My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’ve read the Arabic edition of this book, so i cannot comment on the quality of translation here. This is regarded as the author’s seminal work on Islamic law, as well as a first reference for both classical and modern issues related to zakat law.
His coverage of issues is encyclopedic, but while the author attempts to tackle many issues on this topic there are some apparent drawbacks:
1- His methodology in discussing nuances and details of some issues is selective at times, not to say that the quotes he provides or the references given do not represent authorities on those particular issues, but the lack of sufficient referencing leaves one wanting, especially if the issue at hand is one particular to a certain scholar of the past or school of Islamic law.
2- At times appeals to authority are used for legitimizing legal stances, and not enough analysis is done to challenge problematic issues found in medieval works of Islamic law.
3- The mainstay of the author is three medieval works: Al-Mughni of Ibn Qudamah, al-Majmu of al-nawawi, and al-Amwal of Abu Ubaid. al-Mabsut of al-Sarakhsi is covered as well. These works span 3 schools (Hanbali, Shafi, and Hanafi respectively) as well as the independent reasoning of Abu Ubaid, a 4th century jurist. I cannot at this time recall a Maliki source that was called on as frequently as these previous ones.
All in all it is a good work for the time in which is was written, however research in this area must continue to help move Islamic legal works away from the defective induction that many pre-modern and modern works rely upon.
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