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Lessons in Islamic Jurisprudence Paperback – November 15, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (November 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851683933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851683932
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,384,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Reviews for The Mantle of the Prophet '[Mottahedeh] has drawn on a massive amount of learning, but he has got the scholarly apparatus out of the way and made his book accessible to a wide audience.' - New York Times Book Review 'A masterpiece [displaying] dazzling erudition.' - New York Review of Books

About the Author

Translator Roy Mottahedeh is Gurney Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department at Harvard University, and author of the acclaimed The Mantle of the Prophet. He lives in Brookline, MA.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. As-Sadr was a top scholar killed by Saddam and this translation was long overdue. I should think anyone who teaches Islamic law in the West would find it essential.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brent Poirier on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would divide this book into two parts-- Professor Mottahedeh's written contributions, and Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr's text itself, which he has translated. As to the text itself, it is above my pay grade, and I am unable therefore to address either the quality of the translation or the substance of as-Sadr's thought. It is at the level of principle, and reminds me of the rules of formal logic. I mistakenly thought that the book would consist of examples of jurisprudential rulings. I see that one reviewer anticipated more commentary and explanation by Professor Mottahedeh, but he seems to have focused more on a sound translation, than an annotated work. For me, the more interesting and usable part of the book is Mottahedeh's own writing, as distinct from the work he has translated. His Introduction, more than 30 pages in length, is a clear, cogent, concentrated description of the sources and fundamental principles of Islamic jurisprudence. It is understandable to a beginner like me, and this is what Professor Mottahedeh set out to do. He begins his introduction: "This introduction seeks to locate his work for the intelligent lay reader by offering: a discussion of the nature of Islamic law; a discussion of the nature of Islamic jurisprudence; a discussion of the relation of this system of jurisprudence to Roman and canon law..." I feel it is one of the finest examples of expository prose I have read; and I therefore recommend his introduction to the book to anyone who seeks to better understand Islam. Professor Mottahedeh has also provided a summary of the translated text, a very useful Glossary, and a list of nearly 200 Arabic terms appearing in the text, with a brief description of each in English. My impression is that Professor Mottahedeh seeks to approach his subject humbly and without interfering in it; while providing supporting material of the highest quality.

Brent Poirier, Attorney
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gogol on May 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I must say I bought this book due to the attention given to the rise of Shia Islam in Iraq especially from Muqtada al-Sadr and his private army who have done so much to demolish Iraqs stability with his private army of South American style death squads.

I was interested in Muhammad Baqir as unlike Muqtada whose religious knowledge seems to come from Mullahs abroad and qualifications from little more than his family name (which he seems to use and exploit at every available opportunity) he was at least a well respected scholar (amongst Shia at least) in spite of being the co-founder (along with Muhammda Baqir al-Hakim (famed for his 'Badr brigade' the death squads of Basra and its surroundings)) in forming the Iranian backed Islamist movement in Iraq he was seen as more moderate than Khomeni.

This book however is to say the least a toil to read. Slow and lacking in any real commentary or explaination to the text. While there is an introduction to Islamic law including the history of its development I feel there sould have been more concentration on the actual text in order to make it at least more readable.

While this book may be of interest especially with ongoing events in Iraq it would certainly take more than just a passing read and perhaps recomended only to those with a deep interest in Shia Islamic law.
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