These studies by Wael Hallaq represent an important contribution to our understanding of the neglected field of medieval Islamic law and legal thought. Spanning the period from the 8th to the 16th centuries, they draw upon a wide range of original sources to offer both fresh interpretations of those sources and a careful evaluation of contemporary scholarship. The first articles expound the interrelated issues of legal reasoning, legal logic and the epistemology of the law. There follows a set of primarily historical studies, which question a series of widely held assumptions, while the last items explore issues of legal theory and methodology. One particular topic concerns the role of Shafi'i as the ’master architect’ of Islamic legal theory, and Professor Hallaq would finally argue that this image is in fact false and a creation of later centuries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; The logic of legal reasoning in religious and non-religious cultures: the case of Islamic law and the common law; Non-analogical arguments in Sunni juridical qiyas; Logic, formal arguments and formalization of arguments in Sunni jurisprudence; On inductive corroboration, probability and certainty in Sunni legal thought; Was the Gate of Ijtihad closed?; On the origins of the controversy about the existence of Mujtahids and the Gate of Ijtihad; Was al-Shafi’i the master architect of Islamic jurisprudence?; On the authoritativeness of Sunni consensus; The use and abuse of evidence: the question of provincial and Roman influences on early Islamic law; Notes on the term QarÃ®na in Islamic legal discourse; The primacy of the Qur’an in Shatibi’s legal theory; Usul al-Fiqh: beyond tradition; Index of Arabic terms; General index.
Wael B. Hallaq is Professor of Islamic Law in the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Canada
'...specialists as well as students new to the field of Islamic law will find it valuable.' Bulletin of the Middle East Studies Association, No. 30