The Islamic Legal Tradition
Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory
Published by: Stanford University Press
304 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm
- ISBN: 9780804729277
- Published: August 1997
The jurist Ebu's-suud (c. 1490–1574) occupies a key position in the history of Islamic law. An Ottoman tradition, which began in the seventeenth century and which modern historians often reiterate, asserts that Ebu's-suud succeeded in harmonizing the secular law with the shari 'a, creating, in effect, a new ideal Islamic legal system. This book examines the validity of this assertion.
The author begins by choosing five areas of Islamic law for analysis: the Sultan and legal sovereignty; land tenure and taxation; trusts in mortmain; marriage and the family; and crimes and torts. In each of these areas, he lays out the most important rules and concepts in the Islamic juristic tradition, and then gives his translations of a selection of Ebu's-suud's writings on the topic in question, with a brief analysis. From these materials, the author suggests that readers draw their own conclusions as to whether Ebu's-suud did indeed reconcile Ottoman secular legal practice with the sacred law.
"Colin Imber's study of the sixteenth-century Ottoman Sheikh al-Islam, Ebu's-Su'ud, the preeminent jurisconsult of the Ottoman Empire, is an illuminating and timely addition to a sparse, but growing, literature dedicated to this more proximate inheritance of the contemporary Islamic world." ~Comparative Studies in Society & History