Applying the Canon in Islam: The Authorization and Maintenance of Interpretive Reasoning in Hanafi Scholarship

Front Cover
SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Philosophy - 324 pages
Using examples from Islamic law, Ndembu divination, and Aranda religion, this book argues how the notion of "canon" is used to authorize and maintain certain types of interpretive reasoning and the social institutions that employ them. The bulk of the book outlines how the Hanafi school of Islamic law was able to legitimize itself by extending the canonical authority of the Quran to the sunnah of the prophet, the opinions of selected local authorities, and the scholarship of earlier generations. The Hanafi example shows that the application of canon is not about overcoming the limits of a "closed" text but rather about imposing limits on a range of interpretations made possible by a variegated and malleable textual corpus.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Authorization of Exegesis
17
Restricting Authority to the Classical Schools
67
The Logic of the Opinions
115
Maintenance of Authority
167
Conclusions
225
Notes
241
Bibliography
291
Index
319
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 1 - ... tradition, taking the term in its widest sense, in particular those elements that are concerned with canon and exegesis. That is to say, bracketing any presuppositions as to its character as revelation (and from this question, the historian of religion must abstain), the radical and arbitrary redirection represented by the notion of canon and the ingenuity represented by the rule-governed exegetical enterprise of applying the canon to every dimension of human life is the most characteristic,...
Page 4 - Ndembu ng'ombu yakusekula, which means literally, "divination by shaking up or tossing (objects in a basket)." The diviner keeps a set of from twenty to thirty objects of various shapes, sizes, and colors in a round basket with a lid. When he divines he places these objects in a round, flat, open basket (Iwalu) of the type used by women to winnow millet, shakes them and throws them up so that they form a heap at the far side of the basket. He examines the top three or four objects, individually,...
Page 5 - ... village in the neighbourhood cluster of villages where the deceased person lived. Everyone in the neighbourhood was expected to attend and failure to attend •was a cause of suspicion. The diviner had to make a sound appraisal of the balance of power between rival factions interested in the death, who were present at the public gathering. If he did not, and gave an unpopular verdict, he was likely to be in some danger himself. Many diviners sought the protection of a chief and performed near...
Page 1 - ... taking the term in its widest sense, in particular, those elements of the theological endeavor that are concerned with canon and its exegesis. That is to say, bracketing any presuppositions as to its character as revelation (and from this question, the historian of religion must abstain), the radical and arbitrary reduction represented by the notion of canon and the ingenuity represented by the rule-governed exegetical enterprise of applying the canon to every dimension of human life is that...
Page 7 - ... deceased, the relationship between the deceased and the clients, the kind of grudge cherished by a kinsman against the deceased, and so on. Once he has established the basic sense of the substantival symbol he can allocate senses to the modifiers. Here the vagueness and flexibility of the referent series of each symbol leave him free to make a detailed interpretation of the symbol configuration which corresponds to the diagnosis he is making of the state of relationships between his clients and...

About the author (1996)

Brannon M. Wheeler is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and History at Pennsylvania State University.

Bibliographic information