School of Islamic jurisprudence
Part of a series on
Sunni IslamAhlul Sunnah.png
  • Declaration of Faith
  • Prayer
  • Charity
  • Fasting
  • Pilgrimage
Rightly-Guided Caliphs
  • Abu Bakr
  • Umar ibn al-Khattab
  • Uthman ibn Affan
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib
 Islam portal
  • v
  • t
  • e

Jariri is the name given to a short-lived Sunni school of fiqh that was derived from the work of al-Tabari, the 9th and 10th-century Persian Muslim scholar in Baghdad. Although it eventually became extinct, al-Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death.[1]


University of Oxford lecturer Christopher Melchert describes the Jariri school as semi-rationalist, similar to the Shafi‘i school.[2] It also shared features with the Ẓāhirī school in addition to the Shafi‘is.[3] Al-Tabari was characterized by strong scriptural tendencies but from within a limited time frame. He appears, like Dawud al-Zahiri, to restrict consensus historically, defining it as the transmission by many authorities of reports on which the Sahaba agreed unanimously. Like Dawud al-Zahiri, he also held that consensus must be tied to a text and cannot be based on legal analogy.[4] After quoting his sources—in his major works, he depended essentially on existing written works and reports—he gives what he considers to be the most acceptable view. However, his most notable difference with his contemporaries was his is his emphasis on Ijtihad and independent exercise of judgement.[5]

Muslim historians and jurist scholars theorized that one of the primary roots for such anti-rationalistic, traditionalistic and hadith oriented views historically came from one of the Companions of the Prophet named Zubayr ibn al-Awwam. These views were shared by many influential scholars in history that reached the rank of Mujtahid (scholars who allowed to open their own Madhhab due to their knowledge vastness) such as Shafiite Ibn Kathir, Hanbalite Ibn Taymiyyah,[6][7] Ibn Hazm, Bukhari independent Madhhab,[8] and Zahiri Maddhab scholars.[9]

The Jariri school was frequently in conflict with the Hanbali school of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. The Jariri school was notable for its liberal attitudes toward the role of women; the Jariris for example held that women could be judges, and could lead men in prayer. Conflict was also found with the Hanafi school on the matter of juristic preference, which the Jariri school censured severely.[10]


  1. ^ Brown, Jonathan A. C. (2014). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. p. 193. ISBN 978-1780744209. Although it eventually became extinct, Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni scholar for two centuries after his death.
  2. ^ Christopher Melchert, The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, 9th-10th Centuries C.E., pg. 69-70, 74-76, 80 and 83-86. Taken from Studies in Islamic Law and Society, Vol. 4. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1997.
  3. ^ Stewart, Tabari, pg. 339.
  4. ^ Devin J. Stewart, "Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari's al-Bayan 'an Usul al-Ahkam and the Genre of Usul al-Fiqh in Ninth Century Baghdad," pg. 339. Taken from Abbasid Studies: Occasional Papers of the School of Abbasid Studies, Cambridge, 6–10 January 2002. Edited by James Montgomery. Leuven: Peeters Publishers and the Department of Oriental Studies, 2004.
  5. ^ Bosworth, C. E. (2012-04-24), "al-Ṭabarī", Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Brill, retrieved 2022-07-20
  6. ^ Stowasser, Barbara Freyer (1996). Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretation. Oxford University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-19-976183-8.
  7. ^ Spevack, Aaron (2014). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of al-Bajuri. SUNY Press. pp. 129–130. ISBN 978-1-4384-5371-2.
  8. ^ Lucas 2006, p. 290–292, 303 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFLucas2006 (help)
  9. ^ Stewart 2002, p. 99-158 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFStewart2002 (help)
  10. ^ Devin J. Stewart, "Muhammad b. Dawud al-Zahiri's Manual of Jurisprudence." Taken from Studies in Islamic Law and Society Volume 15: Studies in Islamic Legal Theory. Edited by Bernard G. Weiss. Pg. 135. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2002..