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Malik ibn Anas al-Asbahi

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Malik ibn Anas al-Asbahi

    (d. 795 )

    Eponymous founder of the Maliki school of Islamic law. Born and lived in Medina, leaving only to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca. Teachings reflect the scholarship of Medina. Author of the oldest surviving compendium on Islamic law. Compiled a collection of hadith of Muhammad , his Companions, and his followers, entitled Al-muwatta, which is widely used by Sunnis. Hadith-oriented and conservative in legal doctrines, declaring that he did not deviate from what he had been taught or the consensus of the scholars of Medina. Emphasized the importance of hadith as a basis for legal principles. Supported legal arguments and conclusions with citations from the Quran and hadith. In cases where differences of opinion existed, declared the local consensus of Medinan scholars authoritative. Used both ray (personal opinion) and qiyas (analogy) in legal thinking. Teacher of Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafii , founder of the Shafii school of Islamic law. Some scholars attribute to him the principle of public welfare (maslahah or masalih al-mursalah) as a guide to interpretation of Islamic law.

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