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Ibn Ibrāhīm al-Dukkālī’s Historical Chronicle, edited and translated by Norman Cigar, is a valuable contemporary manuscript source from Morocco’s poorly documented and seldom-studied mid-eighteenth century, a period marked by weak rulers and conflicts, but also a golden age for local political actors and the autonomous power centers in the cities. As a well-placed observer and active participant in events in his native city of Fes, al-Dukkālī provides unique data that helps us address key questions about cities in the Muslim world raised in multiple disciplines, such as whether cities could be considered communities or were simply an agglomeration of disparate elements, and to what extent cities enjoyed autonomy in their relations with the central government, and in what sense they were “Islamic.”


This is a study of a legal treatise by ʿĀdil ʿAwaḍ, published by Umm al-Qurā University in Mecca, a scholarly attempt to deal with the legality and ethics of Weapons of Mass Destruction (wmd) from the perspective of the šarīʿa. Saudi Arabia offers a relevant real-world case study, given the continuing importance of Islam in its socio-political system and the indications that Riyadh is considering the acquisition of nuclear weapons. ʿAwaḍ addresses the moral and legal – and essentially religiously-based, although mingled with Realpolitik – considerations pertinent to acquiring and potentially using wmd, especially nuclear weapons, and he addresses issues such as deterrence, first-strike capability, the parameters of targeting, and proportionality. This study engages an actual player, rather than limiting the approach to a theoretical perspective and to positing how Muslims could or should think, and concludes that the findings in ʿAwaḍ’s treatise legitimize and contribute to the proliferation and use of wmd.

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In: Die Welt des Islams