Rami Koujah

6th-year Ph.D. student
Jones Hall

Rami Koujah is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies specializing in the study of Islamic law and legal theory. His dissertation is on the intellectual history of legal personhood in Islamic jurisprudence — who (or what) counts as a person in the eyes of the law — and its entanglement with philosophy, politics, and theology. As a fundamental category of law, analyzing the legal construction(s) of personhood interrogates basic assumptions about what the law is, who it is for, and how it reflects metaphysical realities and social imaginaries. Further, Rami's dissertation considers whether, and the extent to which, a person is considered different from a human being, and how this distinction structures legal, social, and political norms.

Rami received a B.A. and M.A. from UCLA, M.St. from Oxford University, and J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Selected Publications


“Approaches to Islamic Law and Ethics: Theory and Practice,” in Bloomsbury Islamic Ethics (forthcoming)

“Inventing Islamic Legal Personhood: Dhimma from Artifact to Ontology,” forthcoming chapter in volume on Islamic law and theology, published by Brill

“Islamic Legal Reform or Re-formation? The Transmutations of Critique in Rumee Ahmed’s Sharia Compliant: A User’s Guide to Hacking Islamic Law,” Islamic Law and Society, 28:3 (2021): 283-315

Maṣlaḥa as a Normative Claim of Islamic Jurisprudence,” in Locating the Shariʿa: Legal Fluidity in Theory, History and Practice, ed. Sohaira Siddiqui (Brill, 2019)

“On the Purposiveness of God’s Actions and its Implications in Legal Theory,” Islamic Law and Society 24:3 (2017): 171-210


Routledge Handbook of Islamic Law. Edited by Khaled AbouEl Fadl, Ahmad AtifAhmad, Said FaresHassan. Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019. Pp. 449. Cloth, $157.65, Paper, $52.95. N.p. Religious Studies Review, 47:2 (2021): 193-197

“A Critical Review Essay of Anver M. Emon’s Islamic Natural Law Theories,” UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law 14:1 (2015): 1–28


  • "Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa (Objectives of Islamic Law) as Virtue Ethics,” British Association for Islamic Studies, June 2022
  • Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa (Objectives of Islamic Law) as Virtue Ethics,” Maqāṣid and Ethics: Foundations, Approaches, and Applied Fields — Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, December 2021
  • “How to Get Away with Murder: Homicide and Culpability in Islamic Law,” British Association for Islamic Studies, June 2021
  • “At the Juncture of Reason and Revelation: al-Ghazālī’s Reintegration of Ethical Reasoning into Legal Theory”, Revisiting al-Ghazali: Reason and Revelation — Zaytuna College, March 2016
  • “On the Genesis and Development of Maqaṣid al-Sharia (Objectives of Islamic Law)”, VIII International Conference of the International Society for Islamic Legal Studies Coinciding with the 6th Annual Conference of the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCAS) — University of Leiden, November 2015 
  • “On the Purposiveness of God’s Actions and its Implications on Islamic Legal Theory”, British Association for Islamic Studies — University of London, April 2015
  • “Ethics in the Qur’an”, Academic Training Program for UAE and Malaysian female university students — Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, February 2015
  • “Legal Maxims and the Ontology of Maslaha (Public Welfare) in Shafi`i Legal Philosophy with a Focus on al-`Izz b. `Abd al-Salam”, British Association for Islamic Studies — University of Edinburgh, April 2014
  • Maslaha (Public Welfare), Revelation, and Islamic Natural Law Theories”, Sharia Workshop for the Islamic Reformulations Project — University of Leiden, November 2013
  • “Ethics and Islamic Law: The Intersection of Human Disposition and Legal Theory”, Islamic Law and Society — University of Oxford, February 2014