General history — Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari‘a Law

The title of this book is inaccurate. Readers looking for a history of Islamic law will be disappointed. Readers looking for a history of the development of Islamic law principles over the centuries will equally be disappointed. Readers looking for a thorough description of the similarities and differences between each of the 5 schools of Islamic law will also be disappointed.

This book is actually a general history book that covers briefly the life of the prophet, the caliphs that succeeded him, the wars of the caliphs, a brief description of salafism and jihad. Interspersed inside the various chapters is a rather disjointed presentation of issues like the satanic verses and the various punishments for offences under Syariah law. The story is rambling and feels like a travelogue. So read it if one is looking for a brief introduction to the subjects covered. The learned reader will have to look for a deeper and more organised book to read on the history and development of Islamic law.

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