Printer Friendly

The domestic origins of imprisonment: an inquiry into an early Islamic institution.


In the Futuh al-buldan of Ahmad b. Yahya al-Baladhuri (d. 279/892), we read a rather short notice on the origins of a prison, well known in his day, located in Medina. It reads:
 Al-'Abbas b. Hisham al-Kalbi related to me, "An individual of the
 tribe of Kinda wrote to my father (1) asking him about the prison of
 Ibn Siba' in Medina and after whom it is named (ila man nusiba).
 ..." So [my father] wrote to him: "As for the prison of Ibn Siba', it
 used to be the house (kana dar) of 'Abd Allah b. Siba' b. 'Abd
 al-'Uzza b. Nadla b. 'Amr b. Ghubshan al-Khuza'I, and Siba' used to
 be called Abu Niyar and his mother was a midwife in Mecca. ..." (2)

The account goes on to relate the death of Siba' at the hands of a believing uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, who taunted Siba' as "a son of a female circumciser" before taking his life, but it says no more concerning the origins of the prison. A surface reading would see in this passage a preoccupation with the father of the man after whom the prison had been named rather than the circumstances leading to the conversion of Ibn Siba's house (Ar. dar: pl. dur) into a prison and the conditions of the subsequent use of the prison itself. Indeed, the historian by training is predisposed to treat such folk traditions about eponymous personages who leave their names on the sundry locations of a given region with reticence. However, the above passage, I would like to contend, offers more of value than one might initially suspect, for it contains a subtle instance of an oft-repeating pattern that remains salient wherever one stumbles across mentions of prisons in the period contemporaneous with and immediately following the first Islamic conquests.

The pattern this passage conveys is a simple one: the origin of this Medinese prison is to be found in the conversion of a large house, dar, into a structure employed for incarceration--presumably by a state authority. As this study hopes to show, this pattern appears with surprising regularity, particularly in the early conquest period, although it continues to manifest itself, albeit much more sporadically, even in the Umayyad and Abbasid eras as well. Thus, for example, Mecca's first prison also allegedly resulted from such a conversion: serving as governor of Mecca during the caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khattab (r. 13-23/634-44), Nafi' b. 'Abd al-Harith al-Khuza'i allegedly purchased a house (dar) from the Qurashite Safwan b. Umayya for use as the city's prison. (3) At least as early as the third/ninth century, early medieval historians such as 'Umar b. Shabba (d. 262/878) attested to the longevity of this Meccan prison's use, claiming that this house-turned-prison later became the same place that the so-called counter-caliph 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr (d. 73/692) employed as a prison, during which time it would come to be known infamously as Sijn 'Arim. (4) Besides Ibn Sibac's prison, Medina also housed yet another prison that was once a house. (5) In the early 'Abbasid period one frequently encounters a certain Dar Ibn Hisham referred to as the city prison. (6) This dar was once the house of the former governor of Medina, Ibrahim b. Hisham al-Makhzumi, under Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik (r. 105-25/724-42). (7)

These examples, as well as others to follow below, raise a number of questions regarding the social origins and the implications of the laconic, historical mentions of the conversion into prisons and/or the usage for incarceration of various buildings referred to as "dar so-and-so" in the early conquest period. Why do sources so often mention prisons either being contained in or originating from the conversion of a dar, or other like structures? Much of the rationale behind such conversions certainly drew from pragmatic concerns: the utilization of pre-existing buildings for newer, more public uses, of which imprisonment was surely merely one among many, represents an efficient means of swiftly addressing the rapidly expanding and pressing needs of the early conquest polity. (8) This practice also reveals more, however, for it points to important socio-historical facets of early carceral institutions and not merely their scale, scope, management, connection to authorities, etc. In effect, such conversions, and the carceral practices that precede and anticipate them, potentially offer profound insights into the socio-historical origins of the first Islamic prisons.

While what is meant by dar is not always so easy to determine, its most salient connotations are that of a residence, even though the word dar appears in a number of protean usages, making the exact meaning of the word imprecise, especially as time progresses. (9) This also applies to the myriad of words that can be deemed roughly synonymous with dar such as: palace (qasr; pl. qusur), fortification (hisn; pl. husun), castle (utum: pl. atam), and stronghold (sisiya; pl sayasi). Many of the latter terms appear most often associated with the hilltop fortifications of the Jews of pre-Islamic Yathrib and its neighboring towns, which perhaps drew their inspiration from Yemeni architecture. (10) These terms, furthermore, also appear to be interchangeable, as one can glean from their Qur'anic usage (cf. Q 33:26 and 51:2). Lawrence Conrad has cogently argued in his study of early qusur that many of these structures may be understood as residential compounds of eminent persons, i.e., larger or more extravagant variations of the same sort of dar complex. (11) Hence, a dar may .simply be designated by the English "house," but in many cases one must also gloss the term with words such as "court" and "complex" or even envision a dar as an entire compound of buildings.

Our conception of what a dar may or may not have been need not assume an overly rudimentary understanding of the structures being converted--perhaps only in part--into prisons. One may, therefore, conceive of a dar in the early Islamic period simply as either a nondescript, multi-purpose structure or as a domicile owned by a family household, which the household maintains for manifold domestic purposes. Originally, the examples of dars converted into prisons adduced above were all primarily thought of as dwellings in the broadest sense of the word. Later, such buildings, or parts thereof, would be dedicated for the purposes of incarceration. In what follows, we delve deeper into the cultural and political roots of this transformation.

Despite the pluriformity of dars in the earlier period, the most salient feature they share is their rootedness in the domestic sphere prior to their conversion into prisons for use by the state. Properly speaking, such structures leave the domestic sphere once the household's claims to the structure are relinquished to the state and/or its representatives--thus transforming the building into a commodity for communal, social, and/or political usage. (12) Such conversions of domiciles into prisons thus reflect not merely pragmatic considerations but also the "domestic" origins of the carceral practices associated with imprisonment in the pre-and early Islamic period. The gist of what is meant by the "domestic" origins relies on the observation of a profound sea change transpiring in the course of the emergence of the Islamic state. This sea change transpires in three stages. At one end of the spectrum, one encounters informal carceral practices of confinement and detention as undertaken by the immediate family, kinsmen, tribesmen, etc. of the incarcerated individual--i.e., what amounts to "domestic imprisonment" or, more properly speaking, "domestic incarceration." By the designation "domestic incarceration" I do not mean the common practice of "house arrest" per se--i.e., confinement in and prohibition to leave one's own home by the state--but, rather, confinement in a house or similar domestic structure by one's own family members and/or kinsmen. At the other end of the spectrum, one encounters the transformation of such informal practice into the carceral practices formally appropriated and institutionalized by the burgeoning state, all the while maintaining vestiges of earlier practices. This process can be most clearly perceived in the intermediate stages between the informal carceral practices of the pre-conquest era and the formalization of the prison by the conquest-era state authorities--predominantly as represented by the caliph and his administrators.

Inasmuch as carceral practices, as well as their accompanying customs and institutions, remain one among many neglected facets of the arena of early Islamic social-history, (13) this article aims to map out how and why carceral practices exited the private, domestic sphere and became the public prerogative of the state given the available anecdotal data present in the sources. To do so, our study begins with an investigation into the informal carceral practices of the Hijaz in the pre-conquest era and then moves on to demonstrate the continuity between these early practices as more formalized carceral institutions (i.e., those rooted in state, rather than private or domestic, authority) emerge throughout the early conquest era. The process, it will be argued, explains why the cases of the Meccan and Medinan prisons recorded above were not atypical but represented a widespread phenomenon that sheds considerable light on the earliest prisons of Islamicate society.


An examination of the scattered mentions of the punitive and informal carceral practices of the Hijaz preceding the Arab conquests provides important insights into the precursors of the process of house-to-prison conversion seen above. Virtually no evidence survives attesting to the existence of formal prisons in this region before the Islamic conquests, whether among the settled populations of Mecca and Yathrib or in the hinterlands of either. What scant evidence does exist indicates that the inhabitants of these arid regions, although being relatively far-removed from centers of imperial power, nonetheless detained and incarcerated individuals even though they maintained no formal prisonesque or jail-like institutions.

The most concrete instances of imprisonment attested to among the Arabic-speaking people of the Arabian Peninsula in the period immediately preceding Islam inevitably fall outside of the Hijaz and appear, instead, on the borderlands in the Yaman, among the Ghassanids in the Byzantine territories, or in Lakhmid Hira. (14) Within the geographical context of the Hijaz, one finds that, when some type of confinement or detention does occur, whether for punitive purposes or merely in the process of captivity, there is a propensity to resort to either ad hoc or rudimentary means. Occasionally the natural surroundings of an area were used, such as dried-out wells and caves. (15) Such was the case, we are told, during the jahiliyya in the days of al-Harith b. 'Ubayd b. 'Umar b. Makhzum, who, according to one report, would imprison the insolent (sufaha') from the Banu Makhzum in fetters (adham) (16) in a cave at Jabal Nufaye' near Mecca. (17) However, the most common recourse of the inhabitants of the Hijaz for incarceration appears to have been the structures existing in close proximity to and within the domestic sphere--viz., their own homes and residences.

II.I. Imprisonment without Prisons

Virtually no evidence exists that Muhammad himself either built or maintained a prison in Medina. (18) One exception comes in the form of a tradition, which the Basran akhbari Ibn Shabba (d. 262/875) records, stating that the Prophet placed the captive leader of the people of Yamama, Thumama b. Uthal al-Hanafi, in Medina's prison. (19) The texts reads:
 Muhammad b. Hatim--'Ali b. Thabit--'Abd Allah b. 'Ubayd Allah b. '
 Umayr and Abu Zumayl related that the Companions of the Prophet
 captured Thumama while he was free (wa-hwa taliq (un)). They took
 him when they wanted to raid the Banu Qushayr, so they brought him
 as a prisoner to the Prophet while he was fettered (wa-hwa muthaq
 (un)). He ordered that he be imprisoned, and he detained him for
 three days in the prison (amara bihi fa-sujina fa-habasahu thalatha
 ayyam (in)fi l-sijn). (20)

A mere mention of a prison does not guarantee its actual existence, and the risk of reifying anachronistic information given by sources written much later is, therefore, high. This tradition has a number of peculiarities worth mentioning. In the first place, the usage of the root s-j-n, which connotes unequivocally the notion of imprisonment in a structure, is particularly rare in the Medinan context of this time--almost unheard of. (21) Rather, words derived from the root h-b-s, which accommodates a vast number of meanings and practices and carries with it simply the notion of binding, restraining or detaining, usually appears in these contexts. When compared to s-j-n-, h-b-s appears far more often in descriptions of sundry sorts of detention in the early period, which do not necessitate or presuppose the existence of a prison per se.

Secondly, it is our good fortune that this event enjoyed a rather broad attestation in the sources. Conspicuously, none of its other iterations makes reference to the Prophet's prison in Medina. (22) There does, however, exist throughout the corpus of traditions on Thumama mention of the detail that "[the Prophet's followers] tied [Thumama] to one of the pillars of the mosque (rabatuhu [bi-sariva.sup.un] min sawari l-masjid)." (23) All of these traditions share, in addition to this detail, the common link of the Medinese traditionist Sacid b. Abi Safid al-Maqburi (d. ca. 123/741); (24) however, the deviant tradition quoted above notably drops all mention of Sacid al-Maqburi from the isnad. Most indicators point to the tradition containing the anachronistic mention of Muhammaad's "sijn" as being a later version of the more wide-spread version of the tradition about Thumama. (25)

Nevertheless, it would be instructive to ponder the detail of Thumama being "tied to one of the pillars of the mosque." Thumama's experience was unlikely a unique one, as the practice of tying captives to the structure of Medina's central mosque or some other structure within its immediate vicinity appears as a recurring practice. Thumama's ordeal, as described in the mainstream tradition, provides us with an important connection to yet another tradition in which the Medinans again employ their mosque, or at least its environs, as an area for confining captives of war, as in the story of the reluctant conversion of the Christian sharif, 'Adi b. Hatim al-Tai (d. 68/688). (26)

In Ibn Ishaq's account, 'Adi b. Hatim flees from a group of Muslim horseriders after hearing of their impending arrival and heads off for Syria to join his fellow Christians there; however, he abandons his sister, referred to simply as Bint Hatim, in his haste to abscond with his life. The Muslims find his sister, and according to the account, Bint Hatim was taken captive and "placed in a wooden shelter (hazira) by the door of the mosque." Ibn Ishaq inserts a gloss here, declaring, "the female captives used to be confined there (kanat al-sabaya tuhbasu fiha)." (27)

The usage of the environs and/or the structure of Medina's mosque for tying and de-taining captives is significant. Medina's mosque was in essence a dar, too--it encompassed the Prophet's private living quarters and, therefore, represented the locus of his authority in addition to serving as the focus of Muslim communal activities. (28) One of the public uses of Muhammad's dar, thus, seems to have been to incarcerate or, at the very least, detain captives of war.

