ABU AL-HASAN AL-MAWARDI (ALBOACEN) (972 - 1058 C.E.)
Al-Mawardi was one of the most famous thinkers in political
science in the middle Ages. He was also a great sociologist,
jurist, and mohaddith. He served as Chief Justice at
Baghdad and as an ambassador of the Abbasid Caliph to
several important and powerful Muslim states. Al-Mawardi
is most famous for his book Al-Havi on jurisprudence.
His full name was Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn
Al-Mawardi was born in 972 C.E. at Basrah. He received
his early education in Fiqah (Islamic jurisprudence)
from the famous jurist Abu al-Wahid al-Simari. Subsequently,
he went to Baghdad for advanced studies and studied
under Sheikh (Professor par excellence) Abd al-Hamid
and Sheikh Abdallah al-Baqi. He was an exceptional student
and became proficient in ethics, political science,
jurisprudence, and literature.
He began his career as a Qazi (Judge). He quickly moved
up due to his exceptional abilities and served as the
Chief Justice of Abbasid Caliphate at Baghdad. Caliph
al-Qasim bi Amr Allah appointed him as an ambassador
to Buwahid and Seljuk Sultanates. He was well liked
in this capacity and received rich gifts and tributes
by most Sultans. He was highly respected and valued
even after Buwahids took over Baghdad. Al-Mawardi died
in 1058 C.E.
Al-Mawardi made original contributions in political
science and sociology. In these fields, he wrote three
monumental works: Kitab al-Ahkam al-Sultania, Qanun
al-Wazarah, and Kitab Nasihat al-Mulk. Al-Mawardi formulated
the principles of political science. His books deal
with duties of the Caliphs, the chief minister, the
cabinet, and the responsibility of and relationship
between the government and citizens. He has discussed
the affairs of state in both peace and war.
Al-Mawardi elaborated on guidelines for the election
of the Caliph and qualities of voters, including the
requirement of purity of character and intellectual
capability. Al-Mawrdi is the author and supporter of
the 'Doctrine of Necessity'. He was against unlimited
power delegated to provincial governors. His books Al-Ahkam
al-Sultania and Qanun al-Wazarah have
been translated into several languages.
Kitab Aadab al-Dunya wa al-Din was his
another masterpiece in Ethics. It is still a very popular
book in some Islamic countries. Al-Mawardis contribution
to the science of sociology has been monumental. It
was later developed further by Ibn Khaldun.