Islamic Law

Introduction

Islamic Law - Research Guide International Law

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.

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Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Leading articles

Documents

 

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles


1. L'impuissance sexuelle, motif légal de rupture du lien matrimonial
L'impuissance sexuelle, motif légal de rupture du lien matrimonial : Genese d'une doctrine / Mohammed Hocine Benkheira In: Islamic Law and Society = ISSN 0928-9380: vol. 21, issue 1-2, page 1-48. - 2014
Keywords: Divorce and judicial separation, Human reproduction, Men, Islamic law, Doctrines,

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  • Masud, M.K., Peters, R. and Powers, D. (eds.), Dispensing Justice in Islam, Leiden, Brill, 2012.

    Masud, M.K., Peters, R. and Powers, D. (eds.), Dispensing Justice in Islam, Leiden, Brill, 2012.
    Dispensing Justice is designed to serve as a sourcebook of Islamic legal practice and qadi court records from the rise of Islam to modern times, drawing upon court records and qadi judgments, in addition to literary sources. In the first chapter, we survey the state of the field, sketching the history, structure, and modern transformation of the qadiship. The twenty chapters that follow are grouped thematically in four sections: (1) the nature and functions of the judgeship and its development over time; (2) the structure of the judicial apparatus; (3) the application of juristic thought and reasoning to specific cases in selected areas of the law; and (4) judicial procedure and the different forms of evidence. The volume fills a large gap in Islamic legal history.
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  • Fatoohi, L., Abrogation in the Qur'an and Islamic Law: A Critical Study of the Concept of "Naskh" and Its Impact, New York, NY, Routledge, 2013.

    Fatoohi, L., Abrogation in the Qur'an and Islamic Law: A Critical Study of the Concept of "Naskh" and Its Impact, New York, NY (etc.), Routledge, 2013.

    This book examines in detail the concept of “abrogation” in the Qur’an, which has played a major role in the development of Islamic law and has implications for understanding the history and integrity of the Qur’anic text. The term has gained popularity in recent years, as Muslim groups and individuals claim that many passages about tolerance in the Qur’an have been abrogated by others that call on Muslims to fight their enemies. Author Louay Fatoohi argues that this could not have been derived from the Qur’an, and that its implications contradict Qur’anic principles. He also reveals conceptual flaws in the principle of abrogation as well as serious problems with the way it was applied by different scholars. The book traces the development of the concept from its most basic form to the complex and multi-faceted doctrine it has become. The book shows what specific problems the three modes of abrogation were introduced to solve, and how this concept has shaped Islamic law. The book also critiques the role of abrogation in rationalizing the view that not all of the Qur’anic revelation has survived in the “mushaf”, or the written record of the Qur’an. This role makes understanding abrogation an essential prerequisite for studying the history of the Qur’anic text.

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  • Mayer, A.E., Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 2013.

    Mayer, A.E., Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 2013.
    Islam and Human Rights is a probing examination of how the Islamic tradition has been exploited for political ends by regimes and institutions seeking to legitimize policies inimical to human rights. Ann Elizabeth Mayer critically appraises Islamic human rights schemes that dilute the human rights afforded by international law, comparing them with the complex Islamic legal heritage and international human rights law. Challenging stereotypes about a supposedly monolithic Islam inherently incompatible with human rights, Mayer dissects the political motives behind the selective deployment of elements of the Islamic tradition by conservative forces seeking to delegitimize demands for democracy and human rights. The fifth edition provides an updated consideration of government policies on Islam and human rights activism and how they are affecting developments in several Middle Eastern countries, and features a new chapter on the resistance of human rights for sexual minorities by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Muslim states. The new edition also analyzes the other most recent and important issues of the region, including  the burgeoning pressures in the Middle East for human rights leading up to the Arab Spring; the ambitious campaign of the (OIC) to influence the UN human rights system by forging alliances with non-Muslim states hostile to human rights; the concerted efforts by this cross-cultural alliance to subvert international human rights law under pretenses of supporting human rights; the intensifying controversies over issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Middle East and the Danish Cartoons controversy and the OIC project to co-opt international human rights law to criminalize “defamation of Islam” occurring in the West.
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  • Voorhoeve, M. (ed.), Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World, London, Tauris, 2012.

