Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 4 no. 4 (2018)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 4, no.4), Marion Holmes Katz (New York University) reviews Hina Azam’s Sexual Violation in Islamic Law: Substance, Evidence, and Procedure (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).


In her review, Katz writes… “Hina Azam’s study not only makes an incisive contribution to the literature on Islamic penal law, but engages with a much wider set of issues involving Muslim jurists’ conceptualization of marriage and of moral and legal personhood. While the body of the book meticulously examines fiqh texts dating from the formative period through approximately the twelfth century C.E., the project is framed in the introduction and conclusion as a constructive response to the introduction of formally “sharīʿah-based” penalties for illicit sex in a number of countries since the late twentieth century. In tracing the highly contingent and contested paths through which crimes of sexual violence were defined and re-defined over the centuries—and by drawing a vivid comparison between the fundamentally distinct paths followed by the Maliki and the Hanafi schools—she demonstrates that received understandings of sharīʿah in this area are far from inevitable…”

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