Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, one of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic law and Islam, spoke to an appreciative audience on Dec. 3, 2014, about his most recent book, “Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari’ah in the Modern Age.”
Dr. Abou El Fadl’s talk was the biennial Willem A. Bijlefeld Lecture. The lecture is named after the first director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. It brings a distinguished scholar to campus for a public presentation on Islam or Christian-Muslim relations to promote interreligious understanding and mutual respect in the local, national and world communities.
Dr. Abou El Fadl, who is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law, focused his talk on the subject of Shari’ah.
“This is a difficult time to speak about Shari’ah,” he said. “And it’s not just difficult in the West.”
He spoke about the origins of Shari’ah and said, “its essence is just a word meaning ‘the path’ from and to, or the water source, the fountain of something.” This path is about the search for determining “what a merciful God would want,” he said.
The full video of Dr. Abou El Fadl’s address is posted below.