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ASSISTED BY F. Th. DIJKEMA AND Mme. S. NURIT (pp. 513-1044) 



* tC/ 0* 





Members: C.E. Bosworth, J.T.P. de Bruijn, Cl. Cahen, A. Dias Farinha, E. van Donzel, J. van Ess, 

F. Gabrieli, E. Garcia Gomez, W.P. Heinrichs, A.K.S. Lambton, G. Lecomte, T. Lewicki, B. Lewis, 

F. Meier, Ch. Pellat, F.H. Pruijt, F. Rosenthal, F. Rundgren, A.L. Udovitch. 

Associated members: Naji al-Asil, Haul Inalcik, Ibrahim Madkour, S.H. Nasr, M. Talbi, E. Tyan. 

The preparation of this volume of the Encyclopaedia of Islam was made possible 
in part through grants from the Research Tools Program of the National Endow- 
ment for the Humanities, an independent Federal Agency of the United States 
Government; the British Academy; the Oriental Institute, Leiden; Academie des 
Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres; and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences 

The articles in this volume were published in double fascicules of 128 pages, the dates of public; 



99-100, pp. 1-128 

1989: Fasc. 


2, pp. 513- 896 



101-104, pp. 129-384 

1990: Facs. 


4a, pp. 897-1044 



105-106, pp. 385-512 

ISBN 90 04 08112 7 

© Copyright 1990 by E. J. Brill, Leiden, the Netherlands. 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or 

translated in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, microfiche or any other 

means without written permission from the Editors. 



For the benefit of readers who may wish to follow up an individual contributor's articles, the Editors have decid- 
ed to place after each contributor's name the number of the pages on which his signature appears. Academic 
Dut not other addresses are given (for a retired scholar, the place of his last known academic appointment). 
In this list, names in square brackets are those of authors of articles reprinted or revised from the first edition 
jf this Encyclopaedia or from the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam. An asterisk after the name of the author in the 
:ext denotes an article reprinted from the first edition which has been brought up to date by the Editorial Com- 
mittee', where an article has been revised by a second author his name appears in the text within square brackets 
ifter the name of the original author. 

, University of Tunis. 911. 
3Z, Cracow. 986. 
Haleh Afshar, University of Bradford. 488. 
I. Afshar, Tehran. 92. 
Feroz Ahmad, University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

M. Ajami, Princeton University. 409. 
Munir Aktepe, University of Istanbul. 58, 1004. 
Hamid Algar, University of California, Berkeley. 

225, 292. 
C. H. Allen Jr., School of the Ozarks, Point 

Lookout, Miss. 843. 
E. Allworth, Columbia University, New York. 772. 
Edith G. Ambros, University of Vienna. 967, 969, 


Ghaus Ansari, Kuwait University. 490. 

A. Arioli, University of Rome. 313. 

R. Arnaldez, University of Paris. 571. 

the late E. Ashtor, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 

R. W. J. Austin, University of Durham. 614. 
A. Ayalon, Tel Aviv University, 262, 726. 

D. Ayalon, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 321. 
[F. Babinger, Munich], 1000, 1023, 1024. 

J.-L. Bacoue-Grammont, French Institute of Anato- 
lian Studies, Istanbul. 993. 

M. A. Bakhit, University of Jordan, Amman. 346. 

[W. Barthold, Leningrad]. 420, 433, 942. 

A. F. L. Beeston, Oxford. 88. 

Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Universities of Bamberg 
and Munich. 719. 

Irene Beldiceanu-Steinherr, Centre National de la 
Recherche Scientifique, Paris. 278. 

J. E. Bencheikh, University of Paris. 349, 626. 

R. Bencheneb, Paris. 757. 

N. Berkes, Hythe, Kent. 969. 

[P. Berthier, Rabat]. 891. 

E. Birnbaum, University of Toronto. 1020. 
A. Bjorkelo, University of Bergen. 794. 
W. Bjorkman, Uppsala. 195, 424, 1007. 

J. R. Blackburn, University of Toronto. 72, 437, 

P. N. Boratav, Centre National de la Recherche 

Scientifique, Paris. 421, 827. 
the late}. Bosch Vila, Granada. 223, 577, 899, 927. 
C. E. Bosworth, University of Manchester. 64, 66, 
77, 87, 116, 152, 193, 270, 273, 276, 340, 419, 421, 

498, 505, 539, 542, 557, 618, 621, 623, 628, 713, 
726, 729, 780, 782, 783, 872, 901, 903, 912, 914, 
915, 916, 918, 942, 966, 1024. 

Yu. Bregel, Indiana University, Bloomington. 417, 
418, 419, 420. 

[C. Brockelmann, Halle]. 115, 869. 

K. L. Brown, University of Manchester. 124. 

J. T. P. de Bruijn, University of Leiden. 73, 86, 276, 
633, 764, 835. 

[Fr. Buhl, Copenhagen]. 46, 575, 918. 

[M. Buret]. 137. 

J. C. Burgel, University of Bern. 340. 

R. M. Burrell, University of London. 358, 730. 

J. Burton-Page, Church Knowle, Dorset. 61, 87, 
122, 128, 269, 343, 370, 410, 534, 536, 537, 690, 
815, 839, 867, 970, 1019, 1028, 1029. 

P. Cachia, Columbia University, New York. 868. 

Cl. Cahen, University of Paris. 141, 144, 1017. 

J. Calmard, Centre National de la Recherche Scien- 
tifique, Paris. 518, 556. 

G. E. Carretto, University of Rome. 1024. 

[P. de Cenival, Rabat]. 598. 

the late E. Cerulli, Rome. 129, 628. 

J.-Cl. Ch. Chabrier, Centre National de la Recher- 
che Scientifique, Paris. 104. 

P. Chalmeta, University of Zaragoza. 432, 521, 852. 

J. Chelhod, Centre National de la Recherche Scien- 
tifique, Paris. 481, 491. 

A. H. Christie, University of London. 702. 

J. W. Clinton, Princeton University. 453, 783. 

A. Cohen, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 544. 

[G. S. Colin, Paris]. 744, 774, 815, 1009. 

[C. Collin Davies]. 87, 780. 

D. C. Conrad, Stinton Beach, California. 422. 

R. G. Coquin, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 

Paris. 144. 
Chr. Correll, University of Konstanz. 309. 
Nicole Cottart, Centre National de la Recherche 

Scientifique, Paris. 283. 
[A. Cour, Constantine]. 893. 
Patricia Crone, University of Oxford. 640, 848, 

Yolande Crowe, London. 408. 

E. Dachraoui, University of Tunis. 435, 728. 
H. Daiber, Free University, Amsterdam. 639. 

G. David, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest. 

R. H. Davison, George Washington University, 

Washington. 69, 1035. 
G. Delanoue, French Institute of Arabic Studies, 


i. 602. 


F. M. Donner, University of Chicago. 917. 

E. van Donzel, Netherlands Institute for the Near 
East, Leiden. 434, 628, 644, 910, 933. 

P. Dumont, University of Strasbourg. 96. 

R. M. Eaton, University of Arizona, Tucson. 269, 

H. Eisenstein, University of Vienna. 1003. 
T. El-Acheche, University of Tunis. 438. 
N. Eliseeff, University of Lyons. 383, 456, 457, 546, 

548, 583, 734, 792, 871. 

G. Endress, University of Bochum. 846. 
J. van Ess, University of Tubingen. 458. 

T. Fahd, University of Strasbourg. 247, 349, 374, 

Suraiya Faroqhi, University of Munich. 232, 243, 

342, 510. 
W. Feldman, University of Pennsylvania, Phila- 
delphia. 1008. 
C. V. Findley, Ohio State University, Columbus. 9, 

11, 290, 341, 972. 
Barbara Flemming, University of Leiden. 610, 837. 
W. Floor, Bethesda, Maryland. 804. 
J. Fontaine, Tunis. 712. 
A. D. W. Forbes, University of Aberdeen. 207, 246, 

703, 1022. 
J. Fraenkel, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 360. 
G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville, York. 129, 203, 283, 

370, 385, 704, 774, 965, 967, 1023. 
Y. Friedmann, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 440, 

[H. Fuchs, Mainz], 897. 
C. L. Geddes, University of Denver. 371. 
G. G. Gilbar, University of Haifa. 277. 

F. Muge Gocek, University of Michigan, Ann Ar- 
bor. 133, 746, 1017, 1029, 1030. 

O. Grabar, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

W. J. Griswold, Colorado State University, Fort 

Collins. 613. 
A. H. de Groot, University of Leiden. 532, 992, 

993, 994, 995, 996, 997, 998, 999, 1000, 1001, 

1002, 1003, 1025. 
[M. Guidi, Rome]. 952. 
Adnan Guriz, University of Ankara. 498. 
U. Haarmann, University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau. 

[T. W. Hatg, London]. 310. 

H. Halm, University of Tubingen. 440, 454. 

W. L. Hanaway Jr., University of Pennsylvania, 

Philadelphia. 609. 
P. Hardy, Fulford, York. 536. 
Angelika Hartmann, University of Wiirzburg. 430. 
Mohibul Hasan, Aligarh. 47, 52, 55, 62, 63. 
A. T. Hatto, London. 371. 

G. R. Hawting, University of London. 625. 

J. A. Haywood, Lewes, East Sussex. 272, 612, 773, 

827, 953. 
G. Hazai, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 

Budapest. 75. 
[W. Heffening, Cologne]. 200, 558. 

C. J. Heywood, University of London. 129, 291, 

D. R. Hill, Great Bookham, Surrey. 406. 
Carole Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh. 244, 

627, 932. 
R. Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh. 368, 688. 
the late G. M. Hinds, University of Cambridge. 140. 
H. F. Hofman, Utrecht. 131. 
P. M. Holt, Oxford. 331. 

[E. Honigmann, Brussels]. 231, 508, 544, 779, 792, 

[M. HlDAYAT HOSAIN]. 131. 

R. S. Humphreys, University of Wisconsin, 

Madison. 782. 
J. O. Hunwick, Northwestern University, Evanston, 

111. 223. 
C H. Imber, University of Manchester. 72, 228. 
H. Inalcik, University of Chicago. 5, 11, 813, 961, 

978, 981, 1026. 
Riazul Islam, Karachi. 310. 
B. S. J. Isserlin, Leeds. 298. 
Fahir iz, Bogazici University, Istanbul. 373, 986, 

989, 1003, 1016. 
Penelope Johnstone, Oxford. 632. 
the late T. M. Johnstone, Oxford. 85. 
J. Jomier, Toulouse. 46, 361. 

F. deJong, University of Utrecht. 88, 224, 454, 627, 
888, 897. 

G. H. A. Juynboll, The Hague. 717. 

the late A. G. Karam, American University, Beirut. 

Barbara Kellner-Heinkele, University of Berlin. 

989, 1016. 
H. Kennedy, University of St. Andrews. 206, 345, 

M. Khadduri, Johns Hopkins University, 

Washington. 740. 
M. Kiel, Bonn. 1015. 

D. A. King, University of Frankfort. 187, 598, 794, 
840, 915. 

M. J. Kister, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 107. 
J. Knappert, Barnet, Herts. 613, 828, 897. 
M. Kohbach, University of Vienna. 989. 
|J. H. Kramers, Leiden]. 633, 634, 983. 
P. Kunitzsch, University of Munich. 376. 

E. Kuran, Hacettepe University, Ankara. 1004. 
Gunay Alpay Kut, Bogazigi University, Istanbul. 

B. Kutukoglu, University of Istanbul. 971, 990, 991. 
Ann K. S. Lambton, Kirknewton, Northumberland. 

22, 485, 496, 529, 858. 
[H. Lammens, Beirut]. 924. 
J. M. Landau, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 197, 

400, 750, 1013. 
Ella Landau-Tasseron, Hebrew University, 

Jerusalem. 269. 
H.-P. Laqueur, Munich. 125. 
J. D. Latham, University of Edinburgh. 405. 
B. Lawrence, Duke University, Durham. 131. 
A. Layish, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 25, 26, 

28, 29, 31, 33, 35, 36, 38, 42. 
Linda Y. Leach, Richmond, Surrey. 426. 
O. N. H. Leaman, Liverpool Polytechnic. 220, 347, 

D. S. Lev, University of Washington, Seattle. 44. 
[G. Levi Della Vida, Rome]. 954. 
[E. Levi-Provencal, Paris]. 132, 188, 340, 345, 568, 

923, 969. 
N. Levtzion, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 261. 

A. Levy, Brandeis University, Waltham, Ma. 61. 
T. Lewicki, University of Cracow. 311, 312, 453, 

842, 948, 949, 1044. 

B. Lewis, Princeton University. 725. 

T. O. Ling, University of Manchester. 245. 

O. Lofgren, Uppsala. 133. 

[D. B. MacDonald, Hartford, Conn.]. 219. 

D. MacEoin, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 720, 953. 

K. McPherson, Western Australian Institute of 

Technology, Bentley. 504. 
W. Madelung, University of Oxford. 192, 219, 436, 

439, 442, 847, 848, 917. 

A. J. Mango, London. 984, 985. 

[G. Marcais, Algiers]. 427, 441. 

[D. S. Margoliouth, Oxford]. 883, 888. 

J. N. Mattock, University of Glasgow. 87, 205. 

[Th. Menzel]. 1027. 

E. Mercil, University of Istanbul. 1018, 1019. 

[E. Michaux-Bellaire]. 136. 

R. E. Miller, University of Regina, Canada. 466. 

[V. Minorsky, Cambridge]. 203, 385, 503, 505, 541, 

542, 717, 745, 929. 
A. Miquel, College de France, Paris. 314, 720. 
S. Moreh, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 617, 928. 
M., Morony, University of California, Los Angeles. 

634, 923, 952. 
W. W. MCller, University of Marburg. 84, 567. 

5. Munro-Hay, London. 575. 
[M. Nazim]. 916. 

Angelika Neuwirth, University of Munich. 189. 
[R. A. Nicholson, Cambridge]. 614. 
J. S. Nielsen, University of Birmingham. 935. 
C. Nijland, Netherlands Institute for the Near East, 
Leiden. 306, 308. 

6. Nutku, University of Izmir. 865. 
G. Oman, University of Naples. 799. 
R. Orazi, Rome. 720. 

Solange Ory, University of Aix-Marseille. 123. 

M. M. Ould Bah, Unesco, Tunis. 313. 

J. D. Pearson, Cambridge. 200. 

[]. Pedersen, Copenhagen]. 677. 

Ch. Pellat, University of Paris. 115, 143, 188, 196, 

257, 267, 344, 357, 406, 608, 628, 636, 640, 709, 

710, 738, 789, 829, 843, 895, 907, 916, 933, 943, 

T. Philipp, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

the late G. F. Pijper, Amsterdam. 701. 
[M. Plessner, Jerusalem], 205, 344, 543. 
I. Poonawala, University of California, Los Angeles. 

191, 1010. 
Munibur Rahman, Oakland University, Rochester, 

Mich. 132, 271, 839. 
[W. H. Rassers]. 117. 
M. Rekaya, University of Paris. 339. 
C. H. B. Reynolds, University of London. 247. 
J. F. Richards, Duke University, Durham. 423. 
J. Rikabi, Constantine. 539. 

l. Robin, Centre National de la Recherche Scien- 

tifique, Aix-ei 

F. C. 

:. 832. 

Robinson, Royal Holloway College, 

Egham, Surrey. 78, 874. 
M. Rodinson, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 

Paris. 587. 
W. Rollig, University of Tubingen. 1023. 
[Ph. van Ronkel, Leiden]. 240. 

F. Rosenthal, Yale University, New Haven. 194, 

[E. Rossi, Rome]. 295, 613. 

G. Rotter, University of Hamburg. 740. 

A. I. Sabra, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

J. Sadan, Tel-Aviv University. 360, 723. 

A. Samb, University of Dakar. 707. 

J. Samso, University of Barcelona. 543, 602, 712. 

Paula Sanders, Harvard University, Cambridge, 

Mass. 520, 851. 
Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti, University of 

Rome. 959. 
|J. Schacht, New York]. 3, 25, 265, 926. 
O. Schumann, University of Hamburg. 117, 733. 
R. Sellheim, University of Frankfort. 635, 825, 914, 

Maya Shatzmiller, University of Western Ontario, 

London, Ontario. 441, 574. 
G. W. Shaw, British Library, London. 806, 807. 
S. J. Shaw, University of California, Los Angeles. 

H. K. Sherwani 

. Shil. 

, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 216, 

D. Shulman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. 960. 

I. H. Siddiqui, Muslim University, Aligarh. 1031. 

J. Siegel, Cornell University, Ithaca. 239, 240. 

the late Susan A. Skilliter, Cambridge. 982. 

P. Sluglett, University of Durham. 902. 

S. Soucek, New York Public Library. 588, 1011, 

1016, 1022, 1037. 
the late O. Spies, Bonn. 80. 
A. J. Stockwell, University of London. 242. 
[M. Streck, Jena]. 716, 923. 
Abdus Subhan, Calcutta. 270, 272, 295. 
M. Talbi, University of Tunis. 713. 
Nada Tomiche, University of Paris. 472, 599. 
G. Troupeau, Institut National des Langues et 

Civilisations Orientales, Paris. 130, 308. 
M. Ursinus, University of Birmingham. 372. 


:, Paris 


[R. Vasmer, Leningrad]. 942. 
G. Veinstein, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences 
Sociales, Paris. 1006. 

C. H. M. Versteegh, University of Nijmegen. 346. 
Z. Vesel, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifi- 

que, Paris. 908. 
Ch. Vial, University of Aix-Marseille. 77, 91, 415, 

F. Vire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifi- 
que, Paris. 537, 913. 

D. Waines, University of Lancaster. 809. 

W. Montgomery Watt, Dalkeith, Midlothian. 147. 
[A. J. Wensinck, Leiden]. 152, 632, 709, 726, 843, 
874, 903. 

G. M. Wickens, University of Toronto. 826. 
J. C. Wilkinson, University of Oxford. 736. 

the late R. B. Winder, New York University. 180. 

J. J. Witkam, University of Leiden. 1031. 

[A. Yu. Yakubovskii, Moscow], 621. 

F. A. K. Yasamee, University of Manchester. 90. 

T. Yazici, Istanbul. 887. 

H. G. Yurdaydin, University of Ankara. 844. 

H. Zafrani, University of Paris. 294. 

D. Zahan, University of Paris. 402. 


P. 56b, < ABD AL .CAZIZ, 1. 4, instead of 20 June read 26 June. 

P. 75 a , C ABD al-MADJID I, 1. 39, instead of 25 June read 26 June. 

P. 106 ab , ABU 'l- c ARAB, add: One of the works of Abu 'l- c Arab Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Tamlm b. Tarn- 
mam b. Tamlm al-Tamlmr (thus the full nasab) which has been preserved (in a unique Cambridge 
ms.) is his Kitab al-Mihan, a work in the tradition of the makatil books. It deals with a wide range 
of deaths in battle, by poisoning, persecution of c Alids, sufferings of Ahmad b. Hanbal in the mihna 
[q.v.] of the early 3rd/9th century; see for an analysis of its contents, M. J. Kister, The "Kitab al- 
Mihan", a book on Muslim martyrology, in JSS, xx (1975), 210-18. The complete work has now been 
edited by Yahya Wahlb al-Djabburl, Beirut 1403/1983. 

P. 194b, ADHRUHm add to Bibliography A. G. Killick, Udhruh and the early Islamic conquests, in Procs. of the 
Second Symposium on the history of Bilad al-Sham during the early Islamic period (English and French papers), 
Amman 1987, 73-8. 

P. 279 a , AHMAD v. TULUN, end of penultimate paragraph, instead of March 884 read May 884. 

P. 436 b , al- c AMILI, Muhammad b. Husayn Baba 3 al-DIn, add to Bibl.: A. Newman, Towards a reconsidera- 
tion of the "Isfahan school of philosophy" ': Shaykh BahdHand the role of the Safawid 'ulama, in Studia Iranica, 
xv (1986), 165-98; C. E. Bosworth, Baha^ al-Dtn 'Amili and his literary anthologies , Manchester 1989. 

P. 847 b , BABIS, add to Bibl.: Abbas Amanat, Resurrection and renewal. The making of the Babi movement in Iran, 
1844-1850, Ithaca and London 1989. 

P. 940 b , BAHRAM SHAH, al-MALIK al-AMDJAD, 1. 2, instead of Shahansjiah read Turanshah. 

P. 1007b, BALUClSTAN, add to Bibl.: J. Elfenbein, A periplus of the " Brahui problem" , in Stud. Iranica, xvi 
(1987), 215-33. 

P. 1030 b , BARADUST, 1. 37, instead of 395/1005 read 1005/1597. 

P. 1300", BULANDSHAHR, 1. 30, instead of 644/1246-665/1266 read 796-815/1394-1412. 

P. 1345 a , BUST, add to Bibl.: T. Allen, Notes on Bust, in IranJBIPS, xxvi (1988), 55-68, xxvii (1989), 57-66, 
xxviii (1990). 


P. 72 b , DABIK, paragraph three, 1. 2, instead of 15 Radjab 922 read 25 Radjab 922. 

P. 809 a , FARRUKHAN, 1. 5 from bottom, instead of seventy years read thirteen years (90-103/709-21). 


P. 134 a , al-HAMIDI, 1. 24 from bottom, instead of 364/974-5, read 564/1168-9. 

P. 293 b , HAWRAN, add to Bibliography M. Sartre, Le Hawran byzantin a la veille de la conquete musulmane, in 

Procs. of the Second Symposium on the history of Bilad al-Sham during the early Islamic period (English and French 

papers), Amman 1987, 155-67. 
P. 367", HIDJRA, add to Bibliography Z . I. Khan, The origins and development of the concept of Hijrah or migration 

in Islam 1 Ph. D. thesis, Manchester 1987, unpublished. 
P. 460 b , HINDU-SHAHIS, add to Bibl.: Yogendra Mishra, The Hindu Shahis of Afghanistan and the Punjab, 

Patna 1972; Abdur Rahman, The last two dynasties of the Sdhis. An analysis of their history, archaeology, 

coinage and palaeography, Islamabad 1979. 
P. 1007 b , C ID, 1. 1, instead_of sunset read sunrise. 
P. 1196*, IN SJHA 5 ALLAH, 1. 2 from below, instead of James, iv, 19 read James, iv, 13-15. 


P. 754 b , KATI C A, add to end: The term katfa is also used in the specific sense of "ransom" in the period of 

the_ Crusades; cf. al-Safadl, Wafi, xiii, 505. 
P. 759 a , KATIB, 1. 23 from below, instead o/Amlr Khusraw read Amir Hasan. 
P. 834 a , KAYS AYLAN, add to Bibliography Chang-kuan Lin, The role of internecine strife and political struggle in 

the downfall of the Umayyad dynasty, M. Phil, thesis, Manchester 1987, unpublished. 
P. 1100a, MADJMA C <ILMI, 1. 32, instead of statues read statutes. 


P. 39, KHOTAN, add: 

The language of ancient Khotan was a Middle Iranian language, closely related to Soghdian. It is 
now commonly called Khotanese, though, since it was the descendant of one of the languages of the 
numerous, but ill-definable, pre-historic "Saka" tribes of Central Asia, it is sometimes called "Kho- 
tan Saka" (see e.g. H. W. Bailey, Dictionary of Khotan Saka, Cambridge, etc. 1979). E. Leumann, 
one of the earliest decipherers of the language, thought that it was a separate branch of Indo-Iranian 
and therefore called it "Nordarisch", but this theory was shown to be untenable by scholars such 
as S. Konow and Bailey. See Bailey, Indo-Scythian studies, being Khotanese texts volume IV. Saka texts from 
Khotan in the Hedin collection, Cambridge 1963, introd. 1-18; R. E. Emmerick, Saka grammatical studies , 
London 1968; idem, A guide to the literature of Khotan, Studia Philologica Buddhica. Occasional Papers 
Series III, Tokyo 1979; idem, Khotanese, in Compendium linguarum iranicarum, ed. R. Schmitt, Wiesba- 
den 1989. 


The following kings of Khotan are known from the Khotanese documents: Visya Vikrram, Visa 5 
(Visya) SI(m)hya, Visa 3 Dharma, Visa 3 KIrtti and Visa 3 Vaham (all probably 8th century A.D.); 
Visa 3 Samgrama (? 9th century); Visa 3 Sa(m)bhava/Sambhata (regn. 912-66), Visa 3 Sura (regn. 
967-at least 971), Visa 3 D(h)arma (regn. 978-at least 988). See for useful surveys, J. Hamilton, Les 
r'egnes khotanais entre 851 et 1001, in M. Soymie (ed.), Contributions aux etudes sur Touen-Houang, Centre 
de recherches d'histoire et de philologie de la IVe section de l'EPHE II, Hautes etudes orientales 
10, Geneva and Paris 1979, 49-54; idem, Sur la chronologic khotanaise au IX'-X' stale, in Soymie (ed.), 
Contributions aus etudes de Touen-Houang HI, Pubis, de L'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, cxxxv, 
Paris 1984, 47-8; and see further, H. Kumamoto, Some problems of the Khotanese documents, in Studia 
grammatica iranica, ed. R. Schmitt and P. O. Skjaervo, Munich 1986, 227-44, and Skjaervo, Kings 
of Khotan in the 8th-10th centuries. . . , in Acts of the colloquium on "Histoireet cultes del'Asie Centrale preislami- 
que: sources e'crites et documents archeologiques" , Paris 22-8 November 1988, CNRS Paris (forthcoming). 
The islamisation of Khotan apparently took place already around 1006, at any rate before 1008, 
since the Chinese annals for the year 1009 report the arrival of a huei-hu ( = Turk) sent by the hei-han 
( = Khaghan) of Yu-t'ien ( = Khotan) with tribute to the Imperial Chinese court; the envoy had been 
travelling for a year (see M. Abel-Remusat, Histoire de la ville de Khotan tiree des annales de la Chine et 
traduitedu chinois, Paris 1820, 86-7). The Muslim ruler at this time was the Karakhanid Yusuf Kadir 
Khan of Kashghar (on whom see O. Pritsak, Die Karachaniden, in 1st., xxxi [1953-4], 30-3, repr. in 
Studies in medieval Eurasian history, London 1981, xvi, and ilek-khans). 

The conflict between Khotan and Kashghar must have started earlier, however, for in a letter 
written in Khotanese by King Visa 3 Sura in 970, the ruler refers to "Our evil enemy the Tazhik 
(Khot. TtasPka) Tcum-hyai:na [Ts'ung hsien?], who [is] there among the Tazhiks", and in a letter 
in Chinese from the ruler of Sha-chou (Tun Huang) to the king of Khotan. in the Pelliot collection, 
from around 975 we read that "the prince of the west is leading Tadjik (Ta-shih) troops to attack 
[your] great kingdom" (see Bailey, Saka documents, text vol. , Corpus inscr. iranicarum, ii, V, London 
1968, 58-61, 11. 50-1; Hamilton, Sur la chronologic, 48-9). Hamilton has suggested that the "evil 
enemy" may be Visa 3 Sura's brother, another son of Visa 3 Sambhava (in Chinese, Li Sheng-t'ien), 
two of whom are known to have borne the name Tcum/Ts'ung. Kumamoto, op. cit., 231, suggests 
that this mother may have been a Karakhanid. The last known king of Khotan was Visa 3 D(h)arma 
(still ruling in 988), whose name shows that he was not a Muslim. The definitive struggle over 
Khotan must therefore have taken place during the ensuing two decades. See also M. A. Stein, 
Ancient Khotan, 2. vols., Oxford 1907, repr. New York 1975, i, 180-1; W. Samolin, East Turkistan 
to the twelfth century, The Hague, etc. 1964, 80-2. 

P. 375b, al-KUMAYT B. ZAYD al-ASADI, add to Bibl. : W. Madelung, The Hashimiyyat of al-Kumayt and 
Hashiml ShiHsm, in SI, lxx (1989), 5-26. 

P. 1029b, al-MADIDIAWI, '• *. instead of Algiers, read Constantine. 

P. 1 135 b , MADRASA, add. to the Bibl. : R. Brunschvig, Quelques remarques sur les medersas de Tunisie, in RT, new 
ser., vi (1931), 261-85. 

P. 1232 a , al-MAHDI: 11. 33-48. This passage was modified by the Editors without the author's consent. The 
author's original should be restored as follows: 

This hadith, whose first part is patterned upon the revolt of c Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, probably goes 
back to c Abd Allah b. al-Harith b. Nawfal b. al-Harith b. c Abd al-Muttalib, who appears in its isndd 
and claimed to have heard it from Umm Salama, widow of the Prophet. c Abd Allah b. al-Harith 
was chosen by the people of Basra as their governor in 64/684 after the death of the caliph Yazid 
and the flight of his governor c Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad. He then recognised Ibn al-Zubayr as the caliph 
and took the pledge of allegiance of the Basrans for him. The hadith was evidently proclaimed by 
him in this situation with the aim of stirring up support for the cause of Ibn al-Zubayr. 


