chapter  6
16 Pages

Base Trades in Islam

Inthepresentstudyweshallfocusourattentiononthedisparityamong theprofessionsand,inparticular,thediscriminatorytreatmentsomeofthem receivedfromanumberofscholars.IshouldimmediatelymakeitclearthatI willnotincludeinthisstudythoseprofessionsthat,bytheirnature,violate Qur'aniclawsaboutillicitsexualrelationships,usury,drinkingwineand


2 Robert Brunschvig

gambling: these are formally condemned, of course, from the start. Along with these, those that might simply lead to one of these practices or that incite immoral or inhuman behaviour are doubtful to various degrees. They invite the mistrust of men of religion, which does not always pass without legal consequences, but they cannot be felled by the blow of a straightforward prohibition. We will meet some of them along the way. The main topic of our research, however, will be those professions that are not, or only with difficulty, open to reproach of this kind, and that nevertheless are discredited traditionally in Islamic thought.