Research Handbook on Islamic Law and Society
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Research Handbook on Islamic Law and Society

Edited by Nadirsyah Hosen

The Research Handbook on Islamic Law and Society provides an examination of the role of Islamic law as it applies in Muslim and non-Muslim societies through legislation, fatwa, court cases, sermons, media, or scholarly debate. It illuminates the intersection of social, political, economic and cultural factors that inform Islamic Law across a number of jurisdictions. Chapters evaluate when and how actors and institutions have turned to Islamic law to address problems faced by societies in Muslim and, in some cases, Western states.
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Chapter 14: Finding the Islam in Islamic art: the relationship between Islamic law and artistic practice

Mia Corbett


This chapter observes that the relationship between law and art in Islam varies greatly between temporal, geographical and political boundaries. It points out that the lack of figurative representation in Islamic art is often also subjected to the Western understanding of art, as a cultural movement toward the most accurate representation of the human figure, which is considered to parallel the development of civilisation. As a result, there is a perception that Islamic law and civilisation is primitive and backward for its perceived aversion to the development of the figurative style. The chapter argues that the reality is that Muslims are constantly changing and evolving their understanding and relationship with the religious law, like any other culture.

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