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Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


Course Overview

This course will cover the main areas of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), and the historic, social and religious factors in the development of Islamic legal schools. The focus will be on the four primary sources of Islamic law, together with the supplementary sources used in the practice of ijtihad (independent legal deduction).


Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the development of usul al-fiqh
  • show an understanding of the methodology of Islamic law-making
  • critically discuss the primary and supplementary sources of Islamic law
  • analyse the arguments and propositions used in legal rulings (fatwas)


Course Content:

  • History of Islamic law
  • Factors involved in the emergence of the Islamic legal schools
  • Ijtihad (independent legal deduction)
  • The first source of law: the Quran
  • The second source of law: the Sunnah
  • The third source of law: qiyas (analogical reasoning)
  • The fourth source of law: ijma’ (consensus of the community)
  • Supplementary sources of law
  • Differences in the methodology of various legal schools

Course Reviews


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  1. Excellent overview of usul ul fiqh


    Definitely worth taking this course as it will give an excellent introduction to fiqh and usul ul fiqh. The sheikh also discusses his own take on this subject and on areas which he differs from traditional scholarship.

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