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Unformatted text preview: sul al-fiqh itself are on the whole devoted to a treatment of the sources, and methodology of the law, and tend to leave out its history of development. The reverse of this is true with regard to works that are currently available on the general subject of Islamic jurisprudence in the English language. Works of Western authorship on this subject are, broadly speaking, primarily concerned with the history of jurisprudence, whereas the juridical subject matter of usul al-fiqh does not receive the same level of attention as is given to its historical development. Bearing in mind the nature of the existing English literature on the subject, and the fact that there is adequate information available on the history of Islamic jurisprudence in English, the present work does not attempt to address the historical developments and instead focuses on usul al-fiqh itself. Another point to be noted regarding works on Islamic jurisprudence in English by both Muslim and non-Muslim authors is that they are somewhat selective in their treatment of the relevant topics, and certain subjects tend to be ignored or treated only briefly. Consequently, information on some topics, such as the rules of interpretation, classification of words, commands and prohibitions, and textual implications (al-dalalat) is particularly brief and often non-existent in these works. Even some of the more familiar topics such as qiyas, istihsan, istislah, istishab and saad al-dhara'i are treated superficially in most of the English books that are currently in use. The reasons for such omissions are not always clear. The authors might have considered some of these topics to be somewhat technical and involved for English readers whose interest in usul al-fiqh has for a long time remained confined to general and introductory information on the subject. Some of these topics, such as the rules of interpretation, al-dalalat and the technicalities of qiyas which draw somewhat heavily on the use of Arabic terminology, might have been viewed in this light. The English-speaking student of Islamic studies has been perceived as someone who would have little use for technical detail on usul al-fiqh. This might at best offer a plausible explanation, but it is one which carries little weight, especially in view of the greater interest that has been more recently taken in Islamic legal studies in the West, as well as some of the English speaking institutions of higher learning that have emerged in Islamic Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 4 countries themselves. [Note for example the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and that of Islamabad, Pakistan, where usul al-fiqh is offered as a core subject both in the LL.B and the masters degree programmes.] Moreover, the fact that Islamic countries have in recent decades shown a fresh interest in developing greater harmony between the Shariah and statutory laws has also meant that practicing lawyers and judges in these countries are increasingly encouraged to enhance their expertise in the Shariah disciplines. Modern Arabic writings on...
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- Spring '13