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Speaking in God's Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women Paperback – August 27, 2001
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Some criticisms of the book are his awkward attempts to merge insights from Western philosophy with Muslim tradition. Thinkers such as Muhammad Iqbal proved long ago that this can be done with grace and skill, but El Fadl does so awkwardly at times. It seems that these elements remain unmixed like oil and water despite various attempts. Also, I wish he would have desisted from always using the Wahhabi CRLO as his main polemical opponent. There are so many other fatwa bodies, international ones at that, that I found this decision to be rather odd. Moreover, I would have liked to have seen a deeper examination of the historical contingencies surrounding these fatwas to be explored. Nonetheless, it's without a doubt a must read for anyone interested in American Muslim scholars.
In this book Abu el Fadel sets about discussing basic fundamentals about the basic text of the Quran, he argues persuasively that the actual text of the Quran is authoritative whereas its interpretations are not necessarily so. Abu el Fadel proceeds to cover the concept of "agency" and the responsibilities that must be assumed by anyone who claims to interpret Islam and produce responsa or "fetwa". A tour de force of traditional Islamic Jurisprudence is presented setting the rules of how a fetwa can be reached, rules of evidence, weighing of multiple or contradictory indications, method of reasoning and ultimately presentation of results or fetwa.
Sharia Law as presented by Abu el Fadel is a far more nuanced and complex legal code than how it is commonly interpreted today in both the West and the Muslim World. A number of examples of Law from Saudi Arabia are presented in particular in relation to the restrictions imposed on women. Abu el Fadel presents the official Saudi Islamic rulings and sets about dissecting them in great detail and examining them under the microscope of traditional Islamic jurisprudence with its restrain and tremendous care not to usurp the intent of God and force one's own will on Islam.
Abu el Fadel goes to the root of some of the "Hadith", Prophet Mohammad sayings, that have been used over the years to limit the role of women in Islam.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Islamic law, women in Islamic law, or Islamic dynamics of authority. Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by Lee
Dr. Abou El Fadl's excellent book on Islam. The Great Theft and The Search For Beauty In Islam are among his great works.Published on February 19, 2006 by Moderate1
What Mr. El Fadl has done in this book is nothing short of extraordinary. His project is to first explain to the reader how the Islamic jurisprudential system works: this is the... Read morePublished on December 16, 2003 by David Kirchner II
This book leaves out much to be desired.
You are better off reading "Islam Exposed" by Solomon Tulbure ISBN: 1932303456
Despite competently hitting the bull's eye in several locations, Dr. Abou El Fadl commits the same crime he is trying to expose and fight. Read morePublished on May 27, 2003 by Ahmed K. Sultan Salem
Detailed and scholarly. El Fadl has a great love for Islam and shows it by digging its darkest closets, and showing that light can still reach there.Published on April 16, 2002 by Andy Barenberg