The Mamluk Sultanate and Islamic Legal History

Stilt Talar

in Islamic Law in Action

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602438
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729348 | DOI:
The Mamluk Sultanate and Islamic Legal History

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This chapter provides background information on the Mamluk sultanate and its legal system. It presents Cairo and its adjacent older city of Fustat, the two cities that form the sites of the events discussed in chapters 3-9, and provides maps. It overviews the kinds of people who inhabited the cities, including the Mamluk ruling elite and their soldiers, the merchants, the jurists and learned scholars more generally, and the remaining large category of the common people. The chapter then describes the sultanate’s agricultural economy. Then, turning to the topic of Islamic legal history, it introduces the concept of Islamic law and describes its development, including the penalties and punishments, and then discusses the two types of authority, the doctrinal, fiqh-based authority of the jurists and the policy, siyasa-based authority of the sultan. Finally, it presents the institutions through which the jurists and the sultan expressed their authority, including the courts and the sultan’s forum of wrongs.

Keywords: Cairo; Fustat; Mamluk; caliph; doctrine; Fiqh; Islamic schools of law; sultan; Siyasa; crime; punishment; wali

Chapter.  12149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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