This introductory chapter presents the Assarraf family as the focal point of study, before providing an overview on the Jewish, Islamic, and international legal background of this family and that of many other such families in Morocco. It brings up the intersections inherent in the legal system that Jews in Morocco have enjoyed, highlighting the potential for this subject for further academic study. In particular, the Assarrafs' movement between Jewish and shariʻa courts is relevant to Jewish, Middle Eastern, and legal historians, for somewhat different reasons—and as the chapter shows, contrary to prevailing opinion, the Jews were not isolated within their own legal system.
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