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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islam and Trade in the Bilad al-Sudan, Tenth-Eleventh Century A.D
Author:Brett, Michael
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:West Africa
Subjects:Islamic history
mercantile history
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/181252
Abstract:Two fatwa-s or legal opinions of the jurist al-Qabisi at Qayrawan about the year A.D. 1000 show the way in which the Law of Islam was used to protect the Muslim against the hazards of trans-Saharan trade with the Bilad al-Sudan. Trade was to be conducted as far as possible in accordance with the Law, and approval was given to the establishment of Muslim communities in the Bilad al-Sudan under the authority of a nazir or 'watchman', with the consent of the pagan king of the country. The formation of Muslim communities on this legal basis, and their incorporation into the pattern of West African society, were important for the subsequent character of Islam in West Africa. Meanwhile, among the 'stateless' Berber peoples of the Western Sahara, the doctrines of the Malikite school were subject to a different interpretation by Ibn Yasin, which came into open conflict with the views of al-Qabisi when the Almoravids sacked the Muslim city of Awdaghast for submitting to the pagan king of Ghana. This conflict of attitudes to paganism remained a feature of West African Islam down to the twentieth century. Notes.