This small treatise of Ibn Taymiyya (661/1263-728/1328), the extremely influential Hanbali jurist, has an importance belied by its size since it is, in fact, an investigation into the origin and nature of the Prophetic Sunna. In it he discusses the value of the consensus of the people of Madina and its standing as evidence. He also deals with the lawful and unlawful, food and drink, usury, acts of worship and other matters, and compares the school of the people of Madina regarding all these things with the other schools, making it clear that the Madinan school is the soundest of all of them and the closest to the Sunna and the practice of the Salaf.
Although usually associated with hadith-based legal reasoning, in this work Ibn Taymiyya demonstrates the unquestionable authority of the practice of the people of Madina, showing how it remained indisputably the authentic expression of the Sunna of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, during the first three generations of Islam when it was definitively recorded by Imam Malik ibn Anas. The conclusion he reaches is that: “In the time of the Companions, the Followers and their Followers, their school was the soundest of the schools of the people in all the lands of Islam, east and west, both in respect of its fundamental principles and its secondary rulings.”
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