Introduction to Islamic Law

ldroi1511  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Introduction to Islamic Law
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Christians Louis-Léon; Dupret Baudouin; Yakin Ayang (compensates Christians Louis-Léon);
Main themes
The first part of the course is aimed at a brief reflection on the history, nature, methods and main categories of Islamic law, including some notions on the history of its sources. The second part introduces the students to the adaptation procedures of Moslem law to the modern world and to the question of the adaptation of Moslem law within Europe, with its special developments in family law and economic law and their organisational rules within the communities. The third part introduces the juridical systems chosen by contemporary Moslem countries, as well as their recent evolution.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 * To understand the place and role of Islamic law in the life and practice of the various Moslem communities and schools. * To help the student acquire a special method in such a way that, when confronted by a question with an Islamic dimension, he has the means to orientate himself and work out the possible solutions to be envisaged within the various different contexts, especially in Europe.
The LDROI1511 Introductory Course on Islamic Law intends to remove the ambiguity of the concept of "Islamic law" along three lines :
A first approach is about a summary reflection on the history, nature,  methods and major categories of the traditional legal schools of Islam, including some notions of history of the sources.
A second approach shows how this history of a scholarly law has been inscribed since decolonization in positive state law systems, through the analysis of a selection of contemporary Muslim countries, as well as their recent evolutions.
A third approach presents the modes of adaptation and the conditions of relevance of "islamic law" in Europe, with more specific developments on five reception mechanisms: the Islamic norm through freedom of religion, through Islam as a recognized religion in public law, through the 'personal status' in private international law of the family, through the common law of contracts (including arbitration and Islamic finance) and finally through political Islam as understood before the European Court human rights.

At the end of this course, students will be able to discuss the role of Islamic law in legal systems of countries with a Muslim population and within the legal systems of European states, and Belgium in particular. They will have acquired an ability to search specific literature and a method to orient themselves and to detect the possible solutions in various contexts, in particular European, vis-a-vis a legal question which has an Islamic dimension.
Teaching methods
Classical oral presentation by three teachers, with the intervention of external guests.
Evaluation methods
For 20% of the points, a bibliographic and documentary research is carried out during the four-month period, on a theme specific to each student.
For 80% of the final grade: an open-book written exam consisting of two questions drawn at random from a list of questions communicated before the session, as well as a question from the current events of the moment. The evaluation takes into account the student's discipline of origin.

In September, a similar written exam will represent 100% of the final grade.
Online resources
See the moodle website of the course.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Additionnal module in law

Minor in Law (openness)

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Minor in Arabic language and Islamic civilization

Master [120] in Sciences of Religions