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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Fall 2007

R S 358 • Islamic Law

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45608 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
RAS 211B

Course Description

From the beginnings of Islam in the 7th century until today, observant Muslims have sought to live their lives in accordance with God's law, or shariah. This writing intensive, upper-division course is designed to give students a foundation in the substantive teachings of the shariah, which comprises not only what we normally think of as law, but also ethics and etiquette. Specific areas of coverage include the following: rules of ritual worship, ethical principles, etiquette, family and personal status law, criminal law, economic and contract law, constitutional and international law. Although the bulk of the course will concern classical Islamic law, we will take time out to discuss issues of contemporary concern as well, such as gender equity, human rights, medical ethics, and warfare. Readings will be in both secondary literature and primary texts (in translation). This course has no prerequisites, but will assume a basic working knowledge of Islam.

Grading Policy

Quizzes-25%; midterm exam-25%; final project/Exam-25%; in-class presentations/participation-25%


Weiss, Bernard. The Spirit of Islamic Law Coulson. A History of Islamic Law Reader


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