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Islamic Studies The Hanafi School
by
Christie S. Warren

Introduction

The Hanafi School is one of the four major schools of Sunni Islamic legal reasoning and repositories of positive law. It was built upon the teachings of Abu Hanifa (d. 767), a merchant who studied and taught in Kufa, Iraq, and who is reported to have left behind one major work, Al-Fiqh al-Akbar. Two of Abu Hanifa’s disciples, Abu Yusuf (d. 798) and al-Shaybani (d. 805), compiled and organized their master’s teachings, which were favored and followed by the Abbasid dynasty. While the Hanafi madhab, along with other Sunni schools, utilizes qiyas (analogical reasoning) as a method of legal reasoning, Abu Hanifa himself relied extensively on ra’y (personal opinion). He also favored the use of istihsan, commonly known as juristic preference, which, in some circumstances, can operate to ameliorate harsh consequences that might otherwise flow from strict legal reasoning, and which is believed by some to be based on principles of equity as interpreted by the jurist. Hanafi doctrines have always been considered among the most flexible and liberal in Islamic law, including in the areas of criminal law, treatment of non-Muslims, individual freedoms, marriage and guardianship, and ownership and use of property. Officially adopted by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century and codified in the Mejelle, Hanafi jurisprudence remains the most influential school in the world today and is used in Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. With respect to family and personal law issues, Hanafi fiqh predominates in Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and, for significant minority populations, in Iran and Malaysia. The Constitution of Afghanistan privileges Hanafi jurisprudence as a residual source of law in the absence of explicit legislation or other constitutional provisions.

General Overviews

To understand the significance of the Hanafi School, it is useful to gain an overview of the role of schools in general and the distinctive features of the Hanafi School. Khan 1991 provides the simplest overview for readers approaching Sunni schools for the first time. Kamali 2008, an introduction to Sharia, is clearly written, well organized, and easy to read. Makdisi 1981 has stood the test of time and is still considered one of the most highly regarded overviews of the relationship between Muslim scholars and schools. The material in Hallaq 1999 and Bearman, et al. 2005 is somewhat advanced and will be most useful to readers who have a prior understanding of Islamic legal principles. Vikor 2005 provides good intermediate level information on theory, applications, history, and specific topics in Islamic law. Although dated and perhaps of less use in the modern era, Schacht 1979 and Coulson 1994 are, nevertheless, considered foundational sources in the study of Islamic law.

  • Bearman, Peri, Rudolph Peters, and Frank E. Vogel, eds. The Islamic School of Law: Evolution, Devolution and Progress. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    This book contains a number of articles pertaining to the development of Islamic schools, including the Hanafi School. Included are discussions of Hanafi doctrines, jurists, judges, and texts, along with similar issues in other schools.

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  • Coulson, Noel J. A History of Islamic Law. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994.

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    Although this book is somewhat outdated with respect to contemporary issues, and Coulson’s dating of early works has been challenged in the past decade, it is nevertheless considered foundational for those interested in a classical overview of the history of Islamic law. Included is a good chapter on the early schools and their jurisprudence.

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  • Hallaq, Wael B. A History of Islamic Legal Theories: An Introduction to Sunni Usul al-Fiqh. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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    Hanafi interpretations of legal theory are compared in this book with those of the other major schools. This is not a book for beginners; it will be most useful to readers who already have an understanding of Islamic law.

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  • Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. Shari’ah Law: An Introduction. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2008.

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    Clearly written and well organized, this overview of Sharia is useful for readers of any level who wish to gain a framework for Islamic law and its salient features. Included is a section on the major schools of law, including the Hanafi School, and their most important scholars, texts, and applications.

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  • Khan, Mohammad Hameedullah. The Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence: A Comparative Study. New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1991.

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    This small book is written in the style of a primer. It includes chapters on sources of Islamic jurisprudence and specific aspects of the major (and a few extinct) schools, including influential scholars and texts in each school and particular juristic devices favored in each. This book is probably the easiest to read (and most appropriate) for readers with no previous background in Islamic law.

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  • Makdisi, George. The Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1981.

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    A thorough, well-researched study of the Muslim law colleges in their madrasa form and the scholarship that was produced in them, this book also includes detailed sections on fields of knowledge, organization of curricula, methodology of learning, and issues relating to teachers and students. It concludes with a comparison of the systems of education in Islam and the Christian West.

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  • Schacht, Joseph. The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence. Oxford: Clarendon, 1979.

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    Originally published in 1950. This is one of the oldest contemporary studies of Islamic law and jurisprudence. Although it is not as easy to read as some more modern works, nevertheless, it is frequently cited. Included are overviews and technical discussions of Islamic legal traditions, sources of law, legal reasoning, and scholars of the major schools.

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  • Vikor, Knut S. Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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    This intermediate-level book is intended for readers already familiar with introductory issues in Sharia who seek additional information before proceeding to Schacht 1979 and other specialized analyses. Included are sections on theory, applications, history, and specific topics in law.

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The Hanafi School

For readers able to read French, Chehata 1971 provides a good overview of the development of Hanafi thought from its inception through the post-Classical era. It is still widely cited in contemporary studies of Hanafi jurisprudence.

  • Chehata, Chafik. Études de droit musulman. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1971.

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    This book outlines the most important texts, scholars, and legal principles of the Hanafi School. Included are scholars from the pre-Classical period (the Qur’an and Shaybani’s compilations), the classical period (Tahawi, Quduri, Sarakhsi, Samarqandi, and Kasani), and the post-Classical era (Marghinani and his commentators and Ibn-Abidin and related scholars). Volume 2 covers issues relating to Islamic contract and property law.

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Development in Early Years

Several studies delve into the subject of whether the particular evolution of Hanafi fiqh in early years was the result of its geographic location (since some scholars have argued that its distance from Mecca and Medina allowed its jurisprudence to develop without exclusive reliance on traditional sources) or whether its legal doctrines developed as a result of the thought processes of specific scholars. Melchert 1997, Melchert 1999, and Hallaq 2001 provide thorough analyses of early development in the school, although these articles may not be useful to readers without previous backgrounds in Islamic legal thought. Tsafrir 1998 and Tsafrir 2004 include an overview of the early development of the school in Iran and other locations.

  • Hallaq, Wael B. “From Regional to Personal Schools of Law? A Reevaluation.” Islamic Law and Society 8.1 (2001): 1–26.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851901753129656Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author challenges the long-standing historical view that legal history of the 2nd/8th century and early part of the 3rd/9th century was dominated by geographical schools, a theory first articulated by Joseph Schacht. The jurisprudence of Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, Shaybani, and other early scholars from the Kufa region is discussed. Included are useful notes regarding the major texts of the period.

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  • Melchert, Christopher. The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, 9th–10th Centuries C.E. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 1997.

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    This is a thoroughly researched book setting forth the circumstances and actors involved in the formation of the classical Sunni schools. Although very detailed, it is clearly organized and written.

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  • Melchert, Christopher. “How Hanafism Came to Originate in Kufa and Traditionalism in Medina.” Islamic Law and Society 6.3 (1999): 318–347.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519991223801Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author critiques early Islamic studies and analyzes whether regional schools existed in the early years, finding that early Hanafi texts are not readily available. Using three biographical dictionaries from the 9th century (al-Tabaqat al-kubra of Ibn Sa’d [d. 230/845] and the Tarikh and Tabaqat of Khalifa ibn Khayyat [d. 240—854/855]), he argues that the Hanafi School was originally founded in Baghdad, not Kufa.

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  • Tsafrir, Nurit. “The Beginnings of the Hanafi School in Isfahan.” Islamic Law and Society 5.1 (1998): 1–21.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519982599607Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Based on an analysis of early Isfahani biographical dictionaries, the author finds that the Hanafi School was influential in western Iran as of the middle of the 2nd/8th century.

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  • Tsafrir, Nurit. The History of an Islamic School of Law: The Early Spread of Hanafism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

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    This is a good overview of the spread of the Hanafi School from its inception in the middle of the 2nd/8th century through the middle of the 3rd/9th century. The attributes of the Hanafi School before its final consolidation are explored. Included are sections on the development of the school in Iraq, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Egypt, and the Maghreb.

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Early Scholars

The three most important scholars of the early Hanafi period were Abu Hanifa, whose most important work, Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, was translated into English (al-Maghnisawi 2007), and Abu Hanifa’s disciples, Abu Yusuf and al-Shaybani. Calder 1993, Doi 2007, and Mallat 2003 give good overviews of the work of the early Hanafi scholars, while Bonner 2001 and Khadduri 2001 discuss the application of early scholars’ theories in specific contexts. In Sadeghi 2010, the author concludes that the two texts in his study represent redactions of lectures given by Shaybani in which he compares his own legal interpretations with those of Abu Hanifa. Tsafrir 1996 questions whether some early jurists who were traditionally assumed to have been Hanafis actually were or whether they simply borrowed specific aspects of Hanafi jurisprudence in particular circumstances.

  • Bonner, Michael. “The Kitab al-Kasb Attributed to al-Shaybani: Poverty, Surplus, and the Circulation of Wealth.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 121.3 (July 2001): 410–427.

    DOI: 10.2307/606670Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a technical discussion of poverty, charity, and economic issues previously attributed to al-Shaybani, but which the author finds were actually the product of collective Hanafi contributions. Scholarship of several early Hanafi jurists is analyzed.

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  • Calder, Norman. Studies in Early Muslim Jurisprudence. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993.

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    This book includes chapters on scholars and texts of the three earliest schools, including the Hanafi School. Works by al-Shaybani and Abu Yusuf, along with other Hanafi scholars, are discussed.

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  • Doi, Abdur Rahman I. Shari’ah: The Islamic Law. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: AS Noordeen, 2007.

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    Included in this overview of Sharia, its sources, and its interpretations is a chapter on the four schools of Sunni fiqh and their leaders. Short biographies of Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, and al-Shaybani are included, along with one of Zufar, who is considered by some commentators to be an equally important early scholar.

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  • Khadduri, Majid. The Islamic Law of Nations: Shaybani’s Siyar. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2001.

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    The translator’s introduction to Shaybani’s treatise on international law includes an overview of the life of this Iraqi scholar, who studied under Malik b. Anas (founder of the Maliki School) and Abu Yusuf after the death of Abu Hanifa. The select bibliography at the end includes a number of resources in Arabic covering Shaybani’s life and works.

