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  • 8/27/2006

The Pillars of Islam:

Da'ᾱ'im Al-Islam of Al-Qadi Al-Nu'man:
 Vol. II:Mu 'ᾱmalᾱt: Laws Pertaining to Human Intercourse
translated by Asaf A.A. Fyzee

New Delhi
Oxford University Press
2004, xlix, 636 p.
ISBN 0-19-566784-0
"The Da'a' im al-Islam, composed by al-Qadi al-Nu'man around the year 349/960, was the official code of the Fatimid State. It was commissioned by the Fatimid caliph al Mu'izz li-Din Allah, both for the use of the state as well as the Isma 'ili community. Imam al-Mu'izz closely scrutinized the entire work. It is therefore not surprising that the text is considered by the Musta 'li-Tayyibi Bohras as the greatest authority on Isma 'ili law upto the present day, and it remains a source of supreme authority in their legal matters. Courts in the subcontinent also apply this text in personal and family matters in the form of the Isma 'ili law manual.

Al-Qadi al-Nu'man served the first four Fatimid caliphs successively in various capacities. He reached the apogee of his career during the reign of Imam al-Mu'izz; he was elevated to the highest judicial office in the Fatimid Empire. He was authorized by the caliph to conduct 'wisdom sessions' every Friday and instruct the congregation on the religious sciences of the da'wa.

The pillars of Islam is the first authoritative English translation of the Da'a'im. The first volume discusses faith, devotion, ritual purity, prayer, funerals, alms tax, fasting, pilgrimage, and jihad. The second volume deals with a wide range of subjects such as food, dress, medicine, oaths, hunting, ritual slaughter, business transactions, marriage, divorce, inheritance, criminal punishments, the question of apostasy, and the etiquette of judges.

The translation not only renders the Arabic original into a modern idiom with grace and clarity, but its rich annotations also draw extensively on both parallel Arabic sources and the intensive research of recent years. It is further complemented by a bibliography for additional reading, a glossary of technical terms, appendices, and detailed indices. It will be an invaluable addition to all libraries and institutions dealing with Islamic studies, religious, and socio-legal studies. Scholars and students of law, religion, applied jurisprudence, and philosophy will all find this comprehensive volume a useful reference. It will be especially important for lawyers and judges as this remains the greatest authority on Isma'ili law and is the source of supreme authority in legal matters pertaining to the community."


1. Book of business transactions and rules concerning them (Kitab Al Buyu'Wa 'L-Ahkam Fiha). 2. The book of oaths and vows (Kitab Al Ayman Wa 'L-Nudhur). 3. The book of food (Kitab Al-At'Ima). 4. Book of drinks (Kitab Al-Ashriba). 5. Book of medicine (Kitab Al-Tibb). 6. Book of dress and perfume (Kitab Al-Libas Wa 'L-Tib). 7. Book of hunting (Kitab Al-Sayd). 8. Book of ritual slaughter (Kitab Al-Dhaba'Ih). 9. Book of sacrificial animals and the offerings made for newborn children (Kitab Al-Dahaya Wa 'L' 'Aqa' Iq).  10. Book of marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah). 11. Book of divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq). 12. Book of the emancipation of slaves (Kitab Al-Itq). 13. Book of Benefactions (Kitab Al-'Ataya). 14. Book of wills (Kitab Al-Wasaya). 15. Book of inheritance (Kitab Al-Fara' Id). 16. Book of blood money (Kitab Al-Diyat). 17. Book of divinely ordained punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud). 18. Book of thieves and robbers (Kitab Al-Surraq Wa 'L Muharibin). 19. Book of Apostasy and innovation (Kitab Al-Ridda Wa 'L-Bida 'A). 20. Book of usurpation and transgression (Kitab Al-Ghasb Wa 'L-Ta'Addi). 21. Book of commodate loans and deposits (Kitab Al-'Ariya Wa 'L-Wadi'A).  22. Book of finds, the foundling and the runaway slave (Kitab Al-Luqta Wa 'L-Laqit Wa 'L-Abiq). 23. Book of partition and construction (Kitab Al-Qisma Wa 'L-Bunyan). 24. Book of evidence (Kitab Al-Shahada). 25. Book of claims and clear proofs (Kitab Al-Da Wa Wa 'L-Bayyinat). 26. Book of the etiquette of Qadis (Kitab Adab Al-Qudat). Glossary, Appendices, General index

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