Associate Professor of Law
Adnan A. Zulfiqar
Rutgers Law School
E406
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
Biography

Adnan A. Zulfiqar is an interdisciplinary scholar in the fields of law, history and religion whose research focuses on critically examining the frameworks underlying legal discourses in both domestic and global contexts. His primary fields of inquiry are criminal law & procedure, Islamic jurisprudence and rule of law in the Global South. His most recent work centers on studying how Muslim jurists conceive of and utilize legal obligations, particularly in the context of revolution and war; rethinking approaches to the diffusion of human rights norms; and exploring questions relating to police discretion in the United States. 

Professor Zulfiqar joined the faculty at Rutgers Law in 2017. Prior to that, he was a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 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, Duties to the Collective, which explores how premodern jurists utilized collective obligations (fard kifaya) in Islamic law to promote cohesion within the empire. In March 2020, he launched the "Mapping Covid Fatwas Project" in collaboration with Harvard Law School's SHARIASourcewhere he serves as an Editor. He is also a Regional Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Middle East Center, and a faculty affiliate at the Rutgers Centers for Transnational Law and for Security, Race & Rights.

Professor Zulfiqar serves on the Editorial Board of the Arab Law Quarterly, the Annual Meeting Committee (2020-21) 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 also serves on the Board of Directors for The Merchant's Fund, Interfaith Philadelphia and Sapelo Square.

Professor Zulfiqar was awarded Professor of the Year (2020 & 2021) and Grand Marshall (2019) by the graduating classes in those respective years. 

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. He is proficient in multiple languages and has spent over a decade in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Publications

Articles and Chapters

Human Rights Norms from Below (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] web pdf

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).

 

Other Writing 

Prisons, Abolition and Islamic Legal Thought, Harvard Islamic Law Blog (October 29, 2020)

Islamic Jurisprudence for Revolution, Harvard Islamic Law Blog (October 22, 2020)

The Modern Transformation of the Duty to Fight, Harvard Islamic Law Blog (October 15, 2020).

Collective Duties (fard kifaya) in Islamic Law, Harvard Islamic Law Blog (October 8, 2020).

 

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