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  • al-Maghnisawi, Abu’l-Muntaha. Imam Abu Hanifa’s Al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained. Santa Barbara, CA: White Thread, 2007.

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    This edition of Abu Hanifa’s greatest work is translated into English. The oldest existing Hanafi text can be read online in Arabic.

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  • Mallat, Chibli. “From Islamic to Middle Eastern Law: A Restatement of the Field (Part I).” American Journal of Comparative Law 51.4 (2003): 699–750.

    DOI: 10.2307/3649129Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Included in this overview of the history of the development of Islamic law are discussions of the theories and works of early Hanafi scholars, including Shaybani and al-Kasani.

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  • Sadeghi, Behnam. “The Authenticity of Two 2nd/8th Century Hanafi Legal Texts: The Kitab al-athar and al-Muwatta of Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani.” Islamic Law and Society 17 (2010): 291–319.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851910X522212Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author conducts an analysis of style and vocabulary in the two named texts and concludes that they are largely the product of a single redactor who heard and recorded lectures given by al-Shaybani. In the lectures, Shaybani comments upon, and at times deviates from, the legal opinions of Abu Hanifa.

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  • Tsafrir, Nurit. “Semi-Hanafis and Hanafi Biographical Sources.” Studia Islamica 84 (1996): 67–85.

    DOI: 10.2307/1595995Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a study of scholars listed as Hanafis in a 2nd- century bibliography, but whose affiliation with the school was questionable. This group, labeled semi-Hanafis, was usually known instead as Traditionalists. Confusion can arise when trying to characterize early scholars because a clear distinction between Hanafis and those who adopted only a small number of that school’s tenets did not yet exist.

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Classical and Post-Classical Periods

By the 10th century, Hanafi thought was flourishing. Kaya 2005 provides a good overview of this period, and although Stanton 1990 does not concentrate exclusively on the development of legal thought, this book is helpful to situate work conducted in legal schools within the larger context of educational development in general. Lewinstein 1994 is highly technical and probably of interest only to scholars studying Hanafi theories on heresiography.

  • Kaya, Eyyup Said. “Continuity and Change in Islamic Law: The Concept of Madhhab and the Dimensions of Legal Disagreement in Hanafi Scholarship of the Tenth Century.” In The Islamic School of Law: Evolution, Devolution and Progress. Edited by Peri Bearman, Rudolph Peters, and Frank E. Vogel, 26–40. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    The author analyzes the rise of the madhhab and its impact on the development of Islamic law. By the 10th century, the Hanafi School had attained a distinct identity, a body of standardized law, an organized system of legal education, and a hierarchy of authoritative texts. This period produced one of the most important group of Hanafi scholars.

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  • Lewinstein, Keith. “Notes on Eastern Hanafite Heresiography.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 114.4 (1994): 583–598.

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    This is a very technical discussion of Hanafi texts on heresy. It will probably not be useful for readers who have no previous background in Islamic law.

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  • Stanton, Charles Michael. Higher Learning in Islam: The Classical Period, A.D. 700–1300. Savage, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1990.

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    This is a readable history of institutions of learning during the Classical period of Islam. Although not solely focused on legal schools, it includes an overview of the development of the major madhhabs, including the Hanafi School.

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Classical and Post-Classical Scholars

One of the most influential works of this era is al-Kasani 1327–1348, which is still used to teach Hanafi doctrine (al-Kasani 2003). Meron 1969 provides a comprehensive overview of scholars of this period. Bernand 1985 analyzes the work of another prominent scholar of this era, al-Gassas, although the author’s analysis is highly technical and probably not useful to those without a deep background in Islamic scholarship. Wheeler 2003 analyzes a topic of interest to a number of Hanafi scholars: the reconciliation of conflicting opinions as a distinctive feature of Hanafi jurisprudence.

  • Bernand, Marie. “Hanafi Usul al-Fiqh through a Manuscript of al-Gassas.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 105.4 (1985): 623–635.

    DOI: 10.2307/602724Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a very technical analysis of the work of Hanafi jurist al-Gassas (d. 370/980). The author states that to the best of her knowledge, this is the oldest known manuscript of Hanafi fiqh. The article will probably be useful only for readers interested in a narrow period of history in the development of Hanafi jurisprudence.

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  • al-Kasani, Abu Bakr. Kitab Bada’i’ al-Sana’i’ fī Tarfib al-Shara’i’. 10 vols. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, 2003.

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    This is a ten-volume set of Hanafi fiqh, published in Arabic and reportedly used by Osama bin Laden in his 1998 fatwa to justify the duty of individual jihad. A commentator textually analyzes fard al-ʿayn and fard al-kifaya online and argues that bin Laden erroneously cited al-Kisa’I, instead of al-Kasani, as the source of duty of individual jihad.

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  • Meron, Ya’akov. “The Development of Legal Thought in Hanafi Texts.” Studia Islamica 30 (1969): 73–118.

    DOI: 10.2307/1595200Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a comprehensive (and somewhat archaically written) listing of prominent Hanafi scholars from the earliest through post-Classical periods. The section on classical scholars, including Quduri and al-Kasani, is especially useful.

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  • Wheeler, Brannon M. “Identity in the Margins: Unpublished Hanafi Commentaries on the Mukhtasar of Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Quduri.” Islamic Law and Society 10.2 (2003): 182–209.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851903322144943Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author examines unpublished commentaries on al-Quduri’s Mukhtasar, demonstrating that Hanafi scholars did not rely solely on opinions of the founders of their school. Instead, they relied on authorities who were often in conflict, highlighting rather than minimizing conflicts. The author concludes by stating that being a Hanafi was not simply a matter of imitating earlier scholars; rather, it involved using ikhtilaf to create fiqh.

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Medieval Period

Al-Marghinani 2006 is one of the most influential works of this era and is often used to teach Hanafi doctrine. Meron 2002 critiques the Hidaya and its author. Ahmed 2000 and Mortel 1997 focus on the status of the Hanafi School in Bukhara and Mecca during this period while Lange 2008 and Ziadeh 1993 discuss applications of Hanafi doctrine in specific legal contexts. Rapoport 2003 analyzes an interesting historical development in the courts of Cairo during this era.

  • Ahmed, Shahab. “Mapping the World of a Scholar in Sixth/Twelfth Century Bukhara: Regional Tradition in Medieval Islamic Scholarship as Reflected in a Bibliography.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 120.1 (2000): 24–43.

    DOI: 10.2307/604883Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author states that it was extremely rare for early Islamic scholars to include bibliographies of their sources as part of their published work. Medieval scholar Mahmud al-Faryabi, a Hanafi scholar living in Bukhara in 597/1200, did just that, however, allowing this author to reconstruct and map the scholarly tradition from and within which al-Farayabi worked.

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  • Lange, Christian. Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511497254Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a study of the theory and practice of punishment in the Islamic Middle Period under the Saljuq rulers of Iraq and Persia. Comparative approaches, including within the Hanafi School, to topics such as types and institutions of punishment, the structure and creatures of hell, and legal dimensions of punishment are included.

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  • al-Marghinani, Burhan al-Din al-Farghani. Al-Hidaya. Bristol, UK: Amal, 2006.

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    This seminal collection of Hanafi fiqh was written by a jurist born in the Ferghana Valley in current-day Uzbekistan and is still used in many madrasas around the world. Al-Hidaya was first translated in Charles Hamilton, ed. The Hedaya, or Guide: A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws. Translated by Order of the Governor-General and Counsel of Bengal (London: Bensley, 1791).

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  • Meron, Ya’akov. “Marghinani, His Method and His Legacy.” Islamic Law and Society 9.3 (2002): 410–416.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851902320901215Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a short critique of Marghinani and the Hidaya. The author comments on innovations that appear in the text and compares some of its provisions with writings by Marghinani’s predecessors, including al-Samarqandi, al-Kasani, al-Sarakhsi, and al-Quduri. It is dense and technical and probably not useful for readers without previous knowledge of Islamic law.

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  • Mortel, Richard T. “Madrasas in Mecca during the Medieval Period: A Descriptive Study Based on Literary Sources.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 60.2 (1997): 236–252.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0041977X00036387Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes surviving literary sources and chronicles the character, physical appearances, locations, conditions of endowment, purposes, and functions of Meccan madrasas founded before the Ottoman period. Madrasas of each of the four major schools functioned harmoniously in close proximity to each other. In at least one case, the facility was used on sequential days to provide instruction to students of each school.

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  • Rapoport, Yossef. “Legal Diversity in the Age of Taqlid: The Four Chief Qadis under the Mamluks.” Islamic Law and Society 10.2 (2003): 210–228.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851903322144952Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author argues that the decision by Mamluk sultan Baybar in 663/1265 to appoint four chief qadis in Cairo was intended to create a uniform, flexible legal system. Although qadis were obligated to follow the doctrines of their own schools, litigants were allowed to choose from among doctrines of all schools, regardless of their personal school affiliation.

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  • Ziadeh, Farhat J. “Property Rights in the Middle East: From Traditional Law to Modern Codes.” Arab Law Quarterly 8.1 (1993): 3–12.

    DOI: 10.1163/157302593X00276Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article compares the nature of property rights under medieval Islamic law according to the Hanafi and other schools and under Western law. Property rights were not categorized according to what a holder could do with property but according to how much and what kind of taxes were to be levied on it.

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Ottoman Period

One of the most significant developments in Hanafi jurisprudence during the Ottoman period was the entry into force of the Mejelle, the Ottoman code of civil law and procedure based on Hanafi legal principles. The Mejelle, containing 1,851 articles, was designed for use in secular tribunals. Although formally abolished in Turkey in 1926, it survived in some of the Ottoman succession states and is still influential in Israeli and other codes. Peters 2005 provides a good historical overview of developments in the Hanafi School during this period, as well as the use of the Mejelle in the Ottoman Empire and other regions. The writings in Anderson 1957, authored by one of the earliest contemporary scholars of Islamic law, are often now considered to be outdated, but the article provides a good overview of the influence of the Mejelle. Imber 1994 and Imber 1997 focus on the work of Ebu’s-su’ud, a prominent scholar, and also fatwas from this era. Yazbak 2002 also examines Ottoman fatwas in his study of child marriages, and Heyd 1973 and Mandaville 1979 analyze the evolution of specific juridical themes. Calder 2000 and Hallaq 2002 analyze the work of Ibn Abidin, considered the most important author-jurist of the era.

