The Kutty 'Islamic Law' Flowchart

3 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2014 Last revised: 29 Sep 2014

See all articles by Faisal Kutty

Faisal Kutty

Southwestern Law School

Shaikh Kutty

Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT)

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Date Written: September 25, 2014


Those teaching in the area of “Islamic law” (however imprecise that term is) can appreciate the difficulty in conveying information on sources and major principles. People unfamiliar with the Arabic language have enough struggles with the new lingo and could benefit from an overview of the main sources, principles and methodologies in pictorial form. This flowchart is a very basic representation or big picture of “Islamic law.” It is best viewed as a digital document where you can adjust the size. It is only an attempt to give some perspective to the introductory student in this area, but nevertheless a caveat is in order at the outset. Any endeavor that attempts to provide a simple overview of a complex system always runs the risk of oversimplification. Clearly, it is an impossible task to set out detailed discussions of the Islamic system’s principles, institutions and their interactions and permutations in such a static fashion.

For a more detailed and nuanced explanation of most of what is set out on the flowchart, you may wish to download and read Part 5 of Faisal Kutty, The Myth and Reality of Shari'a Courts in Canada: A Delayed Opportunity for the Indigenization of Islamic Legal Rulings, 7 U. St. Thomas Law Journal 559 (2010), available at

Keywords: slamic law, Shariah, Sharia, Fiqh, Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Jafari, Ismaili, Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma, Qiyas, Ijtihad, Istihsan, Maslahal al-Mursalat, Urf, Naskh, Darrurah, Istishab, Qiyas al-Hafiyi, Qiyas al-Jalyii, Seerah, Hadith, Qudsi, Nabvi, Qawl, F’al, Iqrir, Isnad, Matn, Mutawatir, Mashh

Suggested Citation

Kutty, Faisal and Kutty, Shaikh, The Kutty 'Islamic Law' Flowchart (September 25, 2014). Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-9, Available at SSRN: or

Faisal Kutty (Contact Author)

Southwestern Law School ( email )

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United States
213-738-5783 (Phone)

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Shaikh Kutty

Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT)

1630 Neilson Road
Scarborough, Ontario M1X 1S3

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