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Legislation

Following the advent of Islam in Iran it was quite naturally expected for the laws inherited from the Sassanid period to be abolished and to be replaced with laws derived from the Islamic tenets and teachings. However, what needs to be emphasized here is that certain laws pertaining to the Sassanid period, which were legislated on the basis of social needs and were not based on religious tenets, did not prove to be contradictory to the principles of the Islamic Shari’ah (religious law). For instance, reference can be made to the taxation laws that came to be implemented during the Islamic period almost in their entirety and without any considerable changes.

Nonetheless, the various branches of law including personal laws, basic rights, and criminals laws as well as the judicial system underwent fundamental changes and new laws came to be legislated that were based on Islam while at the same time being aligned with the existing social norms. As a result of the efforts made in this regard hundreds of works were produced that either dealt with Islamic feqh (jurisprudence) in general or with specialized branches that also concerned law and justice.

On the other hand, the various emerging jurisprudential (feqhi) schools resulted in a lack of consensus on any particular law on a number of issues, as a result of which, no single jurisprudential text, no matter how outstanding, could ever be adopted as a basis for law and justice throughout the country. In any case, the important point is that throughout the Islamic period, whether in Iran or in other Islamic territories, even though laws were legislated in the form of feqhi texts, these laws were not regional since otherwise this factor would have influenced almost all the jurisprudential schools. The idea of following a collection of laws selected from the different schools rather than following any particular school had a number of proponents in Iran for some time during the 3rd and 4th Centuries AH/9th and 10th Centuries AD but those attempts soon fizzled out. Therefore, a multiple form of legal system based on the known feqhi schools prevailed in the Islamic territories, and particularly in Iran, in which a multiplicity of jurisprudential schools was a prominent feature and where certain ways had been adopted for settling legal issues among the followers of varying schools.

* source: Pakatchi , Ahmad "Iran Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 ,pp.624

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