Islamic Law and Jurisprudence SeminarClass Term:
Spring Term 2021-2022Catalog Number:
3 (2 Contact, 0 Field)Graduation Requirements:
International / Comparative
Seminar - 3rd Year PriorityFull Year Course:
Students will be required to produce a 20-25 paper in connection with the course and to meet with me twice during the semester for approximately 30 minutes to discuss the paper. The grade will be based on the final paper (70%), the rough draft (15%) and attendance and participation (15%).
This course will focus primarily on Islamic law, and Islamic jurisprudence, in the modern era, using the classical period only as the backdrop against which modern notions and understandings of Islamic law may be tested. We will begin with a brief introduction into the creation and development of Islamic law from its earliest formative period through its golden, classical era in an effort to explore the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. We will then move quickly to address central questions concerning how that law has evolved given that the empires that gave rise to law in the classical era have evaporated and been replaced with nation states that have adopted by and large transplanted political and legal ideas, among them constitutionalism and reliance on secular legal codes to resolve legal questions. In this context, our primary focus will be on the judicial application of Islamic law in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, surveying court practice in states as varied as Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia and Malaysia. We will also address the increased pan-national use of concepts that purport to be based on Islamic law, from Islamic finance to jihad.