Mariam Sheibani

Mariam Sheibani is Assistant Professor in History at the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at The University of Toronto Scarborough. In 2018, she received her PhD in Islamic Thought from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Before joining the University of Toronto, she was a Research Fellow at Harvard Law School and Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School.

Her research interests are in late antique and medieval Islamic intellectual and cultural history, with a focus on the theory and practice of Islamic law and Islamic ethical traditions. Her first book project, Islamic Legal Philosophy: Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and the Ethical Turn in Medieval Islamic Law, examines how Muslim jurists from the eleventh to fourteenth centuries addressed salient questions of legal philosophy and ethics, leading them to develop competing legal methodologies and visions of the law. The study centers on a prominent Damascene heir of Khorasani Shāfiʿism, ʿIzz al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Salām, a pivotal figure in the development of Islamic legal philosophy, ethics, and legal maxims (qawāʿid fiqhiyya). 

Her other ongoing research projects investigate the construction of late antique Islamic law, judicial practice in medieval Mamluk Cairo, and classical doctrines of Muslim family law. She continues to serve as Lead Blog Editor for the Islamic Law Blog based at Harvard Law School. Prior to her doctoral studies, she earned a BA in Public Affairs and Policy Management, an MA in Legal Studies, and a second an MA in Islamic Thought. She has conducted research in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Spain, the UK, and West Africa.

For more information on her scholarship and research, please visit

Marwa Sharafeldin

Dr. Marwa Sharafeldin is an Egyptian scholar activist. She is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School. She is also the Senior Advisor in Musawah the Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family. Dr. Sharafeldin has a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from the Law Faculty in the University of Oxford and a Masters in Development Management from the London School of Economics. Her work covers the intersection between Islamic law, international human rights law, and feminist activism. 

Her publications include “Islamic Law Meets Human Rights: Reformulating Qiwama and Wilaya for Personal Status Law Reform Advocacy in Egypt”; “Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law”; “Challenges of Islamic Feminism in Personal Status Law Reform in Egypt”. She co-founded and served on the Executive and Advisory Boards of several international, regional and national feminist organizations such as Musawah, the Global Fund for Women, the Young Arab Feminist Network, and the Network for Women’s Rights Organisations in Egypt. Dr. Sharafeldin is also a technical expert for the publication of several regional and international reports such as the UN’s Progress of the World’s Women Report and the UN’s Gender Justice and Law Arab Region Report. She believes in the power of art for social transformation, and is a story collector,  performer and  writer.

Ali Rida Rizek

Ali Rida Rizek is a Research Editor at the Program in Islamic Law. He received his PhD, Arabic and Islamic Studies – University of Göttingen, 2021) is a scholar of social and intellectual history of Islam, with special focus on Twelver Shi’ism. His research focuses on the history of Islamic law, Qur’anic studies, Arabic literature, and classical Islamic education and his dissertation (2021) examines the life, work, and impact of two early Imami legal scholars, namely Ibn Abī ʿAqīl al-ʿUmānī and Ibn al-Junayd al-Iskāfī (both flourishing in the 4th/10th century). Rizek has taught at the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Lebanese American University (LAU), the University of Leiden, the University of Göttingen, and the University of Bayreuth in Germany and has published studies on hadith, legal history, and the classical Islamic ethical discourse. He received his BA and MA in Arabic Language and Literature from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. 

Sultan Mehmood

Sultan Mehmood is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the New Economic School of Moscow and a research affiliate at the Harvard Law School’s Program in Islamic Law. He is also a faculty research fellow at Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) and Pakistan Institute of Development Studies (PIDE) in Pakistan.

Professor Mehmood is engaged in pioneering research on judicial reforms in the Global South, with a particular focus on his home country, Pakistan. His research methodology involves harnessing large datasets and careful attention to legal theory to provide insights into reforming the judiciary, promoting political rights, with a specific emphasis on studying the prerequisites for establishing the rule of law within societies. His work has been accepted or published in prestigious scientific outlets, including Nature, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, The Economic Journal, and the Journal of Development Economics.

Professor Mehmood will be responsible for assisting in the acquisition and digitization of collections of judgments dating back to the country’s independence in 1947. This effort is part of the larger project to create an online Resource Database for judicial decisions in Pakistan, which will also include the development of related AI and training tools and research papers.


