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The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511261640)

Long before the rise of Islam in the early seventh century, Arabia had come to form an integral part of the Near East. This book, covering more than three centuries of legal history, presents an important account of how Islam developed its own law while drawing on ancient Near Eastern legal cultures, Arabian customary law and Quranic reforms. The development of the judiciary, legal reasoning and legal authority during the first century is discussed in detail as is the dramatic rise of prophetic authority, the crystallization of legal theory and the formation of the all-important legal schools. Finally the book explores the interplay between law and politics, explaining how the jurists and the ruling elite led a symbiotic existence that - seemingly paradoxically - allowed Islamic law and its application to be uniquely independent of the 'state'.

• A readable account of the development of Islamic law during the first three centuries of Islam • By one of the leading scholars in the field of Islamic law • The first book to offer such a wide coverage of Islamic legal history


1. The pre-Islamic Near East, Muhammad and Quranic law; 2. The emergence of an Islamic legal ethic; 3. The early judges, legal specialists and the search for religious authority; 4. The judiciary coming of age; 5. Prophetic authority and the modification of legal reasoning; 6. Legal theory expounded; 7. The formation of legal schools; 8. Law and politics: caliphs, judges and jurists; Conclusion.


'The publication of this book is timely and apposite. …The aim of this book, which it successfully achieves, is to make a survey of the origins and evolution of Islamic Law …'. Journal of Comparative Law

' … the unprecedented comprehensiveness and conciseness of the work should make it standard reading for novice students approaching the study of early Islamic law … Professor Hallaq's book should be welcomed as an interesting and provocative contribution to an ongoing discussion.' The Journal of Relgion

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