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.

Aliya Zuberi

Aliya Zuberi is a 2L at Harvard Law School. She holds a BA in History from Barnard College.

Haroun Rahimi

Haroun  Rahimi is an Assistant Professor of Law at the American University of Afghanistan and a Visiting Professor of Law at Bocconi University School of Law and is a Global Academy Scholar at MESA.. His research focuses on economic laws, institutional reform, Islamic finance, and divergent conceptions of rule of law in Muslim and modern thoughts, and religious authority, and his research has appeared in reputable local and international journals. Rahimi has also collaborated as an independent consultant with a number of research firms and policy think tanks conducting policy research on institutional development and good governance in the South Asia context. At the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, he has worked on Islamic finance as a poverty alleviation strategy, the legal history of Afghanistan, and the ways that legal transplantation is legitimized in Muslim countries.

Rahimi was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) in Rome. He obtained his B.A. in Law from Herat University, his LLM in Global Business Law, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Simon Loynes

Simon is a Research Editor at the Program in Islamic Law. He has previously worked as part of the Knowledge, Information Technology, and the Arabic Book project at the Aga Khan University, London. He is a specialist in the Qur’an and is particularly interested in its literary aspects, its relationship to early Arabic poetry, and its place in Late Antiquity. His research also applies Digital Humanities methodologies to the study of the Qur’an, and he interested, more broadly, in the digitisation of Arabic texts and the challenges presented by building large-scale digital corpora.

His first monograph, “Revelation in the Qur’an,” investigates the Qur’anic concept of revelation through the roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y, was published in early 2021 in Brill’s Texts and Studies on the Qurʾān series (Brill, 2021).

He holds a PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Edinburgh (2019) and a MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2014). 

Fatima Essop

Fatima Essop is a Fellow at the Program on Law & Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School and an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. She has practiced in the areas of public interest litigation, administrative law, environmental law, torts, and family law, and is an accredited family law mediator with experience in the area of Muslim family law. 

Her current research focuses on the practice of Muslim family law, by the Muslim minority community in South Africa. She has undertaken socio-legal, empirical research in the areas of Islamic divorce and inheritance in order to identify the disparities between the theory of law and the lived reality of the law, as experienced by the Muslim community in South Africa. 

Essop has a PhD from the University of Cape Town (UCT) where her thesis focused on the intersection between the Islamic laws of inheritance and the South African laws of inheritance, and has lectured on the Interpretation of Statutes in UCT’s Law Faculty. She also has a BA degree in Arabic and Islamic law from the International Peace College of South Africa and a Certificate in Islamic Finance from the ETHICA Institute of Islamic Finance based in the United Arab Emirates.

Cem Tecimer

Cem Tecimer is an SJD Candidate at Harvard Law School.

Shahrad Shahvand

Shahrad Shahvand is a PhD Candidate in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Hedayat Heikal

Hedayat Heikal is a Research Fellow at the Program in Islamic Law and a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She served as a Research Scholar in Law and the inaugural Islamic Law and Civilization Research Fellow at Yale Law School, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo, as well as a Graduate Program Fellow at Harvard Law School. Her academic work focuses on comparative constitutional law, the rise of the administrative state, and Middle Eastern and Islamic law. Between 2009 and 2013, she practiced as a litigation, arbitration, and enforcement attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York, representing clients on a wide array of disputes and regulatory matters.

She recently completed a  dissertation titled “Beyond Juristocracy: The Rise and Fall of Judicial Activism on National Identity Questions in the Middle East.”

Hedayat also holds a Doctor of Law (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) summa cum laude from the American University in Cairo. 

Issam Eido

Dr. Issam Eido is a Global Academy Scholar in partnership with the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He is also an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University Department of Religious Studies. A former visiting scholar of Islamic and Arabic Studies at The University of Chicago-Divinity School (2013-2015). Prior to the Syrian uprising, Eido served as a lecturer in the faculty of Islamic Studies in the Department of Quran and Hadith Studies at the University of Damascus. 

Eido’s research focuses on the Qur’an, Hadith Studies, Sufism. His teaching interests focus on Qur’an, Hadith, Early Islamic legal theory, and Arabic Studies. 

Eido received his Ph.D. from the Department of Quran and Hadith Studies at Damascus University in 2010. For more information visit his webpage

Yusuf Celik

Yusuf Celik is the lead data scientist for the SHARIAsource Courts and Canons Project, 2020-2021. He  is currently an adjunct lecturer and researcher at the University of Utrecht.

His research is on Philosophical Hermeneutics in the Islamic tradition and Continental philosophy. Yusuf Celik has also been active for years in the field of software engineering. As an independent contractor he has worked for different high profile clients in the capacity of lead developer, consultant, code coach, and Scrum master. He is currently exploring ways to synthesize insights from Philosophical Hermeneutics with new technologies such as Deep Learning.

Celik received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2020 for his dissertation on contemporary Qur’an hermeneutics in Turkey.