The Forms of Commentaries

By Felicitas Opwis As my previous posts illustrated, commentaries take different forms in length and scope. The commentator selects which topics and points found in the underlying matn he wants to elaborate, explain, and dispute. There is no linear or chronological development of constant growth and enlargement, but a seemingly random variation in breadth and … Continue reading The Forms of Commentaries

The Commentary as Platform for Debate, Change, and Authority Construction

By Felicitas Opwis As presented in the previous post, the discursive tradition of commentaries involves extensive intertextuality. This intertextuality is not only a dialogue between matn and sharḥ, but a discourse that engages previous commentaries on the same matn as well as the Shāfiʿī school’s intellectual output more generally. Sometimes, the arguments and positions referenced … Continue reading The Commentary as Platform for Debate, Change, and Authority Construction

The Content of Commentaries

By Felicitas Opwis In the previous post I mentioned the vibrant commentary tradition on Abū Shujāʿ’s compendium of Shāfiʿī law, which indicates that Muslim scholars deemed it necessary to comment on the past, making it relevant to their present and incorporating whatever changes have occurred or were deemed desirable. It also allows us to gain … Continue reading The Content of Commentaries

The Discursive Tradition of Commentaries (shurūḥ) – Lessons from Matn Abī Shujāʿ

By Felicitas Opwis The study of commentaries (shurūḥ) and glosses (ḥawāshī) has rightly received attention and appreciation in recent years. The scholarship of Asad, El Shamsy, Saleh, Wisnovsky as well as El-Rouayheb, Bauer, and Messick[1] are correcting the previously invoked image of intellectual stagnation and decline of the so-called post-classical period as advocated most forcefully … Continue reading The Discursive Tradition of Commentaries (shurūḥ) – Lessons from Matn Abī Shujāʿ

Welcome to our September Guest Blogger: Felicitas Opwis

Dr. Felicitas Opwis, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, received her doctorate from Yale University. Her scholarship investigates the articulation of the religious sciences of Islam in their historical, social, and political environment, focusing on Islamic law. In addition to tracing the intellectual history of the concept of public interest (maṣlaḥa) … Continue reading Welcome to our September Guest Blogger: Felicitas Opwis