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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Muslim Elites in the Early Islamic Jazīra: The Qāḍīs of Ḥarrān, al-Raqqa, and al-Mawṣil

From the book Volume 1 Transregional and Regional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire

  • Hannah-Lena Hagemann


This paper investigates local and regional networks of power in the province of al-Jazīra during the Umayyad and early ʿAbbāsid period. Using a prosopographical approach, it focuses on the office of the qāḍī as an intersection of imperial and provincial authority, using the cities of Ḥarrān, al-Raqqa, and al- Mawṣil as case studies. A comparative analysis of the individuals appointed to the qāḍīship reveals some commonalities in their backgrounds, particularly regarding ḥadīth transmission, but also clear differences in the appointment patterns identified for each city. For example, the office of the qāḍī of Ḥarrān seems to have been a predominantly local affair, while Raqqan qāḍīs frequently held transregional elite status. The judges of al-Mawṣil, on the other hand, feature local, regional, and transregional representatives. This variance is likely due to political and administrative factors and emphasizes the complex dynamics and hierarchies of governance in the early Islamic period.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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