cover image Shariah Law: Questions and Answers

Shariah Law: Questions and Answers

Mohammad Hashim Kamali. OneWorld, $19.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-78607-150-7

Addressing sharia’s sources, objectives, theories of interpretation, and legal maxims in a question-and-answer format, Kamali (Shariah Law: An Introduction), founding CEO at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia, attempts to “provide an inkling for a general-interest reader” of the “basic contours of Shariah and Islamic law.” The book is comprehensive in its scope and detailed in discussing how sharia addresses issues such as worship, criminal law, gender and family, banking and finance, and modern bioethical and environmental concerns. Kamali is a sound scholar and an encyclopedic source of information on sharia’s theoretical and applied aspects, and this book reflects that erudition. However, although the question-and-answer format makes the text easy to understand, it makes for dry reading. While attractive for those looking for an academic introduction, this book may prove too dense for the casual reader. Furthermore, while on the one hand Kamali identifies sharia as a matter of interpretation and application, he can, at times, treat it as a set system when it suits his own views. Kamali’s presentation of sharia as complex yet understandable is commendable and this book is worth the effort for those looking to take these questions seriously amid much misunderstanding and misrepresentation. (Aug.)