Closeness before the law: purity, prayer, and al-Tulaytuli's Mukhtasar
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The present study focuses on the intersection between Islamic jurisprudence, poetics, and manuscript culture in the secret Muslim communities (moriscos) of sixteenth-century Aragon. Using as a theoretical rubric the Islamic legal concept of curf (“custom”), I argue that early modern Aragonese Muslims made use of handwritten Islamic legal texts, and the physical books that contained them, to incorporate specific and adaptive local innovations into their religious and cultural practice. At the center of such innovation is the practice of translation and the specific forms that Aljamiado legal texts took within the space of the manuscript folio. All of these features and practices, I argue, revolve around a broader concern with closeness at the physical, social, linguistic, and ultimately metaphysical levels.

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