P. 115b, MAKAMA, add to Bibl.: Yusuf Nur c Awad, Fann al-makdmat bayn al-mashrik wa 'l-maghrib\ Mecca 

1406/1986; SamTr Mahmud al-Durubl, Shark makamat Jalal al-Dln al-Suyuti al-mutawaffa sanat 911, 

2 vols. Beirut 1409/1989. 
P. 125 b , MAKBARA, add to Bibliography: J .-L. Bacque-Grammont, H.-P. Laqueur, N. Vatin, Stelae Turcicae, 

I: Kiiciik Ayasofya, in Istabuler Mitteilungen xxxiv (1984), 441-539. 
P. 262*, MALIK, at end of Bibliography add A. Ayalon, 'Malik' in modern Middle Eastern literature, in WI xxiii- 

xxiv (1984), 306-19. 
P. 334», MA C N, at end of Bibliography add Abu '1-Wafa 3 al-Urdi, Ma'ddin al-dhahabfi 'l-ridial al-musharrafa bi-him 

Halab, MS B.M. Or. 3618. 
P. 358^, AL .MANAMA, 1. 3, instead of side read site. 

Add to Bibliography Mahdi Abdalla al-Tajir, Bahrain 1920-1945, Britain, the Shaikh and the administration, 

London 1987. 
P. 374b, al-MANAZIL, 1. 8, after Ibn Kutayba insert a comma. 

1. 27, after names insert became. 

No. 5 of the list, instead o/X<]> 12 . Orionis read Xep 1 - 2 Orionis. 

No. 9 of the list, instead of 8 read x. 
P. 375 a , No. 28 of the list, instead of al-hut read al-hut. 

1. 23, instead of 1800 read 180. 
P. 453b, MANU&HRI, add to Bibl.: W. L. Hanaway, Blood and wine: sacrifice in ManOchihri's wine poetry, in 

IranJBIPS, xxvi (1988), 69-80. 
P. 459a., MAPPILA, 1. 37, instead of 1948 read 1498. 
P. 460* , 1. 10, instead of ist read its. 

1. 30, instead of or read of. 


P. 461 a , 1. 13 from below, instead of wiser read wider. 

P. 462 b , 1. 17, instead of nor read not. 

P. 463 b , 11. 29-30 from below, instead of remaining read remains. 

P. 464 a , 1. 16 from below, instead of wisely read widely. 

Pp. 511 and 517, MAR'ASHJS. Owing to an unfortunate oversight Table A has been included twice. 

P. 641% MASAREUAWAYH, 1. 10, instead o/7tavf X TT)? read IlavBCx-UT);. 

1. 24-25, instead of p. 20, 1. 341 read p. 20, 1. 341. 

1. 26, instead of p. 88, 11. 1860-3 read p. 88, 11. 1860-3. 
P. 736 b , MASKAT, add to author's signature "shortened by the Editors". 
P. 764 b , MASRAH, add at the end of the Bibliography: Modem Persian drama. Anthology, tr. G. Kapuscinski, Lan- 

ham 1987; G. Kapuscinski, Modern Persian drama, in Persian literature, ed. E. Yarshater, Albany 1988, 



P. 127 a , BARIZ, DJABAL, <*&■'• ° ne should note the present-day settlement of Pariz, in the northwestern 
part of the Djabal Bariz, on the Ragsandjan-Sa'idabad (Sfrdjan) road, which could possibly be the ( 
classical Parikdne polis, town of the Parikanioi. See A. D. H. Bivar, A Persian fairyland, in Acta Iranica 
24: Hommages et opera minora X: Papers in honour of Professor Mary Boyce, Leiden 1985, 25-42, who here 
derives the legends and romances around the peris or fairies of Iran (Av. pairika, MP partg, NP part) 
from indigenous Persian traditions connecting them with the Parikanioi, whose epigoni were suspect 
in Sasanid times by Zoroastrian orthodoxy for their non-Zoroastrian local beliefs and customs, hence 
equated with demonic and supernatural beings. 

P. 163 b , CaC— NAMA. The last item in the Bibliography has been published in Y. Friedmann, ed., Islam 
in Asia,}: South Asia, Jerusalem 1984, 23-27. 

P. 395*, IBN NAZIR al-DIAYSH, add to Bibl.: The Tathkif is now available in the edition of R. Vesely, 
IFAO, Cairo 1987; see also on the author, D. S. Richards, The Tathqifoflbn Na?ir al-Jaish: the identity 
of the author and the manuscripts, in Cahiers d'onomasticon arabe, iv (1985-7), 97-101. 



MAHKAMA (a.), court. The subject-matter of 
this article is the administration of justice, and the 
organisation of its administration, in the Muslim 
countries, the office of the judge being dealt with in 
the art. kadi. 

The following topics are covered: 

1. General 

2. The Ottoman empire 

i. The earlier centuries 
ii. The reform era (ca. 1789-1922) 

3. Iran 

4. The Arab lands and Israel 

i. Egypt 

ii. Syria 
iii. Lebanon 
iv. 'Irak 

v. Palestine and Israel 
vi. Jordan 
vii. Saudi Arabia 

viii. Yemen and the People's Republic of 
Southern Yemen 
ix. The Gulf States 

x. Morocco 

xii. Tunisia 
xiii. Reforms in the law applying in Shari'a 

1. General 
The judicial functions of the Prophet, which had 
been expressly attributed to him in the Kur'an (IV, 
65, 105; V, 42, 48-9; XXIV, 48, 51), were taken over 
after his death by the first caliphs, who administered 
the law in person in Medina. Already under c Umar, 
the expansion of the Islamic empire necessitated the 
appointment of judges, originally for the expedi- 
tionary forces, then, in the natural course of events, 
also for the conquered territories; this institution of 
army judges (ka4i'l-djund) remained in being down to 
the Ottoman period as the kadi-'askar [q.v.]. The 
source of jurisdiction in the Shari'a is the caliph; the 
judges act as delegates of the authority by which they 
have been appointed, and are authorised to delegate 
their powers in turn to other persons. The appoint- 
ment of a judge is made by contract consisting of offer 
and acceptance in the presence of at least two 
witnesses. The validity of the appointment does not 
depend upon the legality of the appointing authority: 
by this open-minded disposition, the Shari'a has ac- 
commodated itself even in theory to the actual facts. 
On the other hand, the authorities are free to restrict 
the competence (wilaya) of the judge with regard to 

place, time and subject matter. In the early period, 
there used to be judges only in the big towns, and the 
judicial districts were accordingly large (the whole of 
Egypt, for instance); under the Ottomans this came to 
change, perhaps in consequence of the intense prac- 
tical application of the Shari'a in their territory. The 
restriction with regard to subject-matter was original- 
ly intended to divide labour and alleviate the burden 
of the chief judge, especially by erecting into indepen- 
dent offices some of his functions that were not purely 
judicial; in modern times, the restriction with regard 
to time and subject-matter is used in order to modify 
or eliminate the application of provisions of the Shan'-a 
without interfering direcdy with its material disposi- 
tions (see section 4. xiii. Reforms in the law applying 
in Shan'-a courts, below). Under the Umayyads, the 
judges were as a rule appointed by the governors; the 
c Abbasids made a point of assuming directly the exer- 
cise of this function of the sovereign; although they 
had to delegate it more than once to practically in- 
dependent princes, they still tried to retain it, at least 
in form, even when their power was in full decay. The 
compromise between those tendenties, together with 
the large size, and even the accumulation in one per- 
son, of judicial districts brought about a complicated 
system of delegation to substitutes. The Fatimids, the 
Umayyads in Spain and the Ottoman sultans likewise 
appointed their judges directly; the latter continued to 
exercise this privilege also in ceded territories such as 
Egypt, of which the chief kadi was nominated in Istan- 
bul until 1914. The kadi could be deposed at any time 
by the authority which had appointed him; a change 
of the person in charge of this function very often 
caused a re-filling of all the judicial posts dependent 
on it. According to the theory of the fikh, only a 
delegate, not an independent kadi, loses his office by 
the death or dismissal of the person who appointed 
him. Corresponding to this right of nomination is 
something like a right of supervision, which manifests 
itself in receiving complaints as well as in giving of- 
ficial directions. Another kind of higher instance was 
represented by the unanimous opinion of the learned 
men whom the judge ought to consult in cases of 
doubt; these could come to form a sort of unofficial 
court of appeal. A third kind of higher instance, the 
most important in practice, was control by the suc- 
cessor, which was often exercised with the utmost 
severity; every judgment of a kadi could be annulled 
by any of his successors, a possibility which led to an 
endless duration of some law-suits. All this affords 
certain possibilities for the revision of judgments, 
which in theory is not provided for at all. In theory, 
the kadi acts as a single judge; this did not prevent 
several judges, even if belonging to different juridical 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

schools, from being competent for one judicial 
district, especially in the capitals. A judgment once 
pronounced cannot be changed by the same kadi, even 
if evidence to the contrary is brought in later or if the 
original evidence is proved to be worthless; another 
kadi can repeal it only if there was a serious fault in 
law, i.e. if it is contrary to the Kur'an, to a recognised 
tradition or to unanimous opinion (idjma°). The judg- 
ment should be given according to the opinion of the 
law school (madhhab) to which the judge belongs; if he 
diverges from it, the validity of the judgment is con- 
troversial. A kadi did not have to belong to the same 
juridical school als the person who appointed him, nor 
a substitute to the same school as the judge who 
delegated his powers to him; but they could always be 
directed to follow the opinions of a certain school. In 
general, the authorities preferred kadis of their own 
juridical school; under the c Abbasids this was at first 
the Hanaft and later on the Shafi c I one, under the Ot- 
tomans, most decidedly, the Hanafi, whereas under 
the Umayyads of Spain the Malikl school had a 
jealously-guarded monopoly. The juridical school 
allegiance of the judge was of greater importance for 
the populace under his jurisdiction than for the ruler. 
Many judges, especially in the early period, made 
allowance for the people's allegiance to a school dif- 
ferent from their own, but many difficulties arose, in 
particular where the people of the country were divid- 
ed between several schools; to remedy this, recourse 
was often had (for the first time in Cairo in 525/1 131) 
to the appointment of several kadis, one of whom 
usually had official precedence over his colleagues, 
but among whom the parties could choose freely. The 
judge of the capital — not yet under the Umayyads but 
from the very beginning of the c Abbasids — occupied 
a prominent position and was given the title of Chief 
Judge (kadi 'l-kuaat), the first being Abu Yusuf [q.v.] 
in Baghdad (under Harun al-Rashld); in the western 
lands of Islam he was called kadi 'l-djamd'a. This at 
first simply meant pre-eminence among his col- 
leagues, but soon imported a right of supervision over 
them, which became still more pronounced when 
under the system of delegations the other kadis were 
only substitutes of the Chief Judge. The most impor- 
tant auxiliary officials were the secretary (katib) and 
the witnesses (shdhid [q.v.]), who at the same time 
fulfilled the function of notaries; their duties were 
often the first steps in a judicial career. Advocacy, i.e. 
the representation of the interests of the parties by 
specialists, was rejected by the theory and discouraged 
by the practice of the early period; on the contrary, 
the task of the learned in law was supposed to be to aid 
the judge, as muftis [see fatwa], in the impartial ap- 
plication of the sacred law. Nevertheless, the fatwa is 
often nothing more than a written pleading for one 
party, and advising parties and representing them in 
court have become a widely practised occupation of 
experts (wakil, "representative"), who have 
developed in modern times into the order of advocates 
(muhami) in the Shari'-a courts. For the procedure, see 
da c wa. Besides the administration of justice by kadis, 
the Shari'-a knows the voluntary resort to arbitrators 

Along with this religious jurisdiction, we find the 
administrative jurisdiction of the nazar al-mazalim 
("investigation of complaints") exercised by the 
caliphs and their political organs: viziers, governors, 
sultans, etc., or by judges appointed expressly for this 
purpose, as well as a police-like supervision by the 
muhtasib [q.v.] and the sahib al-shurta [see shurta]. 
Whereas down to the end of the Umayyad period all 
jurisdiction was concentrated in the hands of the kadi 

and occasional attempts at interference by the gover- 
nors were mostly frustrated, the early days of 
c Abbasid rule saw a need for supplementing kadi 
jurisdiction, which from now on was tied to the fully- 
developed system of the Shari'-a by the settling of com- 
plaints through the mazalim procedure. A clear separa- 
tion of the competences of both spheres in no way 
existed, notwithstanding the long lists of differences 
presented by theorists. Those very representatives of 
political authority who were anxious to assure a good 
administration of justice by strict supervision were apt 
to monopolise jurisdiction almost completely, the 
more so as the kadi possessed no executive organs of 
his own but had to depend on those which the 
authorities chose to place at his disposal. So nearly 
everywhere in Islam, a secular jurisdiction evolved 
beside the religious one [see ED, sharT'a, section 6]. 
It retained certain general principles of the Shari'-a, 
but based its judgments mainly upon equity and 
custom and applied an elastic and often summary pro- 
cedure. This state of things was to some extent sanc- 
tioned by the Kur'anic injunction to obey those in 
authority. In the sphere of secular jurisdiction, the last 
and the present century brought the creation of courts 
on the European pattern, controlled by the govern- 
ment, and the introduction of modern codes. The 
final step was the reorganisation, again on European 
lines, of the Shari'-a courts in a number of Muslim 
countries, resulting in the introduction of courts of ap- 
peal and of benches consisting of more than one 
judge. All this derives from the power of the 
authorities to restrict the competence of the kadis. 

In the following, we shall briefly discuss the spheres 
and organisation of shar'i justice in the Muslim coun- 
tries, its material law and procedure, the reforms in 
the law applying in Shari'-a courts and their applica- 
tion by the kadis. 

Bibliography: Snouck Hurgronje, Verspr. 
Geschr., vi, index s.v. Kadi and Richter; Juynboll, 
Handbuch, 309 ff.; idem, Handleidinf , 316 ff.; 
Lopez Ortiz, Derecho musulmdn, 67 ff.; Schacht, G. 
Bergstrdsser' s Grundzuge des islamischen Rechts, chs. i, 
x, xi; Amedroz, in JRAS (1910), 761 ff.; (1911), 
635 ff.; (1916), 287 ff.; Bergstrasser, in ZDMG, 
lxviii (1914), 395 ff.; Gabrieli, in Rivista Coloniale, 
viii/2 (1913); Probster, in Islamica, v, 545 ff. Much 
material is to be found in the biographical works on 
kadis, e.g. Waki c , Kitdb Akhbdr al-kuddt, ed. c Abd 
al- c Az!z Mustafa al-Maraghl, i-iii, Cairo 1947-50; 
al-Kindi, The governors and judges of Egypt, ed. Guest; 
al-Khushani, Historia de los jueces de Cordoba, ed. 
Ribera; al-Fath b. Khakan, KalaHd al-Hkyan; al- 
SuyutT, Husn al-muhadara; and the works mentioned 
in Schacht, Aus Kairiner Bibliolheken (II), 27 ff. Also 
the sources for political and administrative history, 
e.g. Ibn Khaldun, Mukaddima; al-Kalkashandl, 
Subh al-a'-sha; further, the works on the history of 
civilisation, e.g. Mez, Die Renaissance des Islams, 206 
ff., Span. tr. El Renacimiento del Islam, 267 ff. Eng. 
tr. Khuda Bakhsh., 216 ff.; Levi-Provencal, 
VEspagne musulmane, 79 ff.; R. Levy, The social 
structure of Islam, Cambridge 1957, chs, ii-iv, vi; fur- 
ther, the works of Schacht: The origins of Muham- 
madan jurisprudence 3 , Oxford 1959; An introduction to 
Islamic law'', Oxford 1966, chs. 1-11, with impor- 
tant bibliography; and Law and justice, in P. M. 
Holt, A. K. S. Lambton and B. Lewis (eds.), The 
Cambridge history of Islam, ii, Cambridge 1970, 
539-68; E. Tyan, Histoire de V organisation judiciaire en 
pays a" Islam 1 , Leiden 1960; M. Khadduri and H. J. 
Liebesny (eds.), Law in the Middle East, i, 
Washington, D.C. 1955; N. J. Coulson, A history of 

Islamic law, Edinburgh 1964, parts i-ii; Jeanette A. 
Wakin, The function of documents in Islamic law, 
Albany 1972; H.J. Liebesny, The law of the Near and 
Middle East, Albany 1975, chs. 1-2; Subhl 
MahmasanT, al-Awdd'- al-tashri* iyya fi 'l-duwal 
al-'-arabiyya madiha wa-hadiruhd 3 , Beirut 1965, with 
bibliography of Arabic works. (J. Schacht") 

2. The Ottoman Empire 

As the official seat of the kadi [q.v.], the mahkama 
was a fixed location within the bounds of a kdda 71 or 
hukuma, the jurisdiction area assigned to a kadi. The 
number of mahkamas in a particular jurisdiction area 
was determined and fixed by the sultan, and their 
locations could not be changed at the will of the kadi 
(Kanun-ndme, Turkish Hist. Soc. ms. Y4, f. 87b). 
When the population of a district grew or when new 
circumstances arose, the sultan could decide to divide 
the existing kddah in order to create new ones. The 
location of the mahkama was usually chosen for its easy 
access to the commercial community, generally in the 
bazar or somewhere within the precincts or near to the 
congregational mosque of the town. For instance, one 
of the mahkamas of Istanbul was in the courtyard of the 
mosque of Dawud Pasha. 

In the Ottoman Empire, mahkamas usually had their 
own premises, at least in the 18th century, as appears 
from the court records. The exact number of the 
mahkamas within a jurisdiction varied according to the 
population. In Istanbul, for example, there were five 
mahkamas scattered in the k^da^ of Istanbul, and in 
993/1585 the kadi submitted a request for opening of 
new mahkamas for the convenience of the population 
(A. Refik, Istanbul hayati, i, 30). In other kadd\ of 
greater Istanbul, namely Eyiip (Khasslar), Galata 
(Pera) and Uskiidar, there were other mahkamas. Bur- 
sa had seven mahkamas at various parts of the city in 
the 11th/ 17th century. 

The jurisdiction of a mahkama and 
abuses of power. Within a kaddh boundaries, an 
individual was free to choose which mahkama to use. 
Some mahkamas developed a speciality in a certain 
field; for instance, the mahkama of Eyiip became the 
court specialising in cases of water rights ( c O. Nurl, 
Madjalla, i, 1221). In the period before Suleyman's 
reign, important cities had judges of both the Hanafi 
and SJiafi c i law schools. However, Siileyman ordered 
that all courts in the Ottoman dominions should be 
administered only according to the Hanafi rite (Abu 
'l-Su'Qd, Ma'rudat, in MTM, i, 340-1). Despite this 
rule, Shafi c i judges continued to function in the courts 
of Antakya and all the cities in the Arab provinces (see 
Ewliya Celebi, Seyahat-name, iii, 58). By a hukm of 
928/1522 (ms. Veliyuddin 1969), the local begs were 
authorised to appoint kadis of the Shafi c T school in the 
province of Diyarbakr. In Radjab 981/October- 
November 1573 a firman confirmed that the kadis in 
the province of Tarabulus al-Gharb (Libya) could 
follow the Maliki school in their decisions (Muhimme 
defteri, xxiii, 153). 

The kadi or hakim al-shar'- of a court derived his 
authority directly from the sultan and was responsible 
only to him. A kadi once dismissed by the sultan had 
no power to issue any document. In the Ottoman em- 
pire, the kadi administered, not only the religious law 
but also the secular kanun [q.v.], a practice peculiar to 
that regime. The hakim had the power to administer 
ta'-zir [q.v.] punishments and to imprison debtors. 
Local mahkamas, however, had to refer to the Porte all 
ing the military class, state interests and 

public security, as well as those involving more than 
a certain amount of money. Some cases concerning 
the foreigners covered by the capitulations were also 
to be referred to the diwan-i hiimdyun [see imtiyazat, 
ii]. The sultan could order a hakim not to hear certain 
kinds of cases. The kadih decision was in principle 
final, and there was no provision for appeal in the Ot- 
toman judicial system. However, if the interested par- 
ty complained directly to the sultan of injustice in a 
decision, the imperial diwdn, while not capable of 
reversing it, could order according to the cir- 
cumstances either a retrial by the same kadi, a transfer 
of the case to a nearby hakim's court, or the dispatch 
of the parties to the imperial diwdn for a new trial. 
Governors were strictly forbidden to interfere in the 

such a case of interference, see Tashkopru-zade, 
Shakd>ik al-nu'maniyya, 216). In afatwd, Abu '1-Su c ud 
equated such governors with infidels. If a governor- 
general caught a kadi in a flagrantly illegal action, he 
could put an end to his activities, but he had to notify 
the sultan immediately, since a kadi could only be 
tried in the imperial diwdn itself. The sultan could at 
any time decide to remove a kadi from office. At the 
beginning, the term of a kadis office was unlimited. 
Later, in 1001/1598-9, it was limited to three years, 
and afterwards to two years. From the end of the 
1 lth/1 7th century onwards, the regular term of office 
or muddat-i '■urfiyya became one year. Originally an 
outgrowth of the need to find appointments for the 
muldzims or qualified candidates awaiting their turn 
for a post, these frequent changings of office were seen 
to be the prime factor in the deterioration of the Ot- 
toman judicial system and a cause of widespread cor- 
ruption (such criticisms made in the political 
pamphlets are summed up by K. Rohrborn, Unter- 
suchungen zur Osmanischen Verwaltungsgeschichte, Berlin 

Local populations had the right to complain to the 
sultan about their hakims' activities and behaviour, 
this being a fundamental right enjoyed by the re c aya 
against any agent of the sultan. General inspections 
were carried out from time to time to redress wrongs 
attributed to the kadis (for punishments meted out 
after such an inspection, see Topkapi Palace Library, 
Revan, no. 1506; M. Cezar, Levendler, Istanbul 1965, 
document no. 1 in the appendix). In Ottoman history, 
popular discontent against abuses at the mahkama was 
taken seriously by the sultans, and periodic reforms 
were carried out from the time of Bayezld I onwards. 
The principal subject of complaint was the collection 
of court fees, considered to be contrary to Islamic 
principles and actually denounced by the Ottoman 
muftis. The government tried to regulate the rates at 
various dates, as can be seen from the following table. 

These fees constituted the principal source of in- 
come of the hakims. They were prone to raise the rates 
or to force people to come to court unnecessarily for 
cases such as inheritance division or kismet-i mirath. 
Ewliya Celebi gives as the normal amount the income 
for each kddd 3 , including the income from abuses. It 
was only in the period following the Tanzimdt [q.v.], 
when the kadis were assigned fixed salaries, that such 
fees were finally abolished. In addition to this basic 
source of abuse, the hakims were inclined to increase 
the number of the mahkamas in their jurisdiction in 
order to obtain extra revenues and then to farm them 
out to the naHbs. This practice, forbidden under 
Siileyman I in the regulations for Egypt of 
931/1524-5, was included among the general abuses 
in the c adilet-name of 947/1540-1 (H. inalcik, Adalet- 
ndmeler, in Belgeler, ii, 76) and in a. firman of 958/1551 

Table showing fees collected for ce 

Type of case 





NaHb Katib 


NaHb Kdtib 




Manumission of slaves 


! j 


6 1 





Registration of 






marriage (nikah) 

Inheritance (mirath) 




4 2 




(fees for every 1,000 



1 1 


4 2 





Signature (imdd 7 ) 




Registration fee 



(sidjill-i kayd) 

Letters to authorities 



the due for inheritance division was dramatically 
reduced from 2.5% to 1.5% (see Munsha^at 
madjma'asi, British Museum Or. 9503, f. 65b). 
Another widespread subject of complaint was imposi- 
tions on the hospitality of the villagers during periodic 
tours, usually every three months, by the kadi or his 
na Hb throughout the jurisdiction. 

Personnel. The madjlis al-shar'-, or council of ex- 
perts on the religious law (shar 1 ^, used interchangeably 
with mahkamat al-shar' in the documents, consisted of 
a body of learned men who assisted the judge in 
reaching a judgement in complete conformity with the 
shar c (for the existence of such a council from early 
Islamic times, see E. Tyan, Organisation judiciaire, 
213-36). However, a mufti is rarely mentioned as sit- 
ting regularly in Ottoman mahkamas, though local muf- 
tis were often referred to for the issue of fatwds [q. v. ] 
on particular cases. In addition, the study of mahkama 
records reveals that the judge summoned individuals 
with knowledge and expertise on specific matters to 
act as witnesses, or shuhud al-hal, in the court, and 
these were registered as such at the end of the court 
sidjills. The use of shuhud, an old Islamic practice [see 
§H ahid] , was designed to check the kadi and to ensure 
that a decision was reached in the presence of an un- 
biased and expert body. There is no evidence that in 
the Ottoman Empire a permanent body was ap- 
pointed by the kadi as professional witnesses, who ex- 
isted as a kind of corporation in Egypt. For everyday 
cases, persons in the court or court officials could be 
employed as witnesses. We find that the shehir ket- 
khuddsi was regularly present at the court and was 
often included among the witnesses. 

The personnel of a given mahkama changed in 
number according to its importance, with a minimum 
of a katib and a muhdir. In large mahkamas, the follow- 
ing additional officials were to be found: a naHb or 
naHbs, kdtibs under a bash-kalib, chief secretary, and a 
mahkama emini, acting trustee. The kadi's staff included 
in some places a mukayyid or recorder and a cukadar or 
messenger (see Q. Ulucay, 18. asirda Manisa, docu- 
ment 27). Under a muhdir-bashi (in other Islamic 
states, sahib al-madjlis or djilwdz), there were muhdirs 
and yasakdjis (Janissaries), who acted as the court 
police. The bash-kdtib could also function as na Hb and 
the muhdir-bashi as amin or emin. In some large 
re also found ddnishmends, college 

graduates training to become kadis. NdHbs were 
agents of the kadi appointed by him and authorised to 
give legal decisions on his behalf in a certain mahkama 
or on certain specific issues. Each mahkama was assign- 
ed to the control of a na^ib. Na Hbs, sometimes also 
called simply kadis, were required to have the same 
qualifications as kadis themselves. Although in princi- 
ple a na Hb was appointed by the kadi and exclusively 
responsible to him, the government imposed certain 
restrictions in order to prevent some common abuses. 
As early as Suleyman I's time (926-74/1520-66), the 
system of farming out the office of na Hb was officially 
abolished, and the practice of selecting na Hbs from the 
local population was also prohibited (see inalcik, 
Addletndmeler, 76-7). Yet despite these measures, the 
farming-out of the office of naHb became a well- 
established practice, since in the 12th/ 18th century 
most of the important kadi posts in the provinces were 
administered by naHbs appointed by the great kadis 
who remained resident in Istanbul, or by those who 
received their kada^ as arpalik [q.v.]. Apparently the 
real concern in this period became how to maximise 
income deriving to a kadi from a jurisdiction area. 
Another category was the itinerant na Hbs who carried 
out inspections within the jurisdiction, handing down 
decisions on various offences, and determining the 
niyabet resmi or fines. Besides these, there were na Hbs 
appointed to deal with only a proportion of the cases 
or with cases involving certain expertises in a busy 
mahkama. Among these the kassam-l baladi, in charge of 
division of inheritances belonging to the non-military 
classes [see kassam], may be mentioned. A separate 
naHb, the gedje naHbi, was appointed to hear cases at 
night. An ayak naHbi, or wandering naHb, was in 
charge of enforcing prescriptions against religiously- 
forbidden things such as fraud by shop-keepers, 
drinking of wine, etc. In the mahkama of Istanbul, the 
most extensive in the empire (its record books, 
numbering several thousands, are preserved today in 
a special archive attached to the muftuluk of Istanbul), 
there was a bdb na Hbi, or judge for hearing ordinary 
cases. Na Hbs were also appointed by the kadi of Istan- 
bul to oversee business at certain locations at the city's 
principal market places such as the flour, honey, and 
butter warehouses, the candle works, the vegetable 
market, and others. They were authorised to hear 
cases and to issue decisions on disputes arising in these 

particular locations. Nd^ibs were also appointed to 
make investigations for a mahkama, the keshif nd Hbi, 
and to decide disputes in connection with payment of 
'awdrid taxes [q. v. ] , the 'awdrid nd ^ibi. 

