Lot 6
  • 6

Ibn Rushd al-Jadd, Al-Bayan wa'l-Tahsil (commentary based on the Mustakhraja, a treatise on Islamic law and jurisprudence by Muhammad al-‘Utbi al-Qurtubi), Part Twelve, Spain,12th/13th century AD

12,000 - 16,000 GBP
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  • bound book with manuscript
  • 30.3 by 23cm.
Arabic manuscript on thick cream paper, 170 leaves plus a single flyleaf, 29 lines to the page written in Maghribi script in brown ink, marginal glosses in a slightly smaller hand throughout, later red leather binding with stamped medallions and cornerpieces 

Catalogue Note

Al-Bayan wa'l-Tahsil is perhaps one of the most renowned works on Maliki fiqh (jurisprudence) and is considered the most important commentary based on the Mustakhraja min al-Asmi'a, otherwise known as the 'Utbiyya of Muhammad al-'Utbi al-Qurtubi - the famous Cordoban faqih (jurist). The Mustakhraja is an anthology of juridical questions compiled by al-'Utbi through sama' (listening) sessions by interpreters of Maliki doctrine. The author of the present manuscript is Ibn Rushd al-Jadd (d.520 AH/1136 AD), the grandfather of Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroes (d.595 AH/1198 AD). He was a legal scholar and qadi (chief judge) as well as Imam of the Great Mosque of Cordoba. The present manuscript represents one of the numerous fatawi (legal opinions) from the end of the Almoravid dynasty in Spain during a time of political strife and pressure from the advancing armies of the Almohads from Berber North Africa.

This copy of Al-Bayan wa'l-Tahsil is executed on the highest quality Spanish burnished cream paper, displaying a widely-spaced, Maghribi script in brown ink. This is typical of other luxurious scientific manuscripts of the period (see a copy of Manzumat Ibn Sina, a medical treatise on medicine, dated 1198-99 AD and also from Spain, sold in these rooms 14 April 2010, lot 39). Manuscripts such as this would have been produced for affluent and distinguished members of the intelligentsia and society. On the final page it is noted that the manuscript was copied from the original copy by Ibn Rushd al-Jadd, completed not long after the author's death, and possibly during the lifetime of Ibn Rushd (Averroes).

The present manuscript contains two books dealing with wills (wasaya) and the freeing of slaves (‘ataq).