- BA (Double Honours) University of Manitoba (2007)
- MA University of Victoria (2009)
- PhD University of Toronto (2017)
From 2016-2018, I was Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. My training is in Classical Islamic Law and I have published extensively on the history of legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) and the historical evolution of substantive law (furū‘ al-fiqh). My forthcoming book traces the emergence of classical debate gatherings in Iraq and Persia between the 10th and 13th centuries. The study reveals a debating culture piously dedicated to searching for God’s law through a critical interrogation of its legal system. Jurists of all legal schools debated in homes, mosques, colleges, and rulers’ courts to examine the soundness of their legal arguments. All of this was made possible because of a recognition of the radical uncertainty of God’s law. This unknowability, they reasoned, meant that each jurist potentially had something to gain from his debating partner. The Islamic legal system as we know it today was a product of this period of fertile intellectual exchanges.
When I joined the IIS team in September 2019, I began to work on a new book project focusing on Islamophobia and State Surveillance in the post 9/11 period. Through a mix of ethnographic and archival research, the book traces the journey of three University of Manitoba students (two Canadians and one American) who left their promising lives in Canada in 2007 to join al-Qaeda in the mountains of Northern Pakistan. The study becomes a means to interrogate the relationship between the US and Canadian States and their respective Muslim populations. The study uncovers how the discourse of the War on Terror devalued Muslim lives abroad and positioned domestic Muslim populations as potential threats to national security. The book explores the consequences of this discourse, not only the lives of the three students who decided to revolt against their own Canadian and American nations, but also on the majority of North American Muslims, who have lived in the shadow of state violence for the last two decades.
The project is further supported by the IIS’s Reading Muslims project, which is a 2020 Recipient of a Connaught Global Challenge Grant.
The Rise and Fall of Critical Islam: 10th to 13th Century Legal Debate. (Forthcoming)
Co-authored with Shahid Rahman and Muhammad Iqbal. Inferences by Parallel Reasoning in Islamic Jurisprudence: Al-Shīrāzī’s Insights Into the Dialectical Constitution of Meaning and Knowledge (Cham: Springer, 2020).
“A Quiet Subversion: From Arabo-Centrism to Universalism in the Shāf’ī Law of Marriage Suitability (Kafā’a)” (Forthcoming)
“The Lost Oral History of Classical Islamic Law: The Case of an 11th Century Disputation (munāẓara) on Broken Oaths” (Forthcoming)
“Why Study Uṣūl al-Fiqh: The Problem of Taqlīd and Tough Cases in 10th-11th Century Iraq” (Forthcoming)
“From Conquest to Coexistence: Burhān al-Dīn al-Marghīnānī’s Reinterpretation of Jihād” (Journal of Islamic Studies, Forthcoming)
“The Historiography of Uṣūl al-Fiqh” in The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law, eds. A. Emon and R. Ahmed. (Oxford: Oxford Universtiy Press, 2018), 249-270.