An Introduction to Islamic Law by Wael B. Hallaq

By Wael B. Hallaq

The examine of Islamic legislations could be a forbidding prospect for these coming into the sphere for the 1st time. Wael Hallaq, a number one pupil and practitioner of Islamic legislation, courses scholars during the intricacies of the topic during this soaking up advent. the 1st half the publication is dedicated to a dialogue of Islamic legislations in its pre-modern common habitat. the second one half explains how the legislations was once reworked and eventually dismantled through the colonial interval. within the ultimate chapters, the writer charts fresh advancements and the struggles of the Islamists to barter alterations that have noticeable the legislations come to be a essentially textual entity fascinated by mounted punishments and formality requisites. The booklet, which incorporates a chronology, a thesaurus of key phrases, and lists of additional analyzing, may be the first cease if you happen to desire to comprehend the basics of Islamic legislation, its practices and history.

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Yet he did not condemn reason. Rather, he affirmed that it had to be put to good use, particularly in what concerns the question of divine attributes, where one must make do with the information supplied by the Qur’an and the tradition. For al-Barbahari, combatting innovation implied continuous action on the ground in the framework of the commandment to promote virtue and prevent vice (al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa nahy ‘an al-munkar), predication (al-da‘wa), and good advice (al-nasiha). These principles were not just pious wishes; they served as a road map that he sought to apply throughout his career.

But his unshakeable faith obliged al-Mu’tasim to ultimately liberate him on condition that he no longer teach. Ibn Hanbal is said to have spent a total of twenty-eight months in prison. He briefly attempted to resume his pedagogical activities at the beginning of the reign of al-Wathiq (842–847) but was immediately forced to abandon them. This religious conflict did not prevent him from remaining faithful to the Caliphate. 25 Beginning in 847, the Ordeal gradually drew to a close. The ulama, with Ibn Hanbal at their head, were able to accumulate power as guardians of the Sunna.

This victory allowed Ibn Hanbal and his counterparts—what the sources call the ahl al-hadith or ahl al-sunna—to continue working toward the consolidation and perpetuation of what I henceforth refer to as Sunnism. Ibn Hanbal pursued purely religious designs. 26 In order to do this, one must rely on the Qur’an, interpreted nonfiguratively, and the Sunna, that is, the collection of words and deeds that may be attributed to the Prophet after critical examination. His principal work was thus al-Musnad, a collection of what were considered authentic prophetic traditions in the ninth century.

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