During this period, the collection and editing of the Quran also took place. This authorised text of the Quran which remains without change or corruption to this day was first published during the reign of Usman, the third Caliph.
The third period is a long one, which ranges from 40 A.H., to the third century after Hejira. This period was also important, because it was during this period that the work of collection of the ‘traditions’ of the Prophet took place. During the earlier part of this period, there emerged the four schools of Sunni law, which are named after their four founders. (The salient aspects of these schools are considered later in this Chapter.)
The fourth period in the development of Islamic law extends from the third century after Hejira to the present day. After the four recognised schools had been founded, later scholars applied themselves to the methods laid down by the founders, and developed each system in a particular manner. However, no individual jurist was ever afterwards recognised as having the same rank as the founder himself.
After the abolition of the Caliphate, a new situation arose, and there was no one to execute the behest of the Shariat.
During the last period, the doctrine of ‘taqlid’ following by imitation ‘ijtihad’ the power of independent interpretation of law developed and came into prominence.