In the kdnun-ndmes of the 10th/16th century, it is 
repeatedly stressed that, without prior decision by a 
hakim, no member of the military class could impose 
any punishment, even a small fine, on the re'dyd. The 
enforcement of decisions, however, was left entirely to 
the military. By accepting a bribe from the guilty par- 
ty, they quite often omitted to enforce a hakim's deci- 
sion. This amounted in practice to a separate 
settlement of the case by the military. The mahkama 
could order detention of the criminal only as a precau- 

The hakim based his decisions on shar'i texts, kdnun- 
ndmes, daflars [q.v.], imperial hukms andfotwds. In the 
'oddlet-ndme of 1004/1595-6 (see tnalcik, Addletndmeler, 
105), it is asserted that under Suleyman I "imperial 
kdnun-ndmes were codified and deposited in the 
mahkamas of kadis in every city". Alongside a great 
many unofficial copies of the general kdnun-ndmes used 
by the kadis in their mahkamas, one official copy bear- 
ing the tughrd [q.v.] of the sultan has survived to our 
day (Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Cod. mixt. 870). 
Because regulations were constantly being amended 
by imperial hukms, the hakims were not required to 
follow a universally-applied official version. As to the 
shar'i text to be used, the hakim was free to consult any 
reference books, on condition that they belonged to 
the Hanafi school. In 1 107/1695-6 Mustafa II ordered 
that only shar'i texts be used in the mahkamas ('O. 
NurT, Medjelle, i, 568), but this seems to have lasted 
only a short period. 

In principle, the Islamic judicial system does not 
recognise the institution of attorney (Tyan, Organisa- 
tion judiciaire, 262). The system of legal representation 
by wakils, widely used in Islamic mahkamas, including 
those of the Ottoman empire (R. Jennings, The office 
ofVekil, in SI, xlii [1975], 147-69), cannot be equated 
with attorneyship. Nevertheless, it appears already 
from 10th/ 16th century documents (see inalcik, 
Addletndmeler, 99) that court suits of individuals were 
pursued by their private representatives in return for 
a fee, and these agents, sometimes called da'wd wekili, 
formed a semi-professional group in Ottoman cities, 
although the government tried to eliminate them from 
the courts, objecting to their use of false witness and 
other tactics to subvert the course of justice. 

Cases concerning public security or injustices in- 
flicted upon the re'dyd by the local authorities, the so- 
called mazdlim [q.v.] cases, could be heard by the local 
kadis' courts, by mufattishs or inspectors, by the diwdn 
courts set up by one of the wezirs while on tour in a 
province, or in the final resort, by the diwan-i humdyun 
[q.v.] itself. The beylerbeyis or governor-generals held 
their own diwdns to hear and decide on cases involving 
sipdhis and other ifmar-holders in their provinces, and 
had the authority to inflict various disciplinary 
punishments, including dismissal. In their diwdns, the 
beylerbeyis also heard complaints by the recdyd of their 
provinces against (fmar-holders, but in order to be able 
to take action, the case and investigation had to be 
referred to a toprak kddisi, rural kadi, for a legal deci- 
sion. In order to save the re'dyd from hardships, a 
sultahic decree forbade the (fmar-holders from taking 
such cases to an urban kadi. Any non-disciplinary case 
involving a /imar-holder was to be referred to the 
mahkama of the local kadi and to be decided according 
to the shari'a and the kdnun. The priority recognised 
to the beylerbeyis for hearing cases involving people 
under his command was also recognised to all military 

regiments in the Empire whose commanding officers 
had the responsibility to hold diwdns and to give 
disciplinary punishments. The heads of the communi- 
ty organisations, too, such as the guilds and the 
Dhimml groups, were authorised to decide cases in- 
volving their internal regulations and security. Apart 
from these cases, the mahkama was the sole place of 
resort for justice, and preserved this characteristic up 
until the 12th/18th century, when community courts 
began to usurp some of its authority (see Pan- 
tazopoulos, Church and law, 44-112). 

The effects of imperial decline on the 
courts of the kadis. Mahkamas became the target of 
strong criticism from the writers of the late 10th/ 16th 
century, and it was from this period that the character 
and functions of the mahkama began to change. Apart 
from its function as a law court, the mahkama served 
as a town meeting-place to which the city notables, 
representatives of the craft guilds, as well as imams 
representing the people of their respective districts, 
were invited periodically by the kadi. Such meetings 
were usually convened by the kadi for the purpose of 
explaining new orders issued by the sultan of concern 
to the public at large. Beginning in the 1 lth/1 7th cen- 
tury, however, these meetings became more frequent 
and assumed greater importance. The reason for this 
was that in that century the 'awdrid-i diwdniyya (ex- 
traordinary levies in the form of provisions, services 
or money) began to be collected on a regular basis, 
and distribution among the population of such im- 
positions was decided in the town meetings held in the 
mahkama. Also, at these meetings the city's expenses 
were discussed and written down in budgets. As a 
consequence of this development, in their capacity as 
representatives of the local population, town notables 
began to assume leadership at such meetings, sup- 
planting the kddfs authority in various fields concern- 
ing community interests. (H. Inalcik) 

ii. The reform era (ca. 1789-1922) 
As the preceding discussion makes clear, the Ot- 
Empire traditionally relied mainly on the 
of the kadis for performances of judicial func- 
though it also attributed some measure of 
judicial responsibility to other persons or organisa- 
such as the diwdns of the sultans and senior 
military-administrative officials, the heads of the non- 
Muslim subject communities, or the guilds. Ottoman 
authorities recognised law based on custom ('ddet) or 
on the sultan's decree (kdnun), as well as the shari'a, 
and expected those with judicial responsibilities, kadis, 
as well as military-administrative officers (ehl-i'orf), to 
apply both shar'i and non-shar'i law. The judicial 
functions of the kadis courts and the diwdns of the 
military-administrative authorities certainly differed 
in a variety of respects (Heyd, 252-8), but there was 
no formal distinction of shari'-a and mazdlim jurisdic- 
tion. In effect, Ottoman policy was to avoid such 
distinction. Similarly, the remarkable development 
among the Ottomans of regulatory acts (kdnun, kanun- 
ndme [},w]) ancillary to the shari'-a — a development 
unmatched in other Islarnic states — did not in princi- 
ple signify neglect of the shari'-a. Rather, the emphasis 
on the kdnun, an ideal means for assertion of the 
sultan's authority, coexisted with a larger pattern of 
policy aimed at legitimating the state through appeal, 
in law as in other matters, to Islamic values. As ex- 
pressed in legal and judicial systems, this larger policy 
provided the basis for Schacht's opinion that the Ot- 
toman Empire gave the shari'a "the highest degree of 
actual efficiency ... it had ever possessed in a society 
of high material civilization since early c Abbasid 

times" (An introduction to Islamic law, Oxford 1964, 

Yet the equilibrium between shari'-a and kdnun, and 
that between tribunals of different types, did not re- 
main constant in every period. For example, the kdnun 
went into decline after the 10th/16th century. One 
consequence of this appears to have been an increase 
in emphasis on the shan'a in certain respects (Heyd, 
152-57; cf. Inalcik, kanun, in EP, iv, 560, 561>. 
Simultaneously, the decay in the provincial military- 
administrative hierarchy, and the alteration in local 
power-relationships, seem to have enlarged and 
altered the functions of the kadis' courts, as indicated 
at the end of the preceding section. Later, as the em- 
pire moved into its 19th century reform era, the 
balance between shariH and non-shari c i legal systems 
shifted in the opposite direction. The main reason for 
this was that the regulatory powers of the sultans 
began, from the time of Sellm III (1789-1807) on- 
ward, to find a new use as the chief means for the pro- 
mulgation of innovative reforms. As this occurred, a 
new body of law, and eventually a new system of 
courts, began to emerge. This time, the jurisdictions 
of the two types of courts did become differentiated, 
with the result that it now became quite exact, in a 
sense that had not obtained several centuries before, 
to refer to the kadis' courts as shari'-a courts. The new 
legal and judicial systems continued to grow in scope, 
however, and the end result was the closing of the 
shari'a courts and the creation of an exclusively 
secular court system under the Turkish Republic. 
Paradoxically, then, the same empire that had so im- 
pressed Schacht through its emphasis on the shari c a 
ultimately evolved in such a way as to prepare the 
legal and judicial foundations for the most secular 
Islamic state of the 20th century. 

For the sake of continuity with the discussion of Ot- 
toman tribunals of earlier periods, it will serve best, in 
considering the 19th century, to look first at the shari'-a 
courts. The succeeding discussion of what became 
known as the nizamiyye courts will then make clear 
where the primary emphasis of judicial reform lay. 

Reform of the shari'-a courts. After earlier, 
episodic attempts at reform of the judiciary, a serious 
effort to restore standards occurred during the reign of 
Sellm III (Uzuncarsih, Urn., 255-60). During the 19th 
century, other such measures followed. Perhaps the 
first was a penal code applying to the kddi-'askers, 
kadis, and ndHbs, issued at the same time as another 
for civil officials, in 1254/1838 (Hifzi Veldet, 
Kanunlastirma, 170-1). Within another three years, the 
first attempt to substitute salaries for compensation by 
fees had occurred, and seemingly also failed (inalcik, 
Tanzimal'm uygulanmasi, 626, 686). Subsequently, 
there were regulations defining conditions of service 
for shar'-i judicial officials, of whom all judges except 
those in the greatest cities came ultimately to be 
designated as naHbs, their judgeships being termed 
niyabets (a change presumably reflecting the increasing 
tendency to use the term kadd^ to refer to an ad- 
ministrative district; Heidborn, 260 n. 177). By the 
1870s, these regulations covered subjects such as ap- 
pointment by examination, ranks, duration of terms 
of service, maintenance of systematic service records, 
and — once again — salaries. While some of these con- 
cepts, such as examinations and ranks, had long been 
known among the 'ulemd^, others were new; and all 
together signify the evolution, here as in other bran- 
ches of government service, of essentially modern pat- 
terns of personnel administration (Aristarchi, ii, 
320-4; Young, i, 290-1; Heidborn, 260-6; Dstr.\ i, 
315-24; ii, 721; Dstr. 2 v, 352-61). There were also ef- 

forts to upgrade medrese training; and in the second 
half of the 19th century, new schools were founded in 
Istanbul specifically for the training of nd %s and kadis 
(Ergin, Tiirkiye maarif tarihi, i, 135-42; Dstr. 2 , ii, 
127-38; ix, 598-600). Regulations were issued to 
define the functions that could be performed in the 
various shari'-a courts and the fees that were still to be 
collected (Aristarchi, ii, 324-38; Dstr. 1 , 1, 301-14; 
dheyl iii, 95; v, 1). The process of legal reform and 
codification affected the shari'a courts, particularly 
through the MedJeUe [q.v.], published between 1870 
and 1876. Chiefly the work of Ahmed Djewdet Pasha 
[q.v.] and based on Hanaii fikh, this dealt with civil 
law and procedure and was intended for application in 
both the religious and the secular (nizamiyye) courts 
(R. H. Davison, Reform in the Ottoman empire, 
Princeton 1962, 253-5; Heidborn, 283-6, 387-97). 
Under the Medjelle, for example, the appeal of deci- 
sions from provincial sharica courts became a matter 
of system (arts. 1838-40; Young, i, 287-89; Dstr. 1 , iv, 
123; dheyl iii, 85-8; v, 728). Other acts regulated the 
division (kismet) of estates in certain circumstances 
(Young, i, 294-302; Dstr.\ 1, 289-97; dheyl, iii, 88-95; 
vi, 394-96). As the secular courts developed, the types 
of cases that were to go before the shari'a courts were 
increasingly delimited (Young, i, 291-3; Dstr.', iii, 
165-6; EP, IV, 560, 561). 

The Young Turk era produced more radical 
changes. Under the . influence of Ziya Gokalp's 
Western-inspired concept of religion, a number of 
major reforms, aimed at restricting the role of the 
Shaykh al-Isldm to ifia 3 , were carried out in 1917. One 
of these measure was the placing of the shari'-a courts 
under the authority of the Minister of Justice (Dstr. 1 , 
ix, 270-1). A new law on shari'-a court procedure ap- 
peared in October 1917 (Dstr. 2 , ix, 783-94), as did a 
new code of family law, including provisions for 
Christians and Jews as well as Muslims (Dstr. 2 , ix, 
762-81; x, 52-57; Berkes, Secularism, 415-19). After 
World War I, responsibility over the shari'a courts 
was briefly returned to the Shaykh al-Isldm (Pakalin, 
Kadi, 125). But with the complete dismantling of the 
traditional religious establishment under the Turkish 
Republic, the shari'a courts were abolished in 1924 
(B. Lewis, The emergence of modern Turkey 2 , Oxford 
1968, 265-74). 

The nizamiyye courts, The best way to under- 
stand the rise of the nizamiyye courts is to begin by ex- 
amining how the reassertion of the sultans' 
discretional legislative power stimulated a new 
development in the tradition of the diwdns, which the 
Ottomans used both as consultative and as judicial 

The decree-power of the sultan provided the essen- 
tial legislative sanction for all the reformist initiatives, 
including the Gill-khdne Decree of 1839, the Reform 
Decree of 1856, and the Constitution of 1876 (Inalcik, 
Pddisah, in lA, ix, 495). Concluding with the promise 
that new laws would be framed to elaborate its 
egalitarian principles, the Gul-khdne Decree 
(Hurewitz, i, 271; Dstr. 1 , i, 6) was of particular 
significance. For it provided the impetus for a flood- 
tide of new legislation, much of it explicitly borrowed 
from Western models (Veldet, Kanunlastirma, 175 ff.; 
Heidborn, 283-4, 320-54, 366-86, 416-41). The fact 
that the terms nizam or nizdm-ndme now often replaced 
kdnun or kdnun-ndme as designations for the new laws, 
cannot obscure the continuity, at least as far as the 
underlying legislative authority is concerned, between 
the reformist legislation and the kdnuns of earlier cen- 
turies. Rather, the two sets of terms are nearly 
synonymous; and the designation of major political 

periods of the reform era in terms of nizam or 
derivatives (Nizam-i Djedid, Tanzimat [q.vv.]) is sy 
bolic of the new shift in the historic balance betws 
kanun and shari'-a (Findley, Bureaucratic reform in the 
toman empire, ch. v). The practice of referring to 
new courts created in this period as nizamiyye cou 
signifies that they were responsible for trying ca 

under the n 


While some of the conciliar bodies most distinctive 
of the "classic" Ottoman governmental system — such 
as the imperial diwan at the palace or the diwans of the 
leading military-administrative functionaries in the 
provinces — had long since declined, the tradition of 
the diwans or councils (medjalis), as they were more 
often termed during the reform era, responded to this 
legislative reassertion in two respects. On one hand, 
the Supreme Council of Judicial Ordinances (Medjlis-i 
Wald-yi Ahkam-i c Adliyye), a body which Mahmud II 
created out of the diwan of the Grand Wait in 1838 
and which evolved into the Council of State (Shurd-yi 
Dewlel, 1868), assumed the bulk of the work of prepar- 
ing the new legislation for the sultan's sanction (Shaw, 
Central legislative councils, 51-84). On the other hand, 
simultaneous efforts to create a new kind of local ad- 
ministrative apparatus led to the creation in 1840 of 
new local councils, referred to as Medjlis-i Muhassilin, 
Mudhakere Medjlisi, or Memlekel MedJ,lisi. These were in- 
tended in part to supplant the role that the kadis' 
courts had acquired in administrative affairs, though 
not of course their judicial functions in shar'i cases. 
Both the local councils and the Supreme Council of 
Judicial Ordinances in Istanbul also served as judicial 
bodies in certain types of cases arising under the new 
legislation (Heidborn, 219). Including various of the 
local administrative officials, the kadi and mufti, the 
leaders of the local non-Muslim communities, and in- 
directly elected representatives of the local notables, 
the local councils were found at various administrative 
levels: liwa ' or sandjak, kada ' (a term used increasingly 
in this period to refer to the administrative subdivision 
of the liwa \ and sometimes on a reduced scale in 
lower-level subdistricts as well (Ortayh, Mahalli 
idareler, 13 ff.; Inalcik, Tanzimat'in uygulanmasi, 626, 
633-5, 664-5; idem, Application of the Tanzimal and its 
social effects, in Archivum Ottomanicum, v [1973], 100-1, 
107-10; Kornrumpf, Territorialverwaltung, 44-57 

which c 


origins in being collegial bodies. Decades were to pass 
before a distinct hierarchy of nizamiyye courts emerg- 
ed, and — incidentally — before they were officially 
referred to by the term mahkeme (in 1868 according to 
Heidborn, 226, n. 57). Even then, the local ad- 
ministrative councils and — except for a few years dur- 
ing the Young Turk period — the Supreme Council of 
Judicial Ordinances, later the Council of State, re- 
tained responsibility for administrative justice (Shaw, 
Central legislative councils, passim; Findley, Bureaucratic 
reform, 174-6, 248-9, 308-9). 

Between the creation of the councils just described 
(1838, 1840) and the first comprehensive attempt to 
regulate and systematise the system of nizamiyye courts 
(1879), a number of steps had to be taken. The 1840s 
witnessed the development of a system of commercial 
courts, beginning with a single one in Istanbul, where 
cases between Ottoman subjects and non-Ottomans 
were tried before a panel of judges, also of mixed na- 
tionality. A special commercial code was promulgated 
in 1850 (Heidborn, 216-19; Young, i, 239-43). A 
system of penal courts to hear cases between parties of 

mixed nationality also came into existence, starting in 
1847. The foreign consuls had the right to intervene 
in these courts on behalf of their nationals and, by 
withholding their assent, to prevent execution of judg- 
ment against such individuals. At any rate, according 
to Heidborn (219-20), the jurisdiction of these courts 
was eventually extended to cover cases to which only 
Ottoman subjects were parties; in addition, for the 
first time in Ottoman judicial procedure, the 
testimony of non-Muslims was accepted before these 
courts on a basis of equality with that of Muslims. 

The reform decree of 1856 pointed toward a further 
generalisation and elaboration of some of these 
measures. It provided that commercial, correctional, 
and civil cases between parties of different religions be 
referred to mixed courts (that is, the judges were to be 
of different faiths) and that the parties be allowed to 
produce witnesses who could testify under oaths taken 
according to their respective religions. Laws and pro- 
cedural rules for these courts were to be drafted and 
codified as soon as possible and published in the 
various languages of the empire (Dstr. 1 , i, 11; 
Hurewitz, i, 317). Changes of these types did gradual- 
ly occur in succeeding years. 

In 1860, for example, there appeared an organic 
law for the commercial courts. This provided for com- 
mercial courts of specified types, which were to have 
one or more presidents and four or more members 
(a c dd :r ), part of the latter being "permanent" and 
part "temporary". The presidents and permanent 
members were to be officials, while the "temporary" 
members were to be merchants, chosen by assemblies 
including the prominent merchants of the locality, or 
later, once such bodies had come into existence, by 
the local chamber of commerce. Until 1879, the com : 
mercial courts were subordinate to the Ministry of 
Commerce, and there was a commercial appeals court 
at the ministry in Istanbul. A code of commercial pro- 
cedure was adopted in 1861 , and a maritime commer- 
cial code in 1863 (Heidborn, 222-3; Aristarchi, ii, 
353-400; Young, i, 224-38; Dstr. 1 , i, 375-536, 

The beginning of a distinct hierarchy of provincial 
nizamiyye courts occurred with the enactment of the 
Law on Provincial Administration of 1864 (Dstr. 1 , i, 
610-12, 615-18; Heidborn, 223-4). This established 
courts of first instance and appeal at the top three 
levels of the local administrative hierarchy: the kada 11 
(i.e. the administrative subdistrict headed by the 
kd'im-makdm), the liwa 3 or sandjak, and the wildyel or 
province. These were to be presided over by judges 
(hakim) from the shari'-a courts and were also to include 
elected members (mumeyyiz). The number of these was 
set first at six, then raised to eight at the kada ' level 
(Dstr. 1 , iii, 175). Half-Muslim and half-non-Muslim, 
these were to be elected by the same procedure as the 
elected members of the local administrative council 
(medjlis-i idare) that became the successor, under the 
1864 law, of the earlier memleket medjlisi. Under the 
provincial administration law of 1864, the provincial 
commercial courts, created in 1860, were also effec- 
tively integrated into the nizamiyye court system. 
Numerous features of the system of 1864 reflect its in- 
cipient state of development. These include reliance 
on shari'-a court judges, as well as the fact that the 
hierarchy of courts thus far had only two echelons. A 
similar significance no doubt attaches to the fact that 
these provisions appeared in a law dealing with pro- 
vincial administration; but this pattern proved short- 
lived. The new Law on Provincial Administration, 
promulgated in January 1871, contained virtually 
nothing on the courts (Dstr. 1 , i, 625-51; Aristarchi, iii, 

7-39; Young, i, 47-69); rather, they were dealt with in 
a separate law that appeared a year later (Dstr. 1 , i, 

This fact reflects a new policy — separation of 
powers — introduced into Ottoman practice with a 
reform of the Supreme Council of Judical Ordinances 
in 1868. The Supreme Council was then separated in- 
to two bodies, one intended to perform legislative, the 
other judicial, functions. The new legislative body 
was the Council of State (Shurd-yi Dewlet). This con- 
tinued, aside from the short-lived parliament, to func- 
tion as the main legislative body. The highest level of 
nizamiyye justice became the responsibility of what can 
probably best be envisaged as a High Court of Justice 
(actual title, Diwdn-t Ahkdm-i c Adliyye). The organisa- 
tion and functions of this body underwent redefinition 
a number of times over the next several years. The 
various appeals courts already in existence in Istanbul 
for criminal and commercial cases were gradually 
brought together under the new agency, and it 
became the nucleus from which a Ministry of Justice 
shortly emerged (Dstr.', i, 325-42, 357-63; iii, 2-3; 
Aristarchi, ii, 42-55; v, 26-8; Heidborn, 225-6). 

This creation of the ministry, like the promulgation 
of the Constitution of 1876, was essentially a response 
to the crises of the late 1870s and to the need which 
the Ottomans felt to demonstrate their ability to 
manage their own affairs without European in- 
terference. The constitution itself contained a few pro- 
visions on matters related to the courts, such as the 
independence of the judiciary, conditions of service in 
it, and judicial procedure. The constitution also 
asserted that the organisation and competence of the 
courts and the duties of the judges must be defined by 
law (Dstr. 1 , iv, 14-16; Aristarchi, v, 19-21). A series 
of acts published in 1879, in the wake of the Congress 
of Berlin (Heidborn, 228), attempted to meet these 

The acts of 1879 in fact established the Ministry of 
Justice and the nizamiyye court system essentially as 
they were to remain until the Young Turk period. 
These acts included organic regulations for a Ministry 
of Justice and Religious Affairs (^Adliyye ve Medhdhib 
Nezdreti), the double mission of which gave it jurisdic- 
tion over judicial and other affairs of the non-Muslim 
communities, as well as over the nizamiyye courts 
(Dstr. 1 , iv, 125-31; Young, i, 159-66). There was also 
an organic law for the nizamiyye courts. This included 
provisions not only on the organisation and com- 
petence of the tribunals, but also on the organisation 
of the judiciary and on the systems of public pro- 
secutors (miidde'-i-yi ( umumi) and judicial inspectors 
(Dstr. 1 , iv, 235-50; later amendments ibid., vi, 81; vii, 
171-2, 1080-1; viii, 136-7, 665-6; cf. Young, i, 
166-80; Heidborn, 231-48). Also among the acts of 
1879 were laws on the system for execution of the 
judgments of the courts (Dstr.', iv, 225-35; vi, 837; 
viii, 752-3; Young, i, 197-210; Heidborn, 248-9), on 
notaries (Dstr.', iv, 338-44; 1065-8; Young, i, 193-7; 
Heidborn, 249-50), and on judicial fees (Dstr.', iv, 
319-37; v, 582-96; vi, 456; viii, 744-7; Young, i, 
210-23). There were also codes of civil and criminal 
procedure (Dstr. 1 , iv, 131-224, 257-318; later 
modifications ibid., vi, 230-1; vii, 16-17, 31-3, 89-90, 
114, 151, 1081; viii, 135-6, 751-2; cf. Young, vii, 
171-300; Heidborn, 397-441). About the same time, 
efforts were made to found a law school to train judges 
and lawyers competent in the new legal system 
(Ergin, Maarij tarihi, ii, 582-92; iii, 890-918; Heid- 
born, 280-3). Attempts to regulate the legal profession 
began in 1878 (Dstr. 1 , iii, 198-209; dheyl iv, 35-8; v, 
520-21; Young, i, 184-93; Heidborn, 250-1). Two 
acts of 1888 then elaborated the system for the ex- 

amination and appointment of judges, who were no 
longer to be elected, and prescribed the keeping of 
systematic personnel records on all judicial officials 
(Dstr. 1 , v, 1058-64; vi, 1367-8, 1476; Young, i, 

As defined in the organic regulations of 1879, the 
nizamiyye court system was supposed to include courts 
of arbitration (sulh dd^ireleri) in the villages and ndhiyes, 
as well as courts of first instance (biddyef), appeal (isti- 
>ndf), and cassation (temyiz). Heidborn (229-32) in- 
dicated that the courts of arbitration were never really 
set up, although various acts of the reign of c Abd al- 
Hamid make clear that official interest in them did 
continue (Dstr. 1 , vi, 1155-68; vii, 27-38; viii, 712-28, 
747, 753). The triple-tiered system of regular courts 
was also not as fully developed as its nomenclature im- 
plied. The law of 1879 in fact began by stating that the 
courts were of two levels, first instance and appeal. 
There was only one court of cassation, located in 
Istanbul; and even the functions of the courts of first 
instance and appeal varied as much with the level of 
the administrative hierarchy at which they were found 
as with their ostensible placement in the judicial 

As prescribed in 1879, however, there was to be a 
court of first instance in every kadd 3 . In a normal 
kadd*, the court of the first instance was empowered to 
hear civil cases of all types. It could decide criminal 
cases involving minor offences and misdemeanours 
(kabdhdt ve dhiinha) and carry out preliminary in- 
vestigation of major crimes (djindyet). It could also 
hear commercial cases, if there was no separate com- 
mercial court in the kadd*. The kadd* court was 
authorised to hear appeals from the courts of arbitra- 
tion at lower levels. It was also empowered to judge in 
last resort in cases where the matter in question had 
a monetary value that fell within stated limits, as well 
as in minor criminal offences (kabdhdt). 

In kadd *s that coincided with the centre of a higher- 
level administrative circumscription, the court of first 
instance took on additional attributes. In the "cen- 
tral" kadd * of a liwd * or sandjak, for example, the court 
of first instance was to have two sections for civil and 
criminal cases. These functioned separately as courts 
of first instance for that kadd * and jointly to try major 
crimes (djindyet) or hear appeals from the other kadi's 
of the liwd*. 

There was also provision for a commercial court of 
the liwd *, which functioned similarly as a court of first 
instance for the central kadd * and as a court of appeal 
for the other kadd *s of trie liwd *. The law of 1 879 does 
not specifically mention the courts of first instance 
located in kadd h that coincided with province capitals. 
By 1908, however, these reportedly existed, serving as 
courts of first instance for the kadd * in which they were 
located and as an appeals instance for cases coming up 
from the liwd * courts. There was also provision for 
provincial commercial courts. These are reported to 
have existed in most provinces, though only occa- 
sionally in lower-echelon administrative centres 
(Heidborn, 234). 

A tribunal expressly designated as an appeals court 
(isti *ndj mahkemesi) was supposed to be located in every 
province capital. This court was to have separate civil 
and criminal sections. These were empowered to hear 
appeals from the courts of first instance located at the 
centres of the various liwd *s of the province, as well as 
from those in the kaddh of the central liwd*. The 
criminal section served the central liwd * of the pro- 
vince as a criminal court for the trial of serious of- 
fences (djindyet) and as a court of appeal in cases of 
lesser gravity (djiinha). 

For Istanbul, the law of 1879 prescribed an 

analogous organisation, allowing that the number of 
sections and staff members could be increased in case 
of need, as was in fact done (Dstr. 1 , iv, 240). In addi- 
tion, there was an important deviation from the pro- 
vincial pattern in that the Istanbul commercial court 
acquired three sections, one hearing only cases be- 
tween Ottoman subjects and foreigners, one only 
cases between Ottoman subjects, and one only 
maritime cases. The capital city also had an appeals 
court with civil, criminal, and commercial sections 
(Heidborn, 235-7). 

