The Administration of Justice in Medieval EgyptFrom the 7th to the 12th Century

The Administration of Justice in Medieval EgyptFrom the 7th to the 12th Century

Yaacov Lev

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781474459235

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

Abstract

This book discusses how justice was administrated and applied in medieval Egypt. The model that evolved during the early middle ages involved four judicial institutions: the cadi, the court of complaints (mazalim), the police (shurta), responsible for criminal justice, and the Islamised market law (hisba), administrated by the market supervisor (the muhtasib). Literary and non-literary sources are used to highlight how these institutions worked in real-time situations such as the famine of 1024-1025, which posed tremendous challenges to both the market supervisor and the ruling establishment. The inner workings of the court of complaint during the Fatimid period (10th-12th century) are also extensively discussed. The discussion is extended to include the way the courts of non-Muslim communities were perceived and functioned during the Fatimid period. The discussion also provides insights into the scope of non-Muslim self-rule/judicial autonomy in medieval Islam.