Skip to content
Level 4: Legal Theory 5: Procedural Principles is a Course

Level 4: Legal Theory 5: Procedural Principles

Time limit: 365 days
20 credits

£400 Enrol

Full course description

As a registered charity, we charge course fees to cover our running costs. However, we aim to make our education accessible to as many people as possible and are therefore able to offer a 65% fee waiver. To make use of this fee waiver, please use the code AMI65 when purchasing your courses.

Students in need of further financial assistance should contact the education team at to enquire about the possibility of further fee waivers. 


This module engages in an intensive and detailed study of four major procedural principles (al-uṣūl al-ʿamaliyya) that lead to an apparent ruling (ḥukm ẓāhirī) when a jurist has no recourse to evidence that provides an actual ruling (ḥukm wāqiʿī). These principles include: the principle of exemption (aṣālat al-barāʾa), the principle of precaution (aṣālat al-iḥtiyāṭ), the principle of choice (aṣālat al-takhyīr), and the principle of continuity (aṣālat al-istiṣḥāb). Beginning with the section on procedural principles from Muḥammad Riḍā al-Muẓaffar’s Uṣūl al-fiqh for the first half of the course, students then engage with al-Ākhund al-Khurasānī’s influential Kifāyat al-uṣūl for the second half of the course.


Lesson Breakdown

This course is currently being taught live. For further information, please contact  



Please note that level four courses are only available to those who have completed all courses in levels one, two, and three. This is because the topics covered in level four require the historical and conceptual foundations which are built in the previous levels.


Hours of Study



Assessment Method



Course Instructor

Professor Seyed Mohammad Seyed Ghari Fatemi

Seyed Fatemi spent thirteen years studying in the Ḥawza ʿIlmiyya of Qom between 1981 and 1994, completing his advanced studies (dars al-khārij) in legal theory and jurisprudence under Ayatollah Ḥusayn ʿAlī Muntaẓarī, Ayatollah Sayyid Muḥammad Rūhānī, Ayatollah Jawād Tabrīzī, Ayatullah, Sayyid Mahmoud Shahroudi, and Ayatollah Sayyid Aḥmad Madadī, with whom he also studied rijāl. He studied Islamic philosophy under Ayatollah ʿAbd Allāh Javādī Āmulī. Alongside his ḥawza studies, he also completed an LLB (1984) and LLM (1991) in Public Law at the University of Tehran. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manchester in 1999 under the supervision of Professor Asef Qureshi and Professor Norman Calder.

He has been working with AMI since 1995 and currently lectures on Islamic legal theory. He is a Professor of Comparative Law and Islamic Hermeneutics in the Faculty of Law at Shahid Beheshti University (Tehran) where he supervises masters and doctoral students researching a range of topics. Seyed Fatemi is also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Iran and a member of the Department of Biomedical Ethics at the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences. He has previously taught in the Ḥawza ʿIlmiyya of Qom, at Mofid University (Qom), the University of Birmingham, and was a Visiting Associate Professor at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.

Seyed Fatemi has numerous publications to his name in Persian and English and has organised and presented at dozens of conferences in the fields of law, Islamic studies, and bioethics. He is the author of Human Rights in the Contemporary World (Ḥuqūq-i bashr dar jahān-i muʿāṣir). The first volume of this work (An Introduction to Theoretical Issues: Concepts, Foundations, Scope and Sources) was first published by the UNESCO Chair for Human Rights and Shahid Beheshti University and is now in its fifth edition. The second volume (Analytical Essays on Right and Liberties) is in its fourth edition, and a third volume (Islam and Human Rights) is forthcoming.