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Chapter One

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author feels that it would be idle to attempt to find new aspects of Islam's history of evolution as it has already been dealt exhaustively by Kremer and Sachau. According to the researches of the latter scholar, it cannot be doubted that the two designations ahl al-hadith and ahl al-ra'y originally referred to branches of legists occupied with the investigation of Islamic law. The former were concerned with the study of transmitted sources, and the latter with the practical aspects of the law. The so-called orthodox schools permit ra'y to be a determining factor in establishing Islamic law in a given case. The two extremes in this respect are Abu Hanifah and Dawud al-Zahiri. In the course of the development of these schools, this difference diminished through gradual concessions. The author feels it is necessary take note of the position ra'y occupies in Islamic jurisprudence.

Keywords: ahl al-ra'y; Abu Hanifah; ahl al-hadith; Dawud al-Zahiri; Islamic law; Kremer; Sachau



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