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Waqfs of Awlād al-Nās in Aleppo in the Late Mamlūk Period as Reflected in a Family Archive

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A family archive from Aleppo of the late Mamlūk period sheds light on a society in transition from military to civil elite. It provides us with insights on the religious, social, and economic role of the waqf and on its function as a means for circumventing the Islamic inheritance law and preserving the integrity of the patrimony. Vital information is provided on the possibilities for women and manumitted slaves to own and dispose of property. The study is also concerned with the impact of the legal pluralism created by the introduction of sharīi' a courts belonging to the four Sunnī schools on the ability of the waqf to accommodate itself to social and economic pressures. Les archives d'une famille d'Alep datant de la fin de la période mamelouke apportent un éclairage sur une société en transition, passant du statut militaire à celui de dignitaires civils. L'examen du manuscrit dévoile le rôle du waqf dans les domaine religieux, social et économique, et la manière dont sont contournées les lois de succession islamiques pour conserver l'intégralité d'un patrimoine. Le document fournit également des éléments sur la possibilité pour des femmes et des esclaves affranchis de détenir et de disposer de biens propres. Cette contribution explore également l'effet du pluralisme légal, issu de la création de tribunaux religieux des quatre écoles juridiques sunnites, sur la capacité d'adaptation de cette institution à la pression sociale et économique.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


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