MARIAM SHEIBANI, VISITING FELLOW, PROGRAM IN ISLAMIC LAW (PIL), HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
This paper analyzes two early compilations of legal canons and distinctions by Mamluk-era jurists: the Qawāʿid by the Shāfiʿī jurist ʿIzz al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Salām (d. 660/1262) and the Furūq by his student, the Mālikī jurist Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (d. 684/1285). A close comparison of these unexamined collections demonstrates that al-Qarāfī based his collection in large part on his teacher’s Qawāʿid and incorporated most of its material into his Furūq. To date, this intellectual debt has remained undetected because al-Qarāfī never directly acknowledged his borrowings, and instead skillfully reordered, adapted, and supplemented his teacher’s canons. Furthermore, he relied on Mālikī doctrines and authorities to substantiate his canons. This ‘Malikization’ effectively obfuscated al-Qarāfī’s debt to IbnʿAbd al-Salām, while successfully indigenizing in the Mālikī school a discursive analysis of the law in the language of canons. This ‘anxiety of influence’ displayed by al-Qarāfī offers a unique window into the tensions surrounding cross-madhhab education and influence in Mamluk Cairo, particularly among Mālikī jurists vis-à-vis their more dominant Shāfiʿī contemporaries. It also sheds light on the uses of the emerging genre of legal canons, its interrelations with legal distinctions and purposes (maqāṣid) literatures, and broader practices of borrowing, transmission, and authorship in Mamluk literature. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to PIL@law.harvard.edu.