Hallaq’s Challenge Can the Shari‘ah Save Us from Modernity?

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Ovamir Anjum

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Abstract

Wael Hallaq, a leading western scholar of Islamic law, throws


down the gauntlet in this daring book, challenging not only Orientalist


distortions of Islam but also turning the tables on modernity,


the ubiquitous and ineluctable paradigm that informs nearly all


thinking, Muslim and non-Muslim, about the Shari‘ah. An Islamic


state is impossible, Hallaq contends, not because the Shari‘ah is


undesirable, but because the modern state is inherently contradictory


to Islam’s metaphysics as well as its historical manifestation


as the Shari‘ah. Today’s economic and environmental cataclysms


make it urgent, he insists, to recover the moral universe of the


Shari‘ah and to do so in conversation with other erstwhile and


growing western critiques of modernity.


 

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