Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali is providing us here with an essential and timely exploration of the concept known in contemporary Islamic tradition of moderation (al-wasaṭiyya). Kamali adopts a perspective which is different to that of other studies within this subject area and thus is a welcome addition. The importance of Kamali’s -40year contribution to the field of Islamic Studies, in particular within the discipline of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, is already widely recognised. Indeed many of his books have become significant references for those using the English language, providing much needed support towards the in-depth and comprehensive study of Islamic law and jurisprudence, ethics and certain essential notions such as freedom, penal code and interfaith dialogue. Kamali’s Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence and Freedom of Expression in Islam are two such noteworthy resources.
This new book is another valuable contribution of critical importance. In this study, Kamali focuses upon a central notion of Islam, namely moderation and the way in which this concept can, and indeed, needs to be understood from within the Islamic reference. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is a conceptual analysis with Kamali undertaking to define the concept of al-wasaṭiyya and then, in consideration of the scriptural sources, seeking to illustrate where we can find the concept of moderation in our daily lives; how moderation is defined and the way in which the centrality of the Islamic message relies upon the correct interpretation and practice of moderation.