Department of Islamic Law

Department of Islamic Law teaches fiqh (lit. understanding) which Abū Ḥanīfah, the founder of the earliest and largest Islamic legal school, has defined as knowledge of one’s rights and responsibilities (معرفة النفس ما لها وما عليها). Fiqh differs from western conceptions of law in three respects:
1. it is based on revelation
2. it details what is necessary for salvation
3. it encompasses not only rulings that are to be enforced by the state but ethics as well, since it also explicates norms, the application of which depends on the conscience of the individual

Fiqh is an extensive field of knowledge that consists of two main disciplines: Furū’ al-fiqh (legal rulings) and Uṣūl al-fiqh (legal methodology). While furū’ teaches the rulings which have been derived from the sources of Islamic law, the Qurʾān, Sunnah, Ijmāʿ (consensus), and Qiyās (legal analogy), uṣūl discusses the methodology of legal derivation from revelation.

Fiqh encompasses a variety of sub-disciplines including:
1. al-Qawāʿid al-fiqhiyyah (legal maxims)
2. Fatāwā (fatwas)
3. al-Khilāf (comparative law)
4. al-Aḥkām al-Sulṭāniyyah (state law)
5. Adab al-Qāḍī (procedural law)
6. Furūq (legal distinctions between seemingly similar cases)
7. Nawāzil (unprecedented cases)
8. iyal (legal devices)
9. Shurūṭ (legal records)
10. Farā’iḍ (inheritance law)
11. Kharāj (land tax)

The department aims to give the student firm grounding in the furū’ and uṣūl of one of the four schools of Sunni law to enable them to do research in all legal fields.

At the undergraduate level, the Department of Law teaches furū’ in three levels. At the beginner level, the focus is on understanding legal rulings in classical compendia covering all four major areas of Islamic law, ʿibādāt (law of worship), muʿāmalāt (commercial law), muʿāsharāt (family law) and jināyāt (penal law). At the intermediate level, the student is introduced to ʿilm al-khilāf (comparative law), studying how jurists adduce al-dalāʾil al-naqliyyah wa-l-ʿaqliyyah (evidence based on transmission and thought) to corroborate legal opinions. At the advanced level, the student is given a comprehensive understanding of each legal case, integrating furū’, uṣūl, and khilāf.

The undergraduate level teaches usūl al-fiqh in two levels. Initially, a short primer is taught to introduce the students to the terminology and basic principles of Islamic legal methodology. At the second level, a classical work of legal methodology is studied in detail. At the completion of this study, students understand all major topics of the subject and are able to conduct further research in the field. al-Qawāʿid al-fiqhiyyah and Iftā (qualifications to be a mufti) are taught at the Master’s and PhD levels respectively.

Mufti Hisham Dawood

Liaison, Department of Islamic Law
hisham.dawood@darulqasim.org

Core Content Curriculum


 

