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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines Ottoman law within the context of Islamic law. It first considers the fetva (Arabic, fatwa) collections as important sources shedding light on Ottoman law and their relation to kadi rulings, along with the methodological problems besetting the kadi court records as a historical source. It frames research on Ottoman law by drawing upon Max Weber, analyzing the extent to which the formal shari‘a was actually practiced in the Ottoman Empire. It considers recent research on the regulation of sexual relations and the punishment of crime. Finally, it explores the status and role of the kadi in the adjudication and professionalization of the Ottoman judiciary.

Keywords: Ottoman law, Islamic law, fetva, kadi, Max Weber, shari’a, Ottoman Empire, women

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