The Muwaṭṭaʾ, written in the eighth century CE by Mālik b. Anas—known as the Imam of Medina—is the first written treatise of Islamic law. The Prophet Muḥammad and his earliest followers immigrated to the city of Medina after they experienced severe persecution in their hometown of Mecca, establishing the first Muslim community in Medina. As the Muslim community rapidly expanded, Medina lost some of its political importance, but retained its position as the leading Muslim center of learning for over one hundred years after the Prophet Muḥammad’s death. Imam Mālik’s Muwaṭṭaʾ provides an unparalleled window into the life of this early Muslim community, and the rituals, laws, and customs they upheld.
This translation is based on the 2013 critical edition, Muwaṭṭaʾ: The Royal Moroccan Edition. With its extensive notes, this edition is intended to make this important early legal text widely accessible to a broad spectrum of readers, including those interested in both legal history and Islamic Studies.