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Référence :

Sakrani, Raja, The Ḏhimmī as the Other of Multiple Convivencias in al-Andalus. Protection, Tolerance and Domination in Islamic Law, in: Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History Rg 26 (2018) 95-138, online:



The Ḏhimmī as the Other of Multiple Convivencias in al-Andalus

The figure of ḏhimmī is certainly the most emblematic juristic figure in the history of Islamic law. Strangely, it also has the juristic status of being the most ambiguous and complex, as it lacks a coherent, genuine legal shape and doctrine. Quranic references to ḏhimma or ahl al-kitāb (“People of the Book”) complicate the landscape. However, the ḏhimmī’s juristic corpus has played a major role in organising the cohabitation, domination or exclusion of non-Muslims in conquered territories for centuries.

Convivencia in al-Andalus represents a unique experience in the history of Islamic law and Europe, the results of which are still felt today. But what is to be learned from the former inclusion/exclusion of ḏhimmī? This issue, linked to understanding otherness, is fundamental to studying Convivencia and grasping its mechanisms. Monotheistic Others in Islam (Jews and Christians) can thus teach us about Islam and guide us as we do.

Iberian Convivencia, seen as a narcissistic injury and repressed memory to this day, is a historical and cultural chance to reflect upon and research the Self and the Other. If Muslims in Europe today consider themselves, often unconsciously, as being a kind of ḏhimmī, it is because Islamic discourse on the Self and the Other is profoundly inscribed into this juristic and historical heritage. Understanding facets of Convivencia/ (de-)Convivencia from an Arab-Islamic view requires examining ḏhimmī in all states: protected, tolerated, dominated or persecuted. Focusing on ḏhimmī’s legal status is methodologically fruitful, as pitfalls in research based solely on Islamic legal texts are avoided. It further does justice to the often obscured human dimension of Muslims and ḏhimmī living together.

Titre original : “The Ḏhimmī as the Other of Multiple Convivencias in al-Andalus”


La figure du ḏhimmī (ndlr : sujet non musulman dans un État musulman) est certainement la figure juridique la plus emblématique de l’histoire du droit islamique. Étrangement, elle a aussi le statut juridique le plus ambigu et le plus complexe, car elle n’a pas de forme et de doctrine juridique cohérente et authentique. Les références coraniques aux ḏhimma ou ahl al-kitāb (gens du Livre) compliquent le paysage. Cependant, le corpus juridique du ḏhimmī a joué un rôle majeur dans l’organisation de la cohabitation, de la domination ou de l’exclusion des non-musulmans dans les territoires conquis depuis des siècles.

La Convivencia en al-Andalus représente une expérience unique dans l’histoire du droit islamique et de l’Europe, dont les résultats se font encore sentir aujourd’hui. Mais que faut-il retenir de l’ancienne inclusion / exclusion des ḏhimmī ? Cette question, liée à la compréhension de “l’altérité”, est fondamentale pour étudier Convivencia et en saisir les mécanismes. Les Autres monothéistes de l’Islam (juifs et chrétiens) peuvent ainsi nous apprendre sur l’islam et nous guider dans notre démarche.

La Convivencia ibérique, perçue comme une blessure narcissique et une mémoire refoulée jusqu’à aujourd’hui, est une chance historique et culturelle de réflexion et de recherche sur le Soi et l’Autre. Si les musulmans d’Europe se considèrent aujourd’hui, souvent inconsciemment, comme étant une sorte de ḏhimmī, c’est parce que le discours islamique sur le Soi et l’Autre est profondément inscrit dans cet héritage juridique et historique. Comprendre les facettes de la Convivencia / (dé)Convivencia d’un point de vue arabo-islamique nécessite d’examiner les ḏhimmī dans tous les états : protégés, tolérés, dominés ou persécutés. Se concentrer sur le statut juridique du ḏhimmī est méthodologiquement fructueux, car les pièges de la recherche basée uniquement sur les textes juridiques islamiques sont évités. Elle rend en outre justice à la dimension humaine souvent occultée de la cohabitation entre musulmans et ḏhimmī.


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