Pragmatism in Islamic Law

Author: Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 0815653190
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Pragmatism in Islamic Law, Ibrahim presents a detailed history of Sunni legal pluralism and the ways in which it was employed to accommodate the changing needs of society. Since the formative period of Islamic law, jurists have debated whether it is acceptable for a law to be selected based on its utility, rather than weighing conflicting articulations of the law to determine the most likely expression of the divine will. Virtually unanimous opposition to the utilitarian approach, referred to as "pragmatic eclecticism," emerged among early Islamic jurists. However, due to a host of changing institutional and socioeconomic transformations, a trend toward the legitimization of pragmatic eclecticism arose in the thirteenth century. Subsequently, the Mamluk authorities institutionalized this pragmatism when Sultan Baybars appointed four chief judges representing the four Sunni schools in Cairo in 1265 CE. After a brief attempt to reverse Mamluk pluralism by imposing the Hanafi school in the sixteenth century, Egypt’s new rulers, the Ottomans, embraced this pluralistic pragmatism. In examining over a thousand cases from three seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury Egyptian courts, Ibrahim traces the internal logic of pragmatic eclecticism under the Ottomans. An array of archival sources documents the manner in which Egyptian society’s subaltern classes navigated Sunni legal pluralism as a tool to avoid more austere legal doctrines. The ensuing portrait challenges the assumption made by many modern historians that the utilitarian approaches adopted by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Muslim reformers constituted a clear rupture with early Islamic legal history. In contrast, many of the legal strategies exercised in Egypt’s partial codification of family law in the twentieth century were rooted in premodern Islamic jurisprudence.

Pragmatism in Islamic Law

Author: Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815635178
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
In Pragmatism in Islamic Law, Ibrahim presents a detailed history of Sunni legal pluralism and the ways in which it was employed to accommodate the changing needs of society. Since the formative period of Islamic law, jurists have debated whether it is acceptable for a law to be selected based on its utility, rather than weighing conflicting articulations of the law to determine the most likely expression of the divine will. Virtually unanimous opposition to the utilitarian approach, referred to as "pragmatic eclecticism," emerged among early Islamic jurists. However, due to a host of changing institutional and socioeconomic transformations, a trend toward the legitimization of pragmatic eclecticism arose in the thirteenth century. Subsequently, the Mamluk authorities institutionalized this pragmatism when Sultan Baybars appointed four chief judges representing the four Sunni schools in Cairo in 1265 CE. After a brief attempt to reverse Mamluk pluralism by imposing the Hanafi school in the sixteenth century, Egypt's new rulers, the Ottomans, embraced this pluralistic pragmatism. In examining over a thousand cases from three seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury Egyptian courts, Ibrahim traces the internal logic of pragmatic eclecticism under the Ottomans. An array of archival sources documents the manner in which Egyptian society's subaltern classes navigated Sunni legal pluralism as a tool to avoid more austere legal doctrines. The ensuing portrait challenges the assumption made by many modern historians that the utilitarian approaches adopted by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Muslim reformers constituted a clear rupture with early Islamic legal history. In contrast, many of the legal strategies exercised in Egypt's partial codification of family law in the twentieth century were rooted in premodern Islamic jurisprudence.

The Logic of Law Making in Islam

Author: Behnam Sadeghi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139789252
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This pioneering study examines the process of reasoning in Islamic law. Some of the key questions addressed here include whether sacred law operates differently from secular law, why laws change or stay the same and how different cultural and historical settings impact the development of legal rulings. In order to explore these questions, the author examines the decisions of thirty jurists from the largest legal tradition in Islam: the Hanafi school of law. He traces their rulings on the question of women and communal prayer across a very broad period of time - from the eighth to the eighteenth century - to demonstrate how jurists interpreted the law and reconciled their decisions with the scripture and the sayings of the Prophet. The result is a fascinating overview of how Islamic law has evolved and the thinking behind individual rulings.

