Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The legal and theological thought of Ibn Abī Zayd al -Qayrawānī (310-386 A.H. /922-966 C.E.)
by Rahman, Sayeed Sajjadur, Ph.D., Yale University, 2009, 404; 3392550
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the historical background, life, works, legal thought, and creedal statements of Ibn Abī Zayd (d. 386/996), a jurist from the city of Qayrawān in modern day Tunisia. He was one of the most significant scholars of the Mālikī legal school as attested to by the school's own biographical literature and the fact that his legal handbook, the Risālah, is still taught, studied, and commented upon to this very day throughout the Muslim world.

Chapter One establishes the historical background of his life and examines the Fāt˙imid takeover of North Africa and the subsequent response of both the Mālikī jurists and their new rulers. The chapter documents the shifting definitions of who was or was not a Muslim employed by the Mālikī jurists of Qayrawān in order to regain power in North Africa.

Chapter Two examines his life and works. A close examination of his life reveals that he had two distinct types of teacher. One group consisted of formally trained jurists while the other were men known for their piety. Although he was quite close to the latter group, they appear to have no discernable effect on his writings. An examination of his works reveals that he wrote on a number of topics, not strictly legal ones.

Chapter Three is an analysis of his legal thought through examining the sole existing copy of his Dhabb, a work written in defense of the Mālikī legal school. An analysis of the work reveals he was a creative jurist who encouraged his students to engage in new legal issues and debate legal matters.

Chapter Four studies the creedal statements found in his extant works and reconstructs his participation and position in two debates over creedal matters which divided the jurists of Qayrawān. In creedal matters, his thought was quite conservative. He discouraged his students from engaging in speculative theology (kalām) or engaging in any deep thought about theologically problematic Qur'ānic verses. The two debates he engaged in were over the correct verbal expression of faith and the performance of miracles by those deemed close to God.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bowering, Gerhard Heinrich
School: Yale University
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Law
Keywords: Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Rahman, Islamic law, Islamic theology, Maliki law, Qayrawan
Publication Number: 3392550
ISBN: 978-1-109-59578-9
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