Macalester Islam Journal


Different words and concepts in cultures do not necessarily always translate perfectly or adequately to others. This truism provides a perfect starting point to attempt an understanding of classical Islamic law. In trying to understand the different concepts of reason, belief and knowledge in that realm, we have come to understand something that would vex many Americans given their own definitions of these concepts: that the law of Islam held to be divine by its practitioners puts an incredible amount of stress on its rational basis. In trying to understand a seeming paradox, we have discovered how closely interwoven rationality is with Islamic belief and how this affects the practical application of divine will to earthly law.