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Conclusion The Risāla and its Relationship to Mature Uṣūl al-Fiqh

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Chapter Summary

A final point to consider in regard to the relationship of theRisāla to matureuṣūl al-Fiqhconcerns the relationship of legal theory to the wider legal system, and its role in adjudication and legal education. There is a powerful case to be made that Islamic legal theory was organically and integrally connected with a fully functioning legal system, but such a claim should not lead us to ignore the purely theoretical aspirations of Islamic legal thought, whether in theRisālaor in later works ofuṣūl al-fiqh. Although it is certainly correct to insist that Islamic law was much more than the product of the over-active imagination of Muslim jurists, it seems equally important to celebrate the tradition of Islamic legal theory, from the Risāla to the major works of uṣūl al-fiqh, as a speculative science of textual interpretation par excellence.

Keywords: Risāla; Uṣūl Al-Fiqh



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