These guilds and institutions developed into four main schools of Sunni Islam, one main and three minor schools of Shila Islam and several extinct schools. These schools became very competitive in nature are overtime various leaders, state officials and/or whole communities designated to follow one or another.
The schools developed law guilds with a hierarchal structure that functioned independent of governments. Jurists would however, often find work as state officials in the judiciary, in service to the state and the people, while remaining loyal to their respective guild. On the other hand jurists often refused governmental positions, to the chagrin of governors, emirs and caliphs, to pursue independent study or teaching in the guild itself.
Some jurists were severely persecuted for refusing official positions. It should be of note that these law guilds remained independent of government and state leadership and financing. Their relationship resulted in a way that is not dissimilar to the checks-and-balances system of American democracy. And the reason for this is simple.
Their power was rooted in the fact that they could formidably argue that the ruler and the ruled were normatively bound by God’s law and thus equals in certain terms. This meant that this school defended the law of God which implies despite ones ethnic grouping, financial status and/or birth all are as equals as the legitimate recipients of God’s mercies and punishments.
This is not far from our American values of liberal freedoms and we the People being the benefactors of in liable rights of freedom and justice. Modern Islamic Jurist, Khaled Abou-El Fadl has discussed how jurists characterized legitimate and illegitimate governments when he writes, “the jurists distinguished between a legitimate Islamic government (caliphate) and other forms of government by the fact that an Islamic government is based and bound by Shari’ah law while other governments are based on whimsical despotism (hawa).
Furthermore, Muslim jurists often espoused legal doctrines that were restrictive of the discretionary powers of rulers. For example, the jurists argued that the rights of human beings (huquq aladamiyyin) are retained exclusively by human beings, and that rulers have no power of dispensation over such rights.”