Original Islam investigates the primacy of Madinan Islam and the madhhab (school of law) of its main exponent, Malik ibn Anas. It contains an annotated translation of Intisar al-faqir al-salik li-tarjih madhhab al-Imam al-kabir Malik, which was written by al-Ra'i, a fifteenth-century Andalusian scholar resident in Cairo.

This book includes:

  • a comprehensive section on the scholarly credentials of the great eighth-century Madinan jurist Malik ibn Anas
  • a detailed examination of a number of theoretical and practical disputed legal issues
  • examples of the inter-madhhab rivalry and prejudice prevalent in fifteenth-century Cairo
  • an extensive introduction giving background information on al-Ra’i and his life and times.

It also highlights the significance of the text for contemporary Muslim discourse, in which both "modernist" and "fundamentalist" elements often equate the concept of madhhab with an outmoded tradition which must be rejected as irrelevant to the practice of Islam in a globalized world. This book aims to put this ongoing controversy about madhhab, particularly the Maliki madhhab and its "pre-madhhab" Madinan origins, on a surer footing. Original Islam provides access to a hitherto little known area of Islamic law and is essential reading for those with interests in this area.

chapter |4 pages


part |16 pages

Al-RĀʿĪ and his Intiṣār

part |135 pages

Translation of Al-Rāī's Intiṣār

chapter |3 pages

Author's Introduction

section |42 pages

On Giving Preference to Mālik, May Allah have Mercy on him and be Pleased with him

section |34 pages

On Giving Preference to the Madhhab of Imam Mālik, May Allah have Mercy on him, and the Sources on Which it is Based

section |28 pages

Some Points of Difference Which are Frequently Mentioned Between the Proponents of the Other Madhhabs Which Indicate [that One Should] Give Preference [to the Madhhab of Imam Mālik, May Allah have Mercy on him]

section |20 pages

Some Examples of the Prejudice that I have Seen and Heard from the Proponents of Other Madhhabs Which Led to the Writing of this Book

section |6 pages

Some [Grammatical] Points Where Many Specialists Make Mistakes