NOTE: Preference will be given to USG participants and those who have not previously taken this course.
Islamic law is one of the longest enduring and most widely practiced systems of law in the world. It is, however, one of the most maligned and misunderstood. This course will offer participants a firm grounding in the principles, concepts, and terminology of Islamic law as well as an introduction to its history and its role in the contemporary era. Through discussion and exercises, participants will gain practical insights into the sources and constructs of this religious-based legal system, including the substantive difference between Shari’ah and jurisprudence, analysis of the Qur’an, the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, the various rational constructs devised by jurists and eminent legal scholars, the schools of law, differences between Shi’i and Sunni Islamic law, the historical demise and the modern resurgence of Islamic law, and Islamism. Participants will also gain an in-depth understanding of selected aspects of classical and contemporary Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic criminal law, and Islamic finance law as well as how such substantive laws can be misapplied and misunderstood at every session.