Law, Empire, and the Sultan: Ottoman Imperial Authority and Late Hanafi Jurisprudence

ISBN : 9780190092924

Samy A. Ayoub
248 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Dec 2019
Oxford Islamic Legal Studies
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This book is the first study of late Hanafism in the early modern Ottoman Empire. It examines Ottoman imperial authority in authoritative Hanafi legal works from the Ottoman world of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries CE, casting new light on the understudied late Hanafi jurists (al-muta'akhkhirun). By taking the madhhab and its juristic discourse as the central focus and introducing "late Hanafism" as a framework of analysis, this study demonstrates that late Hanafi jurists assigned probative value and authority to the orders and edicts of the Ottoman sultan. This authority is reflected in the sultan's ability to settle juristic disputes, to order specific opinions to be adopted in legal opinions (fatawa), and to establish his orders as authoritative and final reference points. The incorporation of sultanic orders into authoritative Hanafi legal commentaries, treatises, and fatwa collections was made possible by a shift in Hanafi legal commitments that embraced sultanic authority as an indispensable element of the lawmaking process.


Note on Transliteration
List of Figures
About the Author
Chapter 1. Ibn Nujaym: The Father of Late Hanafism?
Chapter 2. The Sultan Says: Ottoman Sultanic Authority in Late Hanafi Tradition
Chapter 3. If Abu Hanifa Were Here: Authority, Continuity, and Revision in Late Hanafi Jurisprudence
Chapter 4. Ottoman Rationale for Codification: The Mecelle
Appendix A. Examples of Early and Late Hanafi Opinions in Ibn Abidin's Hashiya
Appendix B. Examples of Ma'rudatt in al-Haskafi's al-Durr al-Mukhtar
Appendix C. Examples of Early and Late Hanafi Opinions in Radd al-Muhtar
Appendix D. Examples of Ma'rudat Abi al-Su'ud in Radd al-Muhtar
Appendix E. Thematic Tables of the Mecelle Articles

About the author: 

Samy A. Ayoub is an Assistant Professor of Law and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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