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Teaching Political Science


Sharia, Islamic law, Islamic history


We can thus see that Islamic tradition has recognized the venerability of the Shari'a but that the same tradition has historically given the state means to workaround the limits of the Shari'a. How far it should go has always been debated in Islam. The debate and the alternative theories all stem from the fact that the Shari'a never developed a constitutional basis for itself due to its history and the notion of law as simply the refinement of divine command. The competing views of the Shari'a's proper place have jousted with one another for a thousand years. They will continue to do so.


Reprinted in J.Schall, S.J. & J. Hanus, Studies on Religion and Politics, University Press of America, 1986, at p. 70.

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