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One manuscript, many books


Date of creation
  • 2021   Gregorian
Preferred title

One manuscript, many books   English  

Work type Single work
Non-literary work Historical work
Work manifested Article
Work genre Textual work

Adult, serious


Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma is a book of regulations about Christian and Jewish subjects of Islamic rule, written by the Ḥanbalī jurist and theologian Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 751/1350). It is an important resource for historical studies of non-Muslim minorities in the Mamluk period and is often cited as a normative text in present-day Muslim discussions about Muslim-non-Muslim relations. This article gives an insight into the history of the only surviving manuscript of Aḥkām ahl al-dhimma and the unusual process by which the first printed edition was compiled. It shows that the movement of the manuscript was largely a result of Ibn Taymiyya’s and Ibn al-Qayyim’s more general popularity in specific geographic regions than the authority of the text itself, and that individuals’ religious-intellectual interests were decisive for the publication of a printed edition in 1961. It also shows that the unusual editing process impacted on the reliability of the printed editions available today, the majority of which are financed by Saudi institutions.

Diamond   W 250011

Created at 07-09-2021 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)

Updated at 07-09-2021 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)

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