At the apex of the nizamiyye court system, finally, 
stood the court of cassation (mahkeme-i temyiz), also in 
Istanbul. This, too, had three sections, the functions 
of which were gradually defined in acts of the 1880s 
and 1890s (Dstr.\ v, 853-4, 992; vii, 89-90; Young, i, 
180-1; Heidborn, 237-8). The first section, that of 
petitions (istid 'a ' da ^iresi), received all appeals to the 
court. This section had power to decide directly in cer- 
tain matters, such as conflicts of jurisdiction, reassign- 
ment of cases from one court to another, or the 
unacceptability of petitions on grounds of technical ir- 
regularity or lapse of the period set for cassation. The 
petitions section referred the cases it accepted to either 
the civil or the criminal section, which either rejected 
the appeal or overtuned the lower court ruling on 
ground of judicial error. In major criminal cases 
(djinayet), judgments from the lower courts went 
automatically to the criminal section of the court of 
cassation, without need for appeal. 

Under the system of 1879, all the nizamiyye courts 
continued to be collegia! bodies, including a presi- 
dent, or more than one in courts with several sections, 
and varying numbers of members (a'dd •'). At least un- 
til 1908, shari'a court judges continued to play a major 
role in the system, at least as far up as the province 
level, where the na Hb of the province normally also 
functioned as the president of the civil section of the 
court of appeal. The final article of the 1879 law on 
the nizamiyye courts provided, for this reason, that a 
representative of the Ministry of Justice should be 
present at the meetings of the council that selected 
judges for the shari'-a courts, the Medjlis-i Inlikhab-i 
Hukkdm-i Shar', when niiwwab were being chosen 
(Dstr. 1 , iv, 250). The commercial courts were still to 
include "temporary" members, chosen among the 
merchants of the locality. 

Under the conditions of the Hamidian era, the 
system created in 1879 cannot have functioned very 
effectively. The judicial inspectorate, for example, is 
reported to have operated only intermittently (Heid- 
born, 231-2; Young, i, 177 n. 4). At least at the pro- 
vince and liwd* levels, for which the government 
yearbooks record the appropriate information, it 
nonetheless appears that by 1 908 the system of courts 
had been created and staffed in essentially all parts of 
the empire, except the provinces of the Hidjaz and 
Yemen and perhaps also the sandjak of Nedjd, where 
the shari'-a courts remained the only ones (Sal-name-i 
Dewlet-i 'Aliyye-i 'Othmdniyye, 1326/1908, 692-962 
passim; Heidborn, 228 n. 70). 

The Young Turk Revolution opened the way for ef- 
forts at fundamental reorganisation in the Ministry of 
Justice. New organic regulations for the central offices 
of the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs were 
issued in June 1910 (Dstr. 2 , iii, 467-79; later modifica- 
tions ibid, iv, 367-8, 440-1; vi, 228-9; vii, 558-60, 
634). The system for appointment of judges and other 
officials of the ministry underwent revision with 
regulations of June 1913 (Dstr. 2 , v, 520-9; vi, 738-43, 
1273-4). There were a number of amendments to the 
civil and penal procedure codes of 1879 (Dstr. 2 , iii, 

261-77; v, 621-23; vi, 309-10, 651-4, 1352). Other 
acts addressed questions such as the differentiation of 
the jurisdiction of shar'i and nizami courts (Dstr. 2 , i, 
192-4; vi, 1334), the qualifications required for the 
practice of law (Dstr. 2 , i, 751; Meyer, Rechtswesen, 
148), and the reactivation of the system of judicial in- 
spectors (Dstr. 2 , ii, 33-7). 

As concerns the nizamiyye courts proper, however, 
the Young Turk reforms changed the pre-existing 
system only at specific points. If it is correct that the 
courts of arbitration (sulh daHreleri), provided for in 
1879, had not been widely instituted, one of the more 
significant of these measures may have been the set- 
ting up, starting in April 1913, of a system of justices 
of the peace (sulh hdkimleri). These were to be a kind 
of circuit judges, possessing legal qualifications, and 
holding court as individuals in the kadd \, ndhiyes, and 
villages to hear minor cases of various types (Dstr. 2 , v, 
322-48, 619, 775-7, 827, 869-75; vi, 156-7, 294-5, 
342-3, 1353; vii, 561-2; Meyer, Rechtswesen, 138). The 
patterns of organisation and staffing created in 1879 
for the nizamiyye courts at the administrative levels of 
the kadd*, lima*, province (wilayet), and in Istanbul 
were amended at several points, starting in August 
1909 (Dstr. 2 , i, 665-6; ii, 180-1; v, 217-18, 793-5, 
866). The abolition of the capitulations, effective from 
1 October 1914, had important implications for the 
court system, inasmuch as it required the abandon- 
ment of all courts and judicial procedures specifically 
for the benefit of foreigners (Dstr. 2 , vi, 1273, 1336, 
1340; Meyer, Rechtswesen, 117-18, 135). The attack on 
the traditional religious institutions in 1917 was of 
comparable significance, since it resulted in the place- 
ment of the shar'i courts under the Ministry of Justice 
and the creation of a section for shar'i cases in the 
Cassation Court in Istanbul (Meyer, Rechtswesen, 
139-41). Though briefly reversed during the armistice 
period, these changes in the status of the shari'-a courts 
brought Ottoman judicial systems to a point very near 
complete unification, which occurred with the 
establishment of the secular, national court system 
under the Ministry of Justice of the Turkish Republic. 
(C. V. Findley) 
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2. Diwins of Sultans, Grand Wezirs, 
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bahriye teskilati, Ankara 1948. 

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I'Empire ottoman, 7 vols., Constantinople, 1873-88; 
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date, New Haven 1975-9: inalcik, Tanzimat'm 
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Vilayetsordnung (1864) bis zum Berliner Kongress (1878) 
nach amtlichen Verbffentlichungen, Freiburg 1976; B. 
Lewis, The emergence of modern Turkey 1 , London 
1968; Ahmed Lutfi, MiPdt-i ^addlet,y&khudta?rikhce- 
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der Turkei, in J. Hellauer, ed., Das tiirkische Reich: 
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Hifzi Veldet, Kanunlastirma hareketleri ve Tanzimat, in 
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1940, 139-209; G. Young, Corps de droit ottoman: 
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(H. Inalcik and C. V. Findley) 

3. Iran 

Under the c Abbasids, as Schacht pointed out, the 
office of kadi became permanently connected with the 
sacred law, but, as he went on to say, the kadis very 
soon lost control of the administration of criminal 
justice. Ostensibly to supplement the deficiencies of 
the tribunals of the kadis, the mazalim [q.v.] courts for 
the redress of grievances, deriving from the ad- 
ministrative practice of the Sasanid kings, were set up 
by the political authority and received theoretical 
recognition (The law, in Unity and variety in Muslim 
civilisation, ed. G. von Grunebaum, Chicago 1955, 

Al-MawardI [q.v.], recognising that the mazalim 
court was the dominant court, attempts to bring it 
within the general framework of the law. In a signifi- 
cant statement he explains that it was charged with the 
enforcement of decisions made by kadis not sufficient- 
ly strong to see that their judgments were carried out 
against defendants occupying high rank or powerful 
positions, and with the suppression of evil-doing and 
the enforcement of regulations within the jurisdiction 
of the muhtasib but beyond his power to apply (al- 
Ahkam al-sultaniyya, Cairo 1386/1966, 83). In his ac- 
count of the origins of the mazalim court, he attributes 
its emergence to the lapse into kingship after the 
golden age of the Medinan caliphate. It was concern- 
ed with cases against officials, suits concerning in- 
justice in the levy of taxation, complaints by those in 
receipt of stipends from official sources that these had 
not been paid or had been reduced, and claims for the 
restoration of property wrongfully seized. It was also 
charged with the investigation of matters which con- 
cerned awkaf the care of public worship and the due 
performance of religious practices in general. 
Whereas the kadi's court was bound by strict rules of 
evidence, the mazalim court was subject to no such 
limits, although al-Mawardi states that in the hearing 
and decision of disputes in general the rules of pro- 
cedure which governed cases that came before the 
kadis and judges were to prevail (al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya, 
77 ff. See also R. Levy, The social structure of Islam, 
Cambridge 1957, 348-9). One of the most important 
functions of the mazalim court was arbitration. In ex- 
ercising this the head of the court, the ndzir al-mazalim, 
was, according to al-Mawardi, not to go outside the 
limits of what was demanded by the law and his 
decrees were to be in keeping with the rules expound- 
ed by the kadis (al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya, 83). Al- 
MawardT further lays down that kadis and jurists, to 
whom the ndzir al-mazalim might have recourse in case 
of difficulty or doubt, were to be present when the 
mazalim court sat (ibid. , 80). It was thus a channel 
through which sanction was given to '■urfi practices. 

The lawbooks lay down the qualities demanded of 
the kadi and the rules of procedure for his court. They 
also lay down the method of his appointment; but in 
this Sunn! theory differs from Shi c I. Until the 
Safawids imposed Imaml Shl c ism as the official 
religion of their empire, Persia was, apart from cer- 
tain districts, predominantly Sunn!. The dominant 
rites were the Shafi c I and the Hanafi and it was the 
rules concerning kadcP laid down in the lawbooks of 
these schools which, for the most part, prevailed (for 
these see especially al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya 
and idem, Adab al-kddi, ed. Muhyi Hilal al-Sirhan, 

Baghdad 1391/1971). According to SunnI theory, it 
was essential that there should be a valid delegation of 
authority to the kadi in order that his decisions should, 
in turn, have validity. As long as the caliphs held 
political power they delegated authority to the kaflis. 
When they ceased to exercise power it was accepted 
that the kadi should be appointed by the ruler. Al- 
Ghazali, concerned for the legality of the life of the 
community, held that any kdfi nominated by one 
holding power (sahib shawkat) could give valid deci- 
sions (Wadjiz, ii, 143, quoted by E. Tyan, Histoire 
d' organisation judiciaire, i, 258). Once instituted, the 
kadi was regarded, not as the personal representative 
of the one who had delegated authority to him, but as 
the deputy or nd Hb of the caliph or the Prophet. With 
the weakening of the power of the caliph and his over- 
throw by the Mongols, it became the normal theory to 
regard the kadis as the deputies of the prophet. This 
reinforced their independent status (see further Tyan, 
i, 134-5, 147-8). The death of the imam (or that person 
who had delegated authority to the kaft) did not result 
in the revocation of the kadi's appointment (thus rein- 
forcing his theoretical independence). On the other 
hand, the death of the kadi resulted in the revocation 
of the appointment of his deputies. If the inhabitants 
of a town which had no kadi appointed one, this 
designation was null and void if there was an imam in 
existence. If there was no imam, the appointment was 
valid and his judgments were to be executed (al-Ahkam 
al-sultaniyya, 76). This again emphasises the indepen- 
dent status of the kadi. But his independence was 
relative: when a new imam was appointed, his agree- 
ment was required for the kadi to continue to exercise 
his functions (ibid.). The fact that the law ad- 
ministered by the kadi was the shari'-a, to which, in 
theory, the ruler was subject and which was indepen- 
dent of his will, also contributed to the independence 
of the kadis (cf. Tyan, i, 149-50)— an independence 
which they continued to enjoy to a greater or lesser ex- 
tent over the centuries. Two factors in particular, 
however, limited their independence. First, the ruler 
who had nominated them could also dismiss them, 
and secondly, they had to rely on the officials of the 
government for the enforcement of their judgments. 

The competence of the kadi might be general or 
restricted. In the former case his functions were to set- 
tle disputes either by arbitration within the limits of 
the shari'-a between the parties to the dispute or by en- 
forcing, after proof, liabilities by judgment in favour 
of those entitled to them upon persons who disputed 
them; to exercise control over persons who had not 
charge of their property by reason of madness, infan- 
cy or insolvency; to oversee awkaf; to execute wills and 
testaments; to give widows and divorced women in 
marriage; to apply the legal penalties; to supervise 
public utilities in order to prevent encroachment upon 
roads and public spaces; to make the necessary in- 
vestigations concerning legal witnesses; to judge be- 
tween the powerful and the weak; observing equality 
between them; and to decide with equity cases be- 
tween the khdss and the c dmm. If he was invested with 
authority for some specific purpose, i.e. if his authori- 
ty was restricted (khusus), he exercised his functions 
within those limits only (al-Ahkam al-sultaniyya, 70 ff.). 

Whereas the Sunnis considered the ultimate source 
of the kadi's authority to be the Prophet, the Shi c a 
held this to be the imams (see al-Kulayni, Usui al-kafi, 
ch. on kada y ). The Imami ShT c a, perhaps because 
their imams apart from c AIi b. Abl Talib did not hold 
political power, were not concerned with the valid 
delegation of authority by the holders of power to their 
subordinate officials. They regarded all government 

in the absence of the imam as unjust (dja Hr). In their 
discussions of kada* they differentiate between the 
time when the imam is present and theghayba, i.e. the 
period of occultation. However, they could not entire- 
ly escape the problem of cooperation with an unjust 
government, the validity of whose title to rule they did 
not recognise. They attempted to solve this problem 
by permitting a limited degree of cooperation with the 
adoption of takiyya [q.v.], dissimulation of one's belief 
in the event of danger. 

Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Tusi (d. 460/1067) sets 
out, in a somewhat equivocal fashion, the Imaml Shi*! 
doctrine concerning the execution of the legal 
penalties and the exercise of the office of kadi as 
follows: "No one has the right to execute the legal 
penalties except the sultan of the time, who has been 
appointed by God most High [i.e. the imam], or that 
person whom the imam has appointed to apply the 
legal penalties. It is not permissible for anyone except 
those two to apply the legal penalties on any occasion. 
But permission has been given for the people to apply 
the legal penalties to their children, their own people 
and their slaves in the time when the true imams are 
not in control and tyrants have usurped power, pro- 
vided that they do not fear that any harm will come 
to them from the tyrants and are safe from harm from 
them. If this is not the case, it is not permissible to 
apply the legal penalties. If an unjust sultan makes 
someone [who is an Imaml Shi* I] his deputy and ap- 
points him to apply the legal penalties, it is for him to 
do so fully and completely, while believing that what 
he does he does at the command of the true sultan; 
and it is incumbent upon believers to cooperate with 
him and to strengthen him as long as he does not 
transgress what is right in that over which he is ap- 
pointed and does not go beyond what is legal accord- 
ing to the Shan'-a of Islam. If he does, it is not 
permissible to assist him or for anyone to cooperate 
with him in that, unless he fears for his own person, 
in which case it is permissible to do so while practising 
takiyya, as long as the killing of anyone is not involved. 
In no circumstance is takiyya to be practised in the case 
of killing anyone (al-Nihaya fi mudjarrad al-fikh wa-'l- 
fatawa, Beirut 1970, 300-1, Persian text, ed. Muham- 
mad Bakir Sabzawari, Tehran 1333/1954-6, 2 vols., i, 

Similarly, al-Tusi states that it not permissible for 
anyone to give judgment between the people except 
that person to whom "the true sultan" has given per- 
mission (ibid., 301, Persian text, i, 201). He con- 
tinues, "The true imams, upon them be peace, have 
cast [the mantle of] judgment (hukumat) on the fukaha 5 
of the Shi c a during such time as they themselves are 
not in a position to exercise it in person" (ibid., Per- 
sian text, i, 201; the Arabic text omits the words 
aHmma-i hakk and reads "They have entrusted this 
(the function of judging) to the fukaha 3 of their shi'a 
during such time as they are not able to exercise it in 
person", 301). This statement, which would appear 
to be one of the earliest occasions when it is stated that 
the fukaha ' are in effect the successors or deputies of 
the ('mams in the giving of judgment, does not provide 
for any immediate source of authority for the kadis. 
The ultimate source of their authority is the delega- 
tion by Dja'far al-Sadik related in two traditions 
recorded by al-Kulaym. The first, from Dja'far al- 
Sadik, reads "Let not one of you call another to litiga- 
tion before the ahl al-djawr. Rather look to one of your 
number who knows something of our judgments and 
set him up (to judge) between you. For I have made 
him a kadi to seek judgment from him". The second, 
related from c Umar b. Hanzala, reads "I asked Abu 

c Abd Allah (Dja c far al-Sadik) concerning two of our 
companions who are involved in a dispute over debt 
or inheritance and who seek judgment before a sultan 
or kadis. Is this lawful (halal)? Abu c Abd Allah replied, 
'He who seeks judgment from taghut (i.e. tyrants) and 
obtains judgment receives only abomination, even if 
his claim is valid, because he has accepted the decision 
of taghut. God has commanded that (such a one) be 
considered an unbeliever (kdfir)' . c Umar b. Hanzala 
said, 'What should they do?' Dja c far al-Sadik replied, 
'Look to one of your number who relates our hadith, 
who considers our halal and our haram and who knows 
our ahkdm. Accept his judgment for I have made him 
a hakim over you. If he gives a decision in accord with 
our judgment and (the litigant) does not accept it, 
then it is God's judgment he has scorned and us he 
has rejected. One who rejects us rejects God and he is 
subject to the punishment due for polytheism ( c ala 
hadd al-shirky" (Furu' al-kafi, i, 357-9). 

The qualities required for the office of kadi were 
wisdom and maturity, being learned in the Kur'an 
and the sunna, and a knowledge of Arabic; it was also 
a condition that he who undertook this office should 
be devout and abstinent and much given to good 
works, and that he should avoid sins and refrain from 
lust and have an intense concern for piety. Only so- 
meone endowed with these qualities was permitted to 
undertake the office and to judge between the people 
provided that there was no fear for his life, his people, 
his possessions or for any believers (al-Nihaya fi mudjar- 
rad al-fikh wa'l-fatdwa, 301, Persian text, i, 226). It 
was permissible to take wages and subsistence from a 
just sultan (i.e. the (mam) for the exercise of the office 
of kadi, but in the case of an unjust sultan it was only 
permissible in the event of necessity or fear. It was, 
however, better, in al-TusI's opinion, to refrain in all 
cases from taking wages for the office of kadi (ibid. , 
Arabic text, 367, Persian text, i, 246). 

"If," al-Tusi states, "anyone is able to carry out a 
judgment or a settlement (sulh) between people or to 

does not fear harm for himself or for anyone of the 
faith and is safe from harm in so doing, he will receive 
recompense and reward. But if he fears any of these 
things, in no circumstances is it permissible for him to 
undertake these matters. If someone calls upon one of 
the fukaha* of the people of the truth (i.e. the Imaml 
S_hl c a) to decide something between them (the Shi'a), 
and that fakih does not agree to do so, preferring that 
it should be referred to a person who is charged with 
the matter on behalf of tyrants, he will have stepped 
outside the truth and committed sin. It is not per- 
missible for a person who is charged with giving a 
decision between two litigants, or judgment between 
the people, to do so except in accordance with the 
truth; it is not permissible to give judgment according 
to one of the Sunni schools. If anyone undertakes 
judgment on behalf of unjust persons, let him strive to 
give judgments as demanded of him by the shan'-a of 
the faith; but if he is constrained to give judgment ac- 
cording to the Sunni schools because he fears for 
himself, his people or believers or for their property, 
it is permissible for him to do so [while practising 
takiyya], provided it does not involve the killing of 
anyone, because takiyya is not to be adopted in the case 
of killing someone" (ibid., 301-2, Persian text, i, 201). 
Concluding his discussion of the application of the 
legal penalties and the execution of judgment, al-Tusi 
succinctly explains in what circumstances a fakih 
might undertake these functions under an unjust ruler 
and how the fakih was to believe while doing so that 
he was, in fact, acting on behalf of the imam. He 

states, "If afakih exercises authority (wilaya) on behalf 
of a tyrant, let him think that in applying the penalties 
of the law and in giving judgment he is acting on 
behalf of the true imam and let him undertake (these 
duties) according to the demands of the shari'-a of the 
faith; and whenever he is empowered to execute 
punishment against a transgressor, let him do so, for 
verily this is one of the greatest (forms) of djihad. If, 
however, someone does not know the conditions in 
which the penalties should be applied and cannot ex- 
ecute them [properly], it is not permissible, in any cir- 
cumstances, for him to apply them — if he does he will 
be a sinner. But if he is compelled to do so, there will 
be nothing against him. Let him endeavour to keep 
himself apart from things which are illegitimate (al- 
abafit). It is not permissible for anyone to choose to ex- 
ercise oversight on behalf of tyrants unless he has 
(first) determined that he will not transgress what is 
obligatory and will only execute what is right and that 
he will allocate such things as sadakdt and akhmas and 
so on to their proper use. If he knows that he will not 
be able to control these things, it is not permissible for 
him voluntarily to undertake such work, but if he is 
compelled to do so, it is permissible. Let him strive (to 
act) as we have said" {ibid., 302-3, Persian text, i, 

Al-Tusi's theory thus made it possible for Imami 
Shi c is to accept the office of kadi from unjust rulers, 
whether Sunnls or Shi c Is, although he did not provide 
for any immediate source of their authority. His 
theory was for the most part accepted by later jurists. 
Hasan b. Yusuf b. al-Mutahhar al-MlT (d. 
726/1325), writing in the reign of Oldjeytu 
(703-16/1304-16), who was converted to Shl'ism, is 
somewhat less equivocal on the desirability of the ac- 
ceptance of the office of kadi 3 by the fukaha 3 . When 
finally Imami S_hl c ism became the official religion of 
Persia under the Safawids, although the fukaha^, for 
the most part, continued to regard the government, in 
the absence of the imam, as unjust, the general body 
of ( ulama ' and fukaha 3 accepted office at their hands 
and from the hands of succeeding dynasties. Muham- 
mad b. Makki al- c Amili al-Shami al-Shahld al;Awwal 
(d. 786/1384-5), writing for Shams al-DIn al-Anl, one 
of the ministers of c Ali b. Mu'ayyid, the Shi c T Sar- 
badarid ruler of Sabzawar, had stated that it was the 
duty of the imam or his na Hb to judge and that in the 
ghayba the fakih who was possessed of the necessary 
qualification to give legal decisions {al-fakih al-djami'- 
li-shard'it al-ifta*) carried out the functions of judg- 
ment. Whoever turned aside from such an individual 
and referred to the kadis of an unjust government 

upon the people to refer to him in what concerned the 
ordinances of the shari'a; whoever jailed to do so was 
a sinner. Zayn al-DIn b. c Ali al- c Amili al-Shahld al- 
Thani (d. 966/1559), writing in the Ottoman empire 
at the beginning of the Safawid period, commenting 
on this, states "If the mufti is endowed with these 
qualities, it is incumbent upon the people to refer to 
him and to accept his word and to make his decision 
incumbent upon themselves because he is appointed 
by the imam for a general purpose {mansub min al-imdm 
c ala ' l- c umumy {Rawdat al-bahiyya fi sharh lumbal al- 
dimashkiyya, lith. Tabriz 1271/1854-5, 94-5). He also 
states with reference to the exercise of judicial func- 
tions on behalf of or under an unjust ruler that this is 
incumbent provided that there is safety from the com- 
mission of what is forbidden and power to enjoin the 
good and to forbid evil. He adds that the reason for 
its not being incumbent (in other circumstances) was 
perhaps because one who took judicial office under an 

unjust ruler {zalim) would in appearance (bi-sura) be 
na Hb to the unjust ruler (Masalik al-ifhdm fi sharh 
sharayi'- al-islam, lith. 1314/1896-7, 2 vols., i, 167-8. 
See further N . Calder, The structure of authority in Imami 
Shi c i jurisprudence, unpublished Ph. D. thesis, London 
University 1979, 98 ff.). 

Although there were changes in the position of the 
kadi under the Kadjars, his position in theory was 
substantially the same: the government continued to 
be regarded as unjust and the authority of the kadi 
derived from the imam, not the government from 
whom he received his appointment. Shaykh Dja c far 
Kashif al-Ghita 3 , the 19th century jurist, discusses the 
question of kadd 3 in his Kashf al-jhita > at the end of the 
book on djihad. He follows al-Tusl'in the matter of the 
acceptance of the office of kadi, but he makes a distinc- 
tion between the exercise of office by a mudjtahid and 
one who was not mudjtahid. He permits a kadi to carry 
out the ta c zir punishments but states that the execution 
of the hadd punishments was the mudjtahid's 
prerogative, and in carrying out a hadd punishment 
his inward intention {niyyat) must be that he was car- 
rying it out as the deputy, not of the temporal gover- 
nors {hukkam), but of the imam. He also states that it 
was not permissible for the leader of the Muslims to 
appoint a kadi or shaykh al-islam except with the per- 
mission of a mudjtahid {Kashf al-ghita ', lith., pages un- 

Under the Great SaldjGks there was a delicate 
balance between shar'-i and C ur/T jurisdiction. The 
sultan as judge and guardian of public order sat in the 
mazalim court. This function was delegated by him in 
the provinces to the provincial governor or to the 
mukfa^ (see further A. K. S. Lambton, The internal 
situation of the Saljuq empire, in Cambridge history of Iran, 
iv, ed. J. A. Boyle, Cambridge 1968, 247 ff.). Nizam 
al-Mulk, discussing the mazalim court, holds that it 
was indispensable for the ruler to hold such a court 
twice a week to hear personally, without an in- 
termediary, what the subjects had to say {Siyasat-ndma, 
ed. C. Schefer, Paris 1891, Persian text, 10). His 
main concern appears to have been to strengthen the 
authority of the ruler rather that to ensure that justice 
was done to the individual. He continues, "A few 
cases which are of greater importance shall be submit- 
ted [to the ruler] and he shall give an order {mithat) 
concerning each one so that all tyrants will fear and 
restrain their hands from oppression. When news 
spreads abroad in the kingdom that the Lord of the 
World summons to his presence those who have 
grievances and those who demand redress twice a 
week and listens to what they have to say, no one will 
dare to commit tyranny or extortion for fear of 
punishment" {ibid.). Nizam al-Mulk recommends 
that the plaints of those who gathered at the court 
should be dealt with expeditiously to avoid clamour or 
commotion at the court, such that strangers and en- 
voys should be led to suppose that tyranny was rife in 
the kingdom {ibid. , 207). 

A kadi al-kudat was appointed in the capital and in 
a number of provincial cities, but there would seem to 
have been a decline in the importance of the office. 
The reasons for this— if it was indeed the case— are 
not clear. It may have been connected with the in- 
creased centralisation of the administration in the 
hands of the wazir during the reign of Malik-Shah 
(465-85/1072-92). The influence and prestige of the 
kadis, however, was apparently undiminished. The 
immediate source of their authority was the sultan, 
but its ultimate source was the Prophet (cf. Siyasat- 
ndma, 38) — in other words the sultan exercised con- 
stitutive authority with regard to the kadi, but the 

functional authority of the kadi derived from the 
shari'-a (see further Lambton, Quis custodiet custodes, in 
SI, v [1956], 132-3). 

A document issued by Sandjar's diwan appointing 
Madjd al-Dln Muhammad kadi of Gulpayagan states 
that the office of kadi and hakim was the greatest 
religious office (shughl) and the most delicate shar'i 
charge ('amal) (Muntadjab al-DIn Badl c al-Djuwaynl, 
'Atabat al-kataba, ed. 'Abbas Ikbal, Tehran 1329/1950, 
45). Nizam al-Mulk also recognises that the office of 
kadi v/a.s a delicate one "because they (the kadis) were 
empowered over the lives and properties of the 
Muslims" (Siydsat-ndma, 38. Cf. also al-Ghazali's let- 
ter to Fakhr al-Mulk b. Nizam al-Mulk, FadaHl al- 
andm, ed. c Abbas Ikbal, Tehran 1333/1954-5, 28). It 
was no doubt partly on this account that care was urg- 
ed upon the kadis in the drawing up of testaments, title 
deeds and other documents (cf. the document issued 
by Sandjar's diwan appointing c Imad al-DIn Muham- 
mad b. Ahmad b. Sa c id kadi of NTshapur, '■Atabat al- 
kataba, 12). It was recognised that the office of kadi 
concerned both the people and the state (cf. the docu- 
ment issued by Sandjar's diwan for the kddi-yi lashkar, 
ibid., 58-9). 

Nizam al-Mulk states that the appointment and 
dismissal of the kadi was the responsibility of the ruler, 
and that the kadis were to be allocated a monthly 
salary (mushdhara), sufficient to free them from the 
need of peculation (khiyanat) (Siydsat-ndma, 38). They 
were, thus, in some measure government servants. 
Their function as such was probably to watch over the 
religious institution on behalf of the government in 
order to prevent the spread of unorthodox opinions 
(which were in the eyes of the government inevitably 
linked with sedition). Nizam al-Mulk also states that 
the kadis were to be supported by other officials and 
their prestige guarded. In keeping with the SunnI 
principle, kull mudjtahid musib, he states that the 
judgments of kadis, even if wrongfully given, were to 
be executed by other officials. The latter were, 
however, to report wrong judgments to the ruler so 
that he might dismiss and punish a kadi guilty of such. 
Anyone who behaved presumptuously and refused to 
appear at the kadi's court when summoned was to be 
forced to do so, even if he was a great man (ibid.). In 
some cases, the diploma appointing a kddi stipulates 
that he was to judge according to a particular rite. 
Cases are, however, recorded of kadis giving/atoas ac- 
cording to more than one rite. 

