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Huqūq Allāh and Huqūq al-'Ibād: A Legal Heuristic for a Natural Rights Regime

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This article shows that early Muslim jurists often created rules that had no foundation in the Qur'ān or Sunna. Their successors adopted these views as authoritative precedent, but not without further justifying them. Their justificatory reasons reflected background values concerning inherent qualities of the individual and the goods society must uphold in order to give substantive content to their legal determinations. Recourse to these values, whether implicit or explicit, illustrates how Muslim jurists incorporated naturalistic reasoning in their juridical analyses. To prove their implicit naturalism, this article focuses on how Sunnī Muslim jurists primarily from the 2nd/8th-10th/16th centuries used the conceptual heuristic of "rights of God" and "rights of individuals" (huqūq Allāh, huqūq al-i'ibād) as an interpretive mechanism to frame their naturalistic assumptions and apply them in legal analysis to create and distribute rights, duties, and public commitments.


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