The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School is dedicated to promoting research and providing resources for the academic study of Islamic law. We host a suite of projects toward that end: a Portal for organizing the world’s information on Islamic law (SHARIAsource), a set of Publications for cutting-edge scholarship in Islamic legal studies (a book series, occasional papers, and a peer-reviewed journal), and myriad Program events and support for students, fellows, and scholars working in the field of Islamic legal studies. Our team comprises a team of staff, fellows, students, affiliates, editors, and advisors.
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.