Law, Society, and Culture in the Maghrib, 1300–1500

Publication Year



David S. Powers, Ph.D. 1979

David Powers analyzes the application of Islamic law through six cases which took place during the period 1300 to 1500 in the Maghrib. The source for these disputes are fatwas issued by the muftis, which Powers uses to situate each case in its historical context and to interpret the principles of law. He demonstrates that, contrary to popular stereotypes, muftis were dedicated to reasoned argument. The book represents a ground-breaking approach to a complex subject area for students and scholars.

  • Demonstrates how Islamic law was applied in practice in the Maghrib in the period 1300–1500
  • Qualifies common misperceptions of the workings of Islamic law, qadis and muftis
  • Appeal to students and scholars of Islamic law and those interested in traditional Islamic societies


1. Kadijustiz or Qadi-justice? A paternity dispute from fourteenth-century Morocco
2. From Almohadism to Malikism: the case of al-Haskuri, the Mocking Jurist, c. 712–16/1312–16
3. A riparian dispute in the Middle Atlas mountains, c. 683–824/1285–1421
4. Conflicting conceptions of property in Fez, 741–826/1340–1423
5. Preserving the Prophet's honor: Sharifism, Sufism and Malikism in Tlemcen, 843/1439
6. On modes of judicial reasoning: two fatwas on Tawlij, c. 880/1475
Conclusion: the Mufti.

Series Title
Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge and New York
Cloth: 9780521816915; paper: 9780521120593