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Prostitution, Islamic Law and Ottoman Societies

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Abstract This article examines the treatment of prostitution in several genres of Ottoman legal writing—manuals and commentaries of Islamic jurisprudence, fatwās (legal opinions) and ḳānūnnāmes (Sultanic legislation)—and looks at how prostitution was dealt with in practice by the empire’s sharīʿa courts and by its provincial executive authorities. The article uses prostitution as a case study to investigate the relationships between the different genres of legal writing and between normative law and legal practice. It also throws light on various manifestations of prostitution in the Ottoman provinces of Egypt and Syria between the mid-sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.

Abstract This article examines the treatment of prostitution in several genres of Ottoman legal writing—manuals and commentaries of Islamic jurisprudence, fatwās (legal opinions) and ḳānūnnāmes (Sultanic legislation)—and looks at how prostitution was dealt with in practice by the empire’s sharīʿa courts and by its provincial executive authorities. The article uses prostitution as a case study to investigate the relationships between the different genres of legal writing and between normative law and legal practice. It also throws light on various manifestations of prostitution in the Ottoman provinces of Egypt and Syria between the mid-sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.

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2012-01-01
2016-12-06

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