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The 'Āqila In Ḥanafī Law: Preliminary Notes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes that the 'aqila, or blood-money group, is a group of adult men who are collectively liable for the payment of diya on behalf of any one of them. This legal institution found its way from pre-Islamic Arab customary law into Muslim law, although the principle that underlies it, namely, joint liability, is at odds with the Muslim notion of individual responsibility that is based on the Quran. What follows is a discussion of Umayyad practice (I), of the Hanafi opinion (II and III), and of the relations between them (IV). The last section (V) deals with a significant disagreement about this opinion within the Hanafi school. Al-Shaybani's example of Khurasan is part of a discussion intended to illustrate one aspect of the dlwan innovation: the units of the diwan cut across kinship boundaries, and the obligation to pay diya on behalf of the men of one's diwan.

Keywords: aqila; Al-Shaybani's; dlwan; Hanafi; Muslim law; Umayyad



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