Islamic Law
Course CodeCore or ElectiveDepartmentCourse NameCourse Description
LAW101CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Ḥanafī Legal Compendia: Qudūrī’s al-Mukhtaṣar - Part IThe course consists of a detailed study of al-Qudūrī’s (d. 428/1036) al-Mukhtaṣar, introducing students to masā'il (legal cases) in all abwāb fiqhiyyah (juristic chapters). Within the Ḥanafī school, al-Mukhtaṣar is known simply as al-Kitāb (The Book) due to its immense influence and authority. The text is distinguished by the clarity of its language, and by being concise and comprehensive at the same time.
LAW102CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Ḥanafī Legal Compendia: Qudūrī’s al-Mukhtaṣar - Part IIThe course consists of a detailed study of al-Qudūrī’s (d. 428/1036) al-Mukhtaṣar, introducing students to masā'il (legal cases) in all abwāb fiqhiyyah (juristic chapters). Within the Ḥanafī school, al-Mukhtaṣar is known simply as al-Kitāb (The Book) due to its immense influence and authority. The text is distinguished by the clarity of its language, and by being concise and comprehensive at the same time.
LAW201CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-Mukhtār - Part Ial-Ikhtiyār is Abd Allāh b. Mahmud al-Mawṣilī’s (d. 683/1284) own commentary on his legal compendium al-Mukhtār, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the Ḥanafī school. The course consists of an intensive study of this commentary which introduces the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing evidence based on transmission and thought for each legal opinion. al-Ikhtiyār, which is distinguished by its lucid language, is also a work of tarjīḥ (legal preference) in that it identifies the opinions according to which fatwas are issued. The aim of this course is to investigate the relationship between Islamic legal sources of evidence and legal rulings.
LAW211CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah - Part IFatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah, also known popularly as Sharḥ al-Nuqāyah, is the masterful commentary of Mullā ʿAlī b. Sulṭān Muḥammad al-Qārī (d. 1014/1605) on Ṣadr al-Sharīʿah ʿUbayd Allāh b. Masʿūd al-Maḥbūbī’s legal text al-Nuqāyah, one of the reliable legal texts (mutūn) of the Ḥanafī school. Al-Qārī’s work is distinguished by its masterful amalgam of legal discussions from the various renowned commentaries on Imam al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah, including Ibn al-Humām’s Fatḥ al-Qadīr and al-Zaylaʿī’s Naṣb al-Rāyah. This course consists of an intensive study of this commentary and aims to introduce the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing transmitted and analytical evidence for the legal opinions of the Ḥanafī school.
LAW221CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah
- Part I
The course introduces students to Islamic legal reasoning. ʿUbaid Allāh b. Masʿūd (d. 747/1346) in his Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah comments on his grandfather’s (Tāj al-Sharīʿah) al-Wiqāyah. Each legal issue and its ruling are coupled with proof from either primary sources of Islamic law or deduced maxims. The author also weighs multiple opinions within the school and offers his preferences. This study prepares students to the study of al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah at the advanced level.
LAW231CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Islamic Legal Methodology: al-Farfūr’s al-Zād min Uṣūl al-Fiqh al-IslamīThe course is a primer for Usūl al-Fiqh (Principles of Jurisprudence). Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Laṭīf al-Farfur’s (1945-2014) al-Zād min Uṣūl al-Fiqh al-Islamī introduces the student to the major themes and terminologies of the field, citing examples of application. The book’s well organized chapters make it a perfect fit for beginner level students.
LAW202CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār - Part IIal-Ikhtiyār is Abd Allāh b. Mahmud al-Mawṣilī’s (d. 683/1284) own commentary on his legal compendium al-Mukhtār, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the Ḥanafī school. The course consists of an intensive study of this commentary which introduces the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing evidence based on transmission and thought for each legal opinion. al-Ikhtiyār, which is distinguished by its lucid language, is also a work of tarjīḥ (legal preference) in that it identifies the opinions according to which fatwas are issued. The aim of this course is to investigate the relationship between Islamic legal sources of evidence and legal rulings.
LAW212CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah - Part IIIFatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah, also known popularly as Sharḥ al-Nuqāyah, is the masterful commentary of Mullā ʿAlī b. Sulṭān Muḥammad al-Qārī (d. 1014/1605) on Ṣadr al-Sharīʿah ʿUbayd Allāh b. Masʿūd al-Maḥbūbī’s legal text al-Nuqāyah, one of the reliable legal texts (mutūn) of the Ḥanafī school. Al-Qārī’s work is distinguished by its masterful amalgam of legal discussions from the various renowned commentaries on Imam al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah, including Ibn al-Humām’s Fatḥ al-Qadīr and al-Zaylaʿī’s Naṣb al-Rāyah. This course consists of an intensive study of this commentary and aims to introduce the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing transmitted and analytical evidence for the legal opinions of the Ḥanafī school.
LAW222CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah
- Part II
The course introduces students to Islamic legal reasoning. ʿUbaid Allāh b. Masʿūd (d. 747/1346) in his Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah comments on his grandfather’s (Tāj al-Sharīʿah) al-Wiqāyah. Each legal issue and its ruling are coupled with proof from either primary sources of Islamic law or deduced maxims. The author also weighs multiple opinions within the school and offers his preferences. This study prepares students to the study of al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah at the advanced level.
