Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, many defining features of classical Sunni Islam began to take shape. Among these was the formation of medieval Sunnism around the belief in the unimpeachable orthodoxy of four eponymous founders and their schools of law. In this original study, Ahmad Khan explores the history and cultural memory of one of these eponymous founders, Abū Ḥanīfa. Showing how Abū Ḥanīfa evolved from being the object of intense religious exclusion to a pillar of Sunni orthodoxy, Khan examines the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy, and outlines their changing meanings over the course of four centuries. He demonstrates that orthodoxy and heresy were neither fixed theological categories, nor pious fictions, but instead were impacted by everything from law and politics, to society and culture. This book illuminates the significant yet often neglected transformations in Islamic social, political and religious thought during this vibrant period.
Jonathan A.C. Brown - Georgetown University
Maribel Fierro - Spanish National Research Council
Harry Munt - University of York
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