|Biographical detail : ||The founder of the Maliki School of Islamic jurisprudence.
Malik Bin Anas compiled a compendium, which he called Kitab al Muwatta (The Beaten Path). It was a comprehensive account of the customal law and religious practice of Madinah, which Malik believed, still preserved the original sunnah of the Prophet’s, peace be upon him, community. It is the earliest surviving book of law. In cases where neither tradition nor Ijma existed, he relied on qiyas, as it was practical to point out a smooth path, (This was the meaning of Muwatta) when differences existed on even the most elementary questions.
Maliki’s disciples developed his theories into Maliki School, which became prevalent in Madinah, Egypt and North Africa. There are four recognised law schools, each regarded with Muslim egalitarianism as equally valid – the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali schools, the later preserving the ideals of Ibn Hanbal and the Hadith People. In practice, these four madhhabs did not differ markedly from one another. Each Muslim could choose the one he or she would follow, though most tended towards the one that was prevalent locally.
When Muhammad bin Abdullah made himself the master of Madinah in 762, Malik Bin Anas declared in a fatwa that the homage paid to the Caliph al-Mansur was not binding. Malik Bin Anas was flogged by the order of the governor of Madinah. But he later made peace with the government, which was evident form the fact that Caliph al-Rashid visited him on the occasion of his pilgrimage in the year of his death in 795.
His full name was Abu Abdullah Malik Bin Anas.