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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics (DIVI10045)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers students an introduction to classical Islamic Law - its theories, methods, modes of argumentation and sources. After building this foundational knowledge, the course critically examines the place and purpose of Islamic Law today with reference to issues such as debates on the nation-state, human rights, gender, liberal democracy and religious minorities.

The course is intentionally interdisciplinary and aims to attract students from both within the School of Divinity, but also from the School of Law, the School of Social and Political Science, and from the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department.
Course description Academic Description:
This course offers students an introduction to classical Islamic Law - its theories, methods, modes of argumentation and sources - as well as critical examination of the place and purpose of Islamic Law today. The course will examine the debates in and around Islamic jurisprudence with reference to issues such as constitutional law, human rights, gender, liberal democracy and religious minorities.

Syllabus/Course Outline:
This course will begin by introducing students to the development of classical Islamic Law - its sources, methods, and modes of argumentation. We will examine the place of the Qur'an and other scriptural sources of Islamic Law, the various uses of analogy, consensus, and legal reasoning in the formation of legal-ethical thinking, and the development of distinct schools of Law (both Sunni and Shi'a). After building this foundational knowledge, the second half of the course critically examines key issues in the colonial and modern period such as Islamic Law's place in Muslim majority nation-states, proposal for reform in Islamic ethics and law, and debates in Islamic jurisprudence on human rights, gender, liberal democracy, constitutional law and religious minorities. Students will be introduced to both Islamic legal texts and various theoretical frameworks for interpreting Shari'a.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course involves one two-hour seminar per week, which will consist of a combination of lectures and discussion based on readings prepared in advance. Each student will be required to give a short presentation at one seminar during the semester on an issue related to the theme or text for the day. Through participation in discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics (THET10062)
Other requirements Students who have previously taken the following course MUST NOT enroll: Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics (THET10062)
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis level 10 course introduces key themes in Islamic law and jurisprudence, as well as offering a sustained examination of modern debates on Shari'a, the modern nation-state, Political Islam, human rights, and Muslim reform movements. While a background in Islam would be beneficial, there are no pre-requisites. Visiting students interested in law, religion, politics, and Islam are encouraged to enrol.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in Islamic Law.
  2. Critically analyze debates about the relationship between Islamic Law and the Nation-State in the Colonial and post-colonial eras.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to read key texts in the field critically and with comprehension.
  4. Display the ability to analyze the sources and methods of legal argumentation in Islamic jurisprudence.
Reading List
Khaled Abou el Fadl, Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari'ah in the Modern Age.

-------------. Speaking in God's Name: Islamic Law, Authority, and Women.

Rex Ahdar and Nicholas Aroney (eds.), Shari'a in the West.

Ahmad Atif Ahmad, The Fatigue of the Shari'a.

Jasser Auda, Maqasid al-Shariah as Philosophy of Islamic Law: A Systems Approach.

Jonathan A.C. Brown, Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World.

Norman Calder, Studies in Early Muslim Jurisprudence.

Anver M. Emon, Religious Pluralism and Islamic Law: Dhimm's and Others in the Empire of Law.

Wael Hallaq, Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations.

--------------. The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law.

Robert W. Hefner (ed.), Shari'a Politics: Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World.

Ibn Ashur, Treatise on Maq'sid al-Shari'ah.

Ibn Taymiyya, The Political Shariyah: On Reforming the Ruler and Ruled.

Imam Khomeini, Islam and Revolution.

Andrew March, Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus.

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a.

---------------. Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law.

Tariq Ramadan, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation.

al-Sh'fi'', The Epistle on Legal Theory.

Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law.

Mona Siddiqui, The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Philosophy.

Knut Vikør, Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to engage in inter-disciplinary dialogue
- Ability to read diverse texts critically (primary and secondary sources), and discern material of central and peripheral importance
- Ability to think constructively and systematically
- Ability to express ideas clearly and coherently in both written in spoken English
- Ability to conduct independent research in preparing essays
- Ability to articulate key theological concepts and perspectives
KeywordsLaw,Jurisprudence,Ethics,Shari'a,Secularism,Nation-State,Religion and Politics
Course organiserDr Joshua Ralston
Tel: (0131 6)50 8928
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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