Other dars acted as places of detention in addition to the Prophet's mosque. Just prior to the massacre of the Banu Qurayza, the Prophet allegedly "incarcerated [the Banu Qurayza] in Medina in the domicile of Bint al-Harith, a woman from the Banu Najjar (fa-habasethum rasulu llahi (s) bi-l-madina fi dar bint al-Harith, imra' [a.sup.un] min bani Najjar')" (29) Indeed, this dar of Bint al-Harith appears not only as the place where the Banu Qurayza had been detained, but also as the quarters where the delegation from the Banu Hanifa were lodged while in Medina. (30)

Such practices were not unique to the Medinan community. Ibn Ishaq, for example, records the testimony of a woman named Mawiya (31) concerning a certain Khubayb b. 'Adi, one of the many non-Meccan converts whom the Quraysh captured and confined. In Mawiya's account, she recalls that after his capture "[Khubayb] was confined in my house (hubisa fi bayti)." Khubayb remained incarcerated in her home until the Quraysh crucified him on a wooden cross (khashaba). (32)

In the examples above, the usage of a dar or bayt as a prison remains a salient feature of early carceral practice; however, in these instances (unlike those at the beginning of this article) the dar serves such purposes only for a limited period of time and as an ad hoc measure, acting as a means of detention and anticipating, in these cases, an impending execution or redemption of the detainee. It seems that, while a variety of measures could potentially be taken to imprison an individual, recourse to "domestic" incareeration was particularly pervasive.

The purposes underlying such informal carceral practices were undoubtedly diverse and likely served numerous ends that our sources neglect to detail fully. What is most striking for our purposes, however, is the salience of carceral practices even in the absence of any formal institutions, such as prisons and the authorities and retinues of officialdom often associated therewith. This does not allow us to infer that the population knew nothing of prisons--it merely indicates that prisons were not a fixture of the Hijaz in the period preceding the conquests.

The tacit familiarity of the denizens of the Hijaz with the institutional prison is evidenced in the Qur'an; however, this familiarity is coupled with what seems to be a general indifference to the local significance of the institutions. The word sijn, for instance, enjoys only one Qur'anic attestation, occurring in the context of the story of Joseph where its mention is entirely literary rather than historical. (33) Indeed, the only Qur'anic mention of carceral punishment comes in a decree against adulterous wives, enjoining their households to "confine them at home until death overtakes them or God provides a way for them ([fa-msikuhunna fi l-bayti hatta yatawaffahunna l-mawtu aw yatawaffahunna l-mawtu aw yaj'ala llahu lahunna])" (Q 4:15). This verse offers corroboration of informal carceral practices that parallel those come across above. (34) We shall come across further adaptations of domestic incarceration for different ends shortly. For now, however, it would be fortuitous to discuss somewhat in detail the intimate relationship the above examples exhibit between the practices of captivity and informal imprisonment inasmuch as many of our examples involve captives of war.

II.2. Captivity and Informal Imprisonment: A Distinction

While a thoroughgoing study of the nature of captivity in the pre-Islamic period and its subsequent evolution under Islam remains a desideratum, (35) some tentative observations may be made that illuminate the nature of the carceral practices in the Hijaz before the early conquests. Captivity, though often a cruel and grim fate, differs from imprisonment proper despite important overlaps between the two. The overlaps, one could say, arise simply from their proximity to one another in the economy of social space. A captive necessarily remained in the custody of a captor, or captors, and in all likelihood, such captives were kept in the homes of their captors and, thus, had to be accommodated within the domestic space of their captor. Domestic incarceration strikes one as the most convenient solution to this problem, albeit with certain, definite detractions as will be seen below.

In most of the examples discussed above, captivity has been the fate of outsiders and opponents in war. (36) Captivity as such is neither necessarily punitive nor a practice used to deter individuals from committing particular crimes; it is the hapless fate of those individuals who, although fortunate enough to have survived an ill-fated engagement with an enemy, were unfortunate enough to have been captured by the enemy. A captive's only crime is to have been an opponent of his or her enemies. More importantly, to be a captive (Ar., asir) does not necessarily subject one to the vagaries of imprisonment but, rather, to the caprices of one's captor, which may or may not include imprisonment, whether informally, as in the cases examined above, or more formally, if one became captive to an institution of a state.

Captivity as a phenomenon, furthermore, differs from imprisonment at quite an early stage in the Islamic conquests due to the exceedingly large scale assumed by the former in the early Islamic period. This is in stark contrast to imprisonment, which, at least within the first four or five decades after the hijra or so, seems to have remained a small, parochial occurrence (if our sources accurately reflect the social realities of the period). So vast and far-reaching was the phenomenon of taking captives that it created a veritable leitmotif of the non-Muslim histories of the conquest period, (37) as it apparently "hit all social, ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East." (38) John of Nikiu, for instance, vividly describes 'Amr b. al-'As during the conquest of Egypt as rounding up the Roman Magistrates of Egypt whom "he had ... arrested, and their hands and feet confined in iron and wooden bonds." (39) The Ris Melle of John bar Penkaye, writing in the later 60s/680s and early 70s/690s, depicts the invading armies menacingly as those "whose delight is to hold dominion over all, and whose desire is the taking of captives and the displacing of populations (sbita w-galuta)." (40) Bar Penkaye writes shortly thereafter: "Their marauding bands (gaysayhon) went each year to distant lands and islands, taking captives and bringing them from all the peoples under heaven (men kul 'ammin da-thit smaye)." (41) Sebeos speaks of the depopulation of cities and the taking captive of 35,000 "souls" from Dvin in 640 A.D.; other sources claim even greater numbers. (42)

Merely considering the vast scale that the phenomenon reached during the conquests leads one to soon realize that such numbers preclude the housing of captives in prisons or even, for that matter, the creation of the extensive networks of dedicated-use buildings that would have been required to detain them. Rather, the management and maintenance of these captives remained a private matter limited to the sphere of the domestic economy of the captor. If imprisoned, the tenure such captives endured did not last long before they found themselves "employed for the most part as domestic servants" where "they all rapidly adopted the norms and values of their masters." (43) To raise cash and resources, unwanted captives could also be detained until redeemed or sold into slavery--a different sort of deprivation from freedom. (44) Such cases were likely rare--by far the bulk of our references portrays these captives as slaves working on estates or integrated, albeit with certain social limitations, as mawali under Arab patronage. (45)

II.3. Punitive Carceral Practices

Aside from captivity, imprisonment does play another important role in the Hijaz in this period, and it is this role that likely served as a foundation for subsequent carceral practices in the early conquest era. One sees this clearly in the Meccan period of Muhammad's prophetic mission, which is replete with stories of the early Meccan believers' incarceration by their Qurashi kinsmen and masters. In a key passage of his Sira, Ibn Ishaq ranks imprisonment among the manifold methods the Quraysh employed to persecute the early Muslims and dissuade individuals from joining the ranks of Muhammad's nascent umma, writing that the Quraysh
 opposed those from among his Companions who embraced Islam and
 followed the Messenger of God. Each tribe pounced on the Muslims
 among them, incarcerating them and torturing them (yahbisunahum
 wa-yu'adhdhibunahum) with beatings, starvation, deprivation from
 water ('atash), and by putting them on sun-baked ground when the
 heat intensified (bi-ramda idha ishtadda l-harru). Those among them
 who were weak, they fried them sorely (man istad afu minhum
 yaftinunahum). (46)

The number of kinsmen deterred through imprisonment and other punitory practices by the Meccan Quraysh from embracing Muhammad's new religion appears to have been substantial; those Meccan believers who suffered imprisonment in Mecca came to be known collectively in the tradition as al-mustad'afun, i.e., "the oppressed." (47)

Initially, it seems, these believers were imprisoned by family members. The father of Abu Jandal b. Suhayl, for example, "incarcerated him ... and fettered him in iron (habasahu ... wa-awthaqahu fi l-hadid)" after he became Muslim. (48) Mus'ab b. 'Umayr, known as "the good" (al-khayr), was a beloved son of two loving parents, particularly of his doting mother who, as one account claims, "dressed him in the best of clothes and the finest." After his conversion, however, even Mus'ab's adoring family confined him within their home until he finally fled Mecca with the earliest Muslim emigrants to Abyssinia. (49)

Although the incarceration of Meccan believers begins in the Meccan phase of Muhammad's prophetic career, the Quraysh continued the practice of imprisoning Muhammad's followers even after the hijra. We encountered this above in the case of Khubayb b. 'Adi, but such was also the fate of the elderly Sa'd b. al-Nu'man b. Akkal, who sought to undertake an 'umra after Badr, but whom Abu Sufyan incarcerated in order to ransom his son, 'Amr, who likewise was held captive in Medina, "confined in the Messenger of God's residence (mahbus 'inda rasul Allah)." (50)

We find a bevy of illustrative materials in the accounts of the conversion of the Qurashi al-Walid b. al-Walid b. al-Mughira, who endured captivity at the hands of the Medinans and was later also shackled and confined in a house in Mecca. The stories surrounding the events of his experience juxtapose the phenomena of captivity and domestic incarceration quite vividly. Fighting in the ranks of the Meccan Quraysh at Badr, al-Walid b. al-Walid b. Mughira--son of a strident enemy of Muhammad and half-brother of the general Khalid b. al-Walid (d. 21/642)--is taken captive by the Medinans after their victory. Al-Waqidi narrates that, after having been captured, al-Walid's two brothers, Hisham and Khalid, redeemed their brother from his Muslim captor, 'Abd Allah b. Jahsh, in exchange for a hefty sum including "a coat of mail, a sword, and a helmet" (51)--a practice that was later forbidden. (52) However, al-Walid soon showed outward signs of discontent with his redemption, and after rejoining his brothers' company, he eventually declared his belief in the Prophet's religion and announced his intention to join him in Medina.

Al-Walid b. al-Walid's kinsmen prevented him from traveling to Medina and, instead, incarcerated him alongside his co-religionists who remained in Mecca. At this time, the accounts suggest that many of the followers of Muhammad who had remained in Mecca had been gathered up and imprisoned in a single structure rather than being confined, as previously was the case, in separate homes. Those named as imprisoned alongside al-Walid included sahabls such as 'Ayyash b. Rabi'a and Salama b. Hisham from the Banu Makhzum. 'Ayyash and Salama had reportedly been fettered and confined in Mecca after returning from Abyssinia at the instigation of their own brothers, Abu Jahl and al-Harith b. Hisham. (53) Accounts describe the conditions of these imprisonments not merely in terms of confinement but include some of the rather commonplace topoi associated with the carceral practices that one would expect of a genuinely punitive detention. Abu Jahl, we are told, beat Salama b. Hisham and deprived him of food and water. (54) Ibn Hisham even describes the structure in which they were confined as specifically designed to exacerbate their suffering, stating that both 'Ayyash and, in his version, Hisham b. al-'As (not Salama b. Hisham) (55) "were confined in a house without a roof (kana mahbusayni fi bayt[in] la saqfa lahu)" (56)--i.e., within a makeshift prison. Hence, we see that what these men experienced did not merely constitute detention in lieu of some other fate soon to befall them but, rather, instantiates a specific punishment in and of itself that, by virtue of its very harshness, was aimed at convincing the detainees to abandon their newfound faith.

