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Monthly Lectures on Islamic Legal Genres – Christian Müller

July 28, 2021 @ 12:00 - 13:30


Christian Müller (CNRS – Paris)


„Siǧill-s and transformations of the cadi documents in Islamic law (10th-16th centuries)”


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.


July 28, 2021
12:00 - 13:30