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Very early manuscript treatise about the fatwa

Kitab Al-Waqi'at fi'l-Fatawi [Kitab Al-Waghi'at Fi Al-Fatwi].
[Levant, ca. 1290]. Small 4to in 6s (17 x 14) cm. Arabic manuscript, 15 to 17 lines to the page, written in clear cursive ta'liq script on brown Middle Eastern paper. With occasional red rubrication.
Contemporary (?) blind-tooled calf, mostly covered with later calf leaving only the contemporary back cover exposed. 19th century European paper endpapers. With a loose leaf of 18th century European paper with Arabic manuscript writing on one side. 374 ll.
€ 35,000
Lengthy and well preserved 13th century Arabic manuscript law book on the fatwa, produced in the Levant by an anonymous author. A fatwa is legal advice given by a Muslim authority on request, with the purpose of resolving a religious or legal problem that has arisen among members of Islam. The person who gives the legal information is familiar with Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and is referred to as a mufti; the one who asks for legal advice is called Mustaftī. According to the famed 13th-century Islamic jurist Ibn al-Qaayyim al-Jawziya mufti were "Gods agents". The present anonymous work seems to treat the jurisprudence of the fatwa itself, rather than declaring fatwa on something. The title means "The book of (kitab) analisys or understanding (al-waaqi) of the fatwa (fi'l-Fatawi)". As described in the book itself this is the first volume of an unknown total.
Fatwas were produced by jurists from the 10th century onward and in the 13th century, when the present copy was made, several important Islamic lawbooks were compiled in India at the Sultanate of Delhi.
Provenance: 1963 Elghanyan to Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962); sold at Sotheby's, 18 April 1983 (Kevorkian collection), lot 25; private collector.
Binding a bit short. Shelf marks on the front pastedown. Later annotations on the 19th century front endpapers. First leaf repaired. A few minor holes throughout, paper browned, 2 quires in the middle detached. Otherwise in remarkably good condition for its age. Schoenberg Database: 29775.
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Autographs, documents & manuscripts  >  Manuscripts & Documents
History, law & philosophy  >  Law & Politics
Middle east & islamic world  >  Islamic Art & Culture