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ILSP LUNCH TALK :: RESURRECTING THE ANCIENT JURISTS IN PRINT
October 23, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Ahmed El Shamsy, Visiting Fellow, ILSP: SHARIAsource, Harvard Law School
The publication of al-Shāﬁʿī’s (d. 204/820) multivolume magnum opus, al-Umm, in 1903-7 opened a window into early Islamic legal thought and provided the basis for all subsequent historiography of Islamic law. However, the work’s publication was anything but inevitable: though it is today considered a seminal text, in the late nineteenth century the Umm, like the writings of most other early jurists, languished in obscurity. Examining how and why the Umm was published thus offers surprising insights into the state of Islamic legal literature in the early twentieth century and its relationship to its long history.