Islamic Legal Genres – Christian Müller

On July 28, 2020, Christian Müller (CNRS – Paris) presented “Siǧillāt and the transformations of the qadis’ documents in Islamic law (10th-16th centuries).” He examined the genre of Ottoman sijills within the larger context of Islamic court records, offering a longue durée analysis of qāḍī court documents. An Ottoman sijill is a systematically archived court record associated with a specific court, stored in a series of equasized codices. Any given sijill included the qāḍī’s decisions, along with Imperial decrees and the executive decisions of local governors. Therefore, Müller argues that the sijill is a point of intersection between qānūn and sharīʿa, a legal genre that functioned to cultivate legal continuity at a time when Ottoman qāḍī tenure usually did not extend beyond three years. Read more on our blog and watch the video today.