x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Heaven on Earth: the complex history of Sharia

Sadakat Kadri tackles the subject of Sharia from its inception during the Prophet Mohammed's tenure in Mecca and Medina to the many varied interpretations fostered during the caliphates.

Heaven on Earth Sadakat Kadri The Bodley Head Dh73
Heaven on Earth Sadakat Kadri The Bodley Head Dh73

Chances are that three years of research would not have been enough to cover the many contentious layers that define the path of Sharia. As the author himself implies at many points throughout his discussions in the book, the many schools of thought, hadith, and sects within Islam make for a convoluted maze of definitions of Islamic law. Or at least what passes for it in many parts of the Muslim world.

Kadri tackles the subject of Sharia from its inception during the Prophet Mohammed's tenure in Mecca and Medina right onwards to the many varied interpretations that were fostered during the caliphates. The first half of the book is devoted to this complex history while the second sees Kadri assuming his travel writer alter-ego as he journeys to lands immersed deep in differing views on the implementation of these laws.

No doubt, the road to enlightenment is one scattered with diverging paths but a weak latter half is the sole speed-bump in this otherwise intriguing read. It's one to recommend for those looking for an insight into an often misunderstood religion.