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1 Dāwūd al-Ẓāhirī and the Beginnings of the Ẓāhirī Madhhab

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Chapter Summary

As a first step toward studying the trajectory of the Ẓāhirī madhhab, this chapter discusses what medieval sources, which sources include biographical dictionaries and works of legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) and jurisprudence (fiqh), report about the life and doctrines of Dāwūd al-Ẓāhirī. In the 3rd/9th century, Baghdad was a vibrant place where competing theological, legal, and political views were debated, and where plenty of scholars offered their knowledge to interested students. Most medieval works emphasize Dāwūd's rejection of qiyās as the doctrine that distinguished him, a (mis)conception that the writings of some the Ẓāhirī on qiyās may have confirmed. It has also been observed that Dāwūd's students and early followers disagreed on some issues. Medieval sources do not mention any views of Ẓāhirī scholars with regard to some subjects on which Dāwūd reportedly had written. Exceptionally, views of later Ẓāhirī scholars on some issues, notably majāz and naskh, are reported.

Keywords: Ẓāhirī madhhab; Baghdad; Dāwūd al-Ẓāhirī; medieval sources



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