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Islamic Law  

This guide is intended to assist students at the Journal of Islamic Law & Culture, as well as anyone else at the University of Arkansas with a scholarly interest in this topic.
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Books at Young Law Library

To search for books at U of A libraries, go to the online catalog, Infolinks, at Some books on Islamic law at Young Law Library are listed below. Mullins Library also has books on Islamic law. Books on this topic tend to have a call number beginning with BP or KBP.

Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law
Call Number: K29 .E176 Law Periodicals
Annual publication containing articles, country laws, selected cases, and selected legal documents

Find Articles on Islamic Law

Some links below are to free websites, while others are to U of A databases. For articles at U of A, check Infolinks at to see if current journal issues are available in print. It is not unusual for journal publishers to require that articles don't appear in databases until 12 months after the print issues are published.



The foundations of Islamic law (Sharia) are:

  • The Koran (the word of God as told to the Phophet Mohammed)
  • The Sunnah (Mohammed's standard practices)
  • The Hadith (a narration of Mohammed's sayings, actions, and attributes)

Islamic jurisprudence based on Sharia is called fiqh. There are four major Sunni schools of fiqh: Maliki, Hanafi, Shaf'i, and Hanbali. Jafari is the major Shiite school. Many countries with large Muslim populations have legal systems influenced by one or more of the fiqhs.

Background Information--Online Sources

  • Law and Justice
    By Joseph Schacht, from Chapter 4 of the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Islam.
  • GlobaLex, Religious Legal Systems
    GlobaLex is produced by NYU School of Law. It publishes research guides on foreign, comparative, and international law.
  • Workshop on Islamic Law, Presentation Materials
    From a 2004 workshop co-sponsored by AALS, American Society of Comparative law, and The Law and Society Association. Covers the sources, characteristics, and system of Islamic law, plus an application of the law to areas including women’s rights, land recovery, family law, legislation, criminal law, contract law, finance, conflict resolution, international and humanitarian law, legal reasoning, Islamic law in Muslim-majority and non-majority countries, and constitutionalism.
  • The Sunnah: Practice and Law (Shari'ah)
    From the University of Georgia. Includes the basics of the four major schools of jurisprudence (a.k.a. fiqh). Also links to articles on Islamic religious practice and scholarship.
  • Islam: A Primer
    A report by the Congressional Research Service, of the Library of Congress
  • Islamic Law links
    Web archive of information provided by MSA West, an organization of West Coast Muslim Student Associations. This was once at the University of Southern California, which now has information at the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement:
  • Islamic Law & Society Archives
    Published by a professor at the University of Iowa


  • The Koran
    From the University of Michigan. This site is commonly used by fiqh scholars. Browse by chapter or do a simple, proximity, or boolean search.
  • Hadith
  • Commentaries on the Koran (Tafsirs)
    Includes major and minor fiqhs, with functions to compare them. When using this, bear in mind that "sura" means chapter.


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Islamic Law in Our Times

Blog by a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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