A very comprehensive, complete research on historical aspects of formation of Islamic theology and law.
Ignaz Goldziher, a Jewish Hungarian, was indeed one of the greatest scholars of Islam who spent all of his life researching , writing treatises, essays and articles and then traveling in Islamic countries in order to find the origins of Islamic doctrines and rituals.
I have read about Goldziher first in Ali Dashti's book
, and this is officially the second critical work I read about Islam. I must say, in comparison to Ali Dashti's, I found it more accurate and impartial, perhaps for this reason that he looked Islam as an outsider, and could judge better than an oppressed insider of an Islamic country.
Although Goldziher's works are known as great Islamic resources in even Islamic countries, this book of him is banned here, but I could find a PDF scanned version in net which was translated by an Iranian Shia, published before Islamic revolution. In introduction, the translator says that some of the arguments Golziher claims is wrong (or not whole the truth) and he had explained about them in footnotes, but I couldn't find any except for Goldziher's perhaps ignorance of Shia versus Sunni, since this book is more written based on Sunni's references.
This book contains 6 chapters:
I. Muhammad and Islam
II. The Development of Law
III. The Growth of Development of Dogmatic Theology
IV. Asceticism and Sufism
V. The Sects
VI. Later Developments
The first chapter, I have read it in Dashti's book which is all about 23 years of the prophetic careers of Mohammad. The other chapters were so interesting specially chapter 3 and 4 which are more about different Islamic parties like Ash'ari and Mu'tazali which the latter was a kind of more different from orthodoxy, tried to combine philosophy and reason with Islam.