Origins of the ghiyār

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Luke Yarbrough



This study examines a recent claim that it was the Umayyad caliph ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (d. 101/720) who instituted the requirement that non-Muslims living under Muslim rule adopt distinctive dress and behavior (ghiyār). After showing that the evidence for the origins of the ghiyār is neither as unanimous nor as consistent as was suggested, it is argued that the ghiyār cannot be securely attributed to ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz and that the problem of its origins therefore remains in question.

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