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Contractual Partnerships in the Geniza and the Relationship between Islamic Law and Practice

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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Abstract

It is the consensus of scholars that Jewish merchants in the medieval Islamic world structured their economic relationships according to the norms of a broad, “Islamic” marketplace. Legal agreements found in the Cairo Geniza show that, on the contrary, these merchants adhered to the norms of Jewish law. I discuss the implications of this finding for the study of Jewish and Islamic social, economic, and legal history, for which the Geniza documents are an important direct witness.

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