HSD320 – Jurisprudential Maxims


  • Possession Indicates Ownership
  • The Principle of Permissibility
  • The Principle of Validity
  • The Principle of Purity
  • Islamic Law does not Occasion Harm
  • Islamic Law does not Occasion Unbearable Hardship
  • Certainty is not Challenged by Doubt
  • When a Text is Clear, Interpretations are Unacceptable
  • Avoidance of Disadvantage has Priority over Considerations of Benefit
  • Not to Cooperate in the Perpetration of Sinful Actions
  • Actions Undertaken with Good Intent do not Incur Liability
  • Reliance on the Muslim Market
  • Custom Circumscribes Religious Rulings
  • Inability to Fulfil a Religious Duty does not Absolve One from Obligation
  • Dissimulation and its Manifestations
  • Changes of Circumstance Lead to Changes in Rulings

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Critically write about the meaning of different jurisprudential maxims. (A1, A5)
  • Critically evaluate evidence for the validity of jurisprudential maxims. (B1, B4, C1, C6, D2, D6)
  • Review and design examples of the application of jurisprudential maxims in every-day situations. (A4, B2, B5)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Demonstrate effective development of argument and communication of ideas in the field of Islamic jurisprudence. (B2, B5, C2, D1, D3)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures largely comprise of a careful reading and explanation of the core texts coupled with discussions on key concepts. The use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process. Students are expected to discuss material presented in class in their mubāḥathah (study circle) sessions to enhance understanding and retention.

Assessment Modes
Formative assessment will be by means of discussions, and continuous questioning on the practical and theoretical aspects of the course syllabus. Revision sessions are also arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.  Each portfolio assignment is entitled to formative feedback from the module leader before the 10th learning week. Students are required to see the module leader regularly to receive feedback and support with their portfolio work. Additionally, tutorial time and also mubāḥathah enables the module leader to give guidance to students on topics of concern and provide constructive feedback related to portfolio work.
Summative, graded assessment is by portfolio and written examination at the end of the end of the semester. The portfolio will consist of two assignments of about 500 words each (Outcomes 3, 4). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2).

Assessment Weighting
Written examination: 50%
Portfolio: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Al-Irawani, B. (1997). Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al-Qawa‘id al-Fiqhiyyah. Qum: Anwar al-Huda.
  • Milani, F.H. (2011). Thirty Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. London: Islam in English Press.