ARBC 2031 The Four Doctrinal Schools of Islamic Law summary


I need 500 word module report on the matterial I provide in the files! Also Read the assigned reading:George Saliba, Islamic Science, and the Making of the European Renaissance, MIT 2007, chap. 2. Only chapter 2! Also I put in an email she has sent to get a gage on it! Thank you so much!


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ARBC 2031 Arts Sciences and
Technology through History
Fall 2018
Tuesday and Thursday 3:00-4:15 Swann Building 206
The Four Doctrinal Schools of Islamic Law
• The Four Doctrinal Schools of Islamic Law
• The Rise of the Abbasid Caliphate(749/750-1051)
• Centers of Knowledge during the 8th C.
• The Translation Movement from Greek to Arabic
• Development of Kalam and Philosophy
The Rise of the Abbasid Caliphate(749/750-1051)
Malik (711-795) leans more towards deriving legal rulings based on the everyday life
practices of the people of Medina
• The name is derived from that of the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, al-?Abbas (died c. 653)
Abu Hanifa (699-767) leans more towards deriving legal rulings based on ra’y (inductive
• Around 718, members of al-‘Abbas’s family worked to gain control of the empire from the
Umayyads and, by skillful propaganda(claiming the Caliphate in the name of ‘Ali and his sons),
won much support, especially from Shi?ite Arabs and Persians in Khursan
Shafi ‘i (767-820) was a student of Malik. He is the first to make a distinction between
sunna and hadith. He is the first to emphasize the importance of a legal theory training for
the jurisprudent.
Ibn Hanbal (780-855) leaned more towards the textual sources of law with immense
emphasize on hadith.
• .It was not until 747, under the leadership of Abu Muslim al-Khurasani (the general of the Abbasid
Empire) led to the defeat of Marwan II, the last Umayyad caliph, at the Battle of the Great Zab
River (Northern Iraq today 750) in Mesopotamia and to the proclamation of the first Abbasid
caliph, Abu al-‘Abbas al-Saffah.
The Rise of the Abbasid Caliphate(749/750-1051)
The Rise of the Abbasid Caliphate(749/750-1051)
• Unlike the Umayyads who focused on the West—on North Africa, the Mediterranean, and
southern Europe—the Abbasside caliphate turned eastward.
• Unlike the Ummayd, whose sense of “Arabness” was the undercurrent of their rule, the ?Abbasids
emphasized membership in the community of believers rather than “Arabness.” This what would
leading historian Ibn Khaldun refers to as the “asabiya of the mawali.”
• The capital moved to the new city of Baghdad.
• For the first time, the the caliphate was not one entity anymore. The Ummayd prince ‘Abd al-
Rahmman al-Dakhil reinstated the Ummayd Dynasty in Morocco and Southern Spain.
Centers of Knowledge during the 8th C.
• Between 750 and 833 the ?Abbasids invested in promoting commerce, industry, arts, and science,
particularly during the reigns of al-Mansur, Harun al-Rashid, and al-Ma?mun (r. 813-833).
The Translation Movement from Greek to Arabic
• The House of Wisdom
• Abbasid Figures of the Translation Movement
• Al-Kindi, Ishaq Ibn Hunayn, ‘Isa Ibn Yahya, Bishr Matta, Yahya ibn ‘Adi
• How much of the Greek Works survived?
• Aristotle’s Metaphysics and De Caelo
• some writings by Alexander of Aphrodisias (most of them of a cosmological
• Plotinus’ Enneads IV–VI,
• Elements of Theology by Proclus.
Al-Kindi-The Philosopher of Islam
Development of Kalam (Islamic dialectical or
speculative discourse)
Al-Kindi initiated the incorporation of the
Aristotelian and Neoplatonic doctrines; at the
same time, he reproduced them in his
philosophical works.
• Kalam’s development in relation to fiqh
Schools of Kalam by the 10th C.
Schools of Kalam by the 10th C.
The Mu‘tazilites
The Mu‘tazilites
• Rejected the literalist reading of the Qur’an
• Maintained that the Qur’an had to be read through the lens of what logic
and reason require.
• Thus, for instance while the Qur’an ascribes a number of attributes to God,
such as having sight, hearing, power will, and others, the Mu ‘tazilites
argued that if taken at face value these ascription would undermine divine
unity, uniqueness and “unicity of God”(tawhid) for if there are distinct
attributes in God and each one of them is divine, there would be multiple
divine things, all equally deserving of being a divinity.
• Ahl al-ra’y vs ahl al-hadith
• Kalam’s development in relation to “philosophy”
• Kalam prefers an ontology of atoms and accidents
• Philosophy favored continuous magnitudes, potentially divisible infinitely
• For the same reason Mu‘tazilities argued that the Qur’an, despite its
claims, could not literally be the word of God but had to be created;
for if it were not created, then it to would have to be eternal and so
worthy of being a god.
Schools of Kalam by the 10th C.
The Mu‘tazilites
• Another doctrine in need of reinterpretation, or so the Mu‘tizilites
believed, was that of divine determinism, which reserved all power
and all causality for God.
• They argued that if God were to cause every act including human acts
of volition, such as to sin or to submit to God, then divine justice
would be jeopardized for surely God does not punish or reward us
based upon what God himself does.
Schools of Kalam by the 10th C.
The Ash‘arites
• They were a branch of the the Mu‘tazilites
• They were influenced by the views of traditionalist Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, who is reported to have distrusted
reason and logic
• The foundation of the school is attributed to Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari, who appreciated logic and reason, but
they thought there were limits to reason and logic.
• Those limits were reached when it came to things divine. Concerning these issues, one simply has to rely of
what was revealed about God in the Qur’an.
• The Ash’ari affirmed those attributes ascribed to God as well as the Quran being the uncreated word of God.
• While God does create events and every event here on earth, humans nonetheless, acquire (kasb)
responsibility for those actions, good or bad, that are done through us.
• These doctrines, they maintained, simply have to be accepted without asking how (bila kayf)

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