The Theory of Jurisprudence in Islam
Dr. Sobhi Rayan
This study deals with the development of the theory of jurisprudence in Islam during the first two centuries of Hijrah, and analyses different views that had influence on jurisprudence rulings. This development is reflected in the appearance of two conflicting schools: the school of the Raa'yâ (personal view), which is based on free rational Ijtihād, and the Ḥadīth school which refers to the endeavor of a Muslim scholar to derive a rule of divine law through independent interpretation of the Qurʾān and Ḥadīth.
The triumph of Ḥadīth School constituted a sharp turning point in the development of jurisprudential theory, which narrowed the space of rational thought to the advantage of religious texts. It also contributed to the development of sciences and methods that are related to Ḥadīth of the Prophet and keep away from developing freethinking methods. This situation led to the stagnation of the jurisprudential theory, which changed from a theory capable of being developed and subject to criticsm into a fixed and stagnant one in both method and content.