ML 415 – Islamic Family Law



  • The law of marriage and its different types of marriage, also covering respective duties, condition of marriage and defects, terms of marriage, duration of marriage and dowry (mehr/mahr),
  • The law of divorce and its different forms of divorce, also covering the disbanding of the contract, death of a partner and the waiting period.
  • Guardianship, (walāyah),
  • The Custody of children (kefālah)
  • Maintenance (nafaqah),
  • Polygamy, (taa’dod al azwaj)
  • Marriage related Inheritance laws, (werāthah)
  • Bequest (waşiyyah)
  • Family planning
  • Islam and gender, and the rights of the women

With the aim of providing an overview of the topics as well as focusing on specific issues, each session above will address the relevant Islamic legal framework and particular contemporary issues of special importance but will only touch on comparative aspect leaving the bulk of this work to the module of Comparative Law and legal systems.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Assessment Modes

Individual coursework (4000 words) and rendering a comparison between two schools of law on a particular subject as suggested by the tutor to be written (1500 words) and be presented in the class.

Assessment Weighting
Individual coursework: 80 out of 100
Study presented in the class 20 out of 100

Learning materials

Core readings
Ahmed, L (1992). Women and Gender in Islam – Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. London: Yale University Press
Al-Hashim, M. A (1998) The Ideal Muslimah. The true Islamic personality of the Muslim woman as defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah India: International Islamic Publicity House.
An-Na’im, A. (2002) Islamic Family Law in a changing world. US: Zed BooksLtd.
Arshad. R. (2010) Islamic Family Law, Sweet & Maxwell
Bakhtiar, L. (1996) The Encyclopaedia of Islamic Law. US: ABC International Group.
Bewley, A (1999) Islam: The Empowering of Women. London: Ta-Ha Publishers
Coulson, N. J. (1964) A History of Islamic Law. UK: Edinburgh University Press.
Doi, A.R. (1979) Non-Muslims Under Shari’ah: the Islamic Law. Brentwood: International Graphics.
Ezzati, A. (1976) An Introduction to Shi’a Islamic Law and Jurisprudence. Lahore: Ashraf Press.
Herbert, J. L. (1975) The Law of the Near & Middle East: Readings, Cases & Materials. US: Albany.
Hodkinson, K. (1984) Muslim Family Law: A Source Book. UK: Routledge.
Jawad, A. (1998) The rights of women in Islam: an authentic approach. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Milani, S.F, (2011) Thirty Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. UK: Islam in English Press
Mottahari, M (1977) Women and her rights. Qum: Islamic Seminary Publications.
Mughniyyah, M. (1995) The Five Schools of Islamic Law. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
Sait, S. & Lim, H (2006) Land, Law and Islam: Property and Human rights in the Muslim World. UK: Zed Books.
Voorhoeve, M. (2012) Family Law in Islam: Divorce, Marriage and Women in the Muslim World, London I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.