An edition of Diwan al-Ahkam al-kubra by `Isa b. Sahl (d. 486 A.H / 1144)
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The title of this thesis is "An Edition of Diwan Al Ahkam al-Kubra by `Isa b. Sahl Abi al-Asbag who died in the year 486 A. H. 1093. A. D. This work consists of two parts. The first part is the Arabic text, and the second is the English introduction. This thesis as a whole was intended to become three volumes but only the original copy is now in three volumes and the photocopies are in two volumes. The first volume ended at page number 727 and the second started with the subject of “Sura fima Tahalaf...” 11 page number 728 to the end of the Arabic text. The Arabic text contains the Arabic index of Diwan al-Ahkam al-Kubra, a few loose pages found with this book, the whole material of the master copy and all the additional pages found in copies R and A. The present Arabic text is the photocopy of a manuscript which was procured from The National Library in Algeria. It was listed under No. 1332, and it was used as a master copy of this thesis. The other nine copies have been utilised as supplementary material for the purpose of checking evidence, of comparing variants and for verification, where difficulties occurred in reading some lines or illegible words in the master copy. The English part consists of six chapters. The first chapter provides general information as an introduction to this thesis in locating the master copy, and the other copies. The second chapter provides an idea of A1-Awza’iy's doctrines in Andalusia during Abu A1-Asbag’s time, and how these doctrines appeared in Andalusia. Imam Malik's doctrines were discussed, and so was the method of how it was introduced there before the 'Isa b. Sahl's time. General ideas about Imam Malik and Abu Hanifa, their life and opinions, their schools in al-Madina and Iraq, and their different legal opinions were examined in this chapter. Also included in the chapter, is the influence of Malik's doctrines through his students, who introduced the doctrines into Andalusia. Also incorporated was the question of Egypt and her part in advancing Malik's doctrines into Andalusia, with reference to what was found in Abu al-Asbag's book, as a part of the establishment of Malik's doctrines in Andalusia and North Africa. The question of Al-Si`a’s doctrines in North Africa and Andalusia as a different school from the Sunna which began to reveal itself through the conflict between the other Sunna schools (Awza`iy, Maliki and Hanafi) was analysed. The third chapter concerned Legal organisation in Andalusia, the Powers and the Obligations of jurists. We referred in this chapter to Abu al-Asbag's words in his book and how-the legal procedures were organized during his lifetime. The duties and responsibilities of the judges in their different capacities were mentioned and evaluated in this section of the chapter, with reference to the legal cases of Abu al-Asbag's. There is a general examination of the various kinds of legal offices pertaining to the judges, such as Sahib al-Mawarit, Sahib al-Surta, and Sahib al-Madina. Mention was also made of some judges who held legal positions such as Sahib al-Bahar and Sahib al-Sika. Various forms of punishment were looked at with respect to individual crime, as issuing from the administration of legal authority. The fourth chapter deals with the author of the MS, his name, surname, place and date of birth, his teachers, qualifications for the legal profession, his journeys, his students, his later years and his death. There was the attempt to elucidate the historical evidence concerning the life and activity of the author, by employing both ancient and modern references available in and outwith Great Britain. The author's legal statements were quoted in order to give an idea about his legal practices. At the end of this chapter the conclusion was reached that Abu al-Asbag was a very well-known scholar, judge, jurist and legal adviser to the ruler. A few paragraphs were quoted showing the high esteem in which he was held. The fifth chapter of the thesis is given over to an analysis and a description of the Algerian copy (No. 1332) as a master copy. - A description of the other copies (R, A, B, D, H, F, S, The Royal Copy No. 2501, the missing copy No. 464D, and copy M) were given in full detail, with the different title of each copy. At the end of the chapter a key to the Arabic text is given. The sixth chapter deals with the classification of the legal topics covered in the author's book and their relationship to the Iraqi Laws, with consideration of the necessary legal topics. The thesis also deals with the author's legal opinions and his colleagues. It examines the author's conception of Islamic Law and Islamic Jurisprudence in Andalusia during the Muslim times. Also contained are photocopies of the first and the last pages of all MSS used in the work.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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