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Law & Religion

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Chapter Summary

The way in which many scholars of Muslim history and law use the concepts of 'Middle Ages' and 'medieval' is rather vague, as Remke Kruk rightly notes. Gustave von Grunebaum is one of the scholars who upholds the notion prominently in his Medieval Islam. For medieval Muslims legal scholarship was an ongoing debate about the correct understanding of God's Will according to which all humans should live. The techniques of transmission are another important characteristic of the medieval legal tradition. The medieval legal tradition was a manuscript tradition, which meant that every copy of a text was unique, having its own individual place in the continuation of the teaching. Leiden University has from its very beginning been a place where the study of Arabic manuscripts flourished. In author's view, the nature of the medieval polity determined to a large extent the shape of the classical legal tradition.

Keywords: Arabic manuscripts; Gustave von Grunebaum; Islamic law; Medieval Islam



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