LAW241CoreIslamic LawIslamic Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār - Part IThe course consists of an intensive study of 'Alā al-Dīn Muḥammad b. 'Alī al-Ḥiṣnī al-Ḥaṣkafī’s (d.1088/1677) Ifāḍat al-Anwār which is a commentary on the influential text of Islamic jurisprudence al-Manār of Ḥafiẓ al-Dīn Abū l-Barakāt 'Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 710/1310). The text and the commentary cover all the major topics of Islamic legal methodology according to the Ḥanafī school. Ḥaskafī’s commentary is distinguished by being one of the most concise commentaries on al-Manār and summarizes the insights of previous commentaries. The aim of the course is to teach students concepts and principles of Islamic legal methodology in detail with examples to enable them to do further research in the field. Students are recommended to use editions that have Ibn 'Ābidīn’s gloss Nasamāt al-Asḥār and get a copy of Ibn Malak’s Sharḥ al-Manār for reference. This course is offered in three semesters at the undergraduate level or two semesters at the graduate level.
LAW301CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār - Part IIIal-Ikhtiyār is Abd Allāh b. Mahmud al-Mawṣilī’s (d. 683/1284) own commentary on his legal compendium al-Mukhtār, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the Ḥanafī school. The course consists of an intensive study of this commentary which introduces the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing evidence based on transmission and thought for each legal opinion. al-Ikhtiyār, which is distinguished by its lucid language, is also a work of tarjīḥ (legal preference) in that it identifies the opinions according to which fatwas are issued. The aim of this course is to investigate the relationship between Islamic legal sources of evidence and legal rulings.
LAW311CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah - Part IIIFatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah, also known popularly as Sharḥ al-Nuqāyah, is the masterful commentary of Mullā ʿAlī b. Sulṭān Muḥammad al-Qārī (d. 1014/1605) on Ṣadr al-Sharīʿah ʿUbayd Allāh b. Masʿūd al-Maḥbūbī’s legal text al-Nuqāyah, one of the reliable legal texts (mutūn) of the Ḥanafī school. Al-Qārī’s work is distinguished by its masterful amalgam of legal discussions from the various renowned commentaries on Imam al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah, including Ibn al-Humām’s Fatḥ al-Qadīr and al-Zaylaʿī’s Naṣb al-Rāyah. This course consists of an intensive study of this commentary and aims to introduce the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing transmitted and analytical evidence for the legal opinions of the Ḥanafī school.
LAW321CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah
- Part III
The course introduces students to Islamic legal reasoning. ʿUbaid Allāh b. Masʿūd (d. 747/1346) in his Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah comments on his grandfather’s (Tāj al-Sharīʿah) al-Wiqāyah. Each legal issue and its ruling are coupled with proof from either primary sources of Islamic law or deduced maxims. The author also weighs multiple opinions within the school and offers his preferences. This study prepares students to the study of al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah at the advanced level.
LAW331CoreIslamic LawIslamic Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār - Part IIThe course consists of an intensive study of 'Alā al-Dīn Muḥammad b. 'Alī al-Ḥiṣnī al-Ḥaṣkafī’s (d.1088/1677) Ifāḍat al-Anwār which is a commentary on the influential text of Islamic jurisprudence al-Manār of Ḥafiẓ al-Dīn Abū l-Barakāt 'Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 710/1310). The text and the commentary cover all the major topics of Islamic legal methodology according to the Ḥanafī school. Ḥaskafī’s commentary is distinguished by being one of the most concise commentaries on al-Manār and summarizes the insights of previous commentaries. The aim of the course is to teach students concepts and principles of Islamic legal methodology in detail with examples to enable them to do further research in the field. Students are recommended to use editions that have Ibn 'Ābidīn’s gloss Nasamāt al-Asḥār and get a copy of Ibn Malak’s Sharḥ al-Manār for reference. This course is offered in three semesters at the undergraduate level or two semesters at the graduate level.
LAW302CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār - Part IVal-Ikhtiyār is Abd Allāh b. Mahmud al-Mawṣilī’s (d. 683/1284) own commentary on his legal compendium al-Mukhtār, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the Ḥanafī school. The course consists of an intensive study of this commentary which introduces the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing evidence based on transmission and thought for each legal opinion. al-Ikhtiyār, which is distinguished by its lucid language, is also a work of tarjīḥ (legal preference) in that it identifies the opinions according to which fatwas are issued. The aim of this course is to investigate the relationship between Islamic legal sources of evidence and legal rulings..
LAW312CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah - Part IVFatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah, also known popularly as Sharḥ al-Nuqāyah, is the masterful commentary of Mullā ʿAlī b. Sulṭān Muḥammad al-Qārī (d. 1014/1605) on Ṣadr al-Sharīʿah ʿUbayd Allāh b. Masʿūd al-Maḥbūbī’s legal text al-Nuqāyah, one of the reliable legal texts (mutūn) of the Ḥanafī school. Al-Qārī’s work is distinguished by its masterful amalgam of legal discussions from the various renowned commentaries on Imam al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah, including Ibn al-Humām’s Fatḥ al-Qadīr and al-Zaylaʿī’s Naṣb al-Rāyah. This course consists of an intensive study of this commentary and aims to introduce the student to Islamic legal reasoning by providing transmitted and analytical evidence for the legal opinions of the Ḥanafī school.
