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The Dialectic of Power: Sunni-Shi'i Debates in Tenth-Century North Africa Author(s): Sumaiya Hamdani Source: Studia Islamica, No. 90 (2000), pp. 5-21 Published by: Maisonneuve & Larose Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1596161 . Accessed: 30/09/2013 09:43
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Studia 2000 Islamica,

The Dialectic of Power : SunniShi'i Debates in Tenth-Century NorthAfrica ()


"Theinhabitants more in rooted oftheEast are, ingeneral, firmly thecraft instruction in all other and,indeed, ofscientific crafts (thanMaghribis)" (2) Even as late as thefourteenth the famousNorth African Ibn century, Khaldun inhisMuqaddimah that thedynamic intellectual tradition in argued in theeastern Islamicworld Islamhadbestsurvived orMashriq. The intelhe was referring lectualtradition to was theone that had developed in the of Islam,and thatcomprised boththereliMashriqin theearlycenturies theneed to standardize from gious and secularsciencesthathad resulted doctrine and (with non-Muslims) duringIslamic expansion,encounter of empire.The instruction in and dissemination of these consolidation a method involved of instruction that featured thedia"sciences" generally whichlaterbecameformalized in a variedliterature lectic,or disputation, andinstitutions suchas themadrasa(3).By thetenth the century certainly, dialectic or munazara was considered an already established Islamic fairly tradition: as a particular method in theological andjuridical andas disputes, theliterary that such and other featured genre disputes (4). At thesametimeanother form ofthemunazara had evolvedwhich centeredon thepropagation of a politicalcause and ideology. This typeof constituted theactivity oftheFatimid da'wa. The da'wa was an munazara established to propagate theclaimsto universal of organization leadership
is basedon a paper attheMiddleEast Studies Conference inPhoeAssociation (1) Thisarticle presented 1994 nix,AZ, November TheMuqaddimah, trans. F. Rosenthal, Princeton, 1967,p. 341. (2) Ibn Khaldun, in (3) See J.Petersen,"Madrasa", ofLearning EI2, and G. Makdisi,TheRise of Colleges:Institutions Islamand theWest, 1981. Edinburgh, A Study IslamicDisputation "Munazara", (4) See E. Wagner, Theory: oftheDeveEI2, andL. B. Miller, Ph. D. Thesis, theTenth theFourteenth Centuries, Princeton, lopment ofDialecticin Islamfrom Through 1984.

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SUMAIYA HAMDANI

theFatimid lineof Alid imams, andtheparticular doctrine and philosophy that and which constituted thoseclaimsinvolved Isma'iliShi'i thought (5). Giventhat themovement was opposedto the'Abbasidcaliphate, and inilackedan army, ithadtorely on persuasion rather than confrontation, tially andin thistheda'is, or individual becamemasterful, exploipropagandists, andinstitutions of debateand disputation in Islamto furtingthetradition ther theFatimid to Isma'iliShi'ism.The result on the cause,andconversion levelwas theestablishment of theFatimid in North Africa political empire andEgypt between andotherwise a profound on 296-567/909-1171, impact thedoctrinal and philosophical Islam. of Fatimid da'is were acklegacy withinfluencing theclassical nowledged leadingintellectual lights during in thecourts, debateand disputation periodin Islamthrough mosquesand of manyof theintellectual centers of Islam,and also of permarketplaces to their cause the disenfranchised and suading marginalin Islamic oftheFatimid da'i evenbecame, on a morenegative (6). The figure society an inspiration in part for thearchetypal in medietrickster note, popularized val Islamic suchas theMaqamatofal-Hariri literature andal-Hamadhani (7). thebestknown da'i was Abu Abdallahal-Shi'i, Perhaps earlyFatimid whosecampaign theBerbers ofthe inthelate3rd/9t among Maghrib century led to theestablishment of thefirst Fatimid state. Abu 'Abdallahwas most in creating successful a base for theFatimids theKutama Berbers of among theLesserKabyliain present-day whomhe converted to Isma'ili Algeria, into an army, and amongwhomhe established an Shi'ism, marshaled Isma'ilidar al-hijra, or sanctuary. Fromthisdar al-hijra, Abu 'Abdallah theterritory extended wontotheFatimid causeacrossmuch Africa ofNorth with thecapture in296/909.Soon after ofQayrawan thefirst torule Fatimid North Africa and was proclaimed joinedhimthere, caliph/imam, initiating Fatimid rule.
werenotthefirst to havesucha political A century anda halfearlier, the (5) The Fatimids organization. 'Abbasidshad also cometo powerthrough a revolution M. Shaban, initiated by a da'wa. See forexample, TheAbbasid Revolution BlackBanners theEast (Jerusalem, 1970) andM. Sharon, 1983). (Cambridge, from The difference however between the'Abbasid and Fatimid the'Abbasid da'wa was supda'was was that after cametopower, whereas theFatimid da'wa remained as a state On theFatipressed they party apparatus. midda'wa see A. Hamdani, "Evolution oftheOrganisational Structure oftheFatimi StuDa'wah",Arabian dies 3 (1976), pp. 85-114;P. Walker, "Fatimid Institutions ofLearning", Journal Research oftheAmerican inEgypt Center and Their Traditions (vol. 34, 1997),pp. 179-200;andH. Halm,TheFatimids ofLearning TheIsma'ilis(Cambridge, London,1997) andF. Daftary, 1990) generally. (I.B. Tauris, oftheda'wa was thereason for thesuccessoftheFatimids, itsmessage (6) Whiletheactivities remains, in thewords ofone authority themostobscure ofFatimid Isma'ilism" The (see F. Daftary, "among aspects AssassinLegends, to establish a rivalcaliphate to da'wa sought London,1994,p. 20). BecausetheFatimid the'Abbasids, itsactivities andmembership wereclandestine. As a result, andbecauseofitsinitial success on theperipheries ofthe'Abbasidempire in Egypt and Yaman,andto someextent (in Khurasan, Bahrayn, ithas beenassumed that theda'wa preached a revolutionary Atthesametime, much Syria), message. early Isma'ililiterature was authored and al-Sijistani, who were by da'is suchas Abu Hatimal-Razi,al-Nasafi, activein Iranfrom thelate3"/9'century in theelaboration of Isma'ilitheology andphilosophy. Hencethe confusion thequestion oftheda'wa's actualcurriculum. surrounding TheArtofBadi' az-Zaman al-Hamadhani as (7) See C. Brockelmann, "Maqamat", EI2, andJ.Monroe, 1983. Beirut, PicaresqueNarrative,

