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Cover for Shari'a


Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context

Abbas Amanat (Editor), Frank Griffel (Editor)


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/14/2009)


This volume presents ten leading scholars' writings on contemporary Islamic law and Muslim thought. The essays examine a range of issues, from modern Muslim discourses on justice, natural law, and the common good, to democracy, the social contract, and the authority of the preeminent jurist. Changes in how Shari'a has been understood over the centuries are explored, as well as how it has been applied in both Sunni and Shi'i Islam.

Debates on the nature, interpretation, reform, and application of Shari'a lie at the core of all Islamist revivalist ideologies and movements of the past two centuries. The demand for the implementation of Shari'a is one of the hallmarks of Islamic fundamentalism, and Shari'a has become one of the most controversial and politicized concepts in Muslim-majority countries today. This is one of the first books to examine how Muslims understand and apply Shari'a in contemporary societies.

Praise For Shari'a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context

“What Shari'a means to contemporary Muslims matters to non-Muslims as well. This volume enlightens everyone. It is at once scholarly and accessible, and informative in a deep and reliable way.” —Gene Outka, Yale University

“An important and illuminating anthology. This is no dry and pedantic read in the minutiae of arcane legal issues. These essays demonstrate that Shari'a is a living concern to Muslims around the world.” —Sohail Hashmi, Mount Holyoke College

“This important and timely volume helps bridge the gap between theoretical aspects of the law and its application in the modern world, and breaks new ground by paying close attention to both Shiite and Sunni uses of Islamic law. The authors, all experts in their fields, write with unusual clarity and precision to help us to understand the complex role of Islamic law in the Muslim world today. It will be a vital resource.” —Jonathan E. Brockopp, Pennsylvania State University

Stanford University Press, 9780804756396, 264pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 2007

About the Author

Frank Griffel is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Yale University. Abbas Amanat is Professor of History and International and Area Studies at Yale University.