The Supreme Method and the Pure Source on the Rules of Notarization


Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyá al-Wansharīsī (1430 or 1431–1508) was a jurist and scholar of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence. He was born in Jabal Wansharīs, but his family moved when he was a child to nearby Tilimcen in present-day western Algeria, where he studied and later taught Maliki law. His relationship with Tilimcen ruler Sultan Muhammad IV of the Banu Abd al-Wad dynasty soured under circumstances that are unclear, and he consequently fled to Fez, Morocco. With the help of his former student Muhammad ibn al-Gardīs, al-Wansharīsī was able to further his scholarship in Fez, where he wrote his major work Al-miyar al-murib (The clear standard), on Maliki law. He died in Fez. Some of his fatwas (religious edicts) are of particular importance because they addressed issues relevant to Iberian Muslims living under non-Muslim rule after the Christian reconquest of Andalusia. Al-Manhaj al-Faaiq wa al-Manhal al-Raaiq fi Ahkam al-Wathaaiq (The supreme method and the pure source on the rules of notarization) consists of 16 chapters addressing a wide range of standards and requirements that are necessary, from an Islamic law perspective, to produce a legally acceptable document. Some of these requirements include the traits and character of a notary public, how to be licensed as a notary public, how to date a document properly, how to correct mistakes on a document and where to place the corrections, and what a notary public should and should not do. Shown here is an early 19th century copy of the work.

Last updated: September 17, 2014