By N. Coulson
The vintage creation to Islamic legislations, tracing its improvement from its origins,through the medieval interval, to its position in smooth Islam.
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Additional info for A History of Islamic Law
Human thought, unaided, cannot discern the true values and standards of conduct; such knowledge can only be attained through divine reve lation, and acts are good or evil exclusively because God has attributed this quali ty to them . In the Islamic concept, law precedes and moulds society; ro its eternally valid dictates the structure of tate and society must, ideally, confo rm. riety of threads woven into a single garment; even the tnterlaced holes of a fishing net: these are some of the metaphors ~se~ ~y Muslim authors to explain the phenomenon of zlchulaf, or diversity of doctrine, in Shari'a law.
The eflect of such Traditions could be minimised by interpretation, however arbitrary and forced this sometimes might appear; the l:fanafis, for example, in order to preserve their rule that an adult woman had the capacity to conclude her own marriage, had to interpret the Tradition which stated: "If a woman marries herself without a guardian, her marriage is null and void", as referring to minor females only. More particularly, both schools recognised subsidiary; but additional, principles of jurisprudence whose authority could override that of an isolated Tradition; the l:fanafis maintained the validity of "preference" (isti~san) and the Malikis that of "the consensus (ijma') of Medina".
The obvious conflict between the verse of the bequests and the Tradition cannot be resolved by assuming that either one directly abrogates the other. The Tradition explains the ''fara'it/. verses" by ordaining that the balance established by them between the claims of different relatives must not be disturbed by an additional bequest to any one of their number- and therefore indicates that the system of specific portions had abro- gated the verse of bequests, at least as far as those relatives who were actually entitled to specific portions were concerned.
A History of Islamic Law by N. Coulson