Exploring the Mind of God: An Introduction to Shiʿite Legal Epistemology


This book introduces readers to the legal epistemology that is advocated within Twelver Shiʿite uṣūl al-fiqh (legal theory). It critically surveys the epistemological underpinnings upheld by post-19th century Uṣūlī clerics that impel them to mainly deduce and interpret Sharia using scripture and literalist hermeneutical methods. An evaluation of these underpinnings uncovers the important juxtaposition that exists between the seminarian discourses of uṣūl al-fiqh and philosophy. The book hypothesises that uṣūl al-fiqh has both space and historical precedence to accept alternative epistemological theories that may enable orthodox Shiʿite clerics to display greater dynamism in deducing and interpreting Sharia.

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Hashim Bata, Ph.D. (2012), University of Warwick, is Lecturer in Islamic Legal Studies at Al-Mahdi Institute and Associate Lecturer at University of Birmingham. He has published several articles in the fields Uṣūl al-fiqh and Fiqh.
Ch 1: Introduction to Islamic Legal Theory
Ch 2: The Non-Authoritativeness of Conjecture
Ch 3: The Authoritativeness of Certainty
Ch 4: The Authoritativeness of Substantiated Conjecture
Ch 5: Implications of Legal Epistemology on Ijtihād
Scholars, researchers, undergraduates, graduates, and seminarians and practitioners from both Shiite and Sunni backgrounds. People who have a keen interest in the fields of Islamic legal studies, theology, and Islamic philosophy.
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