In The Logic of Law Making in Islam: Women and Prayer in the Legal Tradition Behnam Sadeghi offers readers an intriguing way of thinking about Islamic law. In this clearly written book Sadeghi proposes a general model for understanding how Islamic jurists have reasoned. Essentially, he analyzes why some laws persist and some laws change. To do so, he considers the writings of thirty Hanafi jurists on questions of women and communal prayer from the eighth to the eighteenth century. Sadeghi’s use of jurists’ arguments about women and prayer also makes the book compelling reading for anyone interested in women, gender, and Islam.

In the preface Sadeghi provides not only a clear introduction to the book’s scope and argument but a useful skimming guide for readers interested in different aspects of his research. In chapter 1 Sadeghi builds...

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