The beginnings of Islamic law: Late antique islamicate legal traditions

Lena Salaymeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The Beginnings of Islamic Law is a major and innovative contribution to our understanding of the historical unfolding of Islamic law. Scrutinizing its historical contexts, the book proposes that Islamic law is a continuous intermingling of innovation and tradition. Salaymeh challenges the embedded assumptions in conventional Islamic legal historiography by developing a critical approach to the study of both Islamic and Jewish legal history. Through case studies of the treatment of war prisoners, circumcision, and wife-initiated divorce, she examines how Muslim jurists incorporated and transformed 'Near Eastern' legal traditions. She also demonstrates how socio-political and historical situations shaped the everyday practice of law, legal education, and the organization of the legal profession in the late antique and medieval eras. Aimed at scholars and students interested in Islamic history, Islamic law, and the relationship between Jewish and Islamic legal traditions, this book's interdisciplinary approach provides accessible explanations and translations of complex materials and ideas. Includes case studies which provide legal, theoretical, and methodological explorations of specific legal questions in Islamic history Proposes new and innovative ways of working with Islamic historical sources Accessible to scholars from a variety of fields, including law, history, legal history, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, philosophy of historiography, late antique studies, and critical theory.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages242
ISBN (Electronic)9781316459485
ISBN (Print)9781107133020
StatePublished - 14 Nov 2016


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