Shari’a or the sacred law of Islam is the will of God revealed to the prophet Muhammad and eventually taken down in the text of the Quran. The Quran together with the Sunna, the normative precedents of the prophet and his followers, written down in the form of Traditions (hadith), form the two main sources of the Shari’a. The legal scholars of the science of Shari’a (fiqh) developed methodologies and constructed an elaborate legal system, discussing cases and exercising legal reasoning on the basis of consensus (ijma’) and on analogy (qiyas). There are four pre-eminent schools of law: the Shafi’i, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali school. The Shari’a prescribes in detail how a Muslim must behave in all aspects of life, that is, in the religious, moral and legal sphere and represents an eternally valid ideal to which society must aspire. The main legal areas treated are family, inheritance, commercial, contract, criminal and evidence law. Justice is being administered by Islamic judges (qadi’s). The legal areas not covered by Islamic law belong to the discretionary power of the ruler, called siyasa. This double administration of justice, one religious and the other secular prevails until this day. The reception of Western political ideas and the formation of states in particular changed the natural environment of the Shari’a. Modern theories differ widely about the possibility of an Islamic state and about the Shari’a as a basis for legislation or human rights.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Islamic Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's classification index code 346. Works on the Law of Oriental Countries and on Islamic Law and subject heading (keyword) Islamic Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
- Akgunduz, A., Introduction to Islamic Law: Islamic Law in Theory and Practice, Rotterdam, IUR Press, 2010.
- Coulson, N.J., A History of Islamic Law, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1978.
- Hallaq, W.B., Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- Navaid, M.I., Legal System in Islam, New Delhi, Discovery Publishing House, 2010.
- Schacht, J., An Introduction to Islamic Law, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1982.
- Abdurrahman Bewley, A. (transl.), al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas: the First Formulation of Islamic Law, London, Kegan Paul International, 1989.
- Al-Dawoody, A., The Islamic Law of War : Justifications and Regulations, New York, NY., Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
- Baderin, M.A., International Law and Islamic Law, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008.
- Bechor, G., The Sanhuri Code, and the Emergence of Modern Arab Civil Law (1932 to 1949), Leiden, Brill, 2007.
- Emon, A.M., M.S. Ellis and B. Glahn (eds.), Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground?, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Hasan, Zulkifli, Shari'ah Governance in Islamic Banks, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2012.
- Mayer, A.E., Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 2013.
- Otto, J.M. (ed.), Sharia Incorporated : a Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present, Leiden, Leiden University Press, 2010.
- Peters, R., Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Berger, M., "Islamic Views on International Law", in P.W. Meerts (ed.), Culture and International Law, The Hague, Hague Academic Press, 2008, pp. 105-117.
- Charfi, M., "L'influence de la religion dans le droit international privé des pays musulmans", in 203 Recueil des cours (1987-III), pp. 321-454.
- Kelly, M.J., "Islam and International Criminal Law: a Brief (In)compatibility Study", Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, 14 (2008-2009), pp. 3-25.
- Mahmassani, S., "The Principles of International Law in the Light of Islamic Doctrine", in 117 Recueil des cours (1966-I), pp. 201-328.
