Citation for Hanafi School of Law

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"Hanafi School of Law." In The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Ed. John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. May 19, 2022. <>.


"Hanafi School of Law." In The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. , edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, (accessed May 19, 2022).

Hanafi School of Law

Islamic school of legal thought (madhhab) whose origins are attributed to Abu Hanifah in Kufa, Iraq, in the eighth century. Most widespread school in Islamic law, followed by roughly one-third of the world's Muslims. Dominant in the Abbasid caliphate and the Ottoman Empire. Remains the dominant legal authority in successor states for personal status and religious observances. Uses reason, logic, opinion (ray), analogy (qiyas), and preference (istihsan) in the formulation of laws. Legal doctrines are relatively liberal, particularly with respect to personal freedom and women's rights in contracting marriages. First school to formulate contract rules for business transactions involving resale for profit and payment for goods for future delivery.

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