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Raashid Goyal

4th Year PhD Student

Raashid Goyal

Educational Background

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


My first foray into the Arab world came as a high school student, as the recipient of a scholarship for study at the Arabic Language and Cultural Institute, Marrakesh, Morocco. I subsequently pursued a variety of Islamic studies programs during and following my undergraduate program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, receiving several ijazat in Islamic jurisprudence, hadith, Qur'anic exegesis, and other topics at institutes in the Middle East 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 of St. John’s University, Minnesota. In 2017-18, I participated 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." I am currently commencing a study of manuscripts of hadith dictations (amali, majalis) which will involve archives across Europe and the Middle East.

My dissertation project, provisionally titled, “The Construction of Islamic Law: Compositional Analyses of Legal Traditions,” examines the genesis of legal thought in Islam and the negotiation of Islamic identity. The study interrogates the compositional development of what I propose are exceptionally early and influential traditions related to three topics in Islamic law: the terms of capitulation offered to subjugated peoples, the obligation of male circumcision, and the penalty for illicit sexual intercourse.

Committee Members

David Powers (Chair), Ross Brann, Munther Younes

Fall 2019 Office Hours:

Wednesday 4:30 - 5:30


  • John S. Knight Institute
  • Near Eastern Studies


  • Hadith Studies
  • Islamic Law, Theology, and Political Thought
  • Shiʿi Literature
  • Kharijism and Ibadi Literature
  • Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity
  • Qur’anic Studies


Spring 2020


“The Gestation of Arabic Biography: Lives of the Traditionists,” in The Oxford Handbook of Hadith Studies. Edited by Mustafa Shah. Oxford University Press [Forthcoming].


“The Qur’anic Aʿrāb: A Reassessment,” to be presented at the Third Biennial International Conference of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (Tangier Global Forum of the University of New England, Tangier, Morocco), Jul 25-26, 2019.

“The Critic, the Convert, and the Concealment of the Torah: A Compositional Analysis of the ‘Stoning of the Jews’ Tradition,” presented at the 229th Meeting of the American Oriental Society (Chicago, IL), Mar 16, 2019.

“Meaningful Textual Features (MTFs) and a Layered Approach to ICMA: The ‘Stoning of the Jews’ Tradition as a Case Study,” presented for the seminar, “Approaches to Isnād-cum-matn Analysis (ICMA),” directed by Professor Pavel Pavlovitch (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY), Aug 14, 2018.

 “Conversion and Subjecthood before the Jizya: New Light from a Qur’anic-era Tradition,” presented for the panel, “Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law,” Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018.

“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 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 the Cornell University and TST BOCES educational series, “America and the Middle East” (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY), 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 the panel, “Reconsidering Kharijism in Early Islamic History,” 33rd Deutscher Orientalistentag (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany), Sep 27, 2017.

“The Arghal Tradition: Exclusionary Praxis in a Shared Judaic and Islamic Context,” presented at the Symposium organized by students of Syriac and Armenian at HMML (St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN), Aug 4, 2017.

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

Panels Organized

“Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law,” Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018 (with Antonia Bosanquet).