[Sample] al-Shāfiʿī on a partner’s manumitting his share of a jointly-owned slave

Muḥammad b. Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī, Ikhtilāf al-ʿIrāqiyyayn / ʿIrāqiyyīn, Bāb fi’l-Sharika wa’l-ʿItq wa Ghayrihi, §§754-773

754 – Al-Shāfiʿī, may God have mercy upon him, said: When the slave is [jointly-owned] between two men, and one of them manumits his portion of him; if he is solvent so that he can pay out half his value, then the slave is free—all of him—and the walā’-patronage belongs to the first manumitter, and there belongs no khiyār-option to the other master of the slave. But if he is insolvent, then the first half is free, the second half belongs to its owner, and there is no ransom-earning enjoined upon him. And this is written in the Book of Manumission, with its arguments; except we have found in this [present] book[1] additional material we had not heard of, with regard to [the preceding jurists’] arguments.[2]

754 –

قَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ‏‏‏ رحمه الله: وَإِذَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ بَيْنَ الرَّجُلَيْنِ فَأَعْتَقَ أَحَدُهُمَا نَصِيبَهُ مِنْهُ، فَإِنْ كَانَ مُوسِرًا بِأَنْ يُؤَدِّيَ نِصْفَ قِيمَتِهِ فَالْعَبْدُ حُرٌّ كُلُّهُ، وَالْوَلاَءُ لِلْمُعْتِقِ الأَوَّلِ وَلاَ خِيَارَ لِسَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ الآخَرِ. وَإِنْ كَانَ مُعْسِرًا فَالنِّصْفُ الأَوَّلُ حُرٌّ وَالنِّصْفُ الثَّانِي لِمَالِكِهِ وَلاَ سِعَايَةَ عَلَيْهِ. وَهَذَا مَكْتُوبٌ فِي كِتَابِ الْعِتْقِ بِحُجَجِهِ إلاَّ أَنَّا وَجَدْنَا فِي هَذَا الْكِتَابِ زِيَادَةَ حَرْفٍ لَمْ نَسْمَعْ بِهِ فِي حُجَجِهِمْ.

755 – There was, of what they argue in this book, that their proponent said: How is “a single entity is partly free and partly owned” not just like “the wife is not partly divorced and partly not divorced?”

755 –

كَانَ مِمَّا احْتَجُّوا بِهِ فِي هَذَا الْكِتَابِ أَنْ قَالَ قَائِلُهُمْ: كَيْفَ تَكُونُ نَفْسٌ وَاحِدَةٌ بَعْضُهَا حُرٌّ وَبَعْضُهَا مَمْلُوكٌ لاَ يَكُونُ، كَمَا لاَ تَكُونُ الْمَرْأَةُ بَعْضُهَا طَالِقٍ وَبَعْضُهَا غَيْرُ طَالِقٍ؟

756 – And if he claims that the slave in whom [both] slavery and freedom exist is a correlational inference from the wife; it is said to him: Is a man allowed to marry part of a woman?

756 –

فَإِنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّ الْعَبْدَ يَكُونُ فِيهِ الرِّقُّ وَالْحُرِّيَّةُ قِيَاسًا عَلَى الْمَرْأَةِ. قِيلَ لَهُ‏:‏ أَيَجُوزُ لِلرَّجُلِ أَنْ يَنْكِحَ بَعْضَ امْرَأَةٍ‏؟‏

757 – And if he says: No. She is either married—all of her—or not married.

757 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ: لاَ. لاَ تَكُونُ إلاَّ مَنْكُوحَةً كُلَّهَا أَوْ غَيْرَ مَنْكُوحَةٍ.

758 – It is said to him: And is it permitted that part of a slave be purchased?

758 –

قِيلَ لَهُ‏:‏ أَفَيَجُوزُ أَنْ يُشْتَرَى بَعْضُ عَبْدٍ‏؟‏

759 – And if he says: Yes.

759 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

760 – It is said to him: So where is the slave in relation to the woman?

