Director, Program in Islamic Law
Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
On leave fall term
Intisar A. Rabb is a Professor of Law, a Professor of History, and the faculty director of the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School. She has held appointments as a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as an Associate Professor at NYU Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and at NYU Law School, and as an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School. She previously served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a Temple Bar Fellow in London with the American Inns of Court, and as a Carnegie Scholar for her work on contemporary Islamic law. In 2015, in partnership with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, support from the Luce and MacArthur Foundations, and collaborations with myriad scholars and institutions, she launched SHARIAsource – an online portal designed to provide universal access to the world’s information on Islamic law and history, and to facilitate new research with the use of AI tools. She has published on Islamic law in historical and modern contexts, including the monograph, Doubt in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press 2015), the edited volumes, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (with Abigail Balbale, Harvard University Press, 2017) and Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought (with Michael Cook et al., Palgrave 2013), and numerous articles on Islamic constitutionalism, on Islamic legal canons, and on the early history of the Qur'an text. She received a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Yale Law School, and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. She has conducted research in Egypt, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere.
Ph.D. (Islamic Law), Princeton University, 2009; J.D., Yale Law School, 2006; M.A. (Near Eastern Studies), Princeton University, 2005; B.A./B.S. (Government and Arabic), Georgetown University, with honors, 1999.
- Doubt in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
- Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) (ed. with Michael Cook, Najam Haider and Asma Sayeed)
- "The Islamic Rule of Lenity" 44 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1299 (2011)
- "Islamic Legal Maxims as Substantive Canons of Construction: Hudud Avoidance in Cases of Doubt," 17 Journal of Islamic Law & Society 63 (2010)
- “Administrative Decrees of the Political Authorities (Qanun): The Mamluk Period,” in Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, ed. Stanley Katz et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009): 33-34.
- "We the Jurists," 10 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 527 (2008)