The Making of Kanun Law in the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1600

The Making of Kanun Law in the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1600

By Kenan İnan

Communities in European History: Representations, Jurisdictions, Conflicts, edited by Günther Lottes, Eero Medijainen, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson (, 2008)

Abstract: This chapter analyses the making of kanun law in the Ottoman classical period. After considering the origins of kanun law in other Islamic states, it focuses on the same process in the Ottoman Empire. Some early examples of kanun are mention and special attention is paid to the idea and the justification of kanun in the Empire. However, it is also important to note that the Ottoman authorities who prepared the kanun had to be very careful in order to obtain the consent of the religious authorities without which the kanun could not be implemented. The chapter closes with a brief consideration of the relation between kanun law, which was secular, and şeriat law, which dealt with religious matters.


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