Malikiyyah is the second of the Sunni
Islamic schools of jurisprudence.
The sources of Maliki
doctrine are the Qur'an, the Prophet's
traditions (Hadith), consensus (Ijma'),
and analogy (Qiyas). The Malikis'
concept of Ijma' differed from that
of the Hanafis in that they understood
it to mean the consensus of the community
represented by the people of Medina.
(Overtime, however, the school came
to understand consensus to be that
of the doctors of law, known as 'Ulama.)
Imam Malik's major contribution to Islamic
law is his book al-Muwatta (The Beaten
Path). The Muwatta is a code of law
based on the legal practices that
were operating in Medina. It covers
various areas ranging from prescribed
rituals of prayer and fasting to the
correct conduct of business relations.
The legal code is supported by some
2,000 traditions attributed to the
Malikiyyah was founded by Imam Malik
ibn Anas (c.713-c.795), a legal expert
in the city of Medina. Such was his
stature that it is said three 'Abbasid
caliphs visited him while they were
on Pilgrimage to Medina. The second
'Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur (d.775),
approached Imam Malik with the proposal
to establish a judicial system that
would unite the different judicial
methods that were operating at that
time throughout the Islamic world.
The school spread westwards through Malik's
disciples, becoming dominant in North
Africa and Spain. In North Africa
Malikiyyah gave rise to an important
Sufi order, Shadhiliyyah, which was
founded by Abu al-Hasan, a jurist
in the Maliki
school, in Tunisia in the thirteenth
During the Ottoman period Hanafi
Turks were given the most important
judicial in the Ottoman empire. North
Africa, however, remained faithful
to its Maliki heritage. Such was the
strength of the local tradition that
Qadis (judges) from both the Hanafi
and Maliki traditions worked with
the local ruler. Following the fall
of the Ottoman empire, Malikiyyah
regained its position of ascendancy
in the region. Today Maliki doctrine
and practice remains widespread throughout
North Africa, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia,
Algeria, Morroco, Sudan and regions
of West and Central Africa.
Maliki is one of the four schools of
Fiqh or religious law within Sunni
for Malik ibn Anas (ca. 710-95), a
leading jurist from Medina. This school
recorded the Medina consensus of opinion,
and uses hadith (tradition) as a guide.
The Maleki is predominant in north,
central and west Africa and Egypt.
Following the tradition of Imam Malik,
this school appeals to "common
utility...the idea of the common good."
Malik did not record the fundamental
principles on which he based his school
and on whose basis he derived his
judgements and to which he limited
himself in the derivation of his rulings.
In that respect he resembled his contemporary,
Abu Hanifa, but not his student, ash-Shafi'i,
who did record the principles he used
in derivation and defined them precisely,
specifying the motives which moved
him to consider them and their position
in deduction. Malik only transmitted
from people in whose mursal and balaghat
hadith he had absolute confidence.
That is why his great concern was
with the choice of transmitter. When
he had confidence in the character,
intelligence and knowledge of the
transmitter he dispensed with the
chain of narration. Malik clearly
stated that he took the practice of
the people of Madina as a source.
He never wore shoes whilst in Medinatul
Munawwarah [Medina]. He never sat
on a horse or used the toilets in
this blessed city. He always went
out of the city to relieve himself.
Maliki is practiced in North Africa and
parts of West Africa. It is the second-largest
of the four schools, followed by approximately
25% of Muslims. Arabia, Maldives,
North and West Africa, Upper Egypt
and the Sudan is the location. The
colonial legal system influenced development
of Morocco’s legal system while shari’a
courts continued to apply Maliki fiqh
to matters of family law. Also local
tribunals applying customary law.
Following independence in 1956, a
Code of Personal Status (al-Mudawwana)
was issued, based on dominant Maliki
Page last updated:
Friday, November 25, 2005 22:04:51 -0500