ISC314 – Islamic Commercial and Criminal Law


The syllabus covers the following important topics:

  • The concepts of crime and punishment in Islam
  • The hudud and ta’zirat
  • Procedures used in the implementation of justice in Islamic courts
  • Compensations (diyat) and retaliations (qisas)
  • Court procedures in criminal offences: evidence, witness, and admission
  • Manslaughter, theft, and armed robbery
  • Fornication, adultery, and slandering
  • Application of Islamic criminal law in the modern world
  • Rulings on commercial transaction: offer (ijab) and acceptance (qabul), nullification (faskh) etc.
  • Agency (wakala)
  • Investment: mudaraba, musharaka, murabaha, etc.
  • Interest (riba), and its impact on Muslim and non-Muslim countries
  • Zakat and other forms of taxation in Islam

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Critically write about and analyse the main concepts and questions in Islamic criminal and commercial law. (A1-A5)
  • Critically assess the main points of controversy regarding finance in Islamic law, and criminal prosecution. (A1-A5)
  • Critically evaluate the difficulties facing shari’a courts regarding new methods of providing evidence and modern technology to establish a case. (A3, A5)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Compare and contrast, and critically appraise the theoretical formulation of Islamic criminal and commercial law and its practical applications. (B1-B4, C3, D1, D2, D4)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures provide the basic structure of the module but will include time in informal discussions. Seminars will be used to debate and explore specific issues. Students will also be expected to undertake individual study consisted of free and set reading in preparation for lectures.  

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. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.

Summative Assessment:
Assessment for this module consists of a 3,000 words coursework (Outcome 4) as well as a written examination that will take place at the end of the module (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).  

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 50%
Written examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Kamali, M.H. (2000) Islamic Commercial Law: An Analysis of Future and Options, Cambridge University Press
  • McConville, S. et al. (1988) Islamic Criminal Law and Procedure: An Introduction. Greenwood: Publishing Group.