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THEDIALECTIC OFPOWER anda formidable Yet and although thefirst FatitheKutama constituted midarmy, someareasconquered in thenameoftheFatimids werenotentitotheFatimid cause.Manyin Qayrawan for were relysympathetic example hostile. To the center ofMaliki"orthodoxy", theFatifuqaha' ofthis openly midriseto powerrepresented a worrying changeof ruleand,moreimpora change ofrolefor them. Whereas theMaliki'ulama' had tantly, previously dominated theintellectual scenein Qayrawan, theestablishment of a Shi'i stateclearlythreatened to putthembeyondthepale of tolerable dissent. as an Imam, theFatimid hadintheory ruler also replaced them as Moreover, thesourceof religious and legal instruction and guidance. Thusthey resisted. Accounts of thisresistance are few however, and in any case widely in their assessment of the encounter between Malikism andFatimid varying Isma'ilism arethebrief references to debates (8). On theIsma'ili side there in Qadi albetween theearlyFatimid da'is and their Malikicounterparts Nu'man'shistory oftheestablishment oftheFatimid in North state Africa, theIftitah al-da'wa wa ibtida'al-dawla(9). Moreimportantly is an perhaps in account of one of these debates Kitab the eyewitness al-munazarat oftheda'i Abu 'Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. al-Aswad Ja'far b. alwas himself Shi'i from before thearrival of Haytham ("0). Ibn al-Haytham Abu 'Abdallah in Ifriqiya, of non-Isma'ili and his although persuasion, is a memoir thatdeals largely withhis conversion Kitab to al-munazarat thathe had withbothAbu 'Abdallah Isma'ili Shi'ismand thediscussions and his brother Abu'l-'Abbas. As such it is an invaluablesource for andinformation on Shi'ismin North Africa theFatimid evidence predating was quite diverse whilesmallinpresence (Ibnal-Haytham ("), which period a Zaydifamily and was taught came from who wereShi'is of by scholars as well as on themessageand appeal of theda'wa to variousstripes)*,
'Abdallah Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (8) See forexamplethe Kitab al-jami' of Abi Muhammad notan account ofresistance notes ed. A.M. Turki (d. 386/996), (Beirut, 1990).Although perse, as theeditor a renewed thepresence Africa in his introduction to thiswork, of Isma'iliShi'ismin North intergenerated infiqhworks liketheKitabal-jami'. ofMalikism estin anddefense b. Mansurb. Ahmad b. Hayyunal-Tamimi (9) Al-Qadi Abu Hanifa al-Nu'manb. Muhammad and author oftheearly Fatimid was perhaps themostimportant intellectual (d. 364/974) figure period.His thelegal,historical, totheesoterical. works from andbiographical See, Poonawala, Biobibliography ranged and author's Ph.D. thesis FromDa'wa to Dawla: Qadi al(Malibu,1977) pp.48-68, ofIsma'iliLiterature Nu'man's Zahiri Construction (Princeton, 1995), pp. 51-81 especially.I use F. of FatimidLegitimacy here. Dachraoui's edition (Tunis,1975) oftheIftitah whoidentified anditsauthor in thelater theKitabalto Paul Walker, thiswork source, (10) According in theHamdanifamily and Isma'ili Institute theKitabal-munazara collections, azhar,from manuscripts with encounters Abu'Abdallahal-Shi'iandhisbrother the dealswith Abu'l'Abbas during Ibnal-Haytham's itwas actually around ed. andtrans. eventhough written 334/945 (Advent oftheFatimids, year296-97/909, W. Madelung andP. Walker, London, 2000,pp. 47-48). Africa before of theFatimids was limited to a fewand thecoming (11) Evidenceof Shi'ismin North "SomeNoteson Non-Isma'ili in sources oftheperiod.See W. Madelung, references indirect Shi'isminthe StudiaIslamica(No. 44, 1976),pp. 87-97. Maghrib", andeducation, see Kitabal-Munazarat Ibn al-Haytham's affiliation, (inAdvent, family history religious 57-62in Arabictext). pp. 51-54,109-114,

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SUMAIYA HAMDANI

classesin North Africa andafter theFatimid thescholarly conquest. during also to Fatimid-Maliki the Kitab al-munazarat Withrespect interactions, an interesting of one of thedebates theFatimid contains account between Maliki. da'is anda prominent in Isma'ili encounters The references and accountsof Fatimid-Maliki in Maliki a fardifferent thanthat sourcesneedlessto say present picture of in sources. from their favorable treatment the Fatimid side itsinterApart of a triumphant actionswiththeother, as records theIsma'ili movement, overthe sources do notdelvedeepintothewaysandmeansoftheir triumph thesubstance ofMalikiopposition. Malikisnoras they relate in particular outforthis On theMalikisidehowever, one account stands a It is in work of North Afrireason. 4th/10th very century tabaqat provided can provenance, of Muhammad theKitab tabaqat 'ulama' Ifriqiya, b. althe work of alHarith b. Asad al-Khushani (d. 371/981) (12). Fortunately,

that theFatimid Khushani evidenceof thetopicsand strategies preserves of if notconversion da'wa employed toward overtheacceptance winning was author it because the himself Malikifuqaha', although paradoxically remained hostile to Fatimid rule. His aim was to represent da'wa activity and Fatimid state policyas systematically oppressive.In doingso, he proon theFatimid and methods, and individesinformation da'wa's content and divisionin ranksamongthe 'ulama' of Qayrawan cates theanxiety which thesemethods engendered. of thiswork, Muhammad b. Cheneb'sedition theextant seccombines tions fromthe tabaqat workof Abu'l-'ArabMuhammad b. Ahmadb. Tamim al-Tamimi with itscontinuation (d. 333/945), (hence byal-Khushani both works bearthesametitle, theKitabtabaqat'ulama' Ifriqiya). Whereas a tabaqatwork hispredecessor Abu'l-'Arab al-Tamimi on Maliki compiled also concerned himself withthenon-Maliki 'ulama' 'ulama', al-Khushani in 311/923, of theFatimid Africa after theestablishment and state, shortly he was employed in various landedin Cordobawhere eventually capacities R. Brunschvig al-Hakam. that al-Khushani has suggested by theUmayyad have written this work for this and he purposethat Umayyad prince, might on the identities and activities of non-Maliki fullyincludedinformation of Malikismin his displacement "ulama',as a recordof the unfortunate homeland (14).
in his Classes des Savantsde l'Ifrigiya, Dar albenCheneband combined (12) Editedby Mohammed Kitabal-Lubnani, n.d. Beirut, thefirst three volumes. contribution Al-Khushani's (13) Abu'l-'Arabal-Tamimi's tabaqatcomprises entries of contemporaries, and sections on non-Malikis, constitutes volumes 4, 5, and 6, and includes speofIfriqiyan cialists in debates, andTunis. 'ulama',andjudgesofQayrawan persecutions EI2. A further reason for on nonal-Khushani's inclusion ofinformation "al-Khushani", (14) Ch. Pellat, be that itwas after he himself hadleft for Andalusia that Maliki'ulama' might therebel'Umarb. Qayrawan in favor oftheFatimids. this Hafsun haddeclared The threat state haveled alposedto theUmayyad might

