Written Obligations from the 2nd/8th to the 4th/10th Century

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

In this article, based on recent research undertaken in the collection of Arabic papyri of the Austrian National Library in Vienna (Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer), I discuss four unpublished documents discovered in Egypt, all written obligations (adhkār ḥuqūq) dating from the second half of the 2nd/8th century to the first half of the 4th/10th century. These documents provide important documentary evidence for early Islamic legal practice. By comparing the legal content of the documents with the contract formularies used by the ḥanafī jurist al-Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933) in his Kitāb adhkār al-ḥuqūq, I investigate the relationship between theory and practice in Islamic Law.

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