Twitter: @mrsultan713

Bahman Khodadadi

Dr. Bahman Khodadadi is a legal scholar, currently serving as a Research Associate at Yale Law School. He completed his PhD on “On Theocratic Criminal Law” at the University of Münster in 2021. As valedictorian of his master’s degree program in Tehran, he was invited by the University of Münster, Germany, to come as a visiting fellow. Dr. Khodadadi went on to pursue a doctorate at the university and his dissertation is under contract with Oxford University Press. At the University of Münster, he graduated with highest distinction (summa cum laude), received the “Harry Westermann Award”, an annual Law School award granted for best doctoral dissertation and twice won DAAD awards (in 2016 and 2023). His research interests include criminal law theory, Islamic jurisprudence, sociology of law, Islamic law history, and Shiite jurisprudence. He has published and translated many articles and held lectures in European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland.

Dilyara Agisheva

Dilyara Agisheva received an undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science from UCLA and an M.A. in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University. As a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University, she specialized in Islamic legal studies and Ottoman history. In August 2021, she defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Entangled Legal Formations: Crimea Under Russian Rule in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.” Her doctoral research was supported by scholarships and grants, including the Heath W. Lowry Dissertation Writing Fellowship of Distinction from the Institute of Turkish Studies and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship.  Dilyara was also the inaugural PIL-LC Research Fellow at the Program in Islamic Law. 

AbdurRahman Bhatti

AbdurRahman Bhatti is an engineering student at Princeton with an interest in solving major problems using technology and entrepreneurship. In parallel with his studies, AbdurRahman ran a Techstars-backed augmented reality/fitness startup called Ghost Pacer for five years that generated seven figures in annual revenue. During that time, he also managed a 35-person engineering team and filed for 7 patents across various fields.

Fatma Gül Karagöz

Fatma Gül Karagöz is an assistant professor of legal history based at Galatasaray University Faculty of Law. Since working on her MA thesis on the codes of the early modern Ottoman Empire and particularly on the New Code (Kanunname-i Cedid), a compilation of fatwas and codifications on land ownership, Fatma has been interested in land law in the Ottoman Empire. Her works are mostly focused on the property relations on agricultural land and the land usufruct in legal theory and practice. Her current research is based on the application of property law (land law) in the second half of 18th-century Antioch by focusing specifically on the exercise of property rights by women. She received her Ph.D. in Public Law from İstanbul University (2018), MA in Ottoman History from İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University (2010), and BA in Law from Galatarasay University Faculty of Law (2005). 

Mohammed Allehbi 

Mohammed Allehbi is the PIL-LC Research Fellow at the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School and the Library of Congress for the 2023–2024 academic year. He specializes in law and governance in the Islamic Near East and the Mediterranean during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. After earning his master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Chicago in 2014, he received his doctorate in history from Vanderbilt University in 2021, where he was a senior lecturer in the Department of Classical and Mediterranean Studies. His first article, “It is Permitted for the Amīr but not the Qāḍī’: The Military-Administrative Genealogy of Coercion in Abbasid Criminal Justice,” was published in Islamic Law and Society in the fall of 2022. It explores the emergence and rationalization of coercive interrogations in late antique and early medieval Islamic criminal justice. Currently, he is working on his first monograph about the formation of Islamic criminal justice and policing in the Near East and the Mediterranean between the eighth and twelfth centuries.  

Sithy Ermiza Tegal

Ermiza Tegal is a lawyer and activist from Sri Lanka. She has a Master of Laws from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London with a specialization in Law, Governance and Development. Her work encompasses addressing gender-based violence, ensuring civil liberty protections in counter terror responses, ensuring minority rights, defending rights and protection for victims of torture, promoting people-centred land policies and the securing freedom of assembly and expression of non-governmental civil society organizations. Ermiza leads a legal chamber specializing in public law and family law. Her practice litigates on issues of constitutional law and administrative law mainly representating victims of discrimination, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention and domestic violence.

Ermiza is a co-founder of Muslim Personal Law Reform Action Group (MPLRAG) which works for Muslim family law reforms. Ermiza currently serves as a legal expert on governmental advisory committees on Muslim law reform and Family law reform in Sri Lanka. Her publications include “Inside the Quazi Courts of Sri Lanka”, Failing Women Everyday: Legal Protection for Domestic Violence Victims in Sri Lanka”, “Towards Understanding Female Genital Cutting in Sri Lanka, “Exposed and Alone: Torture Survivors in Sri Lanka bear the burden of their own protection” and “Prevention of Terrorism Act, Rule of Law and Human Security”.