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ichreza
22-12-2010, 10:30 PM
Legal studies in any language pose problems to authors and r eaders alike. In translation, those
same problems are compounded, even many times over at some places in the text, so that quite
often the result is, to say the least, disappointing. Unfortunately, with regard to English
translations of classical works of the Islamic intellectual heritage, this sort of disappointment has
been the rule rather than the exception.
Certainly, to the student of Usul al Fiqh this disappointment has been all the more acute. While
translations of classical works in the field are non-existent, with the shining exception of
professor Khadduri's excellent rendition of al Imam al Shafi'i's Risalah, there is as yet no general
and systematic study of the discipline in English. Even survey literature on the subject is scarce.
Yet, despite this near desperate situation, the International Institute of Islamic Thought has not
published the present volume merely in order to fill a void in the library. Rather, it is in
recognition of the dynamics of intellectual reform, and of the role of Ijtihad in that process, that
the Institute is undertaking to publish a series of works by its President, Dr. Taha Jabir al 'Alwani,
on the subject of al Usul and, in particular, Ijtihad.

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