A History of Islamic Law (The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys)

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9780748605149: A History of Islamic Law (The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys)

The classic introduction to Islamic law, tracing its development from its origins, through the medieval period, to its place in modern Islam.

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About the Author:

N. J. Coulson was chair of oriental laws at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author of numerous books including Succession in the Modern Family, Conflicts and Tensions In Islamic Jurisprudence, and Commercial Law in the Gulf States.

Review:

“This excellent little book presents a concise, clear, vivid, and well-illustrated historical account of Islamic law from its inception to the present.”

—Muhsin Mahdi, Journal of Near Eastern Studies

A History of Islamic Law is a badly needed book; it will prove an extremely useful book; and above all, it is a remarkably well-constructed book.”

—G. E. von Grunebaum, Speculum

“In comparatively limited space N. J. Coulson... succeeds in unfolding the whole history of Muslim law, from its beginnings in the Koran down to judgments given in recent years in some African country... [A] useful textbook, well suited to its purpose of serving as an introductory survey.”

—S. D. Goitein, The English Historical Review

“Mr. Coulson’s compact volume is a clear, comprehensive, and authoritative treatment of the genesis and history of Islamic law in theory and practice, and of the central problem of legal reform now confronting Muslim society. Islamic law, the Sharia of medival Islam, is for Muslims the comprehensive catalogue of God’s commands and recommendations laid down for the guidance of man... In recent times, with the wholesale adoption by Muslim countries of western legal ideas and institutions, the Sharia has seemingly been all but abandoned... Unless the idea of a law system based on religion is to be abandoned entirely... [Coulson] points out, the task for modern Muslims, like that of their medieval predecessors, is once more to ascertain and impose the central ethical norms of Islam upon the functionings of their society.”

—Richard H. Nolte, The American Historical Review

“The book by N. J. Coulson represents... [an] introduction to Islamic law.”

—Herbert J. Liebensny, Journal of the American Oriental Society

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