Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui (1891-1947) and the Dilemma of Islamic Law in the Kenyan Legal System in the 21st Century

  • MS Mraja


Sheikh al-Amin b. Ali al-Mazrui is regarded as the pioneer of reform activities within Sunnī Islam in East Africa. From the 1930s and 1940s, this scholar championed a call for Islamic reform by publicly and through numerous publications denouncing local practices prevalent among the Muslims in the region as religious innovations and the cause for their social and economic backwardness. While Sheikh al-Amin was radical in initiating educational and social transformation of the Muslim community in East Africa, his reform schemata in the realm of Islamic law was generally less impressive, but nevertheless informative, as reflected in his work, Ndowa na Talaka katika Sharia ya Ki-Islamu (Madh-habiya Shafii) (“Marriage and Divorce under Islamic Law [Shāfi ʿī School”]). It is this concise treatise on marriage and divorce rules which forms the basis of an assessment of Sheikh al-Amin and his contributions to the Islamic law discourse in Kenya’s legal system in the present century.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0257-7062