The Jews of Islam (Princeton Classics) by Bernard Lewis

By Bernard Lewis

This landmark booklet probes Muslims’ attitudes towards Jews and Judaism as a distinct case in their view of different non secular minorities in predominantly Muslim societies. With authority, sympathy and wit, Bernard Lewis demolishes competing stereotypes: the Islamophobic photograph of the fanatical Muslim warrior, sword in a single hand and Qur’ān within the different, and the overly romanticized depiction of Muslim societies as interfaith utopias.

Featuring a brand new advent by way of Mark R. Cohen, this Princeton Classics variation units the Judaeo-Islamic culture opposed to a shiny historical past of Jewish and Islamic background. For these wishing a concise review of the lengthy interval of Jewish-Muslim kin, The Jews of Islam continues to be a vital start line.

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In th e v a st e m p ire w h ic h th ey c re a te d by c o n q u e st, th e M u slim s a t first fo u n d them selves as a d o m in a n t b u t sm all m in o rity . T h e ir relig io n p ro v id e d th e m w ith c e rta in b asic re ­ ligious p rin c ip le s by w h ic h to ru le th e ir su b ject p o p u la tio n s ; ISLAM AND OTHER RELIGIONS ■ 19 th e o ld e r regim es w h ich they h a d rep laced b e q u e a th e d th e m tra d itio n s , p ro c e d u re s, a n d even p e rso n n e l w ith w h ich to p u t these p rin c ip le s in p ra c tic e , o r to m odify th em .

T h ese re stric tio n s involved som e lim ita tio n o n th e clo th es th a t d him m īs m ig h t w e a r a n d th e b easts th ey m ig h t rid e, a n d fo rb a d e th e m to b e a r arm s. T h ere w ere lim its o n th e b u ild in g a n d use o f p laces o f w o rsh ip . T hey w ere n o t to be h ig h e r th a n m o sq u es; n o n ew ones w ere to be b u ilt b u t o n ly o ld o n es re sto re d . C h ristia n s a n d Jew s w ere to w e a r special em b lem s o n th e ir clothes. T h is, in cid en tally , is th e o rig in o f th e y ellow b ad g e, w h ich w as first in tro d u c e d by a c alip h in B a g h d a d in th e n in th ce n tu ry a n d sp re a d in to W e st­ e rn la n d s in la te r m edieval t i m e s / 3 Even w h e n a tte n d in g th e p u b lic b a th s , n o n -M u slim s w ere su p p o se d to w e a r d istin ­ 2 6 ■ CHAPTER I g u ish in g signs su sp e n d e d fro m c o rd s a ro u n d th e ir neck s, so th a t th e y m ig h t n o t be m ista k e n fo r M u slim s w h e n d isro b e d in th e b a th h o u se .

M u sim s co u ld n o t in h e rit fro m d him m īs , n o r co u ld d him m īs in h e rit fro m M u slim s. A c o n v e rt to Islam co u ld th e re fo re n o t in h e rit fro m his u n c o n v e rte d k in sm en , a n d o n his o w n d e a th o n ly his M u slim heirs co u ld in h e rit fro m him . If he re v e rte d to his p rev io u s religion b efo re his d e a th , he ra n k e d as a n a p o s ta te , a n d his e sta te w as forfeit. T h e ru le th a t a M u slim c a n n o t in h e rit fro m a d h im m ī , w hile ac c e p ted by th e fo u r c a n o n ic a l sch o o ls o f M u slim ju risp ru d e n c e , w a s n o t a d m itte d by all th e d o c to rs o f H o ly L aw .

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