It is difficult to ascertain just how long these individuals remained imprisoned; however, references to these events are manifest even in the earliest traditions. One such early instance comes in a hadith linked with the recitation of the qunut-invocation during the prayers; the following hadith mentions the three incarcerated men directly by name:
 'Abd al-Razzaq--Ma'mar--al-Zuhri--Abu Salama b. 'Abd al-Rahman--Abu
 Hurayra said: When [the Prophet] lifted his head from the final
 rak'a in the dawn prayer he said, "Oh Lord, deliver al-Walid b.
 al-Walid, 'Ayyash b. Rabl'a, Salama b. Hisham, and those who are
 oppressed (al-mustad'afin) among the believers in Mecca. Oh Lord,
 tighten your grip on the tribes of Mudar, and cause them to have
 [years of famine] like the years of Joseph!" (57)

The prayer contained within this hadith strongly suggests that their imprisonment lasted, at the very least, until the famine that afflicted Mecca in the wake of the negotiations of Hudaybiyya in 6/628. (58)

According to al-Waqidi, the imprisonment of al-Walid b. al-Walid proves in time to be fortuitous for the Muslims confined in Mecca. Eventually, his story leads us to the first "prison break" of Islamic history. The story continues:
 Al-Walid b. al-Walid escaped from his fetters (withaq) and came to
 Medina. The Messenger of God asked him about 'Ayyash b. Abi Rabi 'a
 and Salama b. Hisham, so (al-Walid) said, "I left them both in dire
 straits and in fetters (fi [] [wa-shidda.sup.tin] wa-huma
 fi [])--the foot of one [chained] to the foot of his
 companion." Then the Messenger of God said to him, "Hurry out until
 you enter Mecca where there is a blacksmith (qayn) who has embraced
 Islam. Keep out of sight at his house and request to go to 'Ayyash
 and Salama. Inform them that you are a messenger from the Messenger
 of God with a command for them both to leave in order to exit
 [the city]." Al-Walid said, "I did that, and they left and I left
 with them. I drove both of them onward fearing a search party [might
 find us] or [that they would desire] to turn back ([makhafa.sup.tan]
 min al-talab wa-l-fitna) until we reached the ridge of the lava
 field of Medina." (59)

Al-Waqidi preferred the above narrative as the most sound; however, al-Walid b. al-Walid as well as his fellow fugitives also appear alongside the aforementioned Abu Jandal and another wily mustad'af, Abu Basir 'Utba b. Asid al-Thaqafi, who escaped Mecca after the treaty of Hudaybiyya.

Abu Basir stands as one of the most famous of such escapees because of his subsequent resistance to the Quraysh, alongside Abu Jandal and perhaps al-Walid and his fellow inmates as well, during the Meccan famine. After escaping the Meccans' makeshift prison, Abu Basir allegedly undertook a series of raids on their caravans from an outpost he settled along with his fellow fugitives near Dhu 1-Marwa, north of Mecca on the Red Sea Coast. It is said that he established this outpost rather than emigrate to Medina in order to escape the provisions of Muhammad's prior pact with the Meccans at Hudaybiyya, which had stipulated the extradition of any captives escaping from Mecca. (60)

Although many of the narrative elements of these stories are indubitably of an apocryphal nature, no one feature could be properly considered anachronistic with regard to the situations that they depict. While it may be tempting to dismiss certain details (viz., roofless prisons and iron chains) as literary topoi employed more to embellish campfire tales than reflect actual practices, some of these topoi certainly evince widespread practices of the time--even Qur'anic testimony confirms the usage of fetters for captives. (61) Hence, although topoi, they are the "topoi of everyday life" (62) and, therefore, historically instructive. Although one encounters numerous instances of confinement (habs), one does not find explicit mention of prisons in the sense of a building designated solely for incarcerating individuals. Rather, descriptions of the conditions of such confinement--and these are admittedly rare--are primarily of a "domestic" nature, i.e., undertaken at the behest of family members and kinsmen and used by such persons to compel their kinsmen to "return to their senses." Only rather late in the Medinan period does one encounter in Mecca, from the story of al-Walid b. al-Walid, a quasi-prison structure fabricated by Qurashis hostile to Muhammad to house their Muslim kinsmen. We have little idea of how many persons suffered such a fate in this period, but as perhaps the narratives concerning Abu Basir suggest, the open conflict of the Muhajirun and Ansar with the Qurashi notables in Mecca likely exacerbated these numbers as the seizure, redemption, and exchange of captives began to occupy an increasingly central place in the relations between Medina and Mecca.


Domestic incarceration was not limited to the Meccans' effort to eliminate the growing tide of converts to Muhammad's new religion, nor did it cease with the subsequent defeat of the Muslims' Meccan opponents. Numerous incidents from the conquest era demonstrate that the practice was less the product of response to the rise of Islam but, rather, a somewhat standard local response of the parochial environment in which Islam first arose. Indeed, it remained a salient feature of early Islamic history in the period immediately following as well.

III. 1. Prisons and Imprisonment in the Hijaz.

The adoption and construction of more formal prison-like structures and institutions were neither immediate nor comprehensive in the early conquest era. Along these lines, one can cite the alleged detention of the sahabis Abu Dharr, Abu l-Darda', and 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud by Umar b. al-Khattab for spreading large numbers of hadith. 'Umar, we read, "incarcerated them at his home in Medina; he didn't incarcerate them in the prison (hahasahum 'indahu bi-l-madina wa-lam yahbishum fl l-sijn)." (63) Here, the concerns leading 'Umar to detain Abu Dharr, Abu l-Darda', and Ibn Mas'ud appear to be similar to those worries impelling the Quraysh to imprison their kin: anxiety over some sort of religious contamination or an uncontrolled, potentially pernicious influence over the community. At the same time, the Companions mentioned in this tradition had committed no crime (such as theft, murder, wine-drinking, and the like) that would incur the usual, common punishments, which were in large part corporal and public rather than carceral. Thus, in the case of 'Umar's detention of these three for spreading hadith, imprisonment acted in lieu of even more severe penalties, as a method of coercion through deprivation and as an expedient means for maintaining the social, political, or religious status quo. The principle in effect here is nicely encapsulated by a maxim attributed to Marwan b. al-Hakam, "Whoever was the first to use a prison did so out of forbearance (awwalu man ittakhadha l.-sijn kana [])."(64) In the cases examined below, imprisonment occurs under parallel circumstances. One rarely finds imprisonment as a prescribed punishment inflicted upon someone considered to be a criminal in the conventional sense, although at the same time one cannot deny that the harsh conditions and deprivations suffered by the imprisoned served as a punitive deterrent.

One finds a much more broadly attested example of this dynamic in the stories circulated about the foul-mouthed, but irreproachably eloquent, mukhadram poet al-Hutay'a.(65) We encounter his imprisonment at the hands of 'Umar as resulting from the affair transpiring between the poet and al-Zibriqan b. Badr--a tax-collector under 'Umar and a tribal leader of Tamim. (66) The verse composed by al-Hutay'a against al-Zibriqan that produced the scandal was as follows:
Let leave of noble deeds! Travel not for their sake
Stay; for you are merely one who eats and dons clothing.

da'i l-makarima la tarhal li-bughyatiha
wa-uq' ud fa-innaka aula al-ta'imu l-kasi (67)

Most accounts claim that 'Umar refused at first to consider such a verse to be an invective (hija'), but al-Zibriqan pressed him with further protestations, complaining, "Does my manliness amount to nothing except that I eat and dress?!" Thus, 'Umar deferred his judgment and consulted with the Prophet's more qualified bard, Hassan b. Thabit. Hassan heard the verse, whereupon he declared, "He has not [merely] insulted him; he has defecated on him (lam yahjuhu wa-lakinnahu khari'a 'alayhi)!,, (68) As a result of Hassan's verdict, 'Umar imprisoned al-Hutay'a in a pit (qa'r) where he remained until 'Amr b. al-'As and 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf intervened on his behalf. (69) Imprisoned, al-Hutay'a composed the following verse:
What shall you say to the chicks in Dhu Marakh
naked without feathers, (70) water, or a tree?
You have hidden their caretaker in a gloomy pit
but I forgive you, God's peace upon you, 'Umar!

madha taqulu [] bi-Dhi []
humri I-hawasili la [ma'.sup.un] wa-la shajaru
ghayyabta kasibahum fi qa'ri [muzlima']
fa-ghfir 'alayka salamu llahi ya 'Umaru (71)

The story received its fair share of retellings and expansions, (72) occasionally even in the context of admonishments to rulers concerning how to deal with impudent poets. (73) None of the accounts claims, however, that al-Hutay'a had been incarcerated in a structure dedicated for use as a prison--rather, his "prison" is always an ad hoc location, whether a nondescript subterranean place (matmura), (74) a hole in the ground adopted as a place of confinement (hufra ittakhadhaha []), (75) or the hollow of a well (naqir fi bi'r). (76) All of these options in all likelihood derive from an expansion upon the qa'r, or pit, mentioned by the poet himself. As seen above, the prison tenure of al-Hutay'a arises not from any egregious crime but, rather, in the absence of any normative, or well-established, punishment for excoriating verse.

In describing al-Hutay's punishment, narrators frequently offer an explanation as to why the caliph tossed the poet into a well rather than confining them in a conventional prison, suggesting that 'Umar took such measures because prisons as yet did not exist. (77) This statement should be taken with a grain of salt, but it does raise an important question: when exactly were the first prisons constructed?

While an exact periodization is nigh impossible to ascertain, the earliest mentions of prison construction do indeed seem to consistently date from the caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khattab (13-23/634-44). As one can glean from the aforementioned example of 'Umar's purchase of the dar of Saf wan b. Umayya for Mecca's first prison, the earliest prisons of the Hijaz likely originated during 'Umar's caliphate and out of this process of domicile-to-prison conversion. Even though our knowledge of Hijazi prisons is by no means exhaustive, it seems that, like the Meccan prison converted from the dar of Saf wan b. Umayya and the Medinan prison converted from the dar of Ibn Siba', most of the region's prisons originated from structures that once acted as a residence.

Indeed, one can find compelling evidence that Medina and Mecca were not the only Hijazi settlements to house prisons converted by dars. The Medinan jurist Malik b. Anas (d. 179/795) informs us that when brigands (muharibun) were exiled from Medina, they would be sent either to Fadak or to Khaybar where there was a prison (sijn) to incarcerate them. (78) Although Malik does not provide us with further mention or descriptions of these two prisons, at least the prison in Khaybar, if not in Fadak, can be located with relative certainty. Ibn 'Asakir reproduces for us an account from the belletrist al-Marzubani (d. 384/994)--likely derived from his work al-Mu'jam fi asma' al-shu'ar' (79)--on the detention of the poet Abu Hanbal 'Abd al-Rahman b. Hanbal b. Malik al-Jumahi that attests to the antiquity of this prison in Khaybar. After a dispute with 'Uthman b. 'Affan (r. 23-35/644-56), the poet composes an invective impugning the caliph and, thus, suffers the brunt of the caliph's ire. To punish his insolence, the account claims that 'Uthman "exiled him to Khaybar and imprisoned him in al-Qamus." The verse of Abu Hanbal al-Jumahi itself attests to this event.
It is to God I protest, not to mankind, save
Abu Hasan, a harsh iron-collar I bear
In Khaybar, in the pit of al-Qamus, as though it
were the sides of a deep grave, the body's niche its grave (80)

ila llahi ashku la ila l-nasi, ma 'ada
Aba [] [] [] ukabiduhu
bi-Khaybara fi qa'ri I-Qamusi ka-annaha
jawanibu [] ['] al-lanth lahiduhu (81)

As for the identity of this al-Qamus, Yaqut (d. 626/1229) informs us that al-Qamus refers to "a mountain in Khaybar on which lies the fortification (hisn) of Abu I-Huqayq, the Jew." (82) Abu I-Huqayq is one of the well-known chieftains of the Banu Nadir, whose two sons, Kinana and Sallam, (83) figure prominently along with their tribe in the sira-maghazi literature, particularly following the exile of the Banu Nadir from Medina and the Prophet's subsequent conquest of Khaybar. After the exile of Banu Nadir from Medina to Khaybar, the tribe's chieftain, Abu Rafi' Sallam b. Abi I-Huqayq, returned to his father's residence, i.e., al-Qamus--an old family property that both Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi affirm had been inherited by the sons (bani) of Abu I-Huqayq. (84) Once the Muslims subdued Khaybar in 7/628, (85) they sequestered the property of Abu I-Huqayq's sons and the property continued to be a state possession long thereafter. Much like the dar of Ibn Siba' above, the hisn of Ibn Abi I-Huqayq--or at least part of its structure--was utilized as a prison, and its sturdy and capacious construction made the structure an ideal candidate.

