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.

Within the Intermediate Islamic Studies program, 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). Further into the Intermediate program, 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 culmination of the Intermediate Islamic Studies program, the student is given a comprehensive understanding of each legal case, integrating furū’, uṣūl, and khilāf.

The Intermediate Islamic Studies program 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 introduced within the Advanced Islamic Law and Islamic Theology program.

Mufti Hisham Dawood

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

Core Content Curriculum


 

Islamic Law

 

Course CodeCore or ElectiveCourse NameCourse Description
LAW101CoreIntroduction to Ḥanafī Legal Compendia: Qudūrī’s al-Mukhtaṣar 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 Hanafi 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.
LAW102CoreIntroduction to Ḥanafī Legal Compendia: Qudūrī’s al-Mukhtaṣar 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 Hanafi 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.
LAW201CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-Mukhtār 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.
LAW202CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār 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.
LAW211CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah 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.
LAW212CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah 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.
LAW221CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah IThe 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.
LAW222CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah IIThe 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.
LAW231CoreIntroduction 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.
LAW241CoreIslamic Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār 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 in the intermediate program or two semesters in the advanced program.
LAW301CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār 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.
LAW302CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Ikhtiyār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār 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.
LAW311CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah 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.
LAW312CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah 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.
LAW321CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah IIIThe 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.
LAW322CoreIntroduction to Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah IVThe 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 Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār 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 in the intermediate program or two semesters in the advanced program.
LAW332CoreIslamic Legal Methodology: Ifāḍat al-Anwār Sharḥ al-Manār 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 in the intermediate program or two semesters in the advanced program.
LAW341ElectiveIslamic Laws of InheritanceThe course covers Islamic laws of inheritance using Sirāj al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Rashīd's (d.~600/1204) famous text, al-Sirājī fī al-Mīrāth, also known as Sirājiyyah. Although there is very little difference amongst the schools of fiqh in laws of inheritance, Sirājiyyah is written from a Ḥanafī perspective. Classically books of inheritance are organized based on shares or recipients, Sirājiyyah follows the latter.
LAW401CoreAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 1al-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.
LAW402CoreAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 2al-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.
LAW501CoreAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 3al-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.
LAW502CoreAdvanced Legal Reasoning in the Ḥanafī School: al-Marghīnānī’s al-Hidāyah Volume 4al-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.
LAW511CoreIntroduction 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.