Contracting Fear: Islamic Law in the Middle East and Middle by Khurram Dara

By Khurram Dara

If you have ever learn a information tale approximately radical Islam, you have most likely noticeable "sharia legislations" pointed out. yet for whatever that's turning into more and more standard in political rhetoric, it is challenging to think how little most folk really find out about Islamic legislation. during this concise and instructive ebook, Khurram Dara explains not just the heritage and origins of Islamic legislations but in addition the attention-grabbing function it has performed within the politics of the center East and center the United States. not easy the traditional knowledge that Islamic legislations is inflexible and everlasting, Dara argues that the political and cultural realities of its formation recommend in a different way and will switch how Islamic legislation is assumed of and mentioned in either the East and the West. Combining non secular historical past with felony research, Contracting worry explains Islamic legislation within the context of the worldwide political weather at the present time.

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And its layered, pluralistic nature further highlights how fluid and dynamic the sharia was. The law was not static, nor was it codified. It was protected, interpreted, and developed by a class of scholars who despite their training were still human—and subject to natural biases of the region and period in which they lived. This gave the sharia a degree of flexibility that allowed Islamic rule to thrive in the premodern era before the rise of the institutional, bureaucratic nation-state. That flexibility means that Muslims today should feel no qualms about negotiating the sharia and conforming it to contemporary standards.

This evidentiary standard, coupled with the fact that the premodern ruler lacked a robust public policing force, meant that the likelihood of getting caught and punished for a crime was exceptionally low. Consequently, criminal punishment would have to be severe and public enough to deter crime. This legal tradeoff is a common one historically. For example, British common law originally made conviction of any and all felonies punishable by death. Because these administrative regulations did not require the onerous evidentiary standards found in the sharia, governments now had some flexibility in carrying out justice.

Hallaq, Islamic Law, 87, citing Dirks, Scandal of Empire, 221. , 43. 33 Contracting Fear also requires leaving the authority. This is why, among other reasons, the United States has little disruption during periods of political transition. The legitimacy of the president’s authority is firmly rooted in his position within our system of government. But in the premodern period, such powerful nation-states did not exist. A ruler’s legitimacy rested on personal loyalty. The Islamic empires that existed in Eastern Europe, the Fertile Crescent, and South Asia were vast.

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