MULĀZAMA OR HARASSMENT OF RECALCITRANT DEBTORS IN ISLAMIC LAW

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

The institution of mulāzama, or the harassment of the debtor through the constant pursuit of him, could obtain in three situations: (a) the pursuit of a penniless debtor who has been released from prison and declared bankrupt by a judge, (b) the pursuit of a debtor capable of paying his debt, and (c) the pursuit of a debtor before trial, lest he flee, pending the production of witnesses. Only Abū Hanīfa, and, following him, the dominant opinion of his school, supported the first. Some later Hanafīs as well as jurists of other schools supported the other two in varying degrees, until relatively modern times when the institution was declared inoperative or has been completely ignored. The harshness of the early Hanafī position suggests an origin in a preceding civilization: possibly the Roman, because of similarities in terminology; possibly the Indo-Iranian, because of the provenance of early Hanafīs in territories influenced by that civilization; or both.

MULĀZAMA OR HARASSMENT OF RECALCITRANT DEBTORS IN ISLAMIC LAW

in Islamic Law and Society

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