K. Ikhtilaf Usuli'l-Madhahib of Qadi Nu'man b. Muhammad is an important compilation of the middle of the fourth century, hijra, when the Islamic world was passing through a religio-political upheaval caused by the establishment of the Fatimid State in N. Africa. It was about this time that the political and legal theories were being provided with a definite and irreversible frameworks by the orthodox Islam, in the face of a strong challenge from the Fatimid contenders. The Risala of Imam Shafi'i is the first extant treatise giving us an insight into the state of the Islamic jurisprudence at the beginning of the third century hijra. The Ikhtilaf, appearing nearly 150 years after the Risala, helps us to comprehend the evolution of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, usul, during the intervening period and know the contemporary state of the four sources of Islamic law and other allied notions. It gives a fair and faithful account of the views and theories held by different juristic schools at the time. The book provides a better understanding of the process that led to the formulation of the Islamic jurisprudence. It makes one realise, how much of human efforts and conflicts have gone into the making of what came to be accepted as the sources of Islamic law, sanctioned by religion.
About the Author:
S. T. Lokhandwalla, has graduated from Bombay University with Arabic as his principal subject. He also took his M. A. and LL. B. degrees form the same University. At Oxford, he was awarded D. Phil. on his work on 'The Origins of Isma'ill law'. He delivered there lectures on Islamic Law, for two terms, for Colonial Officers. He served as a Lecturer at the Edinburgh University for five years from 1951-56. He delivered a series of lectures on Islamic Law under the auspices of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Delhi in Nov. 1958. He was Editor, Thaqafatu'l-Hindi, an Arabic quarterly, from 1959 to 1970. During his Editorship, ICCR published the Arabic renderings of Prof. Kabir's, Indian Heritage and Shakuntala of Kalidas. The present work was prepared during his tenure as a fellow, at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. He has also edited the proceedings of the Seminar 'India and Contemporary Islam'. Another work of his, 'The Historical Evolution of Islamic Law' is under preparation and will soon be published. At present, he is working on 'The Bohras under the Moghuls; as a Research Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research and is affiliated with the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. He has, besides, several articles to his credit.
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