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Recent Materials Related to Islamic Law

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The following is a guest post by Connie Johnson, a senior legal research analyst at the Law Library of Congress.  Connie has previously written posts on an event and associated research guide related to translations of foreign law, one of our Human Rights Day events, and water rights at Star Island.  She also jointly wrote a post about a Law Library report on homosexuality laws in African countries.

Islamic Law book1
An introduction to Islamic law / Wael B. Hallaq (Cambridge University Press, 2009),

Islamic law as a subject is well-covered in the collections of the Library of Congress, with over 10,000 titles in a variety of languages. In English alone, there are over 1,900 works that are wholly or partly devoted to discussion of Islamic law, with new additions to the collection constantly arriving. In addition, check out a previous post to this blog by Tariq Ahmad, Islamic Law in Pakistan – Global Legal Collection Highlights (Dec. 24, 2013), for information on the Library’s books on this aspect of Pakistani law.

For a recent bibliography project, I compiled a list of works in English, published from 2009 to 2014, on the topic of Islamic law. The bibliography includes works devoted to the history and origins of Islamic law, some with translations of significant writings; works on contemporary issues in Islamic law in general; and works on particular topics. Some of the writings focus on a particular jurisdiction, while others are more general in nature.

Among the recent books on the history of Islamic law are:

The articles within books on the history of Islamic law cover a wide range of topics, including general discussions of the development of Islamic jurisprudence and such subjects as the abolition of slavery, family law, international law, the judiciary, criminal law, and the regulation of science. Here are a few of the articles that discuss Islamic law as it existed in the past:

Discussions of contemporary Islamic law in general can be found in both book-length and article treatment. Some discuss the encounter between Islamic law and Western legal traditions. The bibliography has works in this section that are global in focus and others that cover specific locations. These general works include:

The largest categories of works on the list of materials on contemporary law devoted to particular topics are on commerce and finance, the family, human rights, and women’s rights. This pattern no doubt reflects the topics of interest to those writing in English about Islamic legal systems. Here are some sample titles:

The full bibliography is now available on the Law Library’s website. My earlier bibliography of Islamic law materials, covering the period from 2003 to 2008, can also be viewed. We hope these guides are useful to researchers interested in various aspects of Islamic law as applied in different countries.

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