HDS 3493

Social Morality within Muslim Law: the Legal Validity of Non-Muslim Pious Foundations

Baber Johansen


This seminar will focus on texts of the four schools of Sunni Law in which they discuss the religious and legal justification for pious foundations (waqf). We will base our discussions on my English translations of the relevant texts from Muslim legal texts. Pious foundations are conceived of as being means to come closer to God (taqarrub). The jurists of all Sunni schools, therefore, have to discuss the question why Non-Muslims living under Muslim political authorities, are—according to this law—entitled to found pious foundations. The jurists of the Hanafi and the Maliki school have, in addition, to justify why this rule applies, according to the doctrines of their schools, not only to Christians and Jews but also to polytheists living under Muslim rule. The discussion shows, in my hypothesis, that Muslim jurists between the 13th and the 18th centuries seek to establish, within defined limits, a common social morality that is not restricted to those who share the same religion.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Expected to be offered Fall 2014
Course times to be announced.
Course location to be announced.

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Islam
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None