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Understanding Sharia Reviews

Understanding Sharia by Raficq S. Abdulla, Mohamed M. Keshavjee

Understanding Sharia

Islamic Law in a Globalised World

Raficq S. Abdulla, Mohamed M. Keshavjee

Score pending

1 review

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies
Publisher: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Publication date: 30 Jul 2018
ISBN: 9781788313193

Explores the reality of sharia, identifying the context in which it was conceived and how it developed in line with historical circumstances until the present day

4 stars out of 5
18 Mar 2019

"This rich and important book is a lucidly argued and accessibly written corrective"

The authors are particularly good at laying out the evolution of the classic schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Their story also highlights how cyclical and dynamic Muslim civilisation has been — as it spread from the Oxus river in Central Asia to the Pyrenees — and how different its colours depending on whether it mixed with Jews and Christians, as in Moorish Spain, or collided in Africa with Berbers or Yorubas...The authors defend the humanist dimension of Islam and the Koran. They see paths to a modernised sharia through Muslim scholars working in the west and retrieving the authenticity of 19th-century reformers such as Mohammed Abduh, the Egyptian scholar, and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who, despite his name, was probably a Persian and a Shia. They argue that the mystic traditions of Sufi Islam and often more supple practices of Shiism have “the potential of retrieving for sharia its higher ethical purpose” — a purpose this book admirably presents.