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Maya Shatzmiller

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Maya Shatzmiller

Abstract

This essay focuses on the implementation of women's property rights in al-Andalus and the Maghrib in the period between the tenth and fifteenth centuries, as reflected in legal sources. An examination of Islamic property and family law, judicial practice, and the attitude of jurists toward women indicates that the majority of Muslim women owned property independently at some point in their lives, that women acquired property at every stage of the life-cycle, and that women played an important role in the intergenerational transmission of property and in keeping familial property intact. At the same time, the legal institutions of guardianship (wilāya) and interdiction (ḥajr) placed constrains on the ability of women to exercise effective control of their property during adulthood. The implementation of women's sharʿī property rights by qādīs and muftīs had important consequences for women's relationships with their families, especially their husbands. That male domination was never complete in propertied families calls into question the characterization of the Muslim family as “patriarchal” and points to the need for a new social, cultural, and economic explanation of the nature of the Muslim family.

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Maya Shatzmiller

Abstract

The evidence of the late medieval period, 11th-15th centuries, indicates that women's participation in the labour market was both considerable and diversified. This paper studies whether and how women's wage labour was affected, controlled and regulated by laws, courts and judges, by using an array of the Mālikī legal sources from Muslim Spain and North Africa. It shows the existence of a legal approach straddling a strict application of the law of the ijāra, with adjustments to family law and admission of customary law, but more importantly, an approach inspired and adapted to the framework of women's property rights and therefore beneficial to them.

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Maya Shatzmiller

Abstract

The author argues that in the case of Islamic history, the growing interest in the economic theory of institutions and their role in economic growth has shifted the scholarly methodology from empirically based research, to theoretical models which favoured sweeping generalizations about the negative roles of the Islamic state and legal institution. Shatzmiller’s examinations of the role of Islamic institutions in periods of economic growth show that economic growth was visible in the key indicators of the Caliphate’s economy between ca. 750 and ca. 1100. The conclusion is that there was nothing intrinsic to Islamic institutions that impaired economic growth.

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Maya Shatzmiller

Abstract

The paper examines the institutional economic performance of the public good waqf with the intent of demonstrating the relevance of institutions to the momentous debate over Islamic backwardness and European progress and the waqf's role as supporter of learning institutions and promoter of social integration. Through the application of two sets of theoretical paradigms designed for measuring institutional behaviour, property rights and institutional arrangements, to legal cases supplied by fatwās from North Africa and Muslim Spain it will be possible to analyze and evaluate the impact of one of the major institutions of the premodern Islamic world on economic progress. L'article étudie la performance économique du waqf fiduciaire public, (waqf khairī), en tant qu'institution économique. Le but est de démontrer la pertinence de cette performance quant au débat sur la décadence économique des sociétés musulmanes par rapport au progrès que connut l'Europe. Sera étudié le rôle de l'activité économique institutionelle du waqf en général, et particulièrement dans les fonctions qui lui étaient attribuées, comme le soutien des institutions scolaires ainsi que la promotion de l'integrité sociale. Par l'application de deux paradigmes théoriques conçues pour mesurer le comportement institutionel, les droits de propriété et l'adaptation aux changements dans les conditions économiques rapportés par les documents juridiques tels les fatwās de l'Afrique du Nord et de l'Espagne musulmane, il sera possible d'analyser et d'évaluer l'impact de l'une des plus importantes institutions du monde islamique pré-moderne sur le progrès économique.