LAW322CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah
- Part IV
The course introduces students to Islamic legal reasoning. ʿUbaid Allāh b. Masʿūd (d. 747/1346) in his Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah comments on his grandfather’s (Tāj al-Sharīʿah) al-Wiqāyah. Each legal issue and its ruling are coupled with proof from either primary sources of Islamic law or deduced maxims. The author also weighs multiple opinions within the school and offers his preferences. This study prepares students to the study of al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah at the advanced level.
LAW332CoreIslamic LawIslamic Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār - Part IIIThe course consists of an intensive study of 'Alā al-Dīn Muḥammad b. 'Alī al-Ḥiṣnī al-Ḥaṣkafī’s (d.1088/1677) Ifāḍat al-Anwār which is a commentary on the influential text of Islamic jurisprudence al-Manār of Ḥafiẓ al-Dīn Abū l-Barakāt 'Abd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 710/1310). The text and the commentary cover all the major topics of Islamic legal methodology according to the Ḥanafī school. Ḥaskafī’s commentary is distinguished by being one of the most concise commentaries on al-Manār and summarizes the insights of previous commentaries. The aim of the course is to teach students concepts and principles of Islamic legal methodology in detail with examples to enable them to do further research in the field. Students are recommended to use editions that have Ibn 'Ābidīn’s gloss Nasamāt al-Asḥār and get a copy of Ibn Malak’s Sharḥ al-Manār for reference. This course is offered in three semesters at the undergraduate level or two semesters at the graduate level.
LAW401CoreIslamic LawAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 1 and 2
- Part I
al-Marghīnānī’s (d. 593/1196) al-Hidāyah empowers the student with a comprehensive understanding of each legal issue through delving into textual and rational evidence. al-Marghīnānī furthers the discourse at times by mentioning similar rulings or drawing the student’s attention to subtle differences between apparently similar cases. The author also presents opposing opinions from both within and outside the Ḥanafī legal school. The discourse is concluded by answering the objections of the opposition by transmitted evidence or legal maxims. al-Hidāyah has enjoyed special attention throughout the ages. The various commentaries and notes on the work ease the student’s journey.
LAW402CoreIslamic LawAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 1 and 2
- Part II
al-Marghīnānī’s (d. 593/1196) al-Hidāyah empowers the student with a comprehensive understanding of each legal issue through delving into textual and rational evidence. al-Marghīnānī furthers the discourse at times by mentioning similar rulings or drawing the student’s attention to subtle differences between apparently similar cases. The author also presents opposing opinions from both within and outside the Ḥanafī legal school. The discourse is concluded by answering the objections of the opposition by transmitted evidence or legal maxims. al-Hidāyah has enjoyed special attention throughout the ages. The various commentaries and notes on the work ease the student’s journey.
LAW501CoreIslamic LawAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 3 and 4
- Part I
al-Marghīnānī’s (d. 593/1196) al-Hidāyah empowers the student with a comprehensive understanding of each legal issue through delving into textual and rational evidence. al-Marghīnānī furthers the discourse at times by mentioning similar rulings or drawing the student’s attention to subtle differences between apparently similar cases. The author also presents opposing opinions from both within and outside the Ḥanafī legal school. The discourse is concluded by answering the objections of the opposition by transmitted evidence or legal maxims. al-Hidāyah has enjoyed special attention throughout the ages. The various commentaries and notes on the work ease the student’s journey.
LAW502CoreIslamic LawAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 3 and 4
- Part II
al-Marghīnānī’s (d. 593/1196) al-Hidāyah empowers the student with a comprehensive understanding of each legal issue through delving into textual and rational evidence. al-Marghīnānī furthers the discourse at times by mentioning similar rulings or drawing the student’s attention to subtle differences between apparently similar cases. The author also presents opposing opinions from both within and outside the Ḥanafī legal school. The discourse is concluded by answering the objections of the opposition by transmitted evidence or legal maxims. al-Hidāyah has enjoyed special attention throughout the ages. The various commentaries and notes on the work ease the student’s journey.
LAW511CoreIslamic LawIntroduction to Islamic Legal Maxims: Qawāʿid al-MajallahMajallat al-Aḥkām al-'Adliyyah, which was composed between 1868-1876 by a committee of jurists led by Ahmet Cevdet Pasha (d. 1895), the justice minister of the Ottoman Empire, is significant as the first codification of Islamic law in Islamic legal history. The work begins with an introduction that comprises one hundred articles, the first of which is a definition of Islamic law while the remaining ninety-nine are Islamic legal maxims. This course aims to introduce the student to the field of Islamic legal maxims through a detailed study of the legal maxims of the Majallah based upon Ali Haydar Efendi’s (d. 1353/1935) Durar al-Ḥukkām fī Sharḥ Majallat al-Aḥkām, which is considered one of the best commentaries of the Majallah.