Northwestern Events Calendar


Shari‘a, Inshallah - A Book Discussion with Mark Fathi Massoud

When: Wednesday, April 19, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room , 620 Library Place , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Rebecca Shereikis   (847) 491-2598

Group: Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Religious, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


This is a hybrid event.  No registration is needed to attend in person.

Register here to attend by Zoom.

Lunch will be served.

Join us for a talk by Mark Fathi Massoud (politics, University of California, Santa Cruz) about his recent book, Shari‘a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Abstract: What is the relationship between faith, law, and society? How does religion strengthen the rule of law? Is the rule of law a theology or empire? Mark Fathi Massoud's Shari‘a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics (Cambridge University Press) answers these questions through historical research, ethnographic methods, and interviews in the Horn of Africa. For nearly 150 years, the Somali people have embraced shari‘a, often translated as Islamic law, in the struggle for national identity and rights. Lawyers, community leaders, and activists have invoked God to oppose colonialism, resist dictators, expel warlords, and fight for gender equality -- key steps toward the rule of law. Shari‘a, Inshallah upends secular accounts of legal progress and shows how faith in a higher power guides people to the rule of law.  
Mark Fathi Massoud is a Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Oxford. He is the author of two books: Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge University Press), which received the Herbert Jacob Book Award from the Law and Society Association, and Shari‘a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics (Cambridge University Press). Shari‘a, Inshallah received the 2022 Hart-SLSA Book Prize from the Socio-Legal Studies Association, the 2022 Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association, the 2022 Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Section, and the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize for best book in Islamic/Middle Eastern Studies. The book was also a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and a finalist for the PROSE Award for the best book on government & politics. Learn more at  

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