1st International Ibn Khaldun Symposium

İbn Haldun’un Fıkhı Birikimi ve İslâm Hukuk Tarihiyle İlgili Görüşleri(Mukaddime Çerçevesinde)

Ferhat Koca

Last modified: 07-09-2017

Abstract (400-500 words)

That which gives Ibn Khaldun, a man who struggled in life, social and political arenas, his claim to fame in the history of Islamic thought are the ideas put forward in the timeless work al-Muqaddimah, in particular his original theories and thoughts on history and sociology. Alongside of this, in the same work, he not only focuses on historical and sociological matters, but also provides a variety of information on the qualities and historical development of almost all basic Islamic sciences. One of the sciences about which he put forward his thoughts is fiqh, or what we call today “Islamic jurisprudence”. As well as providinginformation about fiqh, we can find some evaluations by Ibn Khaldun of the sub-topics of faraid (inheritance law), the method of fiqh, and polemics. Moreover, serving as aninstructor in fiqh (as a muderrislik) in a number of madrasa in Egypt, he himself, as headjudge of the Maliki sect, made a contribution to the education and instruction of fiqh as wellas introducing some rulings. However, at this time, there were people opposed to him who questioned his approach, particularly in connection with his work on fiqh.In this article we examine the work Ibn Khaldun carried out on fiqh, and particularly in the work called Mukaddime, his thoughts and conclusions in connection with the history of Islamic Law are evaluated, particularly that of his umran theory.According to the information given in el-Ta‘rif bi-lbn Khaldun wa rihlatuhu qarban ve sharqan,a work that explains Ibn Khaldun’s own life, Ibn Khaldun received basic religious training until the age of 18 and later began to work in politics and administration. During thisperiod of his basic education, he studied, as part of the curriculum of the period and per tradition, the Qur’an, hadiths, Islamic jurisprudence, methods of jurisprudence and Islamic philosophy, as well as studying rational sciences like philosophy and logic. Among theworks he read concerned with Islamic jurisprudence were Imam Malik’s al-Muwatta,Sahnun’s al-Mudawwana, Asad b. al-Furat’s al-Asadiyya, Utbi’s al-Utbiyya, Ibn al-Hajib’sal-Muhtasar and some of his commentaries, Ibn Habib’s al-Wadiha, as well as other basicMaliki sources. Moreover, he worked as a teacher of Islamic jurisprudence (mudarris) in the Qamhiyya and Barquqiyya (Zahiriye) madrasas and as a head judge of the Maliki sect.In his work et Ta'rif Ibn Khaldun does not provide any information concerning the reasonswhy some were opposed to him as head judge of the Maliki sect, but rather constantlyaccused them of being “creators of defeatism and plotters”. In our opinion, Ibn Khaldun,along with other experts trained in canonical law like al-Qayravani, Qadi al-Baqillani, IbnArabi, Qadi ‘Abdulwahhab, Abu Walid al-Baji, Ibn Rushd el-Jadd, Ibn Rushd al-Hafid, Qadilyad, Ibn Hajib, Ibn Farhun and al-Qarafi, was a great scholar; in addition to this, the education he received in fiqh and his life-long experience were very wide and deep, giving him the ability to be the head judge of the Maliki sect and enabling him to make many interpretationson the history of Islamic law.On the other hand, in the work al-Ta‘rif and al-Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun, from the beginning of Islam to his own period he gives a great deal of information about the development of the history of Islamic law and its literature. In particular, a great deal of information concerned with the degeneration experienced in the organization of the Iraqi (provincial administration) in Egypt at the period in which he lived is given in al-Muwatta, while inet-Ta‘rif there is information about the founder of the Maliki school, Imam Malik. At the same time, while giving information about polemics in al-Muqaddimah, he asserts that due to the selection of opinions, previous works and rational evidence in the Islamic legal schools, that while the Hanafis used qiyas (arriving at a judgment through comparison) in many of the secondary subjects and were, for this reason, skilled at nazar (debate) and research, the Malikis, on the other hand, depended on works and reports and therefore were not skilled at debate (ahl al-nazar). Moreover, he says that many of the Malikis were from North Africa - and with few exceptions - were Bedouins unaware of the arts of debate and discussion. Thus, in his evaluations on the history of Islamic jurisprudence, Ibn Khaldun presents a great parallel to his ‘umran theory.


Ibn Khaldun; Islam law