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A History of Islamic Legal Theories: An Introduction to Sunni Usul al-fiqh / Edition 1

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Overview

Wael B. Hallaq is already established as one of the most eminent scholars in the field of Islamic law. In his latest book, he traces the history of Islamic legal theory from its beginnings until the modern period. The book is the first of its kind in organization, approach to the subject, and critical apparatus, and as such will be an essential tool for the understanding of Islamic legal theory in particular and Islamic law in general. Its accessibility of language and style guarantees it a readership among students and scholars, as well as anyone interested in Islam and its evolution.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...useful for some purposes of reference and basic instruction by students of Islamic jurisprudence...." Aziz Al-Azmeh, History of Religions

"...a lucid, nuanced, and sophisticated study based on extensive reading in the sources. A History of Islamic Legal Theories provides an excellent starting-point to follow these important debates that will help determine the future direction of Muslim societies." David S. Powers, Middle East Quarterly

"For over a decade, Wael B. Hallaq has written articles that qualify him to write the only comprehensive introduction to the science of usul al-fiqh in English. He has successfully exposed the intracacies and complexities of this science in a way that will achieve his declared aim of introducing Islamic legal theory both to students of Islam adn to those unfamiliar with Islamic tradition." Murteza Bedir, MESA Bulletin

"Hallaq evidently loves a good argument, and this book is no exception. He states his claims forthrightly, challenging the rest of the field to respond. There is no doubt that this book will generate responses for years to come, and that the ensuing discussion will move the study of the theoretical underpinnings of Islamic law to a new level." Middle East Journal

"The author of this volume, who is an important scholar of Islamic law, has fashioned a succinct and lucid entree to a complex and difficult subject." Religious Studies Review

"...this book offers reading of great value for anyone curious about the future—as well as the past—of Sunni jurisprudence." Earl Finbar Murphy, H-Net Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521599863
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The formative period; 2. The articulation of legal theory: I; 3. The articulation of legal theory: II; 4. The legal text, the world and history; 5. Social reality and the response of theory; 6. Crises of modernity: toward a new theory of law?; Conclusion; References; Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    A Good introduction

    This book is more than a history, it basically defines the Usul al-Fiqh terms and their development and historically how the concepts were developed, changed and added on. For being about only usul al_fikh, the scope is limited to certain limited sect. Author takes you through early years , time when he claims there was no methodology and than to Imam Shafii whom he does not give as much emphasis as him being the founding father of the fikh, continues with some quranic concepts like clear/ambigious ayats, foundations of hadith, abrogation and than into tools of the fikh that is concensus, ijma,qiyas,istihsan, istishab, ijtihad etc. The best part of the book is that author provides examples of each concept for illustration, explains opinions of known Mujtehids on the subjects. The book closes with examples of modernist efforts by F.Rahman and especially the author has high regards for Shahrur, engineer-Theolog from Syria. The book shows, although not in broad acceptance by everybody, the change in methodology from using Qur'an and Sunna of the Prophet(pbh) to Quran only and socio/politic conditions of the current times and elimination of ijma or ancient ijtihads from fikh.

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