Malik and Medina

Malik and Medina

Islamic Thought and Sources

Malik and Medina
Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period

Author(s): Umar F. Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf

Reviewed by: Shahrul Hussain, Ibn Rushd Centre of Excellence for Islamic Research, Birmingham, UK



The book under review is an analytical study of applied legal reasoning in Imam Malik’s famous Muwatta’ and Sahnun’s compilation of Malik’s fiqh, al-Mudawwanah al-Kubra. The author aims to present samples of positive law from the Muwatta’ and the Mudawwanah and show local and regional consensus and dissension, while providing philosophical explanation for both. This was done by following closely Imam Malik’s personal commentary and his own terminology. Although the title of the book is ‘Malik and Medina’, the author does not focus purely on Maliki jurisprudence, but also gives a broad survey of law in the formative period such as the legal thoughts of the jurists of Kufah, Makkah, Basrah and Syria. However, the book is fundamentally about the Madinan praxis ([amal ahl- al-madinah), a disputed subject at the time of Imam Malik, as he considered it to be a source of Islamic law while some of Malik’s contemporaries were critical of this approach.

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