Islamic International Law: Historical Foundations and Al-Shaybani’s Siyar
Islamic International Law: Historical Foundations and Al-Shaybani’s Siyar
Khaled Ramadan Bashir
Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 2018, xv + 303 pp. ISBN: 9781788113854
Abubakri Yekini
Until recently, not much is known about the contributions of non-European scholars in the field of international law. One can assume earlier scholarly works did not pay attention to other systems of international or other classical works on the subject outside Europe. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, for instance, claims that many of the concepts of modern international law were formulated in the Middle Ages and credits St Thomas Aquinas (1224/25–1274) amongst others as the ‘intellectual foundation’ of international law.1 Professor H Lauterpacht also notes in one of his works that Grotius is ‘the acknowledged greatest exponent of the law of nations’.2 While some modern writers such as Ian Brownlie are silent on non-European scholarship on international law, others like Malcom Shaw and Stephan Verosta make some passing reference – or acknowledgement – to their contributions.3 Perhaps, The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law is one of the very few books which really present ‘a global history’ of international law by considering the inputs from outside Europe.4 It should not come as a surprise that Muhammad Al-Shaybani (749/50-805) is the first personality to be discussed amongst the leading contributors to international law.

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