THE DATE OF THE GREAT FITNA BY G. H. A. JUYNBOLL WHEN Schacht published his The origins of Muhamnaadan juris?ru- V V dence in 1950, the book immediately met with immense approval. However, no scholar has ever attempted to subject the mass of material contained in it to detailed criticism. Only N. J. Coulson, J. W. Fuck and A. Guillaume offered criticism of one or a few issues 1. The structure of the book with its numerous cross-references was so difficult that it obviously discouraged the reviewers from writing more than very superficial reviews 2. One of the theories Schacht set forth, which was never refuted but which did and does not find general recognition, concerns the date of the political event called al-fitna. This theory I should like to scrutinize in the following lines, thus hoping to make a contribution to a badly needed evaluation of Schacht's book. When thinking of the fitnas scholars in general have hitherto asso- ciated that immediately with the murder of the caliph `Utman in 35/656. Muslim tradition has it that on the day that 'Utman met his death the Islamic world entered upon the time of the fitna. Western scholars have
Arabica – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1973
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