Justice & Islamic Law: Mazalim Courts and Legal Reform

Justice & Islamic Law: Mazalim Courts and Legal Reform

Friday, 24 January 2020 - 5:00pm
Investcorp Auditorium, Middle East Centre, St Antony's College
Professor Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University
Dr Usaama al-Azami (St Antony's College)
Middle East Centre Friday Seminar Series


Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research throughout the Muslim world. He is the author of five books, including most recently, Slavery and Islam (Oneworld, 2019).

His previous book, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld, 2014), was named one of the top books on religion in 2014 by the Independent. He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Salafism, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include Islamic legal reform and a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari.


What do we do when our legal system produces results that seem unjust? If we believe that our legal system is itself just, how do we even understand our perception of its unjust outcomes? These are global questions, but ones that have been particularly vexing for Muslims and their tradition of Shariah law. This talk will discuss how Muslims have tackled this issue, in particular when confronted with the challenges of adapting or reforming God's law.