a reconsideration 1 THE LEGAL HERMENEUTICS OF AL-SH¤FI®Á AND IBN QUTAYBA: A RECONSIDERATION * JOSEPH E. LOWRY (University of Pennsylvania) Abstract In a 1993 monograph Norman Calder argued that Sh¨fi®ÂÕs (d. 204/820) Ris¨la must be a product of the early fourth/ tenth centuries. CalderÕs argument, which has not been seriously challenged, rested mostly on a comparison of the Ris¨la Õs hermeneutic techniques with those of Ibn QutaybaÕs (d. 276/889) Ta¾wÂl mukhtalif al-½adÂth . A comparison of these two works shows that the evidence is much more equivocal than Calder allowed. Moreover, the overriding purposes of the two works differ to an extent which robs CalderÕs argument of much of its force. A close examination of the two authorsÕ hermeneutics shows, however, that Ibn QutaybaÕs relatively unsystematic Ta¾wÂl stands closer to classical u×âl al-fiqh in several important respects than does Sh¨fi®ÂÕs Ris¨la . The relationship between the two works is thus broadly consistent with their traditional datings and ascriptions. * Some of the work on this article was made possible by a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania during the spring semester of 2002. Several of the conclusions were first presented at
Islamic Law and Society – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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