Advocacy under Islam and Common Law

54 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2007


This Article demonstrates that advocacy arose as a reformist doctrine under both Islamic and common law traditions. Reformist advocacy fights laws with laws. In this fight, both traditions require that the advocates striving for justice be courageous but courteous. The advocates must be courageous to challenge power-based injustices. They must be courteous because aggressive manners are not essential to effective advocacy. For a variety of reasons, reformist advocacy has lost its way in both traditions. Advocacy in the United States has turned to manipulation whereas advocacy in the Islamic tradition has embraced militancy. At a time when America and Islam are engaged in an epic struggle to influence each other, this study illuminates advocacy values they share and critical distinctions they draw in the enforcement of advocacy ethics.

Keywords: Islam, common law, advocacy, professional ethics, militancy, cynical advocacy

Suggested Citation

Khan, Ali, Advocacy under Islam and Common Law. San Diego Law Review, Vol. 45, 2008, Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 07-04, Available at SSRN:

Ali Khan (Contact Author)

Legal Scholar Academy ( email )

Topeka, KS 66610
United States


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