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The Anthropology of Islamic LawEducation, Ethics, and Legal Interpretation at Egypt's Al-Azhar$
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Aria Nakissa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190932886

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190932886.001.0001

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The Structure of Islamic Legal Thought

The Structure of Islamic Legal Thought

(p.181) 7 The Structure of Islamic Legal Thought
The Anthropology of Islamic Law

Aria Nakissa

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the overall structure of Islamic legal thought, and explains how it relates to the pedagogical practices characteristic of Islamic learning. Here the chapter develops hermeneutic ideas using insights from “planning theory,” an influential approach in recent philosophical and legal scholarship. This allows for a new perspective on an entire range of Islamic legal concepts including: maṣlaḥa, taʿabbud, Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa, qiyās, istiṣlāḥ, istiḥsān, ijmāʿ, ijtihād, taqlīd, and madhhab. The chapter links its analysis to ideas and practices found at al-Azhar University, al-Azhar mosque, and the Dār al-ʿUlūm. Among the topics discussed are planning theory and instrumental rationality, including how intentions/rules are partially instrumentally rational and partially arbitrary/non-rational; how new circumstances can prompt the abandonment and reformation of intentions/rules; language and the principles of Islamic legal interpretation.

Keywords:   hermeneutics, planning theory, maṣlaḥa, taʿabbud, Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa, qiyās, istiṣlāḥ, istiḥsān, ijmāʿ, ijtihād, taqlīd, madhhab

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