Al-Qāḍī al-Nu῾mān (d. 363/974) was the primary architect of Ismā῾īlÄ« jurisprudence which was formed under the Fatamids. The Early History of Ismaili Jurisprudence (I. B....

Al-Qāḍī al-Nu῾mān (d. 363/974) was the primary architect of Ismā῾īlÄ« jurisprudence which was formed under the Fatamids. The Early History of Ismaili Jurisprudence (I. B. Tauris, 2013) provides an English translation and edited Arabic edition of a work held to be written by al-Nu῾mān, the Minhāj al-farā’iḍ, a brief tract on inheritance law. However, author Agostino Cilardo, Professor at the ‘Orientale’ of Università degli Studi di Napoli (Naples), offers his readers much more in this book. The first half of this work explores critical questions concerning the development of Ismā῾īlÄ« jurisprudence which includes synopses of the theories concerning the progression and originality of Ismā῾īlÄ« jurisprudence. This is followed by an analysis of the Minhāj alongside four other works penned by al-Nu῾mān: Kitāb al-iqtiṣār, Kitāb al-yanbū῾, Mukhtaá¹£ar al-āthār, and Da῾ā’im al-Islām. This study allows Professor Cilardo to draw a number of conclusions about the work itself, the maturation of Ismā῾īlÄ« jurisprudence, and how Ismā῾īlÄ« law (fiqh) compares to other Shī῾ī and the Sunni legal traditions, in terms of legal inheritance. The book is well written and meticulous in its organization. Scholars and students of Islam will find this work invaluable, and it is a good tool for those interested in both jurisprudence and Ismā῾īlÄ« studies.

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