When thoughtful Greeks experienced distress at the disorder within and the warfare between their societies, some of them, such as Socrates, Plato and others, began to question its causes and then to enquire as to the right way to live as individuals and in societies. It was for this reason that Plato established the Academy.

Today the word ‘Academic’ does not convey any of that human or societal concern, but rather an obsession with exactness and rigour, which are useful as means but not ends in themselves. It must be beyond time for new academics motivated by concern for themselves and others and utilising the skills of careful scholarship to serve that purpose.

Towards the Greater Integration of Islam in Britain – Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley

Towards the Greater Integration of Islam in Britain – Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley

These resources may be useful to understand Shaykh Abdalhaqq’s reference to the relationship between the foundation of the Inns of Court and some aspects of Common Law such as the jury system:

Pre-madhhab fiqh – Aisha Bewley

Title: Pre-Madhhab Fiqh

Author: Hajja Aisha Bewley

Reader: Uthman Ibrahim-Morrison

Publication date: 16/2/2013

Assalamu alaykum. Welcome to the Muslim History Programme of the MFAS. This is the third of 12 sessions which make up the Madhhabs of Islam module. Today’s lecture on pre-madhhab fiqh has been prepared by Hajja Aisha Bewley who, unfortunately, is not available to present it in person. Therefore, I will do my best to read it out on her behalf. The lecture will last approximately 40 minutes during which time you should make a written note of any questions that may occur to you for clarification after the lecture, which under the circumstances will be addressed to the Dean, the DoS and myself. 

Pre-Madhhab Fiqh

When we think about fiqh, we think of the various schools or madhhabs existing today: the Malikis, the Hanafis, the Shafi’is and the Hanbalis. None of these, of course, existed in the time of the Prophet a or the Companions. They are the result of a historical process which extended over generations, each with its own particular process. Most of the schools of fiqh are attributed to their founders in view of their role in their historical formulation: the Hanafis from Abu Hanifa, the Malikis from Imam Malik, the Shafi‘is from Imam ash-Shafi’i, the Hanbalis from Ahmad ibn Hanbal. These are quite late: Abu Hanifa lived from 80 to 148 AH and Imam Malik from 93 to 179 AH, and the other two are later still, ash- Shafi’i lived from 150 to 204 AH and Ibn Hanbal from 164 to 241 AH. There were earlier schools which have since disappeared: like the Syrian school of al-Awza‘i (88 to 158 AH) who rejected ra’y and relied solely on hadiths and the custom of the Companions as a “living tradition”. There were a number of other schools as well, but these are the four Sunni schools still existing. 

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