III.2. Prisons and Imprisonment in the Garrison Cities during the Early Conquests

Despite attestations to the existence of prisons as early as 'Umar's caliphate, the construction of the first prison is often credited to 'Ali b. Abi Talib rather than 'Umar. 'Ali allegedly built two prisons in Kufa (or, some say more rarely, Basra). 'Ali named the first prison Ndfi (i.e., "beneficial"). This prison was constructed from reeds (qasab) but proved defective and too easy to escape from. As a result, 'A1i constructed a second prison fashioned from clay-bricks (madar), which he named Mukhayyis. 'Ali then celebrated his achievement by composing the following epigram:
Do you not consider me clever and shrewd?
I built, after Nafi', Mukhayyis
A fortress fortified and skillfully secure.

a ma tarani. [] mukayyisa
banaytu ba'da [Ncifi.sup.'in] Mukhayyisa
[] [] wa-[] kayyisa (86)

A clever epigram is indeed precarious grounds on which to build a history of the prison, but it nonetheless takes us in an important direction--namely, out of the heartlands of the Islamic expansion in the Hijaz and the Arabian Peninsula to its expanding periphery and garrison cities (amsar, sg. misr). New settlements such as Basra and Kufa posed different challenges than long-established cities such as Mecca and Medina; not only could the urban planning be undertaken virtually de novo but citied, settled life itself as known in peninsular Arabia underwent radical change as a result of the conquests, so that the amsar depart considerably at times from the peninsular settlements that the Arabian tribesmen left behind. 'Ali's epigram falls nicely in line with the topoi characteristic of the awa'il genre, a body of materials that predictably assigns to the luminaries of history the innovation of such and such practice. (87) While the epigram could feasibly be authentic (it is impossible to know either way), it does not prove that Ali founded the first prison. In fact, our sources otherwise rarely mention 'Ali imprisoning individuals during his caliphate. (88)

One rare case ostensibly occurs in 36/656 after the Battle of the Camel in the purportedly firsthand account of Musa b. Talha b. 'Ubayd Allah al-Taymi, the son of one of 'Ali's main opponents in the battle. In the account, Musa narrates his fate as one of the captives of 'Ali's victorious partisans:
 I was in the prison (sijn) of 'Ali ... until someone cried out,
 "Where is Musa b. Talha?" So I called out, "To God we belong and to
 Him we shall return," and the people of the prison (ahlal-habs) said
 the same. They said, "He's going to kill you!" He caused me to exit
 towards him, and he left with me towards 'Ali. 'Ali said, "Musa!"
 I said, "At your service, (labayka), Commander of the Faithful." He
 said, "Seek God's forgiveness and repent: go to our camp's armory
 ('askar), and whatsoever you find in it with regard to weaponry or
 mount, take it and obey God and remain in your house." (89)

The account may be apocryphal. Other accounts do not mention the imprisonment per se of 'Ali's captives and tend to focus on the clemency and leniency of the caliph towards his opponents, giving rise, in turn, to the disgruntled faction among 'Ali's ranks that eventually formed the Kharijite movement. (90) Moreover, other early versions of this tradition appear to have placed the narrative not in a prison, but in a mosque--a more conventional location to gather prisoners of war--where his interlocutors are ahl al-masjid rather than ahl al-habs. (91) Such problems aside, one can find little confirmation for the epigram's claims that 'Ali had been a builder of prisons. He himself had other much more pressing matters to ponder during his tumultuous caliphate. (92) In fact, our sources attest the construction of prisons in the garrison cities long before his reign.

The construction of prisons from the ground up emerges during the caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khattab immediately following the foundation of the garrison cities in al-'Iraq (on which the most detailed data survive); like other structures, the prisons were initially built using the rushes harvested from the reed beds (bata'ih) surrounding Basra and Kufa. At a basic level, the aforementioned epigram attributed to 'Ali seems correct in reporting the conversion of the garrison structures of al-'Iraq from buildings woven together from the proximate raw materials of the marshlands to those of clay, although the attribution of this innovation to 'Ali is likely anachronistic in this case. (93)

Al-Baladhuri provides us with our earliest account of the founding of a prison, which he asserts was built simultaneously with the garrison of Basra by 'Utba b. Ghazwan in 14/635. Al-Baladhuri informs us that, much like the residences and the mosque which had also been constructed from the reeds (qasab) harvest from the surrounding marshlands, administrative buildings utilized the same raw materials. He writes, "'Utba built the governor's residence (dar al-imara) separate from the mosque in the public square (rahba) that today is called rahbat bani Hisham and had been called al-Dahna'--in it was the prison and the register (wa-fiha al-sijn wa-l-diwan)."(94) Rarely does one find such an explicit description of a prison in the early period. Two items are noteworthy: firstly, the immediacy and rapidity of the construction of the prison is striking, being indicative of the consciousness of the founders of the garrison of its importance and the likelihood of its use; (95) secondly, the prison's proximity to the administrative center of the city, the dar al-imara, speaks to the patterns of authority envisaged for the use of the prison, viz. the disciplining, personal authority of the governor. The prison was, in short, part of the residential complex of the governor.

Although no account exists of its construction, a prison commensurate with that of Basra doubtlessly also existed in the confines of Kufa as well. Testimony for this can be adduced from an anecdote involving 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud and adherents of the prophet Musaylima, whom Ibn Mas'ud imprisoned and subsequently executed after overhearing them declare: la ilaha illa llah wa-Musaylima rasulu llah. (96) One may plausibly infer that Kufa's earliest prison closely resembled the model observed in Basra, and evidence for this appears imbedded in the incidental details of the earliest imprisonments in Kufa. Al-Baladhuri preserves for us an especially informative account, known as the affair of the seal (khatim), involving a clever counterfeiter known as Ma'n b. Za'ida. (97)

The events of this account transpire during al-Mughira b. Shu'ba's governorship over Kufa in the caliphate of 'Umar b. al-Khattab; the events depicted therein likely fall therefore between the years 21/642 and 23/644, i.e., shortly after 'Utba's construction of a prison in Basra. In this account, Ma'n b. Za'ida counterfeits the caliph's official seal (intaqasha 'alakhatim al-khilafa) (98) whereby he successfully and illicitly acquires an unspecified amount of the tax revenue (kharaj) of Kufa. 'Umar's governor in Kufa, al-Mughira, informs the caliph of Ma'n's trickery, and 'Umar dispatches a messenger to his governor with his orders. With the messenger's cooperation, the governor apprehends Ma'n, binds him in fetters, and throws him in prison demanding that all the monies be returned. The incarceration of the wily Ma'n does not go as planned, however:
 In those days, the prison was made of reeds (kana l-sijnu
 [yawma'] min []), so Ma'n devised a plot to
 escape and sent word to his people to send him his she-camel, his
 slave girl, and his qatwaniyya white cloak with short fringes
 ('aba'a). They did so, and he escaped at night, heading off with his
 slave girl saddled behind him. When he feared that daybreak would
 expose him, he dismounted his camel and hobbled her with cord after
 which he remained in hiding until the search for him ceased. Then he
 placed the cloak on his camel again and sat his slave girl
 behind him.

The narrative portrays Ma'n as uninterested in savoring the fruits of his escape unmolested; rather, he travels to Medina straightaway to turn himself over to 'Umar. Not amused, the caliph has him flogged and imprisoned after heeding the counsel of 'A1i b. Abi Talib--a lighter punishment than that recommended by others who advocated the amputation of his hand and even that he be crucified. (99) We unfortunately find no information with regard to this second prison, probably located in Medina or its environs.

One finds in Ma'n's misadventure confirmation of the existence of a similar prison structure constructed of reeds parallel to that of 'Utba's prison in the dar al-imara and, furthermore, of the problems posed by a prison constructed from reeds, echoed in 'Ali's epigram above. The conversion of the initial structures of reeds, especially those essential for administrative purposes, must have been swift--a matter of mere years, not generations. (100) In any case, the frequency with which prisoners often escaped cannot be accounted for by appealing solely to the rudimentary and, perhaps, shoddy construction of the early prisons in the newly founded garrisons of al-'Iraq. As the escape by both Muhammad b. Abi Hudhayfa and 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Udays from their jailers in Lydda (Palestine) in 35/656 attests, Syrian jails were imperfect, too. (101) Such feats of escape may also be indicative of the informality of imprisonment in the period. The prison conditions that Muhammad b. Abi Hudhayfa faced, in one isolated account, are not depicted as austere; rather, the account claims that Mu'awiya "imprisoned him in a prison of his while making him feel comfortable and spending lavishly on him (habasahu fi [] lahu [] [muwassi'] 'alayh)." (102) This aligns closely with an earlier account claiming that Muawiya imprisoned Kufan exiles with similar amenities in a Damascene church during the caliphate of Uthman. (103) Even in cases where prisoners were securely safeguarded by a warden (sajjan), or some other sort of watchman, many beguiled the jailers commissioned with keeping them safe and found it easy to win over the hearts of the guards who watched over them and, thus, eventually to convince to let them go free.

As noted above, one does not find any mention of the founder of Kufa, Sa'd b. Ab1 Waqqas, placing a prison in the city like one finds in the case of Utba b. Ghazwan during the founding of Basra. However, one can locate several interesting examples of imprisonment in which Sa'd, or at least his dwelling, plays a prominent role. Among these, the most well known transpires not in Kufa, but in Medina, during the capture and imprisonment of Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar b. al-Khattab following the assassination of his father. Ubayd Allah's incarceration came on the heels of his murdering the daughter of Abu Lu'lu'a, his father's assassin, and two other mawali he suspected as complicit in his father's death--acts he matched with threats to kill more, if not all, of the mawali in Medina. (104) After his rampage, Ubayd Allah, we are informed, "was incarcerated in the house of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas (kana [] fi dar Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas)." (105)

The event attests to the continued salience of domestic incarceration a decade after 'Umar b. al-Khattab commissioned the establishment of the first prisons. The dar of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas (d. ca. 50/670) was not solely a prison but was also his residence. The arrangements for dealing with the reckless actions of 'Ubayd Allah were informal but effective. What exactly led 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar to commit the murders is not entirely clear: accounts suggest that 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr stumbled upon Abu Lu'lu'a's secret meeting with the two mawali, Jufayna and al-Hurmuzan, (106) whereupon he claims he saw the very dagger used to kill 'Umar, (107) but others also claim that 'Umar's daughter Hafsa instigated 'Ubayd Allah to kill al-Hurmuzan and Jufayna. (108) 'Ubayd Allah's imprisonment was a brief and expedient measure imposed in order to prevent further bedlam and to curtail any potential havoc arising from 'Ubayd Allah's frenzy. His release came swiftly after 'Uthman's installation as caliph by the shura. 'Ali voiced his strident opposition to 'Uthman's clemency, stating "I am of the opinion that you should kill him." (109) However, 'Ali's words seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as many expressed their unwillingness to bear the death of both the caliph and his son. 'Ubayd Allah thus found reprieve. Despite the controversy surrounding his incarceration, the accounts thereof explicitly depict the function of his detention in the dar of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas as a restraining measure aimed at maintaining the peace and preventing further harm.

The residence of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas appears once again, but this time outside Medina, as the temporary prison of the recidivist drunkard and mukhadram poet, Abu Mihjan (d. 16/637). Sa'd's dar in this incident could not have been the very same dar used to imprison 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar since Abu Mihjan's imprisonment occurs during the engagements at the battle of al-Qadisiyya. At this point, Sa'd had actually taken up residence in Hisn al-'Udhayb--residing in the upper part of the palace (a'la al-qasr) while Abu Mihjan was allegedly imprisoned in the lower part of the palace (asfal al qasr). (110) Nevertheless, Abu Mihjan's detention occurs as an ad hoc means of responding to the poet's prior successful escape from the escort who had been charged with overseeing his banishment to Hadawda. (111) Accounts often disagree over the exact reason behind Abu Mihjan's banishment; however, all agree that an illicit verse of poetry originally inspired the punishment. (112) When word reaches 'Umar of his escape, the caliph writes to Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas with an order to detain him. Sa'd, on the front of al-Qadisiyya, "incarcerates him at the behest of 'Umar and places him in chains (habasahu [Sa'd.sup.un] bi-kitab 'Umar wa-qayyadahu)." (113) Afterwards, a colorful account follows wherein Abu Mihjan cajoles Sa'd's wife, Salma bt. Abi Hafsa, to release him from his chains so that he may participate in the battle, all the while promising to swiftly return to his fetters at the battle's end. After securing his release, Abu Mihjan marches to the battlefield, performs a number of extraordinary martial feats in battle, and then returns to his fetters at Sa'd's house earning him the favor of Salma. When the news of Abu Mihjan's valor reaches Sa'd by way of his wife, Sa'd grants the poet his freedom.

