The Thawri (Arabic:الثوري) Madhhab was a short lived school of Islamic Jurisprudence. Its founder was Sufyan Al-Thawri, a great 8th Century scholar, jurist and hadith compiler.[1]

After Ath-Thawri's move to Basra later in his life, his jurisprudential thought (usul) became more closely aligned to that of the Umayyads and of Al-Azwa'i.[1] He is reported to have regarded the physical jihad as an obligation only as a defensive war.[2][3]

He spent the last year of his life hiding after a dispute between him and the Abbasid Caliph Muhammad Ibn Mansur Al-Mahdi. After his death, the Thawri Madhhab was taken up by his students, including notably Yahya al-Qattan.[1] However, his school did not survive, but his jurisprudential thought and especially hadith transmission are highly regarded in Islam, and have influenced all the major schools.


  1. 1 2 3 Steven C. Judd, “Competitive hagiography in biographies of al-Awzaʿi and Sufyan al-Thawri”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 122:1 (Jan–March, 2002).
  2. Angeliki E. Laiou, et al. (2001). The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World. p. 23.
  3. Afsaruddin, A. (2007), Views of Jihad Throughout History. Religion Compass, 1: 166. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-8171.2006.00015.x Quote: "Jurists from the Hijaz, like Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 778), were of the opinion that jihad was primarily defensive, and that only the defensive jihad may be considered obligatory on the individual."
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