This chapter provides an overview of the present volume, which is the first English translation of the Al-I ṭk ām fī Tamyīz al-Fatāwa ʿan al-Aṭkām wa Taṣarrufāt al-Qāḍīwa'l-Imām (The Criterion for Distinguishing Legal Opinions from Judicial Rulings and the Administrative Acts of Judges and the Ruler [hereafter, “the Criterion”]) by Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad b. Idrīs al-Qarāfā. This work is neither of theoretical jurisprudence nor of substantive law, but exists at the intersection of both. The Criterion aims to reconcile the idea of divinely revealed law with the fact that the practical norms of Islamic law can be applied only through the actions of particular human institutions.
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