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Book: Authority, Continuity, and Change in Islamic Law

In this path-breaking new book, the author shows how authority guaranteed both continuity and change in Islamic law. Hallaq demonstrates that it was the construction of the absolutist authority of the school founder, an image which he suggests was actually developed later in history, that maintained the foundations of school methodology and hermeneutics. The defense of that methodology gave rise to an infinite variety of individual legal opinions, ultimately accommodating changes in the law. Thus the author concludes that the mechanisms of change were embedded in the very structure of Islamic law, despite its essentially conservative nature.

Table of Contents

  • Juristic Typologies: A Framework For Enquiry
  • Early Ijtihad and the Later Construction of Authority
  • The Rise and Augmentation of School Authority
  • Taqlīd: Authority, Hermeneutics, and Function
  • Operative Terminology and the Dynamics of Legal Doctrine
  • The Jurisconsult, the Author-Jurist, and Legal Change
  • Summary and Conclusions

Wael B. Hallaq is Professor at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Authority, Continuity, and Change in Islamic Law

Author: Wael B. Hallaq

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 17, 2005)

 Language: English

Length: 284 pages

ISBN: 978-0521023931

Pub. Date: November 17, 2005

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