  • Anderson, J. N. D. “Law as a Social Force in Islamic Culture and History.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 20.1–3 (1957): 13–40.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0041977X00061644Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The codification of Hanafi doctrine in the Majalla (the civil code of the Ottoman Empire) between 1869 and 1876 is discussed in this article. Also discussed is the use of Hanafi legal doctrine in courts during the Ottoman Empire.

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  • Calder, Norman. “‘Uqud rasm al-mufti’ of Ibn Abidin.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 63.2 (2000): 215–228.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0041977X00007199Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes a poem on juristic authority by Ibn Abidin, a Hanafi jurist of the 18th and 19th centuries, and compares it to John Dryden’s “Religio Laici.” The article provides insight into methodologies used to discover the rule of law by learned Islamic jurists, who held a monopoly during this period on legal analysis and interpretation due to their exclusive control of the tradition.

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  • Hallaq, Wael B. “A Prelude to Ottoman Reform: Ibn Abidin on Custom and Legal Change.” In Histories of the Modern Middle East. Edited by Israel Gershoni, Hakan Erdem, and Ursula Wokock, 37–61. London: Rienner, 2002.

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    The author analyzes the evolving use of universal and local custom by Ibn Abidin in the era of pre-Ottoman reform. He states that the fact that he was not part of the Ottoman state apparatus is testament to the ability of Islamic law to transform itself from within and adapt to significant change.

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  • Heyd, Uriel. Studies in Old Ottoman Criminal Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.

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    This is a systematic compilation of laws relating to criminal acts and criminal justice administration in the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the 17th centuries. The origin of Ottoman criminal law and its relationship to Islamic law, criminal procedure, and punishment are included, along with studies of judgments of qadis and how they applied criminal laws. Hanafi doctrines on these topics are presented.

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  • Imber, Colin. “Why You Should Poison Your Husband: A Note on Liability in Hanafi Law in the Ottoman Period.” Islamic Law and Society 1.2 (1994): 206–216.

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    The author examines fatwas from the Ottoman period, which he finds to be a rich and largely neglected source of history of the development of Hanafi law.

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  • Imber, Colin. Ebu’s-su`ud: The Islamic Legal Tradition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

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    This is a study of the work of Ebu’s-su’ud, an Ottoman scholar credited with bringing Sharia and secular law into conformity through the use of fatwas. The Hanafi School achieved dominance in the Ottoman Empire when sultans gave it official status. The book gives both an historical overview of the scholar’s life and analyses of specific legal topics according to the Hanafi tradition.

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  • Mandaville, Jon E. “Usurious Piety: The Cash Waqf Controversy in the Ottoman Empire.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 10.3 (1979): 289–308.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800000118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article focuses on the Ottoman practice of establishing cash trusts, the interest from which was used to pay salaries of educators or to repay the trust founder. Although these trusts were popular in Ottoman times, they violated classical Islamic law and were not seen in any other era.

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  • Peters, Rudolph. “What Does It Mean to Be an Official Madhhab? Hanafism and the Ottoman Empire.” In The Islamic School of Law: Evolution, Devolution and Progress. Edited by Peri Bearman, Rudolph Peters, and Frank E. Vogel, 147–158. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    In this article, the author traces the relationship between the Hanafi School and the Ottoman Empire. He analyzes how Hanafi doctrine grew into a body of rulings that could easily be applied by qadis. He also examines the relationship between Hanafis and other schools after the Ottoman conquest of non-Hanafi regions.

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  • Yazbak, Mahmoud. “Minor Marriages and Khiyar al-Bulugh in Ottoman Palestine: A Note on Women’s Strategies in a Patriarchal Society.” Islamic Law and Society 9.3 (2002): 386–409.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851902320901206Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Using Sharia court records (sijills) and fatwas from 19th-century Palestine, this article focuses on Hanafi doctrines relating to the issue of child marriage and the comparative rights of males and females to dissolve marriages contracted on their behalf upon reaching majority age.

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Mejelle

The Mejelle (or the Majalla), based on Hanafi doctrines, was highly influential not only in the Ottoman Empire, but also in other regions of the world. It is still considered one of the most important historical legal texts and codifies legal principles such as contracts, suretyship, leases, gifts, and agency as well as principles of civil procedure. Tyser 2001 is readable and easy to grasp for readers without a deep background in law, while Onar 1955 gives a good overview of the development of the Mejelle.

  • Onar, S. S. “The Majalla.” In Law in the Middle East. Edited by Majid Khadduri and Herbert J. Liebesny, 292–308. Washington, DC: The Lawbook Exchange, 1955.

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    This short chapter, included in a compilation of topics discussing aspects of Middle Eastern law, gives an overview of the Majalla, the product of the Ottoman reform movement and based on the Hanafi School of law. Some of the basic provisions of the Majalla are included.

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  • Tyser, Charles R., D. G. Demetriades, and Ismail Haqqi Effendi, trans. The Mejelle: Being an English Translation of Majallah el-Ahkam-I-Adliya and a Complete Code on Islamic Civil Law. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Other Press, 2001.

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    This is a readable translation of the Mejelle and includes a short introduction setting forth the history of the text.

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Contemporary Era

The evolution of the Hanafi School and its doctrines face many of the same issues that confront Islamic law in general in the contemporary era. The works below present overviews and discussions of some of the issues currently debated. Although Schacht 1959 can no longer be considered truly contemporary, it is useful to provide historical context. Haddad and Stowasser 2004 includes a number of essays on topics relevant to the role of Islam in the world today. Brown 1997 on the role of Islamic law in the Arab world is readable and useful even for those without legal training. Zaman 2007 addresses the question of who is permitted to interpret and contribute to Islamic thought, while Hoebink 1999 deals with whether Islam is compatible with modernization at all. Sonbol 2002 discusses the use of specific juristic devices that allow followers of a particular school of Islam to “borrow” positions from other schools as an example of the inherent flexibility of Islam and urges non-Muslim readers to learn more about Islam in order to avoid erroneous preconceptions.

  • Brown, Nathan J. The Rule of Law in the Arab World: Courts in Egypt and the Gulf. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511583278Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a readable book in which the development of modern legal systems in Arab states is discussed. Although there is no discussion of the role of the Hanafi School per se, references to the ongoing influence in several Arab states of the Ottoman Majalla, the 19th-century codification of the Sharia using the framework of the French code, are included.

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  • Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, and Barbara Freyer Stowasser, eds. Islamic Law and the Challenges of Modernity. Berkeley, CA: Altamira, 2004.

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    This is a collection of essays by respected contemporary Islamic scholars discussing issues relating to the modernization of Islamic law and legal reform in the Arab world. Included are sections on Islam and constitutionalism, asylum law, women’s rights and CEDAW, and marriage. The potential modernizing role of Hanafi fiqh is discussed.

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  • Hoebink, Michel. “Thinking about Renewal in Islam: Towards a History of Islamic Ideas on Modernization and Secularization.” Arabica 46.1 (1999): 29–62.

    DOI: 10.1163/157005899774229410Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes whether Islam is compatible with modernization and renewal and seeks to decouple the issue from a paradigm polarized between Orientalists, who argue that Islam is irreconcilable with modernization, and those who believe that Islamic teachings can adapt to historical, social, and political contexts. Historical Hanafi perspectives on the use of ijtihad as a modernization device are presented.

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  • Schacht, Joseph. “Islamic Law in Contemporary States.” American Journal of Comparative Law 8.2 (1959): 133–147.

    DOI: 10.2307/837455Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although written in 1959 and now dated, this article examines the role of Islamic law and the jurisprudence of the major schools in contemporary Muslim-majority states. Transitions in Hanafi doctrine with respect to specific issues are presented.

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  • Sonbol, Amira. “Thoughts on Sects and Exceptionalism.” Novo Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 6.1 (October 2002): 147–154.

    DOI: 10.1525/nr.2002.6.1.147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this short article, the author provides examples in which followers of one school “change schools” in order to find suitable solutions to problems. Hanafi doctrines on commercial transactions, for example, proved at times to be more adaptable than doctrines of other madhhabs in locations that ultimately became commercial centers.

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  • Zaman, Muhammad Qasim. The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

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    This book is particularly useful for understanding contemporary debates surrounding the right to interpret basic religious texts and covers the role of the ulama in colonial and post-colonial India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The author states that the seminal question is not whether the authority of the ulama has decreased over time, but rather how that authority is constructed. Analyses of Hanafi doctrines are included.

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Hanafi Jurisprudence

Kamali 2006 provides an unparalleled overview of Islamic law, including Hanafi perspectives. Although highly detailed and technical, it is readable and is a useful text for courses in Islamic law. Kamali 2005, on Hadith studies, is more narrowly focused on sources and reliability of hadith and will suit those interested in the specifics of Hadith doctrine, including distinctions between Hadith preferred by various schools. Rahim 1911 gives a general overview of Hanafi sources and interpretations as applied in India. El-Rouayheb 2004: analyzes the role of logic in Hanafi scholarship and argues that it was never marginalized, contrary to others’ opinions. Similarly, Hallaq 1994 contests the idea that Islamic law became rigid after the formative period. El-Rouayheb 2004 and Hallaq 1994 would benefit from a prior knowledge of Islamic legal issues. Wheeler 1996 is dense and highly technical and will not be of use to novices, although the author’s analysis is relevant to contemporary discussions regarding the role of original texts.

  • Hallaq, Wael B. “From Fatwas to Furūʿ: Growth and Change in Islamic Substantive Law.” Islamic Law and Society 1.1 (1994): 29–65.

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    The author challenges the popular belief that after the formative period, substantive Islamic law became increasingly rigid and demonstrates that the regular incorporation of primary and secondary fatwas into legal manuals resulted in an ongoing updating of substantive Islamic law. Examples of this technique in Hanafi jurisprudence are given.

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  • Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. A Textbook of Hadith Studies: Authenticity, Compilation, Classification and Criticism of Hadith. Markfield, UK: Islamic Foundation, 2005.

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    This is a clearly written overview of the jurisprudence of Hadith, including those in the Hanafi School. Topics include methods of inquiry and principles for verifying the authenticity of Hadith. Although the subject matter is technical, the author’s clear writing makes this book suitable for readers without a deep background in Hadith studies. A previous understanding of general principles of Islamic jurisprudence would be helpful.

