This course is designed to give a survey of the major themes in Islamic jurisprudence. It provides an introduction to the Shariah topics. It gives the students an insight into the practical side of the Shariah. Students will learn about the way ulema organised the fiqh books according to topics that govern Muslim daily life. Subjects like purification, salah, cleanliness, zakat, hajj, and fasting will be covered under the main theme of ibadaat (worship).

The course also covers topics related to the interaction between Muslims such as Mu’ammalat (transactions), Islamic financial laws, criminal laws, family laws, laws governing the relations with animals and Islamic concerns for the environment.

The students will have the opportunity to learn about what is lawful and unlawful in Islam. They will debate issues that affect their life such as hijab, music, halal food etc. The course will give the students the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the Shariah laws in modern times; the practicality and the impracticality. The application of Muslim laws in a non-Muslim context e.g. where Muslims are living as minorities.

The course will address the concept of maslaha (common interests) as the driving force of modern Islamic law. The question of fatwa and muftis in modern times will also be discussed.


  1. Cleanliness and purification
  2. Prayers
  3. Fasting and it observance
  4. Hajj and its laws
  5. Zakat and calculation
  6. Animal slaughtering, laws and etiquettes
  7. Family laws, marriage and divorce
  8. Islamic financial system, transactions: interest etc.
  9. Islamic banking
  10. Trade and commerce
  11. Islamic criminal code
  12. Islamic judicial system (judges, courts and lawyers)
  13. Social conduct
  14. Lawful and unlawful
  15. Drugs and intoxicants
  16. Implementation of the shariah
  17. Islamisation experiences: Sudan, Malaysia and Pakistan
  18. Maslaha, darurah (necessity) as tools for fatwas
  19. Womens rights
  20. Muslims as minorities (minority fiqh)
  21. The state of fatwa in modern times: The role of mass media
  22. Islam and human rights
  23. Music and arts: Islamic view
  24. Revision, assessment and conclusion

Learning Outcomes

It is hoped by the end of the course, the students have:

  • A good understanding of the methods and science of jurisprudence by scholars of the classical period.
  • Become familiar with the various schools of fiqh in the Sunni and Shi’i traditions.
  • Determine the theological differences between the various schools of fiqh.
  • Appreciate the debate between ijtihad (discernment) and taqlid (imitation).