Gibb Lecture :: Scholars and Rulers in Al-Andalus: Averroes’ Disgrace in Context, Maribel Fierro, Senior Research Fellow, ILSP; Visiting Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Harvard University; Director, El Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain. Tuesday, March 7 | 4.00-6.00p | CGIS South 020, Belfer Case Study Room

Fellow’s Lecture :: The Trial of a Heretic (Muslim Toledo, 11th Century): Judicial Procedure and Political Context, Maribel Fierro, Senior Research Fellow, ILSP; Visiting Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Harvard University; Director, El Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain. Mon, March 27 | 12.00-1.00p | WCC 5052. Join a lunch discussion with Professor Maribel Fierro. The Andalusi Ibn Sahl (d. 486/1070) started his judicial career as secretary of the judge of Toledo. There, in 457/1064, a man called Ibn Hatim al-Tulaytuli was accused of being a heretic and condemned to the death penalty, although the consulting jurists concluded that he was first to be granted the possibility of challenging the witnesses (al-i`dhar). The judge of Toledo recorded the testimonies, the legal opinions and his judgment in a document (sijill) of which a number of copies were made. In the meantime, the accused had fled Toledo taking refuge in the neighbouring reign of Badajoz. A zealous Toledan, Ibn Labid al-Murabit, availed himself of a copy of the judicial document and visited a number of distinguished scholars in different Andalusi reigns asking them for their legal opinion regarding Ibn Hatim’s case. My paper will try to reconstruct the social and political context in which this long and complicated trial took place.


Fellow’s Lecture :: Shah Waliullah Dehlavi and His Neglected Views on Islamic Law, Mubasher Hussain, ILSP: SHARIAsource Fellow; Head, Sirah Unit, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Tues, April 17 | 12.00-1.00p | WCC 3016. Join a lunch discussion with Dr. Hussain. Ahmad bin ‘Abd al-Rahim, popularly known as Shah Waliullah Dehlavi (1114-1176/1703-1762), one of the greatest thinkers produced by Muslim South Asia, was a prolific writer of his age who contributed to almost every branch of Islamic knowledge and inspired almost all religious circles through his thought-provoking ideas. He has been looked into in terms of his educational and socio-political ideas as well as his mystical approaches while his views on Islamic law (and his attempt to reconcile interpretive differences in Islamic law and jurisprudence) have been ignored, from within as well as from without. To reconstruct his legal ideas, I intend to revisit the various sources in order to trace trajectories of the discourse that led to the silencing of this part of Waliullah´s writings.

Fellow’s Lecture :: The Transformation of Anglo-Muhammadan Law: Muslims on British Benches, Sohaira Siddiqui, Policy Fellow, SHARIAsource; Assistant Professor of Theology and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar. Mon, Apr 25 | 12.00-1.00p | WCC 3007. Join a lunch discussion with Professor Siddiqui who will talk about the rise and implementation of Anglo-Muhammadan law in British India. Most characterizations of Anglo-Muhammadan law depict it as a colonial legal project that displaced Islamic law and its institutions of authority. While this is largely accurate, the dynamics between Islamic law, Anglo-Muhammadan Law and British law were altered with the appointment of Indian Muslims as High Court judges. This talk will look at these shifting dynamics after the appointment of Justice Syed Mahmood, the first Muslim to be appointed as a High Court judge.

Registration for the 2017 International Meeting in Mexico City is now open. Register and get other attendance planning information at

The Islamic Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (CRN), co-convened by Professors Tamir Moustafa and Intisar Rabb, coordinates Islamic law sessions and a runs a year-long listserv for the community of scholars taking a law and society approach to questions of Islamic law. To propose Islamic law sessions at this year’s Annual Meeting, to join the community, or to get announcements about ongoing activities with Islamic law at LSA, contact us at

Other Lectures and Events

Qur’anists in al-Andalus? ( 5 Apr 2017 | Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ )

ILSP/SHARIAsource and CMES senior fellow Maribel Fierro will be speaking as part of the Institute for Advanced Study’s Near/Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Lecture Series 2016/2017. She explores the production of religious and political authority sharing her study of how prophets accepted by Islam are represented. See full details. 

