Schools of Muhammadan Law on War with the Infidels


This short book, published in Paris in 1829, consists primarily of an extract from a work on the Islamic enjoinment to jihad by Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Quduri (972 or 973‒1037), a Hanafi scholar of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), referred to here as Kodouri. The main text is introduced by Charles Solvet, a lawyer and member of the Oriental Society of Paris, who translated it into French from a Latin version translated from the original Arabic by Ernst Friedrich Karl Rosenmüller, a German professor of Oriental Languages at the Leipzig Academy. Rosenmüller’s translation was published in 1825. Solvet writes: “I thought this extract deserved to be better known because of its wealth of information on Islamic history and politics. Indeed, it does not only address war, but also peace, as well as war against Muslims. I thought it was important to make it known to a larger audience, not just those who study Oriental literature.” In 65 numbered paragraphs, the text explains the details of what Muslims are to do when invading infidel lands, how war should be waged, against whom, and under what circumstances. Dr. Rosenmüller added another extract to his book, from a work by the Persian Sufi poet and scholar Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hamadani (1314‒85), which Solvet also translated and included here. The original Arabic name of the work, Dhakhīrat al-mulūk, appears in French as Trésor des rois (Treasure of kings). Al-Hamadani’s book, a mirror for princes, was widely famous in Europe and the Middle East.

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Dondey-Dupre and Son, Paris


Title in Original Language

Instituts du droit mahométan sur la guerre avec les infidèles, ou Extraits du livre d'Abou-l-Hosain-Ahmed-el-Kodouri, sur le droit, et de celui de Seiid-Ali-el Hamadani

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40 pages ; 22 centimeters

Last updated: June 16, 2016