Reformation of Islamic Thought

Author: Naṣr Ḥāmid Abū Zayd
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
ISBN: 905356828X
Format: PDF, ePub
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After September 11, Islam became nearly synonymous with fundamentalism in the eyes of Western media and literature. However widely held this view may be, it is at odds with Islam’s rich political history. Renowned Egyptian scholar Nasr Abû Zayd here considers the full breadth of contemporary Muslim writings to examine the diverse political, religious, and cultural views that inform discourse in the Islamic world. Reformation of Islamic Thought explores the writings of intellectuals from Egypt to Iran to Indonesia, probing their efforts to expand Islam beyond traditional and legalistic interpretations. Zayd reveals that many Muslim thinkers advocate culturally enlightened Islam with an emphasis on individual faith. He then investigates the extent of these Muslim reformers’ success in generating an authentic renewal of Islamic ideology, asking if such thinkers have escaped the traditionalist trap of presenting a negative image to the West. A fascinating and highly relevant study for our times, Reformation of Islamic Thought is an essential analysis of Islam’s present and future.

Islam and the Secular State

Author: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im Na
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674033760
Format: PDF
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What should be the place of Shari'a - Islamic religious law - in predominantly Muslim societies of the world? In this book, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist envisions a positive and sustainable role for Shari'a, based on a profound rethinking of the relationship between religion and the secular state in all societies.

Sexual Violation in Islamic Law

Author: Hina Azam
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107094240
Format: PDF, ePub
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Centered on legal discourses of Islam's first six centuries, this book analyzes juristic writings on the topic of rape.

A History of Islamic Legal Theories

Author: Wael B. Hallaq
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521599863
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Wael B. Hallaq has already established himself as one of the most eminent scholars in the field of Islamic law. In this book, first published in 1997, the author traces the history of Islamic legal theory from its early beginnings until the modern period. Initially, he focuses on the early formation of this theory, analysing its central themes and examining the developments which gave rise to a variety of doctrines. He concludes with a discussion of modern thinking about the theoretical foundations and methodology of Islamic law. In organisation, approach to the subject and critical apparatus, the book will be an essential tool for the understanding of Islamic legal theory in particular and Islamic law in general. This, in combination with an accessibility of language and style, will guarantee a readership among students and scholars and anyone interested in Islam and its evolution.

Land Law and Islam

Author: Hilary Lim
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 1848137206
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this pioneering work Siraj Sait and Hilary Lim address Islamic property and land rights, drawing on a range of socio-historical, classical and contemporary resources. They address the significance of Islamic theories of property and Islamic land tenure regimes on the 'webs of tenure' prevalent in the Muslim societies. They consider the possibility of using Islamic legal and human rights systems for the development of inclusive, pro-poor approaches to land rights. They also focus on Muslim women's rights to property and inheritance systems. Engaging with institutions such as the Islamic endowment (waqf) and principles of Islamic microfinance, they test the workability of 'authentic' Islamic proposals. Located in human rights as well as Islamic debates, this study offers a well researched and constructive appraisal of property and land rights in the Muslim world.

Court Cultures in the Muslim World

Author: Albrecht Fuess
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136917810
Format: PDF, Docs
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Courts and the complex phenomenon of the courtly society have received intensified interest in academic research over recent decades, however, the field of Islamic court culture has so far been overlooked. This book provides a comparative perspective on the history of courtly culture in Muslim societies from the earliest times to the nineteenth century, and presents an extensive collection of images of courtly life and architecture within the Muslim realm. The thematic methodology employed by the contributors underlines their interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to issues of politics and patronage from across the Islamic world stretching from Cordoba to India. Themes range from the religious legitimacy of Muslim rulers, terminologies for court culture in Oriental languages, Muslim concepts of space for royal representation, accessibility of rulers, the role of royal patronage for Muslim scholars and artists to the growing influence of European courts as role models from the eighteenth century onwards. Discussing specific terminologies for courts in Oriental languages and explaining them to the non specialist, chapters describe the specific features of Muslim courts and point towards future research areas. As such, it fills this important gap in the existing literature in the areas of Islamic history, religion, and Islam in particular.

An Introduction to Islamic Law

Author: Wael B. Hallaq
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139489305
Format: PDF
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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 second part explains how the law was transformed and ultimately dismantled during the colonial period. In the final chapters, the author charts recent developments and the struggles of the Islamists to negotiate changes which 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 of further reading, will be the first stop for those who wish to understand the fundamentals of Islamic law, its practices and history.