ISC214 – Islamic Family Law


The syllabus covers the following main areas of interest:

  • Islamic Laws and legislation regarding marriage in comparison with English family law
  • Conditions of marriage in comparison with English family law
  • Maintenance (nafaqah) in comparison with English family law
  • Divorce and its various forms in comparison with English family law
  • Inheritance, succession, family settlements (musalahah), bequest (wasiyyah) in comparison with English family law
  • Guardianship and custody (walayah) in comparison with English family law
  • Islamic family law and the rights of women in comparison with English family law
  • Contemporary Implementations of Islamic family law in the Muslim world and UK: Case studies of Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UK

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Evaluate and justify based upon knowledge of family law in Islam and English law. (A1)
  • Analyse various schools of jurisprudence regarding family law compared to English law. (A2, A3)
  • Compare and contrast Islamic family law with modern laws and standards in the UK. (A4, A5)

 This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Discuss and break down the various arguments surrounding the implementation of Islamic family laws in Muslim societies. (B2-B6, C2, D3, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures and the students’ reading communicate much of the subject matter. Seminars, presentations, class discussions, the essay and the examination encourage analysis and critical reflection. 

Assessment Mode

Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is through co-ordinated independent study of reading material, followed by discussion in class to supplement topics covered and is an essential element of the programme. As part of the formative learning process each student will meet with the module leader in order to discuss their critical learning for their chosen essay. The tutorial or meeting will not be assessed but will form part of the formative learning process with constructive feedback given to the student. A draft of the critical essay may be submitted for formative assessment before the 10th week. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.

Summative Assessment
Assessment is by a critical essay and written examination. The critical essay will require students to write 3,000 wordson one of the main topics covered in class that demonstrates a critical understanding of the topic (Outcome 2), as well as a 2 hour written examination that will take place at the end of the module (Outcomes 1, 3, 4).

Assessment Weighting
Critical Essay: 50%
Written examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Bakhtiar, L. (1996) Encyclopaedia of Islamic Law: A Compendium of the Major Schools, ABC International Group
  • Hodkinson, K. (1984) Muslim Family Law: A Source Book, UK: Routledge.