Monday, November 14, 2005

The seminar of my dreams

Inspired by my classmate Kurt's recent post, here is the course description of the seminar I got into. I have wanted to take this class since I found out about it when I was in undergrad. It sounds phenomenal and I'm so excited to be taking it:

Islamic Law

This course will introduce students to classical Islamic legal theory and some applications of positive law in the Sunni tradition. After a brief review of the seminal controversies that defined the "formative period," and the development of Islamic legal theory, we will examine the interpretive modus operandi of the full-blown schools of law in the "post-formative" era. This will include an examination of such key issues as ijtihad versus taqlid, the madhhab (or school of law), the legal responsum (fatwa), legal ecclecticism, and the issue of legal change, stasis and borrowing. This will be carried out via a general overview of a number of areas of positive law, e.g., marriage, divorce, abortion, child custody and legal procedure. The course will conclude with a look at developments in Islamic legal thinking in modern times, including an examination of some legal responsa (in translation) to some important modern controversies and a few samples of jurisprudential writings of Muslim scholars in the East and West. All required readings will be in English.

I am really grateful that the reading is in English. I would definitely have to struggle were it in Arabic. Not only would I have to learn the writing system, but also the language. And I hear Arabic is pretty tricky.

But seriously - I cannot wait for this class to start. Especially in today's world, I feel that it is crucial to have a good understanding of Islamic philosophy, theology and law. To dismiss the possibility of a political and legal system that is both democratic and Islamic is like dismissing the possibility of a democratic political and legal system based on Christian values. If Western democracy is based on Christian values, why can't Middle Eastern democracy develop from Islamic values?

2 Comments:

Blogger Clever WoT said...

I came so close to registering for that this semester, but I ultimately decided to avoid seminars. At some point, though, I'll either be taking the Islamic Law seminar or the Law in the Muslim World class.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, like TOTALLY!

1:08 PM  

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