Islamic Legal Genres – Anas Sarmini

On September 29, 2021, Anas Sarmini (29 Mayis University, Istanbul) presented “Form, Function, and Historical Development of Ikhtilāf al-fuqahāʾ as a Genre.” Sarmini’s lecture described the historical development of ikhtilāf literature over three phases, and the influence of two intellectual currents in forging this genre of Islamic law. Ikhtilāf, or legal controversy, was an important way of articulating differences within a single legal school, between legal schools, and finally, the current waning of the madhhab systems among many practitioners of Islamic law. According to Sarmini, the term ikhtilāf itself appears in some of the earliest legal texts and, as a genre, the term encompasses texts that present controversies in the realm of furūʿ al-fiqh, outlining the various opinions that arise between scholars. These differences are the result of what Sarmini considers to be an organic part of the interpretive process across time and space; what he calls “intellectual schools” (madāris fikriyya). Read more on our blog and watch the video today.