These excerpts fromKindī’s (d. 350/961) book on governors and judges, which correspond to excerpts from Ibn Ḥajar’s Rafʿ al-iṣr,recount an anecdote about the Egyptian judge Bakkār b. Qutayba, a Ḥanafī native of Basra, who was appointed qādīof Cairo by the caliph al-Mutawakkil in 246/860. While heading to Egypt, Bakkār met Muḥammad b. Abī Layth, who was returning from Egypt to Iraq. The former asked the latter for advice on individuals whom he might consult and rely on in his new city, of which he knew nothing. Ibn Abī Layth mentioned the names of Yūnus b. ʿAbd al-Aʿlā and Mūsā b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. al-Qāsim. Upon his first meeting with Bakkār, Yūnus was able to persuade him to change his stance on a case of inheritance law disputed between the Mālikīs and the Ḥanafīs, known as “the house of the elephant.” In her chapter in Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, Nahed Samour cites this passage as an example of cooperation across legal schools in the field of adjudication, with jurisconsults being chosen not on the basis of school affiliation but on the strength of their trustworthiness and their grasp of local laws and customs.
This source is part of the Online Companion to the book Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, ed. Intisar A. Rabb and Abigail Krasner Balbale(ILSP/HUP 2017)—a collection of primary sources and other material used in and related to the book.