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Maṣlaḥa and the Purpose of the Law: Islamic Discourse on Legal Change from the 4th/10th to 8th/14th Century

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ISBN13: 9789004184169
Published: June 2010
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Country of Publication: The Netherlands
Format: Hardback
Price: £140.00



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Focusing on writings of legal theory by leading jurisprudents from al-Jaṣṣāṣ (d. 370/980) to al-Shāṭibī (d. 790/1388), this study traces the Islamic discourse on legal change. It looks at the concept of maṣlaḥa (people’s well-being) as a method of extending and adapting God’s law, showing how it evolves from an obscure legal principle to being interpreted as the allencompassing purpose of God’s law. Discussions on maṣlaḥa’s epistemology, its role in the lawfinding process, the limits of human investigation into divinecommands, and the delineation of the sphere of religious law in Muslim society highlight the interplay between law, theology, logic, and politics that make maṣlaḥa a viable vehicle of legal change up to the present.

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Subjects:
Islamic Law