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Islamic Legal Thought and Muslim Women in Western Europe
Author: Lena Larsen
In How Muftis Think Lena Larsen explores fatwas that respond to questions asked by Muslim women in Western Europe in recent decades. The questions show women to be torn between two opposing notions of morality and norms: one stressing women’s duties and obedience, and one stressing women’s rights and equality before the law. Focusing on muftis who see “the time and place” as important considerations in fatwa-giving, and seek to develop a local European Islamic jurisprudence on these increasingly controversial issues, Larsen examines how they deal with women’s dilemmas. Careful not to suggest easy answers or happy endings, her discussion still holds out hope that European societies and Muslim minorities can recognize shared moral concerns.
Author: Ron Shaham
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.