He studied the Koran and its traditions (hadith, sunna) there and on a student journey through Mesopotamia, Arabia and Syria.
Mahommedanism has no priest hood standing between God and the congregation, but Koran and Sunna are full of minute rules for the details of private and civil life, the knowledge of which is necessarily in the hands of a class of professed theologians.
Neither Koran nor Sunna distinguishes between temporal and spiritual powers, and no such distinction was known as long as the caliphs acted in all things as successors of the prophets and heads of the community of the faithful.
Their political influence, again, which arises from the fusion of private and political law in Koran and Sunna, is highly inconvenient to the state, and often becomes intolerable now that relations with Western states are multiplied.
The Sunnites, who accept the orthodox tradition (Sunna) as well as the Koran as a source of theologico-juristic doctrines, predominate in Arabia, the Turkish Empire, the north of Africa, Turkestan, Afghanistan and the Mahommedan parts of India and the east of Asia; the Shi`ites have their main seat in Persia, where their confession is the state religion, but are also scattered over the whole sphere of Islam, especially in India and the regions bordering on Persia, except among the nomad Tatars, who are all nominally Sunnite.
The various dynasties of sultans (Buyids, Ghaznevids, Seljuks, and finally the Mongols) never paid heed to the caliphs, and at length abolished them; but the fall of the theocracy only increased the influence of the clergy, the expounders and practical administrators of that legislation of Koran and Sunna which had become part of the life of the Mahommedan world.
He succeeded in so far that 15,000 Kufians swore to fight with him for the maintenance of the commandments of the Book of God and the Sunna (orthodox tradition) of his Prophet, the discomfiture of the tyrants, the redress of injury, and last, not least, the vindication of the family of the Prophet as the rightful caliphs.
A fatwa is a decision according to Koran and Sunna, but without reasons, on an abstract case of law which is brought before the mufti by appeal from the cadi's judgment or by reference from the cadi himself.