June 22, 2024
Al-Mughni

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Al-Mughni: A Magnum Opus of Islamic Jurisprudence


Al-Mughni: A Magnum Opus of Islamic Jurisprudence

Al-Mughni is a well-known Islamic legal
reference written by Imam Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi Rahimahullah
[547-620 H]
, a prominent medieval Muslim scholar of the Hanbali school
of Islamic Jurisprudence. The book is a comprehensive guide to Hanbali fiqh
(Islamic jurisprudence) and covers a wide range of topics related to Islamic
law, including acts of worship, family law, commercial law, criminal law, and
inheritance law. In fact Al-Mughni is a magnum opus of Islamic jurisprudence.

Al-Mughni is a Sharh
(commentary) of Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi. Rather, Mukhtasar al-Khiraqi
is a concise manual of Hanbali fiqh authored by Abu al-Qasim Umar ibn Husain
ibn Abdullah bin Ahmad al-Khiraqi Rahimahullah [d.334 H].

There are several salient features
of Al-Mughni that make it a unique and valuable work of Hanbali fiqh. Some of
these features include:

Comprehensive
Coverage:

Al-Mughni covers a wide range of topics related to Hanbali fiqh,
including acts of worship, family law, commercial law, criminal law, and
inheritance law, among others. It provides detailed guidance on various legal
issues and is considered one of the most comprehensive works of Hanbali fiqh.

Clarity
and Organization:

Al-Mughni
is known for its clear and concise writing style, making it easy for readers to
understand and navigate its contents. The book is also well-organized, with
each legal issue presented in a systematic and logical manner.

Use
of Evidence:

Imam
Ibn Qudamah relies heavily on evidence from the Quran, Hadith, and the opinions
of earlier scholars to support his conclusions on legal issues. This
demonstrates his commitment to following the sources of Islamic law and
presenting a well-reasoned and evidence-based approach to Hanbali fiqh.

Engagement
with Other Schools of Islamic Law:

While
Al-Mughni is primarily a Hanbali fiqh reference book, Imam Ibn Qudamah
engages with the opinions of scholars from other schools of Islamic law, demonstrating
a willingness to engage in comparative jurisprudence and consider different
perspectives on legal issues.

Influence
on Later Scholarship:

Al-Mughni has been a highly influential work in the field of Hanbali
fiqh and has been subject to numerous commentaries and annotations by later
scholars. Its continued relevance and importance are a testament to its enduring
value as a reference book for Hanbali fiqh.

Al-Mughni is considered one of the most important works in Hanbali fiqh and is widely studied and referenced by scholars and students of Islamic law. It is known for its clarity
and conciseness, making it accessible to both scholars and laypeople alike. The book has been subject to many commentaries and annotations, attesting to its significance as a reference for Islamic law.

Al-Mughni is a voluminous
work that consists of multiple volumes. The book is divided into different
sections and covers a wide range of topics related to Hanbali fiqh. The exact
number of volumes and pages can vary depending on the edition and publication,
but generally, it is a multi-volume set that can run into several thousand
pages.

For example, one popular edition of Al-Mughni published by Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah contains 10 volumes, with each volume consisting of around 500 to 600 pages. Another edition published by Dar al-Fikr contains 14 volumes, with each volume consisting of around 500 pages.

Despite its length, Al-Mughni is known for its clarity and organization, which
makes it easy for readers to navigate and understand its contents.

 

Fiqh al-Muqaran (comparative
jurisprudence) is not the primary subject of Al-Mughni. Rather, Al-Mughni
is primarily a Hanbali fiqh reference book that deals with Islamic law
according to the Hanbali school of thought. It presents the Hanbali perspective
on various legal issues, based on the sources of Islamic law, including the
Quran, Hadith (Prophetic traditions), the consensus of the scholars (ijma’),
and legal reasoning (ijtihad).

That being said, there are instances in Al-Mughni where Imam Ibn Qudamah
refers to the opinions of other schools of Islamic law and engages in comparative jurisprudence.

However, this is not the primary focus of
the book, and these discussions are generally limited to specific legal issues
where there are differences of opinion among the scholars.

Overall, while Al-Mughni may touch upon comparative jurisprudence at times, it is
primarily a reference book for the Hanbali school of Islamic law, and its main
focus is on presenting the Hanbali perspective on various legal issues.

 

While Al-Mughni is a
comprehensive reference book of Hanbali fiqh, it is not typically considered a
“fatwa book” in the sense that it provides specific rulings on
contemporary legal issues.

Because Al-Mughni presents
detailed discussions on legal issues and provides evidence-based conclusions,
it can be a useful resource for scholars and muftis when issuing fatwas. When a
scholar or mufti is presented with a legal question, they will often consult
the relevant sources of Islamic law to develop a well-reasoned and
evidence-based opinion.

In the case of Hanbali scholars and muftis, Al-Mughni
can be a valuable resource for consulting the Hanbali school’s legal doctrines
and gaining a deeper understanding of the evidence and reasoning behind those
doctrines. By reviewing the relevant discussions in Al-Mughni, a scholar
or mufti can develop a more informed and nuanced opinion on a legal issue, and
can provide a well-reasoned and evidence-based fatwa.

It is worth noting, however, that
while Al-Mughni can be a useful resource for scholars and muftis, it is
not a substitute for the process of ijtihad, which is the independent
reasoning and interpretation of Islamic law based on the sources. Ultimately, a
scholar or mufti must use their own independent reasoning and interpretation,
informed by the sources of Islamic law and the guidance of earlier scholars, to
issue a fatwa. Al-Mughni, therefore, serves as a valuable reference tool
to supplement the process of ijtihad and to support a well-informed and
evidence-based approach to issuing fatwas.

While Al-Mughni is primarily
a reference book for the Hanbali school of Islamic law, it is widely respected
and valued by scholars of other schools of Islamic law as well. The
comprehensive coverage, clear writing style, and well-reasoned legal analysis
found in Al-Mughni make it a valuable resource for any student of
Islamic law, regardless of their school or perspective.

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