Skip to content

All faculty

Intisar A. Rabb

Professor of Law

Director, Program in Islamic Law

Professor of History, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Intisar A. Rabb
Download image

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. Government & Arabic Georgetown University, 1999

Academic Appointment and Employment History

  • Associate Professor, New York University School of Law & Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (2013 - 2014)
    New York, New York
  • Assistant Professor, Boston College Law School (2010 - 2012)
    Newton, Massachusetts
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Stanford Law School (2018 - 2018)
    (Winter 2018)
    Stanford, California

Bar Admissions

  • New York, United States (2008)
  • New Jersey, United States (2007)


  • Hon. Thomas L. Ambro, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2006 - 2007

Board Memberships

  • Advisory Board, Journal of Islamic Law and Society (2011 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, Law and Social Inquiry (2013 - 2020)
  • Chair, Section on Islamic Law, American Association of Law Schools (2015 - 2016)
  • Islamic Law and Society Collaborative Research Network Co-Chair, Law and Society Association (2012 - 2020)
  • Advisory Board Member, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization (2014 - Present)
  • Secretary, Section on Comparative Law, American Association of Law Schools (2014 - 2015)
  • Program Committee Co-Chair, American Society for Legal History (2012 - 2013)
  • Executive Board Nominating Committee, Middle East Studies Association (2012 - 2013)
  • Board of Directors, American Society for Legal History (2017 - 2021)
  • Law and History Review, Editorial Board (2017 - Present)

Honors and Awards

  • MacArthur Foundation Grant for SHARIAsource (Awards)
    September 2015
  • Henry R. Luce Foundation Grant for SHARIAsource (Awards)
    June 2015
  • Carnegie Scholar (Awards)
    January 2010

Representative Publications

View all publications by Intisar A. Rabb