This Online Companion to the book, al-Muwaṭṭaʾ – Recension of Yaḥyā b. Yaḥyā (d. 234/848) by Mālik b. Anas (translated and edited by Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette) (Program in Islamic Law/Harvard University Press, 2019), enables readers to explore the Muwaṭṭaʾ in greater detail, along with its place in Islamic legal history and the history of the medieval scholars who helped preserve it and transmit it to later generations. First and foremost, this Online Companion serves as a resource for introducing interested readers to the translation of this core work of Islamic law's founding period by including an online introduction to the print translation of the Royal Moroccan Edition of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, excerpts of the the English translation itself, and supplemental materials that will provide further biographical and historical background to the people, events, and ideas that inform the legal texts. In time, this Companion will also feature a searchable online version of the Arabic text of the Royal Moroccan Edition (drawn from multiple manuscripts and edited by a team of Moroccan scholars).
The Online Companion is dynamic. It provides space to feature post-publication information and ongoing analysis and conversation by both the author-editors and the scholarly community on the translation, its explanatory notes, and surrounding context--all of which will make for a richer, living text. In addition to excerpts from the print publication, the Online Companion accompanies an online scholarly Roundtable on the Muwaṭṭaʾ (featured on the Islamic Law Blog) on the reception and role of this text over time with essays from ten scholars of Islamic studies. The Online Roundtable and Online Companion together also include:
Maps & Timelines. Basic geographical nodes on historical maps provide readers with relevant background on the landscape of the Hijaz and the early Islamic polities that formed the geographical context in which the Muwaṭṭaʾ was elaborated. Visitors can, for example, trace the journey of the hajj, which Mālik discusses at length in the text, and see the various polities to which the book in which he discussed it traveled.
Biographies of Major Figures. Significant biographical information on the most important transmitters and commentators of the Muwaṭṭaʾ stands alongside sketches of the authors and editors of related works and recent commentaries now available on the Islamic Law Blog.
A History of the Text. The author-editors and commentators discuss the various recensions of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, and the history of its transmission, reception, and—sometimes—debate and controversy in the Islamic world and beyond.
With the print book publication of Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette’s translation of the al-Muwaṭṭaʾ – Recension of Yaḥyā in Fall 2019, we hosted a joint-online and live symposium to create opportunities for the community of scholars of law and history to discuss the text and its translation, and devise new insights emerging from the Muwaṭṭaʾ and related themes in the development of early Islamic law. With this text and these conversations, we begin an ongoing conversation and continuing updates about a text that is key to the growing insights and central debates about Islamic law's founding period and the activities from ensuing empires and eras that draw on it.
With thanks to Rami Koujah (Princeton University), Daniel Jacobs (Harvard University), and Ari Schriber (Harvard University) for the completion of the Online Companion to the book, al-Muwaṭṭaʾ – Recension of Yaḥyā b. Yaḥyā (d. 234/848).
Al-Muwaṭṭaʾ: English translation of the Royal Moroccan Edition
Al-Muwaṭṭaʾ: Original Arabic text of the Royal Moroccan Edition. Searchable version.
The Program in Islamic Law gratefully acknowledges the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs for permissions to make the full Arabic text available online.