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

Adnan Zulfiqar specializes in criminal law, Islamic law and laws of war. He previously drafted penal codes for the Maldives and Somalia, and currently researches legal obligation and revolutionary law. 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
  • 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, 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). 

Currently, he is a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project, an Editor for SHARIASource at Harvard Law School and on the Editorial Board of the Arab Law Quarterly. He is also Chair (2019-2020) of the Section on Islamic Law at American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

He earned his J.D., M.A. and Ph.D. (NELC) from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.L.S. (Int'l Affairs) from Georgetown University and a B.A. (Religion and Anthropology) from Emory University.


Enculturating Norms: Indigenizing Human Rights (work-in-progress)

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