of Ifriqiya and especially Qayrawan (13). Al-Khushani himself left North

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THE DIALECTIC OF POWER

Al-Khushani's information on non-Maliki'ulama' in Ifriqiya ranges entries on Hanafi, Shafi'ias wellas Isma'ili 'ulama',to a record ofthe from Thereis suffered persecution by some 'ulama' at thehandsoftheFatimids. in addition a lengthy of foursessionsand disputations thattook transcript and the brother of Abu between the Maliki of fuqaha' Qayrawan, place also a da'i (5). 'Abdallahal-Shi'i,Abu'l-'Abbas, in North in the Abu'l-'Abbas(Muhammad b. Ahmad)had arrived Africa inaround When of'Abdallah(or'Ubaydallah) al-Mahdi 292/905. entourage in Sijilmasain thefarMaghrib, Abu'l-'Abbaswas al-Mahdiwas detained to where he was the andforced eaptured dispatched Qayrawan by Aghlabids there incaptivity until hisbrother Abu'Abdallahdefeated itsAghtoremain in 296/909. labidrulers to Qadi al-Nu'man, Abu'l-'Abbaswas According thesenior ofthetwo,andmuch revered Abu'Abdallah. Albyhisbrother Nu'manreports, inRaqqada "...after Abu'Abdallah hadestablished himself [outside Qayhisbrother, Muhammad b. Ahmad, came tohim, and Abu'l-'Abbas rawan], Muhammad was older than andsharper of Abu'Abdallah him, rejoiced. inthe and mind and more well versed sciences than therefore wasconsihim, Abu 'Abdallah used toshow him and when dered more eminent... deference, hewould stand andremain until hewaspermithisbrother entered standing arrived the ofQayrated tosit... When Abu'l-'Abbas [inRaqqada], shuyukh togreet him andcongratulated Abu'Abdallah onhisarriwancame tohim ofQayrawan and hedebated with them on[the the fuqaha' gathered val...and on that which the differed the issue imama and ahl [from Sunnis] of] al-bayt them insuch andthey with tolegalopinions. He impressed matters, respect ofhismind." wondered atthe sharpness (6). inhiscapacity as themore tothis Abu'l-'Abbas, According passagethen, toengage the'ulama' ofQayrawan in ofthetwobrothers, undertook learned with while his brother Abu 'Abdallah busied himself scholarly disputation, in preparation for arrival. matters al-Mahdi's andadministrative military
ofhisformer homeland. Al-Khushani's as itwere, abouttheShi'i rulers Khushani toproduce negative press, of tarajim and tabaqat is utilized authors on theFatimids and their information by subsequent supporters wa taqrib al-masalik li ma'rifat a'lam inhisTartib al-madarik inparticular, works, Qadi 'Iyad (d. 544/1149), Malik. madhhab is also inthelater ofthese debates 1983)ofAbuBakr (Beirut, al-nufus (15) A condensed Riyad transcript here takeplacebetvol.2, pp.75-96,although b. Muhammad, ca. 5'h/11 al-Maliki ('Abdallah. hcentury), they Kitabal-munazarat). weentheMalikisandbothAbu 'Abdallahand Abu'l 'Abbas (as in Ibn al-Haytham's transcontains See also M. Ya'lawi's Al-adabbi Ifriqiya 1986,pp. 40-60) which (Beirut, fi'l-'ahdal-Fatmni andal-Khushani's from ofthedebates Abu'l-'Arab al-Tamimi Tabaqat,as wellas theversion presercripts are also briefly discussed ved in Abu Bakral-Maliki'sRiyad.The debates of by HeinzHalmin his Empire en Ifri"Le Malikisme et l'echec des Fatimides theMahdi(Leiden,1996),pp. 240-242,andby H. Monks, Vol. I, pp. 197-220(Paris,1961). a Levi-Provencal, qiya",Etudesd'orientalisme dedids (16) Iftitah, pp. 269-270.

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SUMAIYA HAMDANI

thegatherings between Abu'l-'Abbasandthe'ulama' ofQayHowever, rawanalludedto herewerenotsuchfelicitous occasionsaccording to alKhushani. Needlesstosay,hisrecord that the encounters were acrisuggests and notas informal as portrayed it monious, Rather, by Qadi al-Nu'man. was Abu'l-'Abbaswhosought outthe'ulama' ofQayrawan, andhe did so as an official of thenew state. of thedebates Al-Khushani's bettranscript ween Abu'l-'Abbasand therepresentative of theMalikis,Abu 'Uthman Sa'id b. Muhammad al-Haddad(d. 302/915),are obviously intended to if read againstthe provethe worstof Isma'ili Shi'ism(7). Nevertheless, thistranscript does demonstrate whatsort ofissueswerethefocusof grain, ofpolemical contention andwhat sort weredeployed sides strategies byboth in their or interactions confrontations with each other. As suchal-Khushani's information the references to thesegatherings thatare supplements inIsma'ilisources found suchas Qadi al-Nu'man's Iftitah al-da'wa,andIbn Kitabal-muna;ara. al-Haytham's Al-Khushani's ofthese is under debates thebiographical transcript entry forAbu 'Uthman, whoal-Khushani characterizes as a man"well-versed in of and (kalam), (orjadal), theology polemics judicialmethodology disputation(munazara)", andwas known "for hisnoblesessions andpraiseworthy in defense ofIslamandtheSunna"("8).Al-Khushani adds, positions "Hedebated Abu'l-'Abbas the brother ofAbu al'Abdallah al-Makhdum, a debate between orrather onewhich wassusShi'ial-San'ani...in equals, tained wasworthy ofconsideration and who didn't hesitate byhewho pride, a grave when orretreat in thefaceofthethreat of situation, confronting or fear the assaults of fate" power, (19). The first sessionbetween Abu'Uthman and Abu'l-'Abbasoccurswhen Abu'Uthman is summoned to theformer Aghlabid palacein Raqqada,now in Fatimid to speakwith Abu'l-'Abbas(20). The debatebegins with control, theissueofqiyasoranalogical whoseuse Abu'Uthman reasoning, supports a proof with text from theQuran(5:95) in which God permits thesubstitutionof one thing foranother, and in whichtheauthority forestablishing whatis to be substituted is granted to "thoseofjusticeamongyou"(dhu'lan example of"Alib. Abi Talibas theintended 'adl) (21). Someone provides
is probably basedon an account ofthesamedebates written (17) Al-Khushani's transcript byAbu'Uthmanhimself. toIbnal-Haytham in hisKitabal-munazarat 67-70inArabic (Advent, According pp. 122-123, Abu'Uthman wrote an account ofthese debates with both Abu'AbdallahandAbu'l-'Abbaswhich he text). later himself to issuea refutation. Ibn al-Haytham changed, leading ofthedebates, Thisal-Haddad was a teacher ofwell(18) Tabaqat,pp. 198-212. (transcript pp. 199-210.) anda student ofIbnSahnun, thesonofthewell-known author oftheMudawwana. Malikis, respected (19) Tabaqat,pp. 199. (20) Ibid.,pp. 199-202. killnotgamewhilein thestate ofpilgrimage. If youdo so intentionally, the (21) "Oh youwhobelieve, is an offering to theKa'ba, of a domestic animalequivalent to theone killed, or as compensation brought adjudged bytwojustmenfrom you..." among

