Transgressing the terms of covenant in the islamic jurisprudence of international relations: The cases of socotra and cyprus in comparison

Anke Iman Bouzenita*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The breaching of treaties between Muslims and Non-Muslims and their legal repercussions is an important topic in the Islamic jurisprudence of international relations. This article compares two cases of breach of covenant in Islamic history: Cyprus (1st-2nd century AH) and Socotra (3rd century AH), with regard to the events, their depiction in historical sources, and scholars' legal evaluations of them. These cases reflect different regional backgrounds regarding maritime engagement: the Rightly Guided Caliphate and early Umayyad State were reluctant to initiate engagement in the Mediterranean, whereas Oman was a seafaring nation active in the Indian Ocean even before Islamic times. The case of Cyprus took place concurrently with the formation of legal schools (madhahib) and numerous outstanding Sunni scholars were asked for their verdicts; the case of Socotra was evaluated from an Ibadi viewpoint. Neither case seems to have been discussed in the fiqh compendia of the respective other school(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-486
Number of pages28
JournalIntellectual Discourse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aman
  • Covenant
  • Cyprus
  • Dhimmah
  • Socotra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy

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