The making of law in Islam: fiqh as delivery of verdicts

This article deals with the logic of fiqh as the understanding of Šarī‘ah. Its core argument is that the distinctive nature of fiqh, as a specific type of law making, consists of the delivery of verdicts.
To support this theory, the article preliminarily focuses on the tenets of Muslim cosmology/legal theology (the ‘religion of fiqh’), where the real (ḥaqq) is conceived as the immediate result of God’s decree/decision (ḥukm). Within this semantic universe, if the pre-scribed rule (ḥukm) has been revealed through Šarī‘ah in its transcendental dimension, its human understanding (the ‘law of fiqh’) necessarily proceeds by means of verdicts (from late Latin vere dictum, ‘to say, to report, to make explicit the truth/real’ of Šarī‘ah) in order to de-scribe the right (again, ḥaqq) in its empirical/worldly manifestations. Accordingly, if by delivering the truth of Šarī‘ah, the right (ḥaqq) realises (in the specific sense of ‘making real’) God’s decree/decision (ḥukm), the notion of verdict becomes crucial to define fiqh as the law making par excellence in the Muslim civilisation, as well as to foster a more critical view of the idea of Islamic law from a comparative approach.

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