The purpose of this study is to bring to light some of the most formative innovations in the Ottoman legal administration that unfolded by the 16th Century. It serves to macroscopically trace back some of the major developments that led to the crystallization of the Ottoman legal system and the state's administration of justice. This study thus aims to demonstrate the process of the making of Ottoman law through the early attempts of codifying a comprehensive legal code together with the creation of a unique form of "Ottoman Hanafism". Furthermore, it aims to examine the role of some of the state actors as well as the judiciary in giving rise to a bureaucratic system of administration in attempting to establish standardization and uniformity throughout the empire and in bringing in line all of the empire's provinces.


Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Degree Name

MA in Arabic Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

February 2018

First Advisor

Serag, Mohamed

Committee Member 1

El Saadi, Hoda

Committee Member 2

Tutwiler, Richard


151 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to first express my gratitude to my parents for having always been my support system and for their selfless love and sacrifices. I owe special thanks to my husband for always believing in me and pushing me forward. I’m grateful for his understanding and patience, for always helping me put things into perspective, and for being my guidance and best example to follow. To Sandy, my sister, thank you for making the last days of this journey memorable and for your support in finalizing this study. I would like to also thank Dr. Nelly Hanna for being a true mentor, for her intellectual and academic support, for her diligence with her students, and for her continuous guidance and help in making this study possible. I also owe thanks to Dr. Mohamed Serag, Dr. Hoda El Saadi, and Dr. Richard Tutwiler for their appreciated insights and aiding me in this study. I am also grateful to Marwa for her limitless help, support, and patience, and to my dear colleagues Menna and Yomna for sharing with me every step of the way.