Introducing the <i>muḥtasib</i>

Stilt Talar

in Islamic Law in Action

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602438
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729348 | DOI:
Introducing the muḥtasib

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This chapter introduces the legal official who is at the center of the book and of the case studies in chapters 3– 9 in particular. First, it explains the Quranic origins of the position and the notion of hisba (“commanding right and forbidding wrong.”) Then is presents a description of the duties of the muhtasib from the eleventh century author al-Mawardi. Third, it described the geographical scope of jurisdiction of the position in Cairo and Fustat, and provides maps to show where the official’s home base was located in each city. Fourth, it discusses an appointment document from the Mamluk era, which represents the sultan’s conception of the muhtasib’s duties. Fifth, the chapter discusses the manuals written by authors to guide muhtasibs in their work, focusing on those written by al-Shayzari, Ibn al-Ukhuwwa, and Ibn Bassam. Finally, the chapter overviews the individuals who held the position in Cairo and Fustat in the Mamluk period.

Keywords: Quran; Hisba; commanding right; forbidding wrong; Al-Mawardi; Al-Shayzari; Ibn al-Ukhuwwa; Ibn Bassam

Chapter.  19312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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