The Administration of Justice in Medieval Egypt

From the 7th to the 12th Century

Yaacov Lev

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Explores how Muslim law governed the life of the individuals and the conduct of society in medieval Egypt
  • Comprehensively examines 4 judicial institutions common to all medieval Muslim states (the cadi, the court of complaint, the police and the market supervisor)
  • Provides a broad discussion of the scope of non-Muslim self-rule/judicial autonomy in medieval Islam
  • Illuminates the complex relations between the state and its subjects, and the state and non-Muslim communities through a discussion of the court of the complaint
  • Highlights the potential and limitations of non-literary sources for medieval social Middle Eastern history through an extensive use of documents and inscriptions

This book shows how political and administrative forces shaped the way justice was applied in medieval Egypt. It introduces the model that evolved during the 7th to the 9th centuries, which involved 4 judicial institutions: the cadi, the court of complaint (mazalim), the police/shurta (responsible for criminal justice) and the Islamized market law (hisba) administrated by the market supervisor/muhtasib.

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Part One. The Cadi: Judge and Administrator

Chapter One. The Cadi's Jurisdiction: Evolution and Consolidation

Chapter Two. Sunnῑ Rulers and Their Cadis

Chapter Three. Ismᾱʻῑlῑ Rulers and the Judicial System

Part Two. Judicial Institutions outside the Pale of Islamic Law

Chapter Four. Criminal Justice and the Police

Chapter Five. The Law of the Market

Chapter Six. The Ruler's Justice: The Maẓᾱlim Institution

Part Three. The Administration of Justice in Non-Muslim Communities

Chapter Seven. Judicial Autonomy: Medieval Realities and Modern Discourse

Chapter Eight. Administration of Justice in a Broader Perspective

Yaacov Lev is Professor (Emeritus) in Middle Eastern Studies at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He is author of several books including Saladin in Egypt (Brill, 1998), Charity, Endowments, and Charitable Institutions in Medieval Islam (University Press of Florida, 2006) and Towns and Material Culture in the Medieval Middle East (Brill, 2013). His most recent publications include articles in JSAI and Medieval Encounters, and a chapter in Developing Perspectives in Mamluk History, edited by Yuval Ben-Bassat (Brill, 2017).

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