In Nizam al-Mulk's theory there is a certain am- 
biguity in the position of the kadi. On the one hand he 
was appointed by the ruler, but on the other he en- 
joyed a certain independence because of his relation- 
ship to the caliph. "The kadis", Nizam al-Mulk 
states, "are all the deputies (na'iban) of the king. It is 
incumbent upon the king to support them. They must 
be accorded full respect and dignity because they are 
the deputies of the caliph, whose mantle has devolved 
upon them" (ibid. , 40-1). This statement is to be seen, 
perhaps, in the light of the theory that the caliph 
should be a mudjtahid and that the ruler, if he was not 
a mudjtahid, required a deputy to act on his behalf in 
certain matters. Nizam al-Mulk states that "when the 
king is a Turk or a Persian or someone who does not 
know Arabic and has not studied the decrees of the 
shari'a, he inevitably requires a deputy to conduct af- 
fairs in his place" (ibid. , 40). Thus he foreshadows the 
theory to be put forward in the late 9th/ 15th century 
by Fadl Allah b. Ruzbihan KhundjI, who states that 
kings who were mudjtahids were few and far between 
and that if a king was not a mudjtahid it was incumbent 
upon him to appoint a mufti (Suluk al-muluk, B. L., ms. 
Or. 253, ff. unnumbered). 

The documents issued by Sandjar's diwan collected 
in the 'Atabat al-kataba make clear the separation of 
shar'i and c ur/!"jurisdiction and also the subordination 
of the provincial kadi to the provincial governor. In a 
taklid issued in favour of Tadj al-DIn Abu '1-Makarim 
Ahmad b. al- c Abbas for the office of governor (ra'is) 
of Mazandaran, he is charged with the general super- 
vision of the kddis and is enjoined to appoint a deputy 
over the kali's court and the madjlis-i-hakam (? the 
court of arbitration) ('Atabat al-kataba, 24). He is also 
enjoined "to inflict upon a thief or highway robber, 
when caught, punishment and what is demanded by 
the Shari'-a, with the agreement of the kddts, imams and 
notables of the province" (ibid. , 25. Cf. also ibid. , 28). 
A diploma in the name of Abu '1-Fath Marzban al- 
Shark. b. c Ala> al-DTn Abl Bakr b. Kumadj for the 
governorship (ayalat wa shahnagi) of Balkh instructs 
him to give judgment and to settle cases after con- 
sultation and according to the advice of experienced 
and reliable persons and leaders (mukaddamdn). Shar'i 
matters were to be referred to the kadi's court. 
Rasmiyyat (matters concerning salaries and 
allowances), mu'dmaldt (matters concerning mukdfa'a 
contracts) and diwdni affairs were to be referred to the 
diwdn-i riydsat. Abu '1-Fath was given full powers in 
the preservation of order and the punishment of 
miscreants, but in the exercise of these powers he was 
to consult the kadis (ibid. , 79). Another diploma in the 
name of Abu '1-Fath Yusuf b. Kh w arazmshah for the 
deputy-governorship (niydbat-i ayalat) of Ray enjoins 
him to put down the corrupt, transgressors, thieves 
and highway robbers and to consider the exaction of 
the legal penalties (hudud), after consultation with the 
kadis, imams and reliable persons, as being among 
those things which are incumbent according to the 
shari'-a and upon which the well-being and good order 
of religion and the world depend (ibid. , 43). 

Among the duties of the kadi was the supervision of 
the hisba. A document issued by Sandjar's diwan for 
the office of kadi and khatib of Astarabad entrusts the 
grantee with the execution of the requirements of the 
hisba, such as the putting down of transgressors and 
the corrupt, the prevention of evil by them, and the 
adjustment of weights and measures and prices, as far 
as possible (ibid. , 52). 

So far as the supervision of awkaf was concerned, in 
the event of a mutawalli having been designated, the 
kadi exercised general supervision only, otherwise he 
administered the wakf. There was in practice probably 
a certain conflict of jurisdiction between the kadi and 
the wazir in the matter of awkaf. The latter, as head of 
the financial administration, also exercised general 
supervision over awkaf, though exactly what form this 
took is not entirely clear. In some cases the awkaf of 
a district were placed exclusively under the kadi and 
expressly removed from the control of the diwan (cf. 
ibid., 33). 

In the period between the disintegration of the 
Great Saldjuk empire and the Mongol invasion, the 
chief official in charge of 'urfi courts appears to have 
been known as the dddbeg (see further H. Horst, Die 
Staatsverwaltung der Grosselguqen und Horazmsdhs 
(1038-1231), Wiesbaden 1964, 92-3. See also ibid., on 
the term yuluk-i a'la, which appears to have been some 
sort of mazalim court). Various local officials apparent- 
ly also exercised jurisdiction. A document probably 
belonging to the latter half of the 6th/12th century, 
appointing a certain Shams al-DIn mi'mdr of 
Kh w arazm and entrusting him with the agricultural 
development of the province, enjoins him to chastise 
and correct anyone who failed to further this or to ex- 
ert effort in this and if such reproach and censure did 
not bring the culprit to see the error of his ways, 

Shams al-DIn was to refer the matter to the supreme 
diwdn so that reproof might be administered to him 
and he might be replaced by someone who would seek 
to create abundance (Baha 3 al-DIn b. Mu c ayyad, al- 
Tawassul ild 'l-tarassul, ed. Ahmad Bahmanyar, 
Tehran 1315/1936-7, 113). That local officials had 
certain powers of punishment would seem to be con- 
firmed by Nadjm al-DIn Razl. He states that bailiffs, 
village headmen and landlords' representatives should 
"reprimand the corrupt and enjoin the people to do 
that which is recommended and to forbid them from 
doing that which is forbidden. If they saw presump- 
tion or corruption on the part of one of the peasants 
(ra Hyyat), they were to punish him and bring him to 
repentance" (Mirsdd al-Hbdd, ed. Husayn al-Husaym 
al-Ni<mat Allahl, Tehran 1312/1933-4, 296). 

The distinction between c urfi and shar c i jurisdiction 
was more sharply drawn under the Ilkhans prior to 
their conversion to Islam. The Mongols brought with 
them their own laws and customs, though it seems im- 
probable that the Great Yasa of Cingiz Khan existed 
as a written code of laws (see further D. O. Morgan, 
The Great Yasa of Chingiz Khan and Mongol law in the II- 
khanateinj. M. Rogers(ed.), The Islamic world after the 
Mongol conquests [forthcoming]; but see also D. 
Ayalon, The Great Yasa of Chingiz Khan: a re- 
examination, in SI, xxxiii al971], 97-144, xxxiv [1971], 
151-80, xxxvi [1972], 113-53, and xxxviii [1973], 
107-56). There was a court of interrogation known as 
the yarghu, but we have very few details as to its terms 
of reference and rules of procedure. It appears to have 
dealt specifically with disputes between Mongols, 
Mongol state affairs and cases against officials, 
especially of alleged peculation and conspiracy (see 
further Morgan, op. cit.). With the conversion of the 
Ilkhans to Islam, the yarghu was probably to some ex- 
tent assimilated to the mazalim courts and the kadis 
associated with their proceedings. Kyarligh for the ap- 
pointment of a provincial kadi issued by Ghazan Khan 
(694-703/1295-1304) reads as follows, "In the case of 
disputes which occur between two Mongols or bet- 
ween a Mongol and a Muslim or cases, the decision 
of which is difficult, we have ordered the shahnas, 
maliks, bitikcis, kadis, c Alids and ^ulamd^ to assemble 
every month for two days in the Friday mosque in the 
diwan-i mazalim taking the alternate reading diwan-i 
mazalim rather than diwan-i mutdla'a as in the printed 
text to hear cases together, and after thoroughly ex- 
amining a case to give judgment according to the rul- 
ing (hukm) of the shari^a." . Their decision was to be 
given in writing so that it might not later be abrogated 
(Rashid al-DIn, Tdrikh-i mubdrak-i ghazani, ed. K. 
Jahn, London 1940, 219). The Dastur al-kdtib of 
Muhammad b. Hindushah Na khdj iwanl. which 
belongs to the late Ilkhan period, describes the func- 
tions of the amir yarghu. He is instructed to act on the 
basis of equity ( c adl, ma'-dalat, insdf, nisfat and rdstt) (ed. 
A. A. 'Allzadeh, Moscow, i/1 [1964], i/2 [1971], ii 
[1976], ii, 30, and see further Morgan, op. cit.). 

Somewhat similar procedures appear to have 
prevailed in some of the succession states. Ibn Bat- 
tuta, describing his arrival at the court of the amir of 
Kh«arazm, Kutludumur, states "It is one of the 
regular practices of this amir that the qadi comes daily 
to his audience hall and sits in a place assigned to him, 
accompanied by the jurists and his clerks. Opposite 
him sits one of the great amirs, accompanied by eight 
of the great amirs and shaikhs of the Turks, who are 
called arghujis. The people bring their disputes to them 
for decision; those that come within the jurisdiction of 
the religious law are decided by the qadi and all others 
are decided by those amirs. Their decisions are well- 

regulated and just, for they are free from suspicion 
and partiality and do not accept bribes" (The travels of 
Ibn BattClaA.D. 1325-1354, tr. H. A. R. Gibb, Cam- 
bridge 1971, iii, 545). 

According to Mongol practice, the kadis and 
'■ulama"' were granted certain tax immunities. 
Although they were treated with respect, prior to the 
conversion of the Ilkhans to Islam, they ceased to en- 
joy in official circles that pre-eminence which had 
been theirs when religion and state were, at least in 
theory, one. If, as was probably the case, the kadis in , 
the main centres continued to receive their appoint-, 
ment from the ruler, al-Ghazall's theory that any kadi 
nominated by anyone holding power could give a| 
valid decision would have been of peculiar relevance. 
Wassaf records a case in Fars ca. 678/1279-80 of the, 
joint appointment of two eminent divines to the office 
of kadi al-kuddt of Fars. This was made by the wazir of 
Fars after consultation with the religious classes and 
the notables (Tarikh-i Wassaf, Bombay 1269/1853, 
205-6). After the conversion of Ghazan Khan to 
Islam, the influence of the kadis in official circles 
almost certainly increased. Their tax immunities were 
confirmed and pensions were allocated to them on the 
revenue (Tarikh-i mubdrak-i ghazani, 218). 

Under Ghazan there was a diwdn-i kuddt, the head 
of which was the kadi al-kuddt of the empire, who once 
more became an important official. He was in charge 
of shar c i officials in general and also of awkdf These 
appear to have increased in extent and importance in 
the 7th/ 13th century (though for what reason or 
reasons is not entirely clear) (see further Lambton, 
Awqdf in the 7th/ 13th and 8thll4th centuries in Persia, in 
G. Baer, ed., Social and economic aspects of the Muslim 
waqf, forthcoming). An undated document belonging 
to the late Ilkhan period issued by the kadi (who had 
been charged with the appointment of all shar c i of- 
ficials in the empire and was at the same time 
mutawalli of charitable and private awkdf) for his depu- 
ty, who was also to hold the office of hakim of 
charitable awkdf, states it was impossible for him per- 
sonally to oversee shar c i affairs in all regions because 
of his being in the retinue of the ruler. He needed a 
deputy. Consequently, Husayn al-Asadi was ap- 
pointed deputy kadi al-kuddt with a general designation 
and with a special designation over c Irak-i c Arab, 
Adharbaydjan and various other districts. He was also 
appointed mutawalli of charitable and private awkdf 
with power to appoint and dismiss those in charge of 
religious offices and the execution of Islamic decrees 
(Dastur al-kdtib, ii, 191 ff.). Another document in the 
same collection, delegating the office of hakim of the 
awkdf of the empire to the kadi al-kuddt Shaykh <Ali, 
gives him full powers in the administration of the 
awkdf and over the appointment and dismissal of the 
mutawallis and mubdshirs and of deputies to act for him 
as hdkim-i awkdf in the provinces (ibid. , ii, 207 ff.). To 
ensure that the awkdf were properly run and their 
revenues devoted to the purposes laid down by their 
founders was no small matter. Usurpation was com- 
mon. Demands for redress came before the kadi and 
it was his duty to investigate them (cf. ibid. , i/1 1 75-6, 

Rashid al-DIn Fadl Allah, Ghazan Khan's wazir, 
gives an extremely unfavourable accountof the ad- 
ministration of justice by the kadis in the Ilkhan em- 
pire prior to the reign of Ghazan Khan (as he does of 
other aspects of the administration). He alleges that 
corrupt and ignorant persons insinuated themselves 
into the service of the Mongols and by flattery and 
bribery secured the office of kadi and other shar c i of- 
fices. Corruption was especially prevalent in transac- 

tions over landed property. Fraudulent claims based 
on obsolete property deeds and bonds which had re- 
mained in the hands of the original owners or their 
heirs after the property had changed hands were com- 
mon, and there was often no means for the kadis to 
verify the validity of such deeds. Rashld al-DIn states 
that Malik-Shah and his wazir Nizam al-Mulk, faced 
by a similar situation, had issued a decree (mithdl), 
conformable to the shari'a, that claims based on title 
deeds which had not been preferred for thirty years 
should not be heard and that this decree was given to 
the muftis of Khurasan, c Irak and Baghdad so that 
they might issue Jatwas in accordance with the shart'-a, 
which were then to be sent to the ddr al-khildfa to be 
signed (id imaa* nivishta and). Rashld al-DIn claims 
that Malik Shah's decree was extant and that it had 
been shown (or reported) to Hulegii, who had issued 
& yarligh on similar lines, as had Abaka, Arghun and 
Gaykhatu (Tdrikh-i mubdrak-i ghdzani, 236 ff.). Rashld 
al-DIn also asserts that "before this time past sultans 
and Cingiz Khan in all their farmdns and yarlighs made 
mention that thirty-year-old claims should not be 
heard" (ibid., 221-2). These decrees, however, had, 
he alleges, been inoperative, because first they had 
not rmdshar'i, 'akli or 'urfi confirmation, and second- 
ly those charged with putting them into operation had 
wished to benefit themselves from the existing situa- 
tion to buy property. Ghazan Khan, on the other 
hand, consulted the kadis and Fakhr al-DIn HaratI, 
the kadi al-kudal of the day, drafted ayarligh and wrote 
a decision on the back in accordance with the shari'a 
stating that land claims which had not been preferred 
for thirty years would not be heard (ibid. , 236 ff.). The 
yarligh is dated 3 Radjab 699/26 March 1300. Any 
kadis who contravened it were to be dismissed and the 
names of any powerful persons who urged them to act 
in a contrary fashion were to be sent to the court so 
that they might be punished (ibid., 221 ff.). Ghazan 
also issued a yarligh concerning the registration and 
annulment of title deeds and documents (ibid. , 225) 
and another concerning appointment to the office of 
kadi and the conduct of kadis in the matter of land 
cases (ibid, 218 ff.). 

' Urfi jurisdiction seems to have encroached upon 
shar'i jurisdiction again under Tlmur (d. 807/1405), 
but under Shahrukh (d. 850/1446-7) there appears to 
have been a deliberate reassertion of shar ' i jurisdic- 
tion, although Sr/Tjurisdiction nevertheless continued 
to be dominant. Clavijo, who visited Timur's camp in 
Samarkand in 808/1405 states that all litigants and 
criminals were dealt with by one of three courts. The 
first dealt with criminal matters and bloodshed arising 
from quarrels, the second with money frauds such as 
might affect the government and the third with cases 
arising in the provinces. Wherever Timur's camp 
might be, three great tents were erected, to which 
were brought all criminals and litigants for cases to be 
heard and sentences given (Embassy to Tamerlane 
1403-1405, tr. G. le Strange, London 1928, 294-5). 

When Isma'il I (907-30/1502-24), the founder of 
the Safawid dynasty, made Imami Shi c ism the official 
religion of the state, a more flexible attitude towards 
the acceptance of public office in general and that of 
kadi in particular developed among the Shi' I 'ulamd 5 
that had been the case heretofore, although there were 
always some who refused office out of religious scru- 
ple. The Shi 'I Warna 3 became, like the SunnI Vara' 
before them, public officers and as such relied upon 
the machinery of the state for the execution of their 
judgments. Imami Shi c ism superseded the SunnI 
schools and the Shi'I 'ulamd } replaced the SunnI as 
those in charge of shar ' i jurisdiction — though this did 

not, of course, happen overnight. Changes also took 
place in the religious hierarchy. The kddilost some of 
his importance, first to the sadr, who became the chief 
official of the religious institution, and then to the 
shaykh al-isldm, while the mudjtahids, who owed their 
pre-eminence not to any official appointment but to 
their own learning and sanctity, exercised a great, 
though undefined, influence over the religious institu- 
tion and the shar'-i courts. The general tendency, 
however, was probably for 'urfi jurisdiction to be 
strengthened, at least prior to the reign of Shah Sultan 
Husayn (1105-35/1694-1722), and for subordinate 
jurisdictions of a local nature to proliferate. There was 
a bewildering diversity at different times and in dif- 
ferent provinces. The fact that the shi'a did not accept 
the SunnI principle, kull mudjtahid musib, resulted in 
the decisions of the kadi's courts being subject to 
review and reversal. It was perhaps for this reason 
that most Persians, according to Chardin, preferred 
the governments courts to the kadi's courts, in which 
their cases were not easily brought to a decision 
(Voyages, ed. Langles, vi, 91). 

Already under Tahmasp (930-84/1524-76) there 
was growing financial centralisation, and during the 
reign of Shah c Abbas I (996-1038/1587-1629) cen- 
tralisation spread to all aspects of the administration. 
The empire was divided into khassa and mamdlik, i.e., 
regions under the central government and regions 
alienated from its direct control under provincial 
governors. The extent of the two categories varied at 
different times, the khassa reaching its greatest extent 
about 1071/1660-1 (see further K. Rohrborn, Pro- 
vinzen und Zentralgewalt Persiens im 16. und 17. 
Jahrhundert, Berlin 1966, 113-14, 115, 118 ff.). In the 
khassa, the provincial wazir had general oversight of all 
aspects of the administration, including the ad- 
ministration of justice, but probably played little part 
in its day to day administration (ibid, 125). In some 
cases the provincial wazir also appears to have exercis- 
ed judicial functions, but this was probably excep- 
tional (see ibid, 112). Under Shah 'Abbas the chief 
Sr/jjudge in the capital was the diwdnbegi, who ranked 
among the great amirs. Power of life and death were 
usually reserved to the shah (ibid, 64-5), though in 
some cases he would delegate these powers to the pro- 
vincial governor, especially if he was a member of the 
royal house. 

The tradition of personal access to the ruler had re- 
mained strong and was, to some extent, a curb on the 
extortion and tyranny of officials, which in the 
absence of any clearly defined rules was widespread. 
On the occasion of a royal progress, the local people 
would bring their cases to the royal court for decision 
or redress. There were, however, attempts to institu- 
tionalise this. Isma'n II (984-5/1576-8), shortly after 
his accession appointed Ahmad Beg Ustadjlu as the 
officer in charge of the transmission of demands for 
redress (parwdnaci-i a 'dfiza wa masdkin) (Kadi Atimad, 
Khuldsat al-tawdrikh, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, ms. Or. 
2202, f. 256 b, quoted by Rohrborn, 66; and see 
H. Busse, Untersuchungen zum islamischen Kanzeleiwesen, 
Cairo 1959, 71, on earlier uses of the term parwanact). 
Shah c Abbas in 1019/1610 issued an order that 
demands for redress should be referred to the sadr-i 
mamdlik and the diwdnbegi (and not to him personally 
when he went out into the countryside).Chardin 
describes the crowds of plaintiffs who would assemble 
at the court ( Voyages, v, 280). 

Isma'fl II also set up, shortly after his accession, a 
diwdn-i 'addlat. He appointed one of his cousins as 
diwanbegi-bdshi and ordered him to sit twice a week 
with the wazir of the supreme diwan and two kizilbdsh 

amirs to hear cases (Rohrborn, 67). There were three 
types of cases: sjiar Hyyal, which were decided by the 
sadr, whose decree was sealed by the diwanbegi; 
c urfiyyat, concerning diwan taxation, which were refer- 
red to the shah; and cases of tyranny, which were settl- 
ed by the diwanbegi with the cognisance of the sadr 
(Muhammad-i Munadjdjim al-Yazdl, Tdrikh-i 
c Abbdsi, B.L. ms., Add. 27, 241, 319a, ff. quoted by 
Rohrborn, loc. cit.). Shah c Abbas II (1052-77/ 
1642-67), decided in 1064/1654 to hold the diwdn-i 
'■addlal in person three times a week. On the first day 
cases concerning military personnel and members of 
the court were heard, on the second the generality of 
the subjects presented their cases and on the third 
matters concerning pishkash (obligatory "presents") 
were discussed (Muhammad Tahir Wahld-i Kazwlnl, 
c Abbds-nama, ed. Ibrahim Dihgan, 1329/1951, 175, 
190, quoted by Rohrborn, loc. cit.). 

Mirza Raft c a describes the duties of the diwanbegi 
in the Dastur al-muluk, a manual describing the ad- 
ministration of the late Safawid empire (Dastur al- 
mulik-i Mirza Rafica, ed. Muhammad TakI 
Danishpazhuh, in University of Tehran, Revue de la 
jaculte des lettres et sciences humaines, xv/5-6, 475-504, 
xvi/1-2, 62-93, xvi/3, 298-322, xvi/4, 416-40, xvi/5-6, 
540-64. The text of this, although substantially the 
same as that of the Tadhkiral al-muluk published by V. 
Minorsky, London 1943, is rather fuller. 
Danishpazhuh has identified the author of the 
Tadhkiral al-muluk as Mirza Rafi c a). He held a court 
four times a week in the kashik-khana of the C A1I Kapu 
in Isfahan to try four types of offence (ahddth-i arba'-a), 
namely murder, rape, assault (lit. breaking the teeth), 
and blinding; the sadr-i khassa and the sadr-i Q amma, 
the chief officials of the religious institution (see fur- 
ther below) sat with him, the former on Saturdays and 
Sundays, the latter on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 
Their function would seem to have been primarily 
simply to give shar c i sanction to the decisions of the 
diwanbegi. Cases of murder, in accordance with a 
taHika issued by the sudur (pi. of sadr), were reported 
to the shah by the diwanbegi after the ghassal-bashi (the 
head of the corporation of the washers of the dead) 
had examined the corpse and decided the cause of 
death. Cases of rape, assault and blinding were in- 
vestigated by the diwanbegi without the sudur (ibid. , 
xvi/1-2, 64-5, 87-8) but presumably they were 
associated with his verdict. The diwanbegi also sat 
twice a week in his own house to hear Q urfi money 
claims (? da^dwi-i hisdbi-i c urJT). Minor claims were 
presumably dealt with by local officials, but anything 
exceeding 4-5 tumdns was investigated by the 
diwanbegi. Complaints of tyranny and extortion by 
diwani officials were heard by him. In the event of 
anyone complaining to the diwanbegi of tyranny from 
a distance not further than 12 farsakhs (ca. 42 miles) 
from the capital, the two parties would be summoned 
to appear before him. In the case of complaints from 
further afield, a muhassil would be sent, but Mirza 
Raft c a does not give details of the procedure to be 
followed except to state that in a case of murder, the 
diwanbegi would take 5 tumdns caution money from the 
plaintiff and send one of the Adjirlu (whose particular 
function was to act as muhassih in case of murder) to 
the place of the crime. Presumably they would in- 
vestigate the case and if necessary bring the accused 
to Isfahan (ibid., xvi/1-2, 87-8). 

In financial cases there was apparently a conflict of 
jurisdiction between the diwanbegi and the great 
wazirs. Financial cases concerning the state and cases 
against the bureaucracy were sent by the diwanbegi (if 
referred to him) to the great wazirs,; and cases against 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

the kurcis, ghulams, other military personnel and 
employees of the royal workshops (buyutdt) were refer- 
red to the elders (rish-safid) of the relevant department. 
If, however, persons with a complaint against the pro- 
vincial governors (the beglarbegis or the hukkam and 
sultans, i.e. governors of the smaller provinces) 
brought their case to the diwanbegi instead of to the 
great wazirs, he would investigate the matter and 
report to the shah (ibid.). 

In Isfahan, disputes between the craft guilds and 
the inhabitants were decided by the kaldntar [q.v.] 
(ibid, xvi/4, 421-2), presumably on the basis of 
custom and equity. In the provinces there appears to 
have been at times a conflict of jurisdiction between 
the kaldntar and the ddrugha [q.v.]. The mirab of 
Isfahan, who was an important official, also exercised 
jurisdiction in disputes concerning the water of the 
Zayanda-rud. In cases affecting all the landowners 
and peasants, he would be ordered by the shah to go, 
with the wazir of the supreme diwan. the wazir of 
Isfahan, the kaldntar and mustawfi of Isfahan, to the 
districts watered by the river to decide the water rights 
of each district on the basis of the diwani registers and 
to settle disputes on the basis of common sense (shu- 
c ur) and "according to what was customary and the 
practice of past years" (ibid. , xvi/4, 433). 

In the provinces, the provincial governor was the 
chief c ur/?~judge. Lesser cases were sometimes tried by 
the ddrugha. According to Chardin the ddrugha was ap- 
pointed in the second half of the llth/17th century by 
the shah, not by the provincial governor (Voyages, v, 
259). The provincial wazir, who was appointed by the 
central government, or his deputies, also took part in 
these courts (see further, Rohrborn, 68-9). 

Many districts in the provinces were alienated in 
the form of luyuls and suyurghdls from the direct control 
of the government and its officials. These grants fre- 
quently, though not invariably, gave the grantee im- 
munity from the entry of government officials. In 
such cases the holder exercised local jurisdiction. For 
example, a diploma issued by Shah Muhammad 
Khudabanda. dated 989/1581, granting a suyurghal to 
a certain Sultan Ibrahim in Fars, gives him immunity 
from a number of taxes and dues and states that 
"cases which occurred between the peasants (ra'-aya) 
of the districts mentioned [i.e. those granted to him as 
a suyurghal] should be referred to him so that he might 
settle them in accordance with the law of the shari < a" 
(H. Horst, Ein Immunitdtsdiplom Schah Muhammad 
Huddbandds vom Jahre 98911581, in ZDMG, cv/2 
[1955], 292). A powerful tuyulddr, even if rights of 
jurisdiction were not specifically granted to him, 
would in practice exercise such by usurpation. In 
cases of arbitration the local kadi was probably from 
time to time associated with the tuyulddr as he was with 
the provincial governor. 

The sadr had already emerged as one of the chief of- 
ficials of the religious institution under the Tlmurids 
(see H. Roemer, Staatsschreiben der Timuridenzeit, 
Wiesbaden 1952, 143, and also G. Herrmann, Zur 
Entstehung des sadr-Amles, in V. Harmann and P. 
Bachmann, eds., Die islamische Welt zwischen Mittelalter 
und Neuzeit, Festschrift fir H. R. Roemer, Beirut- 
Wiesbaden 1979, 278-95). He acquired a new impor- 
tance under the Safawids and was the official through 
whom they controlled the religious institution. He was 
responsible for the appointment of shar c i officials, 
though the documents for the appointment of officials 
such as the provincial kadi al-kuddl continued to be 
issued in the name of the shah (cf. the diploma issued 
by Tahmasp for the kddi al-kuddt of Fars, dated 25 
Rabl c II 955/3 June 1548 (H. Horst, Zwei Erlasse Sdh 

Tahmdsps I in ZDMG, cx/2 [1961], 307-8) and the 
diplomas for the akdd al-kuddt of Gilan Biyaplsh dated 
Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1035/1625 and for the kadi 'l-kuddt of 
Gflan, dated Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1948/1639, issued by 
Shah c Abbas, in Yak sad wa pandjah sanad-i tdrtkhi az 
DjalaHriydn td Pahlawi, ed. Djahangir Ka'im 
MakamI, Tehran 1348/1969-70, 26-7, 46-7). Once 
appointed, the kadi al-kuddt was empowered, in some 
cases at least, to appoint and dismiss kadis in the 
region under him (cf. the diploma for the kadi 'l-kuddt 
of Gflan quoted above). The main function of the sadr 
at the beginning of the Safawid period was to impose 
doctrinal uniformity. Once this had been established, 
the importance of his office declined. The first holder 
of the office of sadr in the Safawid state was the kadi 
Shams al-Dln LahidjI (Gilani), who was appointed in 
907/1501. The second holder, Muhammad Kashanl, 
appointed in 909/1503-4, was also a kadi- Under Shah 
c Abbas II, the office was left vacant for eighteen 
months and by the end of the Safawid period the main 
function of the sadr was the supervision of certain 
classes of awkdf. In the reign of Shah Sultan Husayn 
(1105-35/1694-1722), his importance further declined 
with the rise of the mulld-bdshi. Under the Afshars, his 
office disappeared. 

