The sources recommended in this guide are only a sample of what's available in our collection on Islamic law. If you don't see what you need, contact us using the information to the right! We are available for quick questions or for private research consultation by appointment.
There are many authoritative translations in other languages available in our collection. Please consult the reference staff if you have a specific title or would like to inquire about translations in another language.
The sources of Islamic Law are the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the traditions of the Prophet). Most of these texts have been digitized in various translations and are available on the web.
In addition to the web collections below, the Harvard University Libraries hold tremendous collections on the sources--in Arabic and English as well as Western European Languages. Please consult HOLLIS or a reference librarian for further assistance.
A good place to start is the Harvard online public catalogue called Hollis. General books dealing with Islamic law are catalogued under Islamic Law. Other topics are catalogued with the topic--marriage for example and Islamic law. To find the application of Islamic law in a specific country, search for Islamic Law and a particular country like Egypt. At Harvard, most materials on Islamic law will be found in HLSL, Widener and Andover-Harvard Theological Library.
If you are interested in knowing about books at other libraries, WorldCat is an excellent resource. Here you will access to the collections at major research libraries all over the world. Search terms are the same as for Hollis.
Legal periodical indexes generally only allow you to search the title, citation, abstract, keywords (sometimes author-supplied), and subject terms given to a journal article, rather than the full text. A benefit to using a legal periodical index is that it will include all issues and volumes of a given journal, without any gaps in coverage, back to a certain date. (For example, Legaltrac's contents go back to 1980. Full text databases can have gaps in coverage, sometimes many years' worth, for an individual journal.
This tab includes the sources on opinions, judgments and finding aids such as digests or indexes from the various states with Islamic law component (historical and/or contemporary). Most of the compilations include domestic relations cases in the vernacular and English translations, if available.
Muslim Law Systems and Mixed Systems with a Muslim Law Tradition provided by University of Ottawa