Shah Wali Allah's
Treatises on Islamic Law
Ikhtilaf, Ijtihad, and Taqlid
These new scholarly translations of Shah Wali Allah’s two important treatises on Islamic law provide access to important debates on authority and reform in Islamic legal reasoning.
The question of ijtihad (independent critical reasoning) vs. 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.
Shah Wali Allah’s balanced approach to questions of juristic disagreement, utilizes historical context and critical interpretive method to model an approach to questions of Islamic law and practice that is simultaneously traditional and skillfully adaptive.
With nuance, elegance and sophistication, Professor Marcia Hermansen has once again made available to English.-speaking readers some of the most important texts of a leading eighteenth century Indian scholar with pan-Islamic connections, Shah Wali Allah. This translation allows practitioners of Islam and scholars alike to examine the debates and polemics that address the question of creativity in the realm of Muslim moral thought
-Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Religion, Duke University
This book is an important translation of key texts on Islamic law by Shah Wali Allah, undoubtedly one of the major Muslim thinkers of early modern times. It will be welcomed as a substantial contribution to Islamic studies.
- Carl W. Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Marcia Hermansen is Director of the Islamic World Studies program at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches courses in Islamic Studies and Religious Studies in the Theology Department.
She received her Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In the course of her research and language training she lived for extended periods in Egypt, Jordan, India, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan and she conducts research in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Turkish as well as the major European languages.
Her book, The Conclusive Argument from God, a study and translation (from Arabic) of Shah Wali Allah of Delhi’s, Hujjat Allah al-Baligha was published in 1996. She is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2003).
Dr. Hermansen has contributed numerous academic articles in the fields of Islamic Thought, Sufism, Islam and Muslims in South Asia, Muslims in America, and Women and Gender in Islam.