Malik on Istihsan: Seeking best ruling is nine tenths of knowledge

Al-Zarkashi reported: Malik ibn Anas, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Seeking the best option is nine tenths of knowledge.”

Al-Baji said, “Istihsan, as applied by the Maliki scholars, means to seek the opinion that is based on the stronger of two indications in the text.”

Source: al-Baḥr al-Muḥīṭ 2/97

عن الزركشي قَالَ مالك بن أنس رحمه الله تِسْعَةُ أَعْشَارِ الْعِلْمِ الِاسْتِحْسَانُ

وَقَالَ الْبَاجِيُّ مَعْنَى الِاسْتِحْسَانِ الَّذِي ذَهَبَ إلَيْهِ أَصْحَابُ مَالِكٍ هُوَ الْقَوْلُ بِأَقْوَى الدَّلِيلَيْنِ

2/97 البحر المحيط