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Shi'ism Revisited Ijtihad and Reformation in Contemporary Times


Shi'ism Revisited Ijtihad and Reformation in Contemporary Times

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 01/25/2022
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Contemporary Muslims face a challenge: how should they define the relationship between normative Islamic jurisprudence--worked out by classical jurists over the course of centuries-and the reality that confronts them in their everyday lives. They have to reckon with how religion can regulate and serve the needs of a changing community. Is there a need for reformation in Islam? If so, where should it begin and how should it proceed? So far, these challenging questions have received little attention from Western scholars. Shi'ism Revisited will address this gap.

In order to address pressing religious and social questions--on topics ranging from women's rights to bioethics and the challenges facing diasporic Muslims--legal scholars have sought to apply ijtihad, or independent reasoning. The lack of a central authority in Islam means the interpretations and edicts of scholars are frequently challenged, resulting in diversity and plurality in Islamic law. This makes Islamic law capacious, but also suggests the critical importance of examining not just the theory of law, but its application.

Shi'ism Revisited moves beyond theoretical questions of reformation to address specific ways that Islamic law is being revisited by jurists. Tracing the origins and development of Shi'i jurisprudence and legal theory, Liyakat Takim analyzes how underlying epistemologies can be revised in order to create a moral and coherent legal system.

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