Shariah Law

Pages: 288
Subject: Religion: Islam
Imprint: Oneworld

Shariah Law

Questions and Answers

Mohammad Hashim Kamali

An illuminating introductory volume on a system of law that has often been characterised as backward and brutal by opponents in the West

The Book

Shariah law is a subject that is misunderstood and misrepresented by many in the West. More than simply a system of law, it is concerned with a set of values and rules that are essential to the understanding and practice of Islam. In this volume, Mohammad Hashim Kamali, a world-renowned expert on Shariah, adopts a question-and-answer format to provide a clear introduction to its most salient aspects.

Extending from the sources of Shariah in the Qur'an, hadith and the legal maxims of Islamic law to the discussion of issues such as freedom of religion, gender equality and human rights, Shariah Law: Questions and Answers connects the theoretical aspects of the law with how it is applied in the world today. At once scholarly and accessible, it is sure to be a vital resource for students, teachers and general readers, addressing as it does a range of contemporary concerns, including jihad, democracy, the environment, genetic engineering, human cloning, euthanasia and abortion.

Additional Information

Subject Religion: Islam
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Mohammad Hashim Kamali is Founding CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia. He was Professor of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, and then Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Jordan; Institute of Advanced Study Berlin, and Afghanistan's Academy of Sciences.


‘A solid jump-start into the subject for ­inquiring minds.’

- Library Journal

‘Comprehensive in its scope and detailed in discussing how shariah addresses issues such as worship, criminal law, gender and family, banking and finance, and modern bioethical and environmental concerns. Kamali is a sound scholar and an encyclopedic source of information on shariah's theoretical and applied aspects, and this book reflects that erudition.'

- Publishers Weekly

‘Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali is one of the leading scholars of our time in the Islamic legal field, to which this book is a timely and critical contribution. His thoughtful, in-depth and accessible responses to essential questions help the reader to gain a comprehensive understanding of crucial Islamic notions.'

- Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Oxford

‘A must read for anyone seeking answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Shariah and a masterly demonstration of the contextualization of Shariah law in today's setting.'

- Abdullah Saeed, Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne

‘A most appropriate book that provides a clear understanding of Shariah law, especially in these times of general misunderstanding about the system in the West. Highly recommended.'

- Mashood A. Baderin, Professor of Laws, School of Law, SOAS University of London

‘A clear-eyed, scholarly, thorough and timely general treatment of the most pressing questions an English-speaking layman may have about the Shariah.'

- HRH Prince Ghazi

Table of Contents




I  Shariah and Fiqh - Meaning, Definition, Sources, Salient Features and Comparisons with other Legal Systems

II  Legal Opinion (fatwa) and Independent Reasoning (Ijtihad)

III  Shariah and Acts of Worship (͑Ibadat)

IV  Schools of Islamic Law, the Madhhabs

V  The Scale of Five Values (al-Ahkam al-Khamsah)

VI  Shariah Court Proceedings, Evidence and Proof

VII  Shariah, Criminal Law and the Prescribed Hudud Punishments

VIII  Hudud in the Present-Day Muslim Countries

IX  Shariah, Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties

X  Jihad, Violence and War

XI  Shariah, Gender and Family

XII  Islamic Banking and Finance

XIII  Shariah and Private Property

XIV  Modern Bioethical and Environmental Questions

XV  Freedom of Religion and the Rights of Minorities

XVI  Goals and Purposes (Maqasid) of Shariah

XVII  Legal Maxims of Fiqh (Qawaʿid kulliyyah fiqhiyyah)


Qur'anic Verses, Hadith and Legal Maxims (in Original Arabic)




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