Used widely by Shi'ite seminaries, and valued by Sunni scholars for its intellectual rigor, Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr's Lessons is a key study of Islamic jurisprudence. It covers topics from the general characterization of jurisprudence to such specialized issues as the assessment of the verbal divine-law argument, study of procedural principles, and reflections on the resolution of conflicting arguments. The new translation by Roy Mottahedeh from the original Arabic employs a carefully designed and appropriate English terminology, and features a significant amount of supporting material including a glossary of legal and theological concepts , and a full index of Arabic terms.
Translator Roy Mottahedeh is Gurney Professor of History in the Middle East Studies Department at Harvard University, and author of the acclaimed The Mantle of the Prophet. He lives in Brookline, MA.
1 Characterization of jurisprudence: a preliminary word; characterization of jurisprudence; the subject matter of jurisprudence; the discipline of jurisprudence is the logic of legal understanding; the importance of the discipline of jurisprudence in the practice of derivation; jurisprudence is to legal understanding as theory is to application; the interaction between legal-understanding thought and jurisprudential thought; the permissibility of the process of deriving divine-legal rulings. 2 Substantiating arguments: the divine-law ruling and its subdivision; the division of rulings into injunctive and declaratory; categories of the injunctive ruling; areas of discussion in the discipline of jurisprudence; the divine-law argument. 3 Procedural principles: the fundamental procedural principle; the secondary procedural principle; the principle of the inculpatoriness of non-specific knowledge; the presumption of continuity. 4 The conflict of arguments: conflict between substantiating arguments; conflict between (procedural) principles; conflict between the two types of argument.
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