Vol.13, No.2 | [Article] The Conquest of Sicily in 827 from Perspective of Islamic Jurisprudence



Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. The location along the shipping route between east and west as well as its proximity to Italy and North Africa renders it an important strategic place. Sicily was ruled by Byzantine for three centuries. In 823, following political and social disputes, Euphemius, the navy commander of Sicily revolted against the local ruler of Byzantine and declared independence. In 825 Euphemius was defeated by his opponents and the Byzantine expedition, and with his forces fled to North Africa to ask Ziyadat-Allah, the ruler of Tunisia, to support him regain power in Sicily. The Tunisian ruler responded positively, and Assad Ibn al-Furat, a famous and influential judge in North Africa, also issued a fatwa on jihad in support of the ruler. Ibn al-Furat’s Fatwa on Jihad and his participation as the commander of the operation are outstanding issues of the conquest.
This study, while reviewing this period of the history of Sicily, based on two theories of “offensive and defense Jihad” has examined the jurisprudential foundations of Ibn al-Furat’s fatwa and his participation in the conquest of Sicily.