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Islamic Law in a Global Context


This module is designed to complement the core programme module, Muslim Minorities, and expands on the 4-week component of that module.

Topics covered

The Islamic Law in a Global Context option gives students an opportunity to critically analyse the juridicial views of scholars as well as the legal practices of ordinary Muslims within Muslim societies of the contemporary world. This module enables students to make comparisons, through case law, between countries with Muslim minority communities and those in which the majority population are Muslim. Its major aim is to expose students to different visions of law in Islam, its processes or procedures and its roles or functions in Muslim communities.

It will allow students to examine critically what is meant by ‘Islamic’ as opposed to ‘Muslim law’, the process of law-making, authority and agency in Islam, how such processes are determined and by whom and how the principles of the Qur ‘an and Sunna in contemporary times have been translated into socially workable rules. The course looks at a variety of selected legal issues involving property disputes, marriage and divorce, Islamic criminal justice, Islamic finance, Islamic philanthropy and women's rights. In relation to the latter, readings will focus on the role of social movements and other factors in bringing about change towards gender mainstreaming of Shari ‘a.

Learning outcomes

Some knowledge of what it means to be Muslim in a Muslim majority country will enable students better to understand the challenges faced by Muslim minority communities living within non-Islamic jurisdictions.


  • Five written online activities (30% of the module mark)
  • 5,000 word essay (70%).