law

law
   Islam consists of two significant sources of law. First there is the revelation of the Qur’an, the word of God, and secondly the hadith, short stories and reports of the Prophet’s life and sayings, and of those close to him, which illustrate his and the early community’s ideal practice (sunna). The doctrines and rules of behavior that can be linked with these sources are divine law or shari‘a. In the Qur’an itself there are quite a few indications of legal doctrine, but this is enormously expanded in the hadith literature, and then later on in the various legal texts that came to be written to codify and determine different versions of Islamic law. Particularly interesting debates took place on the role of ijtihad or independent judgement, on qiyas or analogy, and on the significance of maslaha or considerations of welfare in determining law. Different schools of jurisprudence ( fiqh) arose and argued not only about what the Islamic law is on a particular issue, but also on how to produce legal judgements. The interpretation of the Qur’an was a particularly controversial issue, especially given the doctrine of abrogation or naskh, by which later verses can abrogate earlier ones, a doctrine that is capable of introducing a good deal of independence in legal judgement. Some philosophers during the classical period were also jurists and employed legal examples in their work; for example, Ibn Rushd, who in his Decisive Treatise argues that Islamic law makes the study of philosophy not only permissible, but obligatory.
   Further reading: Calder et al. 2003; Hallaq 1997, 2005; Ibn Rushd 2001a; Schacht 1964/83

Islamic Philosophy. . 2007.

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