Universität Wien FIND

Return to Vienna for the summer semester of 2022. We are planning to hold courses mainly on site to enable the personal exchange between you, your teachers and fellow students. We have labelled digital and mixed courses in u:find accordingly.

Due to COVID-19, there might be changes at short notice (e.g. individual classes in a digital format). Obtain information about the current status on u:find and check your e-mails regularly.

Please read the information on https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

030655 VO Introduction to Islamic Law (2020W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 150 participants
Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N


Tuesday 13.10. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 20.10. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 27.10. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 03.11. 12:30 - 14:30 Digital
Tuesday 10.11. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 17.11. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 24.11. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 01.12. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 15.12. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 12.01. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 19.01. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course provides an accessible and systematic introduction to the study of Islamic law. Reflecting its traditional strengths in private law, this course focuses on Islamic family, commercial and contract law, treating Islamic public law only in passing (those interested in constitutional law should consider „Comparative Constitutional Law of the Middle East"). These also happen to be those areas most relevant to legal practitioners, as courts in Western legal systems often have to resolve private law matters with reference to Islamic legal principles.

This course examines the nature and development of Islamic law from three distinct but related angles:

• as dogma centred around the interpretation of authoritative texts;
• as practice centred around the observation of the way its norms are actually observed by human beings; and
• as contingency centred around the recognition of the diverse historical, social and cultural forms it can take.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade for this course consists of one written, 48 hours take-home, open-book book exam of maximum 2000 words excluding footnotes (70%) and class participation (30%). The exam is aimed to motivate a renewed engagement with the course material and to cement the retention of the material. Special emphasis will be given to the mastery of comparative approaches.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

There are no linguistic or disciplinary prerequisites, all material is in English, necessary terms will be explained in class and a glossary provided.

Examination topics

Formal basis for the exam is the literature provided in the syllabus. In addition, it is highly advantageous to be familiar with the content of the companion online course.

The syllabus clearly distinguishes between mandatory and voluntary additional readings; only the former are strictly necessary to pass this course (and do so well).

Reading list

Material for this course will be electronically made available. In addition, the following textbooks are useful:

Hallaq, Wael B. An Introduction to Islamic Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Coulson, Noel J. A History of Islamic Law. The Hague: Aldine De Gruyter, 2011.
Hallaq, Wael B. The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005.
Menski, Werner, and David Pearl. Muslim Family Law. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1998.
Saleem, Mohammad Yusuf. Islamic Commercial Law. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
Chibli Mallat. “Commercial Law in the Middle East: Between Classical Transactions and Modern Business.” American Journal of Comparative Law (2000).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 06.05.2022 00:15