Brief History Of Centre For Islamic Legal Studies

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (A.B.U) was founded in 1962 as a regional University by the defunct  Northern Nigerian Regional Government and took  over by the Federal Government in 1975.It thereby became a Federal university.

The Centre, which is part of the University, came into existence in 1966 when the need for an Institution for Islamic Legal Studies arose, following the decision of the Kano School of Arabic Studies- later Abdullahi Bayero College and Bayero University- to Concentrate on Arabic instead of Islamic law which it was initially catering for. Pursuant to this decision of the Kano School, the then Dean, faculty of law A.B.U, Professor Noel James Coulson, approached the Ministry of justice with the suggestion for establishing a training Centre for Alkalis on October 29, 1965. This was wholeheartedly supported by the Sardauna of Sokoto- Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello and it began its work in 1966 but its formal establishment could not be executed because of political events during that period. Its present building and library were, however, constructed in 1971 and formally opened on the 22nd day of March, 1971.

In 1968, the Centre started a fifteen, month intensive teaching in various aspects of Islamic Law leading to the award of Diploma in Islamic Legal Studies and a more advanced programme leading to the award of Diploma in Shari’ah and Civil law in 1973.
In 1977, the Board of Governors of the Institute of Administration at its 10th Meeting approved the Constitution of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies and subsequently, the Centre became an autonomous teaching and research unit of Ahmadu Bello Univesity.

Around 1982-83 the Centre started participating and became responsible for the preparation of syllabus, reading material and teaching of Islamic law at the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Education Samaru at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The Centre being a research Centre engages in various research programmes which result into the publication of journals books, articles, monographs, subject biographies, indexes, research papers for national and international seminars and conferences.  The Centre has its own journal which it publishes with the title:  Journal of Islamic and Comparative Law and it has presently published 30 volumes covering a variety of subjects on Islamic law and comparative issues. The latest volume is June 2015.