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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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“This Sijill is a Hujja!” Mass-producing Legal Documents in Ottoman Cairo

“This Sijill is a Hujja!” Mass-producing Legal Documents in Ottoman Cairo

(p.103) Chapter Four “This Sijill is a Hujja!” Mass-producing Legal Documents in Ottoman Cairo
Sharia and the Making of the Modern Egyptian

Reem A. Meshal

American University in Cairo Press

In the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, written legal documents were transformed from a privilege of the elite to an everyday necessity. Marriages, divorces, tax records, and inheritance settlements all came to be routinely documented in writing. A professional class of scribes and witnesses grew up to support the demand for legal documentation. The traditional preference for the oral testimony of eyewitnesses to a contract, in the event of a later dispute, eventually disappeared in favor of suitably witnessed written documents safeguarded in an official repository.

Keywords:   contract, notary, scribe, sijill

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