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An essential guide to what is the sharia,
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This review is from: Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law (Hardcover)
Sadakat Kadri is a British barrister of mixed parentage. From this background he is able to explore how the sharia has developed over time and why there exist so many variations today. It is a compelling read: an easy style, backed by a full catalogue of research (the notes themselves are worth reading). As he recounts, there are almost as many versions of the sharia as there are islamic communities.
His grand tour of the history of Islam and of the sharia is a necessary preparation for the final few chapters on the many present-day interpretations - including, as he points out, several (deliberate?) mis-interpretations. His visit to Iran proved enlightening and should encourage a more studied view of that country. His journeys in Pakistan left me fearful, as did some of his depictions of modern converts. Some hope showed through, though, in his final analysis of how most modern UK muslims view the sharia.
A book that should be on the desk of every western president and prime minister.