In contrast to the anecdotes concerning Abu Mihjan, however, one finds an alternative approach taken by 'Amr b. al-'As during his conquest in Egypt. The following is an account of al-Zuhri transmitted from Salim on the authority of his father, 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar:
 My brother 'Abd al-Rahman and I left to invade Egypt. Then my
 brother and Abu Sarwa'a [i.e., 'Uqba b. al-Harith] drank some wine.
 Both of them were brought before 'Amr b. al-'As, and he flogged my
 brother in the dar (al-imara?-S.A.). 'Umar [b. al-Khattab] then wrote
 him saying, "Tie his hands around his neck, clothe him with a tunic,
 and bring him to me on a pack saddle." When he reached 'Umar, he
 flogged ['Abd al-Rahman] publicly before the leaders of the people,
 shaved his head, and confined him in the prison (habasahu fi
 l-sijn) for six months. He decried his flogging (fa-bara'a min
 jaldihi). (114) Thereafter, excruciating pain afflicted him, and he
 died. (115)

Many imprisonments seem to have worked much along the lines of the detention of 'Umar's sons, 'Ubayd Allah and 'Abd al-Rahman, as well as al-Hutaya, Abu Mihjan, and many others. These scenarios usually befell the raucous and rowdy, and often the stories that reach us of their incarceration gained such wide circulation and appeal from the ribald humor and/or the wild tales they tell. Particularly instructive of this is the story of Jundab b. 'Abd Allah, "the magician killer (qatil al-sahir)."(116) The following story occurs in Kufa at the court of the governor, al-Walid b. 'Uqba, (117) sometime prior to his removal by 'Uthman in 29/649-50:
 Jarir b. 'Abd al-Hamid--al-A 'mash--Ibrahim said: A magician was
 playing around in front of al-Walid showing them that he could
 enter the mouth of a donkey and exit out of its tail or rear end
 (yakhruju min dhunabihi aw min dubrihi) and enter the anus of the
 donkey (wa-yadkhulu asta l-himar) and exit from its mouth. He showed
 them that he could cut off his own head and toss it aside. Then he
 would stand up, take it, and return it to its place. Jundab left
 for the sword sharpener (sayqal), for his sword was with him ... He
 took it, sheathed it, and then came to the magician along with his
 companions while he was doing something he used to do, so he cut off
 his head. The attendants of al-Walid scattered, and he entered the
 house (dakhala huwa al-bayt). Jundab and his companions were taken
 and imprisoned (sujinu). [Jundab] said to the warden (sahib
 al-sijn), "You know for what reason we were imprisoned, so let one
 of us go on our way until he reaches 'Uthman." He allowed one of
 them to go. This reached al-Walid, so he took the guard of the
 prison and crucified him. The letter (kitab) of 'Uthman arrived
 stating that they were to be allowed to go on their way and not to
 oppose them. The letter of 'Uthman was delivered before the
 crucified man had been killed (qablu qatli l-maslub, so he let him
 go on his way. (118)

The above is merely a composite account of a story that, not surprisingly, underwent a number of embellishments throughout its various retellings. Often times, Jundab kills the magician while reciting Q 21:3, "Will you enter into sorcery with your eyes open (a fata' tuna l-sihra wa-antum tubsirun)?!" The feats of the magician have a particular tendency to mutate, some accounts having the magician revive himself after enacting his own suicide, while others have him cutting off and restoring the head of another, anonymous person. (119) Also differing between accounts is the fact of the prison warden (sahib al-sijn, or sajjan), who releases Jundab or one of his companions; (120) some accounts even describe the warden as a Christian (rajul nasrani). (121) However, the dubious historicity of any or all of these accounts is immaterial for our purposes here. What is instructive for us is the archetype that Jundab and his story represent for early cases of imprisonment. Here we see a case, though considerably less threatening, exceedingly similar to the imprisonment of 'Ubayd Allah b. 'Umar. Much like the case of 'Ubayd Allah, Jundab's murderous outburst created an undesirable irruption into the relatively placid state of affairs at al-Walid's court--regardless of any controversies over the governor's piety and sincerity of faith. Jundab's disruption, like that of 'Ubayd Allah, called for immediate action, but likely due to Jundab's prominence among the pious, and perhaps al-Walid's own tarnished reputation, (122) other more "convenient" options, such as executing or flogging Jundab for his disruptive action, did not seem prudent given the circumstances, or were simply unavailable. This point is made particularly apparent by the caliphal impunity later granted him by 'Uthman's letter.

Albeit subject to the vicissitude of literary retelling and reconstruction, such reports, if read together, convey a certain Sitz im Leben that suggests that prisons existed at quite an early stage in the conquest period. They also suggest that, in this period, imprisonment acted primarily as a means and method for maintaining the peace and for instilling corporate discipline among the troops. Eventually, the prisons could be used to quell dissent as well. (123) Furthermore, the exercise of this authority remained tightly intertwined with the personal authority of the local commander/governor.


The earliest prisons familiar to the denizens of the Hijaz and employed by the earliest Arabian adherents to Muhammad's religion, both within the Arabian Peninsula and without, were extraordinarily personalized institutions. Although ad hoc structures also aided in the detention of certain individuals, homes of prominent individuals--such as tribal leaders and sharifs, landholders with extensive property, and, later, provincial governors--predominate in the social geography of the early Islamic prison to an overwhelming degree. This is true both within the context of the Hijaz and within the context of the garrison cities where the prison, from the outset, existed as a key feature of the residence of the local governor ('amil)--i.e., the dar al-imara. This arises from the fact that, as the aforementioned examples demonstrate, carceral practices originated from the private realm of the domestic sphere and were, thus, profoundly colored by domesticity even as these practices evolved into more formal, institutionalized carceral techniques throughout the early conquest era. In essence, the early Islamic prison emerged as an apparatus of coercion rooted in the personal authority of the caliph, the local 'amil, and/or their deputies; their authority, in turn, evolved from the model embodied by an individual's kinsmen, represented first by one's parents but also extending to one's tribal elders.

The early Islamic prison may be fortuitously compared to a similar development in late antique Roman Egypt. Responding to an enfeebled central state, wealthy estate-owners began constructing and employing their own private prisons, which they utilized occasionally to punish criminals but more often to instill discipline and enforce their authority over peasants and slaves. It was an unwelcome development from the perspective of imperial legists of Byzantium, who regarded such private prisons as mitigating imperial sovereignty, (124) but despite the legists' vaunted efforts to abolish these private prisons, documentary evidence has shown that these efforts were, to a great extent, unsuccessful. (125) Concomitant with this development was yet another practice disparaged in Roman law: the employment by such estate-holders of private bodyguards or policemen, such as buccellarii, isauriii, and armed slaves, whose many tasks included the maintenance of such private prisons. (126)

It must be said that the earliest incarnations of the Islamic prison resembles to a great extent such "private prisons" as those found in late antique Egypt, where the local 'amil's usage of the prison belongs to the sphere of his quasi-domestic estate, or dar, for which he employs a private cadre of soldiers (shurta) to aid in its administration. However, whereas in late antique Egypt this reflected a process of decay from the viewpoint of the centralizing state's authority, in the early Islamic period it represents the emergence of local authorities coalescing around a single-state authority. Whereas in the former case, imperial authority devolves into local, private authority, the Islamic case sees private, domestic authority evolve into emerging formalized institutions of a post-conquest state. This accounts, in large part, for the frequent conversion of early prisons from formerly privately owned structures and the proximity of early prisons to the official dwelling of the local governor.

Although most of the examples cited above have been purposely drawn from the period of the so-called "primitive caliphate," the precedents of this era continued to exert influence in subsequent eras insofar as the utilization of dars and the conversion thereof continue to recur throughout the Umayyad and 'Abbasid periods. A dar used by the Kufan qadi Bilal b. Abi Burda al-Ash'ari in the reign of Hisham was later converted to a prison in the second half of the second/seventh century. (127) In Basra, the dar of 'Uthman's governor Ibn 'Amir, which had been purchased and rebuilt by the Umayyad governor 'Ubayd Allah Ziyad and renamed al-Bayda', was later converted into a prison in 133/750-51 by Basra's first 'Abbasid governor Sulayman b. 'A1i. (128) Medina's dar al-imara, furthermore, functions as a prison, as well as in other capacities, at least for a century and a half under the 'Abbasids. (129) Later in the 'Abbasid era, one finds the conversion into a prison of a structure overlooking the Friday Mosque and the dar al-imara known as Hisn al-Zanbadi in Rayy, which once served as the home of Muhammad b. al-Mansur (later the caliph al-Mahdi, r. 158-69/775-85) while he served as governor there (141-52/758-68). (130)

Signs of a definitive movement away from the domestic prison, which was small in scale and relatively limited in scope, begin to manifest themselves only after the first civil war (al-fitna al-kubra) and during the Sufyanid straggle against the Khariji opposition. Al-Tabari states, for instance, that, as governors of al-'Iraq, Ziyad b. Abihi and his son 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad "both killed 13,000 of the Khawarij, and 'Ubayd Allah imprisoned 4,000 of them." (131) Numbers such as these seem incredulous, but the impressive scale that they sought to communicate is key. (132) Even al-Baladhuri's much more conservative number--he claims 'Ubayd Allah imprisoned four hundred Kharijites (133)--presents us with a figure far more massive than the paltry numbers thitherto encountered, making even the numbers mentioned, for example, in the imbroglio involving Hujr b. 'Adi and his thirty associates, whom Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan imprisoned and executed near Damascus, seem a trifle in comparison. (134) None of the aforementioned "domestic" prisons, such as those attached to the dar al-imara or converted from dar complexes, could have possibly accommodated an inmate population this large. Such large prisons must have gone a considerable way to depersonalize the institution as a whole, impeding the ability of inmates and their kinsmen to negotiate their release on the basis of kinship and other ties with the governor and his associates. Yet, this is a process that requires further investigation and exceeds the scope of this essay.

The following abbreviations are employed throughout: Aghani (3) = Abu 1-Faraj al-Isbahani, K. al-Aghani, ed. Muhammad Abu Fadl Ibrahim et al. (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-'Arabiyya, 1927-70); ECH = G. H. A. Juynboll Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith (Leiden: Brill, 2007), [El.sup.2] = Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., ed. P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W. P. Heinrichs (Leiden: Brill, 1960-2004); Ibn Sa'd = Ibn Sa'd, K. al-Tabaqat al-kabir. ed. 'Ali Muhammad 'Umar (Cairo: Dar al-Kanji, 2001); al-Tabari = Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Jarir al-Ta'bari, Ta'rikh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, ed. M. J. de Goeje et al. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1879-1901); WKAS = Manfred Ullman, Worterbuch der klassischen arabischen Sprache (Berlin: Harrassowitz, 1957-2008).

(1.) The famous historian and genealogist Hisham b. Muhammad b. Sa'ib al-Kalbi (d. ca. 206/821).

(2.) Futuh al-buldan, ed. M. J. de Goeje (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1866), 52; cf. al-Baladhuri, Ansab ai-ashraf, vol. 7(2), ed. Muhammad al-Ya'lawi (Beirut: Klaus Schwarz, 2002), 362f.

(3.) Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari, al-Sahih. (Stuttgart: Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation, 2001), k. al-khusumat, 1: 453: cf. Abu 1-Walid al-Azraqi, Akhbar Makka wa-ma ja'a fiha min al-athar, ed. R. S. Malhas (Mecca: Dar al-Thaqafa, 1965), 2: 263, and Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Fath al-bari fi sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Cairo: al-Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1969), 5: 472f, Sources elsewhere confirm 'Umar's extensive purchasing of the residences of Qurashi notables for diverse public uses; e.g., see al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 3, ed. 'Abd al-'Aziz, al-Duri (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1978), 15.

(4.) Ibn Hajar, Fath, 5: 473.5 quotes a lost work of Ibn Shabba, which he calls Kitab Makka (also known as Akhbar al-Makka; see F. Sezgin, GAS, 1: 345), as source of this claim. However, Muhammad b. Ishaq al-Fakihi (d. 271/855) casts some doubt on the identification of 'Umar's prison with Sijn 'Arim, identifying the house Nafi' converted into a prison with a prison still in existence in his day. Al-Fakihi does, however, admit that some Meccans claimed that Sijn 'Arim is indeed this same prison: see his Akhbar Makka fi qadim al-dahr wa-hadithihi, ed. 'Abd al-Malik b. 'Abd Allah b. Duhaysh (Beirut: Dar Khidr, 1994), 3: 340f. For a comprehensive study of this Meccan prison, see my article, "The Meccan Prison of 'Abdallah b. al-Zubayr and the imprisonment of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya: An Historiographical Inquiry," in the forthcoming Festschrift for Wadad al-Qadi, ed. Jonathan A. C. Brown and Wen-Chin Ouyang.