As in the case of other offices, the jurisdiction of the 
sadr varied at different times. Djalal al-Din 
Astarabadl, who held the office of sadr from 920/1514 
to 931/1524-5, apparently supervised shar'i affairs 
throughout the empire. From time to time there were 
joint appointments to the office, the two sadrs 
sometimes holding authority jointly throughout the 
empire and sometimes their jurisdiction being divided 
on a territorial basis. In 1077/1667 Shah Sulayman 
(1077-1105/1667-1694) appointed a sadr-i khdssa and a 
sadr-i 'dmma (see R. M. Savory. The principal offices of 
the Safawid state during the reign of Tahmdsp I 
(930-8411524-76), in BSOAS, xxiv/1 [1961], 79-80 and 
Lambton, Quis custodiet custodes, in SI, vi, 134 ff.). 
Practice was far from uniform. According to Mlrza 
Rafl'a, the office of sadr-i khdssa and sadr-i 'dmma (also 
known as sadr-i mamdlik) had sometimes been en- 
trusted to one person (op. at., xvi/1-2, 66). The sadr 
was also in charge of awkdf and the grant of suyurghdls 
to the religious classes. Tawfidi awkdf , i.e. awkdf con- 
stituted by the Safawid rulers, proliferated during the 
Safawid period. The sadr's supervision of these gave 
him potentially great influence. Mlrza Raff a states 
that the sadr was not paid a salary (except in the case 
of the sadr Mlrza Abu Talib, who received an 
allowance of 1,360 tumdns) but received one-tenth or 
one-twentieth of the value of suyurghdls and something 
by way oihakk al-tawliya and hakk al-nazdra from awkdf, 
according to the conditions laid down by the wdkif 
(xvi/1-2, 65-6). It was apparently only in the case of 
tawfidi awkdf that the sadr had the right to appoint of- 
ficials to the awkdf Neither the sadr nor any other 
shar'i official had any right of interference in the case 
of shar'i awkdf (ibid., xvi/1-2, 66). The precise 
delimitation between the sadr-i khdssa and the sadr-i 
'dmma in the matter of the supervision of awkdf is not 
clear. Mlrza Rafl c a states that "The intention in the 
delegation of these two great offices [that of the sadr-i 
khdssa and that of the sadr-i ' dmma] was to order the af- 
fairs of all the mawkufdt of the districts of Isfahan, 
which concerned them severally, and the appointment 
and designation of shar' i officials (hukkdm-i shar ') and 
overseers (mubdshirdn) of the mawkufdt-i tawfidi 
(mawkufdt wa tafwidi being probably a scribal error for 
this) and the leadership (rlsh-safldi) of all the sdddt, 
'ulamd'', mudarrisdn, kadis, shaykh al-isldmdn, deputy 
sadrs, mutawallis and ndzirs of the mawkufdt, prayer 

leaders, khatibs, mu'adhdhins. huffiz, mu'arrifdn, 
washers of the dead and grave-diggers (the last two on 
the recommendation of the ghassdl-bashi), their 
dismissal and the payment of their pensions (wazifa) 
from the mawkufdt" (xvi/1-2, 64-5). Shar'i affairs in 
Isfahan and the surrounding district (which was ad- 
ministered by the Fayd Athar department) came 
under the sadr-i khdssa to the exclusion of the sadr-i 
'dmma (ibid, xvi/1-2, 65). The suddr, although their 
importance declined in the latter part of the Safawid 
period, nevertheless retained their pre-eminence over 
other officials of the religious hierarchy, as witnessed 
by their association with the diwdnbegt (see above). 
Mlrza Raff a makes this point by stating that other 
shar'- i officials had no part in the examination of the 
four offences known as ahdath-i arba'a. The two sadrs 
also decided cases concerning title deeds (kabdladidt) 
and shar'i deeds (ibid.). 

In some periods, the sadr-i khdssa, according to Mlr- 
za Raff a, also held the office of kadi 'askar (xvi/1-2, 
66). Unfortunately, he does not state which of the 
sudur held this office. That the sadr should also be kadi 
'askar would seem to be a natural consequence of his 
succeeding the kadi al-kuddt, who also sometimes held 
the office of kadi '■askar , as the most important religious 
official of the state. However, under Shah Isma c fl and 
at the beginning of the reign of Tahmasp, the kadi 
'askar of Tabriz (or Adharbaydjan), who also had 
charge of the awkdf of Tabriz, was a powerful figure 
(see Rohrborn, 127-8). Before sudur were appointed in 
Isfahan, the kadi 'askar used to sit in the kashik-khdna 
of the diwdnbegt and give decisions in shar'-i cases for 
the military, but when it was laid down that the 
diwanbegi should hear Mar 11 Teases (unfortunately MTr- 
za Raff a does not state when this was) the kadi 'askar 
ceased to come to the kashik-khdna; and his functions 
came to be confined to validating with his seal the pay- 
ment orders made in favour of the army. He had no 
salary but received a commission of 1 % from the 
military on their pay (Dastur al-muluk, xvi/1-2, 70). 

Although the importance of the office of kadi was 
reduced by the emergence of the sadr, the kadis con- 
tinued to be influential and in the smaller provincial 
cities, where they had no rival in the person of the sadr 
or the shaykh al-isldm, they probably continued to play 
an important part in local affairs. So far as the shaykh 
al-isldm was concerned, there appears to have been 
some conflict of jurisdiction with the kadi in Isfahan if 
not elsewhere. According to Mlrza Raff a, the shaykh 
al-isldm of Isfahan heard the cases of the people in his 
house every day except Friday and enjoined the good 
and forbade evil. Divorce according to the sharl'a was 
given in his presence, and for the most part the 
custody of the property of orphans and those who 
were absent was his responsibility, though on some 
occasions these matters were referred to the kadis. The 
shaykh al-isldm also sealed documents and title deeds, 
which were not confined to transactions between 
Muslims but might also be documents exchanged be- 
tween non-Muslims. Chardin mentions that the shaykh 
al-isldm of Isfahan signed and witnessed a document 
concerning a financial transaction between him and 
some Dutch merchants in respect of a sum of money 
which the shah owed him (Sir John Chardin's travels in 
Persia, London 1927 121-2). The shaykh al-isldm re- 
ceived annually 200 Tabrlzl tumdns as a pension 
(wazifa) from the public treasury (Dastur al-muluk, 
xvi/1-2, 69). 

Under the early Kadjars, 'urfi jurisdiction was ad- 
ministered by the shah, the provincial governors and 
other local officials. There was little or no differentia- 
tion of function: matters concerning security, law and 

taxation were, for the most part, referred to the same 
officials. The lowest court was that of the village head- 
man, who was empowered to inflict slight 
punishments and to impose small fines. More serious 
crimes were referred to the district collector {dibit) and 
those more serious still, either because of the nature of 
the crime or the rank of the persons concerned, to the 
governor of the province. The right to pronounce the 
death sentence was seldom delegated by the shah ex- 
cept sometimes to the governors of the royal house or 
when the country was in rebellion. 

The c urfi courts were usually held in public. This, 
in Sir John Malcolm's opinion, operated "as a 
salutary check on their proceedings". "These 

tumultuous though the judge is aided by a host of in- 
ferior officers, whose duty is to preserve order. The 
women who attend these courts are often the most 
vociferous: the servants of the magistrates are not per- 
mitted to silence them with those blows, which in the 
case of disturbance they liberally inflict upon the 
men" (History of Persia, London 1829, 2 vols., ii, 319). 
According to Malcom, c urfi officials referred to the 
shar c i courts all cases which for personal or political 
reasons they wished to be decided by their authority. 
In criminal cases the chief judge of the shar* i courts 
was associated with the c urfi officials and pronounced 
sentences according to the decrees of the sharf-a (ibid. , 
320). Curzon, writing towards the end of the century 
aptly describes the lack of a clear dividing line be- 
tween the two jurisdictions. He states, "The functions 
and the prerogative of the co-ordinate benches vary at 
different epochs, and appear to be a matter of accident 
or choice, rather than of necessity; and at the present 
time, though criminal cases of difficulty may be sub- 
mitted to the ecclesiastical court, yet it is with civil 
matters that they are chiefly concerned. Questions of 
heresy or sacrilege are naturally referred to them; they 
also take cognisance of adultery and divorce; and in- 
toxication as an offence, not against the common law 
... but against the Koran, falls within the scope of 
their judgment" (Persia and the Persian question, London 
1892, 2 vols., i, 453). Prior to the attempts at judicial 
reform in the reign of Nasir al-DIn Shah (1848-96), it 
would seem that governors and others continued to 
hear cases much after the fashion of the earlier mazalim 
courts. The decisions given by them were entirely ar- 
bitrary: there were no formal rules of procedure. Tor- 
ture and ill-treatment of offenders was common, and 
in the middle of the century became the subject of 
acrimonious exchanges between Nasir al-DIn and the 
British and Russian missions. In 1844 a decree was 
issued forbidding torture. Its effect, however, was 
almost negligible. 

The shaykh al-islam, whose position had increased in 
importance since the Safawid period, was the supreme 
judge of the shar c i courts. A shaykh al-islam was ap- 
pointed by the shah in the capital and the major pro- 
vincial cities and received a salary. To this extent his 
position was equivocal, but in his appointment the 
desire and wishes of the local inhabitants, according to 
Malcolm, were almost invariably consulted. In the 
smaller towns there was only a kadi and in the villages 
seldom more than a mulla. The latter was competent 
only to perform marriage and funeral ceremonies, to 
draw up common deeds and to decide plain and ob- 
vious cases; anything more complicated was referred 
to the kadi in the neighbouring town and often by him 
to the shaykh al-islam in the provincial capital 
(Malcolm, ii, 316). A mufti was sometimes associated 
with the shar'-i courts. His functions, very different 
from those of the mufti in the Ottoman empire, were 

simply to prepare an exposition of the case before the 
court and to aid it with advice. To do this, however, 
he had to be a man of learning and his opinion often 
influenced the judgment (ibid., 317). Although the 
shah nominated the shaykh al-islam, he was no more 
able than preceding rulers to alter the law ad- 
ministered in the sharci courts. This gave the shaykh al- 
islam and the sharci courts a certain independence, 
which was further strengthened by the influence of the 
mudftahids, to whose superior knowledge cases were 
constantly referred by the shar'-i judges. The sentence 
of a mudjtahid was irrevocable, except by that of a 
mudjtahid of greater learning and sanctity (ibid., 315). 

Many cases, including contracts, titles to landed 
property, disputed wills, intestate succession, 
disputed land boundaries, disputes over the owner- 
ship of landed property, the recovery of debts, and 
bankruptcies were decided by arbitration. A madjlis or 
informal council of leading persons would be convok- 
ed, usually in the house of a mulla or notable. Both 
sides would state their case; the documents would be 
produced and inspected, and a decision, almost 
always in the nature of a compromise, would be given 
and, if reasonably fair, accepted. The verdict would 
then be signed and registered by the shaykh al-islam or 
the imdm djum'a (Curzon, op. cit., i, 455-6). 

The fact that there was no land registration 
department — title deeds and documents were not 
emended or abrogated and often remained in the 
hands of their original holders or their heirs — gave 
rise to much litigation, particularly over land claims 
(as Ghazan Khan had found many centuries earlier, 
see above). In the case of disputed tenure, the general 
tendency was to have recourse to the local religious of- 
ficials or, if one or both of the parties to the dispute 
were influential, to the leading religious figures in the 
provincial capital or Tehran for documents attesting 
their ownership. Land grants and tuyuh, which were 
the subject of a farmdn or rakam, were in theory 
registered in the royal archives and sometimes in the 
provincial record offices; but these records were not 
open to public inspection and irregularities in 
registration were in any case not uncommon (cf. 
Lambton, The case of Hajji Nir al-Din 1823-47, in 
BSOAS, xxx/1 [1967], 54-72). Bonds concerning 
financial transactions, loans to the government and its 

commonly sealed and witnessed by religious 
dignitaries. Transactions with government officials 
were sometimes registered in the diwan-khdna, but 
neither practice safeguarded those by whom the 
documents were concluded from litigation (cf. eadem, 
The case of Hajji 'Abd al-Karim, in Iran and Islam, ed. C. 
E. Bosworth, Edinburgh 1971, 331-60). 

Contact with Europe had been joined in the 16th, 
17th and 18th centuries, mainly in the commercial 
field. This had resulted in the grant of immunities to 
European merchants by the shahs. In the 19th century 
this contact took on a new form and was dominated 
by the strategic and political interests of the great 
powers. Under the commercial treaty concluded at the 
same time as the Treaty of Turkomancay (1828) 
extra-territorial privileges were granted to Russian 
subjects, which were later also claimed by other 
foreign states for their nationals under most favoured 

This treaty regulated the position of foreign mer- 
chants. Disputes to which they were a party and 
claims by them were removed from the control of the 
shar'i courts. In the provinces they were dealt with by 
an official known as the kdrgudhdr and in the capital by 
the diwan-khdna and later by the Ministry of Foreign 

Affairs. Disputes between local dhimmis and Muslims 
were still heard in the shar'i courts, but from about the 
middle of the century attempts were made to transfer 
such cases to the diwdn. In 1851 when Nasir al-DIn 
was in Isfahan he laid down that inheritance disputes 
between an Armenian, Jewish or Zoroastrian convert 
to Islam and an adherent of the community to which 
he had previously belonged were not to be referred to 
the shar'i or 'urfi judges in the province but that the 
two parties were to be sent to the capital and the mat- 
ter investigated by the diwan-khana (Ruznama-yi 
wakayi'-i ittifakiyya, 3 §afar 1268/1851). On the other 
hand, an order (ta'lika) was issued by the sadr-i a'zam 
in Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1270/1854 stating that any dispute 
between a Jew, Christian or Zoroastrian on the one 
hand and an Ithnd 'Ashari on the other over partner- 
ships in trade or land should go before the Imam 
Djum c a of Isfahan and be settled according to the 
shari'a (ibid. , Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1270/1854). In 1863 new 
procedures to be followed by the diwan-i 'adliyya in 
mixed cases were laid down (see Ruznama-i dawlat-i 
'dliyya-i Iran, 17 Radjab 1279/1863). 

From about the middle of the 19th century, there 
were various attempts by Nasir al-Din and some of his 
ministers to centralise the administration of justice 
through the diwan-khana and to extend the field of 'urfi 
jurisdiction, while at the same time regulating its pro- 
cedure. The first was resisted by the provincial gover- 
nors and the second by the 'ulama 3 . In 1854 an order 
was published in the official gazette stating that if 
anyone refused to attend the diwan-khana when sum- 
moned by the authorities, one-fifth of the claim 
against him, whether he was of high or low estate, a 
Kadjar prince or not, would be confiscated and he 
would be forced to appear (Ruznama-yi wakayi'-i it- 
tifdkiyya, 4 DjumadI I 1270/1854). In 1855 an attempt 
was made to abolish the legal force of contradictory 
juridical opinions. This, like the order concerning the 
inheritance disputes of converts to Islam, was also an 
encroachment on the authority of the shar'i courts. 

In the same year, Mfrza Aka Khan Nun, who had 
succeeded Mirza TakI Khan Amir Kablr as sadr-i 
a'zam in 1851 , apparently submitted a plan to the shah 
for the promulgation of a body of laws drawn from 
various European codes, having as their basis the 
security of life, property and honour of the subject as 
in the Ottoman Khatt-i sherif-i Gulkhdna (Great Britain. 
Public Record Office. F.O. 60: 201, Taylour Thom- 
son to Clarendon, no. 23, Tehran, 18 February 
1855). Nothing came of this and it was not until 1858 
that further steps were taken towards legal reforms. A 
council of ministers was set up and regulations for the 
procedure of the diwdn-khdna-yi 'adliyya-yi a'-zam, or 
ministry of justice, were laid down (see further 
hukuma. ii. Persia, and dustur. iv. Iran). It was fur- 
ther announced towards the end of the year that a 
department of justice (diwdn-khdna-yi 'adliyya) would 
be set up in each province under a diwanbegi. Its 
decrees, if they concerned shar'i matters, were to be 
referred to a mudjtahid, and if they concerned 'urfi 
matters to the provincial governor. Shar' i documents 
were to be registered with the diwanbegi (Ruznama-yi 
wakayi'-i ittifakiyya, 11 Rah!* II 1275/1858). This at- 
tempt to assert the authority of the central diwdn over 
the provincial courts and of the diwanbegi over shar'i as 
well as 'urfi courts was abortive. In the face of the op- 
position from both the 'ulama > and the provincial of- 
ficials the decree was suspended. Whether it was 
because of the failure of these various measures 
designed to achieve some measure of legal reform or 
not, in 1860 there was a revival of the mazalim court, 
s made on 28 Muharram 

1277/1860 that the shah would hold a mazalim court 
every Sunday (Ruznama-yi wakayi'-i ittifakiyya, 28 
Muharram 1277/1860). A rescript (dast-khatt) was 
issued for the procedure to be followed. The ishikakdsi- 
bdshi and the nasakci-bashi and their deputies were to be 
on duty. The first minister and the deputy first 
minister were to be present and the latter was to 
record the answers given to the petitions. Petitioners 
were to be presented by the nasakci-bashi and the 
ddjuddn-bdshi. Petitioners were not to assemble near 
the guardhouse; in Tehran they were to gather in the 
Maydan or the Kuca-i Arg and in Shimran. or 
elsewhere in summer quarters, in the open country. 

The Karawul regiment, the farrdsh-i khalwatdn and the 
'1 to be on duty. If the petitioners 
/hen they assembled they were to 
be punished. Only petitions for the redress of 
grievances would be received: petitions for an increase 
of pay, pensions or tuyuls would not be heard. Peti- 
tions from the provinces could be submitted in writing 
through the official provincial post (cappar). These in- 
structions suggest that Nasir al-DIn feared both 
assassination and rioting by the populace; they also 
recall Nizam al-Mulk's fears of commotion by peti- 
tioners at the mazalim court — though apparently the 
Safawids had no such fears (see above). 

In 1863 there was an attempt to revive the measures 
of 1858. Mirza Husayn Khan Mushlr al-Dawla, who 
had spent twelve years in Turkey as the Persian 
representative there, submitted draft regulations for 
the reorganisation of the Ministry of Justice for the 
shah's approval. The purpose of these regulations was 
to centralise the administration of justice and to limit 
the authority of the provincial governors. These 
measures brought Mirza Husayn Khan into conflict 
with both the 'ulama 3 and the provincial authorities, 
and the proposal to set up departments of justice in the 
provinces under the Ministry of Justice was again 
shelved (Ruznama-yi dawlat-i 'aliyya-yi Iran, 17 Radjab 
1279/1863, and Lambton, The Persian 'ulama and con- 
stitutional reform, in Le Shi'isme imamite, ed. T. Fahd, 
Paris 1970, 259-60. See also F. Adamiyyat, Fikr-i 
azddi, Tehran 1961, 72 ff.). In 1871 MTrza Husayn 
Khan Mushlr al-Dawla, who had become sadr-i a'zam, 
issued a decree in the shah's name, setting up six 
courts or departments of the ministry of justice and 
regulations for their operation. The settlement of 
disputes outside the court was, however, permitted, 
provided both parties consented to this. The decrees 
of the shar'i courts were to be registered and enforced 
by the Ministry of Justice. In the same year torture 
was again forbidden (see further Shaul Bakhash, Iran: 
monarchy, bureaucracy and reform under the Qajars, 
1858-1896, London 1978, 83 ff.). Mirza Husayn 
Khan's reforms were also abortive. On 22 May 1888, 
as a result of promptings by Drummond Wolff, the 
British minister, Nasir al-DIn issued a decree giving 
security of life and property to all Persian subjects 
unless publicly condemned by a competent tribunal. 
The effect of this on the lives of the people was, 
however, negligible. One last attempt at legal reform 
was made after the cancellation of the Tobacco Con- 
cession in 1891, when Amln al-Dawla urged upon the 
shah the establishment of regular tribunals. Muhsin 
Khan Mushlr al-Dawla, the minister of justice and 
commerce, was accordingly ordered to set up a so- 
called 'addlat-khana. This plan also proved abortive 
(Amln al-Dawla, Kh&tirdt-i Mirza 'AH Khdn Amin al- 
Dawla, ed. H. Farmanfarmaman, Tehran 1962, 
164 ff.). 

By the end of the century there had thus been little 

change in the administration of justice. The functions 
of the minister were theoretically to take general note 
of the law throughout the country and to enforce the 
execution of judgments delivered by the 'ulamd ^. In 
practice his power, like that of other ministers, was 
personal: at times his influence extended to the pro- 
vinces, at others it barely ran even in the capital. A 
strong minister had his agents in the provinces, but he 
seldom had sufficient influence to invest them with 
real authority. The execution of sentences rested with 
officials called farrdshhd (sing, farrdsh). The farrdsh-bdshi 
of the capital, who was their head, was an important 
official and a servant of the shah. In the provinces the 
farrdsh-bdshi was nominated by the governor or by the 
farrdsh-bdshi of the capital. The religious law continued 
to take cognisance of many civil matters such as those 
concerning personal law, transfers of property, and 
certain criminal offences. The 'ulamd >, as formerly, 
depended for the execution of their decisions upon the 
civil authorities. All judgments, whether of the 
'ulamd ' or the 'urfi officials, were executed by the far- 
rashha(d. F.O. 60: 566). Appendix I by Lt. Col. Picot 
to Sir M. Durand, in Sir M. Durand's memo, on the situa- 
tion in Persia, Tehran, 27 September 1895 (conf. print 
6704). See also Ruzndma-yi wakdyi'-i ittifdkiyya, no. 46, 
24 Safar 1268/1851). 

In the early years of the 20th century, at the sugges- 
tion of a Belgian legal adviser a codification of the law 
was considered, together with a reorganisation of the 
courts dealing with mixed cases — the need for legal 
reform was by this time acutely felt by foreign mer- 
chants, whose legal claims were referred in the capital 
to the madjlis-i muhdkamdt, a tribunal of the Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs, and in the provinces to the court 
of the kdrgudhar, who frequently bought his office as a 
commercial speculation from the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs — and the establishment of courts of first in- 
stance and appellate tribunals, which would decide 
mixed cases by the application of a simple commercial 
code based on that existing in Turkey. The plan was 
frustrated by the '-ulamd ', who maintained that the 
temporal authority was not competent to legislate in 
such matters and that any such legislation must be in 
accordance with the shari'a. Russia also opposed the 
proposal as being contrary to the Treaty of 
Turkomancay (F.O. 416: 26. no. 29, Harding to 
Grey, London, 23 December 1905). 

After the death of Nasir al-DIn Shah in 1896, the 
movement for liberal reform, which had been gather- 
ing support during the second half of the 19th cen- 
tury, became more articulate. In 1903 various groups 
agreed to work for the establishment of a code of laws. 
In May 1905 an open letter was sent to the sadr-i a'zam 
demanding, inter alia, a code of justice and the 
establishment of a Ministry of Justice. In January 
1906, after a large number of people had taken asylum 
(bast) in the shrine of Shah c Abd al-'Azim outside 
Tehran, Muzaffar al-DIn, who had succeeded his 
father Nasir al-Din, gave orders for the establishment 
of a Ministry of Justice ('addlat-khdna-yi dawlati) for the 
purpose of executing the decrees of the shari'a 
throughout Persia so that all the subjects of the coun- 
try should be equal before the law. A code (kitdbca) in 
accordance with the shari'a was to be drawn up and 
put into operation throughout the country. In fact, no 
steps were taken to implement the promises given to 
the bastis. A second bast by the religious leaders took 
place in Kumm, while merchants and members of the 
craft guilds of Tehran and others took refuge in the 
British Legation. They demanded the dismissal of the 
sadr-i a'-zam, the promulgation of a code of laws and 
the recall of the religious leaders from Kumm. The 

shah yielded to their demands and on 5 August 1906 
issued a rescript setting up a National Consultative 
Assembly. The Fundamental Law was signed on 30 
December 1906 and the Supplementary Fundamental 
Law was ratified by Muhammad Shah on 7 October 
1907 [see dustur. iv. Iran]. Article 2 of the latter 
states that at no time must any legal enactment of the 
National Consultative Assembly (madjlis-i shawrd-yi 
mill!) be at variance with the sacred principles of Islam 
or the laws established by the prophet Muhammad. 
Article 2 also provides for the setting up of a commit- 
tee composed of not less than five mudjtahids and pious 
fukahd'', who would consider all matters proposed in 
the madjlis and reject wholly or in part any proposal at 
variance with the sacred laws of Islam. Article 27 
divides the powers of the realm into three categories, 
legislative, judicial and executive. It states that the 
judicial power belongs exclusively to the shar'i 
tribunals in matters pertaining to the sharica 
(shar'iyydi) and to the civil tribunals (mahdkim-i 
'adliyyd) in matters pertaining to 'urf('urfiyydt). Article 
28 states that the three powers shall always be separate 
and distinct from one another, and Articles 81 and 82 
affirm the irremovability and independence of the 
judges. (These articles were emended in the reign of 
Muhammad Rida Shah.) Article 71 states that the 
Supreme Ministry of Justice (diwdn-i 'addlat-i 'uzma) 
and the judicial courts are the places officially destined 
for the redress of public grievances, while judgment in 
shar ' i matters is vested in just mudjtahids possessed of 
the necessary qualifications, thus implying that the 
jurisdiction of the judicial courts was general and that 
only those matters which were judged to pertain to the 
shari'a were to be referred to shar'i judges. The text 
is, however, ambiguous, perhaps intentionally. 

The committee of mudjtahids laid down in Article 2 
of the Supplementary Fundamental Law was set up 
by the second madjlis in 1911 but later fell into 
desuetude. The result of its work was the provisional 
law known as the kdnun-i muwakkati-yi tashkildt wa usul 
muhdkamdt of 1329 (the provisional law for the regula- 
tions of judicial procedure of 191 1). This law, in spite 
of its provisional nature, was the basis on which the 
judicial reforms carried out after the grant of the con- 
stitution rested. Under its authority a number of pro- 
visional laws were passed, a procedure which enabled 
the government to take "experimental" action and 
which avoided the question of whether the madjlis was 
contravening Article 2 of the Supplementary Fun- 
damental Laws or not. Article 45 of the provisional 
law of 1911 defines shar ' i matters as "matters which 
are established in accordance with the law of the il- 
lustrious shar' of Islam". The lack of any more precise 
definition of shar'i and 'urfi matters illustrates the dif- 
ficulty which the legislators experienced in making a 
separation between the two systems. The law further 
divides cases into those concerning shar'i matters, 
'urfi matters and "joint" cases, i.e. cases which con- 
cerned both shar'i and 'urfi matters. The last could 
only be referred to the 'adliyya (the Ministry of Justice) 
with the consent of both parties. Shar leases are defin- 
ed inter alia as cases arising from ignorance of a shar'i 
judgment or shar'i matters, cases concerning mar- 
riage and divorce, debt, inheritance, awkdf and the 
appointment of mutawallis and legal guardians. The 
shar'i courts (mahdzir, sing, mahzar) were presided 
over by a mudjtahid possessing the necessary qualifica- 
tions (djdmi'al-shardHf) and two deputies (karib al- 
idjtihdd). The effect of the provisional law, although it 
was perhaps intended to limit the competence of the 
shar'i courts, was, in fact, to lead to the referral of 
most cases to the shar'i courts. There were various 

reasons for this: a lack of trained personnel to ad- 
minister a secular law, lack of familiarity on the part 
of the public with the lengthy formalities involved by 
the new procedures, the fact that in the provinces 
cases were for the most part decided by the governors 
on an ad hoc basis and the existence of a separate court 
in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with branches in the 
provinces known as kdrgudhdrihd for cases involving 
foreign subjects. For these and other reasons, reform 
proceeded slowly. Courts of first instance and courts 
of appeal, special commercial and military tribunals 
' 'vdn-i tamyiz) were, 


:t up. 

