JISPIL Vol 9 Issue 1 2013 - Book Review 2

Principle of Islamic Jurisprudence
by Muhammad Hashim Kamali, Cambridge: Islamic Text Society, 2003, ISBN 978-0946621828
Reviewed by S Al-Ansari

The main contribution of this book is that it makes the science of us}u>l al–figh accessible to English readers, presenting a clear and precise understanding of the subject-matter within a coherent volume. This book, which examines the revealed and rational principles that govern the deduction of Islamic laws (ah}ka>m) is written for educational purposes. It is intended primarily for undergraduates and Masters students. In terms of the suitability of this work to the intended audience, the author presents materials that are appropriate to this level of academic study. It is also suitable for non-specialists who seek to gain rudimentary understanding of the discipline. However, the book contains little, if any, new information, with few original insights. Kamali’s over-reliance on the Egyptian  reformists’ writings on us}u>l al-figh, made the book read like a translated version of the Arabic sources of Abd al-Wahha>b Khalla>f’s  ‘ilm us}u>l al-fiqh, Abu Zahra's us}u>l al-fiqh, Muhammad al-Khudari's us}u>l al-fiqh, and Badran's us}u>l al-fiqh al-lslami. He not only retained the content, style and structures of the Arabic sources but also their tone and spirit.

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