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Fall 2024 Course

Islamic Law Lab

Prerequisite: Enrollment is limited to 12 students and is by permission of the instructor. A prior course in Islamic Law is helpful, but not necessary. Students who have not taken a course on Islamic law or who are not concurrently enrolled in Professor Rabb’s Introduction to Islamic Law course must attend the first two sessions of the Comparative Law Workshop, also taught this semester. Interested students should email Emma Reilly ( with a current resume and a short statement of interest including one or two topics you might be interested in writing about (not to exceed one page). Applications deadline TBD. Students will be notified after this date of their status in this course.

Exam: No Exam

This course provides an opportunity for students interested in assessing the way Islamic law functions in contemporary and historical contexts to work on discrete research projects in a collaborative, interactive setting. Students will select one or more topics in legislation and interpretation in a Muslim-majority or Muslim-minority country to explore during the semester. Typical research areas may include (but are not limited to) issues of Islamic criminal law, family law, and comparative constitutional law. We will meet six times over the course of the semester, and will schedule tailored library-research sessions and a short tutorial for uploading materials onto an online blog. Students will be evaluate on the basis of four short papers (500-1000 words), to be published as individual posts with accompanying primary sources used on the online portal or blog for—a portal for content and context on Islamic law. The sources and analysis for the site are modeled on an Islamic-law version of WestLaw and SCOTUSblog. Students will also have opportunities to track online debates, engage with leading scholars in the field, and identify new developments and sources for Islamic law related to their chosen research projects.