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“Islamic law is a phenomenon so different from all other forms of law — notwithstanding,of course, a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned — that its study is indispensable in order to appreciate adequately the full range of possible legal phenomena.”

I see the sentence can be rephrased as the following:

“Islamic law is a phenomenon so different from all other forms of law that its study is indispensable in order to appreciate adequately the full range of possible legal phenomena. Notwithstanding, of course, a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned.”

But I was wondering if “subject matter and positive enactments” are the complementary explanation to the coincidences. “The Islamic law in some aspects does have coincidences with other forms of law, for example, in the subject matter and positive enactments.”

Do I get it right? :-s
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Re: — notwithstanding,of course, a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned —

I believe that there is a mistake in the above parenthetical clause because it makes no sense(to me, anyway). It should be re-written as,

"— notwithstanding,of course, THAT THERE IS a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned —"
that there ARE Emotion: smile ("number of" takes the plural!)
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You are right CalifJim, I made a mistake. I was engrossed in trying to make some sense out of that sentence.
Well, that's understandable; it's a tough sentence!
Islamic Law is the first written juriceprudence(case law decision)of the human history, and the sentence is perfect as it stands.(though, I disagree with its whole content)
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I believe that there is a mistake in the above parenthetical clause because it makes no sense(to me, anyway). It should be re-written as,

"— notwithstanding, of course, THAT THERE ARE a considerable and inevitable number of coincidences with one or the other of them as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned —"


I don’t think that is necessary, because the sentence IS complete.
Hello Jeff

I neither think 'THAT THERE ARE' is necessary. "Notwithstanding" can be used as a preposition, an adverb or a conjunctive. Your original text uses it as a preposition, not as a conjunctive.

I would paraphrase the text as;
"Although there are naturally a considerable number of coincidences between Islamic law and other forms of law as far as subject matter and positive enactments are concerned, Islamic law is a phenomenon so different from all other laws that its study is indispensable to appreciate adequately the full range of possible legal phenomena"

As for your question, I think "as far as subject matter and positive enactments" can work as a complementary modifier to "a number of coincidences"

paco
That is a really nice sentence Paco. A a BrE speaker, I found it much easier to understand, well as being v. stylish. Emotion: smile
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