Periodicals, serial publications
- Arab Law Quarterly
- Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law
- The Encyclopaedia of Islam
- Encyclopaedia of Islamic Law
- Encyclopedia of Islamic Law : a Compendium of the Views of the Major Schools
- Göttinger Forum für Arabistik
- Harvard Studies in Islamic Law
- Islamic and Comparative Law Review
- Islamic Law and Society
- Islamic Law Journal
- Istanbul Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Mecmuasi
- Journal of Islamic Law & Culture
- Journal of Islamic State Practices in International Law
- Palestine Yearbook of International Law
- Recht van de Islam
- Revue algérienne des sciences juridiques, politiques et économiques
- Revue libanaise de l'arbitrage arabe et international
- Studies in Islamic Law and Society
- UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law
- Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law
1. Sex and the Shari'a: Defining Gender Norms and Sexual Deviancy in Shi'i Islam
Keywords: Islamic law, Sexuality, Gender, Marriage, Sexual orientation,
2. ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Human Right to Freedom from Slavery under Islamic Law
Keywords: Islamic law, Slavery, Islamic State, Islam, International humanitarian law,
3. Diya al-marʼa fī al-šarīʻa al-Islāmiyya
Keywords: Homicide, Women, Criminal law, Compensation for damage, Evidence, Islamic law, Islamic decrees,
4. Ḥuqūq al-zawǧayn wa-al-abawayn wa-al-abnāʾ fī al-šarīʿa al-Islāmiyya
Keywords: Oman, Family law, Personal status, Children and parents, Women, Islamic law, Legal history,
Ercanbrack, J.G., The Transformation of Islamic Law in Global Financial Markets, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The role of global capital in relation to human social systems has assumed enormous proportions in liberalised, deregulated markets. States attempt to nationalise it, financial centres spring up in its wake, and INGOs attempt to deal with its de-territorialising, supranational characteristics. A global adjudication system (arbitration) has been introduced to safeguard and buttress its flow. The power of Islamic capital has generated numerous sites of legal contestation and negotiation, ranging from gateway financial centres, international law firms and transnational financial institutions, all of which interact in the production of Islamic financial law (IFL). The process of producing IFL illustrates complex fields of action driven by power dynamics, neoliberal paradigms and the institutional momentum of the global economy. The municipal legal systems under study in this book (the United Kingdom, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and the Dubai International Financial Centre) illustrate globalisation's acceleration of legal, economic and social production.
Kruiniger, P.M., Islamic Divorces in Europe, Bridging the Gap between European and Islamic Legal Orders, The Hague, Eleven International Publishing, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book examines the issue of the recognition of Islamic divorces in European states. Repudiation-based divorces are particularly notorious for their presumed violation of fundamental rights of women and are consequently often not recognized. The resulting limping of legal relationships affects other fundamental rights of the persons involved, such as the right to marry and the right of free movement. For this reason, the book scrutinizes classical Islamic divorce law and the contemporary divorce laws and practices of Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Pakistan, as well as the Dutch, English, and French recognition policies and relevant EU (case) law. By introducing various soft and hard law solutions, the book provides legal practitioners with the information and tools to tackle major shortcomings in the recognition of Islamic divorces. It is therefore a must read for legal practitioners, such as registrars, notaries, and members of the judiciary, as well as academics.
Baderin, M.A. (ed.), Islamic Law, Farnham, Ashgate, 3 volumes, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Since 9/11 the increased global attention on Islam has also triggered an increased interest in Islamic law, and academic journals far and wide reflect the prolific nature of scholarly debate in this field. This series of three volumes brings together the best and most influential contributions from this debate and in so doing provides students and researchers with a ‘one-stop’ resource to help them navigate their way through the widely dispersed and varied literature on this subject. The selected articles address different aspects of Islamic law and uniquely blend academic perspectives on the theoretical, substantive and practical elements of Islamic law in a coherent manner for a holistic understanding of the Islamic legal system in theory and practice. Each of the three volumes in the series also features an introductory overview and a comprehensive bibliographical list as an additional resource for further research on the different aspects of Islamic law. This series represents an indispensable resource for libraries, students and researchers interested in a better understanding of Islamic law.
