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Great Muslim Scholars Al-Mawardi (Alboacen)


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 Habib al-Mawardi.

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-Mawardi’s contribution to the science of sociology has been monumental. It was later developed further by Ibn Khaldun.

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