Launch of “The Zaydi Manuscript Tradition: A Digital Portal.” (11 Apr 2017 | New York, New York). The Institute of Advanced Study’s launch event of “The Zaydi Manuscript Tradition: A Digital Portal” will be on April 11, 2017 at the residence of the German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. Register here for the event.

Forum at HKS :: A Conversation with Khizr Khan Khizr Khan, Constitutional Rights Advocate . Intisar Rabb, Moderator; Founding Editor, SHARIAsource; Professor of Law, HLS Wed, Feb 15| 6.00-7.00p | JFK Forum, Littauer, HKS
Co-sponsored by the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Law School, Veteran’s Impact Day
Lunch Discussion :: Prosecuting Radicalization 
Professor Amna Akbar, Assistant Professor of Law, The Ohio State University
Fri, Feb 17 | 12.00-1.00p | WCC 3016
Join a lunch discussion with Professor Amna Akbar.
Professor Akbar will talk about the Obama-era frameworks of counter-radicalization and countering violent extremism, how they have influenced the exercise of federal criminal law at home and abroad, and what all of this suggests for what we might see under Trump
Professor Akbar has written extensively on the role of counter-radicalization in shaping national security policing and prosecutions. Underlying her research is an effort to understand the relationships between law and legal discourse, policing, and inequality. Professor Akbar’s clinical practice is focused on law and organizing for marginalized communities. Her work has been published in the UCLA Law Review, UC Irvine Law Review, the Journal of Legal Education, the Nation, and more. Professor Akbar serves on the board of the Clinical Law Review.
Light lunch will be provided.
Please register at
Sponsored by ILSP: SHARIAsource at Harvard Law School
Cosponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School

Winter 2017

PANEL DISCUSSION ::  “Is There Room in the U.S. Legal System for Halacha and Sharia? Family Law, Public Accommodations, Antitrust, and Arbitration” (06 Jan 2017 | San Francisco, CA). Professors Asifa Quaraishi-Landes University of Wisconsin Law School and a SHARIAsource senior scholar, Haider Hamoudi of University of Pittsburgh Law School and a SHARIAsource contributor, and other scholars of Islamic law and Jewish law will discuss whether and how the U.S. legal system can accommodate Halacha and sharīʿa. They will look at Soleiman v. Soleiman and Garcia v. Church of Scientology, among other cases. This session is one of three  on Islamic law at the AALS Annual Meeting this year, and is jointly sponsored by the Sections on Jewish Law and Islamic Law. Read more.

ROUNDTABLE ::  Islamic Law Teaching in the 21st Century Global Law School (06 Jan 2017 | San Francisco, CA). Professors Intisar Rabb of Harvard Law School, Shaheen Sardar Ali of the University of Warwick School of Law, Mark Cammack of Southwestern Law School, Haider Hamoudi of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and Seval Yildirim of Whittier Law School will discuss recent developments in Islamic legal studies in American law schools with an eye to assessing challenges and opportunities for that field in a modern, global law school. This session is one of three  on Islamic law at the AALS Annual Meeting this year, sponsored by the Section on Islamic law, and co-sponsored by the Sections on Comparative Law and Law and South Asian Studies.

PANEL DISCUSSION ::  Comparative Constitutional Law in South Asia: Sources, Methods, and Applications (American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting  (06 Jan 2017 | San Francisco, CA). This session explores the study of comparative constitutional law in South Asia through presentations that draw on a diverse range of sources, methodologies, and approaches in the field. Building on the joint session on Islamic law pedagogy immediately before this session, scholars will address the range of substantive and methodological problems that arise in connection with comparative law teaching and scholarship, including issues on Islamic law in South Asia where they arise. This session is one of three  on Islamic law at the AALS Annual Meeting this year, and is jointly sponsored by the Sections on Law and South Asian Studies and Islamic Law. Read more.

Fall 2016

(In chronological order)

All post-event summaries.

Workshop Talk ::  Constitutional Design without Constitutional Moments: Lessons from Religiously-Divided Societies . Asli Bâli, UCLA School of Law and Center for Near Eastern Studies. Oct 5: Presented at the International and Comparative Law Workshop, convened by Professors Intisar Rabb and William Alford. 

Workshop Talk ::  The Other Pakistan: Special Laws, Diminished Citizenship, and the Gathering Storm. Osama Siddique, Harvard Law School, Law and Policy Research Network. Sep 30: Presented at the International and Comparative Law Workshop, convened by Professors Intisar Rabb and William Alford. Read more.

Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University: Power and Participation in the Networked Public Sphere. Sep 27. Read more.

SHARIAsource Open House. Sep 21. Read more.

Lunch Discussion: “From Big Law to Public Service in the White House” with Raheemah Abdulaleem, Associate General Counsel in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, the White House. Sep 16. Read more.

Activism, Advocacy, and Scholarship on Islam in the Digital Realm, Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. Sep 16Read more.

Research Methods Talk :: Using Corpus Analysis to Study Media Discourse: Comparing Discussions of Islamic Marriage Reform in India and Pakistan (7 Nov | Cambridge, MA)
This talk focuses on using corpus analysis as a research method. Media discourse on legislative issues provides a rich source for deriving research questions. Sharon Tai, Research Editor, SHARIAsource and Ali Hashmi, SHARAIsource Editor/Data Scientist will ask for feedback on the development of a new corpus analysis tool that is being used to analyze and compare how contemporary media in India and Pakistan is shaping discourse about issues of marriage reform and Islamic law. Osama Siddique(Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights, Harvard Law School) will serve as a respondent to the panel by giving feedback on how the tool could be used, improved, and further developed from his experience as a scholar, lawyer, and social scientist. Read more.

Workshop :: Digital Islamic Law and History: Resources and Methods (16 Nov | Cambridge, MA).This workshop will explore the methods for manipulating Islamic historical texts in Arabic through a collaborative platform called Open Arabic, and with tools for converting Arabic PDFs into OCR documents. Maxim Romanov, the architect of these systems, will lead participants through a hands-on exercise of marking and otherwise manipulating digitized Arabic texts to identify trends, build database, and produce data visualizations. Read more. 

Colloquium :: From Text to Map: Arabic Biographical Collections and Geospatial Analysis (17 Nov | Cambridge, MA). Thousands of fully-digitized texts of premodern Arabic sources have become available over the past decade or two. Computational methods of text analysis now offer us a key to the riches of extensive biographical collections. Mapped across time and space, tens of thousands of biographies may give us a novel and multifaceted perspective on Islamic history. Maxim Romanov‘s presentation will focus on major steps—moving from text to map—and highlight some results of such computational endeavors. Read more.

SHARIAsource Resource Sharing Workshop :: Comparing and Sharing Digital Archival Projects and Resources (17 Nov | Cambridge, MA). Led by Maxim Romanov  and Intisar Rabb, this discussion will showcase major tools and resources (online or digitized sources, CDs and hard drives, etc.) that can be used to research primary source documents in Arabic digitally. To participate, attendees need to submit at least one resource to share and showcase for (2-3 minutes): name of the source, where to locate it (URL or otherwise), its content and scope, examples of use, and pros and cons of use. Examples of these sources include, but are not limited to: the Islamic Texts Initiative, Turath Hard Drive, al-Maktaba al-Shamila, Warraq, Noor CDs, Qurʾānic Arabic Corpus, etc.  Read more.

SHARIAsource MESA Reception (17 Nov | Cambridge, MA). Join a reception to chat informally about your work on Islamic law, developments of SHARIAsource, and otherwise. Light refreshments will be served. Contact Ashley Fournier with any questions at

Policy Roundtable Discussion :: Understandings of Sharīʿa (Islamic law) and U.S. Law and Policy Designed to Solve Conflicts (13 Dec 2016 | Washington, D.C.)  Intisar Rabb, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Founding Editor-In-Chief of SHARIAsource; Leila Mooney, Senior Program Officer, Center for Governance, Law and Society, USIP; Palwasha Karkar, Senior Program Officer, Religion and Inclusive Societies, USIP; and Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, USIP. The discussion will explore the contours of sharīʿa (Islamic law) in the development and critique of policies designed to solve conflicts. The program will consist of experts on Islamic law and foreign policy in discussion with a diverse range of policymakers and executors. The event is co-sponsored by the Islamic Legal Studies Program’s SHARIAsource at Harvard Law School and the United States Institute of Peace. More information to come. Read more.


MLTalks Series: Intisar Rabb and Manal Omar in conversation with Ethan Zuckerman

(From event page)