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  • Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. Cambridge, UK: Islamic Texts Society, 2006.

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    This is a classic contemporary overview of Islamic jurisprudence. Thorough, highly detailed, and easy to read, its technical nature is offset by the clarity of explanation. Used as a textbook in many Islamic law classes, it includes references to Hanafi jurisprudence.

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  • Rahim, Abdur. The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Schools. Madras, India: Luzac, 1911.

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    This book is dated but is still useful for readers seeking an overview of jurisprudence of the four schools as compiled by an Indian law professor in 1907. The introduction contains a comprehensive list of sources the author consulted, including a number of Hanafi scholars.

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  • el-Rouayheb, Khaled. “Sunni Muslim Scholars on the Status of Logic, 1500–1800.” Islamic Law and Society 11.2 (2004): 213–232.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851904323178755Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author provides a comparative analysis of the use of logic by Sunni scholars in the 16th through 18th centuries and analyzes the work of several Hanafi scholars. He disagrees with positions taken by several contemporary scholars that hostility to logic after the 14th century coincided with the onset of declines in literature and art.

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  • Wheeler, Brannon M. Applying the Canon in Islam: The Authorization and Maintenance of Interpretive Reasoning in Hanafi Scholarship. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.

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    The author critiques the view that religious law privileges original canons over later rationalizations of texts’ meanings. Using Hanafi sources, he shows that canons are best understood as devices promoting specific pedagogic agendas. Although this article is very technical and not suitable for novices, it is useful to show the process by which Hanafi jurisprudence achieved legitimacy in early years.

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Specific Topics

Aspects of Hanafi doctrine that permit liberal and fair legal interpretations can be seen in the readings below, which present a representative sample of Hanafi jurisprudential theory. All of these readings are technical, although Lisbon 1997 (cited under Custom) and Kamali 2005 (cited under Equity and Fairness) can be more easily absorbed by readers without a deep background in Islamic legal theory.

Casuistry

Casuistry, which can be characterized as a process of reasoning tailored to the resolution of particular legal problems, is often regarded as an important tool in Islamic jurisprudence. Johansen 1995 discusses the influence of casuistry on Islamic legal doctrine and reasoning, including in the writings of Schacht and Meron, but diverges from their approach, instead arguing that universal validity of norms is socially implausible and that casuistry is useful to solve particular practical problems that evolve during processes of social differentiation.

  • Johansen, Baber. “Casuistry: Between Legal Concept and Social Praxis.” Islamic Law and Society 2.2 (1995): 135–156.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519952599349Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a technical discussion of the role of casuistry in the development of Islamic law, especially by Hanafi jurists during the post-Classical period. The author analyzes previous studies by Schacht and Meron on the subject. He states that the use of casuistry is not confined to Islamic law but exists in other legal traditions as well.

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Custom

Urf, or custom, refers to the collective practice of a large number of people and can serve as a basis for legal decisions as long as principles of Sharia are not contravened. Lisbon 1997 provides an overview of the use of custom in Islamic law beginning in the pre-Classical period.

  • Lisbon, Gideon. “On the Development of Custom as a Source of Law in Islamic Law.” Islamic Law and Society 4.2 (1997): 131–155.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519972599770Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although classical law did not recognize custom (urf) as a source of law, the author states that Hanafi scholars used custom more frequently than did scholars of other schools, and that it served as a bridge between theory and practice. Specific applications by Hanafi scholars are presented.

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Equity and Fairness

Principles of equity, inspired by considerations of fairness, can in some cases allow departures from strict applications of law when enforcement would lead to unfair results. Kamali 2005 provides an excellent overview of equitable principles and their application. Makdisi 1985 deconstructs common misperceptions about the correct use of istihsan.

  • Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. Equity and Fairness in Islam. Cambridge, UK: Islamic Texts Society, 2005.

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    This is a comparative study of principles of equity (istihsan) in Islamic jurisprudence. Istihsan is used to find solutions to problems when strict applications of positive law would not produce fair results. Hanafi perspectives, along with those of other schools, are presented. The book is clearly written and easy to read, even though the subject matter is somewhat technical.

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  • Makdisi, John. “Legal Logic and Equity in Islamic Law.” American Journal of Comparative Law 33.1 (1985): 63–92.

    DOI: 10.2307/840118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes the use of istihsan in the Sunni schools, including the Hanafi School, and finds that non-Islamic legal commentators commonly misunderstand its correct application. He states that istihsan has never been allowed to substitute for the use of stringently controlled, highly developed, and detailed Islamic legal doctrines, and that incorrect interpretations of the theory have led to erroneous conceptions of “quadi justice.”

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Hiyal

Hiyal, juristic devices used to achieve particular outcomes in specific circumstances, have remained unstudied to a large extent. Horii 2002 presents an historical overview of the development and use of hiyal, including in the Hanafi and Maliki Schools.

  • Horii, Satoe. “Reconsideration of Legal Devices (Hiyal) in Islamic Jurisprudence: The Hanafis and Their ‘Exits’ (Makharij).” Islamic Law and Society 9.3 (2002): 312–357.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851902320901189Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author states that Hanafis developed hiyal into a special branch of the law, called makharij, and used makharij to provide remedies that were considered necessary to solve specific problems. This article compares treatment of hiyal under Hanafi and Maliki doctrines.

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Ijtihad

The practice of ijtihad, or independent intellectual reasoning, is considered by some scholars to have disappeared from Sunni jurisprudence by the end of the 9th/3rd century. The question of whether it survived—or can be revived—and its potential role in the modernization of Islamic law is the source of debate in the modern era. Hallaq 1984 and Hallaq 1986 analyze traditional requirements for the exercise of ijtihad and challenge the idea that its practice ceased.

  • Hallaq, Wael B. “Was the Gate of Ijtihad Closed?” International Journal of Middle East Studies 16.1 (March 1984): 3–41.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800027598Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Hallaq challenges the belief that by the 10th/4th century, innovative thought in Islamic law had ceased. He outlines the growth of Hanafi doctrine during the following centuries and argues that the ongoing development of legal principles proves that the practice of ijtihad never stopped. Included is a good discussion of Hanafi jurists and their works.

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  • Hallaq, Wael B. “On the Origins of the Controversy about the Existence of Mujtahids and the Gate of Ijtihad.” Studia Islamica 63 (1986): 129–141.

    DOI: 10.2307/1595569Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article discusses the controversy over whether the practice of ijtihad ceased in the 10th/4th century and whether it is possible for an era to be devoid of mujtahids. Although details of Hanafi opinions and scholarship are not discussed, comparative perspectives of Sunni schools on the issue of the closing of the gate of ijtihad are presented.

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Qiyas

The use of qiyas, or analogical reasoning, is one of the hallmarks of Hanafi jurisprudence. In its practice, the application of a known Sharia-based rule is extended to a new case. Use of qiyas is permitted only if a solution is not already set forth in the Qur’an, Sunnah, or a consensus opinion of scholars. Hasan 1992 provides a detailed overview of qiyas and its practice.

  • Hasan, Ahmad. Analogical Reasoning in Islamic Jurisprudence: A Study of the Juridical Principle of Qiyas. Islamabad, Pakistan: Islamic Research Institute, 1992.

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    This book includes a comprehensive comparative analysis of each aspect of qiyas in the various Sunni schools, including the Hanafi School. It is highly technical in nature and will probably not be useful to readers without a previous understanding of Islamic law and a deep interest in jurisprudence and methods of reasoning.

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Talfiq

Talfiq, the fusing of different legal opinions, is favored by some as an internal device within Sharia that can be useful to modernize Islamic law from within. Krawietz 2002 presents an overview of the doctrine and its potential uses in the modern era.

  • Krawietz, Birgit. “Cut and Paste in Legal Rules: Designing Islamic Norms with Talfiq.” Die Welt des Islams 42.1 (2002): 3–40.

    DOI: 10.1163/157006002760085490Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author describes the potential use of talfiq as a method of overcoming the restrictions of taqlid, the unquestioning imitation of precedent, and in the context of harmonizing Islamic law with secular laws in modern Arab states. The relationship between talfiq and ijtihad is explored, and the author compares varying approaches of Hanafi and Hanbali scholars to the doctrine.

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Specific Applications

The general flexibility and fairness of Hanafi doctrines can perhaps best be appreciated through an examination of their application in specific cases. The readings below discuss a variety of legal issues and analyze Hanafi approaches to them. Bakhtiar 1996, an encyclopedia, is a useful desk reference for anyone interested in comparative studies among the Islamic schools. Highly detailed and well organized, it is easy to use.

  • Bakhtiar, Laleh. Encyclopedia of Islamic Law: A Compendium of the Major Schools. Chicago: ABC International Group, 1996.

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    This encyclopedia presents detailed comparisons of a number of religious, economic, social, and legal issues in the Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi, Maliki, and Jafari schools. Well organized and easy to navigate, it is a useful starting point for engaging in comparative analyses.

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Commercial Transactions

Since Abu Hanifa was a merchant by trade, it is perhaps not surprising that commercial transactions play a prominent role in Hanafi legal scholarship. Caeiro 2004 and Islam 1998 present overviews of Hanafi interpretations of commercial law, which are of interest in the modern era as scholars consider whether traditional Islamic commercial principles have hindered economic development. Al-Amine 2001 discusses a specific technical juristic device that may be useful in modernization efforts, while Foster 2004 addresses the issue of assignment of rights. Saleh 1989, Saleh 1990, and Saleh 2001 compare contractual issues in modern commercial codes and traditional Islamic law. All three articles would be useful for consultants working on similar issues in the same region.

  • Al-Amine, Muhammad al-Bashir Muhammad. “Istisna and Its Application in Islamic Banking.” Arab Law Quarterly 16.1 (2001): 22–48.

    DOI: 10.1163/A:1011097909539Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Hanafi interpretations of istisna, contracts for the manufacture of goods at a fixed price, are explored in this article. Included are discussions about the legal basis and binding effect of istisna, liquidated damage clauses, the impact of changed circumstances, and termination issues. The role of istisna in economic development is also discussed.

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  • Caeiro, Alexandre. “The Social Construction of Shariʿa: Bank Interest, Home Purchase and Islamic Norms in the West.” Die Welt des Islams 44.3 (2004): 351–375.