Under Rida Shah (1925-42) the government em- 
barked upon an ambitious programme of legal 
reform, and with the increasing power of the central 
government, the tendency to ride roughshod over op- 
position on the part of the religious classes grew. 
Various parts of the civil code were promulgated be- 
tween 1925 and 1935, thereby increasingly limiting 
the competence of the shar c ("courts. Negotiations were 
begun for the abolition of the capitulations, which 
finally became effective from 10 May 1928, the pro- 
vincial tribunals presided over by the kdrgudhdrs 
having already been dissolved by the law of 12 
Shahrlvar 1306/3 September 1927 [see imtiyazat, iii, 
Persia]. In 1305/1926-7 the Ministry of Justice was 
empowered to put into operation a reformed version 
of the provisional law of 1911, and as a result a 
number of new provisional laws were passed. The 
'■adliyya was reorganised and the list of matters which 

the law for the regulations of judicial procedure of 7 
Day 1307/1928-9, the existence of shar c i courts was 
reaffirmed, but their competence was limited broadly 
to cases referring to marriage and divorce, matters of 
succession and guardianship and the administration 
of wills and awkdf In the following year, by the law 
of Khurdad 1308/1929 their competence was further 
reduced, while the law of 10 Adhar 1310/1930 
abrogated earlier laws concerning shar c i courts and 
recognised only those courts which were presided over 
by a mudjtahid possessing the necessary qualifications. 
Finally, in 1937 new Regulations for judicial pro- 
cedure {a'in-i dddrasi-yi madam) in 789 articles were 
presented to the madjlis. They were finally passed on 
25 Shahrlvar 1318/1939 and replaced the earlier pro- 
visional laws. 

In these various ways, which would in mediaeval 
terminology have been described as hiyal, an open 
clash between the modernists and the authorities of 
the religious law was avoided and a civil law was 
codified and brought into operation. The sections on 
marriage, divorce, inheritance, awkdf, irrigation and 
dead lands were simply a codified version of shar c f law 
already in operation with minor changes. In matters 
of divorce, the position was materially altered by the 
Family Protection Act of 1967. A penal code, based 
mainly on French law but also influenced by Swiss 
and Belgian law, was promulgated in 1928 and replac- 
ed by a new code in 1939. A provisional law for com- 
mercial courts was set up under the provisional law of 
1911 and a commercial code promulgated in 1932. 

Throughout the period under review down to the 
early 20th century shar^i and c urfi jurisdictions con- 
tinued side by side. The former, administered by the 
kadi and the shar '•I judges, covered in theory all 
aspects of the believer's life, was a written law, and 
subject to known procedures. In theory it was 
supreme and unchallenged, but in practice it was 
limited in the scope of its operation. The latter, ad- 
ministered by the ruler and his deputies, was unwrit- 

ten, its judgments were executed by the strong hand 
of power and it was in practice dominant. At best it 
was regulated by custom and at worst wholly arbitrary 
and guided by the whim of the ruler. The distinction 
between the two jurisdictions was not, and could not 
be, clearly drawn since the shari^a could, in theory, 
have no rival. The operation of the two jurisdictions 
was personal: now the one, now the other, extended 
the field of its operation. The relationship between 
them was uncertain and uneasy. The power of execu- 
tion in all cases rested with the ^urfi officials, but so far 
as the shar c i officials were associated with the ^urfi 
courts, a quasi-jAar c f sanction was given to their pro- 

Bibliography: Sections on kadd 3 are to be found 
in all major works on fikh, both Sunni and Shi' I. 
Material on the general principles of taking up 
government office is also to be found in the sections 
on al-amr wa 'l-nahy and al-makdsib and al-buyW-. In- 
formation on the exercise of the office of kadi by in- 
dividuals is to be found in biographical dictionaries 
and histories. For the modern period, see Ahmad- 
Daftary, La suppression des capitulations en Perse, Paris 
1930; idem, A >in-i dddrasi-yi madam wa bdzargdni, 
Tehran 2 vols., i, 1324/1956-7, ii, 1334/1966-7; 
Mustafa c Adl Mansur al-Sal{ana, Hukuk-i madanp, 
Tehran 1308/1929; C A1I Pasha Salih, Kuwwa-yi 
mukannana wa kuwwa-yi kadd^iyya, Tehran 
1343/1964-5, Muhammad Dja c far LangarudI, 
Ddnishndma-yi hukuk, 3 vols., Tehran 
1343-52/1964-74; D. Hinchcliffe, The Iranian family 
protection act, in The international and comparative law 
quarterly (April 1968), 516-21; E. Graf, Der Brauch 
(urflada) nach islamischen Recht, in K. Tauchmann, 
ed., Festschrift fur H. Petri, Vienna 1973, 122-44. 
(A. K. S. Lambton) 

l. Egypt 

In the period of direct Ottoman rule in Egypt, the 
Shari^a courts had a very wide jurisdiction, which 
comprised civil law, including personal status and 
wakf and also criminal and administrative matters. 
Their personal jurisdiction applied also to disputes be- 
tween non-Muslims and Muslims, between non- 
Muslims of different denominations, and even be- 
tween non-Muslims of the same denomination who 
agreed to litigate before a Shari c a court. 

Muhammad c Ali established many judicial 
authorities which took away important powers from 
the Shari c a courts: madilis akldm al-da c wd and madjlis 
da'-dwd al-balad, which dealt with claims for specific 
amounts and with agricultural matters; and al-madjdlis 
al-markaziyya, which heard appeals against decisions of 
the latter courts and had original jurisdiction in claims 
for greater amounts. The courts of first instance (al- 
madjalis al-ibtidd ^iyya) in the provincial capitals heard 
criminal matters and civil claims up to substantial 
amounts. Their judgments were appealable to the 
courts of appeal (madjalis al-istpndf). The highest ap- 
pellate court was the madjlis al-ahkdm, which sat in 
Cairo. Other judicial authorities were madjlis al-tidjdra 
(a commercial court) and madjlis mashyakhat al-balad. 
Jurisdiction in criminal cases and the "investigation 
of complaints" in the old sense were exercised by the 
chief administrative office, al-diwdn al-khidiwi, headed 
by the Kikhya as representative of the Pasha; the chief 
of police (ddbit) and the muhtasib also had considerable 
powers of punishment. 

A major reform in the judicial system was carried 

out in the days of Isma'fl Pasha. The Hasbiyya Courts 
Law of 1873 was a first, moderate step in restricting 
the powers of the Shari'a courts. The hasbiyya courts 
(reorganised under a law of 1896 and renamed 
mahakim hasbiyya rather than madjdlis hasbiyya in 1947) 
were competent to look after the financial interests of 
local absent persons and minors, both Muslims and 
non-Muslims. Certain matters of personal status were 
also transferred to these new courts; the Public 
Treasury (bayt al-mal) was abolished. A national 
system of civil jurisdiction, comprising a number of 
madialis, was established in 1874. In 1876, mixed 
tribunals were set up in which both foreign and local 
judges served. They heard disputes between 
foreigners of different nationalities and between 
foreigners and Egyptians. The local judges of these 
courts were exposed to the influence of Western legal 
principles and judicial norms. 

The Code of Procedure of Shari'a Courts of 1880 
limited the jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts to matters 
of personal status, succession, wakf and gifts, and 
cases of homicide. They had concurrent jurisdiction, 
by the side of the provincial councils, in matters of 

The British occupation of Egypt in 1882 did not, in 
theory, change the juridical status of the country, 
which nominally continued to be part of the Ottoman 
Empire, though enjoying a large measure of 
autonomy. As a result of reorganisation, the jurisdic- 
tion of the Shan'-a courts was restricted to personal 
status, succession and part of the law of landed pro- 
perty, including wakf of Muslims; the Shan'-a courts in 
the major towns had jurisdiction also in cases of 
homicide referred to them by the madjdlis nizamiyya. 

Until 1883, the Shari'a courts had general and 
residuary jurisdiction with regard to all residents of 
Egypt. They also had jurisdiction in matters of per- 
sonal status of non-Muslims, both local and foreign, 
if the parties had no communal court of their own or 
did not signify their acceptance of milla (communal) 
jurisdiction, or if they belonged to different 
denominations, or if a non-Muslim husband had con- 
verted to Islam after marriage. The sphere of the 
Shari'a courts was restricted, either by direct limita- 
tion or by definition of the spheres of the other courts. 
In 1883, the judicial system was reorganised: the civil 
courts (madjdlis nizamiyya) were replaced by national 
courts {mahakim ahliyya) based on European models 
(the reform was only completed in 1889). Mixed and 
national courts took over many of the powers of the 
Shari'a courts. They were competent to hear criminal 
matters (homicide) and many matters of personal 
status and wakf. The law of 1896 further restricted the 
jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts, viz. to matrimony, 
dower, divorce, the custody of children, maintenance 
(including maintenance between relatives), paternity, 
succession, wakf and gifts; homicide was removed 
from their jurisdiction to that of criminal courts. 

The dichotomy between the iAar c f judicial system, 
in which the non-codified Shari'a applied, and the 
variegated system of the national and mixed courts, in 
which judges with a modern legal training applied 
Western-inspired codes, increasingly sharpened. In 
1899, Muhammad c Abduh [q.v.] suggested the 
amalgation of all judicial authorities within the 
framework of the Shari'a courts or, more concretely, 
the vesting of the Sharia courts with jurisdiction in 
criminal matters and incidental jurisdiction in other 
matters (along with the hearing of matrimonial and 
wakf cases). He also suggested integrating the muftis in 
the higher echelons of the judicial system. His sugges- 
tions were not accepted. 

Another law, of 1909-10, defined the jurisdiction of 
the different Shari'a courts in greater detail, but 
brought nothing substantively new. The law of 1931, 
which was in force until the abolition of the Shari'a 
courts, dealt more intensively with the jurisdiction of 
the latter. Matters relating to gifts, which had been 
under the jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts, were 
transferred to the national courts a few years before 
the Shari'a courts were abolished. 

The establishment of the hasbiyya courts in 1947 was 
only the first step towards the unification of the 
judicial system in Egypt. In 1949, the mixed courts 
were abolished, and their powers were transferred to 
the national courts. Law no. 462 of 1955 abolished the 
Shari'a courts and the courts of the religious com- 
munities (al-mahdkim al-milliyya) with effect from 1 
January 1956, and transferred their powers to the na- 
tional courts, thereby closing the circle. The abolition 
of the religious courts was prompted by considerations 
of administrative efficiency — the need to prevent con- 
flict of jurisdiction and miscarriages of justice— but 
above all, it was intended to demonstrate national 
sovereignty by removing the remnants of the judicial 
autonomy of foreigners. The action taken against the 
non-Muslim courts was more significant because in a 
Muslim country the Shari'a courts are identified with 
the state. Moreover, only the shari'i kadis have been 
absorbed into the national courts, so that matters of 
personal status of non-Muslims can now be heard 
before Muslim judges, although the latter are suppos- 
ed to apply the religious law of the parties. 

Following the Ottoman conquest, the dominant 
doctrine in the Egyptian shar' i system was the Hanafi 
one, although the population was mainly Shan"-! (in 
the north) and Maliki (in the south). The kanun of the 
sultan, ostensibly designed to supplement the Shari'a, 
superseded it in many matters, especially criminal, in 
which difficulties arose in its application in the Shari'a 
courts. Egypt was not affected by the Tanzimdt legisla- 
tion of the Ottoman Empire, and neither was the 
Medjelle introduced there. 

After an endeavour had been made in 1855, under 
Sa c id Pasha, to codify the criminal law, one which on- 
ly resulted in a "confused compilation" based mainly 
on the Shari'a, there came the greater juridical reform 
under Isma c il Pasha in connection with the creation 
of the mixed tribunals (1876). At the time of the crea- 
tion of the national courts (mahakim ahliyya) (1883), 
new civil, criminal and commercial codes were pro- 
claimed which were based on French models. 

In the late 19th century, Muhammad Kadrl Pasha 
prepared codes, all based on the Hanafi doctrine, of 
several departments of law: (1) Kitab Murshid al-hayrdn 
ild ma'rifat ahwal al-insdn, which dealt with civil law; it 
was not officially recognised; (2) Kitab Ahwal al- 
shar'iyyafi 'l-ahwal al-shakhsiyya, which dealt with per- 

though not adopted by act of parliament, it was 
published by the Egyptian government in 1875 and 
enjoyed semi-official status; it was only intended to 
meet the increased need, caused by the creation of the 
mixed and national tribunals, for a convenient sum- 
mary of the law administered by the Shari'a courts and 
had no authority of its own with the latter; there are 
official translations into French and Italian and a 
commentary by Muhammad Zayd al-Ibyam; and (3) 
Kanun al-'adl wa' l-insdf W l-kadd > 'aid mushkilat al-aw-kaf 
(Bulak 1893, 1894, and later editions), which deals 

is founc 

A law of 1880 provided that the judgments of the 
Shari'a courts should be based exclusively on the most 
approved opinion of the Hanafi school, except for 

cases of homicide, in which the kadis, to avoid corrup- 
tion and the spilling of innocent blood, were permitted 
to follow the two disciples of Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf 
and al-Shaybani, or, in cases of deliberate homicide, 
the three other schools. Muhammad c Abduh, within 
the framework of reforms in the shar' i judicial system, 
suggested appointing a commission of 'ulama* to 
prepare comprehensive codes, especially as to per- 
sonal status and wakf culled from all the SunnT doc- 
trines according to considerations of public welfare; 
they were meant to be applied in the Shari'a courts by 
order of the ruler; but c Abduh's suggestion was not 
adopted. The Shari'a Courts Organisation Law of 
1910 again required the kadis, in principle, to follow 
the most approved opinion of the Hanafi school. 

From 1920, Parliament engaged in extensive refor- 
mist legislation on matters of personal status, succes- 
sion and wakf; it deviated from the Hanafi doctrine 
and adopted elements of other Sunn! doctrines and of 
the Shi c a. This legislation comprised Law no. 25 of 
1920 and Law no. 25 of 1929 on maintenance, divorce 
and other matters; Law no. 78 of 1931 on the 
organisation of the Shari'a courts, introducing also 
reforms in family law; the Succession Law, no. 77 of 
1943; the Testamentary Disposition Law, no. 71 of 
1946, the Wakf Laws, no. 48 of 1946 and no. 180 of 
1952, and Law no. 118 of 1952 concerning the denial 
of guardianship over a person. 

The Civil Code of 1948, prepared by c Abd al- 
Razzak al-Sanhun, which served as model for the civil 
codes of several Arab countries, draws inspiration 
from the Shari'a as one source among many, and not 
the most important. It is based on the codes of 1875 
and 1883, which in turn go back to the Code 
Napoleon. Part of the reforms were at first carried out 
in the Sudan, through the Grand Kadi, who was an 
Egyptian jurist. 

The Shari'-a Courts Abolition Law, no. 462 of 1955, 
provides that the national courts shall decide matters 
of personal status and wakf in accordance with section 
280 of the Shari'a Courts Organisation Law of 1931, 
that is to say, in accordance with the most approved 
opinion of the Hanafi school, except for matters 
specially provided for in that law and in statutes of the 
nineteen-twenties and subsequent years supplemen- 
ting it. In the national courts, Islamic law applies also 
to non-Muslims in matters of succession and wills and 
where the parties do not belong to the same 
denomination, or one of them has converted to Islam 
in the course of the proceedings. 

After the unification of the judiciary, there were 
several attempts to codify the law of personal status. 
There was a growing realisation that the national 
courts should apply a uniform material law, valid for 
members of all religions and for foreigners as well as 
for local residents. But reformist legislation was only 
resumed in the second half of the nineteen-seventies, 
and even then not to the extent planned: Law no. 26 
of 1976 introduced amendment in matters of 
maintenance and Law no. 44 of 1979 brought impor- 
tant reforms in matters of maintenance, divorce, 
maintenance of divorced women and custody of 

In recent years, the efforts of Islamic orthodoxy 
have centred on an attempt to disprove the legitimacy 
of statutes inconsistent with the Shari'a. The prime 
objective was establishing the position of the Shari'a in 
the constitution of the state. The provisional constitu- 
tion of 1964 (i.e. of the time of c Abd al-Nasir) did not 
mention the Shari'-a at all. The 1971 constitution (art. 
2) says that Islam is the state religion and that the 
principles of the Shari'a are a chief source of legisla- 

tion, i.e. one of several. On 22 May 1980, following 
a referendum, it was laid down that the Shari'a was 
the chief source of legislation. There have been 
several attempts by superior courts, in reliance on ar- 
ticle 2 of the constitution, to disprove the legality of 
laws contrary to the Shari'a (see, e.g. al-Da'wa, 
February 1980). The Muslim Brothers [see 
al-ikhwan al-muslimun] demand that the judicature, 
even at its lowest levels, should be enabled to pro- 
nounce on the legality of statutes. Alternatively, they 
suggest including the shar' flaws, especially the penal 
ones, among the statutes (see e.g. al-Da'wa, July 

Since 1972, legislation has been proposed, by both 
private and governmental agencies, to introduce 
Kur 3 anic punishments (hudud) for theft and embezzle- 
ment, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, armed 
robbery, unchastity (zina), false accusation of un- 
chastity (kadhf), and apostasy from Islam (ridda). In 
1975, a supreme committee for the initiation of laws 
conforming to the Shari'a (al-Ladjna al-'ulya li-tatwir al- 
kawanin wafk al-shari'a) was set up. Up till now, these 
efforts have had scanty results. The legislative pro- 
posals were not adopted, except for a bill concerning 
the consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages, 
which became law in 1976 (al-I'tisdm, August 1980). 

In the period prior to the occupation of Egypt by 
the British, procedure and the rules of evidence in 
Shari'a courts were based on the Shari'a. Upon the 
reorganisation of the courts under the law of 1880, 
procedure was also revised. In 1883, immediately 
upon the British occupation, new regulations for civil 
and criminal procedure, based on French models, 
were proclaimed (the criminal code was brought up to 
date in 1904); but they were only applied by civil 
courts. As to the Shari'a courts, in the Reglements since 
1897, there has been an increasing tendency to do 
away with oral evidence of witnesses and acknowledg- 
ment (ikrdr) as means of proof and to prefer documen- 
tary evidence. Muhammad c Abduh suggested making 
the use of written documents a condition of the 
jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts. Reformist legislation 
from the nineteen-twenties onwards concerning per- 
sonal status and succession included also procedural 
provisions which served as means to circumvent 
substantive shar' ("legislation. 

The Shari'a Courts Abolition Law, no. 462 of 1955, 
provides that the Civil Procedure Law shall apply to 
matters of personal status and wakf in national courts, 
except for matters to which special provisions apply 
according to the Shari'a Courts Law or laws sup- 
plementing it. In addition, Law no. 57 of 1959 
(amended by Law no. 106 of 1962) is to be applied to 
proceedings before the Court of Cassation (mahkamat 

In the days of Muhammad C A1I, there was in Cairo 
a chief kadi, sent every year from Istanbul, who 
delegated the bulk of the business to the deputy he 
brought with him from Istanbul. The plaintiff had, as 
a rule, to produce afatwa from the local Hanafi mufti, 
who held permanent office; the mufti, for his part, in- 
vestigated the legal dispute and the kadi was usually 
satisfied with confirming the fatwa. Simple cases were 
decided at once by the kadi's deputy or by one of the 
official witnesses, to whom application had first of all 
to be made. Cases of a more complicated nature were 
brought before the chief kadi, his deputy and the mufti 

In addition to this chief court of justice, there were 
subsidiary courts in Cairo and the suburbs at which 
official witnesses of the chief court administered 
justice as deputies and under the supervision of the 

chief kadi- In the country towns there were also kadis, 
who were usually aided by muftis. The kadis were paid 
by the litigants and not by the state. Sa c id obtained 
the right to nominate kadis (but not the chief kadi) and 
Isma c fl received permission to nominate, temporarily 
at least, the deputy of the chief kadi, who himself re- 
mained in Turkey. 

By a law of 1880, the benches of the Shari'a courts 
in Cairo and Alexandria were made to consist of three 
judges, the court in Cairo became a court of appeal 
from the decisions of single judges, and the judgments 
of the two courts were made appealable to the Hanaff 
(chief) mufti; in cases of doubt, the courts were refer- 
red to the competent muftis, but for the rest they were 
made independent of them. 

A further step forward was marked by the Reglement 
de Reorganisation des Mehkemehs of 1897, modified in 
1909-10; between the two versions came the fatwd of 
Muhammad c Abduh on the reform of Shari'a jurisdic- 
tion of 1899. Both versions provided for an organisa- 
tion of the Shari 'a courts in three stages: sommaire 
(djuzHyya), de premiere instance (ibtidd^iyya) and supreme 
('ulya), according to the terminology finally adopted; 
single judges sat in the first stage, colleges of judges in 
the other stages (always three according to the earlier 
version, three in the intermediate instance and five in 
the highest court in Cairo according to the later ver- 
sion). The court of appeal was the next highest court; 
the more important cases were at once brought before 
the court de premiere instance. The earlier version gave 
the muftis definite places on the bench of the collegiate 
courts; in the later version, the vice-president acted as 
mufti, except in Cairo. The Reglement of 1931 brought 
the number of judges in the highest court down to 

The Sharif Courts Abolition Law of 1955 provides 
that matters of personal status shall be dealt with by 
national courts of three grades, to be specially 
established for this purpose. Those of the lowest 
grade, called the summary courts (al-mahakim al- 
djuzHyya), are to hear all matters of personal status, as 
defined in the Sharif Courts Law no. 78 of 1931, ex- 
cept paternity, repudiation and judicial dissolution on 
the wife's initiative, which are within the jurisdiction 
of the courts of first instance (al-mahakim al- 
ibtida^iyya). In addition, the courts of first instance 
hear matters of wakf and appeals from judgments of 
the summary courts as far as these are appealable. 
Non-final judgments of the courts of first instance sit- 
ting as courts of original jurisdiction are appealable to 
the Personal Status Appeals Department of the Court 

A summary court has a bench of one; a court of first 
instance has a bench of three and may include shar'i 
kadis. The president of the court of first instance is a 
senior judge of the Court of Appeal. Courts of first in- 
stance exist in every provincial capital. The Personal 
Status Appeals Department has a bench of three, one 
of whom may be a shar'i kadi of the rank of nd % or 
a member of the Supreme Shari'-a Court of Appeal. 
The president of the Supreme Shari'a Court is made 
a member of the Court of Cassation, of which the Per- 
sonal Status Appeals Department forms a part and 
which sits in Cairo. 

The law of 1955 provides that the kadis of the 
Shari'-a courts of all grades shall be integrated into the 
national courts system, the public prosecutor's 
department and the Ministry of Justice as far as mat- 
ters of personal status are concerned. Actually, most 
shar'i kadis have been integrated into the summary 
courts, in which judicial proceedings in matters of 
personal status are mainly conducted. At the same 

time, a not inconsiderable number of civil lawyers 
deal with matters of personal status of Muslims. 

The Shari'a Courts Law of 1931 provided that only 
advocates might represent parties in court, A kadis' 
school established in 1907 trained also shar'i ad- 
vocates. They set up a bar association similar to the 
bar association of civil advocates. Since the abolition 
of the Shari'-a courts, shar'-i advocates have been per- 
mitted to appear, in matters that had formerly been 
within the jurisdiction of the shari'-a courts, before na- 
tional courts of the corresponding grade. 

tendency emerged — 

tolerated by the authorities i 
policy — to apply shar'i laws, even if no 
statutory legislation, in the jurispruder 
tional courts and to refuse to apply statu 
inconsistent with the Shari'a (Rose 
February 1980; al-Da'wa, February IS 

if domestic 
: anchored in 
ce of the na- 
es considered 
al-Yusuf 18 
B0, February 

Bibliography: Lane, Manners and customs of the 
modern Egyptians, ch. iv; EP art. KhedIw, sect. 2; 
Schacht, Sari'a und Qanun im modernen Agypten, in Isl. 
xx (1932), 209-36; the texts of the laws and decrees 
in the Journal Officiel du Gouvernement Egyplien and 
separately, e.g. LaHhat al-mahakim al-shar'iyya, 
Bulak 1297/1880; Reglement de Reorganisation des 
Mehkemehs, Cairo 1910; Madjmu'at kawanin al- 
mahakim al-shar'iyya wa 'l-madjalis al-hasbiyya, Cairo 
1926; Sammarco, Precis de I'histoire d'Egypte, iv, 
265 ff.; Muhammad c Abduh, Takrir fi islah al- 
mahakim al-shar'iyya, Cairo 1900; J. Brugman, De 
betekenis van het Mohammedaanse recht in het hedendaagse 
Egypte ("The place of Islamic law in contemporary 
Egypt"), The Hague 1960, with important 
bibliography; J. N. D. Anderson, Law reform in 
Egypt, 1850-1950, in P. M. Holt (ed.), Political and 
social change in modern Egypt, London 1968, 209-30; 
Ch. Chehata, Droit musulman, Paris 1970; 
MahmasanI, al-Awda' al-tashri'iyya, 220-40; 
F. J. Ziadeh, Lawyers, the rule of law and liberalism in 
modern Egypt, Stanford, Calif. 1968; E. Hill, 
Mahkama. Studies in the Egyptian legal system, London 
1979; Kawanin al-ahwal al-shakhsiyya ba'd al-ta'dilat 
al-djadida, Kanun Kabd al-Nafaka min Bank Ndsir al- 
Idj.timd'i wa-Kanun Salb al-Wilaya 'aid al-Nafs, 
Maktab al-Matbu c at al-Islamiyya wa'1-Kanuniyya, 
Cario [1980]; I. Altman, Islamic legislation in Egypt 
in the 1970s, in Asian and African Studies, xiii/3 
(1979), 199-219; further see Schacht, Introduction, 
252, 254 f. (J. Schacht - [A. Lavish]) 

In the Ottoman era, the shar ' i judicial system of 
Syria was integrated in the Ottoman legal system. 
The powers of the Shari'a courts were re-determined 
by Law no. 261 of 1926; they comprise matters of per- 
sonal status, succession and wakf However, in con- 
trast to the position in Lebanon, the Shari'a courts are 
regarded as the ordinary judicial authorities in mat- 
ters of personal status of non-Muslims, except for 
matters left to the jurisdiction of the 
courts. In matters of guardianship, s 
interdiction (hadjr), legal majority (rushd), 
maintenance of relatives within the wider family, wakf 
khayri and the like, non-Muslims are amenable to the 
Shari'a courts. Matters of personal status of foreign 
Muslims who in their countries of origin are subject 
to civil law are amenable to the civil courts. The 
Shari'a court consists of a single kddi, whose judgment 
may be appealed to the shar 'i department of the Court 
of Cassation (mahkamat al-tamyiz). The judicial 
authority Law, no. 12 of 1961, provides for 25 

Muslim courts throughout Syria, each consisting of a 
single kadi, except for those in Damascus and Aleppo, 
which have three kadis each. 

The Shi c Is of Syria, unlike those of Lebanon, have 
no courts of their own, and are theoretically subject to 
the Sunni Shari'a courts. But it seems that they settle 
matters of personal status through unofficial arbitra- 
tion by their leaders. 

By virtue of the law of 1926, the non-Muslim com- 
munities have religious courts of their own, with 
jurisdiction limited to some matters not within the 
competence of the Shari'a courts: betrothal, marriage, 
the various kinds of divorce, matrimo'nial 
maintenance and children's maintenance. 

The Syrian Law of Personal Status of 1953 replaced 
the Ottoman Family Rights Law of 1917. It is based 
on the Hanafi doctrine and on reformist legislation 
anchored in other Sunni doctrines. In the absence of 
an express provision in it as to a particular matter, the 
ruling opinion of the Hanafi school is to be followed. 
The Syrian constitutions from 1950 onwards provide 
that the Shari'a shall be the principal source of legisla- 
tion. The said law applies also to the ShI c Is, as well 
as to non-Muslims (Christians and Druzes), except 
for those matters within the competence of the 
religious courts of the latter to which their religious 
law applies (art. 308). In other words, this law 
represents an attempt to frame a code of personal 
status applying to all citizens of Syria without distinc- 
tion of school or religion. 

Procedure was unified by the Law of Procedure of 
1947. Under the Jurisdiction Law of 1961, Sharif, 
Christian and Druze courts apply the rules of pro- 
cedure of the civil courts; the special rules of the dif- 
ferent communities, including the Ottoman Shar'i 
Procedure Law, were abolished. 

