Jonathan A. C. Brown

Jonathan A. C. Brown

Jonathan Andrew Cleveland Brown (born 1977) is an American scholar of Islamic studies. Since 2012, he has been associate professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He holds the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University.


  • Shah Wali Allah had been a late addition to his family. His father, Shah 'Abd al-Rahim, had long been one of the most respected ulama in the Mughal real, and his talents and austere piety had won him and then cost him royal favor decades before his most famous son was born. When Shah Wali Allah was five, his father placed him in the school he supervised, and by seven the boy had memorized the Qur'an. He mastered Arabic and Persian letters soon thereafter and was married at fourteen. A childhood spent studying at his father's feet meant that by sixteen he had completed the standard curriculum of Hanafi law, theology and logic along with arithmetic and geometry. A year later, Shah Wali Allah would recall poignantly, his father and greatest teacher 'Voyaged onward to the above of God's mercy.' The young student's ambition to seek ilm remained strong, and by nineteen he had exhausted the Knowledge of Dehli's scholars. So Shah Wali Allah voyaged across the Indian Ocean to perform his hajj pilgrimage and pursue his studies in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In the Prophet's mosque in Medina, at the feet of scholars from across the Muslim world, he studied a book to which he became exceedingly attached and which he viewed as the foundation for understanding the Prophet's Sunna. It was the Muwatta, the 'Well Trodden Path,' of the eight-century scholar of Medina, Malik bin Anas.

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