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THE DIALECTIC OF POWER

reference to "thoseofjustice",and Abu'l-'Abbastries to exploit thisope"'Ali is themost thetradition, ningbyrelating among preferable you".Abu with a tradition 'Uthman counters about 'Umarb. al-Khattab's in superiority of'Ali's heroism indefeatheassembled religion, yetAbu'l'Abbas reminds theJews attheBattle ofKhaybar (22).Abu'l 'Abbas also addstheaccuting theMalikisdespise'Ali b. Abi Talib (23).Abu 'Uthman sationthat denies to utter thehonorific be upon this,yethe refuses "mayGod's blessings theword that means for God's him", salat inthis arguing expression praying inthis andonecanonlyexhort theProphet. blessings, peopletopray wayfor Whenthenasked by Abu'l-'Abbaswhether or nothe considers 'Ali his theProphet mawla(master) after thetradition that haddeclared 'Ali master him at GhadirKhumm over the Muslimsafter (24), again Abu 'Uthman which turns resorts toa philological on theambiguity oftheword, argument of itsuse to denotemaster and client, as well as friend. He bothin terms concludesby sayingthat"'Ali is my mawla in the sense thatI am his mawla"(25). A lastattempt a proof of 'Ali's superiority by Abu'l-'Abbasto produce in which'Ali is of theProphet thetradition overother (after companions in Biblicaltradition), likened endsthe to Aaron,who was Moses' deputy then sessionon an inconclusive note.Abu 'Uthman tolerant treatrequests which Abu'l-'Abbas after the ment ofthenon-Isma'ili to 'ulama', responds "when there is a group them that believed what tradition ofShu'ayb, among that havepatience to them, anda group doesn'tbelieve, youhavedelivered God rulesamong until you,forHe is thebestofjudges"(26). Abu 'Uthman defends to thisrecord of course, successfully According theother theposition oftheahl al-Sunna(ifnotoutrightly side). disproving of'Ali toposit theultimate Abu'l-'Abbas'effort authority legalandpolitical whileon theSunni and commonly relieson favorable traditions, accepted is defended with tradiside theauthority of thecompanions countervailing in "Ali b. Abi theProphet as well as reasonwhena tradition tionsfrom to be dismissed. Abu'l-'Abbas Talib's favoris too established Although the thread of hisargument Abu narrative hereappears 'Uthman, stymied by is preand'Ali's judgement as follows: couldbe constructed qiyasis faulty,
toMuslim when AbuBakr tradition, (22) Tabaqat,p. 200. See L.V. Vaglieri, "Khaybar", EI2. According ofKhaybar, theProphet oftheenemy attheBattle calledon 'Ali, "a break theresistance and'Umarcouldn't and whomGod and His Prophet love".'Ali carried thedaybykilling manwholovesGod andhis Prophet, fortheMuslims. a fortress dooras a shieldandbridge andwielding theJewish chieftain, to thetradition of'Ali b. Abi Talib andearly does notincorporate on,theschooltended (23) Malikifiqh theaccusa"Malikb. Anas",EI2. No doubt in anti-'Alid suchas Basra.See J.Schacht, milieux here, spread theMalikiside. andthus to provoke to recallthistendency tionis intended at Ghadir to Shi'i tradition, theProphet named'Ali b. Abi Talib his successor Khumm, (24) According consider Ali likewise after him. that considered himmaster whosoever whenhe proclaimed (mawla),should "Ghadir See L.V. Vaglieri, Khumm", EI2. (25) Tabaqat,p. 201. (26) Ibid,p. 202.

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HAMDANI SUMAIYA

judgment)(27). Ibn al-Haythamthengoes on to mentionthatAbu 'Uthman exposed Abu 'Uthman's stupidity brutally (28).

to all others', that'Ali was to be ferable and thustheProphet indicated him.Abu'l-'Abbas considered themawlaoftheMuslims andhishujjaafter from while thusargues theShi'i position a basically traditionist standpoint, torationalist theahl al-Sunna resort andevenin this pro-Maliki arguments, theanti-'Alid sentiment account exhibit ofwhich areaccused. they a similar Ibn al-Haytham's ofwhat Kitabal-munagara version preserves thedebatetakesplace between tookplace. In Ibn al-Haytham's account, Abu 'Abdallah(notAbu'l 'Abbas) andAbu 'Uthman, andIbn al-Haytham theShi'i position that himself defends rather He reports he was conclusively. a debatebetween Abu 'Abdallahand Abu 'Uthmanwhen present during Abu Abdallah recalled theProphet's that whosoever considered declaration himmawla(master) 'Ali likewise him.Abu'Abdallah should consider after 'Ali yourmawla? thenturned to Abu 'Uthmanand said,do you consider that Abu 'Uthman 'Ali hismawlajustas he was replied yes,he considered themawlaof'Ali. Ibn al-Haytham "So then objectssaying: youwouldalso theProphet is your mawlain thesameway as youarehismawla? say that Andthat than himself (awla) to theProphet youaredearer justas he is dearerto youthan to Qur'an6:33: "The Prophet (Thisis a reference yourself? is dearer to thebelievers than which to tradition is a themselves", according versetheProphet recited before 'Ali mawla)Andyou say this he declared even though bothterms refer to theProphet, and even though exclusively 'Umar(MayGod curse himself 'Ali as hismawla(mashim) acknowledged Khumm? ter)at Ghadir Abu Uthman at thispointadmits defeat himself from the by excusing andappealing debate to Abu 'Abdallahthat he notharm thepeopleofQayrawan.Abu 'Abdallahassureshimsaying there is no compulsion in faith, andyetturns toIbnal-Haytham and call them debate them saying, youmay andprove as for to them thetruth, thetradition ofShu'ayb me,I willfollow doesn't,awaitGod's (Whenone groupamongyou believes,and another hadwritten a falseaccount ofthese he refuted), debates andrecounts (which in which another incident Ibn al-Haytham and somecompanions hadrather

