Islamic legal Vocabulary

Āda, habit

Ālat al-qatl, tool-of-killing

Ālat ḥādda, sharply edged tool, considered enough for Ḥanafīs to determine intentional killing

‘Aqila, – a culprit charged of homicide, and which might be requested by court action for a partial or total payment of the blood money

A‘yān, s. ‘ayn, notables (in pl.), also tangible objects (s. Or pl.)

Abūkāt, from the french avocat, lawyer;  professional lawyers

Adab al-qāḍī, the rules of judicial decision making

‘adam, the nonexistence of a thing

Aḥyā, to cultivate a land that was left over as mawāt

Ahālī, ahl, people of a locality

Ajnabī, foreign, someone outside the agnatic group per se

Ajzā’, bodily parts, or more generally, fragments

Al-milla al-rāfiḍa, “the confession of refusal,” meaning the shī‘īs

‘amār, buildings, built area either in the city or countryside

‘amd, intentional killing

Amr, order

Amwāl al-aytām, funds of orphans

Amwāl amīriyya, taxes and surtaxes due to the state

Ankara, to deny

Arḍ, land

Arḍ-u al-kharāj, land subject to the kharāj (q.v.) Tax

Arshad, the most “mature” among all beneficiaries

‘aṣaba, kin, agnation, consanguinity, blood relationship

‘aṣabiyya, group feeling

Aṣl, essence

‘ashīra, clan

Awāmir sulṭāniyya, sultanic orders, ordinances

‘ayn, pl. A‘yān, tangible object, and in its plural form the notables of a city

Bāṭin, intrinsic or hidden meaning, or the inner side of the manifest meaning (bāṭin)

Bay‘ al-wafā‘, sale with a right of the seller to repurchase (redeem) the property by refunding the purchase price

Bayyina, evidence

Burhān, proof

Bustān, garden, a small cultivable land in the vicinity of the city

Çiftlik, farm or mazra‘a

ḍārib, assailant

Dīwān, the paperwork of the judge in the classical islamic systems

Dār, home

Da‘wa, lawsuit

Dalīl, evidence, indication

Dayn, debt

Dayyān, lender

Defter, arabic daftar, turkish for register

Defterdār, higher official next to the governor (wālī)

Dukkān, shop

Dustūr, law, constitution, codes

Faqīh, pl. Fuqahā’, jurist, practitioner of the fiqh

Farā’iḍ, branch of the fiqh devoted to successions and the division of an inheritance fairly among its beneficiaries

Fatwā, pl. Fatāwā, responsum delivered by a jurisconsult

Fiqh, jurisprudence, legal school, also “knowledge”

Ghaṣb, unlawful usurpation

ḥāditha, event

ḥādithat al-fatwā, a unique occurence—or event—that prompted a muftī’s fatwā (q.v.)

ḥānūt, small shop

Ḥanafī, one of the four schools of the sunnī fiqh,

Haqq, right, obligation

ḥaqq ‘aynī, the right over the tangible object, which is accorded once the property passes from seller to buyer

ḥaqq shakhṣī, personal right, a modern notion taken from roman law

ḥīla, pl. ḥiyal, legal subterfuge, procedural fiction (see table 2-2)

ḥujja, record of a transaction or a contract

ḥukm, ruling

‘ibādāt, religious rituals

Ijmā‘, consensus

Ijtihād, act of independent reasoning and interpretation excercised by a mujtahid (q.v.)

‘ilm, knowledge based on the scriptures

‘ilm al-fiqh, jurisprudential knowledge

‘ilm al-kalām, theology

Iltizām, ottoman tax-farming system, or rent-payment system through the multazim

Imām, head of a school, sect or group

Inkār, denial

Irth, inheritance

Istibdāl, property substitution for the purpose of benefiting a waqf (q.v.)

