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Journal of Islamic Studies > Volume 4, No. 1, 1992

The Early Schools of Legal Thought in Islam ""Ahl Al-Hadith wa ‘Ahl Arra’ y”: A critical reading in the modern sources / Humaidan Abdullah Al-Humaidan

It is apparent from reading the modern sources on the history of Islamic Law, that the authorsof these sources divided the legal movements during the followers period “Attabi in" into two differenttrends. One of them was that of the Hijazi school, which according to those authors, based its legal deci-sion solely on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and they adhere to the letter of the law in them, without theuse of their independent reasoning “ra ‘y": therefore, they were called ‘Ahl Al-Hadith", thetraditionalists. The other school was that of the Iraqi jurists who in addition to basing their legal opinionson the primary sources, also regarded the use of independent reasoning “ra “y" as a valid source of legalopinions: therefore they were called " ‘Al Arra ‘y". The authors of the contemporary sources supportedtheir argument by several reasons to justify the differentiation between the two groups of jurists. The pur-pose of this study is to examine this argument, and look at its justification to see whether reasons such asthose given by the authors would be sufficient to accept their conclusion on the subject.

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