    DOI: 10.1163/1570060042562516Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Riba (usury) and its role in Islamic commercial transactions is a topic of great debate. This article analyzes a controversial fatwa issued in 1999 by the European Council for Fatwa and Research on the purchase of a house through an interest-bearing mortgage in the West and the impact of the fatwa on Muslim communities in Europe.

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  • Foster, Nicholas H. D. “An Unstoppable Force Meets a Movable Object? Assignment of Rights in the UAE.” Arab Law Quarterly 19.1–4 (2004): 169–190.

    DOI: 10.1163/026805504774478454Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author seeks to clarify the relationship and reconcile tensions between international and Islamic commercial laws. A discussion of Hanafi interpretations of issues relating to commercial transactions, including transfers of rights, is included.

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  • Islam, Muhammad Wohidul. “Dissolution of Contract in Islamic Law.” Arab Law Quarterly 13.4 (1998): 336–368.

    DOI: 10.1163/026805598125826184Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article explores different circumstances permitting termination of a contract by mutual consent of the parties, including death, expiry of contractual period, achievement of purpose, destruction of subject matter, revocation, termination for nullity and illegality, lack of constitutive elements, and breach. Hanafi perspectives are included along with those of other schools.

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  • Saleh, Nabil. “Remedies for Breach of Contract under Islamic and Arab Laws.” Arab Law Quarterly 4.4 (1989): 269–290.

    DOI: 10.1163/157302589X00136Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a comparative analysis of remedies for contractual breaches in Sunni schools, including in the Hanafi School. Modern legislation in Kuwait and Jordan is analyzed. The author finds that remedies for breach of contract that are available under classical fiqh are limited and unsatisfactory compared to those available under modern codes.

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  • Saleh, Nabil. “Definition and Formation of Contract under Islamic and Arab Laws.” Arab Law Quarterly 5.2 (1990): 101–116.

    DOI: 10.1163/157302590X00026Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This analysis of classical Islamic contract law and several modern commercial codes in Arab states contains comparative approaches to contract theories and elements among the various schools. The article is well organized by topic (including contracting processes and competence to transact) and codes (Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, and United Arab Emirates).

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  • Saleh, Nabil. “Freedom of Contract: What Does It Mean in the Context of Arab Law?” Arab Law Quarterly 16.4 (2001): 346–357.

    DOI: 10.1163/A:1013852318868Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a comparative analysis of issues relating to freedom of contract under classical Islamic law, including Hanafi doctrines, and more modern commercial codes. The author finds that although freedom of contract is fairly restricted under classical Islamic law, the way it is applied in modern codes is not dissimilar to Western concepts.

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Competition

Competitions, awards, and gambling are of interest in Islamic jurisprudence since they are commonly engaged in for recreation and also as a means of generating profit. Since these activities involve inherent risk and uncertainty, elements that usually restrict exercise, knowledge of correct criteria for implementation is important. Hashim 2003 provides a clear analysis of which types of competitions are permitted.

  • Hashim, Ashraf bin Md. “The Concept of Competition and Award in Islam.” Arab Law Quarterly 18.3–4 (2003): 309–325.

    DOI: 10.1163/0268055032342712Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article provides a clear analysis of which types of competitions are permissible when participants pay to compete, given Islamic prohibitions against gambling. Traditionally, only archery, horse racing, and camel racing were permitted, although Hanafi jurists also allowed running races by humans. The author concludes that competitions that do not involve awards are generally permissible.

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Criminal Law

Criminal law is one of the most frequently critiqued areas of Islamic jurisprudence in the modern era. Written in German, Johansen 1979 provides a good historical overview of the distinction between the Law of Man and the Law of God in Hanafi criminal jurisprudence. General backgrounds to Hanafi approaches to criminal justice issues can be found in Peters 2005 and Schneider 1995. Lange 2008 discusses applications of Hanafi criminal legal doctrine in the medieval period.

  • Johansen, Baber. “Eigentum, Familie und Obrigkeit im hanafitischen Strafrecht: Das Verhältnis der privaten Rechte zu den Forderungen der Allgemeinheit in hanfitischen Rechtskommentaren.” Die Welt des Islams, new ser., 19.1–4 (1979): 1–73.

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    The author analyzes the development of Hanafi penal law and the distinction between the Law of Man and the Law of God. He finds that while the former is strongly influenced by principles of equivalency, whereby offenders face penalties equal to the harm they caused, in the latter category principles of equivalency give way to considerations of public welfare.

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  • Lange, Christian. Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511497254Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a study of the theory and practice of punishment in the Islamic Middle Period under the Saljuq rulers of Iraq and Persia. Comparative approaches, including within the Hanafi School, to topics such as types and institutions of punishment, the structure and creatures of hell, and legal dimensions of punishment are included.

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  • Peters, Rudolph. Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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    This comprehensive analysis of Islamic criminal law between the 16th and 21st centuries is useful to gain an historical perspective and understanding of Islamic criminal legal issues. Substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, and the role of actors are outlined, and the relationship between Islamic criminal law and human rights standards is explored.

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  • Schneider, Irene. “Imprisonment in Pre-Classical and Classical Islamic Law.” Islamic Law and Society 2.2 (1995): 157–173.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519952599367Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Approaches taken by Hanafi and other Sunni scholars to issues of detention and imprisonment in pre-Classical and Classical periods are compared in this article. The author concludes that although Western categories of administrative, pretrial, and punitive detention existed in Islamic law, the latter two were used most frequently, especially in connection with debt. Corporal punishment was the most accepted form of punishment.

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Debtors and Creditors

Permissible methods of handling debtors vary among Sunni schools. Traditionally—and perhaps counterintuitively, given the tendency of Hanafi jurisprudence toward lenient, just results—recalcitrant debtors were dealt with in early periods more harshly under Hanafi doctrine than in other schools. Ziadeh 2000 provides a good background and comparative analysis of this topic.

  • Ziadeh, Farhat J. “Mulazama or Harassment of Recalcitrant Debtors in Islamic Law.” Islamic Law and Society 7.3 (2000): 289–299.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851900507652Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Hanafi perspectives on the treatment of debtors are examined in this short article. Divergent opinions among Abu Hanifa and his two companions are discussed, and contemporary applications of mulazama (harassment of debtors through constant pursuit) in Saudi Arabia are included.

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Fornication

Zina, or the penetration of a woman by a man not her husband, is one of the hudud offenses, punishment for which is the right of God. Calder 2010 gives a concise explanation of the rules governing zina, including rules of evidence, application, and punishment.

  • Calder, Norman. “The Hanafi Law on Fornication.” In Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era. Edited by Colin Imber, 22–73. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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    This is one of four chapters of an uncompleted book left behind when the author died in 1998. Although technical in nature, it contains a concise explanation of the substantive and procedural rules governing zina, a hadd offense. Interpretations of the rules by various Hanafi scholars are compared.

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Inheritance

Inheritance law and intestate succession are among the most complex topics in Islamic law. The two articles cited in this section attempt to simplify the field and make it understandable to nonexperts. Carroll 1983 is easier to understand than Anderson 1965, although Anderson is traditionally regarded as one of the great thinkers in this field.

  • Anderson, J. N. D. “Recent Reforms in the Islamic Law of Inheritance.” International Law and Comparative Law Quarterly 14.2 (1965): 349–365.

    DOI: 10.1093/iclqaj/14.2.349Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although no longer recent, this article describes the process of reforming longstanding Hanafi rules of inheritance, which the author claims were traditionally responsible for the “miserable position of Muslim wives.” The author demonstrates that uniformly applied and highly respected Islamic legal rules can be modernized. Inheritance and personal status codes in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Morocco, and Pakistan are analyzed.

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  • Carroll, Lucy. “The Hanafi Law of Intestate Succession: A Simplified Approach.” Modern Asian Studies 17.4 (1983): 629–670.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X00011094Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The laws of inheritance are among the most complex in all of the Sharia. The author gives clear explanations of Hanafi principles of intestate succession and includes a series of case studies. Her country studies focus on South Asia.

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Land and Property

Makdisi 2005 is unparalleled in the field of Islamic property law. The author compares Islamic principles, including relevant Hanafi doctrines, with similar common law issues. This book is probably most useful as a comparative textbook. Yanagihashi 2004 provides a historical analysis of the development of positive Hanafi and Maliki doctrines relating to property transactions. Ziadeh 1993 provides an overall good historical analysis. Johansen 1988 is highly technical and not for beginners, but it will be useful to readers interested in Islamic property law as well as those interested in juristic devices used to modernize Islamic law in general. Cuno 1995 offers a critique of Johansen 1988 and discusses Hanafi agrarian law in the 16th through 19th centuries.

  • Cuno, Kenneth M. “Was the Land of Ottoman Syria Miri or Milk? An Examination of Juridical Difference within the Hanafi School.” Studia Islamica 81 (1995): 121–152.

    DOI: 10.2307/1596022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author comments on Johansen 1988 and argues that the situation in Syria was not as simple as Johansen believed. He explores applications of agrarian law by Hanafi jurists in the 16th through 19th centuries. Included is a good overview of classical Hanafi law on taxation of property.

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  • Johansen, Baber. The Islamic Law on Land Tax and Rent: The Peasants’ Loss of Property Rights as Interpreted in the Hanafite Legal Literature of the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods. London: Croom Helm, 1988.

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    In this dense book, the author challenges views held by Schacht, Coulson, and Chehata that no significant changes in Islamic law took place after the 10th century. Using examples from property, rent, and taxation practices, he finds that Hanafite law did, in fact, change substantially during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods and that Hanafite jurists were aware they were creating new legal doctrines.

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  • Makdisi, John. Islamic Property Law: Cases and Materials for Comparative Analysis with the Common Law. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2005.

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    This is a thorough and detailed casebook that presents comparative analyses on the legal reasoning process, ownership interests in property, methods of acquiring property during life and upon death, rights and restrictions on transfer, and attacks on ownership under Islamic and common law theories. Hanafi opinions are included and analyzed along with those of other schools.

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  • Yanagihashi, Hiroyuki. A History of the Early Islamic Law of Property. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004.

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    This study of positive individual solutions to problems of civil liability, sales, and the prohibition of riba in the first centuries of Islamic property law focuses in part on the works of al-Shaybani and the development of Hanafi doctrine. The evolution of individual rules and doctrines into the Hanafi and Maliki Schools is also analyzed.

