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Memories of AbsenceHow Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco$
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Aomar Boum

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786997

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786997.001.0001

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Outside the Mellah

Outside the Mellah

Market, Law, and Muslim-Jewish Encounters

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Outside the Mellah
Source:
Memories of Absence
Author(s):

Aomar Boum

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804786997.003.0003

Using private collections of legal Islamic documents and ethnographic data, this chapter discusses the economic and social relations between Jews and Muslims. In southern Morocco, Jews were able to move among many legal systems, giving them the flexibility to transcend the restrictions of the Islamic law (shari‘a), tribal customs (urf), and social structures. As weak and protected merchants and peddlers, Jews benefited from the rights that customary and Islamic laws gave them outside the mellah. Accordingly, they were able to mix their strategic efforts through what the author terms legal syncretism.

Keywords:   mellah, urf, shari‘a, Islamic law, water, property, market, legal syncretism, dhimmi

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