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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Schools of thought in Islam

Islamic jurisprudence has developed over fourteen centuries. Over that span of time, various schools of jurisprudence have emerged, each with its own interpretation and application of the Sharia. Many schools splintered farther, creating schools following different interpretive approaches and applications.

The flourishing = abundance of ideas and views attests to the intellectual depth and breadth of Islamic jurisprudence. However, nothing precludes a given state from codifying the Sharia so as to provide for more certainty of the law and clarity and consistency in its application. Many Muslim states have done so, the most advanced being Egypt, where the presence of the thousand-year-old Al-Azhar University (originally devoted solely to Islamic studies but now to all disciplines) and centuries of legal tradition have converged to make Islamic law a source of inspiration for the entire Muslim world.

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