(5.) One finds no real mention of Ibn Siba's prison other than the aforementioned passage in al-Baladhtin's Futuh; however. Medina's prison(s) feature often enough in historical akhbar that one may surmise that this prison is meant. Hence, it is possible that Ibn Sibac's prison was the prison in which al-Walid b. 'Utba, Yazid I's governor of Medina, imprisoned 'Abd Allah b. Muti' when the latter showed his support for 'Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr. See Muhammad b. Habib (d. 245/859), al-Munammaq fi akhbar Quraysh, ed. Khurshid Ahmad Fariq (Hyderabad: Da'irat al-Ma'arif al 'Uthmaniyya, 1964), 388-90. See, however, the comments on "Dar Marwan" further below.

(6.) al-Tabari, 3: 193, 195, 216; Abu l-Faraj al-Isbahani, Maqatil al-talibiyyin, ed. Ahmad Saqr (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-A'lami. 1998), 231. This prison is said to have been located along the main thoroughfare (balat) of Medina (al-Tabari, 3: 179.-1: Abu l-Faraj, Maqatil, 335.3) and on the outskirts of the open square for communal prayer (al-musalla; see al-Tabari, 3: 227). The dar of Ibn Siba' had also been located there; see 'Ali b. 'Abd Allah al-Samhudi, Wafa' al-wafa' bi-ukhbar dar al mustafa, ed. al-Qasim al-Samarr'i (London: Mu'assasat al-Furqan li-1-Turath al-Island, 2001), 3: 87.11.

(7.) Ibrahim b. Hisham was the governor of Medina from the beginning of Hisham's caliphate but was removed front office in 114 A.H. Ibrahim is not to be confused with his brother, Muhammad, who served as governor of Mecca under Hisham but later took over the governorship of Medina for Hisham's successor al-Walid II. Cf. Khalifa b. Khayyat, al-Ta'rikh, ed. Akram Diya' al-'Umari (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 1977(2)), 361, 366. That Dar Ibn Hisham refers to Ibrahim and not Muhammad is elucidated by al-Samhudi, Wafa', 3: 62ff., 68 et passim.

(8.) The question of the fate of pre-existing Byzantine and Sasanian prisons after the Arab conquests and whether or not these instillations continued their function thereafter remains largely unanswered, but future research may clarify the issue. The various recensions of The Passion of the 60 Martyrs of Gaza, for instance, mention the Arab conquerors and their leader Ambrus (= 'Amr b. al-'As?) imprisoning the martyrs in multiple prisons (presumably pre-existent) and in multiple locations prior to their execution. See D. Woods, "The 60 Martyrs of Gaza and the Martyrdom of Bishop Sophronius of Jerusalem." Aram 15 (2003): 129-50. Compare also the similar incident described by John of Nikiu in R. H. Charles (tr.), 'The Chronicle of John. Bishop of Nikiu (London: Williams and Norgale, 1916), 179 (cxI.12). Egypt, as is well known, maintained a system of public and private prisons to manage and control the peasant population and deter fugitives. The surviving information on this practice in the early Islamic period is scant but solid inasmuch as most of it derives from papyrological records. See Sofia Torallas Tovar, "Violence in the Process of Arrest and Imprisonment in Late Antique Egypt," in Violence in Late Antiquity: Perceptions and Practices, ed. H. A. Drake (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 106. 111f. Arabic sources on the early conquests, in any case, rarely mention the fate of these older prisons, partially due to the fact that so many of the post-conquest set dements that evolved into urban centers were constructed as almost entirely new settlements from the outset.

(9.) E.g., when Ibn al-Zubayr imprisons Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya and the Banu Hashim near Zamzam. one account refers to the apparently makeshift structures in which they were imprisoned as dur (houses?); whereas others refer to these same structures as a "pen" (hujra. or alternatively, hazira)--two words that in Arabic mostly connote the area where one confines livestock. Cf. Ibn Sa'd, 7: 103.-4, and Anon., Akhbar al-'abbasiyya wa-fihi Akhbar al-'Abbas, ed. 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Duri and 'Abd al-Jabbar al-Muttalibi (Beirut: Dar al-Tali'a, 1997), 99.8. 106. ult. See also the reference to the area in which captives are interred in Medina during the Prophet's lifetime as hazira below.

(10.) W. M. Watt, "al-Madina," [EI.sub.2], 5: 994b; Lawrence I. Conrad. "The Qusur of Medieval Islam: Some Implications for the Social History of the Middle East," Al-Abhath 29 (1981): 19f.

(11.) Conrad, "Qusur," I5ff.

(12.) See, e.g., the treatment of Mu'awiya's extensive building activity in Mecca by M. J. Kister, "Some Reports Concerning Mecca: from Jahiliyya to Islam," Journal, of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 15 (1972): 84-86.

(13.) Fortunately, the existing scholarship one finds on the topic is of exceptional quality. The credit for the first attempt to give an account of imprisonment in Islamic society belongs to Franz Rosenthal, The Muslim Concept of Freedom Prior to the Nineteenth Century (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960), 35 -80. Subsequent studies of the early and "classical" periods have largely focused on the legal aspects of imprisonment. For example, see Irene Schneider, "Imprisonment in Pre-Classical and Classical Islamic Law." Islamic Law and Society 2 (1995): 157-73 (see also her article in (EI.sup.2), s.v. sidjn); Nejmeddine Hentati, "La prison en Occident musulman medieval," Arahica 56 (2007): 149-88. "Historical" studies have predominantly been undertaken by medievalists, with fascinating results. See David Ayalon, "Discharges from Service, Banishments and Imprisonments in Mamluk Society," IOS 2 (1972): 40ff.; Carole Hillenbrand, "The Imprisonment of Reynald of Chatillon," in Texts, Documents and Artefacts: Islamic Studies in Honour of D. S. Richards, ed. Ch. Robinson (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 79-102; Carl F. Petry, "Al-Maqrizi's Discussion of Imprisonment and Description of Jails in the Khitat," Mamluk Studies Review 7 (2003): 137-43. See also Wadih al-Samad, al-Sujun wa-atharuha fi l-adab al-'arabiyya min al-'asr al-jahili hatta nihayat al-'asr al-umawi (Beirut: al-Mu'assasa al-Jami'iyya, 1995), and the insightful study of prisons in the urban topography of Baghdad by Mathieu Tillier, "Prisons et autorites urbaines sous les Abbassides." Arahica 55 (2008): 387-408.

(14.) Most of these incidents are attested to in pre-Islamic poetry; for an overview, see al-Samad, al-Sujun, 16ff. et passim and 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Halafi, Udaba' al-sujun (Beirut: Dar al-Katib al-'Arabi, 1963), 14ff. One famous example from the life of Muhammad is the imprisonment and subsequent execution in Balqa' of the Judhami convert to Islam Farwa b. 'Amr by the Byzantine authorities; see Walter Kaegi, Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995), 68f. A location known as Thawiyya serves as an interesting example of the reputed location of a pre-Islamic prison. In the early Islamic period, the area was best known as the burial site of a number of Kufan ashraf (e.g., al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari and Ziyad b. Abihi) that later became known as a cemetery of the Banu Thaqif. According to yaqut, Thawiyya acquired its name in Lakhmid times after al-Nu'man b. al-Mundhir had been imprisoned and remained (Ar. thawa) there. See Yaqut, Mu'jam al-buldan, ed. F. Wustenfeld (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1924), 1: 940; Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-balagha, ed. Muhammad Abu Fadl Ibrahim (Cairo: ('Isa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1959-64), 6: 98ff. Thawiyya, it should be noted, also appears among the many places rumored to have served as the burial place of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (see Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh, 6: 64). Al-Baladhuri contains an account in which two ascetics 'Amr b. 'Utba al-Sulami and Mi'dad b. Yazid al-'Ijli, attempt to built a mosque in Thawiyya, between one and two farsakhs outside outside Kufa, in order to worship there in isolation from the people. 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud, however, hears word of this and rebukes them for building a "mosque of madness (masjid al-khabal)," leading them to abandon their project. See al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 7(2): 215f. However, one finds no mention of a prison being located there in the early Islamic period.

(15.) The utility of both the cave and dried well as makeshift prisons in the region is attested to for centuries before the rise of Islam, as testified to by numerous biblical texts (Gen 37:22-24; Josh 10:16-18; Jer 38:6-13; Zech 9:11). Cf. the examples discussed in K. van der Toorn, "Prison," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 5: 469.

(16.) Adham (pl. adahim) being synonymous with qayd; see Lane, Lexicon, 1: 926a.

(17.) al-Azraqi Makka, 2: 291; cf. Yaqut, Buldan, 4: 801.

(18.) This would later create a major problem with regard to how one justifies the use of imprisonment in the absence of prophetic precedence; however, an unequivocal denial of the existence of any shar'i legitimization for the use of prisons is rare, although the Zahiri Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi ascribed to this position. See Schneider, "Im-prisonment," 171. The paucity of proof-texts usually led the jurists to appeal to ijma', or juridical consensus, for its licit place in the Shari'a (see Hentati, "La prison," 152).

(19.) On his significance, see M. J. Kister, "The Struggle against Musaylima and the Conquest of Yamama," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 27 (2002): 9-12.

(20.) 'Umar b. Shabba al-Numayri. Ta' rikh al-Madina al-munawwara, ed. Fahim Muhammad Shaltut (Jedda: Dar al-Isfahani, 1973), 2: 437f.

(21.) On some possible etymologies of the word sijn, see Rosenthal, Freedom, 35 n. 84. In his Sahih, Muslim b. al-Hajjaj records a tradition concerning "a woman tortured (i.e., by hellfire) on account of a kitten she imprisoned until it died ('udhdhibat imra'[a.sup.(tun)] fi [hirra.sup.(tin)] sajanatha hatta matat)"; A. J. Wensinck et al., Concordance et indices de la tradition musulmane (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1936-88), 2: 431b.

(22.) The longer versions of the story can be founds in the following works: Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), al-Sira al-nabawiyya, ed. 'Adil Ahmad 'Abd al-Mawjud and 'Ali Muhammad Mu'awwad (Riyadh: Maktabat al-'Ubaykan, 1998), 4: 250f.; Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, ed. Ahmad Muhammad Shakir (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1949), 13: 92-97 (no. 7355) and 19: 49f. (no. 9832). Cf. Wensinck, Concordance, 8: 39.

(23.) Ibn Hajar, Fath, 5: 473.

(24.) Idem, Tahdhib al-tahdhib (Hyderabad: Dairat al-Maarif al-Nizamiyya, 1907-10), 4: 38-40.

(25.) Cf. Juynboll, ECH, 276.

(26.) See E. Kohlberg, "'Adi b. Hatim," Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd ed., ed. Gudrun Kramer et al. (Leiden, 2007-), 3: 83f.

(27.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 1: 189.

(28.) K, A. C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture: Umayyads A.D. 622-750. 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1969), 1 (1): 6ff.; Heinz Halm, "Der Masgid des Propheten," Der Islam 83 (2006): 258-76.

(29.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 3: 196: following the reading al-Suhayli, al-Rawd al-unuf, ed. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Wakil (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Haditha, 1970), 6; 333f.; cf. M. J. Kister, "The Massacre of the Banu Qurayza: A Re-Examination of a Tradition," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986): 74 and n. 39 thereto.

(30.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 4: 186. During his caliphate, Abu Bakr used the same dar of Bint al-Harith to incarceraic captives on more than one occasion. See M. Lecker, "Judaism among Kinda and the Ridda of Kinda," JAOS 115 (1995): 645-46.

(31.) Or Mariya; see Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Istiab fi ma'rifat al-ashab, ed. 'Ali Muhammad al-Bijawi (Cairo: Maktabat Nahdat Misr, 1960), 4: 1911.

(32.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq). Sira, 3: 126.

(33.) However, the term "prisoners." masjunin, does occur in a threat by Pharaoh levied against Moses in Q 29:26.

