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The Sunni schools of law are named for jurisprudents of the 8th and 9th centuries, but they did not actually function so early. The main division at that time was rather between adherents of ra'y and hadith. The schools had no regular means of forming students.;Relying mainly on biographical dictionaries, this study traces the constitutive elements of the classical schools and finds that they came together in the early 10th-century, particularly with the work of Ibn Survaj (d. 306/918), al-Khallal (d. 311/923), and a series of hanafi teachers ending with al-Karkhi (d. 340/952). Malikism prospered in the West for political reasons, while the ahiri and Jariri schools faded out due to their refusal to adopt the common new teaching methods. In this book the author fleshes out these historical developments, while at the same time developing some different perpectives.