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  • Ziadeh, Farhat J. “Property Rights in the Middle East: From Traditional Law to Modern Codes.” Arab Law Quarterly 8.1 (1993): 3–12.

    DOI: 10.1163/157302593X00276Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Property rights according to the various Islamic schools, as applied during the medieval period, are compared here. These rights were characterized according to what type of taxes could be assessed and not according to what an owner was permitted to do with the land he owned.

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Marriage and Family Law

Some commentators state that Hanafi doctrines relating to family law issues are more restrictive than those found in the Maliki School, and that, therefore, the practice of takhayyur, choosing to follow a legal opinion outside one’s own school, is common among followers of Hanafi doctrine in cases of marriage and divorce. Anderson 1950 provides a good overview but is too technical to be useful to novice readers. Bousquet and Bercher 1953 will be useful for those who can read French. Mayer 1978 focuses on Libya, while An-Naim 2002 and Mallat and Connors 1990 are more global in scope. Siddiqui 1996 analyzes marital issues during a limited historical period. Yazbak 2002 discusses the specific issue of child marriages; this study and Siddiqui 1996 are based on fatwas.

  • Anderson, J. N. D. “Invalid and Void Marriages in Hanafi Law.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 13.2 (1950): 357–366.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0041977X00083506Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article outlines the development of Hanafi thought on the topic of invalid and void marriages and contains a discussion of modern Hanafi theory regarding marriage contracts. However, it is highly technical and requires a prior basic understanding of Islamic jurisprudence.

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  • An-Naim, Abdullahi A. Islamic Family Law in a Changing World. London: Zed Books, 2002.

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    This overview of family law issues was created as part of a research grant to explore possibilities of reform of Islamic family law from within the legal system. Presented is an overview of Muslim-majority countries in which Islamic family law is most relevant. Social, cultural, and historical backgrounds, as well as Hanafi legal perspectives, are included.

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  • Bousquet, G. H., and L. Bercher. Le statut personnel en droit musulman hanefite. Paris: Institut des Hautes Études de Tunis, 1953.

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    Written in French, this book contains annotated excerpts from the text on Hanafi interpretations of Islamic family law written by Mukhtasar al-Quduri, the head of the Hanafi School in Iraq between 974 CE and 1039.

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  • Mallat, Chibli, and Jane Connors. Islamic Family Law. London: Graham & Trotman, 1990.

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    The book begins with an overview of variable interpretations of Islamic family law in different contexts, and the author then provides an overview of Islamic family law as applied in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Information on the application of family law issues in Africa is notably missing.

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  • Mayer, Ann. “Developments in the Law of Marriage and Divorce in Libya since the 1969 Revolution.” Journal of African Law 22.1 (1978): 30–49.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0021855300008925Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although this article focuses mainly on Libyan state law regarding marriage, the author analyzes possible Sharia-based sources for legislation, including various Hanafi doctrines.

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  • Siddiqui, Mona. “Law and the Desire for Social Control: An Insight into the Hanafi Concept of Kafa’a with Reference to the Fatawa ‘Alamgiri, 1664–1672.” In Feminism and Islam: Legal and Literary Perspectives. Edited by Mai Yamani, 49–68. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

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    Kafa’a, generally translated as equality or compatibility between husband and wife, is a prominent feature in Hanafi jurisprudence on issues of marriage. The author presents the topic through an examination of the Fatawa ‘Alamgiri, a compilation of legal opinions from the years 1664–1672. She states that her purpose is not to engage in a sociological study, but rather to show the relationship between textual law and social norms.

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  • Yazbak, Mahmoud. “Minor Marriages and Khiyar al-Bulugh in Ottoman Palestine: A Note on Women’s Strategies in a Patriarchal Society.” Islamic Law and Society 9.3 (2002): 386–409.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851902320901206Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article focuses on traditional Hanafi doctrines relating to the marriage of minors and their right to seek annulment upon reaching the age of puberty. Hanafi and Maliki perspectives are compared.

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Medical Ethics

Perhaps surprising to some readers, medical ethics are at times interpreted more broadly in the Islamic medical community than in other contexts. Levey 1967 provides an excellent historical overview of the practice of medicine and related ethical issues around the 9th century, while Hedayat and Pirzadeh 2001; Padela, et al. 2011; Rispler-Chaim 1989; and Rispler-Chaim 2006 address contemporary biomedical ethical issues. In the modern era, medical ethics are most commonly addressed in fatwas issued by scholars and physicians.

  • Hedayat, Kamyar M., and Pirzadeh, Roya. “Issues in Islamic Biomedical Ethics: A Primer for the Pediatrician.” Pediatrics 108.4 (October 2001): 965–971.

    DOI: 10.1542/peds.108.4.965Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This short article is intended to serve as an introductory overview of Islamic medical ethics for pediatricians. Issues relating to birth, circumcision, breastfeeding, day care, adolescence, and end of life are covered.

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  • Levey, Martin. “Medical Ethics of Medieval Islam with Special Reference to Al-Ruhawi’s ‘Practical Ethics of the Physician.’” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, new ser., 57.3 (1967): 1–100.

    DOI: 10.2307/1006137Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article provides a good overview of medical practices common in the 9th century at the time Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi wrote his deontological treatise on medical ethics, in which issues such as relations between physician and patient and moral obligations arising during medical practice were addressed. The main purpose of al-Ruhawi’s treatise was to elevate medical standards in an era in which substandard medical practices were commonly delivered by charlatans.

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  • Padela, Aasim I., Shanawani, Hasan, and Arozullah, Ahsan. “Medical Experts & Islamic Scholars Deliberating over Brain Death: Gaps in the Applied Islamic Bioethics Discourse.” The Muslim World 101.1 (January 2011): 53–72.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-1913.2010.01342.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors state that the scope, methodology, and tools of Islamic bioethics remain open to debate. They argue that social scientists, Islamic legal scholars, policy experts, and clinical and administrative members of the transplant community, among others, should be included in the global discussion attempting to conceptualize Islamic bioethics. The example of brain death is used to illustrate gaps in the Islamic bioethical discourse.

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  • Rispler-Chaim, V. “Islamic Medical Ethics in the 20th Century.” Journal of Medical Ethics 15.4 (1989): 203–208.

    DOI: 10.1136/jme.15.4.203Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a very short (five-page), superficial overview of Islamic medical ethics. The author bases his analysis of medical ethics on fatwas and the opinions of classical Islamic jurists, including Hanafi scholars. He discusses ethical issues in the contexts of organ transplants, abortion, artificial insemination, blood transfusions, sterilization, cosmetic surgery, and the use of medicine during Ramadan.

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  • Rispler-Chaim, V. “Between Islamic Law and Science: Contemporary Muftis and Muslim Ethicists on Embryo and Stem Cells Research.” Comparative Islamic Studies 2.1 (2006): 27–50.

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    The author states that research in the Islamic scientific community is not hindered by the types of religion-based ethical constraints that impede research by scientists in Christian-oriented countries. He argues that public benefits gained from research conducted on stem cells and embryos outweigh any possible harm.

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Reproductive Rights

The nature and extent of reproductive rights vary among the four major Sunni schools. Omran 1992 provides a good overview of religious and legal perspectives on issues relating to family planning. Miller 2007 outlines the traditional approaches of each school; the author situates her analysis of contemporary trends within biopolitical, as opposed to purely juridical, aspects of modern discussions on sovereignty.

  • Miller, Ruth A. “Rights, Reproduction, Sexuality, and Citizenship in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.” Signs 32.2 (2007): 347–373.

    DOI: 10.1086/508218Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This analysis of the evolution of reproductive, sexual, and citizenship rights in Turkey is framed within the context of a 2003 May Day demonstration in Ankara, in which police grappled with security issues involving transsexual protesters. The evolving nature of citizenship, gender, sexuality, and reproductive rights among original Sunni scholars (including in the Hanafi School) and continuing into the present era is examined.

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  • Omran, Abdel Rahim. Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam. London: Routledge, 1992.

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    Data in this survey of Islamic views on family planning issues over the last fourteen centuries, prepared for the United Nations Population Fund, was current as of 1992. Included are perspectives on family planning and formation, spacing of children, fertility regulation, abortion, and aspects of the parent-child relationship. Guidance found in the Qur’an and Sunnah, including Hanafi interpretations, is provided.

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Slavery

Sharia’s true position on slavery is debated. While in some cases texts seem to validate the legality of servitude, in others agendas of freedom are more clearly supported. Clarence-Smith 2006 provides a comprehensive overview of Sunni, Shiʿa, and Sufi perspectives on this topic.

  • Clarence-Smith, William Gervase. Islam and the Abolition of Slavery. London: Hurst, 2006.

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    This is a comprehensive treatment of “the embarrassing institution” under Islamic law. Included are comparisons of perspectives on slavery among the various Sunni schools, including the Hanafi School, as well as under Shiʿism, Sufism, and customary law. The well-organized contents cover different types of slaves and their status, conditions of slavery, and paths to abolition.

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Torts

Few texts analyze duties of care whose breaches require financial compensation under tort theories of law. Bin Mohamad 2000 and Bin Mohamad 2001 present overviews of responsibilities relating to injuries caused by animals and the liability of one person for acts and omissions caused by another.

  • Bin Mohamad, Abdul Basir. “Vicarious Liability: A Study of the Liability of Employer and Employee in the Islamic Law of Tort.” Arab Law Quarterly 15.2 (2000): 197–205.

    DOI: 10.1163/A:1006781729435Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes vicarious liability, liability imposed on one person for acts or omissions of another that cause injury or loss to a third person, in the Islamic law of tort. Although this terminology does not specifically appear in classical books of fiqh, it is inherent in the concept of diyya, the payment of blood money on behalf of others

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  • Bin Mohamad, Abdul Basir. “The Islamic Law of Tort: A Study of the Owner and Possessor of Animals with Special Reference to the Civil Codes of the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan and Iraq.” Arab Law Quarterly 16.4 (2001): 333–345.

    DOI: 10.1163/A:1013804421594Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Hanafi perspectives on issues relating to owners and possessors of animals are compared with those of other Sunni and Shiʿa schools. Provisions of civil codes in several Arab countries are then contrasted. The author finds that relevant provisions in the codes of Iraq, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates mirror those found in classical Islamic law.