Ibn al-Haytham's version of theevents thedebates Clearly surrounding between theFatimids andtheMalikisis in part informed byhis owndesire to situate himself andto present himself as crucial to thewincenter-stage, of the It is all after Ibn who Abu'Uthensnares ning argument. al-Haytham manwith hisownlogicinthedebate, andIbnal-Haytham whocritiques Abu 'Uthman'saccount of thedebates, and Ibn al-Haytham who torturers this and self-promotion occasions.Nevertheless, aside, haplessMalikion other inthis itis againclearthat theShi'i strategy on theuse oftradebate focuses
67-70in Arabictext). (27) Kitabal-munazarat (Advent, pp. 122-124, (28) Ibid.

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THE DIALECTIC OF POWER

ditions and Quranicprooftexts to be associated commonly acknowledged withthe eventsof GhadirKhummto disprove the Maliki position with to the succession of b. Abi Talib. 'Ali regard The secondsession inal-Khushani's with an usulist Tabaqatbegins quesof sunna,which is posedto boththeMalikisandthe tion;or thedefinition Whenthequestion is directed Hanafispresent. at Abu 'Uthman, he argues on thereliability thattheestablishing of acceptable traditions turns of the transmitters tothemethodology ofjarh wa ta'dil).Abu'l-'Abbas (according notesthat often suchtransmitters transmit traditions, contradictory suggesHe citesa versefrom theneedfora transcendant theQur'an authority. ting in support of thisregarding a successor book (28:49; "Say bring a Book from God which is a better Guidethan either ofthem, that I mayfollowit. Do this ifyouaretruthful"), he intends as a metaphor for theguidance which himliterally, oftheimam. Abu'Uthman, choosestounderstand reacts stronforHe wanted whatyou are saying... to glyand says,"God has forbidden could come witha book thatwas a better denythatthey guide...He said weretogather toproduce andJinn (17:88) 'If thewholeofmankind together couldnotproduce thelikethereof'." the thelikeofthis Qur'an,they Fearing of Abu 'Uthman'soutburst, his companions him to repercussions hurry theprevious Abu'lleave andunlike sessionendson a frantic note. one,this use oftheQuranic toassert 'Abbas's metaphorical verse, againinan attempt of'Ali b. Abi Talib,is thus theprimacy as leading to blasphemy, portrayed andelicits an indignant literalist rebuttal bytheMalikiside(29). The record of thethird sessionbeginswhenAbu 'Uthman enters during a discussion betweenAbu'l-'Abbasand a Hanafi,in whichthe Shi'i is or nottheteacher mustby definition be more askingtheHanafiwhether The and the discussion than the student. Hanafi knowledgeable agrees, He says,"I understood when Abu'Uthman realizes itsdestination. continues to undermine Abu Bakral-Siddiq, whathe was getting at forhe was trying 'Ali about thegrandAbuBakrhadquestioned bybringing up thecase when in inheritance. So I roseandsaid,listen towhat I amobliged mother's share ...I said,theProphet said'manyarethetransmitters offiqh to sayaboutthis, atfiqh,and manyare thetransmitters offiqh who are not to thosebetter theteacher is notalwaysmore than thus knowledgeable themselvesfaqihs'"; thestudent (30). in anycase, God invests somepeoplewiththe Abu 'Uthman adds that and in theQur'an. natural to both the universal particular ability apprehend on thissubject in theQur'an,and thus He launches intoa longmonologue totheissueofAbuBakr Abu'l-'Abbasfrom prevents returning successfully around thedefiniand his inadequacies. Abu'Uthman'sdiscourse revolves whether or not can be understood as tionof muhsinat and (in 5:6-7), they
(29) Tabaqat,pp. 202-203. (30) Ibid.,pp. 203-204.

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married women. from theQur'anareinvochaste and/or Various texts proof Abu'l-'Abbas to thepoint where cries evidence, ked,as wellas philological "You old man!You arebeating around thebush!", outin sheer exasperation, and then, "it is as though that you are saying you are themostknowledon man earth!" geable (31). himthathe is not,Abu'l-'AbbasrecallsMoses' By way of reminding of with whenMoses recognizes thesuperior encounter al-Khidr, knowledge in whichal-Khidr's al-Khidr a seriesof events actions appearnot through andcosmowhatthey seem. (Thisepisodeloomslargein Shi'i mythology as it of does the the Abu prophets). logy,underscoring specialknowledge was that there al-Khidr 'Uthmandismisses theexample, arguing nothing evenamong Moses that increased Moses' religion words, (orin other taught all areequallyknowledgeable) theprophets, (32). he asks fora Abu'l-'Abbasthencounters witha theological question; in definition of God. A longback and forth takesplace overthisquestion, whichAbu 'UthmanfieldsAbu'l-'Abbas's questions aboutthe doctrinal sectsand religions. thedisGod, of numerous position, Finally, regarding how it was at idolatory. Abu'l-'Abbasasks Abu 'Uthman cussionarrives for to worship inanimate ifthey weretruly the theQuraysh possible objects, Abu 'Uthman electamongMuslimsas Sunnisassert. by arguing responds us on theDay of that God willenableourskins to speakand testify against can becomeanithat theinanimate (thusit is notinconceivable Judgement that thisis to be understood mate).WhenAbu'l-'Abbassuggests metaphodenounces his use of ta'wil.He readsAbu'lrically, againAbu 'Uthman 'Abbas' comment as an assault on theomnipotence ofGod, andcitesother versesfrom theQur'an (36:65, 7:143), indicating theliteralness of God's abilities to animate with objectsandendowthem speech(33). In thismanner theMaliki seemsto have yetagain thwarted Abu'l-'Abbasand distracted himfrom theattempt to discussand establish theauthority of 'Ali b. Abi

Talib(34).

inthefirst Unlike thesecondandthird endin sessions ordebates session, rebuttal heated themost ofthe byAbu'Uthman. Clearly problematic aspect of theQuranictextthatAbu'ldebateforhimis theinterpretive reading intotheir 'Abbas interjects discussion. forhim, howeEquallyproblematic of Hanafis, whoareportrayed as susceptible to thetacver,is thepresence ticsandarguments oftheShi'is.The transcript ofboth in fact, these debates whichsabotactic on thepartof Abu 'Uthman, beginswitha diversionary ofconsensus theShi'is andHanafis. tagesthepossibility among
(31) Ibid.,pp. 204-205. (32) Ibid.,p. 206. andtheir andtheir feet will handswillspeak, mouths, (33) Qur'an36:65 , "ThatDay We shallseal their bearwitness to all that did." Qur'an7:143, "WhenHis lordmanifested to themountain, He Himself they madeitas to dust." (34) Tabaqat,pp. 206-207.

