Pedagogy of Islamic Law in a Diverse Student Cohort: The Challenges and Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Author(s) : Ahmad Ghouri
Teaching Islamic law in a UK university is a unique experience. First, Islamic law is based on religious beliefs whereas UK universities offer teaching in a secular environment. Secondly, law schools are primarily meant to train lawyers and Islamic law in its purest form is not practically applicable in the UK or even in most Muslim majority countries. Thirdly, due to the series of recent events, such as those related to terrorism, Islamic law and Islam more generally has created certain anxieties making the teaching and learning of Islamic law a sensitive exercise. These sensitivities exist not only in the interrelationship of Islamic law with other legal systems, but also within Islamic law creating different viewpoints over the need to redesign the studies of Islamic law. The opposing views on interpretation of Islamic legal texts and their application in modern cultures and societies can potentially create frictions of thought and argumentation at the classroom level, which makes teaching and learning of Islamic law both interesting and challenging exercise. Most importantly, from the teaching and learning perspectives, the diverse background of students and their varying expectations makes the delivery of Islamic law teaching a complex exercise unknown to any other law subject. In these contexts, this article examines the implications for approaches to teaching and learning Islamic law from the standpoint of above identified challenges. By placing those challenges in the framework of existing pedagogical literature, the article addresses the UK Professional Standard Framework (UKPSF) requirements in the context of teaching and learning in Islamic law.
Keywords: Teaching and Learning, Islamic Law, Higher Education, UK Universities, UK Professional Standard Framework (UKPSF)