Course content

This course focuses on historical and contemporary issues in Islamic law. The purpose of the course is make students familiar with key concepts and debates in Islamic legal practice and scholarship. To this end, at the beginning the course examines the key concepts and issues from a historical account.

These issues include, among others, the sources of Islamic law, legislation in Islamic law, the origins and influences on Islamic law, Islamic law and animals, the family law in Islamic legal scholarship, finance in Islamic legal traditions, and the law in the Ottoman Empire. The histiographical approach is necessary in order to unpack any taken for granted assumptions concerning the topics covered.

The second half of the course concentrates on the contemporary practices of Islamic law and its influences on the legal systems both in Islamic and western societies. The regional focus covers Southeast Asia, Iran, Turkey, North America, Western Europe, and Austrialia. The contemporary focus also extends to issues of human rights and constitutions in Islamic law.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: that which the students explain key concepts and debates in Islamic legal practice and scholarship and historical development of those concepts and debates as well as the relevance of Islamic legal tradition in contemporary legal structures

Skills: that which the students can critically and analytically read complex material on legal scholarship and research; examine the development of a legal norm or issue from a historical account; to compare different applications of Islamic law in different countries; give constructive feedback to their peers

Competence: that which the students has competences on creating a research project by finding out a problem in the literature and an appropriate method to solve that problem.

The course mainly benefits from the following books:

Anver M. Emon and Rumee Ahmed (eds. 2015), Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law, Oxford University Press: Oxford, online edition. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199679010.001.0001
Wael Hallaq (2009). An introduction to Islamic law. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

To have interest in learning more comparative legal scholarship and create a project

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Individual written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 171,25
  • English
  • 206,25