Methods of Islamic Law

Subject 110-485 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Taught intensively between 9 - 15 April 2008
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Islamic Studies (coursework and minor thesis), Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies, or permission of the coordinator
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Prof A Saeed & Dr A S Abdullah
Subject Overview:

This subject explores key aspects of the theory, philosophy and practice of Islamic law. The central concepts of legal authority, justice, and authoritative texts will be introduced, followed by issues of jurisprudential methodology such as interpretation and ijtihad. Students will study major developments in the Islamic legal system, the schools of law, and the similarities and differences between various schools of law, the distinguishing features of these legal schools, as well as the social, political, economic and intellectual contexts within which they developed. The subject will explore the concept of Maqasid (objectives); the importance of maqasid al-Shari'ah (objectives of Islamic law) and its function and role in deducting Shari'ah law and the relationship between Shari'ah laws and Shari'ah objectives. Selected legal texts will be examined critically and a comparative analysis will be made of their jurisprudential methodologies, with special emphasis on the relationship between the text and social realities and that between text and the author. In addition, specific examples of judicial systems and their administrations from selected periods in Islamic history and their impact on contemporary Muslim societies, and the attempts at reform in Islamic law in the modern period will also be explored.

Assessment: An essay of 5000 words 100% (examination period)
Prescribed Texts: Materials suppied by the Institute
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • analyse and comment upon diverging scholarly approaches to a given issue;

  • understand a range of differing practical applications of a given theory;

  • analyse a formal system in a sophisticated and reasoned manner.


Previously available as 110-562 Methods of Islamic Law. Students who have completed 110-562 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. Subject will be taught intensively between 9th and 15th of April 2008.

Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Islamic Studies)

Download PDF version.