Transformations of Tradition: Islamic Law in Colonial Modernity

Editor(s) : Junaid Quadri

Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication March 2021
ISBN 9780190077044
eISBN 9780190077075
Language English
Page 237


This book is a study of the Muslim world’s entanglement with colonial modernity. More specifically, it is an historical examination of the development of the long-standing, indigenous tradition of learning and praxis known as Islamic law (shariʿa, fiqh) as a result of its imbalanced interaction with new European modes of knowing during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the colonial experience. Drawing upon the writings of jurist-scholars from the Ḥanafī school of law writing in Cairo, Kazan, Lucknow, Baghdad, and Istanbul, Transformations of Tradition reveals several central shifts in Islamic legal writing that throw into doubt the possibility of reading its later trajectory through the lens of a continuous “tradition.” By focusing especially on the work of Muḥammad Bakhīt al-Muṭīʿī, Mufti of Egypt for a time and a leading scholar at the Azhar, Transformations of Tradition shows that the colonial moment of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries marked a significant rupture in how Muslim jurists understood history and authority, science and technology, and religion and the secular, thereby upending the very ground upon which Islamic law had until then functioned.