Islamic Law Courses

Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Spring 2021
Course Number: ISLAMCIV 218
Course Title: Islamic Institutions: Middle East & Beyond: Modern Transformations &Debates (19th-21st Centuries)
Instructor: Malika Zeghal
This graduate seminar explores the transformation of Islamic institutions in the modern period, such as religious endowments (Awqaf), sharia courts, and Islamic education. We will engage with the historiography of these institutions and with primary sources in Arabic that will help us open new paths for research.
Course Number: ISLAMCIV 300
Course Title: Reading and Research in Islamic Civilizations
Instructor: Khaled El-Rouayheb


Harvard Divinity School, Spring 2021
Course Number: 3628 02
Course Title: Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies
Instructor: Ali Asani
The course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Islam and the role that religious ideas and institutions play in Muslim communities around the world. Its main concern is to develop an understanding of the manner in which diverse notions of religious and political authority have influenced Muslim societies politically, socially and culturally. Through specific case studies of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the course considers the role played by ideologies such as jihad, colonialism, nationalism, secularism, and globalization in shaping the ways in which Muslims interpret and practice their faith today. The course briefly considers the contemporary situation of Muslim minorities in Europe and the United States. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as General Education 1134.
Course Number: HDS 3047
Course Title: Hadith Jibril: An introduction to the theological, legal, and spiritual dimensions of Islam
Instructor: Yasir Fahmy
This course will engage in a critical reading and analysis of Hadith Jibril. Also known as Umm Al-Hadith (or the mother of Prophetic narrations), this narration gathers the essential acts and practices that are to be performed, internally and externally, in the life of a Muslim. Through analysis of the context and language of this hadith, we will develop an understanding of adab (Islamic manners or etiquette) as well as the fundamental building blocks of Islam: islam (the physical surrender of the body), iman (internal truth), and ihsan (excellence). From these building blocks, we will develop a framework for understanding the corresponding three core Islamic sciences: fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), ‘aqida (creed/theology), and tasawwuf (spiritual purification). 
Course Number: HDS3704
Course Title: Religion and Society in Nigeria: Seminar
Instructor: Jacob Olupona
Religion is pivotal to the understanding of the history, culture, and politics of Nigeria’s nation-state. The seminar examines the historical development of religion in Nigeria and explores its intersection with ethnic identity, culture, and society in pre-colonial, colonial, and contemporary periods. The course provides an understanding of various cultural traditions, historical events, and social forces that have shaped – and continue to shape – Nigeria’s religious experiences and expression. The course will explore many topical issues, such as indigenous religious culture, Christian and Muslim identities, Islam, Christianity, and the state, civil religion; Muslim-Christian relations; religion and law; civil society and democratization, as well as many important interpretations of religion and politics in present-day Nigeria. Jointly offered as African and African American Studies 192x.
Course Number: HDS 1834
Course Title: Archaeology and History of Israel/Palestine from the Second Temple to the Early Islamic Period
Instructor:Giovanni Bazzana
The course will focus on the history of Israel/Palestine in the span of time of almost a millennium that witnessed the emergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Specific attention will be devoted to the changing landscape of the region and, by way of case studies, to archaeological excavations as evidence for cultural, religious, and socio-economic trajectories. The study of history and archaeology will be connected with the current religious and political situation of the region in order to highlight the ways in which the memory of the past shapes the present and is in turn shaped by present ideological concerns. Jointly Offered with: Faculty of Arts & Sciences as RELIGION 1290
Harvard Kennedy School, Spring 2021
Course Number: IGA 655
Course Title:Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
Instructor:Tarek Masoud
(Previously offered as DPI-440) Explores the major political, economic, social, and security challenges facing – and emanating from – the Middle East. Particular attention paid to the causes of the so-called Arab Spring and the prospects for genuine democratization. Explores the role of colonial legacies, Islam, peculiarities of the physical environment, demographic patterns, cultures of patriarchy, the distortions of foreign aid and oil wealth, and the machinations of great powers in generating the region’s particular pattern of political development. Embraces a variety of theoretical and empirical literatures, including translated works by Middle Eastern commentators, politicians, and social theorists. Students will emerge from the course with both an understanding of a changing region whose geopolitical importance – to the United States and the world – shows no sign of waning, and a grounding in some of the principal analytic approaches in the study of comparative political systems.
MIT, spring 2021
Tufts University – Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Spring 2021
Course Number:DHP P261
Course Title: Democratization in the Middle East: Theory and Practice
Instructor: Elizabeth H. Prodromou
This course explores foundational theoretical, methodological, and operational questions relevant to understanding democratization in the Middle East. How do we specify regime types; how do we explain the pervasiveness of authoritarian resilience and hybrid regimes, versus democratic, regimes, in the region? How do historical conditions of state-formation and patterns of secular and religious nation-building shape democratization trajectories in the region? How does geopolitics affect democratization in the Middle East? Using comparative cases of Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey, and combining seminar-style presentations with visits by democratization policymakers from inside/outside the region, the course gives students a robust introduction to scholar-practitioner issues at the cutting edge of democratization in the Middle East.
Course Number: DHP P266M
Course Title: The Islamic World: Political Economy and Business Context
Instructor: Ibrahim Warde
This course aims to explain those aspects of the Islamic world—history, politics, economics, society, legal systems, business practices—that are necessary to conduct business or political negotiations in a number of countries. The course will discuss issues of political economy and business of the Islamic world, with a special focus on Islamic networks, business culture, oil, and issues of globalization and governance. Case studies will focus on specific companies and institutions. From a geographic standpoint, the course will focus primarily on Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf countries, although it will also include countries such as Malaysia and Pakistan. For MIB students, this course is one of the regional course options.
Course Number: EIB B227
Course Title: Islamic Banking and Finance
Instructor: Ibrahim Warde
The course is a comprehensive introduction to Islamic banking and finance. In addition to providing religious and historical background, the course discusses the political and economic context of the creation and evolution of Islamic institutions. The course will explain how Islamic products (murabaha, mudaraba, musharaka, ijara, sukuk, takaful, Islamic mutual funds and derivatives, etc.) work. The final part of the course will discuss Islamic finance in the context of the “war on terror” and the recent global financial meltdown.