In this path-breaking new book, the author shows how authority guaranteed both continuity and change in Islamic law. Hallaq demonstrates that it was the construction of the absolutist authority of the school founder, an image which he suggests was actually developed later in history, that maintained the foundations of school methodology and hermeneutics. The defense of that methodology gave rise to an infinite variety of individual legal opinions, ultimately accomodating changes in the law. Thus the author concludes that the mechanisms of change were embedded in the very structure of Islamic law, despite its essentially conservative nature.
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