Professor Coulson’s method is to examine the principal currents of Islamic legal thought through a series of conflicting concepts. The six polarizations he has devised are revelation and reason, unity and diversity, authority and liberty, idealism and realism, law and morality, and stability and change. Although clearly relevant to general Islamic studies, this book is intended primarily as a study in comparative law. This follows the trend of recent developments in the Islamic legal system itself. In the past, Muslim law has been regarded essentially as a brand of religious studies. Now, however, it is being separated from religion and becoming a province of legal science rather than a matter of religious expertise.