A Critical Edition and Translation of al-Shuhāwī’s al-Tirāz al-mudhhab


With the stabilization of the madhhabs and thier gaining of a mass following, certain principles and rules of fatwa (judgement) and muftiship gradually began to crystallize. It was particularly from the seventh/thirteenth century onward that works on these procedures and rules were being written. Separate studies on this particular genre in the Ĥanafī madhhab had nonetheless started in periods much later in comparison to other madhhabs. The reasons for why separate works on this genre were being written within the Ĥanafī school deserves to be revisited. The work entitled al-Ŧirāz al-mudhhab fī tarjīh al-śaĥīh min al-madhhab by the Egyptian Ĥanafite jurist Muĥammad Badr al-Dīn al-Shuhāwī shows that Ĥanafī fatwa methodology in fact began – contrary to what is widely known – one or two centuries earlier. Shuhāwī takes into consideration many important issues regarding fatwa methodology, and in particular, he draws attention to which opinion should be taken as a basis when there are different opinions within the madhhab. What is further remarkable is that he specifies the particular book that should be taken as a basisprincipal. Shuhāwī engages in differentiating between žāhir al-riwāya and nādir al-riwāya narrations; when to resort to nādir al-riwāya; how should the mufti act when there is a difference of opinion in the madhhab’s books and when an opinion is corrected in the fatwa books; that Abū Yūsuf, Muĥammad and Zufar are not absolute (muŧlaq) mujtahids, that they do not, in actuality, oppose Abū Ĥanīfa, and that all of their views consist of choosing a narration from Abū Ĥanīfa.


Islamic Law fatwa fatwa methodology Ĥanafite madhhab Badr al-Dīn al-Shuhāwī al- Ŧirāz al-mudhhab