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Waqf (Trusts)

Waqfs have traditionally been very important in the study of Islamic law since schools have often been funded through their use. Some authors find that waqfs have been used to avoid inheritance rules or to fund new types of financial institutions. Hennigan 2004 and Makdisi 1981 provide good historical overviews; Makdisi 1981 is much easier to read for those without a prior background in Islamic and waqf law. Layish 1997 and Reiter 1995 analyze waqfs in the context of inheritance issues, and Mandaville 1979 examines the rise of cash waqfs, which did not exist prior to the 15th century. Shatzmiller 2001 will be of interest to readers following the debate about the role of traditional Islamic commercial law and practices and modern economic development.

  • Hennigan, Peter C. The Birth of a Legal Institution: The Formation of the Waqf in Third-Century A.H. Hanafi Legal Discourse. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 2004.

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    This is a comprehensive, technical analysis of issues relating to the law of waqf, which the author states provided the foundation for much of Islamic civilization.

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  • Layish, Aharon. “The Family Waqf and the Shar‘i Law of Succession in Modern Times.” Islamic Law and Society 4.3 (1997): 352–388.

    DOI: 10.1163/1568519972599716Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Sixty judgments of the Sharia Court of Jaffa relating to the founding of waqfs are analyzed, most of which were established pursuant to Hanafi rules in order to avoid compulsory inheritance restrictions. The author concludes that creating family waqfs makes it possible to prevent division of property among heirs but that the resulting sense of entitlement among founders’ male agnatic descendants contributes to the disintegration of extended families.

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  • Makdisi, George. The Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1981.

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    The law of waqf is analyzed in this book as it relates to the founding of various types of educational institutions. Some differences exist among the schools, and these are explored. Although technical terminology is included throughout this book, it is readable and informative and can be appreciated by readers with no prior background in Islamic legal issues.

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  • Mandaville, Jon E. “Usurious Piety: The Cash Waqf Controversy in the Ottoman Empire.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 10.3 (1979): 289–308.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0020743800000118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes the rise of cash waqfs, finding no evidence of them before the 15th century. Their creation during the Ottoman Empire carried great consequences in the opening of a governmentally controlled money market fund for small lenders and buyers. Although these trusts were popular in Ottoman times, they violated classical Islamic legal principles and were not seen in any other era.

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  • Reiter, Yitzhak. “Family Waqf Entitlements in British Palestine, 1917–1948.” Islamic Law and Society 2.2 (1995): 174–193.

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    Using endowment deeds and court decisions recorded in the Sharia Court of Jerusalem during the period of British rule in Palestine, the author compares the use of family waqfs in three circumstances—the right of females to transmit their entitlements to the next generation, the comparative treatment of males and females, and entitlements of orphan grandchildren—to classical Hanafi interpretations of inheritance law.

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  • Shatzmiller, Maya. “Islamic Institutions and Property Rights: The Case of the ‘Public Good’ Waqf.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44.1 (2001): 44–74.

    DOI: 10.1163/156852001300079148Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the economic performance of the public good waqf in order to demonstrate the relevance of the institution in the debate over the role of the waqf in economic development.

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Use in Court Proceedings

As lawyers know, the way laws are actually applied in legal proceedings can be very different from the way they appear on paper. The sources in this section discuss application of Hanafi doctrines in court cases. Johansen 1990 and Johansen 2002 analyze evidence and methods of proof. Mallat 2004 and Shaham 1997 analyze court proceedings during discrete historical periods in different geographic locations. Wakin 1972 analyzes the use by Hanafi jurists of written and oral evidence in court proceedings and in contract cases in particular.

  • Johansen, Baber. “Le jugement comme preuve: Preuve juridique et vérité religieuse dans le droit islamique hanéfite.” Studia Islamica 72 (1990): 5–17.

    DOI: 10.2307/1595773Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, written in French, the author discusses methods of proof and differences in the weight they are given in religious and judicial contexts.

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  • Johansen, Baber. “Signs as Evidence: The Doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jaawziyya (d. 1351) on Proof.” Islamic Law and Society 9.2 (2002): 168–193.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851902760227117Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this comparative study of methods of proof used in court proceedings during the Mamluk period, the author argues that theories of proof evolved in such a way that judicial torture as a means of obtaining confessions was de facto legalized. Hanafi theories of evidence and proof are discussed.

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  • Mallat, Chibli. “From Islamic to Middle Eastern Law: A Restatement of the Field (Part II).” American Journal of Comparative Law 52.1 (2004): 209–286.

    DOI: 10.2307/4144449Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article analyzes court proceedings and judgments in 17th-century Tripoli, where Hanafi jurisprudence was dominant. Details regarding judges, judgments, muftis, and fatwas are included along with facts in specific legal cases. Judicial procedures are presented and discussed at length.

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  • Shaham, Ron. Family and the Courts in Modern Egypt: A Study Based on Decisions by the Shari‘a Courts, 1900–1955. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 1997.

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    This is a study of judgments from the Sharia courts of Egypt, where the application of Hanafi doctrine is a legacy of the Ottoman Empire. Hanafi theories were undergoing change during the period of the study, and, by analyzing court records, the author is able to conclude that Egyptian elites were receptive to modernization while retaining a sense of romanticism about their legal tradition.

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  • Wakin, Jeanette A. The Function of Documents in Islamic Law: The Chapters on Sales from Tahawi’s Kitab al-Shurut al-Kabir. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1972.

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    This is a detailed analysis of methods of proof, including oral and written evidence, in court proceedings. The historical development of the use of various forms of evidence by Hanafi jurists is presented, with particular focus on the use of written evidence in contracts.

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Global Influence

As Islam spread around the world, Hanafi jurisprudence was interpreted and applied in varying ways. The prominence of Hanafi doctrine in Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Palestine, and Sudan is part of the legacy of Ottoman rule, whereas its role in Central Asia and the Caucasus is linked more directly to the ongoing influence of the University of Al-Azhar, where many Asian scholars are trained. Uniquely, Hanafi jurisprudence is privileged above doctrines of other schools in the constitution of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan

Hanafi doctrines have always played a central role in Afghanistan. In the recent era, the role of Islamic law and the Hanafi School came under scrutiny during the 2003–2004 constitutional process. Adamec 2003 provides a general historical overview, while Abou El Fadl, et al. 2003; Jones-Pauly and Nojumi 2004; and International Crisis Group 2003 discuss the recent constitutional process, in which the Hanafi School was given a residual role. Riphenburg 2004 discusses whether Hanafi jurisprudence is useful to women.

  • Abou El Fadl, Khaled M., Cheryl Bernard, Nina Hachigian, et al. Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2003.

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    This RAND conference report identifies ways in which the Afghan 2003–2004 constitutional process might contribute to democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. The potential role of the Hanafi School, which was ultimately incorporated into Article 130 of the Afghan Constitution, is discussed. Appendix A is an overview on the historical relationship between Islam and the state.

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  • Adamec, Ludwig W. Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003.

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    Included in this encyclopedia-style compilation of facts relating to Afghanistan is a summary of the historically dominant role of the Hanafi School.

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  • International Crisis Group. Afghanistan’s Flawed Constitutional Process. ICG Asia Report 56. Kabul, Afghanistan: International Crisis Group, 2003.

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    A good review of the historical role of Hanafi jurisprudence in past and present constitutions in Afghanistan is included in this report.

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  • Jones-Pauly, Christina, and Neamat Nojumi. “Balancing Relations between Society and State: Legal Steps toward National Reconciliation and Reconstruction of Afghanistan.” American Journal of Comparative Law 52.4 (2004): 825–857.

    DOI: 10.2307/4144467Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The role of Hanafi jurisprudence within Afghanistan’s pluralistic court system, including in official and unofficial courts, is discussed.

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  • Riphenburg, Carol J. “Post-Taliban Afghanistan: Changed Outlook for Women?” Asian Survey 44.3 (2004): 401–421.

    DOI: 10.1525/as.2004.44.3.401Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the status of women following the fall of the Taliban in three areas: family, health, and fertility. The historical role of Hanafi jurisprudence in customary and official courts, as well as in the 2004 Afghan Constitution, is discussed.

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Caucasus

The prominence of Hanafi doctrine in the Caucasus can be attributed in substantial part to the ongoing influence of al-Azhar University, where many scholars are trained. Bobrovnikov 2001 provides an overview of the role of scholars, including those in the Hanafi School, in this region.

  • Bobrovnikov, Vladimir. “Al-Azhar and Shari‘a Courts in Twentieth-Century Caucasus.” Middle Eastern Studies 37.4 (2001): 1–24.

    DOI: 10.1080/714004414Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article outlines the history of Islam in the Caucasus region and the influence of scholars, including Hanafi scholars, who were trained at al-Azhar University. The curriculum at al-Azhar is outlined, as is the role of the postgraduate diaspora. The author dismisses claims that Islamic centers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, including al-Azhar, support Caucasian Wahhabi ideology.

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Central Asia

The role of Islam and Islamic law in Central Asia, where the Hanafi School has long been prominent, has taken on greater interest in the past decade. Both articles in this section are readable and nontechnical. Whereas Khalid 2003 focuses exclusively on Uzbekistan, Gunn 2003 analyzes the role of Islam in Central Asia more broadly.

  • Gunn, T. Jeremy. “Shaping an Islamic Identity: Religion, Islamism, and the State in Central Asia.” Sociology of Religion 64.3 (2003): 389–410.

    DOI: 10.2307/3712492Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author discusses the struggle within the five formerly Soviet republics of Central Asia between Islamists and governments to reconfigure Islam and capture the allegiance of the population. Forces shaping Islam in Central Asia, including the Hanafi School, which is the traditional religious influence of most of the population, are analyzed.

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  • Khalid, Adeeb. “A Secular Islam: Nation, State and Religion in Uzbekistan.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 35.4 (2003): 573–598.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0020743803000242Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The role of Islam, including competing Hanafi and Wahhabi influences, in 20th-century Uzbekistan is examined in this article. The author concludes that although religious transformations over the past decade have been enormous, religious authority remains firmly under the control of the state.

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China

The role of Muslims in China has always been complex, and, in the works cited, the authors argue that, until relatively recently, Muslims have not actively attempted to assimilate into “mainstream” Chinese culture. Recent events in Muslim-majority parts of China will make these articles of interest to many readers. Israeli 1977 and Israeli 1978 do not end with an optimistic tone; Gladney 1995 is more objective.

  • Gladney, Dru C. “Islam.” Journal of Asian Studies 54.2 (1995): 371–377.

