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Sharia and the Making of the Modern EgyptianIslamic Law and Custom in the Courts of Ottoman Cairo$
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Reem A. Meshal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166174

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166174.001.0001

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The Construction of Orthodoxy

The Construction of Orthodoxy

Renewal (Tajdid) and Renunciation (Takfir)

Chapter:
(p.69) Chapter Three The Construction of Orthodoxy
Source:
Sharia and the Making of the Modern Egyptian
Author(s):

Reem A. Meshal

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774166174.003.0004

Using a rhetorical language of takfir (renunciation) and tajdid (renewal), the Ottoman sharia courts presented themselves as ‘renewers’ of the faith. The authority of local legal custom was gradually undermined by Istanbul's claims to universal legitimacy for its own qanun. This did not lead to a rigid authoritarianism, however. Many cases depicted in the sijill documents reflect a professionalism that allowed women, slaves, and non-Muslims to receive equitable treatment in the sharia courts.

Keywords:   courts, qanun, sharia

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