Frank E. Vogel



Frank E. Vogel, 61, is an independent scholar and legal consultant on Islamic law, especially on finance and other contemporary applications, and on the laws and legal systems of the Muslim world.

For twenty-three years, in over thirty-five cases in the US, UK, Cayman Islands, and Saudi Arabia, he has served as expert witness and consultant on questions of Islamic law, Islamic finance and on the laws of Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE.  He is currently consulting on Saudi Arabian law in several large litigations in UK, Cayman Islands, and New York and for the World Bank on insolvency and creditor rights.

He retired in 2007 from Harvard Law School where he taught Islamic law for twenty years, occupying the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chair for Islamic Legal Studies.  In 1991 he founded the School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program, serving as its Director until 2006.

Prof. Vogel’s current research and writing is on developments in Saudi Arabian law and constitution, especially as to commercial law and the debate over codification; and on the contribution of Islamic law, particularly its theory of the “purposes of the law” (maqāsid al-sharīʿa), to the strengthening of the public sphere in the Arab world. 

Two major articles submitted for publication in 2010 concern shari`a politics in Saudi Arabia, and a new reading of the pioneering constitutional work al-Aḥkām al-sulṭāniyyah (Islamic Governance) by al-Māwardī (d. 1058).

Prof. Vogel has lived for extended periods, traveled and lectured widely in the Muslim world.

He has served as organizing chair of the Islamic Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) and organizing and first President and current Board Member of the International Society of Islamic Legal Studies

He was educated at Harvard College (AB 1972), American University (JD magna cum laude 1975), and Harvard University (PhD in Law and Middle Eastern Studies 1993).

Concord, MA and Newport, NH


275 Cutts road
Newport, nh 03773



Some Published Works

 Islamic Law and Finance: Religion, Risk, and Return (with Samuel L. Hayes, 1998)

Islamic Law and Legal System: Studies of Saudi Arabia (2000)

"Contract Law of Islam and of the Arab Middle East,” in International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Volume VII (2006) 

The Islamic Marriage Contract: Case Studies in Islamic Family Law (editor, 2006)

The Islamic School of Law: Evolution, Devolution and Progress (editor, 2008)


Independent Scholar and Legal Consultant

Islamic Law and the

Laws of the Modern Muslim World