Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism

The Teaching of Yusuf al-Qaradawi


In Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism Ron Shaham challenges the common opinion that Islamic legal modernism, as represented by Rashid Rida (d. 1935), is of poor intellectual quality and should not be considered an authentic development within Islamic law. The book focuses on the celebrated Sunni jurist, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926), whom Shaham perceives as a close follower of Rida.

By studying the coherence of Qaradawi's Wasati theory of ijtihad and the consistency of its application in his legal opinions (fatwas), Shaham argues that Qaradawi, by means of eclecticism and synthesis, conducts a bold dialogue with the Islamic juristic heritage and brings it to bear on modern developments, in particular the institutional framework of the nation-state.

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Ron Shaham, Ph.D. (1992), is an associate professor of Islamic Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published on modern Islamic law, including The Expert Witness in Islamic Courts (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
1. Muhammad Rashid Rida and Academic Criticism of his Juristic Thought
2. Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Program for the Renovation of Islamic Law
3. The Proper Use of the Classical Sources of Islamic Jurisprudence in the Modern Age
4. The Role of Maṣlaḥa in Qaradawi’s Legal Theory
5. Case Study I – Polygyny
6. Case Study II – The Impact of a Western Wife’s Conversion to Islam on the Validity of Her Marriage to Her Non-Muslim Husband
7. Case Study III – Politics and Gender: Women in Roles of Political Leadership
Conclusion: Qaradawi’s Juristic Thought and Practice in Historical Perspective
The book would be of interest to academic libraries, students and all interested in Islamic law in general and in Islamic modern juristic thinking and practice in particular.
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