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Islamic Law and Society

This guide, while not comprehensive, provides a listing of the more important, current and relevant materials available in the area of Islamic Law.

Primary Sources

There are two primary sources of Islamic law. They are the Qu’ran and the Sunnah. The Qu’ran is the book which contains revelations the prophet Muhammad received from Allah. In Arabic, there is only one authentic and uniform text used throughout the Muslim world. There are different translations of the Qu’ran available in English.


Several English translations of the Qur’an (Koran) can be found in both the law library and at Boatwright Library under the call number BP109


The Sunnah can be roughly translated to mean the traditions and practices of the prophet Muhammad. There are three types of Sunnah. The first is the sayings of the prophet – Sunnah Qawliyyah/Hadith. The second is the actions of the prophet – Sunnah Al Filiyya. The final type of Sunnah is the practices prevailing during Muhammad’s time which he did not oppose – Sunnah Taqririyyah.


While we do not have a vast collection of Sunnah materials, a search in WorldCat will produce a list of libraries where such materials can be found and requested through Inter-Library Loan.

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