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Juridical Works of Hanafi School: A Critical Study as a Source of Socio-political History of Central Asia

At the end, almost all Hanafi legal works have chapters on local customs (kitab as-siyar, al-hazir wa-l-ibaha). Investigating legal opinions (fatwa) issued by jurists (fuqaha’) in there a historian can reveal unique data which will be useful to shed light on certain aspects of social and economic history of Central Asia. The chronological limits of the study are from the 11th to the 13th century. Preliminary studies on such fatwas show that some settled opinions on local history are to be changed or modified. For example, it was the pre-Mongol Qara Khitay dynasty who first imposed paiza in Central Asia. It’s known that already in mid-12th century Abu-l-Qasim as-Samarqandi (d. 1161) has issued a fatwa regarding permission of wearing paiza by the Muslim population. A critical edition of the relevant chapters from different legal works appears in the appendix “Excerpts from the Original”. 

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