Istiṣnā‘, contract providing for the manufacture and purchase of a specified item

Ithm, sin, offense

Jamā‘a, group of people

Jināya, pl. Jināyāt, the act of the killing of a soul (nafs); a homicide

Kīs, “bag,” or 500 piasters

Kātib, scribe

Kalām allāh, the word of god, the qur’ān

Kashshāf, mustakshif, someone who “explores” a homicide scene at the request of a judge

Khāne, the ottoman household unit for taxation purposes

Kharāj al-muqāsama, “tax” imposed in the early islamic empires in which the peasant shared part of his produce for using state-owned lands

Kharāj al-waẓīfa, land flat-tax in the early islamic empires, or the “rent” for using state-owned lands

Khaṣm, opponent

Khaṣm jāḥid, denying opponent

Khaṭa’, error

Khuṣūma, conflict that led to a litigation

Kitāb, book, section of a manual

Liwā’, administrative unit of a province

Mīrī, ottoman land-tenure system, state-owned lands

Mālikāne, land granted as a life-appointment

Ma‘dūm, nonexistent

Ma‘na bāṭinī, hidden intrinsic meaning

Ma‘na ḥaqīqī, literal and manifest meaning

Ma‘na majāzī, metaphorical meaning

Madhhab, school of jurisprudence (fiqh)

Maḥall al-‘aqd, the licit object of legal obligation

Mahjūr shar‘-an, legally abandoned

Majālis al-tanẓīmāt, the regional councils of the tanz˝īmāt (q.v.)

Majlis, pl. Majālis, place of meeting to contract, or to conduct a hearing (courtroom), or, more generally, a place of assembly such as a parliament or council

Maqṭū‘, lump-sum payment of a tax

Marṣad, “investment” that a tenant would make in a waqf’s property to secure a long lease

Mashāyikh al-ṭawāyif, elders of a confessional group

Mashadd maskeh, right of cultivation, and which the tenant must purchase from the previous tenant in order to compensate the latter for the invested labor and to transfer that right

Maṭlab, request made to a scholar and for which he is expected to issue a responsum

Mawāt (pl.), dead lands, which might be unsuitable for cultivation and left as such for a long period of time; always used in plural

Mawqūf, the blocked properties dedicated to a waqf (q.v.)

Mawqūf ‘alayhim, the beneficiaries of a waqf (q.v.)

Mazra‘a, farm; equivalent to the turkish çiftlik

Milk, private property

Milla, turkish millet, confessional and political system of the ottoman empire in which various religious groups (ṭā’ifa, millet) were provided “autonomy” within the system at large

Mūjib, pl. Mūjibāt, obligation

Mu‘āmalāt, s. Mu‘āmala, pecuniary transactions

Mubāḥ, permitted, permissible

Mudda‘ī, plaintiff

Mudda‘ī ‘alayhī, defendant

Muftī, jurisconsult

Muḥaṣṣil, person responsible for collecting taxes and surtaxes in a locality or region, and considered of a higher status to the multazim (q.v.)

Mujarrad, single, bachelor, classification mostly used for statistical purposes

Mujtahid, genuine interpreter and scholar who relies on his own independent reasoning

Multazim, ottoman tax-farmer

Muqāṭa‘a, pl. Muqāṭa‘āt, ottoman tax-unit granted to a tax-farmer by auction

Muqallid, a scholar of lower rank who cannot rely on his own reasoning and therefore follows a mujtahid

Murābaḥa, markup contract of sale

Mushā‘, commonly owned property

Mutakallimūn, theologians

Mutawallī, waqf’s administrator

Nāḥiya, smaller administrative division to the province

Nā’ib al-qāḍī, deputy judge

Nāẓir, waqf’s administrator

Nafs, soul

Naṣṣ, text, or text, as in the case of a text of divine nature

Nawādir, less authoritative works of the school, literally “rarities”

Niyāba ‘āmma, public prosecution office, which was nonexistent in ottoman times

Niyya, intention

Qāḍī, judge

Qāḍī al-quḍāt, chief judge

Qānūn, law, statute

Qānūnnāme, set of regional codes legislated by the ottoman bureaucracy and which acted in parallel to Ḥanafism

Qaḍa, to rule, to draft a final decision

Qaḍā’, religious office or function of the judge

Qarāba, kin

Qarḍ, loan

Qaṣd, purpose, an intended action

Qawā‘id kulliyya, the general rules of Ḥanafism, formulated explicitly for the first time by ibn nujaym

Qawad, punishment

Qawl, authorized opinion by a recognized scholar

Qiyās, reasoning by analogy

Quṣāṣ, punishment

Rāshid, the most mature among the beneficiaries

Ra‘iyya, ra‘āyā, in singular or plural refers to the “subjects” of the empire who are perceived as a “flock” on the top of which rules a sultan as a “guardian” to his “subjects”

Raf‘ yad, to vacate a property that has been subjected to unlawful usurpation

Ribā, usury

Ribḥ, gain, profit

Ribḥ fāḥish, excessive gain

Rujū‘ ‘an al-waqf, act of revoking some or all of the original stipulations of a waqf (q.v.)

