Abd al-Rahman al-Awza'i

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أبو عمرو عبدُ الرحمٰن بن عمرو الأوزاعي
تخطيط اسم الأوزاعي.png
Born707 CE
Baalbek, Lebanon
Died774 CE (aged 66–67)
Beirut, Lebanon
EraIslamic golden age
Main interest(s)Hadith, Fiqh
Notable idea(s)Awza'i madhhab

Abu Amr Abd al-Rahman ibn Amr al-Awzai (Arabic: أبو عمرو عبدُ الرحمٰن بن عمرو الأوزاعي‎) (707–774) was the chief representative and eponym of the Awza'i school of Islamic jurisprudence. Awzai was referred to by his tribe "Awza" (الأوزاع), part of Banu Hamdan.[1]


Apparently born in Baalbek, Lebanon in 707, very little of al-Awzai's writings survive, but his style of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) is preserved in Abu Yusuf's book Al-radd ala siyar al-Awzai, in particular his reliance on the "living tradition," or the uninterrupted practice of Muslims handed down from preceding generations. For Awzai, this is the true Sunnah of Muhammad. Awzai's school flourished in Syria, the Maghreb, and Al Andalus but was eventually overcome by the Maliki school of Islamic law in the 9th century. However, given his authority and reputation as a Sunni Imam and pious ancestry, his views retain potential as a source of law and a basis for alternative legal approaches and solutions. He died in 774 and was buried near Beirut, Lebanon, where his tomb is still visited.[2]


As with Malik ibn Anas, al-Awza'i holds that one is not permitted to kill civilians even if it seems necessary in order to achieve a military objective, and declared that killing women and children is never permissible during warfare.[3]

Theologically he was known as a persecutor of the Qadaris, but also one of the main historical witnesses of them. He alleged that the Qadaris merely appropriated heretical doctrines from the Christians. Awzāʿī had met their founder Maʿbad.[4]


  1. ^ "سير أعلام النبلاء". shamela (in Arabic). Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  2. ^ John Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2003
  3. ^ Jonathan AC Brown, Is Islam a Death Cult? Martyrdom and the American-Muslim Imagination. Yaqeen Institute. Retrieved 9-13-2017.
  4. ^ Steven C. Judd, "The Early Qadariyya" in The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology, ed. Sabine Schmidtke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 47-48.

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