Shah Wali Allah’s two important treatises on juristic diversity and the nature of binding and independent authority in Islamic law, Al-In'af fi Bayan Sabab al-Ikhtilaf and 'Iqd al-Jid fi A'kam al-Ijtihad wa-l Taqlid, are here translated from the original Arabic with critical introductions and annotations to the author's sources and the legal issues used to illustrate his arguments. Addressing relevant and crucial contemporary issues, these new scholarly translations of the important treatises provide access to important debates on authority and reform in Islamic legal reasoning. The question of ijtihad (independent critical reasoning) versus taqlid (adherence to the classical schools and rulings of Islamic law) continues to inform contemporary discussions of how Muslims—as individuals and in their institutions and practice—can maintain fidelity and authenticity while addressing the compelling issues of the present age.
About the Author
Marcia Hermansen is a professor of Islamic studies and the director of the Islamic World Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago. She is an expert on the thought of Shah Wali Allah and a translator of his major work, The Conclusive Argument from God. She lives in Chicago.