Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Law, and Modernity


Mohammad H. Fadel


Mohammad Fadel’s scholarship on Islamic law and legal history ranges from medieval institutions and the history of Islamic legal interpretation to urgent problems relating to the modern reception and re-assessment of Islamic legal doctrine. Fadel’s intellectual concerns focus primarily on the compatibility of the Islamic legal tradition with modern liberal political arrangements, but in his research and writing he also delves into the realm of premodern Islamic legal thought and institutions. His Rawlsian approach leads him to a political reading of the Islamic legal tradition, which he accomplishes by teasing out jurists’ assumptions about politics, economics, and the domestic sphere.

Fadel’s readings of Islamic legal sources suggest that Islamic law remains relevant to a society in which legitimate disagreements over law and morality seem intractable. At the same time, from the Rawlsian perspective he adopts, Fadel reminds us that premodern Muslim jurists formulated Islamic law also under conditions of substantial controversy over matters of law and morality, as well as over questions of religion, politics, theology, and metaphysics.

The studies gathered together in this volume adroitly illustrate Fadel’s interest in Islamic law as a domain of Islamic political thought and as a framework that might be deployed in today’s pluralistic and secularized societies.


Cover for Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Law, and Modernity


November 2, 2023


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