    DOI: 10.2307/2058742Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This short article summarizes scholarship on the influence of Islam in China, specifically among the population known as the Hui, the majority of whom follow the Hanafi School. Included is a summary of research carried out by Christian missionaries in the early 20th century.

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  • Israeli, Raphael. “The Incompatibility between Islam and the Chinese Order.” T’oung Pao 63.4–5 (1977): 296–323.

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    The author analyzes what he believes are fundamental incompatibilities between the practice of Islam in China and the Confucian Order and states that the Muslim presence in China has always posed a challenge to the Chinese establishment. The dominant role of the Hanafi School is discussed.

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  • Israeli, Raphael. “Established Islam and Marginal Islam in China from Eclecticism to Syncretism.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 21.1 (1978): 99–109.

    DOI: 10.1163/156852078X00044Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is an historical overview of Muslims in China. Islam came to China for the first time during the Tang dynasty (7th–10th centuries), but Muslims remained culturally, linguistically, and religiously separate from other Chinese until the Ming period (1368–1644), when local pressure resulted in Muslims taking Chinese names, adopting Chinese dress, and eliminating minarets from their mosques. A short reference to the dominant role of the Hanafi School is included.

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Egypt

Hanafi law has traditionally played an important role in Egypt. Berger 2005 and Pink 2003 discuss application of Hanafi doctrines with respect to non-Muslims. Mashhour 2005 and Shaham 1997 analyze family and marriage issues, and Shaham 2000 discusses the application of Hanafi law to situations involving freed slaves.

  • Berger, Maurits S. “Secularizing Interreligious Law in Egypt.” Islamic Law and Society 12.3 (2005): 394–418.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851905774608242Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article analyzes which law applies in cases of interreligious marriages in Egypt. When spouses of different religions marry, Egyptian law follows prevailing Hanafi opinions. The 1955 legal reforms did nothing to change this approach; the reforms created substantial changes within the framework but not to it.

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  • Mashhour, Amira. “Islamic Law and Gender Equality: Could There Be a Common Ground? A Study of Divorce and Polygamy in Sharia Law and Contemporary Legislation in Tunisia and Egypt.” Human Rights Quarterly 27.2 (2005): 562–596.

    DOI: 10.1353/hrq.2005.0022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article analyzes issues relating to gender equality under the laws of Tunisia and Egypt. Hanafi interpretations are found to be the most conservative, whereas Shaf’i and Hanbali interpretations are the most moderate. The most liberal perspectives are those found in the Maliki School. The principle of talfiq, allowing people to choose which school they prefer to follow in a given situation, is discussed.

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  • Pink, Johanna. “A Post-Qur’anic Religion between Apostasy and Public Order: Egyptian Muftis and Courts on the Legal Status of the Baha’i Faith.” Islamic Law and Society 10.3 (2003): 409–434.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851903770227601Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes court decisions and legal statements involving members of the Baha’i faith in Egypt. In 1955, Sharia courts were abolished. Jurisdiction in those cases was transferred to the personal status divisions of the national courts, which applied Hanafi law in the absence of other specific legal provisions on point.

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  • Shaham, Ron. Family and the Courts in Modern Egypt: A Study Based on Decisions by the Shari‘a Courts, 1900–1955. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, 1997.

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    This is a study of judgments from Sharia courts, in which Hanafi doctrine is applied as a legacy of Ottoman rule, in cases involving marriage, dower, maintenance, divorce, and intergenerational relations. Sijill, or court judgments, present unique insights into these issues since parties often candidly reveal intimate personal and family details that would otherwise remain unavailable for study.

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  • Shaham, Ron. “Masters, Their Freed Slaves, and the Waqf in Egypt, Eighteenth–Twentieth Centuries.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 43.2 (2000): 162–188.

    DOI: 10.1163/156852000511268Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author analyzes twenty-six Sharia court decisions from the first two decades of the 20th century to discover ways in which freed slaves benefited from waqfs founded by their former masters. Hanafi law had official status in Egypt during the period in question and was the basis upon which the waqfs were founded and administered.

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Eritrea

The Hanafi madhhab was officially introduced in the region now known as Eritrea by the Ottomans and gained adherence in groups in the eastern lowlands and northern highlands. Miran 2005 presents a good overview of the history of the school in this region.

India

Hanafi jurisprudence has played a central role in India since the arrival of Muslim conquerors from Central Asia in the 13th through 16th centuries. Guenther 2003 presents an historical overview of the early development of Hanafi fiqh in India, while Giunchi 2010 explores its use (and misuse) during the period of British colonization.

  • Giunchi, Elisa. “The Reinvention of Sharia under the British Raj.” Journal of Asian Studies 69.4 (2010): 1119–1142.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0021911810002895Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The use of Sharia, and Hanafi jurisprudence in particular, in India during the period of colonization is explored in this article. The author finds that selective use by the British of specific Islamic legal precepts at the expense of others out of a desire to create a system of adjudication favorable to their own interests ran counter to traditional principles of administration of justice and distorted accurate interpretations of Hanafi fiqh.

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  • Guenther, Alan M. “Hanafi Fiqh in Mughal India: The Fatawa-i ‘Alamgiri.” In India’s Islamic Traditions, 711–1750. Edited by Richard M. Eaton, 209–230. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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    This chapter traces the early development of Hanafi jurisprudence in India and analyzes the significance of the Fatawa-i ‘Alamgiri, a comprehensive manual of Hanafi fiqh commissioned by Aurangzeb, the great grandson of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

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Israel

The use of Hanafi doctrine in Israel originated during the period of the British Mandate, when Ottoman law retained a prominent role. Akzin 1956 and Bentwich 1964 provide good historical overviews, while Englard 1974 and Gottschalk 1961 analyze the delayed development of tort law in Israel. Elman 1968 analyzes a case of eminent domain.

  • Akzin, Benjamin. “Codification in a New State: A Case Study of Israel.” American Journal of Comparative Law 5.1 (1956): 44–77.

    DOI: 10.2307/838139Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although this article is dated and perhaps not of use in evaluating the current state of Israeli law, it includes a good analysis of the residual status of Hanafi-based Ottoman law shortly after Israel was created. Article 46 of the Palestine Order-in-Council, which specifies that jurisdiction of the civil courts shall be exercised in conformity with Ottoman law in force on 1 November 1914, is discussed.

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  • Bentwich, Norman. “The Legal System of Israel.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 13.1 (1964): 236–255.

    DOI: 10.1093/iclqaj/13.1.236Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The author, a former attorney general of Palestine, analyzes the legal systems of Palestine and Israel, and he states that, although many observers at first predicted they would be based on the Old Testament and the Talmud, they were, in fact, based on a combination of Ottoman, Islamic, French, and Jewish law. The influence of the Mejelle is discussed.

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  • Elman, P. “Compulsory Acquisition in Israel Law.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 17.1 (1968): 215–221.

    DOI: 10.1093/iclqaj/17.1.215Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This short article is an examination of a 1966 decision of the Israeli Supreme Court on the subject of the payment of compensation in a case of eminent domain, referred to here as compulsory acquisition. It contains a comparative study of how the issue was addressed historically and in other jurisdictions as well as treating the role of the Mejelle.

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  • Englard, Izhak. “The Law of Torts in Israel: The Problems of Common Law Codification in a Mixed Legal System.” American Journal of Comparative Law 22.2 (1974): 302–329.

    DOI: 10.2307/839279Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is an examination of the development of Israeli tort law twenty-five years after Israel was created. Included is a discussion of Ottoman law.

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  • Gottschalk, R. “The Development of the Law of Torts in Israel.” Modern Law Review 24.3 (1961): 345–354.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2230.1961.tb02181.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The development of the law of torts during the twenty-eight years of the Mandate Period is discussed, and judgments from several court cases are analyzed. Tort law developed very slowly, if at all, during this period, since applicable Ottoman law did not provide for compensation for injuries to the person and the Supreme Court was not willing to introduce the English common law of torts.

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Palestine

The current state of law in Palestine is highly complex due to its unique history and unsettled status. Welchman 2003 discusses applications of Hanafi jurisprudence, which retain residual influence when issues not covered by codes arise.

  • Welchman, Lynn. “In the Interim: Civil Society, the Shar‘i Judiciary and Palestinian Personal Status Law in the Transitional Period.” Islamic Law and Society 10.1 (2003): 34–69.

    DOI: 10.1163/15685190360560915Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article examines the complex web of laws that applied in 1994–2000 in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip following the Oslo peace accords. Under the Jordanian Law of Personal Status, which first came into effect following “unification” of the Palestinian West Bank with the East Bank of Jordan (1948–1967), dominant opinions of the Hanafi School retain residual legal status.

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Sudan

Ottoman Turks occupied the Sudan in 1820 and introduced a new court system, in which Hanafi law was applied in cases involving family and personal status issues. More than a century later, the influence of Ottoman law remains, and it is likely that, given recent events, the role of Islamic law and the Hanafi School in particular will continue to be of interest. Abu Rannat 1960, Fluehr-Lobban 1981, and Khalil 1971 provide good historical overviews of the pluralistic legal system of Sudan and the relationships among Islamic, customary, and codified laws.

  • Abu Rannat, Sayyid Muhammad. “The Relationship between Islamic and Customary Law in the Sudan.” Journal of African Law 4.1 (1960): 9–16.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0021855300000498Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    At the time this article was written, the court system of Sudan was divided into two separate hierarchies: the Sharia Division, in which Hanafi law was applied, and the Civil Division, in which Sharia law did not apply.

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  • Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. “Shari’a Law in the Sudan: History and Trends since Independence.” Africa Today 28.2 (1981): 69–77.

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    The author analyzes the historical role of Sharia in the courts of Sudan and states that although Sharia had an autonomous role during the period of British rule, it was frequently criticized and viewed merely as a faction of customary law.

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  • Khalil, M. I. “The Legal System of the Sudan.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 20.4 (1971): 624–644.

    DOI: 10.1093/iclqaj/20.4.624Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, the author analyzes the background of the legal system of Sudan in advance of the enactment of the Civil Code of 1971. Although the majority of Muslims in Sudan were Malikis, the law administered in Sharia courts was Hanafi. A regulation on the organization of the courts provided that the Grand Qadi could require that Hanafi interpretations be abandoned in favor of those of other schools.

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LAST MODIFIED: 05/28/2013

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195390155-0082

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