Law in the Middle East - Vol. 1

Law in the Middle East - Vol. 1

Law in the Middle East - Vol. 1

Law in the Middle East - Vol. 1

Excerpt

It should be unnecessary to justify the preparation of a volume on Islamic law or overemphasize its significance, both on the theoretical and practical planes, as the two preceding forewords have dealt respectively with the importance of this branch of knowledge and the spontaneous need felt by a few conscientious Americans, not of the legal profession, who were convinced that a balanced understanding of the Middle East would not be achieved if it did not include a knowledge of classical Islamic law and its development, based on its original source materials.

As soon as it was formed, the Committee on Law in the Middle East began to prepare the broad outline of this volume and consider the contributors to it. It was felt that a work of this kind should be the product of a group of collaborators, enlisted from the world of scholarship in the Islamic countries as well as from among Western scholars interested in matters Islamic. The Committee therefore began at once to solicit contributors with this view in mind, inviting them to give it their suggestions if collaboration proved to be impossible. At the same time it entrusted us with the development of a detailed plan and the preparation of this volume.

Correspondence with possible contributors proved to be much more time consuming then we had at first anticipated and our work was on more than one occasion interrupted, as several of our contributors, for circumstances beyond their control no less than for personal preoccupations, could not meet our deadlines. It was necessary to consider other possible contributors; this made it imperative that our contemplated time limits be extended more than once.

Nor could the task of piecing together the contributions of fourteen writers be discharged within a short period of time. The papers, as originally received, varied greatly in length as well as in the languages and styles in which they were written. We had, therefore, to undertake the work of translating them--helped by several translators--and to try to reduce the variations to a minimum. We have, however, abstained from changing the ideas and . . .

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