Omar Farahat is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Law. His areas of interest include classical Islamic law, legal theory, theology, and ethics. His current research focuses on the concepts of time, generality, and personhood, and the intersection of legal and moral theories in classical Islamic thought.
Farahat’s first book, The Foundation of Norms in Islamic Jurisprudence and Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2019) presents a new way of understanding the work of classical Islamic theologians and legal theorists who maintained that divine revelation is necessary for the knowledge of the norms and values of human actions. Through a reconstruction of classical Ashʿarī-Muʿtazilī debates on the nature and implications of divine speech, Farahat argues that the Ashʿarī attachment to revelation was not a purely traditionalist position, but a rational philosophical commitment emerging from debates in epistemology and theology.
Farahat’s research on Islamic legal theory and ethics has also appeared in the Journal of Law and Religion, the Journal of Religious Ethics, and Oriens, and further research is forthcoming in Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. Before to joining McGill, he completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University, following which he spent a year as a Research Fellow at Yale Law School. Prior to that, he obtained a dual law degree from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Cairo University, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, and an interdisciplinary M.A. in the humanities from New York University.