The Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World (PLSMW) was formerly part of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School (ILSP). ILSP was founded in 1991 by Founding Director Professor Frank E. Vogel as an expression of Harvard Law School’s growing teaching and research interests in Islamic law. ILSP offered courses, fellowship opportunities, and supported scholarship, research, and publication in the field of Islamic legal studies. Professor Vogel continued led the Program until 2006. Professors Kristen Stilt and Intisar Rabb became co-directors of ILSP in 2014 and in 2016, established two main areas of interest within the Program, ILSP: SHARIAsource and ILSP: Law and Social Change. In 2018, the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World succeeded ILSP: Law and Social Change and was formally established as an independent research program within HLS, with Professor Kristen Stilt as Faculty Director.
The History of the Program on Law & Society in the Muslim World