The legal attachment of a person or group to another person, family, clan or tribe (see family; tribes and clans). The term “client”
( mawlā, pl.
mawālī) plays, along with “confederate, ally”
(ḥalīf) and “protected neighbor, temporary protégé”
( jār), a prominent role in pre-Islamic Arabia and in early Islamic society and law (see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān;¶ community and society; law and the qurʾān). A client was either under the protection of, or nominally equal to, those born into, and thus “full” member(s) of, a family, clan or tribe (Watt-Bell,
Introduction, 6; see kinship ). …