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After Hardship Cometh Ease

The Jews as Backdrop for Muslim Moderation

Islam prides itself on being “the religion of facility”. Muslim sources are unanimous in assigning to Judaism the role of counterweight in this regard, pronouncing it a system of “burdens and shackles” by which the Jews “oppressed their souls”. This neat polarity both fueled, and was the product of, a fascinating reciprocal process: at the same time that sharī'a was being created in the negative image of halakha, halakha was being retroactively re-imagined by Muslim jurists and exegetes as the antipode of sharī'a . Although scholarly studies of the intertexture of Islam and Judaism abound, few have touched upon the Muslim tradition’s perception and utilization of Jewish law, and none has done so in depth. This book aims to fill that lacuna and further our understanding of the age-old embrace and grapple between the two faiths.

Author Information

Ze'ev Maghen, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.


"The reader has a certain awe in the presence of a lief's work, a magnum opus."Kenneth Cragg in: The Muslims World Book Review 4/2007
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