Bibliography Islamic Law Sharia

The 99. Naif al-Mutawa (creator) (Safat, Kuwait: Teshkeel), 2006-2010. Comics, TV series.

Abdo, Geneive. Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2007.

Abdul-Ghafur, Saleemah (ed.). Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak (Boston: Beacon Press), 2005.

Ahmad, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam (New Haven: Yale University Press), 1992.

Armstrong, Karen. Islam: A Short History (London: Phoenix), 2001.

Asad, Talal. “The Idea of Anthropology of Islam.” Qui Parle? 17, 2 Spring 2009, 1-30.

Asad, Talal, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, and Saba Mahmood. Is Critique Secular?: Blasphemy, Injury and Free Speech. Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California. Berkeley: Distributed by University of California Press, c. 2009.

Aslan, Reza. No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, Updated Edition (New York: Random House), 2011.

Austin, Allan. African Muslims in Antebellum America (New York: Garland), 1984.

Barlas, Asma. “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an (Austin: University of Texas Press), 2002.

Berkey, Jonathan. The Formation of Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2003.

Bleich, Erik (ed.). Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West (London: Routledge), 2010.

Blige, B. and Barbara Aswad (eds). Family and Gender Among American Muslims: Issues Facing Middle Eastern Immigrants and Their Descendants (Philadelphia: Temple University Press), 1996.

Bouhdiba, Abdelwahab. Sexuality in Islam (London, Boston: Routledge), 2007.

Bukhari, Zahid (ed.). Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square: Hopes, Fears, and Aspirations (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press), 2004.

“Chaplain works to be Ambassador of Muslim Faith, U.S., Army.” Kyle Martin. The Augusta Chronicle. 3 February 2012.

Curtis, Edward E., VI. Islam in Black America (Albany: SUNY Press), 2002.

Curtis, Edward E., VI. Muslims in America: A Short History (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2009.

Darmer, Katherine B., (eds.). Civil Liberties vs. National Security in a Post-9/11 World (Amherst: Prometheus Books), 2004.

Diouf, Sylviane. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (New York: New York University Press), 1998.

Ebrahimji, Maria M., and Zahra T. Suratwala. I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim (Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud), 2011.

“Ellison Uses Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an.” Fredric J. Frommer. The Washington Post. 5 January 2007.

An English Interpretation of The Holy Qur’an with Full Arabic Text. Translated by A. Yusuf Ali. (Lahore: Muhammad Ashraf), 1975.

Ernst, Carl. Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press), 2003.

Esposito, John L. The Future of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2010.

Espositio, John L. Islam: The Straight Path, Fourth Edition (New York: Oxford University Press), 2011.

Esposito, John L. (ed.). Voices of Resurgent Islam (New York: Oxford University Press), 1983.

Esposito, John L. and Dalia Mogahed. Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup), 2007.

Euben, Roxanne L. and Muhammad Qasim Zaman (eds.). Princeton Readings in Islamic Thought (Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press), 2009.

Gest, Justin. Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (New York: Columbia University Press), 2010.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck. Becoming American? The Forging of Arab and Muslim Identity in Pluralist America (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press), 2011.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck. The Muslims of America (New York: Oxford University Press), 1991.

Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore. Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2011.

Hallaq, Wael. An Introduction to Islamic Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2009.

Hamm, Mark S. “Prisoner Radicalization: Assessing the Threat in U.S. Correctional Institutions.” NIJ (National Institute of Justice) Journal. No. 261. 27 October 2008.

Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber (eds). Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press), 2008.

Kahf, Mohja. Western Representations of the Muslim Woman: From Termagant to Odalisque (Austin: University of Texas Press), 1999.

Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam (London, New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers), 2002.

Köszegi, Michael and J. Gordon Melton (eds). Islam in North America: A Sourcebook (New York: Garland Publishing), 1992.

Kugle, Scott. Homosexuality in Islam: Islamic Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims (Oxford: Oneworld Publications), 2010.

Lawrence, Bruce B. New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims and Other Asian Immigrants in American Religious Life (New York: Columbia University Press), 2002.

Leonard, Karen Isaksen. Muslims in the United States: The State of Research (New York: Russell Sage Foundation), 2003.

