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Damages in Islamic Law: Maghribī Muftīs and the Built Environment (9th-15th Centuries C.E.)

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The Mālikī jurists of the Maghrib, or Islamic West, applied the ḥadīth, “no harm shall be inflicted [on anyone] or reciprocated [against anyone]” (lā ḍarar wa-lā ḍirār fī-l-Islām ). This axiom called for the exercise of the muftī's independent reasoning (ijtihād) in matters that were not explicitly clear from the text (naṣṣ) of the Qurʾāan or sunnah. Mālikī jurists used this axiom, which was open to various interpretations, as a basis for rendering legal opinions (fatāwā) in domestic conflicts arising from infractions relating to the socio-spatial world.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Texas at Austin; 2: Princeton University


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