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About the book
  • Published: 2 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099523277
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

Heaven on Earth

A Journey Through Shari‘a Law

A timely and eye-opening investigation into one of the most disputed but least understood topics of recent times - the history and reality of shari'a law.

Unique. Heaven on Earth offers a critique of extremism that is human rights-based and entertaining – combining the comparative approach of Karen Armstrong and the immediacy of Ed Husain (The Islamist) with storytelling.

Timely. At a time of veil bans, Qur’an burnings and English Defence League protests, Kadri voices a liberal view of Islamic history and shows Muslims working against repression. This book explains up-to-the-minute brutalities.

Epic. Interviews, anecdotes, personal reflection and analysis are set against a narrative that

  • Pub date: 2 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099523277
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Sadakat Kadri

Half-Finnish and half-Pakistani, Sadakat Kadri was born in London in 1964. He graduated with a first in history and law from Trinity College, Cambridge, and after taking a master's degree at Harvard Law School qualified as a barrister and New York attorney. He has been attached to London's Doughty Street Chambers since the mid-1990s, and has worked on human rights issues in several overseas jurisdictions, including Turkey and parts of the Middle East. His last book was The Trial: A History from Socrates to O.J. Simpson, he is a past winner of the Spectator/Shiva Naipaul travel writing prize, and before setting off to research the sharia, he wrote a regular column on legal questions for the New Statesman.

Praise for Heaven on Earth

“Brilliant and illuminating”

Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday

“Greatly enriches our understanding of a much misunderstood subject”

Sunday Times

“Erudite and instructive”

The Times



“[A] lively, yet scholarly, book... Kadri is an ideally positioned guide”

Daily Telegraph

“Intellectually nimble and rigorously researched . . . admirably clear-eyed . . . Kadri is a precise and stylish writer, as good at explicating abstruse arguments as he is at conjuring vivid scenes . . . this brave and sane book could not be more timely”


“Truly penetrating and provocative”


“Learned, level-headed, engaging, Kadri's [book] deserves praise on every front”

Boyd Tonkin, Independent


Independent on Sunday

“[An] erudite and instructive book... Captivating”

The Times

“[A] fascinating journey . . . Kadri approaches his themes with unstinting humanity and intelligence, as well as great fluency”


“You will come across...a fresh eye, and a clear perspective, in Sadakat Kadri's new book, Heaven on Earth. Learned, level-headed, engaging, Kadri's "journey through Shari'a law" deserves praise on every front”


“This is an extremely valuable book...Knowing this stuff is important, and Kadri takes us through it wonderfully well. He has a great grasp of the facts and – this is my favourite thing – a good, dry sense of humour”

Nick Lezzard, Guardian

“Superb… So much discussion of sharia is marred by misinformation and paranoia: this level-headed book provides a timely corrective”

David Evans, Independent on Sunday

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