Macalester Islam Journal

Article Title

Clarifying the Sharia: Who Holds the Baton of Interpretation?


In this paper I highlight the quagmire that the intellectual, legal and historical traditions of the Muslim face today. The legal hubris that exists as of now is unsustainable; and a full return to the times of Prophet or the Caliphate rather unlikely. What the Sharia needs at the end of the day is critical revision from a body of able, heroic and revolutionary Muslim scholars who are ready to deal with a growingly ineffective system. The question of authority and hierarchy, of codifying the law, of establishing proper legal jurisdictions all have to be addressed in their entirety in order to correct for the current failure of the system. I stop short of suggesting ways in which a project of such magnitude could be undertaken. After all, failure that has more than millennia of historical baggage with it is too hard to handle for an avid, yet highly inept student scholar of Islamic law.