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Property (Māl) and Credit Relations in Islamic Law: An Explanation of Dayn and the Function of Legal Personality (Dhimma)

In: Arab Law Quarterly
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  • 1 Faculty of Economics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
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Abstract

This article deals with the notion of property (māl) and the conceptualization of credit relations in Islamic law by investigating the dyad ʿayn/dayn and highlighting the functional linkage between dayn (debt/credit) and dhimma (legal personality). More precisely, in accordance with the elaboration of classical scholars, the work illustrates the notion of dayn, not in terms of obligation but as a property already owned by the creditor, while subsisting over the dhimma of the debtor: i.e., a property-in-the-future guaranteed by this dhimma. Differences from the Western notion of obligation, as well as peculiarities of Islamic contract law, are subsequently outlined.

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