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Shāfi῾ī's Concept of the Bayān

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Chapter Summary

This chapter, presents concept of the b aϒān, and discusses its implications as a theory of law, and shows how it relates to the construction of both the theory and the argument presented in the Risāla. The chapter will survey modern scholarly accounts of Shafi'i's notion of the baϒān and then the reception of that notion in a number of primary uṣūl al-fiqh texts. Ibn Aqīl clearly understood that Shāfīi's concept of the baϒān comprised, at some level, individual hermeneutical techniques for teasing rules out of texts. But it is not at all clear whether he also perceived that, for Shāfīi', it also constituted the fundamental building block of a unified theory of theology, revelation, law, and legal hermeneutics. By the term baϒān the author means, just as almost all later authors do, the clarification of one text by another, and he considers it merely one hermeneutical technical term among many.

Keywords: Baϒān; Shāfīi's



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