Rami Koujah

3rd-year Ph.D. student
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
Jones Hall


I am a PhD candidate in the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University. I studied Arabic and Islamic Studies as an undergraduate and M.A. candidate at UCLA; Hadith, law, kalam, and falsafa as an M.St. candidate at Oxford; and earned my J.D. from Stanford Law School.

In the past, my work focused on the intersection of Islamic dialectical theology (kalām) and legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh), in particular Muʿtazilite and Ashʿarite metaethics as well as Shafiʿite legal philosophy as enshrined in the concept of public welfare (maṣlaḥa).

At Princeton, I hope to turn my attention to substantive law (fiqh) and issues of Islamic law & society, though my enthusiasm for kalām, falsafa, and uṣūl al-fiqh, as well as my more recent absorption in U.S. Constitutional Law, remains undiminished.

I have also had the fortune of some teaching experience: a year teaching beginning/intermediate/advanced Arabic in Scotland, and an undergraduate course on Islamic law and ethics at the University of Virginia.

Publications List: 


Maṣlaḥa as a Normative Claims of Islamic Jurisprudence: The Legal Philosophy of al-ʿIzz b. ʿAbd al-Salām,” forthcoming in Locating the Shariʿa: Legal Fluidity in Theory, History and Practice (E.J. Brill).

“On the Purposiveness of God’s Actions and its Implications in Legal Theory: The Interplay of Kalām and Uṣūl al-Fiqh,” Islamic Law & Society 24:3 (2017): 171-210.

“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.


Conference Presentations:

“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.

“The Genesis and Development of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa (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.

“The Purposiveness of God’s Actions and its Implications in Islamic Legal Theory”, British Association for Islamic Studies — University of London, April 2015.

“Legal Maxims and the Ontology of Maṣlaḥa (Public Welfare) in Shafi`i Legal Philosophy with a Focus on al-ʿIzz b. ʿAbd al-Salām”, British Association for Islamic Studies — University of Edinburgh, April 2014.

Maṣlaḥa (Public Welfare), Revelation, and Islamic Natural Law Theories”, Sharia Workshop for the Islamic Reformulations Project — University of Leiden, November 2013.