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Title: The Qajar jurist and his ruling : a study of judicial practice in nineteenth century Iran
Author: Bhalloo, Zahir
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Unlike in the Ottoman world, the exercise of judicial power in nineteenth century Qajar Iran was not contingent upon formal appointment by the political authority. In accordance with the dominant Ṣūlī theory, it derived from the perceived intellectual ability of a cleric to infer the ruling of God (Ḥukmullāh) from the sources of Twelver Shī'ī law through deductive effort (ijtihād). Like the Ottoman qāḍī, the Qajar Uṣūlī jurist or mujtahid known as Ḥākim-i shar' in a judicial context had both notarial and adjudicative powers. The Qajar jurist could thus authenticate, register, annul legal documents and act as an arbiter in lawsuits. The Qajar jurist could also, however, issue a legal opinion. This was the role of the muftī – a separate judicial office in other parts of the Islamic world. Qajar jurists exercised their extensive judicial powers through a network of informal sharī'a courts, which they came to operate in most Iranian towns and cities largely independent of direct state control. While the notarial aspects of the Qajar sharī'a court have received some scholarly attention, this study aims to investigate the role of the jurist and his ruling (Ḥukm-i shar') in sharī'a litigation (murāfa'a pl. –āt).
Supervisor: Herzig, Edmund M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islam ; Socio-legal studies ; Qajar Iran ; Shiite law ; jurist ; ruling ; judicial system ; decentralization ; ligitation ; religious endowments