By Herbert J. Liebesny
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Additional info for The law of the Near & Middle East: readings, cases, & materials
The Hanbalite school is the official rite of Saudi Arabia. It prevails in Eastern Saudi Arabia (the Najd and the Eastern Province) and in a few adjacent areas, such as Qatar. Page 23 4. The Organization of Treatises on Islamic Law Comment: The treatises on Islamic law written by the adherents of the various schools cover purely religious as well as legal matters. The organization of the subject matter differs from school to school. All treatises, however, start with the treatment of purely religious subjects, such as prayer, the alms tax, the pilgrimage, ritual purity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.
2. Divergencies Among the Orthodox Schools Comment: The four orthodox schools generally do not differ from each other in fundamentals, but they do diverge in many details. In their relationship to each other they have practiced mutual Page 21 toleration. The interpretations of the four orthodox schools are regarded as equally valid and they are considered equally orthodox. The disagreement among the schools (ikhtilaf) has been discussed by Ibn Khaldun. IBN KHALDUN, The Muqaddimah, vol. 3, PP. 3, 30-32.
In many instances, and especially with regard to legal concepts, there are celebrated differences among them as to the meaning implicit in the words. Furthermore, the traditions (Sunna) differ widely in respect of the reliability of the recensions. Their legal contents, as a rule, are contradictory. Therefore, a decision is needed. This makes for differences of opinion. Furthermore, evidence not derived from texts causes (still other) differences of opinion. Then, there are new cases which arise and are not covered by the texts.