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Raashid Goyal

3rd Year PhD Student

Educational Background

  • BA with high distinction, 2011 University of Michigan-Dearborn, History with a minor in Linguistics


My first foray into the Arab world came as a high school student, upon receiving a scholarship to study at the Arabic Language and Cultural Institute, Marrakesh, Morocco. I subsequently pursued Islamic studies during and following my undergraduate program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, completing courses in Islamic jurisprudence, Qur'anic exegesis, hadith, Arabic grammar and other topics at institutes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Since coming to Cornell in 2016, I have spent time studying Persian as a FLAS fellow, and Syriac as a Dumbarton Oaks fellow at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Collegeville, Minnesota. I currently participate in the Brett de Bary Interdisciplinary Mellon Writing Group, "Perceiving the Past, Representing the Present: The Formation of Identity in Late Antique Texts and Media."


  • Near Eastern Studies


My dissertation project aims at reconstructing the earliest phase of legal thought in Islam through the study of hadith texts, incorporating source-critical and transmission-based methods of analysis, and by examining ideas and practices impacting the Arabian milieu from early to late antiquity. The project seeks to establish the chronology of textual development for a number of discrete topics in Islamic law, illuminating literary and legal trends, and the evolving self-conception of the nascent Muslim community.

conference papers and talks

“The Arghal Tradition: A Primitive Ruling Concerning Male Circumcision Evincing a Shared Judaic and Islamic Context,” presented at the Second IDEO Conference in Cairo: The emergence of the Ḥadīṯ as the authority of knowledge (Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt), Jan 12, 2018.

“Muslim and Islam-affiliated denominations in the United States,” presented for TST BOCES K-12 teacher training session, “America and the Middle East” (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York), Oct 24, 2017.

“Two Policies of Non-Aggression in the Umayyad Period: Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Udayya, al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, and the Beginnings of Basran Quietism,” presented for panel, “Reconsidering Kharijism in Early Islamic History,” 33rd Deutscher Orientalistentag (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany), Sep 27, 2017.

“Rebel’s Advocate: How Abū ʿUbayda Maʿmar b. al-Muthannā Came to be Labelled a Kharijite,” presented for panel, “Reassessing Textual Transmission in the Early Islamic Period,” 21st Anniversary NMCGSA Symposium (University of Toronto, Canada), Mar 9, 2017.