Authority, Continuity, and Change in Islamic Law

  • Published in Law

Wael B. Hallaq, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 269 pages.

This book traces the development of Islamic law from its earliest period to the full formative period, when the major madhahib were established, to show that institutionalizing Islamic law always involved a reasoned defense and calculative move. Hallaq asserts that such processes were not an innovation; rather, they were embedded in the structure of the original legal traditions that allowed for continual social change and the maintenance of order and stability in Islam’s social system. Throughout the ages, the Shari‘ah has been subjected to a dialectical milieu and change as dictated by varying social conditions. This further stimulated change to maintain the established order’s very essence, which was based on the logic of reasoning and calculation.

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