    Voorhoeve, M. (ed.), Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World, London, Tauris, 2012.

    In both the West and throughout the Muslim world, Islamic family law is a highly – and hotly – debated topic. In the Muslim World, the discussions at the heart of these debates are often primarily concerned with the extent to which classical Islamic family law should be implemented in the national legal system, and the impact this has on society. “Family Law in Islam” highlights these discussions by looking at public debates and legal practice. Using a range of contemporary examples, from polygamy to informal marriage (zawaj ‘urfi), and from divorce with mutual agreement (khul’) to judicial divorce (tatliq), this wide-ranging and penetrating volume explores the impact of Islamic law on individuals, families and society alike from Morocco to Egypt and from Syria to Iran. It thus contains material of vital importance for researchers of Islamic Law, Politics and Society in the Middle East and North Africa.

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  • Bernard-Maugiron, N. and B. Dupret, Ordre public et droit musulman de la famille en Europe et en Afrique du Nord, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.

    Bernard-Maugiron, N. and B. Dupret, Ordre public et droit musulman de la famille en Europe et en Afrique du Nord, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.

    Les politiques législatives et les pratiques judiciaires de six pays du Nord et du Sud de la Méditerranée (France, Belgique et Espagne, Egypte, Maroc et Tunisie) face à des normes ou décisions étrangères dans le domaine du droit de la famille. Les juges des pays  de l’Union européenne sont de plus en plus souvent confrontés à des normes en provenance de pays arabes. Or, les règles de conflits de lois établies par le droit international privé peuvent conduire à l’introduction de principes porteurs de valeurs étrangères inconciliables avec les valeurs du pays d’accueil. La notion d’ordre public est alors invoquée pour repousser la loi étrangère, lorsque son contenu heurte les principes fondamentaux de l’Etat du for. Ce phénomène, loin d’être nouveau, a pris de l’ampleur ces dernières années, en raison des crispations croissantes des différentes parties concernées, particulièrement face à des normes d’ inspiration islamique.

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  • Khanbaghi, A., Interpretations of Law and Ethics in Muslim Contexts, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

    Khanbaghi, A., Interpretations of Law and Ethics in Muslim Contexts, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

    Law within Muslim societies is not uniform; even within Muslim majority regions it can be interpreted differently according to different denominations and legal traditions. As law forms an integral part of normative social practice, reflecting the moral and ethical principles of a society, it is important to highlight the diversity of interpretations to better enable the study of law along with the ethical principles of a community. This volume brings together some of the many unheard voices of scholars studying law and ethics in languages other than English. It features 200 abstracts with bibliographical details in 3 languages (English, Arabic and Turkish) giving access to information about scholarly publications from Muslim contexts in the fields of law and Sharia.

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  • Dupret, B. (dir.), La charia aujourd'hui: usages de la référence au droit islamique, Paris, Découverte, 2012.

    La charia, normativité référée à l’islam et à ses textes fondateurs, appartient à ces vocables constamment utilisés et jamais étudiés, ou si peu. Il n’existe en tout cas aucun ouvrage de langue française tentant d’aborder la question, non pas dans ses représentations fantasmées, mais dans ses formes et ses pratiques concrètes, vide que ce livre entend combler. L’objectif est de le faire « au temps présent », dans le phénomène de référencement à la charia que l’on peut observer à l’oeuvre dans le contexte contemporain, tout en ne négligeant pas la nouvelle dimension politique que ce terme et ses usages n’ont manqué de prendre. Les rapports du droit à la référence islamique ont connu des bouleversements profonds au cours des cent cinquante dernières années. Aux niveaux législatif et judiciaire, les instances du droit ont eu à se prononcer sur la place de la charia dans les différents systèmes juridiques. L’ouvrage s’attache à observer comment la formulation des règles référées à l’islam, leur usage et leur autorité sont fonction du contexte social, politique et institutionnel de chaque État. Faut-il en conclure à la relativité de la charia ? Au lieu de chercher à connaître la nature de la règle islamique, il convient davantage d’observer, en contexte, comment ces règles sont invoquées, élaborées et mises en oeuvre dans le cours ordinaire de la vie de sociétés où la présence musulmane est importante.

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Database

Blogs

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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