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The Foundations of Jurisprudence — An Introduction to Imami Shi‘i Legal Theory

Author: Allama al-Hilli


Author: al-Allamah al-Hilli

Translator: Sayyid Amjad Hussain Shah Naqvi

Publisher: Brill

This is not necessarily a book that is widely studied in the seminary. But it is an important work of early jurisprudence in the Shi‘i tradition, and for the Western student, it is especially useful because the Arabic text is parallel to the English translation. I have found that studying such Arabic-English texts is useful for improving my Arabic comprehension, especially for texts where highly technical vocabulary is involved. Below is a short description from the book itself:

“The Foundations of Jurisprudence’ is, as its title implies, a brief work, providing only the skeletal outline of concepts, which are elsewhere given their full and voluminous treatment in ʿAllāmah’s other works of jurisprudence. His smallest work in the field, Mabādiʾ nonetheless provides both a survey of many key arguments, which shaped the thought of ʿAllāmah and his successors, and a microcosm of the intellectual richness of the period from which his scholarship comes. As well as outlining the Imāmī position on each topic, the work also functions as a concise textbook for the opinions held by other schools of thought, which are each dissected and appraised as the context demands.”

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