Collective liability in Islam: The 'Āqila and blood-money payments

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


"This book is about an institution of the Shari'a, called 'āqila. The 'āqila is a group with joint liability for the payment of compensation for homicide or bodily injury caused by any of the group's members. The book examines how this originally pre-Islamic institution was reshaped under Islam within three contexts: religious, administrative and social. In the religious context, harmonizing the law with religion demanded that the 'āqila be adjusted to suit Islamic tenets, especially individual responsibility. The required adjustments are analyzed, as well as their influence on Islamic law of homicide. In the administrative context, the Umayyad practice transformed the 'āqila from a tribal institution into an administrative division, bringing blood money payment under the state jurisdiction. Ḥanafī jurists then incorporated the Umayyad practice into the Shari'a. In the social context, the book examines how Persian Ḥanafī jurists from eastern Iran shaped the composition of the 'āqila in accordance with the social structure in their land. The 'āqila also serves as a case study for legal change. The book explores how the modifications introduced in this institution were endowed with the required legal authority, and demonstrates the elastic nature of the Shari'a, that absorbed these modifications"--
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY, USA
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages167
ISBN (Electronic)9781108654241
ISBN (Print)9781108498647, 9781108724289
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge studies in Islamic civilization
PublisherCambridge University Press

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Blood money (Islamic law)
  • Diyat (Islamic law)
  • Dīyah (Islamic law)
  • Juristic persons (Islamic law)
  • Liability (Islamic law)
  • Shakhṣīyah al-iʻtibārīyah (Islamic law)


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