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Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Islamic Texts Society; 3 edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621828
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'The best thing of its kind I have ever seen. Exactly the kind of thing I have wanted for years to put into the hands of students.' Professor Charles Adams (McGill University); 'This book is a valuable addition to existing Islamic jurisprudential literature in English ... remarkably successful.' The Muslim World Book Review.

About the Author

Dr Mohammad H. Kamali is Professor of Law at the International Islamic University Malaysia, where he has been teaching Islamic law and jurisprudence since 1985. Among his other works published by the Islamic Texts Society is 'Freedom of Expression in Islam'.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Francesco Lovecchio on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This 390 pages book is a dense compendium (or treatise) of Islamic law for students and scholars. It is not for beginners and it is a tough reading. Since this textbook is for student of Islamic law written by an Islamic lawyer, this book assumes that the reader has a basic knowledge of both Qur'an and Shariah. The author is professor of law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, founded in the 80s to be a center of excellence in several fields and sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Conference and other governments. The main language at the University is English and this text is mainly catered for those students. In the preface, the author says he had initiated the book while he was teaching Islamic Law to postgraduate students at McGill University in Montreal. However, it does not offer international comparisons with other Western legal systems. The book devotes a lot of space to the rules of interpretations of the law within a historical context. So you get Islamic law and history to explain its developments within the several traditions in the Islamic world. It is divided in 19 chapters that span from the Source of the law (Quar'an and Sunnah); Rules of interpretations; Abrogation; Analogical deduction; Revealed laws preceding the Shariah; Equity in Islamic law; Public interest; Custom; Conflict of evidences etc. The author shows a scholarly detachment from the subject and therefore don't expect moral judgments of value on a specific norm, whether it is right or wrong, but only a legal analysis. It is a worthy reading for those who have an interest, other than in Islamic law, in Political Science, International relations and Islamic civilization.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Islamic Law, either Muslim or not. To my knowledge, it is the best book available of its kind in the english language. In these days of many extremes, it is essential to erase our ignorance with knowledge.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gogol on May 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
An excellent book covering the principles of 'Usul al-Fiqh' or the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence according to the four sunni schools of Islam.

The book begins with an introduction to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and a short history of its development before the author covers its understanding (which is far more complicated than what some modern so called 'experts' on the middle east (and yes, I am talking about Pipes (a man who thinks Muhammad may have not even existed! (see his reviews) and the rabble of pseudo 'scholars' (such as the author of 'Politically incorrect guide') who cant even speak a word of Arabic and the equally useless (unless your a tabloid journalist) fanatics would have you believe)

The author further covers the development of Usul during the last few centuries especially concerning the controversial issue of Ijtihad and the attempts over the centuries to revive it.

An excellent read but not one that can be taken lightly. It will need to be read and read again, this is a book for serious study.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By yunush on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Hashim Kamali's book is a marvelous adaptation of Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) in English. I have read through this book extensively, benefited from it greatly, and enjoyed the high literacy quality of this work. He does indeed make use of Arabic words and expressions frequently and that is absolutely needed; all of the reputed work on Islamic Fiqh is in Arabic and he does a painstakingly excellent job of transmitting the soul of the original texts (mainly in Arabic) into English. People complaining about the excessive use of Arabic words in this book perhaps needs to read through the Preface where he provides a great exposition of the need to use the traditional Arabic terms and makes it clear that due to the meticulous nature of the subject, it is important to retain the most important terms and expressions in Arabic upon which the Principles of Fiqh is erected. I give this book very high marks since it has almost no competitors (in English language) in this discipline. Caution should be also exercised since it is not a "casual reading" book; you'll need to pay attention and take good notes. Each page can easily take 3-4 minutes to read. I also wish that Kamali had given more examples in several sections. A great addition to the book will be some sort of Questions or Exercises at the culmination of each chapter. The footnotes and references are well organized and thoroughly researched. You would almost need to read this book more than once to retain the contents due to its complex and deep nature of dicussion. Lastly, this book cannot be simply read and understood by an individual alone unless he/she has the required credentials (e.g. have a good grasp of various Islamic disciplines); for the most part, it is best to study this as part of the course with a qualified teacher so that the book's text can be explained when there's is confusion or lack of clarity. I give the highest rating to this book.
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