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The record of thefourth and last sessionthattookplace between Abu 'Uthman and Abu'l-'Abbasbeginswitha curious statement. Abu 'Uthman he [Abu'l-'Abbas] session between us was oneinwhich I felt and says,"this I wereclosestin positions to eachother, as ifin hisdebate with he was me, The debateitself is abouttheissueof someone from a different madhhab." andinferior) (35). fadilandmafdul (superior WhenAbu'l-'Abbasquestions Abu 'Uthman abouthis madhhab's posior not the inferior tion on whether can ever supplant the superior, he with the verse "Their said to 'God them, (2:247), [Samuel] Prophet responds Talut[Saul] as kingoveryou.' They[the has appointed people]said,'How can he exercise overus whenwe are moredeserving thanhe to authority ... He said, 'God has chosenhim above you,and has exerciseauthority in himknowledge and power"'.Abu 'Uthman that thisis increased argues that the this case can sometimes (in Saul), (in mafdul proof supplant thefadil with theargument that Saul was thiscase Samuel).Abu'l-'Abbascounters and idhn(permission) overSamuelwiththeknowledge of onlyappointed thisargument andthen to himself. Abu'Uthman resorts theprophet rejects of the Companions which the Sunna,and theexperience examplesfrom of of thisverse;viz., theProphet's appointment upholdhis understanding of an army, in whichcapacity he led the 'Amr b. al-'As to thecommand rank suchas andheldsuperior to worthier adjudicated, companions prayer, ofZaydb. Haritha overan army Abu Bakrand'Umar,andtheappointment of'Ali andtherefore Ja'far b. Abi Talib,thebrother closerin kinincluding ofthese historiAtthis totheimplications Abu'l-'Abbas, point objecting can agree cal examples, thecommunity says,"we don'tholdas youdo that an imam, for theimam andputoveritself has tobe selected byGod andHis he obtains no respect. Abu'Uthman with otherwise the Prophet", responds that conventional Sunniargument neither God norHis Prophet indiclearly andthen of thison usulal-fiqh cateda successor, outlines theramifications ofijma' andijtihad). makesone lastattempt, Abu'l-'Abbas (orthenecessity and Abu 'Uthmanends withsome rather remarks abouthim, disparaging of thesessions between Abu'l-'Abbasand to a close thetranscript bringing
ship to the Prophet(36).

Abu'Uthman (37).

It is onlyin thislastdebatethat theissueof imamacomesup explicitly, whichit appearsbothparties and in thecontext of superior and inferior,

(35) Ibid.,p. 208. was theProphet's son,he was notconsidered (36) Ibid.,p. 208-209. Although Zaydb. Haritha adoptive hiskinaccording to Quranic andIslamictradition. ThusJa'far, as distant relative andrelative revelation by hisbrother to theProphet than hisadoptive sonZayd,andthere'Ali) is closerinkinship marriage (through the fore fadilin thiscase. (37) Tabaqat,p. 210.

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to'Ali b. Abi TalibandtheCompanions, respectively. implicitly agreerefer The disagreement ofcourselies in whether ornottheinferior (i.e. theComcanhaveauthority overthesuperior (i.e. 'Ali b. Abi Talib),as Saul panions) forthelegitimate did overSamuel.Abu 'Uthman of infeauthority argues from theProas supported riors, by Quran2:247 and historical examples is notpresented as offering a counAbu'l-'Abbas phet'stime. Significantly, he which it on the incident of Ghadir most did, probably terargument, basing of Shi'i historical evidence thesuccesthecornerstone Khumm, regarding sionof'Ali b. Abi Talib. and apartfrom aboutthe other issues,whatis interesting Ultimately, of is not of Shi'ism,but these debates, transcript onlytheir representation of divisions also theindications within theranks of theSunnis. As we saw from Ibn al-Haytham's of one of thesedebates, it is probably account safe to assumethat muchof theShi'i contribution to thedebateswas leftout. ofopinion on anddespite moments ofconvergence occasional Furthermore, is presented texts andProphetic theShi'i position traditions, Quranic proof as relying on theuse of ta'wil,although of a very dangerously ultimately sort(as forexamplein the case of theverseregarding Saul's unesoteric itis thosecases whenAbu'l-'Abbasis forced as King).In fact appointment of a Quranic an interpretative verseintothedisto interject understanding Abu'Uthman end of the debate. cussion that the precipitates Buton examining posedbyAbu'l-'Abbasandsomeofhisresquestions itis clearthat his agendawas to pursue a fairly lineof conservative ponses, of Thatis, thedebates werestructured around issuesandquestions inquiry. andpropositions toestablish thesuperiority that wereintended usulal-fiqh, of 'Ali b. Abi Talib's knowledge and qualifications as supported by eviand as indicated dencefrom monotheist traditions, Prophetic history, byceris tainprooftextsfrom the Qur'an. In short, Abu'l-'Abbas' disputation in a traditionist aside moreesoteric discourse, grounded leaving arguments 'Ali b. Abi Talib's roleas successor to theProphet that theda'wa regarding in exchanges no doubt with other audiences. employed theda'wa's encounter withsuchan orthodox audience then, Evidently andinclined ittoward an emphasis influenced itsprogram, on thezahiri(or ofimama. for ofimama, Thatis,theargument thenecessity exoteric) aspect ofMuslims orleadership ofthecommunity of'Ali bytheHusaynid progeny in upholding b. AbiTalib,comesincreasingly to stress theroleoftheimams thanabrogating theShari'a,andin repro(and evencontributing to) rather thesocialandmoral climate oftheearlycommunity basedon adheducing andthe renceto theProphet's Hencetheimportance oftraditions example. on usulal-fiqh. Thisstrategy was obviously tothedegree effective emphasis inthis that often todivert andsabothedebate, case,Abu'Uthman attempts The imam'sauthoritative to rolewithregard tageAbu'l-'Abbas'position. oftheShari'acontinues theexplication in Fatimid to be developed writing, andespecially in theworks of Qadi al-Nu'man, to as theFatimids continue 16

