Reference article on Islamic legal hermeneutics

This encyclopedia entry surveys classical Islamic legal hermeneutics, specifically the aspects of legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) that deal with the analysis of language. It is useful as a very brief introduction to the topics and historical development discussed in The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics.

“Hermeneutics.” In Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law, [ed. Jonathan AC Brown], on Oxford Islamic Studies Online (, [Oxford]: Oxford University Press, [2014] (discontinued 2022); republished 2022 in Oxford Encyclopedias of the Islamic World: Digital Collection, ed. John L. Esposito, on Oxford Reference (,‌view/‌10.1093/‌acref/‌9780197669419.001.0001/‌acref-9780197669419-e-162.

The article was supposed to be published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law, edited by Jonathan AC Brown, but Oxford University Press apparently decided not to publish that encyclopedia, and instead incorporated it into OUP’s online reference libraries. From 2014 until 2022 it was available in Oxford Islamic Studies Online, which was discontinued; the article was then moved to Oxford Reference, where it is available here.

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