An Introduction to Islamic Law

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Overview

The study of Islamic law can be a forbidding prospect for those entering the field for the first time. Wael Hallaq, a leading Scholar and Practitioner of Islamic law, guides students through the intricacies of the subject in this absorbing introduction. The first half of the book is devoted to a discussion of Islamic law in its pre-modern natural habitat. The author expounds on the roles of jurists, who reasoned about the law, and of judges and others who administered justice; on how different legal schools came to be established, and on how a moral law functioned in early Muslim society generally. The second part explains how the law was transformed and ultimately dismantled during the colonial period. As the author demonstrates, this rupture necessitated its reinvention in the Twentieth-century world of nation-states. In the final chapters, the author charts recent developments and have seen the law emerge as a primarily textual entity focused on fixed punishments and ritual requirements. The book, which includes a chronology, a glossary of key terms, and lists for further reading, will be the first stop for those who wish to understand the fundamentals of Islamic law, its practices and its history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This path-breaking new history of Islamic law will become a standard introduction to the subject. Professor Hallaq has provided a magnificent overview of the topic, drawing on his wide reading in primary sources and his many important publications on the history of Islamic law and Islamic legal thought.' Joseph E. Lowry, University of Pennsylvania
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521678735
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,004,398
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Wael B. Hallaq is James McGill Professor of Islamic Law in the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. He is a world-renowned scholar whose publications include The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Authority, Continuity and Change in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and A History of Islamic Legal Theories (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

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Table of Contents

1 Who's who in the Shari'a 7

2 The law : how is it found? 14

3 The legal schools 31

4 Jurists, legal education and politics 38

5 Shari'a's society 57

6 Pre-modern governance : the Circle of Justice 72

7 Colonizing the Muslim world and its Shari'a 85

8 The law in the age of nation-states 115

9 State, ulama and Islamists 140

10 Shari'a then and now : concluding notes 163

Glossary of key terms 171

Chronology 179

Suggested further reading 184

Index 192

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