Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres (7)

Abstract: Ottoman court registers (sicill-s, sijillāt) are known for being major sources in social, economic and legal history during the 15th-19th centuries. Undoubtedly, these judicial archives were products of applied law; whether they followed the jurists‘ sharia-law requirements remains disputed. My talk inquires into the registers‘ function as „living archives“ that safeguarded individuals‘ legal rights and obligations within the frame of sharia-law and the Ottoman legal order.

To fully understand the Ottoman court-registers‘ form and functions, I will address the following questions: What was the probative force of register-entries in ongoing and future cases? What role played the witnesses who signed register entries, the so called šuhūd al-ḥāl? What can precursory sijill-forms from Mamluk and pre-Mongol times teach us about juridical requirements for cadi-documents? Finally, my lecture provides a new diachronous perspective on discursive levels in legal literature and documents as the materialisation of Islamic law.

Here is the link:

Meeting ID: 614 4145 9909

Passcode: 114521

The presentation is part of a monthly lecture series organized by the Project “Canonization and Diversification in Islamic Law and in Arabian Rhetoric in Comparison” situated in the collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1385) at the Münster University, in cooperation with Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School and the Faculty of Theology at Istanbul University.

The recordings of the previous lectures are online available:

Murteza Bedir, Istanbul University: “Form, Function and Historical Development of uṣūl al-fiqh as a Genre

Mohammad Fadel, Toronto University: “Form, Function and Historical Development of muḫtaṣar as a Genre

Sohail Hanif, Cambridge Muslim College: “Form, Function and Historical Development of the sharh-Literature as a Genre. A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago: What kind of thing is a gloss (hashiya)?

Samy Ayoub, University of Texas: Creativity in Continuity: al-Rasa’il al-Fiqhiyya as a Genre for Legal Change

Maribel Fierro, CSIC-Madrid: „Fatawa compilations: exploring a legal genre in the Islamic West

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