The Literature of Usul al-Fiqh

This article examines the literature of usul al-fiqh in Turkey from the Tanzimat era until today. In this time frame, one can refer to two distinctive processes from the perspective of usul writing. One period extends from the Tanzimat era to the proclamation of the Republic, while the other covers the interval from the beginning of the Republic until today. In the first period, although some of the laws were translated from the Western Continental law, the codification activities mainly relied upon the Islamic law. Alongside the new codification activities, new educational institutions were established as an alternative to the madrasa in order to satisfy the needs of the new court system. Courses on usul al-fiqh were also included into the curriculum of these institutions and were delivered by lecturers who had participated in the codification process. In fact, the literature of usul al-fiqh of this period mainly consisted of lecture notes. In the Republican period, on the other hand, there was no place for fiqh or usul al-fiqh according to the new positive law. As a result, usul al-fiqh was left out of the curriculum of the Faculty of Law; it was only represented in the curriculum of the Islamic educational institutions. There was an emphasis on producing translations and new compositions that covered in brief the entire contents of usul al-fiqh as a way to meet the need for textbooks. On the other hand, works that contained some specific aspects of usul al-fiqh also spread through academic studies such as M.A. and Ph.D theses.


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