Innovation, Influence, and Borrowing in Mamluk-Era Legal Maxim Collections The Case of Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and al-Qarāfī

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Mariam Sheibani

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Recent scholarship has emphasized the contributions of the great Maliki jurist Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (d. 684/1285) to Islamic legal thought. However, al-Qarāfī’s compilation of legal maxims and distinctions, al-Furūq, has not yet been studied, nor has the collection of his teacher, the prominent Shafiʿi jurist Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām (d. 660/1262), known as al-Qawāʿid al-kubrā. Furthermore, the original thought of Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and his formative influence on al-Qarāfī have been understated. This article compares their two works to demonstrate that al-Qarāfī based his collection in large part on Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām’s al-Qawāʿid and it examines the techniques that al-Qarāfī used, which included reordering, refining, and supplementing borrowed maxims, and anonymizing references to his teacher. Most salient, however, is al-Qarāfī’s “Malikization” of maxims, which entailed replacing Shafiʿi doctrines and authorities with their Maliki counterparts and deploying maxims to defend Maliki doctrines. The article concludes by explaining al-Qarāfī’s authorial choices in light of his Maliki affiliation and the politics between the legal schools in Mamluk Cairo.




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