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The Qur'an in Shāfi῾ī's Risāla

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Chapter Summary

Patricia Crone has sought to survey a growing body of scholarship that focuses on legal passages in the Qurʾān whose meaning seems to have eluded early Muslim scholars. Actual discussion of the Sunna, its theoretical aspects and its use in example problems, predominates. The imbalance in the space allotted for discussion of the two sources could reflect the fact that the Qurʾān represented, for Shāfiʿῑ's, an already well-established source of law, in contrast to the Sunna, whose use as a source of law and as the exclusive supplement to the Qurʾān required an extended justification. On the basis of Shāfiʿῑ's use of the Qurʾān in the Risāla, then, there is ample justification for thinking that he is engaged in a post hoc rationalization of the Qurʾān's role as a source of law.

Keywords: Qurʾān; Risāla; Shāfiʿῑ



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