Sharia based on Maliki school (in teal) is the predominant Sunni school in North Africa, West Africa and parts of central eastern Arabian peninsula.
Although Malik ibn Anas was himself a native of Medina, his school faced fierce competition for followers in the Muslim east, with the Shafi'i
, and Zahiri
schools all enjoying more success than Malik's school.
It was eventually the Hanafi
school, however, that earned official government favor from the Abbasids
The Malikis enjoyed considerably more success in Africa, and for a while in Spain and Sicily. Under the Umayyads
and their remnants, the Maliki school was promoted as the official state code of law, and Maliki judges had free rein over religious practices; in return, the Malikis were expected to support and legitimize the government's right to power.
This dominance in Spanish Andalus
from the Umayyads up to the Almoravids
continued, with Islamic law in the region dominated by the opinions of Malik and his students. The Sunnah
, or prophetic tradition in Islam, played lesser roles as Maliki jurists viewed both with suspicion, and few were well versed in either.
The Almoravids eventually gave way to the predominantly-Zahiri Almohads
, at which point Malikis were tolerated at times but lost official favor. With the Reconquista
, the Iberian Peninsula was lost to the Muslims in totality.
was eventually lost, the Maliki has been able to retain its dominance throughout North and West Africa to this day. Additionally, the school has traditionally been the preferred school in the small Arab States of the Persian Gulf
(Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar).
While the majority of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia follows Hanbali laws, the country's Eastern Province
has been known as a Maliki stronghold for centuries.
Initially hostile to mystical practices, Malikis eventually learned to coexist with Sufi customs as the latter became widespread throughout North and West Africa. Many Muslims now adhere to both Maliki law and a Sufi order.
Maliki school's sources for Sharia
are hierarchically prioritized as follows: Quran and then trustworthy Hadiths (sayings, customs and actions of Muhammad); if these sources were ambiguous on an issue, then `Amal
(customs and practices of the people of Medina), followed by consensus of the Sahabah
(the companions of Muhammad), then individual's opinion from the Sahabah
(interest and welfare of Islam and Muslims), and finally Urf
(custom of people throughout the Muslim world if it did not contradict the hierarchically higher sources of Sharia).
The Mālikī school primarily derives from the work of Malik ibn Anas
, particularly the Muwatta Imam Malik
, also known as Al-Muwatta
. The Muwaṭṭa relies on Sahih Hadiths
, includes Malik ibn Anas' commentary, but it is so complete that it is considered in Maliki school to be a sound hadith in itself.
Mālik included the practices of the people of Medina and where the practices are in compliance with or in variance with the hadiths reported. This is because Mālik regarded the practices of Medina (the first three generations) to be a superior proof of the "living" sunnah
than isolated, although sound, hadiths. Mālik was particularly scrupulous about authenticating his sources when he did appeal to them, however, and his comparatively small collection of aḥādith, known as al-Muwaṭṭah
(or, The Straight Path).
The second source, the Al-Mudawwana, is the collaborator work of Mālik's longtime student, Ibn Qāsim
and his mujtahid
. The Mudawwanah consists of the notes of Ibn Qāsim from his sessions of learning with Mālik and answers to legal questions raised by Saḥnūn in which Ibn Qāsim quotes from Mālik, and where no notes existed, his own legal reasoning based upon the principles he learned from Mālik. These two books, i.e. the Muwaṭṭah and Mudawwanah, along with other primary books taken from other prominent students of Mālik, would find their way into the Mukhtaṣar Khalīl
, which would form the basis for the later Mālikī madhhab.
Maliki school is most closely related to the Hanafi
school, and the difference between them is more of a degree, rather than nature.
However, unlike the Hanafi school, the Maliki school does not assign as much weight to analogy, but derives its rulings from pragmatism using the principles of istislah
(public interest) wherever the Quran and Sahih Hadiths do not provide explicit guidance.
Notable differences from other schools
The Maliki school differs from the other Sunni schools of law most notably in the sources it uses for derivation of rulings. Like all Sunni schools of Sharia, the Maliki school uses the Qur'an
as primary source, followed by the sayings, customs/traditions and practices of Muhammad
, transmitted as hadiths. In the Mālikī school, said tradition includes not only what was recorded in hadiths, but also the legal rulings of the four rightly guided caliphs
– especially Umar
Malik bin Anas himself also accepted binding consensus
and analogical reasoning
along with the majority of Sunni jurists, though with conditions. Consensus was only accepted as a valid source of law if it was drawn from the first
generation of Muslims in general, or the first, second
or third generations from Medina, while analogy was only accepted as valid as a last resort when an answer was not found in other sources.
- Ibn Abd al-Hakam (d. 829), one of the Egyptian scholars who developed the Maliki school in Egypt 
- Asbagh ibn al-Faraj (d. 840), Egyptian scholar 
- Yahya al-Laithi (d. 848), Andalusian scholar, introduced the Maliki school in Al-Andalus
- Sahnun (AH 160/776–77 – AH 240/854–55), Sunnī jurist and author of the Mudawwanah, one of the most important works in Mālikī law
- Abd al-Malik ibn Habīb (AH 174/790-241/853), a prominent student of the direct students of Imām Mālik. He collected the opinions of Imām Mālik and his students in his al-Wādiḥah, which is one of the most important works in Mālikī law and the main authoritative book on Mālikī law in al-Andalus and the Maghrib.
- Ibn Abi Zayd (310/922–386/996), Tunisian Sunnī jurist and author of the Risālah, a standard work in Mālikī law
- Yusuf ibn abd al-Barr (978–1071), Andalusian scholar
- Ibn Tashfin (1061–1106), one of the prominent leaders of the Almoravid dynasty
- Qadi Ayyad (d. 1149), a great Imam and Qadi in Maliki jurisprudence
- Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (1126–1198), philosopher and scholar
- Al-Qurtubi (1214–1273)
- Shihab al-Din al-Qarafi (1228–1285), Moroccan jurist and author who lived in Egypt
- Khalil ibn Ishaq al-Jundi (d. ca. 1365), Egyptian jurist, author of Mukhtasar
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- Ibn Khaldūn (1332/AH 732–1406/AH 808), scholar, historian and author of the Muqaddimah
- Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi (d. 1388), a famous Andalusian Maliki jurist
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- Sidi Abd al-Rahman al-Tha'alibi (d. 1479), a famous Algerian Maliki jurist
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Last edited on 4 May 2021, at 05:04
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