ﯿِ ﻣَﻼَ ﺳِﻹْا
 
ِتﺎَ ﺳاَرﱢﺪﻟا
 
ُلﻮُ ﺻُأ
 
The FoundationsofIslaamic Studies
By Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips 
 
CHAPTER FOUR:
FIQH
 
Islamic Online University The Foundations of Islamic Studies 101http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com3
 
4.5MAIN REASONS FOR CONFLICTINGRULINGS
Evolution of the
 Math’habs
In the era of the Righteous Caliphs, the
Fiqh
principle of 
ijmaa
(decisions byunanimity) evolved and
ijtihaad 
(reasoned rulings) became an independentprinciple of 
Fiqh
under the name of 
Qiyaas.
The
math
’ 
hab
during this periodwas, in reality, that of each of the Righteous Caliphs, since the final say in legalmatters rested with them. However, all legal decisions were subject to alterationon the basis of recorded statements or practices of the Prophet (
r
), i.e.
hadeeths.
 During the Umayyad dynasty (661-750 CE) there was a shift from caliphateto monarchy and the caliph/king was no longer the head of the
math
’ 
hab.
Scholarsamong the companions of the Prophet (
r
) and their students left the centers of theIslaamic state and dispersed in the outer lying provinces. This led to an increase in
ijtihaad 
as
ijmaa
became increasingly difficult to achieve. During this periodstudents of 
Fiqh
freely and frequently changed teachers and exchanged legalopinions. In the first hundred years of the
Abbaaside dynasty (750-850 CE) many
math
’ 
habs
flourished and though they were becoming distinct entities, theymaintained the characteristic of flexibility in making and accepting legal rulingswith existed in the previous period. Besides the current four, the Awzaa
ee,Laythee, Thawree, Thaahiree and Jareeree
math
’ 
habs
were among the well-known
math
’ 
habs
of this period. Following the death of the major scholars the
math
’ 
habs
rigidity began to set in. During the latter period of the
Abbaasidedynasty, between the year 950 CE and the sacking of Baghdad (1258 CE), courtdebates (called
 Munaatharaat 
) between scholars of different
math
’ 
habs
for theentertainment of the caliphs and their entourage became popular. This spawnedcompetitiveness and dogmatism, since the loss of a debate not only meant the lossof monetary reward from the caliph but it also meant the loss of personal prestigeand that of one
s
math
’ 
hab
. Consequently, the principle of defending one
s
math
’ 
hab
right or wrong came to be considered a virtue. As a result,
math
’ 
hab
sectarianism and fanaticism became rampant among the court scholars. In time,the spirit of rivalry largely generated by these debates spread to the masses, and
math
’ 
hab
factionalism became widespread.
1
 
Four 
 Madh-habs
1
 
al-Madkhal,
pp.147-57.

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