Levtzion, Nehemia and Randall Pouwels. The History of Islam in Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press), 2000.

Malcolm X with Alex Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (New York: Ballantine), 1973.

Metcalf, Barbara. Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1996.

M’Bow, Amadou Mahtar and Ali Kettani (eds.). Islam and Muslims in the American Continent (Beirut: Center of Historical, Economical and Social Studies), 2001.

McCloud, Aminah Beverly. African American Islam (New York: Routledge), 1993.

McCloud, Aminah. Transnational Muslims in American Society (Gainesville: University of Florida Press), 2006.

“Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S.” Brian Knowlton. The New York Times. 27 Dec. 2010.

al-Na’im, Abdallah. Islam and the Secular State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 2004.

Ramadan, Tariq. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2004.

Ramadan, Tariq. What I Believe (New York: Oxford University Press), 2009.

Rauf, Feisal Abdul. What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America (New York: HarperCollins), 2004.

Robinson, David. Muslim Societies in African History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2004.

Roy, Olivier. Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (New York: Columbia University Press), 2004.

Safi, Omid (ed.). Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism (Oxford: One World), 2003.

Schimmel, Annemarie. Islam: An Introduction (Albany: SUNY Press), 1990.

Schimmel, Annemarie. Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press), 1975.

“Sikh Owner Of Gas Station Is Fatally Shot In Rampage.” Tamar Lewin. The New York Times. 17 September 2001.

Smith, Jane. Islam in America (New York: Columbia University Press), 1999.

Starrett, Gregory. Putting Islam to Work: Education, Politics, and Religious Transformation (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1998.

Stowasser, Barbara. Women in the Qur’an, Traditions, and Interpretation (New York: Oxford University Press), 1994.

Tucker, Judith. Women, Family, and Gender in Islamic Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2008.

Turner, Richard Brent. Islam in the African-American Experience, Second Edition (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), 2003.

Wadud, Amina. Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective, Second Edition (New York: Oxford University Press), 1999.

Walker, Dennis. Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood : Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation Of Islam (Atlanta: Clarity Press), 2005.

Webb, Gisela (ed.). Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press), 2000.

“Women in Islam: To Separate Fact from Fiction.” Los Angeles, California: Islamic Center of Southern California, 1994.

Yee, James. For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire (New York: Public Affairs), 2005.


Written by Aslihan Bulut

This guide is intended to help you get started with researching Islamic Law. The selective list of resources is only a sampling of what is available on this topic. Please refer to the additional sources listed throughout the guide for more in-depth coverage of the topic. Islamic law is a reference to primary and secondary sources of law and the methodology used to apply law. Islamic law originates in two major sources, namely divine revelation (wahy) and human reason (aql). This dual identity of Islamic law is reflected in Shariah and fiqh[1]. The former make up the primary sources discussed in part II and the latter is the human understanding and knowledge derived from the primary sources discussed in part III.

Primary Sources of Islamic Law

The Arabic term for source in Islamic law is dalil (guide)[2]. There are two primary sources of Islamic law: Quran and Sunnah. Quran and Sunnah make up Shariah (pathway), the source of all principles of Islamic law[3].


The literal meaning of Quran is that which should be recited, read, or studied and refers to the book embodying the revelation from Allah to Prophet Muhammad[4]. There is only one authentic and uniform text of the Quran in Arabic that is in use throughout the Muslim world. The Arabic text is often found in the English translations, some of which are provided below. However, there are many translations and interpretations (discussed later) of the Arabic text. The leading translations in English[5] are available in print and online:

Online English Translations

Selective list of online translations:


Sunnah is roughly translated as the traditions and practices of Prophet Muhammad. There are three types of Sunnah. 1) The sayings of the Prophet – Sunnah Qawliyyah/Hadith. 2) The actions of the Prophet – Sunnah Al Filiyya. 3) Sunnah Taqrīriyyah, practices prevailing at the time of the Prophet which he did not oppose or prohibit.


Hadith/Qawliyyah are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. The following sample searches in a library catalog will yield many collections of hadith. Hadith – texts Hadith -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. The six major Hadith collections listed below were collected by Islamic scholars approximately 200 years after Prophet Muhammad's death. These are listed in order of authenticity.

