Islamic Law in an Age of Crisis and Consolidation: 'Izz Al-Din Ibn 'Abd Al-Salam (577-660/1187-1262) and the Ethical Turn in Medieval Islamic Law
In addition to reconstructing the life, scholarly formation, and thought of Ibn 'Abd al-Salam, this dissertation also situates him within a broader history of Shafi'ism in the two preceding centuries. It demonstrates that his legal philosophy evolved from the intellectual legacy of the Khorasani Shafii community, which was one of two major Shafii communities in the fourth/tenth and fifth/eleventh centuries, the other being in Iraq. It reconstructs in broad strokes Khorasani and Iraqi Shafi'ism during this understudied period, showing that the Khorasani interpretive community represented the more analytical, systematic, and rationalizing branch of Shafi'ism, while the Iraqi community, in contrast, tended to privilege a conservative and transmission-based approach to the law that resisted rational engagement in both legal theory and theology. It traces how the intellectual legacies of both communities vied for influence in Ayyubid Damascus, even as formal attribution to the Khorasani and Iraqi lines of the school gradually ceased. Finally, this study furthers our understanding of two important conceptual tools of Islamic law, legal maxims and maslaha, explored through the thought of an important figure in their development.
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