ṣāḥibayn, the two companions, meaning abū Ḥanīfa’s two disciples, abū yūsuf and shaybānī

ṣulḥ, settlement

Salīkh, land with no plantations

Salam, advance loan; purchase of item known by specification or description for delivery at a later specified time, with payment of price in full at time of contract

Sanjāq, province, administrative division

Shāhid, witness

Shaddād, pl. Shaddādūn, special category of peasants protected by various forms of legislation and by the regional councils

Shahāda, testimony

Shar‘, canon law based on the scriptures

Sharḥ, interpretation

Sharḥ adab al-qāḍī, intepretation of the rules of judicial decision making

Sharṭ mulā’im li-l-‘aqd, conditions appropriate to the contract

Shibh al-‘amd, quasi-intent

Shurūṭ, stipulations, conditions

Shurūṭ al-tazkiya, conditions of approval

Shurūṭ, s. Sharṭ, stipulations

Sijill, pl. Sijillāt, court register; name associated with the “bound” registers of the ottoman sharī‘a courts, thus replacing the classical unbound dīwāns

Sulṭa, power

Sulṭān, head of a ruling dynasty

ṭā’ifa, religious group, a corporation, a craft-guild

ṭabaqa, pl. ṭabaqāt, generation of scholars, bio-biographies based on a specific juristic typology of the school

Taghyīr wa-l-tabdīl, changes that might have been introduced in the origininal act of a waqf (q.v.)

Tajdīd, the renewal of a tradition based on a new interpretation

Takhrīj, a form of reasoning and interpretation by analogy

Tamlīk al-‘ayn, ownership of the tangible object, transmitted through a contract of sale

Tamlīk al-buḍa‘, possession of the husband of his wife’s genatalia, which for Ḥanafīs was granted through the contract of marriage

Tamlīk al-dayn, ownership of the debt which entails for the borrower an obligation to reimburse

Tamlīk al-manfa‘a, ownership of the usufruct as a result of a tenancy contract

Tanẓīmāt, ottoman reforms which began with the edict of 1839

Taqlīd, the following of a tradition based on already established opinion

Taqlīd, the following of a tradition

Tarika, succession

Taṣarruf, right of possession

Tawkīl, contract of representation

‘ulamā’, s. ‘ālim, corporation of the scholars of islam

‘umla, money, currencies

Umūr ‘āriḍa, contingent matters

‘urf, custom, linguistic custom

‘uṣba, community

Uṣūl al-fiqh, the basic rules on which a legal school is based

‘ushr, the old classifical form of tithe, or one-tenth of the produce

Verghi, “impôt foncier,” equivalent to 4/1000 of the value of lands subjected to the ‘ushr (q.v.)

Wālī, governor of a province appointed by the imperial center

Wāqif, founder (benefactor) of a waqf

Waḍ‘ yad, occupation, a common Ḥanafī notion that gives the right of “possession” to anyone who has worked on a land for a period of time

Wakīl, representative

Walī al-dam, next of kin of a murdered victim

Waqf, pl. Awqāf, blocked properties whose “usufruct” is the property of its beneficiaries

Waqfiyya, the document where the stipulations of a waqf are drafted

Waṣiyya, will

Yatīm, pl. Aytām, orphan

ẓāhir, manifest meaning, in opposition to its intrinsic meaning (bāṭin)

ẓāhir al-riwāya, a Ḥanafī term to denote the uṣūl al-fiqh of the school based on shaybānī’s six manuals, which were agreed upon by later jurists

Zakka, to approve

Zukkiyat al-bayyina, evidence has been validated


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