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Sharia: An Introduction to Islamic Law

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Online

(24)
Course Details
Price:
$315
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Important:
Due to public health concerns, the course will be held online, barring a subsidence
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

Sharia is often portrayed as Islamic legal maxims and corporal punishment—a rigid, “medieval” religious law, dating from the 7th century Arabia, that’s allegedly incompatible with modern democracy. But this image bears little resemblance to reality. Not only is Sharia a highly complex legal system, it’s also a metaphysical idea, a way of talking about communal life, and a moral law constantly subject to criticism, debate, discussion, and interpretation within Muslim communities from the classical era to the present day. How can we understand Sharia as a legal system and beyond?

In this course we will discuss the history, philosophy, ethics, and modern approaches to Sharia’s moral law, as well as the role of Sharia in contemporary society. Analyzing basic Islamic tenants in historical contexts and contemporary use, we will read a range of thinkers—from classical Muslim scholars to modern Islamic reformers to Islamists who call for Islamic states and society. Students will address such questions as: what is Sharia and how different it is from Islamic law?; who speaks in the name of Sharia?; what are the sources of Islamic law; is Sharia compatible with democracy?; and is a modern Islamic state feasible”? What are the different ways to address common controversies around Islamic law—from gender and sexuality to religious and political freedom? What can the study of Sharia mean both inside and outside Muslim communities? Course readings will include texts from classical Islamic jurisprudence, such as al-Shaybani and al-Ghazali; Muslim revivalists such as Muhammad Abduh, Sayid Qutb and Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi; modern scholars of Islam such as Fazlur Rahman, Wael Hallaq, Syed Farid Alatas, Abdullahi An-Na’im; feminist scholars Saba Mahmood and Kecia Ali; and critics of Sharia.

Note:
There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

Instructors will contact students approximately one week prior to the first class with reading assignments and details about the course location.


Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (24)

School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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