760 –

قِيلَ لَهُ‏:‏ فَأَيْنَ الْعَبْدُ مِنَ الْمَرْأَةِ‏؟‏

761 – And it is said to him: Is [a man] allowed to contract kitāba-ransom with his wife for a divorce, which is held back until she fully pays the kitāba-ransom, or defaults?[3]

761 –

وَقِيلَ لَهُ‏:‏ أَيَجُوزُ لَهُ أَنْ يُكَاتِبَ الْمَرْأَةَ عَلَى الطَّلاَقِ وَيَكُونَ مَمْنُوعًا حَتَّى تُؤَدِّيَ الْكِتَابَةَ أَوْ تَعْجَزَ‏؟‏

762 – And if he says: No.

762 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ‏:‏ لاَ.

763 – It is said: And is this permitted him regarding the slave?

763 –

قِيلَ‏:‏ أَفَيَجُوزُ هَذَا لَهُ فِي الْعَبْدِ‏؟‏

764 – And if he says: Yes.

764 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ‏:‏ نَعَمْ.

765 – It is said: Then why do you link them?

765 –

قِيلَ‏:‏ فَلِمَ تَجْمَعُ بَيْنَهُمَا‏؟‏

766 – And if he says: They are not linked [here].

766 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ: لاَ يَجْتَمِعَانِ.

767 – It is said: Likewise, they are not linked wherever you have linked them.

767 –

قِيلَ: وَكَذَلِكَ لاَ يَجْتَمِعَانِ حَيْثُ جَمَعْتَ بَيْنَهُمَا.

768 – And it is also said to him: Does a wife belong to two [men], like a slave is owned by two? And does the wife’s husband have the right to gift her to a man—that she be his wife—just as a slave, when one gifts him, becomes the slave of the one to whom he was gifted?

768 –

وَيُقَالُ لَهُ أَيْضًا: أَتَكُونُ الْمَرْأَةُ لاِثْنَيْنِ، كَمَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مَمْلُوكًا لاِثْنَيْنِ وَيَكُونُ لِزَوْجِ الْمَرْأَةِ أَنْ يَهَبَهَا لِلرَّجُلِ فَتَكُونَ زَوْجَةً لَهُ، كَمَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ إذَا وَهَبَهُ صَارَ عَبْدًا لِمَنْ وَهَبَهُ لَهُ‏؟‏

769 – And if he says: No.

769 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ‏:‏ لاَ.

770 – It is said: So why is it that the wife is correlated with the slave?

770 –

قِيلَ: فَمَا بَالُ الْمَرْأَةِ تُقَاسُ عَلَى الْمَمْلُوكِ؟

771 – And it is said to him: Have you considered [what would happen] when the slave is manumitted once; does his master have the right to re-enslave him—as he enjoys, when he once divorces his wife, the right of her return?

771 –

وَيُقَالُ لَهُ: أَرَأَيْتَ الْعَبْدَ إذَا عَتَقَ مَرَّةً أَيَكُونُ لِسَيِّدِهِ أَنْ يَسْتَرِقَّهُ، كَمَا يَكُونُ لَهُ إذَا طَلَّقَ الْمَرْأَةَ مَرَّةً أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ رَجْعَتُهَا‏؟‏

772 – And if he says: No.

772 –

فَإِنْ قَالَ‏:‏ لاَ.

773 – It is said: Then we don’t know of anything more distant from it [manumission], than what he correlated it with [divorce].

773 –

قِيلَ: فَمَا نَعْلَمُ شَيْئًا أَبْعَدَ مِمَّا قَاسَهُ بِهِ مِنْهُ‏.‏

[1] I.e., the Kitāb Ikhtilāf Abī Ḥanīfa wa Ibn Abī Laylā, the Shaybānī Version, which is the object of al-Shāfiʿī’s commentary.

[2] Meaning, the a-lā tarā argument in §750.

[3] Kitāba or mukātaba is a form of manumission contract by which, usually in regular installments, the slave (called a mukātab) purchases his freedom. In this case, it is asked if a man, whose wife seeks divorce, can contract a similar arrangement by which she gradually pays for a unilateral divorce (ṭalāq), which only he can pronounce (hence unilateral). For more on kitāba/mukātaba and related rulings, see MF, s.v. “مكاتبة” (vol. 38, pp. 360-3); and DJP, vol. 2, pp. 453-68.


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