Contract and Aqd, are they functionally different?

Mohammad Rasmi Al-Umari, Mutasim Ahmad Alqudah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there is any fundamental difference in the meaning of contract in these two legal systems by analysing some of the essential principles of contract particularly parties’ agreement and consideration. Design/methodology/approach: This paper seeks to investigate the degree of equivalency of the term contract and its Islamic law counterpart “Aqd”. To implement this task, it applies some comparative law techniques to examine certain contractual elements under common law and Islamic law. Findings: The argument that “contract” and “Aqd” are not equivalent is superficial, and it is not well-supported by concrete evidence. The examples used to build this argument are merely limited exceptions to the general principles of contract, and some of them even exist under both legal systems in a similar manner such as “deed” and “Hibah”. Practical implications: The paper is of interest to legal practitioners and professionals working in cross-cultural or international contexts, as understanding points of conformity and disconformity between “contract” and “Aqd” can help in multiple ways. These may include negotiating international transactions, contract drafting and dispute-resolution processes involving parties from Western and Islamic law-based jurisdictions. It may also aid policymaking and lawmaking processes aiming to harmonize contract principles across different jurisdictions. Social implications: The research paper is important for public attitude, as understanding similarities and differences between “contract” and “Aqd” fosters mutual respect, tolerance and cooperation between individuals and communities adhering to different legal systems. Originality/value: There is a common belief that the term “contract” substantially differs from “Aqd”, and it is by no means safe to presume that every “Aqd” qualifies as a contract. The current research introduces a new point view on the degree of conceptual equivalency of the two terms by showing resemblances in aspects relating to some contractual elements which have always been viewed as an area of divergence rather than convergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 9 2024


  • Aqd
  • Common law
  • Consideration
  • Contract
  • Equivalency
  • Islamic law
  • Parties’ agreement
  • Unilateral contract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law


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