MCF is pleased to announce the 2nd recipient of the Momina Cheema Memorial Scholarship at the UVA School of Law.

Rami Koujah, Class of 2018, graduated from the University of California–Los Angeles with a dual B.A. in Arabic and M.A. in Islamic Studies from the Departmental Scholar Honors program. Under the supervision of Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, his research there focused on Islamic law and ethics. Following UCLA, he completed a Master of Study in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Christopher Melchert, where he was awarded his degree with Distinction. At Oxford, he had the opportunity to take private ‘tutorials’ with his professors in Islamic philosophical theology (through a focus on the works of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali) and Hadith. His thesis, titled “Maslaha as a Normative Claim of Islamic Jurisprudence in the Legal Philosophy of al-‘Izz b. ‘Abd al-Salam,” explores issues of Islamic legal theory and normative ethics.

Since 2008, Rami has studied classical texts with traditionally trained scholars in Islamic law, theology, hadith, and Qur’anic exegesis. He served as an Assistant Editor for the UCLA School of Law Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, which will also be publishing a research paper by him in their next volume. Rami has contributed entries to the Islamic World Encyclopedia, the Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, and the Kalam Theology Glossary, and he has presented his research at academic conferences at the University of Leiden, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, and the University of London. He recently completed an essay that is currently undergoing negotiations for a publication in an academic journal. The essay looks at the interrelations between Islamic law and theology, and is titled “On the Purposiveness of Divine action and Its Implications in Legal Theory: A Look Through the Writings of Sayf al-Din al-‘Amidi.”

This past Fall, Rami joined the incoming class of the University of Virginia School of Law as a JD student.

Fun fact: “I enjoy cooking very much and I consider myself to be something of an amateur chef. There is something about it that I find to be therapeutic, and few things compare to the distinct sense of gratification I get from serving a dish that my guests (mostly my wife) find to be surprisingly delicious.” -Rami