Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(287 words)

(a.), literally, “someone who makes a thing legal, legaliser, legitimator”, the figure who, in classical Islamic law acts as something like a dummy or a “man of straw”, in order to authenticate or make permissible some legal process otherwise of doubtful legality or in fact prohibited. It thus forms part of the mechanisms and procedures subsumed under ḥiyal , legal devices, often used for evading the spirit of the law whilst technically satisfying its letter [see ḥīla ].

Thus the muḥallil is found in gambling, racing for stakes, e.g. with horses or pigeons, and archery con…

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Bosworth, C.E., “Muḥallil”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 06 April 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_8834>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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