Abū Yūsuf's (d. 182/798) Record of Caliph ʿUmar I's (d. 23/644) Statement Regarding Legal Standing of Non-Muslims

Abū Yūsuf (d. 182/798) records a statement attributed to the Caliph ʿUmar I (d. 23/644) on the legal standing of non-Muslims which considers "all of unbelief" to be a single community in contradistinction to the community of Muslim believers and concludes that “neither do we inherit from them, nor they from us.” In this respect, non-Muslim and Muslim communities operate under separate legal statuses. Abū Yūsuf also relates in the same text the noteworthy opinion of Ibrāhīm al-Nakhaʿī (d. 96/715), an Iraqi jurist and forebearer of the Hanafī school, regarding non-Muslim testimony.  Nakhaʿī opined that the verse of Q. 65:2 functioned to proscribe non-Muslim testimony and could be understood to abrogate the allowance of non-Muslim testimony in verse 5:106. Ibrāhīm’s opinion differed from that of Companion Abū Mūsā al-Ashʿarī (d. between 42/662 and 53/673), among others, who had relied on the Quranic verse 5:106 to specifically permit non-Muslims testimony to record the last will of a Muslim traveler who dies away from home. Ḥammād b. Salama (d. 167/784) distinguished all non-Muslims as one community discrete from Muslims in his argument that non-Muslims were permitted to testify against any other non-Muslims, regardless of confessional lines. Ahmed El Shamsy notes the legal premise of non-Muslims' and Muslims' separate legal status in Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts.

This source is part of the Online Companion to the book Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (ILSP/HUP 2017)—a collection of sources and other material used in and related to the book. 

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