Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP) is directed by Professors Intisar Rabb and Kristen Stilt. The Program has two components. ILSP: SHARIAsource is directed by Intisar Rabb, with Paul Beran serving as its Executive Director. ILSP: Law and Social Change is directed by Kristen A. Stilt, with Ceallaigh Reddy serving as its Program Administrator. See our staff page for biographies of the directors and staff.
Harvard Law School has, since the 1950s, aimed to institute teaching and research on Islamic law. Several visiting professors taught single courses on the subject from time to time. In 1991, the Islamic Legal Studies Program was formally created as an expression of HLS’s growing interests in Islamic law. Founding Director Professor Frank E. Vogel led the Program until 2006. During Vogel’s time at ILSP, he was joined by Barbro Ek, followed by Peri Bearman, as Associate Director. From 2006-2010, Professor Baber Johansen, of the Harvard Divinity School, took the helm as Acting Director. After Johansen’s tenure, Dr. S. Nazim Ali, Director of ILSP’s Islamic Finance Project, took on a second role as the Program’s Acting Executive Director. With the arrival of Professor Intisar Rabb in January 2014, the Program gained a permanent Faculty Director. In September 2014, Professor Kristen Stilt came to Harvard Law School and became a Director of the Program, along with Rabb. In 2016, the Directors decided to focus on two areas of interest. ILSP: SHARIAsource is directed by Professor Intisar Rabb. ILSP: Law and Social Change is directed by Professor Kristen Stilt.