Peters, R. and P. Bearman (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Islamic Law, Farnham; Burlington, Ashgate, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This unparalleled Companion provides a comprehensive and authoritative guide to Islamic law to all with an interest in this increasingly relevant and developing field. The volume presents classical Islamic law through a historiographical introduction to and analysis of Western scholarship, while key debates about hot-button issues in modern-day circumstances are also addressed. In twenty-one chapters, distinguished authors offer an overview of their particular specialty, reflect on past and current thinking, and point to directions for future research. The Companion is divided into four parts. The first offers an introduction to the history of Islamic law as well as a discussion of how Western scholarship and historiography have evolved over time. The second part delves into the substance of Islamic law. Legal rules for the areas of legal status, family law, socio-economic justice, penal law, constitutional authority, and the law of war are all discussed in this section. Part three examines the adaptation of Islamic law in light of colonialism and the modern nation state as well as the subsequent re-Islamization of national legal systems. The final section presents contemporary debates on the role of Islamic law in areas such as finance, the diaspora, modern governance, and medical ethics, and the volume concludes by questioning the role of Sharia law as a legal authority in the modern context. By outlining the history of Islamic law through a linear study of research, this collection is unique in its examination of past and present scholarship and the lessons we can draw from this for the future. It introduces scholars and students to the challenges posed in the past, to the magnitude of milestones that were achieved in the reinterpretation and revision of established ideas, and ultimately to a thorough conceptual understanding of Islamic law.
Giunchi, E.G., Muslim Family Law in Western Courts, London; New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book focuses on Islamic family law as interpreted and applied by judges in Europe, Australia and North America. It uses court transcriptions and observations to discuss how the most contentious marriage-related issues - consent and age of spouses, dower, polygamy, and divorce - are adjudicated. The solutions proposed by different legal systems are reviewed , and some broader questions are addressed: how Islamic principles are harmonized with norms based on gender equality, how parties bargain strategically in and out of court, and how Muslim diasporas align their Islamic worldview with a Western normative narrative.
Bassiouni, M.C., The Sharīʿa and Islamic Criminal Justice in Time of War and Peace, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This innovative and important book applies classical Sunni Muslim legal and religious doctrine to contemporary issues surrounding armed conflict. In doing so it shows that the shari'a and Islamic law are not only compatible with contemporary international human rights law and international humanitarian law norms, but are appropriate for use in Muslim societies. By grounding contemporary post-conflict processes and procedures in classical Muslim legal and religious doctrine, it becomes more accessible to Muslim societies who are looking for appropriate legal mechanisms to deal with the aftermath of armed conflict. This book uniquely presents a critique of the violent practices of contemporary Muslims and Muslim clerics who support these practices. It rebuts Islamophobes in the West that discredit Islam on the basis of the abhorrent practices of some Muslims, and hopes to reduce tensions between Western and Islamic civilizations by enhancing common understanding of the issues.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, International Law, Regional Developments: Islam, by Mohammad Fadel.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Islamic Approach to International Law, by Said Mahmoudi
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Organization of the Islamic Conference, by Said Mahmoudi
Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes
Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.Read more
Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has helped many childless couples successfully produce families in all corners of the globe. Current developments regarding IVF treatment have sparked debates in many islamic nations among religious groups. This blog will focus on Iran and discuss the differences between Sunni and Shi’a Islam regarding this issue.Read more
- Finding the Law: Islamic Law (Sharia) By Andrew Grossman, Published on August 1, 2002
- Harvard Law School, Islamic Law : Research Guide
- Intute, UK Universities Webresources Collection on Islamic studies
- Law Research Guide Columbia University Law School by Aslihan Bulut
- Iran Law
- Islamic Family Law Project of Emory Law School upd. 2002
- List of Islamic Law Sites
- SOAS-CIMEL Islamic and Middle Eastern Law Materials
- The Islamic Sharia Council UK
- International Islamic University Malaysia, DEED Islamic Resources Repository
- Muslim Arbitration Tribunal
- Muslim Law Systems and Mixed Systems with a Muslim Law Tradition
- Reforming Islamic family law within the religious framework: the « best practices » strategy by Khalid Chraibi
- Religious Legal Systems: A Brief Guide to Research and Its Role in Comparative Law, by Marylin Johnson Raisch
- Sharia : ITO, Intellectual Takeout, Minnesota
- World Database for Islamic Banking and Finance