Beyond Textuality in Islamic Legal Exegesis Intertextuality and Hypertextuality for Codifying Legal Maxims of Islamic Criminal Law

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Luqman Zakariyah



When studying textuality in the codification1 of Islamic legal maxims (qawā‘id fiqhīyah), it is worth researching how intertextuality and hypertextuality can be used as linguistic mechanisms to help understand Qur’anic texts and how such texts cohere to form legal maxims in Islamic criminal law. An in-depth study of medieval Qur’anic exegetes reveals the length to which Muslim scholars have gone to link texts to extract contextual meanings from the Qur’an and, perhaps, to codify Islamic legal maxims. Two such approaches are intertextuality and hypertextuality. This article examines how the linguistic mechanisms defined herein complement juristic methodology in codifying Islamic legal maxims from Qur’anic exegesis. It explores several relevant exegeses, illustrates that maxims codified through intertextuality and hypertextuality are more far-reaching than those codified through textuality alone, and emphasizes these legal maxims’ application to
aspects of criminal law. I conclude that were it not for juristic methodologies, many objectives of Islamic law would have been misconstrued in the process of identifying the texts’ meanings.

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