Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys the three approaches—source-critical, phenomenological, and hermeneutical-theological—that prevail in the historiography of consensus in early, classical, and modern Islamic legal thought. The source-critical approach dominates the historiography of the early period. Scholars using this approach question the narrative found in classical Islamic legal theory: that specific verses of the Qur’an or Hadith of Muhammad establish consensus as a source of law. They believe instead that consensus emerged gradually, in response to the social needs of the Muslim community. Scholars using the phenomenological approach seek to define the doctrine of consensus in classical Islamic legal theory whilst scholars using the hermeneutical-theological approach view consensus as a powerful argument in issues of Islamic thought today. These approaches are not mutually exclusive and scholars often combine them. The article ends with identification of the areas for growth in future studies of consensus.

Keywords: Islamic law, ijma‘, consensus, historiography, phenomenology, hermeneutics, theology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.