The Relationship between Judiciary and Politics in Islamic Thought: A Sociological Evaluation on Abu Hanifa


CUMHURIYET ILAHIYAT DERGISI-CUMHURIYET THEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.25, no.1, pp.293-310, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.18505/cuid.877118
  • Page Numbers: pp.293-310


The subject of this article is the relationship between judiciary and politics in Islamic thought, based on the example of Abu Hanifa (d. 150/767). In parallel with the development of charisma in religious and political culture until the time of Abu Hanifa, some forms of Islamic thought had already emerged in the context of judicial-political relations. The aim here is to try to understand the judicial-political relations through Abu Hanifa in the second century of Islam and indirectly to shed light on the aspects of the issue reflected on the present. The research problematized how Abu Hanifa reads between the doctrine and the religious, political, social and cultural conditions of his time. In the study it was assumed that the general understanding that Abu Hanifa revealed in the context of the relationship between judiciary and politics was shaped in a dialectical relationship around his own religious socialization within the indicated religious and historical conditions. The data obtained by the indirect observation method were subjected to a phenomenological analysis in the context of a single case study. The article may contribute to the discussions on the Abu Hanifa model among different patterns on the relationship between judiciary and politics in Islamic thought. In the study it has been observed that Abu Hanifa approached the problem with a moral motive and offered a solution in this context, in an environment where a civil and peaceful opposition is not sufficient at the point of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms. Abu Hanifa had a high level of political and legal participation in the period he lived in with both his authority and charisma, and the power he gained from his economic status and cultural background. As a free member of the legislative power, Abu Hanifa always faced the rulers in the context of fundamental rights and was killed while in this struggle. Although he was born in a Muslim family, he was regarded as the other by the rulers due to their political attitude and he had to live with this status throughout his life. In the beginning, Abu Hanifa's feeling of mawali, which he experienced while socializing within his own family, turned into a search for social rights against the rulers, especially after the death of his teacher. In fact, this struggle, which was carried out in a religious, legal and social manner against the problematic political attitudes of the rulers with the law, without seeking a right in his own right, has progressed in a wide range that includes the Ahl al Bayt and all other social groups and categories. This approach of Abu Hanifa regarding the relationship between the judiciary and politics has been shaped in a completely systematic framework both theoretically and practically. Within the scope of the body of knowledge on which Islamic law is based, he made a very comprehensive and dynamic conceptualization of religion and sharia. According to this, Abu Hanifa attributes to religion the meaning of the basic law on which fundamental rights are based, and conceptualizes shariah as a variable sphere in which it is regulated according to this religious sphere, or in other words, the law. In this monotheism-oriented hierarchy, politics was seen as a worldly sphere with a definite responsibility towards the law. There is no doubt when Abu Hanifa evaluates the first period of Islam as a state of law. On the other hand, according to his approach to the general judicial-politics relationship, he saw the period he lived in as a period in which law was instrumentalized by the rulers.