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The Mediaeval Islamic Underworld: The Banu Sasan in Arabic Society and Literature (Volume 1) Hardcover – August, 1997

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Product Details

  • Series: Mediaeval Islamic Underworld (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Pub (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004043926
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004043923
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,393,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By William Garrison Jr. VINE VOICE on August 6, 2016
Format: Hardcover
“The Mediaeval Islamic Underworld”, by Clifford E. Bosworth, 2 vols. (2 “Parts”); Brill Publ., 1976.

These joint volumes analyze the “underworld” in Islamic early life. By “underworld” the author is more interested in the itinerant vagabonds, rogues, beggars, charlatans, thieves, crooks, burglars, con men, quack doctors, tricksters, herbalists, crooked jewelers, mystics, thugs, miracle-workers, housebreakers, murderers, and overall other tawdry persons. The author reveals how many of these low-lives created gangs to further their misdeeds. Rather than these books being merely an outright besmirchment of the Islamic faith, the author also notes similar petty crimes discussed in Christian and Jewish literature – but much less so.

The author noted: “The information about beggars and rogues in the first two centuries of Islam is rather sparse” (p. 17), but he nonetheless strives with what literature he could find.

The author reviews how mosque and government officials tried to expel miscreants from public areas, and the author reveals the extensive, various Arabic words for such miscreants (which is the field that I am interested in).

Regarding pornography, the author wrote: “The Maliki law school is frequently referred to in the pornography of the period in this connection, because it was believed by some that Malik allowed ‘al-wat fi duburiha’ as a tolerated practice (rukhsa) on the basis of Quran, ii, 223…..” P. 67).

Part 1 “Contents”: ISBN 90-04-04392-6
(Chpt. I) Vagabonds and beggars in early Islam.
(II) Abu Dulaf al-Khazraji, his life and works.
(III) Abu Dulaf’s “Qasida sasaniyya”: its form and content.
(IV) The Banu Sasan in the period after Abu Dulaf.
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