On the theoretical legacy of Abū ‘l-Hasan al-Māwardī

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The article examines some aspects of the theoretical legacy of Abū ‘l-Ḥasan al-Māwardī, a medieval Islamic theologian and jurist. This prominent scholar, who lived a long and eventful life, wrote a number of works that left a noticeable mark in the political and legal thought of Islam. Al-Māwardī also wrote several significant treatises in Islamic theology and Jurisprudence. Among them are works devoted to commenting on the Qur’ān - Nukat wa’l-‘uyūn [Tafsīr al-Māwardī], ’Amthāl al-Qur’ān , as well as a treatise on Prophethood - ’ A‘lām al-Nubuwwa . Another important but still insufficiently studied treatise of al-Māwardī on Jurisprudence is called Kitāb al-Ḥāwī al-kabīr fī fiqh madhhab al-Imām al-Shāfi‘ī. It is generally accepted that al-Māwardī‘s essay called al-’Iqnā‘ made him famous in his lifetime. This legal guide to the Shafi‘i law certainly strengthened the professional authority of al-Māwardī as the leading Shafi‘i faqih and apparently contributed to the growth of his political influence in medieval Baghdad. Despite the merits and recognition of al-Māwardī as an authoritative connoisseur of Islam, his creative search was not limited to writing works on religious topics. Al-Māwardī ‘s obvious interest in scientific disciplines was, in particular, confirmed in several studies on philology. He wrote at least two works on this subject: namely, ’Amthāl wa’l-ḥikam and Kitāb fī al-naḥw . However, the scholars who study the heritage of al-Māwardī deal mainly with his socio-political works. Al-Māwardī was known as a gifted and experienced diplomat who repeatedly acted as a mediator in solving complex political problems. As an adviser for many years at the Abbasid court, al-Māwardī composed several works on the theory of state and governance, such as al-Aḥkām al-Sulṭāniyya, Qawānīn al-wuzarāʾ wa- siyāsat al-mulūk, as well as Tashīl al-naẓar wa-ta‘jīl al-ẓafar fī ’akhlāq al-malik wa-siyāsat al-mulk etc. These works, diverse not only in content, but also in genre, mainly reflect the essence of political processes of that time.
Translated title of the contributionК вопросу о теоретическом наследии Абу-л-Хасана ал-Маварди
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-581
Journal Вестник Санкт-Петербургского университета. Философия и конфликтология
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Abū ‘l-Ḥasan al-Māwardī
  • Islam
  • Governance,
  • Islamic law
  • Тheology
  • Philosophy
  • Caliphate
  • Mirrors for Princes
  • Būyids
  • Persian heritage

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