(34.) Exegetes usually regard Q 24:2 as abrogating this injunction; cf. al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan 'an ta' wil ay al-Qur'an, ed. Mahmud M. Shakir and Ahmad M. Shakir (Cairo: Dar al-Macarif, 1954), 8: 73ff. The cloistering of the Prophet's wives, as enjoined for them in the Prophet's hajjat al-wada', could be regarded as a type of carceral practice, albeit benign, E.g., see where 'A'isha bt. Abi Bakr's Basrall opponents reproach her for her subsequent public appearance and visible actions during the Battle of the Camel as habis rasul Allah in 'Amr b. Bahr al-Jahiz, al-Bayan wa-l-tabyin, ed. 'Abd al-Salam Muhammad Harun (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanji, 1968). 2: 296.3.

(35.) However, see the thought-provoking study of Chase Robinson, "Neck-Sealing in Early islam," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 48 (2004): 401-41.

(36.) Aside from the treatment of captives, one is quite hard pressed to find any mention of detention as practiced by Muhammad. One obscure hadith states that "he detained a man upon suspicion and let him go (habasa [] fi [tuhma.sup.tin] wa-khalla sabilahu)"; however, this hadith docs little to elucidate any of the circumstances such detention may have involved. Cf. Wensinck, Concordance, 7: 342, s.v. "tuhma." It is perhaps no coincidence that this hadith greatly resembles the imprisonment of a son of the poet 'Umr b. 'Amr b. 'Uthman al-'Arji named 'Abd Allah, who was imprisoned "for being accused of shedding me blood of a mawla of 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar (ft tuhmat dami [] li-'Abd Allah b. 'Umar)." See al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 4(1), ed. Ihsan 'Abbas, Bibliotheca Islamica 28d (Beirut: Klaus Schwarz, 1979), 609. 11.

(37.) R. G. Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1997), 596f. and n. 9 thereto.

(38.) P. Crone, Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1980), 50.

(39.) Chronicle, 182 (cxIII.4).

(40.) John bar Penkaye, Ris Melle, in A. Mingana, Sources syriaques (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1908), 145.

(41.) Ibid., 147. Cf. S. P. Brock, "North Mesopotamia in the Late Seventh Century: Book XV of John bar Penkaye's Ris Melle," Jerusalem Studies In Arabic and Islam 9 (1987): 51-75.

(42.) R. W. Thomson (tr.) and J. Howard-Johnston, The Armenian History Attributed to Sebeos (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press, 1999), 1: 101. There is reason to be skeptical of the precision of such numbers, as Sebeos himself gives exactly the same number for those from Jerusalem taken captive by the Persians in 614 A.D. (ibid., 1: 69). The numbers of captives were, nonetheless, clearly vast. Michael the Syrian mentions nearly 80,000 taken captive during the conquest of North Africa; see Chronique de Michel le Syrien, ed. J.-B. Chabot (Paris: E. Leroux, 1899 1910), 2: 4.54 (Fr.), 4: 436 (Syr.). Two Greek inscriptions excavated in Cyprus describe two sequential invasions of Arabian armies in 28/649 as taking captive more than 120.000 inhabitants during the first invasion and even more at the end of the second. See J. des Gagniers et al., Soloi: Dix campagnes de fouilles (1964-1974) (Sainte-Foy: Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1985), 1: 116 (Gr. text), 119 (Fr. tr.). Pace des Gagniers (ibid., 123), the number 120,000 is, as in the case of Sebeos, an indication of the vastness and scale of the phenomenon in the minds of those contemporary to the events, but not a "precise" quantitative measure of number of captives taken. Muslim authorities offer numbers that exceed even these statistics (Robinson, "Neck-Sealing," 414 n. 63). The massive numbers of deportations and captives taken seem, nonetheless, not to have been an innovation of the Islamic conquerors; e.g., see M. Morony, "Michael the Syrian as a Source for Economic History," Hugoye 3 (2000): 33-35.

(43.) Crone, Slaves, 50; cf. L. I. Conrad, "The Mawali and Early Arabic Historiography." in Patronate and Patronage in Early and Classical Islam, ed. M. Bernards and J. Nawas (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 370-425.

(44.) Thus, the Patriarch of Alexandria from 661 to 677 A.D., Agathon redeemed large numbers of Sicilian slaves; see (Ps.-) Severus b. al-Muqaffa', A. History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Agathon to Michael I, ed. R. Evetts, Patriologia Orientals 5 (1910): 4-5 (258-59).

(45.) Saleh A. El-Ali, "Muslim Estates in Hidjaz in the First Century A.H.," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 2 (1959): 252ff.; M. J. Kister, "The Social and Political Implications of Three Traditions in the Kitab al-Kharadj of Yahya b. Adam," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 3 (1960): 334.

(46.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 1: 341. He states elsewhere that the "Quraysh incarcerated whomever they could, and compelled to apostatize whomever they could cause to do so from among the Muslims" (1: 322).

(47.) See also al-Baladhuri, Ansdb al-ashraf, vol. 1, ed. Yusuf al-Mar'ashli, Bibliotheca Islamica 28a (Beirut: Klaus Schwarz, 2008), 361 ff.

(48.) Ibid., 1: 511f. Abu Jandal would later die in Syria from the Emmaus plague in 18 A.H.; see Ibn Sa'd, 5: 92f.

(49.) Ibn Sa'd, 3: 108; Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, al-Isabu fi tamyiz al-sahaba (Cairo: al-Maktaba al-Tijariyya al-Kubra, 1939), 3: 401.

(50.) al-Tabari, 1: 1345f.; cf. al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 1: 739f.

(51.) According to the account. Khalid objected to the high price, but Hisham, al-Walid's full-brother, intervened, rebuking Khalid, "laysa hi ibni ummika!" (Ibn Sa'd, 4: 123); cf. Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Isti'ab, 4: 1557.

(52.) Cf. Abu Yusuf, K. al-Kharaj, ed. Ihsan 'Abbas (Beirut: Dar al-Shuruq, 1985), 385ff.

(53.) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr. Isti'ab, 3: 1221. However, al-Baladhuri slates that 'Ayyash was in Medina when his brothers convinced him to return to Mecca: see Ansab, 1: 477ff. Cf. Ibn 'Asakir, Ta'rikh madinat Dimashq, ed. 'Umar b. Gharama al-'Amrawi (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1995), 47: 234-48.

(54.) Ibn Sa'd. 4: 121.

(55) Ibn Sa'd, however, does list Hisham b. al-'As as among those who migrated to Ethiopia and whom, upon their return to Mecca after the migration of Muhammad to Medina, were imprisoned by their famiolies; see Ibn Sa'd, 4: 178 and Ibn 'Abd al-Barr. Ist'ab, 4: 1539.

(56.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 2: 74.

(57.) 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani, al-Musannaf ed. N. al-Sa'idi (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-'Arabi, 2002). 2: 183 (no. 4029): cf. the same in Ibn Hanbal. Musnad, 13: 198 (no. 7458). For more variants, see Wensinck. Concordance, 8: 291. According to al-Waqidi, the mention of al-Walid b. al-Walid is anachronistic; see Muhammad b. 'Umar al-Waqidi K. al-Maghazi, ed. Marsden Jones (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1966), 2: 46. However, see the account related by al-Waqidi that the Prophet prayed for all three for a total of three years in Ibn Sa'd, 4: 123. On this hadith and its variants, see M. J. Kister, "'O God, Tighten Thy Grip on Mudar ...': Some Socio-Economic and Religious Aspects of an Early Hadith," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Oreint 24 (1981): 242-73, esp. 252ff.

(58.) Uri Rubin, "Muhammad's Curse of Mudar and the Blockade of Mecca," Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 31 (1988): 252ff.

(59.) Ibn Sa'd, 4: 124; al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 1: 209f. 'Abd al-Razzaq records the return of the three in Mecca as well in a tradition claiming that "'Ayyash b. Rabi'a, Salama b. Hisham, and al-Walid b. al-Walid b. al-Mughira fled from the mushrikun to the Prophet while Ayyash and Salama were fettered nest to each other on a camel." In this version, the Prophet's premonition of their arrival inspires the prayer recorded in the hadith related above; see 'Abd al-Razzaq, 2: 183f. (no. 4031).

(60.) al-Waqidi, Maghazi, 2: 624-29; al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 1: 482-84; al-Tabari, I: 1551f.; cf. Rubin, "Muhammad's Curse," 252-53, 258-61.

(61.) Q 8:30, 47:4, etc.

(62.)Albrecht Noth and Lawrence Conrad, The Early Arabic Historical Tradition: A Source-Critical Study, 2nd ed., trans. M, Bonner (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1997), 109f.; Fred McGraw Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1998), 267.

(63.).Abu I-'Arab, K. al-Mihan, ed. Yahya W. al-Juburi (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-lslami, 1983), 390; cf. Ibn Mas'ud's later conflicts with 'Uthman in al-Tabari, 1: 2835 and al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(1): 524ff.

(64.)Cited by Hentati, "La prison," 152f.

(65.)On whom, see I. Goldziher, "Der Diwan des Garwal b. Aus Al-Hutej'a," ZDMG 46 (1892): 1-53.

(66.) Cf. M. Lecker, "al-Zibrikan b. Badr," El (2), 11: 496.

(67.) Diwan al-Hutay'a bi-sharh al-Sikkit wa-I-Sukkari wa-I-Sijistani, ed. Nu'man Muhammad Amin Taha (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanji, 1958), 206; Ibn Sallam al-Jumahi, Tabaqat fuhul al-shu'ara', ed. Mahmud Muhammad Shakir (Cairo; Matba'at al-Madani, 1974), 1: 116; Aghani (3), 2: 186.

(68.) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, (4(1): 233; Aghani (3), 2: 186.

(69.) Aghani (3), 2: 188, 190.

(70.) Following the gloss in Diwan al-Hutay'a, 208.

(71.) Diwan al-Hutay'a, 208; Ibn Sallam, Fuhul, 1: 116f.; Aghani (3), 2: 188; al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(1): 234.

(72.) See G. J. van Gelder, The Bad and the Ugly: Attitudes towards Invective Poetry (Hija') in Classical Arabic Literature (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1989), 24-28.

(73.) Al-Baladhuri's account, related on the authority of al-Sha'bi, appears in the context of the court of Ziyad b. Abihi (Ansab, 4(1): 233); cf. Aghani (3), 2: 185f.

(74.) Ibn Shabba, Ta'rikh, 2: 526.

(75.) Ibn Sallam, Fuhul, 1: 116.

(76.) Ibn Shabba, Ta'rikh, 3: 787; Aghdni (3), 2: 186. Al-Baladhuri adds that a cover made of woven palm leaves (Ar. khasafa) was thrown on top of the well (Ansab, 4(1): 233).

(77.) As in the note of Abu 'Ubayda Ma'mar b. al-Muthanna (d. ca. 209/824-25) recorded in Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam fi ta'rikh al-muluk wa-I-umam, 19 vols., ed. Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir 'Ata' and Mahmud 'Abd al-Qadir 'Ata' (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1992), 5: 309; likewise, al-Sukkari's statement that the poet was imprisoned in a well because "before this time, prisons were merely wells (innama kanat al-sujun qablu abari]" should be taken cum grano salis (Diwan al-Hutay'a, 206).

(78.) Sahnun b. Sa'id al-Tanukhi, al-Mudawwana al-kubra (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1994), 4: 552.

(79.) Currently, the work of al-Mudawwana is known only in its partially extant form, and the published portions available do not contain the account of the poet's imprisonment; see R. Sellheim, "al-Marzubani," EI (2), 6: 635a.

(80.) Ibn 'Asakir, Dimashq, 34: 322; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Isti'ab, 2: 828f.; Ibn Hajar, Isdba, 2: 385f.

(81.) Cf. WKAS, 2: 286a.

(82.) Yaqut al-Hamawi, Mu'jam al-buldan, 4: 177.

(83.) A comprehensive account of the expedition to assassinate the latter son has been undertaken by Harald Motzki in his article "The Murder of Ibn Abi I-Huqayq: On the Origin and Reliability of Some Maghdzi-Reports," in The Biography of Muhammad: The Issue of the Sources, ed. H. Motzki (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 170-239.

(84.) Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq), Sira, 3: 285, 294; cf. al-Waqidi, Maghazi, 3: 670 who emphasizes that "it was an impregnable fortress [kana [] [mani'"

(85.) As Khaybar's capitulation is usually dated; for other dates, see J. M. B. Jones, "The Chronology of the Maghazi: A Textual Survey," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 19 (1957): 254.

(86.) al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 2, ed. Wilferd Madelung, Bibliotheca Islamica 28b (Beirut: Klaus Schwarz, 2003), 118; Ibn 'Abd Rabbihi, al-'Iqd al-farid, ed. Ahmad Amin et al. (Cairo: Lajnat al-Ta'lif wa-I-Tarjama, 1940), 4: 183.