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THE DIALECTIC OF POWER

distance themselves from themessianic andantinomian content oftheearly accomodation with theSunni context da'wa, andmovetoward revolutionary in which Isma'ililiterature subsequently develops (38). Whiletheencounter with Sunnism as wellas exigencies ofconsolidating da'wa's in to affect the this inal-Khufashion, already power begin program shani'srepresentation, its position remained obviously stigmatized by the use of ta'wil. Froma Malikiperspective, ta'wil leads to an unacceptable oresoteric ofGod,andthecircumvention andultimate batini understanding fortheShari'a.Yet,theissueof theuse of ta'wilwas notsimply disregard and legal grounds.Its use in alto theMalikison theological threatening Khushani's of thisdebatecoincides withagreement record between Shi'is andHanafis, becauseitwas believed that therationalist tendencies precisely andMu'tazilitheology oftheHanafis ofesoteric thetype closelyresembled in Shi'ismobtained themechanism of ta'wil. Thusthe knowledge through divisions exacerbated within theranksof the da'wa's activities important ahl al-Sunnain Qayrawan. of Hanafisin thesedebatesreflects an important in The presence shift had earlyon Although policyon thepartof thelateAghlabids. Qayrawan a strong Malikiaffiliation, itwas also theseatof a certain amount acquired The followed the ofdoctrinal of their 'Abbasid diversity. Aghlabids policies overlordsin religiousmatters, and consequently religiousofficialsof andHanafi Mu'tazilipersuasion affiliation wouldbe appointed from time to time.Nevertheless, withthe resurgence of Sunnismafter the 'Abbasid Malikismbecame the madhhabof the Aghlabidstate, untilthe mihna, adventof Abu 'Abdallah al-Shi'i, and the growingthreat of Isma'ili has pointed As Talbi, in his L'EmiratAghlabide, theshort out,during of Abu'l-'Abbas'AbdallahII b. Ibrahim an effort (289/902-290/903) reign theappealofShi'ism, was madetocounteract ofHanafism bythepromotion In fact, andMu'tazilitheology in hisIftitah onceagain(40). Qadi al-Nu'man that thispenultimate followed theHanafimadhhab himreports Aghlabid andprofessed ofthecreated himthe thedoctrine earned self, Qur'an,which ofthemasses(41). hostility a qadi Thisinclination toward Hanafism also led 'AbdallahII to appoint of Mu'tazili Muhammad b. Aswad and to al-Sadani, al-qudat persuasion,
" FiqhFatimide et (38) Andvice versa.See againtheKitabal-jami',pp. 29-51,andalso R. Brunschvig, de l'Ifriqiya", Vol. I, pp. 63-70 (Paris,1976),and H. R. Idris, histoire La Berberie EtudesIslamologiques, sous les Zirides, X -XIFsicles (Paris,1962). The moderation and accomodation in bothIsma'ili orientale refer tohowever, intheFatimid andas reflected that dates from later inworks fiqhandSunnifiqh they period, and al-Qayrawani's suchas Qadi al-Nu'man's Kitabal-jami'. The process that leads to Da'a'im al-Islam, theseworks at thebeginning ofFatimid ruledescribed here. beginsin theencounter E12. (39) See G. MarcaisandJ.Schacht, "Aghlabids", (40) L'imiratAghlabide, Paris,1966,pp. 540-541. (41) Ibid.,p. 540.

Shi'ism (39).

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Malikiopposiof theQur'anas official doctrine. thecreatedness proclaim tion was strong andmost contributed tohisassassination byhisson probably in defeat and ended whose was III, short-lived, Ziyadat-Allah reign equally in exileat thehandsofAbu'Abdallahal-Shi'i(42). anddeath 'AbdallahII's policyof promoting Hanafisin an attempt to undermine in other backfired Shi'ism'sappealin his domains, waysas well.Not only a foohimthewrath oftheMalikiopposition, diditearn butitinfact created for itself. Al-Khushani's entries of 'ulama' who thold Shi'ismin Qayrawan of the converted to Isma'ili Shi'ismbeforeand during theestablishment Fatimid attests to thefactthat theda'wa had greatest successamong state, theHanafis ofQayrawan andsurrounding that notonlydid areas,indicating to Shi'ism, itsuccumbed to it. Hanafism as a viablealternative notfunction to Isma'iliShi'ism, sixconverts In al-Khushani's account ofconversions elevenentries were wereorginally Maliki,one Shafi'i,and theremaining FromamongtheMalikis,for adherents of theIraqi or Hanafimadhhab. names a certainAbu Bakr al-Qamudi,who was example,al-Khushani forability known at disputation and frequented Abu 'Uthman.He convera dispute withAbu'l-'Abbas,during of speaking, after ted,in a manner whichhe was able to defeat him.Abu'l-'Abbasresponded alby accusing for theahl al-bayt, dislike andso al-Qamudi Qamudiofexpressing apologifor hislife.Consequently, al-Khushani was adds,al-Qamudi zed,outoffear notas respected as histeacher (43). of Abu 'Uthman, Another student 'Ali b. Mansural-Saffar, who had excelled atjurisprudence as wellas disputation, is accusedofconverting out of greedand ambition he satisfied of the themadhhab (which by adopting 'Abd al-Malikb. Muhammad al-Dabbi (al-Saffar's rulingFatimids)(44). maternal known as Ibnal-Birdawn), whoalso possessed skillat discousin, was overcome his love of and converted from theShafi'i putation, by money madhhab to gainfrom for which contracts, hoping drawing up permission was required from the Fatimidauthorities who Ibrahim, (45). His brother remained was known for hisarrogance andmetdeath Maliki, bycrucifixion theqadiship for oftheFatimid disturbances al-Marwadhi, during instigating Another is on an 'alimbythenameof Ibn al-Sabbagh, known for entry his eloquence.He oftenmanagedto exercisethe Maliki community by ofthecommunity, andwas thus as contentheconsensus opposing regarded tious.He converted forreasons unknown to al-Khushani. an 'alim Lastly, who was a namedRabi' b. Sulayman b. Salim (known as Ibn al-Kahhala)
(42) Ibid.,pp. 542-43. (43) Tabaqat,p. 214. (44) Ibid.,p. 217. (45) Ibid.,p. 218. (46) Ibid.,p. 215.

in debates withHanafis (46).

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manand generous to al-Khushani, evenmodest and honorable, according was a disciple ofSahconverted from theMalikimadhhab (hisfather tually man(47). nun)to theIsma'ilione,outoflove fora young to al-Khushani, ofthefiveMalikisandone Shafi'i(from Thusaccording a prominent Malikifamily), one converted outoffear, twoforgain,one for andone after beendisreasons unknown (butpresumably negative), having noneofcourse for covered a homosexual; reasons todo with theviahaving of theda'wa's message.Moreover, thetwothat converted forgain, bility wererelated, andtheir conversion enabled them toamassfortunes as "notary The Maliki was Muhammad b. the of publics". remaining Hayyan, father who converted beforethe establishment of theFatimid Qadi al-Nu'man, and aboutwhomal-Khushani state, says: in Sus, a master by thenameof b. Hayyan, whowas in charge ofFriday Muhammad and whofreprayers, IbnSahnun, converted butpractised from (48).Also apparent quented taqiyya thisaccount is thefact that theMalikiswhoconverted for werethose known their skillsinjadal wa munazara, and thuswereencountered or specially targeted bytheda'wa. In contrast totheMalikis, theHanafis whoconverted didnotseemtoprofit from for al-Khushani's accounts. the substantially, judging Theyretained, mostpart, their as of cities like and Tripoli, positions qudat Barqa, Qayrain Qayrawan. to themazalim courts Forexample, the wan,or appointments Abu 'Ali converted from the qadis Ishaq b. Abu Minhal,and his brother Hanafimadhhab, on the arrival of theda'wa in Ifriqiya (thisprominent a Hanafi). included another whoremained brother, family Ishaqwas appointedqadi of Sicilyand then of Qayrawan, and in turn whileqadi of Qayrathe former wan, appointed Hanafis,Ja'farb. Ahmadb. Wahb to the andAhmad b. Bahrto themazalim andthen as qadi ofTripoli. A mazalim, Abu Muhammad b. Shahran, certain from whentheShi'is Sus, converted in Qayrawan, arrived andwas appointed ofqadi al-qudatal-Marsecretary andZurara b. Ahmad, whofrequented both MalikisandHanafis, and wadhi, intheuse ofra'yandinknowledge whodistinguished himself ofdifferences converted to Shi'ism,and was appointed theqadi of alamongmadhahib, to al-Khushani, he was among thefanatic Shi'is (49). Mahdiyya.According of Malikiconverts, Unlikein his treatment al-Khushani doesn'tventure he characterizes to attribute motives for conversion ofcourse here, although in knowledge someoftheconverts as lacking andskills. The fact that twice as manyconverts wereoriginally Hanafiis evidencethatthisgroupwas

to homosexuality seemsto suggest that thesociety of theMalikisis (47) Ibid.,pp. 224. This reference whereas that oftheIsma'ilisis ofcoursemorally lax orimmoral morally upright altogether. of al-Qadial-Nu'man's Reconsideration BulMadhhab>>, (48) Tabaqat,pp. 223. See I. Poonawala,<<A andAfrican 37 (1974),pp. 572-579. letin Studies, oftheSchoolofOriental (49) Tabaqat,pp. 224-226.

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mostsusceptible to Shi'i propaganda, as italso indicates thelargepresence of Hanafisin theformer administration. No doubttheir Aghlabid dependenceon theAghlabids left theHanafis ina particularily vulnerable position after their defeat Hanafis to assimida'wa, anddrovemany bytheFatimid intothenewShi'i order. lating A section on thosewho weretried/punished contains theentries of ten 'ulama' whowereputto trial byFatimid judgesand administrators. Eight ofthese menwereMalikisandweretried for generally disobeying legaland ritual setby theFatimids (on issuessuchas marriage guidelines contracts, theadhan,taxation, and so on), and forotherwise thegoverndispleasing ment or antagonizing Shi'is. One Shafi'iwas tried forreasons unrecorded, andone Shi'i,Abu'Ali b. AbuMinhal, for ofgoods(50). illegalconfiscation As for al-Khushani records thenamesofsix,beginjudgesofQayrawan, with who was to death alal-Marwadhi, ning eventually put bytheFatimid Mahdi.A Qamudi, the name of Muhammad b. succeeded him al-Mahfud, by in thisoffice until ThenIshaq b. Abu'l-Minhal 306/919. was namedbythe Fatimid Imamandhisgovernor ofQayrawan al(AbuSa'id Musa b. Ahmad and succeeded b. Imran alremoved, Dayf),was soon after byMuhammad Nafti whohadpreviously beenqadi ofTripoli. The latter diedafter oneyear in office andIshaq b. Abu'l-Minhal was reinstated, and served in thispositionintothereignof al-Qa'im. He died in office and was succeededby Ahmadb. Bahr,thelastqadi recorded who had also preby al-Khushani, beenqadi of Tripoli. The former viously Aghlabid capitalof Raqqada had thistime,been givento the KutamiAflahb. Harun, and al-Mahduring was Zurara b. who al-Khushani had characterized as Ahmad, diyya's judge a fanatic Shi'i (5). The prominence andrelatively favorable ofHanafis and former position Hanafismostprobably intensified Malikiopposition to theFatimid state, and added to divisions within Sunniranksin Qayrawan. The posture of to the state that Malikism and that assumed, pious antipathy traditionally endowed itwith an alternate locusofpower, was nowcompletely underminedgiven thenon-Sunni nature ofthenewregime. itself was Yet,theregime notnecessarily to thereligious of theahl al-Sunna, antagonistic autonomy as is indicated touse more methods togarner byitsattempts persuasive support. or notconversion Whether to Isma'ili Shi'ismwas actually or intended achievedon a largescale, theFatimid da'wa had at theveryleastto gain forthepoliticalauthority and legitimacy of theFatimid state acceptance itssubjects. To this from toengagetheopposition in a diaend,itattempted itself wouldin turn influence andshape logue,andthat dialogue profoundly
(50) Ibid.,227-233. (5 1) Ibid.,pp. 236-241.

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and thedevelopment of itsownmadhhab Fatimid politics, policies, (52).By hadresulted the dialectic themid-tenth byFatimid power century, generated as reflected in the andlatitudinarian in a more refined Isma'iliShi'i outlook ofHanafis anda fewMaliworks ofQadi al-Nu'man. Thusthe"conversion" oftheeffectiveevidence ofFatimid ruleis ultimately kisin theearly years andtrathediscursive universe nessoftheFatimid da'wa' as itapproaches and oftheda'wa's methods as wellas ofthediversity dition of"orthodoxy", and intellectual movement as both revolutionary project. message HAMDANI Sumaiya VA 22030 U.S.A.) Fairfax, (GeorgeMasonUniversity

theaccepto negotiate andstepsofFatimid notestheoccasionalfalsestarts attempts (52) W. Madelung twoard their inhis,"TheReligious Sunnipopulation tance ofIsma'iliShi'ismbytheir PolicyoftheFatimids : son artet son histoire, Fatimide in theMaghrib" SunniSubjects Paris,1999,p. 97-104). (L'1gypte

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