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The Ransoming of Prisoners in Medieval North Africa and Andalusia: An Analysis of the Legal Framework

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This article examines the practice of fidā', the seizing and ransoming of non-Muslims in medieval North Africa and Andalusia. A particular focus of the study is to discern how Muslim jurists in the western Islamic lands used formal legal opinions to define the scope of fidā'. The opinions of a number of jurists come in for examination, and it emerges that they spoke not with a unified voice, but offered instead a range of often conflicting views. It is argued that such diversity of opinion regarding the practice of fidā' stems not only from the jurists' personal temperament, but is strongly tied to the changing fortunes of Islam in the western Mediterranean during the medieval period, most notably as the tide of Christian reconquest in Iberia gained momentum.

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/content/journals/10.1163/157006709x458882
2009-12-01
2015-09-04

Affiliations: 1: Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

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