The Zahiri <i>Madhhab</i> (3rd/9th-10th/16th Century): A Textualist Theory of Islamic Law

In this book, Amr Osman seeks to expand and re-interpret what we know about the history and doctrine of the Zahiri madhhab. Based on an extensive prosopographical survey, he concludes that the founder, Dawud al-Zahiri, was closer in profile and doctrine to the Ahl al-Ra'y than to the Ahl al-Hadith. Furthermore, Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi may have had a damaging effect on the madhhab, which never actually developed into a full-fledged school of law. By examining the meaning of `zahir' and modern scholarship on `literalism', he challenges the view that Zahirism was literalist, proposing `textualism' as an accurate reflection of its premises, methodology, and goals as a hermeneutical and legal theory.