Islamic Shariʿa Law, History and Modernity: Some Reflections

Suleiman A Mourad


In the last two centuries, Muslim modernists have introduced major legal reforms that led to the restriction of the range and scope of Islamic Shariʿa Law and the overhaul of legal thought and practice in the Muslim World. Nevertheless, every time a new legal reform is proposed, it is met with outcries from Islamists who label it un-Islamic and blasphemy against God. This paper examines some major premodern scholars of Islamic jurisprudence whose thought and practice about Shariʿa Law featured tremendous flexibility in the way they understood their role as legislators and accepted a diversity of rules. The paper shows how important Islamic history is for a proper understanding of Islamic Shariʿa Law, which accommodates change and constant interpretation

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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