Though often maligned and misunderstood, Islamic law is one of the longest enduring and most widely subscribed systems of law in the world. This seminar will offer students 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. Students will also gain practical insights into the sources and constructs of this religious-based legal system, including the substantive differences between the Shariah and scholarly jurisprudence. Particular attention will be paid to an analysis of the Qur'an, the body of tradition attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, the various constructions 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 political. Students will also gain an in-depth understanding of selected aspects of Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic criminal law, and how classical and contemporary Islamic law comports with international human rights law.
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