Prof. Anver Emon
Professor of Law and History; Canada Research Chair in Islamic Law and History; Director, Institute of Islamic Studies

Jackman Law Building
Room J466
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5  


Tel.: 416-946-0832

Anver M. Emon studies pre-modern and modern Islamic legal history, the role of Shari'a both inside and outside the Muslim majority world, and the historiography of that that field of knowledge production. Since 2018, his appointment is split between the Faculty of Law and the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In the Faculty of Law, he has taught torts, constitutional law, racial politics and the law, legal ethics, and statutory interpretation. In history, he teaches in the field of Islamic legal history, law and religion, and historical epistemology in Islamic studies. He was named as a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of law, a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada and awarded its 2017 Kitty Newman Memorial Award in Philosophy, and Senior Fellow, Massey College. The recipient of numerous research grants, he recently received two grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for the projects: "Muslims in Canada Archive" (2020-2024) and "On CRA Audits of Muslim-Led Faith Based Charities" (2020-2021). 

In addition to publishing numerous articles, Professor Emon is the author of The 'Islamic' Deployed: The Study of Islam in Four Registers (Middle East Law and Governance, 2019), Islamic Natural Law Theories (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Religious Pluralism and Islamic Law: Dhimmis and Others in the Empire of Law (Oxford University Press, 2012), as well as the co-editor of Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground? (Oxford University Press, 2012).  He is the founding editor of Middle East Law and Governance: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and series editor of the Oxford Islamic Legal Studies Series.

For a profile of his research, see the review in International Innovation.

J.S.D. - Yale Law School (2009)
Ph.D. (History) - UCLA (2005)
LL.M. - Yale Law School (2004)
M.A. - University of Texas, Austin (1999)
J.D. - UCLA School of Law (1996)
B.A. (Hon) - University of California, Berkeley (1993)
Academic appointments
Cross appointments: Department for the Study of Religion, Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Near and Middle East Civilizations
Visiting Scholar, Center of Theological Inquiry (2009-2010)
Awards and distinctions
• Member, College of the Royal Society of Canada
• Kitty Newman Memorial Award in Philosophy (2017), Royal Society of Canada
• Fellow, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2014-2015)
• Member, Institute for Advanced Study (2014-2015)
• Justice Canada: Grant for High School Curriculum on Forced Marriage, Law and Youth Agency (2014-2015)
• Foundation for Legal Research, Grant for Research: "Statutory Interpretation and the Rule of Law" (2014-2015)
• SSHRC Connection Grant: Islamic and Jewish Legal Reasoning (2012-2013)
• Connaught Summer Institute Grant (2013-2015)
• SSHRC Insight Grant: Sharia and Rule of Law (2012-2017)
• SSHRC Workshop Grant: Labor and Migration in the Middle East (2011-2012)
• Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group Grant (2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013))
• The Religion and Diversity Project MCRI Co-Investigator Grant (2010-2011)
• SSHRC Standard Research Grant - Reasoning in Islamic and Jewish Law (2008-2011)
• Faculty Fellow - Religion in the Public Sphere, University of Toronto (2007-2008)
• Humane Studies Fellow, Institute for Humane Studies (2004-2005)
• Fishbaugh/Pollack Fellowship, Graduate Division, UCLA (2003-2004)
• Edwin W. Pauley Foundation Fellowship, Department of History, UCLA (1999-2003)
• Jan Carleton Prize for Best M.A. Thesis, Dept. of History (1999)
• Foreign Language/Area Studies Fellowship, U.S. Dept of Education (1997-1998, 1998-1999)
• Phi Beta Kappa, UC Berkeley Chapter
• Senior Fellow, Massey College
Other service
• General Editor, Oxford Series in Islamic Legal Studies. Oxford University Press.
• Founder/Editor-in-Chief. Middle East Law and Governance
• Consultant, Hague Abduction Convention and Islamic Law, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Canada) (2014)
• Consultant, Judicial Independence and Professionalism Project: The Maldives. Comm. for Federal Judicial Affairs, Dept of Justice, Canada (2012-2013)
• Research Leader, "Forced Marriage High School Curriculum Project" (2012-2014)
• Co-Chair (with Mark Ellis, Exec Dir of International Bar Association). Islamic and International Law: Searching for Common Ground. Salzburg Global Seminar (Austria). November 14-19, 2010.
• Editorial Board Member. Journal of Law and Religion
• Faculty Fellow, International Summer School for Religion and Public Life, Bulgaria (July 2011)
• Faculty Fellow, International Summer School for Religion and Public Life, Indonesia (July 2012)
Other info

Teaching Fields

Constitutional Law, Islamic Law, Law and Religion, Legal Ethics, Racial Politics and the Law, Statutory Interpretation, Torts

News and Noteworthy

For Toronto Star coverage of Connaught Summer Institute on Islamic Studies, 2013, click here.

For the high school curriculum project on "forced marriage", click here.

For the report on the Hague Abduction Convention and Islamic Law, click here

For Emon's essays at the Immanent Frame, click here

For Emon's blog page at the Centre for Free Expression, click here 

Selected publications


Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 (co-editor with Mark Ellis and Benjamin Glahn).

Religious Pluralism and Islamic Law: Dhimmis and Others in the Empire of Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Islamic Natural Law Theories. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.


"The 'IsIamic' Deployed: The Study of Islam in Four Registers". Middle East Law and Governance 11 no. 3 (2019): 347-403.

"On Statutory Interpretation and the (Canadian) Rule of Law: Interpretive  Presumptions as  Boundary Setting." The Theory and Practice of Legislation 3, no 1 (2015): 45-89.

"The Paradox of Equality and the Politics of Difference: Gender Equality, Islamic Law and the Modern Muslim State." In Gender and Equality in Islamic Law: Justice and Ethics in the Islamic Legal Tradition. Eds. Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Kari Vogt, Lena Larson, and Christian Moe. 237-258. London: IB Tauris, 2013.

"The Limits of Constitutionalism in the Muslim World: History and Identity in Islamic Law." In Constitutional Design for Divided Societies. Ed. Sujit Choudhry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. 258-286.

"Islamic Law and the Canadian Mosaic: Politics, Jurisprudence, and Multicultural Accommodation." Canadian Bar Review 87, no. 2 (February 2009): 391-425.

"To Most Likely Know the Law: Objectivity, Authority and Interpretation in Islamic Law." Hebraic Political Studies  4, no. 4 (2009): 415-440. (view on SSRN)

"Huquq Allah and Huquq al-'Ibad: A Legal Heuristic for a Natural Rights Regime." Islamic Law and Society 13, no. 3 (2006): 325-391.

Research areas
Critical Legal Theory
Islamic Law
Judicial Decision-Making
Law and Religion
Legal History
Legal Theory