1. Sahih Bukhari, collected by Imam Bukhari (d. 870), includes 7275 hadiths
a. Bukhari, Muhammad ibn Isma`il and Waheed-uz-Zaman. Sahih Bukhari Sharif. Lahore: Maktabah Rehmaniyah, 1900. 3 vols. in Urdu.
2. Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875), includes 9200
a. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj al-Qushayri, Abdul Hameed Siddiqui. Sahih Muslim: being traditions of the sayings and doings of the prophet Muhammad as narrated by his companions and compiled under the title al-Jami`-us-sahih. Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1971-1975. 4 vols. in English.
3. Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa'i (d. 915)
a. Bayhaqī, Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn. al-Sunan al-ṣaghīr. Karātshī, Bākistān : Jāmi’at al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyah, 1989. 4 vols. in Arabic.
4. Sunan Abu Dawood, collected by Abu Dawood (d. 888)
a. Abu Daud Sulayman ibn al-Ash`ath al-Sijistani, Muhammad Mahdi Sharif. Sunan Abu Dawud: the third correct tradition of the Prophetic Sunna = Sunan Abi Dawud. Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, 2008. 5 vols. in English.
5. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)
a. Muhammad ibn `Isá Tirmidhi, `Abd al-Wahhab `Abd al-Latif, `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad `Uthman. Sunan al-Tirmidhi wa-huwa al-Jami` al-sahih. al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah, al-Maktabah al-Salafīyah, 1965-67. 5 vols. in Arabic.
6. Sunan ibn Majah, collected by Ibn Majah
a. Ibn Mājah, Muḥammad ibn Yazīd. Sunan Ibn Mājah. al-Qāhirah : Dār al-Ḥadīth, 1998. 4 vols. in Arabic.

Shi'a Collections

There are also Shi’a Collections of Hadith. A subject search in a library catalog, such as, WorldCat for Hadith (Shiites) will yield many sources. The prominent Shi’a collections include Twelver collections, Ismaili, and Mu’tazili. These can also be used as search terms to locate relevant collections.

There are also bibliographies on Hadith, see: Brown, Jonathan A.C.. "Hadith". In Oxford Bibliographies Online. 02-Jul-2010.

Secondary Sources of Islamic Law

Tafsir (Interpretation of Quran)

Tafsir (interpretation of Quran) is the science of interpreting and rendering commentary on the Quran, its exegesis. The sources of commentary on Islam are: 1) the Quran itself because a verse of the Quran is often used to explain another verse; 2) the Hadith. Many of the collections listed above have sections devoted to tafsir; 3) accounts of Sahabah, the companions of the Prophet Muhammad; 4) accounts of Taibun, the generation that had direct contact with the Sahabah. A few of the prominent Tafsirs are listed below. A search in a library catalog for Tafsir will yield many others.

  • Tafsir ibn Kathir (~1370). Isma`il ibn `Umar Ibn Kathir; Muhammad Nasib Rifa`i. Tafsir ibn Kathir. London: Al-Firdous, 1998. 6 vols. in English.
  • Tafsir al-Qurtubi (~1273). Muhammad ibn Ahmad Qurtubi; Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley. Tafsir al-Qurtubi: classical commentary of the Holy Quran. London: Dar al-Taqwa, 2003.
  • Tafsir al-Tabari (~922). Jāmi’ al-bayān ‘an ta’wīl āy al-Qur’ān, ta’līf Abī Ja’far Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī. Misr, Mustafá al-Babi al-Halabi, 1954-1968. 30 vols. in Arabic.
  • Tafsir al-Jalalayn (1460-1505). Jalal al-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad Mahalli; Suyuti; Feras Hamza. Tafsir al-Jalalayn. Al-Qāhirah: Dār al-Qalam, 1966.
  • Tafsir Ibn Arabi. Ibn al-`Arabi, (1165-1240) and Mu.hammad `Ali, `Abd al-Warith. Tafsir al-Quran al-Karim. Bayrut, Lubnan: Manshurat Mu.hammad ’Ali Bay.dun: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyah, 2001. 2 vols. Sufi tafsir.

Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)

Fiqh is the process of deducing and applying Shariah principles. Fiqh is also the collective body of laws deduced from Shariah. Ijtihad (literally striving or exertion) is the process of making a legal decision by independent or original interpretation of the legal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah. Ijtihad is embodied in the works of jurists of various schools of thought. Fiqh and ijtihad are not to be equated with divine revelation and, therefore, they are considered secondary to Quran and Sunnah. There are several methodologies of fiqh, listed below, recognized by Islamic jurists and ijtihad occurs in a variety of forms. A subject search in a library catalog for fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic law will yield many general collections. More specific sources discussing the methodologies below can be found by searching these terms: ijma, qiyas, istihsan, istihab, urf.

  • Ijma (general consensus of opinion from among the companions of Muhammad or the learned scholars)
  • Qiyas (analogical reasoning/deduction)
  • Istihsan (juristic preference to ensure equity/public interest)
  • Istihab (presumption of continuity)
  • Urf (local custom)

Madhhabs (Schools of Fiqh)

The nineteen schools of fiqh madhhabs that developed during the first four centuries of Islam has condensed to five of which four are sunni and one shia[6]. The sunni schools are: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'I, Hanbali and the shia school is Jafari.

General sources on Islam


There are many encyclopedia sets on Islam and Islamic law. Below is a selective list. A subject search in a library catalog for Islamic law – Encyclopedias and Islam -Encyclopedias should retrieve a list of the collections available in the library. Additionally, browsing the collection under the Hicks/Schiller call number, Islam 000, in Pegasus will retrieve several of these sets. There are also encyclopedias dedicated to subjects within Islam/Islamic law, a few of these are listed below as well.

  • Khan, A. A. and Khan, T. M. Encyclopaedia of Islamic law. New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2006.
  • Razi, M. Encyclopaedia of Islamic jurisprudence. New Delhi: Anmol Publications, 2007.
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online). Leiden: Brill, 2002.
  • McAuliffe, J. D. Encyclopaedia of the Quran. Boston: Brill, 2001.
  • Suad, J. Encyclopedia of women and Islamic cultures. Boston: Brill, 2003.
  • Oxford Islamic Studies online. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • The Cambridge History of Islam in four volumes from the complete Cambridge Histories Online.


This is a selective list of periodicals. A subject search in a library catalog for Islamic law – Periodicals will also retrieve a list of periodicals. Another option to locate articles is to search an index. Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals has several Islamic journals indexed. For further information on locating articles, please refer to our research guide, Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law.

  • Islamic law and society (online). Islamic law and society (print). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994-.
  • Journal of Islamic and comparative law. Nigeria: Centre of Islamic Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University, 1967-.
  • Journal of Islamic Law & Culture (online). Journal of Islamic Law & Culture (print). Takoma Park, Md.: Institute for Intercultural Relations, 2000-.
  • UCLA journal of Islamic and Near Eastern law. Los Angeles: UCLA School of Law, 2002-.
  • Journal of law and society. Peshawar: Legal Research Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Peshawar, 1982-.
  • Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern law. London: Kluwer Law International, 1995-.
  • Arab law quarterly. London: Kluwer Law International, 1985-.


A search in Pegasus by Hicks/Schiller call# Islam will retrieve a list of the materials in our collection. Another search in Pegasus by subject, Islam, will also retrieve relevant materials. Browsing the subject headings under Islam will help narrow down this list. For more detailed information on finding books, please refer to our research guide, Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law.

Research Guides & Bibliographies & Indexes

  1. ↑Kamali, M.H. Characteristic features of Shari’ah. An Introduction to Shari’ah. Kuala Lumpur: Ilmiah Publishers, 2006.
  2. ↑Khan, A.A. et. al. Encyclopaedia of Islamic Law. v.1 Concepts of Islamic Law. New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2006. p.59.
  3. ↑Ramadan, H.M. Understanding Islamic Law. Oxford: AltaMira Press, 2006. p.4.
  4. ↑Id., at 11.
  5. ↑Kidwai, A.R. Translating the Untranslatable – A Survey of English Translations of the Qur’an. The Muslim World Book Review, Summer 1987.
  6. ↑For more information on the madhhabs, see Hallaq, W.B. The formation of legal schools. The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Kamali, M.H. The leading schools of law(madhahib). An Introduction to Shari’ah. Kuala Lumpur: Ilmiah Publishers, 2006.


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