Cover

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Note on Transliteration

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p. ix

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

The fragmentary remains of Christian and Jewish legal documents composed in the Eastern Mediterranean in the first five hundred years of Islamic rule reveal that Christian and Jewish religious elites were preoccupied with the fact that their coreligionists were taking legal cases outside the community for litigation in what appear to have been primarily Islamic courts...

PART I. LEGAL PLURALISM IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND CLASSICAL ISLAM: SURVEY AND ANALYSIS

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Chapter 1. A Late Antique Legacy of Legal Pluralism

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pp. 25-62

The present chapter is primarily a survey of the various judicial institutions that were available under late Roman and Sasanian rule, from the late fourth century A.D. to the Arab conquest. The function of this survey is to set the stage for subsequent chapters, which deal with the early Islamic period; it will also serve to establish that a trend of multiple, overlapping legal orders...

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Chapter 2. Islam's Judicial Bazaar

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pp. 63-90

It is possible that this passage, taken from ‘Umāra ibn Wathīma’s (d. 902) ninth-century collection of prophetic tales (Qisa˘ s ˘ al-Anbiyāʾ), reflects the author’s understanding of biblical judicial arrangements in his own contemporary terms.2 The choice between several judicial figures provides the setting for the pseudo-biblical narrative. As early as the seventh century, Muslim officials...

PART II. THE JUDICIAL CHOICES OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS IN THE EARLY ISLAMIC PERIOD: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

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pp. 91-98

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Chapter 3. Eastern Christian Judicial Authorities in the Early Islamic Period

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pp. 99-119

As we have seen, the attempt to reconstruct the structure and practice of Near Eastern judicial institutions in the period under discussion can yield only partial results. The case of the Eastern churches is no exception in this respect.1 The underlying assumption of the following examination is that since the ecclesiastical judiciary was an integral part of church administration,..

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Chapter 4. Rabbanite Judicial Authorities in the Late Geonic Period

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pp. 120-146

To an extent, the appearance of Jews before Islamic courts tends to marginalize the fact that within the rabbinic order itself, judicial institutions also differed. Our upcoming examination, in Chapter 6, of the attitudes of the Babylonian geonim toward the phenomenon of Jewish recourse to Islamic courts demands preliminary remarks regarding such internal differences. The complex and decentralized character of the rabbinic judiciary...

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Chapter 5. Christian Recourse to Nonecclesiastical Judicial Institutions

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pp. 147-173

A papyrus from the town of al-Ushmūnayn in central Egypt, dated around the beginning of the tenth century, records the appeal of two Christian residents of al-Rayramūn to an Islamic court. In it, the litigants express their explicit wish to be judged according to Islamic law (bi-muqtadhā al-shar‘ al-sharīf ).1 Such occurrences of Christian recourse to extra-ecclesiastical courts were not uncommon...

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Chapter 6. Jewish Recourse to Islamic Courts

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pp. 174-204

In a letter dating from 1030 by the Palestinian gaon Shelomo ben Yehuda, the gaon listed a series of Karaite allegations against the Rabbanites. Interestingly, instead of refuting these allegations, the gaon’s principal line of defense was the claim that the Rabbanites should not be held solely responsible for these violations because such acts were committed by Karaites as well.1

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Conclusion

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pp. 205-215

In the responsum above, Sherira Gaon addresses the members of a North African community, regarding certain scholars who “dispute and speak against the geonim.”1 Rather than explicitly identify those who challenged geonic authority, the gaon chooses to highlight their incompetence and ignorance. It is in contrast to such faults that the geonim, heirs of the ancient rabbinic...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 216-217

Notes

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pp. 218-262

Bibliography

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pp. 263-292

Index

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pp. 293-304

Acknowledgments

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pp. 305-306