Notes on Ibn Hazm's Rejection of Analogy (Qiyas) in Matters of Religous Law

  • Published in Law

Ibn Hazm (994-1064) was no doubt one of the most outstanding intellectual figures of Muslim Spain in particular and of the whole Muslim world in general. Though it is beyond the purpose and scope of this paper to give a complete profile of the man and his place in the intellectual history of Islam, it remains necessary to make some introductory remarks that would help in understanding the topic under discussion?

In Ibn Hazm’s scholarly preparation the second stage was characterized to be a juridic-theological preparation to which he fully devoted himself following his political failure; the year 1031 is usually proposed to be the turning point in this new orientation of Ibn Hazm’s intellectual life. It was during this second stage that he wrote profusely on a variety of subjects and distinguished himself as a master dialectician and polemicist. His major works on religious matters such as Fisal, Ihkam, and Muhalla were the products of this period; in them as well as in many other treatises, Ibn Hazm discusses his religious ideas and doctrine and enthusiastically refutes his adversaries. “ As a master dialectician he insisted on proofs (barahin), whether arrived at on the basis of the holy texts (nusus), or through logical demonstration, or both.” His use and reliance on analysis of textual material and information was perhaps the most clear feature of Ibn Hazm’s polemics; this method was always in  conformity with his Zahirite doctrine; and was largely employed in his disputation with Jews, Christians, or his co-religionist opponents.

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