Associate Professor of Law
Adnan A. Zulfiqar
Rutgers Law School
217 N 5th St
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-6370

Adnan A. Zulfiqar, J.D., Ph.D., is a legal historian working on Islamic law, criminal law and law in the Global South, with specific interests in legal obligation, jihad & revolution, policing and criminal codes. He previously helped draft and implement criminal codes in the Maldives and Somalia. He regularly provides expert media commentary for various outlets, is proficient in multiple languages and has spent over a decade in the Middle East, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise


Adnan A. Zulfiqar is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on critically examining assumptions and frameworks underpinning legal discourses. His primary fields of inquiry are criminal law & procedure, Islamic jurisprudence and law in the Global South. In criminal law and procedure, his work explores questions of policing, punishment and various aspects of codification. In Islamic jurisprudence, aside from Islamic criminal law, Professor Zulfiqar also studies how jurists conceive of and develop legal obligations, particularly in the context of revolution and warfare/jihad. He is fluent in multiple languages, which he utilizes in his research.

Professor Zulfiqar joined the faculty at Rutgers Law as an Assistant Professor in 2017. Prior to that, he was a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has also been a Harry F. Guggenheim Fellow and a CASA Fellow (Damascus, Syria). He previously helped draft and implement new criminal codes and commentaries for the Republic of the Maldives and the Federal Republic of Somalia. He also worked as an Associate in the Investigations, White Collar and Fraud Group at Hogan Lovells, LLP (Washington, D.C.) and was a Legislative Staffer for U.S. Senator Max Cleland (D-GA). 

In 2019, Professor Zulfiqar was selected as a Wallace Johnson Fellow by the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) to support his first book on collective duties (fard kifaya) in Islamic Law. He is also an Editor for Harvard Law School's SHARIASource and, in collaboration with them, launched the "Mapping Covid Fatwas Project" in March 2020.

Professor Zulfiqar serves on the Editorial Board of the Arab Law Quarterly, the 2021 Annual Meeting Committee of the American Society for International Law (ASIL) and the Legal Advisory Committee of the ACLU in Philadelphia. He was previously Chair of the Section on Islamic Law at the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) and has been a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project since 2009. 

He earned his J.D. (law), M.A. and Ph.D. (near eastern languages & civilizations) from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.L.S. (international affairs) from Georgetown University and a B.A. (religion and anthropology) from Emory University.


Enculturating Norms: Indigenizing Human Rights (forthcoming)

Pursuing Over-Criminalization at the Expense of Islamic Law 1 J. Islamic L. [Harvard Law] (Spring 2020) [Symposium on Brunei’s Criminal Law Code] 

Collective Duties in Islamic Law: The Moral Community, State Authority and Ethical Speculation in the Premodern Period (dissertation) (2018)

Jurisdiction over Jihad: Islamic Law & the Duty to Fight120 W. Va. L. Rev. 427 (2017)

Revolutionary Islamic Jurisprudence: A Restatement of the Arab Spring49 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 443 (2017)

Codifying Shari’a: International Norms, Legality & Freedom to Invent New Forms, 2 J. Comp. L. 1 (U.K.)(2007)(Co-authored with Paul H. Robinson et. al.).

Of Neocolonialism, Common Law and Uncodifiable Shari’a: A Reply to Professor An-Na’im, 2 J. Comp. L. 61 (U.K.)(2007)(with Paul H. Robinson).

Religious Sanctification of Labor Law: Islamic Labor Principles and Model Provisions, 9 J. Bus. L. 421 (2007).


  • Criminal Procedure
  • Human Rights
  • Criminal Law
  • Islamic Law
  • Legal History