Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qur'an to the Mongols$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Gleave and István Kristó-Nagy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694235

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694235.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021



Chapter 12 Bandits
Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qur'an to the Mongols

Michael Cooperson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter deals primarily with two kinds of stories about bandits (in Arabic, anyone of whom it is said kāna yaqṭa‘u al-ṭarīq). In stories of the first kind, bandits explain why they rob travellers. In stories of the second kind, biographers claim that various ʿAbbāsid figures spent some of their lives as highwaymen. I will argue that the two kinds of reports may productively be read together. Admittedly, this material is too limited in quantity and too self-consciously literary to permit a reliable characterisation of rural unrest during the early ʿAbbāsid period. Even so, a close reading of these reports will allow us to offer some tentative proposals about how banditry was imagined and, more generally, how the various genres of Classical Arabic narrative responded to the legal, ethical and moral questions raised by highway robbery.

Keywords:   Bandits, ʿAbbāsid, Highwaymen, kāna yaqṭa‘u al-ṭarīq, Classical Arabic Narrative

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.