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Advanced Contemporary Issues in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice


Module description

This module offers an introduction to classical Islamic law with a particular focus on its origins and the historical development of the main schools of jurisprudence. The main focus is the application of Islamic law within the context of three main contemporary issues: human rights, gender and finance.

The module provides an insight into contemporary debates relating to Islamic and 'Western' conceptions of human rights. It critically examines the philosophical and theoretical foundations of international human rights law and how this relates to Islamic conceptions of human rights. A number of Muslim majority case studies will be used to illustrate theoretical frameworks.

The second part will focus on important contemporary gender issues in light of recent political/economic and social changes. We will focus on Muslim women and emergent Islamists groups, with particular attention to their political and social roles; the juridical regulation of the practice of veiling in the European courts as well as at the European Court of Human Rights; and the role of women during and after the ‘Arab uprising’ in the Middle East.

The final part is devoted to understanding whether the current European legal framework in capital markets should accommodate institutions of Islamic finance. As the London Stock Exchange is going to become a financial hub for Islamic bond issuance (Sukuk), the focus will be on structured finance, the regulation on derivatives and their legitimacy under Islamic law (i.e. the regulation aspect of financial instruments) as well as 'financial law' in action, namely how project finance works both under European and Islamic law.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • a systematic understanding of the different natures and genres of Islamic texts, and the analytical and hermeneutical skills appropriate for each
  • a critical awareness of current issues of contemporary Islamic law
  • a comprehensive understanding of the methodology and application of Islamic law in western and non-western countries
  • originality and creativity in using different techniques and normative approach in order to solve current Islamic law issues
  • critical evaluation of current researches and advanced scholarship in the field of Islamic principles and application
  • critical skills in the evaluation of legal methodologies and its different application.