(87.) See Noth/Conrad, Early Arabic Historical Tradition, 104-8 and G. H. A. Juynboll, Muslim Tradition: Studies in Chronology, Provenance and Authorship of Early Hadith (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983), 10-23.

(88.) However, it is not uncommon for him to be mentioned as the originator of such and such practice relating to prisoners. For example, see Abu Yusuf, Kharaj, 314 where 'Ali appears as the first caliph to provide food and clothing for prisoners without any means, whether in summer or winter, "from his personal wealth and that of the state treasury (main malihi ... wa-min mal al-muslimin)".

(89.) Abu I-'Arab, Mihan. 351: cf. Yusuf b. al-Zaki al-Mizzi Tahdhib al-kamal fi asma' al-rijal, ed. Bashshar 'Awwad Ma'ruf (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Risala, 1992), 29: 86; Ibn 'Asakir, Dimashq, 60: 432.

(90.). Cf. W. Madelung, The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997), 179f'. 'All's clemency extended to other members of Musa's family after the Battle of the Camel as well, as when 'Ali returned their family property. al-Nashastaj, per the request of his brother 'Imran; see Mus'ab al-Zubayri. Sasah Quraysh, ed. E. Levi-Provencal (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1953). 281.

(91.) E.g., see Ibn Abs Shayba, al-Musdnnaf, ed. Hamad b. 'Abd Allah al-Jum'a and Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Lahidan (Riyadh: Maktabat al-Rushd, 2004), 14: 258 (no. 38800).

(92.) However, his Khariji assassin, Ibn Muljam al-Muradi. was imprisoned within a house (bayi) in Kufa before his execution; see Ibn Abi I-Dunya, K. Maqtal amir al-mu'minin 'Ali b. Abi Talib, ed. Ibrahim Salih (Damascus: Dar al-Basha'ir, 20011, 81.7.

(93.) On this process, see F. M. Donner, "Basra," Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. Ehsan Yarshater (New York: Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 1983-), 3: 852a, and Hichem Djait, "Kufa," [EI.sup.2], 4: 346b.

(94.) al-Baladhuri, Futuh, 346f.

(95.) Cf. the swiftness in which the conquering army constructed a prison in Daybul out of the tower that housed a Buddhist stupa (manarat al-budd) in ibid., 437.-4; see further A. S. Bazmee Ansari, "Daybul," [EI.sup.2], 2: 188.

(96.) M. J. Kister, "Musaylima," Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe et al. (Brill: Leiden, 2001-6), 3: 463a.

(97.) al-Baladhuri, Futuh. 462ff.; idem, Ansab al-ashraf: Sa'ir furu' Quraysh, vol. 5, ed. Ihsan 'Abbas, Bibliotheca Islamica 28g (Beirut: Klaus Schwarz, 1996), 426: Qudama b. Ja'far, al-Kharaj wa-sina'at al-kitaba, ed. Muhammad Husayn al-Zubaydi (Baghdad: Dar al-Rashid, 1981), 56f.

(98.) Cf. R. Dozy, Supplement aux dictionnaires arabes (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1881), 2: 720a.

(99). I.e., punished as either a thief or a brigand. Cf. Abu Yusuf. Kharaj, 351 where 'Umar's ruling appears as a canonized policy.

(100.)See the discussion in M. Morony, Iraq after the Muslim Conquests (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. 1984), 74.

(101.) R. G. Khoury, 'Abd Allah ibn Lahi'a (97-174/715-790), juge et grand maitre de l'ecole egyptienne: Avec edition critique de l' unique rouleau de papyrus arabe conserve a Heidelberg, Codices Arabic antiqci 4 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1986), 244f.; cf. al-Kindi, Kitab al-Wulat wa-Kitab al-Qudat, ed. R. Guest, Gibb Memorial Series 19 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1912), 19.15, and al-Tabari. 1: 3407f. Other accounts claim that 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Udays had been imprisoned in Ba'albak; e.g., see Ibn 'Asakir. Dimashq, .35: 107ff. The citadel of Ba'albak housed a prison in the Ayyubid period as well; see D. W. Morray, An Ayyubid Notable and His World: Ibn al-'Adim and Aleppo as Portrayed. In his Biographical Dictionary Associated with the City (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994). 59.

(102.) Al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, ed. Mahmud Fardus al-'Azm (Damascus: Dar al-Yaqza, 1996-2004), 7: 700.-3. There is actually some question as to when Ibn Abi Hudhayfa escaped and even where he had been imprisoned. A number of accounts assert thai Mu'awiya placed Ibn Abi Hudhayfa in a Damascene prison rather than one in Lydda, or perhaps after being transferred from prison in Lydda. According to an account attributed to Yazid b. Abi Habib, d. 128/745 (cf. Khoury, 114f.), Ibn Abi Hudhayfa's forces split into two camps once in Palestine. Mu'awiya first captured the half led by Ibn Abi Hudhayfa and imprisoned them in Damascus; later, he captured the remaining half headed by Ibn 'Udays whom he imprisoned in Ba'albak; see Ibn 'Asakir, Dimashq. 52: 273.2-3. The Medinese traditionist Salih b. Kaysan (d. ca. 150 A.H.) describes Ibn Abi Hudhayfa's imprisonment as being in Mu'awiya's home (sujanahu 'indahu), where Bint Qaraza, Mu'awiya's wife and Ibn Abi Hudhafya's paternal cousin, sent him dishes of food and other amenities. Once Mu'awiya left for Siffin, Salih claims, Bint Qaraza secretly obtained for Ibn Abi Hudhayfa an iron file (masahil in hadid), which he used to free himself from his fetters. See al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 2: 362 (ed. Madelung).

(103.) Sayf b. 'Umar al-Tamimi, K. al-Ridda wa-l-futuh wa-K. al-Jamal wa-masir 'A'isha wa-'Ali, ed. Qasim al-Samarrai (Leiden: Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium, 1995), 65; Ibn A'tham al-Kufi, al-Futuh, ed. Muhammad 'Abd al-Mu'id Khan et al. (Hyderabad: Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-Uthmaniyya, 1968-75), 2: 175. Both sources state the name of the church as kanisat Maryam. One wonders whether this is the same Damascene church mentioned as being located near Bab Tuma; see Shams al-Din al-Dhahabi. Ta'rikh al-islam wa-wafayat al-mashahir wa-l-a'lam, ed. 'Umar 'Abd al-Salam al-Tadmuri (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1990), 6: 31 (sub anno 88 A.H.).

(104.) On these events, see S. W. Anthony, "The Syriac Account of Dionysius of Tell Mahre Concerning the Assassination of 'Umar b. al-Khattab," Journal of Near East Studies 69.2 (2010).

(105.) al-Tabari, 1: 2795.

(106.) On whom, see now Ch. Robinson, "The Conquest of Khuzistan: A Historiographical Reassessment," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 67 (2004): 14-39.

(107.) al-Tabari, 1: 2797 (from Sa'id. al-Musayyab); cf. the same account in 'Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf 5: 196 and Ibn Sa'd, 3: 229f.

(108.) 'Abd al-Razzaq, Musannaf, 5: 196; cf. Madelung, Succession, 69.

(109.) al-Tabari, 1: 2796; cf. al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(1): 510; Madelung, Succession, 108.

(110.) al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-ahahab wa-ma'adin al-jawhar, ed. Charles Pellat (Beirut: 1'Universite Libanaise, 1965-73), 3: 58.

(111.) Either a mountain or island of exile; see Yaqut, Mu'jam al-buldan, 2: 289.

(112.) Cf. the poem about his illicit glance at another man's wife ([Aghani.sup.3], 19: 1ff.), and the poem requesting that he be buried below a grapevine (19: 19f.).

(113.) al-Tabari, 1: 2313ff.; [Aghani.sup.3], 19: 5.

(114.) The phrase could also be translated as "he recovered from his flogging"; however, what follows seems to increase the probability that the above translation is more correct.

(115.) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 5: 411 (ed. Abbas); cf. Ibn Shabba, Ta'rikh, 3: 841 in which there is no mention of a prison.

(116.) Also referred to as Jundab b. Ka'b and Jundab b. Zuhayr; cf. Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Isti'ab, 1: 258-60 and Ibn Asakir, Dimashq,11: 208-16. The letter would have guaranteed Jundab's pardon from al-Walid, but it is absurd to think that the letter could have arrived so quickly as to have prevented the death of the prison guard; of. Noth/Conrad, Early Arabic Historical Tradition, 76ff.

(117.) On whom, see C. E. Bosworth, "al-Walid b. 'Ukba," EI (2), 11: 130a.

(118.) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Isti'ab, 1: 259; cf. the account where Ali's intervention on his behalf leading 'Uthman to write the letter is emphasized in al-Baladhuri, Ansab. 4(1), 519.-4 (ed. 'Abbas).

(119). E.g., see the collection of accounts in Ibn 'Asakir, Dimashq, 11: 309, 311, 313.

(120.) al-Ya'qubi (Ta'rikh, 2: 165) says that the name of the sajjan was Abu Sinan and that al-Walid flogged him two hundred times when he discovered that he had released Jundab.

(121.) Aghani(3), 5: 143; Ibn Abi l-Hadid, Sharh, 17: 186.

(122.) See especially in al-Baladhuri's account (Ansab, 4(1): 519, ed. 'Abbas) where al-Walid's lackadaisical faith contrasts sharply with Jundab's prayful piety.

(123.) Reports of such incidents occur mostly in the reign of 'Uthman, as in the case of the famous Kufan exiles (al musayyurun; see Mu'awiya's imprisonment of them discussed above) and the imprisonment of Dabi' al-Burjumi in Ibn Shabba, Ta'rikh, 3: 1024ft.; al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(1): 576f. (ed. 'Abbas).

(124.) Olivia Robinson, "Private Prisons," Revue International des Droits de l'Antiquiti 15 (1969): 389-98.

(125.) Tovar, "Imprisonment in Late Antique Egypt," 111f.

(126.) Jean Gascon, "L'institution des buccellaires," Bulletin de l'Institut francais d'archeologie orientale du Caire 76 (1976): 143ff.; Tovar, art. cit., 112.

(127.) al-Baladhuri, Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 6b, ed. Kh. 'Athamina (Jerusalem: Hebrew Univ. Press, 1993), 218; al-Tabari, 1: 1658. Cf. Tillier, "Prisons et autorites urbaines," 393-94.

(128.) A. J. Naji and Y. N. Ali, "The Suqs of Basrah: Commercial Organization and Activity in a Medieval Islamic City," Journal of She Economic and Social History of the Orient 24 (1981): 306.

(129.) See Abu 1-Faraj, Maqatil, 193f., 230 where it is known under the name of Dar Marwan [b. al-Hakam], named after the namesake of the Marwanid dynasty of the Umayyads and the governor of Medina from 41-48/661-68 and 54-57/674-77; this dar was likely his residence and, therefore, the dar al-imara during his governorship and thereafter. See al-Samhudi, Wafa', 3: 24f. and Ahmad b. Sahl al-Razi, Akhbar Fakhkh, ed. Mahir Jarrar (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, 1995), 138. Members of Banu Umayya seem to have been imprisoned there under Ibn al-Zubayr (al-Samhudi, Wafa', 1: 251), and it is mentioned as a prison as late as the reign of 'Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tazz (r. 252-55/866-69; see Abu 1-Faraj, Maqatil, 526).

(130.) al-Baladhuri, Futuh, 319f.; cf. also Petry's comments on the origins of the Jail of The Police (habs alma'una) in Egypt ("Maqrizi's Discussion of Imprisonment," 140f.).

(131.) al-Tabari, 2: 459; cf. al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(1): 181, 419.

(132.) On the number 4,000, see L. I. Conrad, "Abraha and Muhammad: Some Observations Apropos of Chronology and Literary Topoi in the Early Arabic Historical Tradition," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 50 (1987): 230-32.

(133.) al-Baladhuri, Ansab, 4(2): 401.9.

(134.) On this incident, see Khaled Keshk, "The Historiography of an Execution: The Killing of Hujr b. 'Adi," Journal of Islamic Studies 19(2008): 1-35.

COPYRIGHT 2009 American Oriental Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Anthony, Sean
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2009
Previous Article:Medieval Arabic medical autobiography.
Next Article:Confucius and pregnant women: an investigation into the intertextuality of the Lunyu.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters