Wael B. Hallaq on the Origins of Islamic Law: A Review Essay

In: Islamic Law and Society


In his The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law, Wael B. Hallaq seeks to create a new paradigm for the scholarly understanding of the origins of Islamic law. In this essay, I review Hallaq's Origins and four other publications of his in an effort to assess his achievement. A comparison of Hallaq's vision of legal developments during the first two centuries AH with that of Joseph Schacht suggests that the differences between the two scholars are minor and that much scholarly work remains to be done on the emergence of Islamic legal doctrine.

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