In the Ottoman era, the Druzes of Syria were not 
recognised as a religious community and were 
theoretically amenable to the jurisdiction of the 
Shari'-a courts. In practice, they settled matters of 
marriage, divorce, wills, wakf, etc., before Druze kadis 
lacking statutory status. Like their Lebanese 
brethren, the Syrian Druzes were recognised as a 
religious community by the Mandatory authorities in 
1936 and thereby given the right to exercise com- 
munal jurisdiction in matters of personal status; but 
there were differences of opinion as to this with regard 
to the Druzes residing outside the Djabal al-Duruz 
and especially in Damascus. 

Law no. 1 34 of 1 945 made it possible to set up an 
independent judicial system for the Druzes in accor- 
dance with madhhabi principles and customs. The 
powers of the courts comprise matters of marriage, 
divorce, maintenance and the like, as well as matters 
of succession and wills. Law no. 294 of 1946 and the 
General Judicial Powers Law, no. 56 of 1959, con- 
firmed the powers of the Druze courts under the 1945 

Until 1953, the Druze courts applied Druze 
religious law and custom. Matters concerning Druzes 
heard before the Shari'-a courts were determined in ac- 
cordance with the Ottoman Family Rights Law. The 
Syrian Personal Status Law of 1953 extends also to the 
Druzes, except for matters peculiar to Druze law, viz. 
the ban on polygamy and on the reinstatement of a 
divorced woman, the right of succession of an orphan- 
ed grandchild (the principle of representation) and the 
absolute freedom of testation (art. 307). Law no. 134 
of 1945 provides that the Druze courts shall function 
in accordance with their own rules of procedure. Ap- 
peal proceedings before the civil Court of Cassation in 
Damascus, to which the Druzes resort since 1959, are 
conducted under the civil law of procedure. 

The 1945 law established a two-grade judicial 
system for the Druzes: courts of first instance con- 
sisting of a single kadi and a court of appeal — the Prin- 
cipal Council (al-hay^a al-ra^isiyyd) — which is the 
supreme madhhabi authority and whose seat is in the 
province of Djabal al-Duruz. The latter's judgments 
were to be final. Law no. 294 of 1946 provides that the 
Principal Council shall consist of three madhhabi 
leaders. The kadis were to be appointed by the 
Minister of Justice upon the recommendation of the 
Religious Council (al-hay 3 a al-diniyya), on which the 
spiritual heads of the Druze community were 
represented. The judgments were to be enforced by 
the authorities of the state. Law no. 56 of 1959 
restricted the judicial autonomy of the Druzes. It pro- 
vided that a Druze kadi should be appointed, by order, 
on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice of 
the Syrian province of the United Arab Republic. Ap- 
peals against his judgments were to be heard before 
the civil Court of Cassation in Damascus (in which the 
Druzes were not represented) under the rules of pro- 
cedure obtaining in respect of Muslim shar'i kadis. 
The Druze court of appeal was abolished and, by way 
of compensation, a "Druze Department of Legal Opi- 
nions" (da^irat al-ifta^ li ' l-madhhab al-durzi) was set up, 
consisting of the kadis of the fprmer court of appeal. 
This body is unconnected with the judicial system. 
Law no. 56 of 1959 was amended by Law no. 98 of 
1961 , which provides that the election of a Druze kadi 
requires not only the recommendation of the Minister 
of Justice but also the consent of the High Judicial 
Council (mag^lis al-kada^ al-a'la). 

The Bedouin of Syria used to settle their disputes 
before an arbitral board (ladjna tahkimiyya) consisting 
of two arbitrators and an umpire, elected by the par- 
ties, which followed tribal custom ('urf). The Tribes 
Law, no. 124 of 1953 (amended in 1956), forbade 
Bedouin, by means of penal provisions, to carry out 
raids (ghazw). In 1956, matters of personal status of 
Bedouin were assigned to the Shari'a courts, and in 
1958 the Tribes Law was repealed and the Bedouin 
became amenable to the ordinary legal system of the 
state and to the laws applying therein. 

Bibliography: Mahmasam, al-Awdd' al- 
lashri'iyya, 282-97; E. T. Mogannam, The practical 
application of the law in certain Arab states, in George 
Washington Law Review, xxii (1953), 142-55; 
J. N. D. Anderson, The Syrian law of personal status, 
in BSOAS, xvii (1955), 34-49; Fu'ad Shubat, Tan- 
zim al-ahwal al-shakhsiyya li-ghayr al-muslimin fi Suriya 
wa-Lubnan, [Cairo] 1966; P. Gannage, La competence 
des juridiclions confessionnelles au Liban el en Syrie, in 
Annates de VEcole Francaise de Droit de Beyrouth, iv/1 -2 
(1948), 199-247; Amln Tall', Mashyakhat al-'akl wa 
'l-kadd^ al-madhhabi al-durzi 'abr ta^rikh, Jerusalem 
1979, 136-41, 152-3, 156. (A. Lavish) 

iii. Lebanon 
The Lebanese legal system is mainly based on the 
Reglement Organique of 1861, which granted the Pro- 
vince of Mount Lebanon administrative and judicial 
autonomy guaranteed by the great powers. The 
system remained unchanged until World War I, when 
Turkey again ruled Lebanon directly for a short 
period. The Reglement makes no mention of the 
religious-legal system, but laid the foundation for the 
organisation of the judicial system on a communal 
basis. At the end of Ottoman rule, the Shari'a courts 
had jurisdiction in matters of personal status, succes- 
sion and wakf of Muslims and some matters of Chris- 
if one of the heirs requested 

Upon the severance of Lebanon from the Ottoman 
Empire, the status of the Muslims was assimilated to 
that of the other communities. The French ad- 
ministration made the Mufti of Beirut a ' ' Grand Muf- 
ti" (al-mufti al-akbar) heading the Sunn! Muslim 
community and representing it before the authorities, 
similar in status to the spiritual heads of the Christian 
communities. In 1955, he became the "Mufti of the 
Republic". Beside him functions the "Supreme 
Shar'i Council" (al-mad±lis al-shar'i al-aHa), designed 
to assist him in running the religious affairs of the 
community and administering the wakfs. It consists of 
six kadis and the President of the Supreme Shari'-a 

The Lebanese ShI c Is, unlike their brethren in 
Syria, were recognised as a religious community en- 
titled to their own judicial autonomy. The powers of 
the Sunni and Dja c farl ShI c I Shari'-a courts were 
defined by Law no. 241 of 1942 (amended in 1946) 
and by the Law Concerning the Organisation of Sun- 
ni and DjVfarl Shar'i Jurisdiction of 1962, which 
superseded the former. They comprised personal 
status, succession and wills and matters such as legal 
majority (bulugh, rushd), interdiction (hadjr), missing 
persons (mafkud), control of moneys of orphans, wakf 
dhurri and mustathnd. Wakf madbut and wakf mulhak of 
Sunnis are within the jurisdiction of their wakf ad- 
ministrative council, while those of Dja c faris are 
within that of the Dja'fari courts. 

The Ottoman Family Rights Law of 1917 is still in 
force in Lebanon. In the absence of an express provi- 

Shari'a court must follow the dominant opinion of the 
Hanafi school. The court also uses the codification of 
the laws of personal status of the Egyptian, Kadri 
Pasha (see Section i above). In matters of interdiction 
and legal incompetence and of management of 
moneys of minors, the Shari'a court applies the 
Medjelle as amended by Lebanese legislation, which 
sometimes deviates from the Hanafi doctrine. 

The Dja'farf court applies the laws of the Dja c fari 
doctrine and the provisions of the Ottoman Family 
Rights Law compatible with it. Where the parties do 
not belong to the same school (Sunni or Dja c fari), the 
doctrine is determined by the court in accordance with 
the matter under consideration. In matters of succes- 
sion and wills, e.g., the courts follow the school of the 
deceased. For reasons of convenience, a certain 
mobility exists among ShI c Is and Sunnis in matters of 
personal status and succession. The Hanafi doctrine 
applies to many matters of non-Muslims, such as suc- 
cession (until 1959), wakf, interdiction and legal in- 
competence. The laws of 1942 and 1946 laid down 
also rules of court deviating in some respects from the 
Ottoman ones; there are certain differences in pro- 
cedure between Sunni and Dja c farl courts. 

There are two separate systems of courts, a Sunni 
one and a Dja c fari one. Each consists of courts of first 
instance, manned by a single kadi, in major centres 
and a supreme court, manned by three kadis, in 
Beirut, which acts as a court of cassation (mahkamat al- 
tamyiz) in some matters and as a court of appeal 
(mahkama istPnafiyyd) in others. The judgments of both 
courts are enforced by the execution offices of the 
state. The state appoints and dismisses the kadis and 
pays their salaries. 

The wide autonomy of the courts of the Christian 
communities (mahakim ruhiyya) is another carry-over 
from the special status of the Province of Mount 
Lebanon in the second half of the 19th century. Arti- 
cle 156 of the Ottoman Family Rights Law of 1917 
abrogated the judicial powers of the spiritual heads of 

the Christian communities in matters of personal 
status, but the French administration ignored that ar- 
ticle; in fact, it was repealed by order of the governor 
of December 1921 and the Christian courts remained 
The powers of the courts of ten Christian 
(and of the Jewish community) were 
defined by laws of 1930 and 1951. These powers are 
wider than those courts had in the past but still nar- 
rower than those of the Sharica courts. The widening 
of the powers of the Christian courts met with strong 
public opposition for national reasons (subjection to 
foreign law) and legal-professional ones. The laws of 
wills and succession of non-Muslims, of 1929 and 

1959, respectively, freed the Christian communities 
from the sway of Islamic law. 

The Druzes of the Province of Mount Lebanon 
were not recognised as a religious community under 
Ottoman rule. At the same time, there is evidence 
that they enjoyed a certain autonomy, by ad- 
ministrative arrangement, in matters of marriage, 
divorce and wills in which Druze religious law takes 
a special position; the Spiritual Head of the Druze 
community dealt with these matters "in accordance 
with ancient custom". That autonomy was abolished 
by order of the Shaykh al-Isldm during World War I, 
together with the judicial autonomy of the Province of 
Mount Lebanon, and Druze matters of personal 
status were assigned to the Sunni Shari'-a courts; but 
the order was not implemented, and the autonomy re- 
mained in force. 

In 1930, the Druze courts were granted jurisdiction 
in matters of personal status of the members of the 
community, similar to that exercised by the Sunni and 
Dja c fari Sharif courts. In 1936, the Mandate 
authorities formally recognised the Druzes as a 
religious community. The powers of the courts were 
re-defined by a law enacted in 1948 and especially by 
the Druze Administration of Justice Law, no. 3473 of 

1960. The courts are competent to hear all matters to 
which Druze religious law, Druze custom and the 
Law of the Personal Status of the Druze Community 

Until 1948, the Druze courts applied non-codified 
religious law, Druze custom and the Hanafi doctrine 
as far as what was not inconsistent with Druze tradi- 
tion and custom. The Law of the Personal Status of 
the Druze Community in Lebanon, of 1948— the 

synthesis of many sources of law, religious and 
secular, local and foreign, but its most important 
source of inspiration is ancient Druze religious law. In 
the absence of an express provision in the 1948 law as 
to a particular matter, the Hanafi doctrine is to be 

Order no. 3294 of 1938 requires Druze courts to 
apply the rules of procedure applicable in Sunni and 
Dja'farl courts. The Druze Administration of Justice 
Law of 1960 provides that, in the absence of an ex- 
press provision in that law as to a particular matter, 
the Druze courts shall apply the rules of procedure ap- 
plicable in Muslim Shari'-a courts, and that in the 
absence of an express provision also in the latter, they 
shall apply the general principles of civil procedure as 
far as they are not repugnant to Druze religious law 
and Druze tradition. 

Before the establishment of statutory Druze courts, 
the two shaykh al-'-akls served as an appellate authority 
acting, in a traditional manner, in accordance with 
customary law. The statutory status of the shaykh 
al-'-akls as spiritual heads of the Druze community was 
regulated in 1962. In 1947, it was prescribed that the 
court of appeal, known as the Supreme Council (al- 

hay^a al-'ulya), should consist of the two shaykh al-'akls 
and a Druze civil judge. If it was not possible to man 
the Council, the Minister of Justice might appoint one 
or several judges of the court of first instance (other 
than those whose judgment was appealed against) to 
complete the bench. In 1958, it was ordained that if 
it was not possible to appoint a second shaykh al-'akl, 
the Minister of Justice should appoint a second Druze 
civil judge and that judgments relating to minors or 
legally incompetent persons, the Public Treasury (bayt 
al-mdt), wakf and dissolution of a marriage on the 
ground of absence of the husband, might only be ex- 
ecuted after confirmation by the appellate authority. 
The Druze Administration of Justice Law of 1960 
(amended in 1967) establishes a two-grade judicial 
system integrated in the general Lebanese legal 
system: courts of first instance, manned by a single 
kaii madhhab, in Beirut, c Aliya, B c aklln, Rashayya 
and Hasbayya and a court of appeal (Supreme 
Court), manned by a presiding judge and two 
assessors, in Beirut. The court of appeal performs the 
functions of a disciplinary committee for kadis of the 
first instance. The status of the Druze kadis is the same 
as that of the Muslim shar'i kadis, with certain 
modifications. In the absence of an express provision 
in that law as to a particular matter, the provisions of 
the SunnI and Dja c fari Shari 'a Justice Law are to be 

Bibliography: Bashlr al-Basilanl, Kawdnin al- 
ahwdl al-shakhsiyya fi Lubndn, [Cairo] 1971; 
Mahmasani, al-Awdd' al-tashri'iyya, 246-73; P. 
Gannage, La competence des juridictions confessionnelles 
au Liban et en Syrie, in Annates de t'Ecole Francaise de 
Droit de Beyrouth, iv/1-2 (1948), 199-247; E. Tyan, 

Liban, Paris 1960; R. Catala and A. Gervais (eds.), 
Le droit libanais, i-ii, Paris 1963. On Druze justice, 
see Halim TakT '1-DIn, Kadd* at -muwahhidin al- 
duruz Ji mddih wa-hddirih, c Aliya 1979; Amln TalT c , 
Mashyakhat al-'akl wa U-kadd^ al-madhhabi al-durzi 
'abr al-taMkh, Jerusalem ' 1979; Faysal Nadjlb 
Kays, Masmu'at idjtihdddt al-mahdkim al-madhhabiyya 
al-durziyya 1968-1972, Beirut 1972; J. N. D. Ander- 
son, The personal law of the Druze community, in WI, 
N.S. ii (1952), 1-9, 83-94. (A. Lavish) 

iv. 'Irak 

In the final period of Ottoman rule, a dual, shar'i 
and civil, judicial system, integrated in the Ottoman 
legal system, was functioning in c Irak. The Shari'a 
courts had jurisdiction in matters of personal status, 
succession and wakf. Such courts, each consisting of a 
single SunnI kadi, sat in towns. A judgment of the 
Shari'a court was appealable to the Shaykh al-Isldm in 

Dja'farl (Ithna c AsharI) ShI c I law was never of- 
ficially recognised in the Ottoman Empire. Though 
theoretically amenable to the Shari'a courts, the Shi c is 
of c Irak, who form over half of its population, did not 
in fact resort to them but settled their personal status 
matters, on a voluntary basis, before their 
mudjtahidun, who had no statutory status. 

Pari passu with the advance of the British forces in 
c Irak in World War I, the Anglo-Indian legal system 
superseded the Turkish. During a short transitional 
period, the Shari'a courts were bereft of their status. 
Kadis were elected ad hoc by the parties. They dealt 
with matters of personal status and succession, and 
their judgments were subject to confirmation by a 
British court. The Shi c Is continued to resort to the 
mudjtahidun, whose judgments were now, for the first 
time, recognised by the official authorities. 

In July 1916, after the capture of Baghdad by the 
British, the Shari'a courts were reconstituted in 
Baghdad and other cities. Early in 1918, the shar'-i 
judicial system was reorganised with a view to adap- 
ting it to the new political situation. Personal jurisdic- 
tion was limited to Sunnis, and matters of personal 
status of Shi' Is, Christians and Jews were assigned to 
civil courts of first instance, which followed the per- 
sonal status law of the parties or any custom ap- 
plicable to them, provided it was not contrary to 
justice, equity or good conscience. These courts were 
authorised to refer such matters to the ShF I mudjtahid 
or to the Christian or Jewish religious authority, as 
the case might be. The judgments of these were sub- 
ject to confirmation by the civil court. In 1921, 
Dja'fan courts were set up in Baghdad that were 
authorised to hear matters of personal status. Their 
judgments, too, were subject to confirmation by a 
civil court. Appeals against judgments of the SunnI 
courts were heard before the Shari'a Council of Cassa- 
tion (maajlis al-tamyiz al-shar'i) under the Shari'a 
Courts Regulations of 1918. 

After independence, the judicial system was 
reorganised. In 1923, a dual system of Shari'a courts, 
SunnI and Dja c farl, with equal status, was set up. 
Their jurisdiction comprises personal status in a wide 
sense, succession and wills, wakf, orphans' moneys, 
etc. A Basic Law of 1925 confirmed the dual system 
of courts. It provided that separate courts for the two 
schools should be set up in Baghdad and Basra, but 
only one court in other places, where the school of the 
kadi was to be the same as that of the majority of the 
inhabitants. The Establishment of Courts Law of 
1945 provided that the Shari'-a courts should be set up 
in localities where there were civil courts and that in 
the absence of a kadi, his place should be taken by a 
judge of the civil system. 

Until 1963, appeals against judgments of Shari'a 
courts were heard before the Shari'a Council of Cassa- 
tion, which had separate departments for Sunnis and 
Dja c farls. It could only confirm or set aside the judg- 
ment or direct the court to re-hear the case. The 
Minister of Justice had power to amend the decisions 
of the Council. In 1963, the Council was abolished, 
and appeals were henceforth heard before the State 
Court of Cassation (mahkamat tamyiz al-'Irdk), which 
combined the functions of the SunnI and Dja c farl 
Departments in the Personal Status Committee (hay'at 
al-mawddd al-shakhsiyya). 

In the Ottoman era, the Shari'a courts followed the 
non-codified official Hanafi doctrine. The two Ot- 
toman irddas of 1915 relating to personal status, and 
the Medjelle, the land law, with certain modifications, 
applied in c Irak, but not the Ottoman Family Rights 
Law of 1917. The Hanafi doctrine applied also to 
matters of succession of Christians and Jews until 
special laws were enacted for them by the Civil Courts 
Regulations of 1918. 

After World War I, the Hanafi kadi, if the parties 
belonged to another SunnI school and demanded that 
the Hanafi doctrine be not applied, might either deal 
with the matter himself according to the school of the 
parties or refer it to an 'dlim of that school. If the par- 
ties belonged to different schools, the court, under the 
Shari'a Courts Law of 1923, had to follow the school 
of the deceased in matters of wills and intestate succes- 
sion, the school of the husband in matters of marriage, 
divorce, dower, guardianship and the like, the school 
of the founder in matters of wakf and the school of the 
defendant in matters of maintenance of relatives. In 
DjVfari courts, the Dja c farl doctrine was applied. If, 
in a place where there were no separate courts for the 

After several abortive attempts (in the nineteen- 
forties) to codify the 'Iraki law of personal status and 
succession, a Personal Status Law, applying equally 
to all 'Iraki Muslims, both Sunni and Shi' I, was pro- 
mulgated in 1959 following c Abd al-Karim Kasim's 
coup d'etat the year before. A succession law was taken 
over from a European source. Other important 
reforms concerned marriage and divorce. The 1959 
law presents a blend of Sunni and Shi < I principle 

norms for the two branches of Islam. In 1963, after 
c Abd al-Salam c Arif s coup, under pressure from the 
'■ultima* , a retreat occurred from reforms which did 
not seem compatible with the Shari'a. The foreign suc- 
cession law was repealed, and in its stead the system 
of succession of the Twelver Shl'a was made ap- 
plicable to all c Iraki Muslims. In 1978, further impor- 
tant amendments were made in the Personal Status 
Law of 1959 in matters of marriage, divorce, custody 
of children and succession. In 1922, the Ottoman 
Shar'i Procedure Law was adopted which, with 
amendments of the years 1922, 1929 and 1931, is still 

The courts of the non-Muslim communities (Chris- 
tians and Jews) were vested, by the constitution, with 
jurisdiction in matters of marriage, divorce, alimony 
and probate. The other matters of personal status and 
e within the jurisdiction of the civil 

In the Ottoman era, tribal courts (mahdkim 
al-'ashdHr) applying customary law operated among 
the Bedouin. These courts were reorganised by the 
British in 1916 on a pattern borrowed from Indian 
legislation. A "political officer" appointed special 
tribal councils (madjalis) authorised to hear civil and 
criminal cases if at least one of the parties was a 
Bedouin. The relevant law was replaced by the Tribal 
Actions Regulation (nizdm da'dwi 'l-'asha Hr) of 1918, 
which was amended several times (in 1924, 1933 and 
1951). Some of the tribal customs were abrogated by 
statutory legislation. The judgments of the tribal 
courts were made subject to scrutiny by the mutasarrif 
The tribal courts were abolished in 1958, after the coup 
d'etat, with a view to integrating the Bedouin into the 
general legal system, which included also the Shari'-a 

Bibliography: MahmasanI, al-Awda* al- 
tashri'iyya, 321-40; N. el-Naqeb, Problems of 
matrimonial law in contemporary Iraq, Master of Laws 
thesis, University of London 1967; Muhammad 
Shafik al- c AnI, Kitdb al-Murdfa'dt wa 'l-sukukfi 7- 
kadd* al-shar'i, Baghdad 1950; idem, Ahkam al- 
ahwdl al-shakhsiyya fi 'l-'Irdk, [Cairo] 1970; Y. Li- 
nant de Bellefonds, Le code du statut personnel irakien 
du30de'cembrel959, in SI, xiii (1960), 79-135; J. N. 
D. Anderson, A law of personal status for Iraq, in Inter- 
national and Comparative Law Quarterly, ix (1960), 
542-63; idem, Changes in the law of personal status in 
Iraq, in ICLQ xii (1963), 1026-31; Ta'dil kdnin al- 
ahwdl al-shakhsiyya li-sanat 1959, Law no. 21 of 11 
February 1978 (Amendment no. 2 to the Law of 
Personal Status, no. 188 of 1959), al-Thawra, 14 
February 1978; Mustafa Muhammad Hasanayn, 
Nizam al-mas^uliyya Hnd al-'ashdHr al-'irdkiyya 
al-'arabiyya al-mu'dsira, Cairo 1967. (A. Lavish) 

v. Palestine and Israel 

Upon the severance of Palestine from the Ottoman 

" ' ' ■•' 'd War I, the country ceased to be a 

Muslims was assimilated in practice, though not in 
theory, to that of the recognised communities of the 
Ottoman era. In the absence of a representative 
Muslim body, the Mandate authorities, by order of 
December 1921, set up the Supreme Muslim Council 
(al-madjlis al-isldmi al-a'la) and appointed the Mufti of 
Jerusalem its chairman. This body was designed to fill 
the vacuum which, in the absence of a Muslim 
sovereign, had been created in all matters relating to 
the Muslim religious establishment. 

Article 52 of the Palestine Order in Council, 1922, 
which is the principal enactment determining the 
powers of the Shari'a courts to this day, granted them 
sole jurisdiction in all matters of personal status, suc- 
cession and wakf, as they had had at the end of the Ot- 
toman era, with some modifications arising out of the 
new political situation: their jurisdiction was limited 
to matters relating to the establishment and internal 
administration of wakfs of the mulhak category, i.e. 
those administered by private mutawallis. The order of 
1921 gave the Muslim Council control of the wakfs of 
the madbut category, i.e. those administered by a 
maMur al-awkdf in the Ottoman era. In 1937, these 
powers of the Council passed to a government com- 
mission appointed under the Defence Regulations 
(Muslim Wakf). 

The personal jurisdiction of the Shari'-a courts was 
limited to Muslim litigants. The residuary jurisdiction 
they had had in respect of non-Muslims in the Ot- 
toman era was transferred to civil courts, and their 
jurisdiction in matters relating to the establishment or 
validity of wakfs of non-Muslims established before 
Shari'a courts up to 1922 was changed from exclusive 

The material law applying to matters of personal 
status in Shari'a courts was mainly the Ottoman Fami- 
ly Rights Law of 1 9 1 7 , and the Ottoman Succession 
Law of 1913 was made applicable to property of the 
miri category. The kadis frequently relied on Kadri 
Pasha's codification of the laws of personal status and 
wakf (see section 4. i above), although it had no 
statutory status in Palestine. The doctrine dominant 
in the courts was the Hanafi — this, too, a legacy of 
Ottoman rule — although most of the population 
belongs to the Shafi'I school. The Mandatory 
legislator carefully maintained the status quo as to the 
material law of Muslims. The courts were regulated 
by the Muslim Courts Procedure Law of 1333 (1917), 
which is still in force with certain modifications. In the 
years 1918 and 1919, regulations were enacted con- 
cerning the composition and powers of the Shari'a 
Court of Appeal, its procedure and the execution of its 

The Supreme Muslim Council was empowered to 
appoint, with the approval of the government, and to 
dismiss shar'i kadis. Fifteen courts, each consisting of 
a single kadi, sat in the major towns and there was a 
three-man court of appeal in Jerusalem. The muftis, 
too, were appointed by the Muslim Council. The 
senior status of the Mufti of Jerusalem (the "Grand 
Mufti" of the "Mufti of Palestine") resulted from the 
special status Jerusalem had had under the Ottoman 
administration and from the personal union between 
his offices and that of President of the Supreme 
Muslim Council. There was also a Shafi c I mufti in 

Advocates with a shar' i training were authorised to 
appear before the Shari'a courts. Also attached to the 
judicial system were marriage solemnisers (ma^dhun) 
and "managers of orphans' money". The govern- 
ment paid the salaries of the kadis and of the court of- 

A system of tribal courts (mahdkim al-'ashdHr) 

operated among the Bedouin. In the years 1919 to 
1922, the government maintained a "Blood Council" 
(madjlis al-dumum) which tried homicide cases, and in 
1922 permanent tribal courts with specified powers 
were appointed; each court consisted of three 
representatives of the clans of the major Negev tribes, 
with the District Officer of Beersheba as chairman. In 
1928, these courts were given power to hear criminal 
cases and impose light prison sentences and fines. 
From 1933 there was also a tribal court of appeal; it 
consisted of two members, with the District Officer as 

The Government of Israel has reconstituted the 
Shari'a courts with the same powers as they had under 
the Mandate, except for a few modifications: the Age 
of Marriage Law, 1950, vests exclusive power to per- 
mit the marriage of a girl under seventeen in the 
District Court, and the Succession Law, 1965, 
reduces the jurisdiction of the Shan '■a courts — like that 
of the other religious courts — from exclusive to con- 
current in matters of succession and wills, but not in 
matters of personal status, in which it is still exclusive. 
The revocation of the Supreme Muslim Council 
Order of 1921 by the Ka&s Law, 1961, implicitly 
revoked the Defence (Muslim Wolff) Regulations, and 
it seems that the powers of the Shari'a courts are 
thereby restored to their original extent, so as to in- 
clude wakfs of the madbut category. 

The Knesset intervened in many matrimonial mat- 
ters with a view to equalising the legal status of 
women with that of men. Nevertheless, it abstained 
from impinging on any religious-legal prohibition or 
permission relating to marriage or divorce and 
resorted to procedural provisions and penal sanctions 
rather than substantive provisions as means of deter- 
rence, and in matters for which substantive provisions 
were enacted, the parties were usually left an option 
to litigate in accordance with their religious law. It is 
only in matters of succession that there is — since 
1965 — a clear separation between religious justice, in 
which religious law applies, and civil justice, in which 
secular law is followed. 

The shar'i judicial system is integrated in the 
general legal system. The Sharl'-a Courts (Validation 
of Appointments) Law, 1953, validated the appoint- 
ment of courts of first instance and of a court of ap- 
peal, made by administrative action immediately after 
the establishment of the state. The Kadis Law, 1961, 
regulates the appointment and tenure of the kadis. 
They are appointed by the President of the State upon 
the recommendation of an appointments committee, 
most of the members of which are Muslims. Their 
salaries are paid by the Government. Shari'a courts of 
first instance, consisting of a single kadi, exist in 
Nazareth, Acre (with an extension in Haifa), Jaffa 
(with jurisdiction — since 1967 — including also East 
Jerusalem (see Section 4. vi below)) and the village of 
Tayyia in the "Little Triangle". 

The tribal courts have been abolished in Israel 
(though not their juridical basis), and the Bedouin are 
now amenable to the Sharl'-a courts in matters of per- 
sonal status and succession. The Negev Bedouin were 
under the jurisdiction of the Shari'a Court of Jaffa till 
1976. In that year, a separate court of first instance 
was established for them in Beersheba. 

A court of appeal of two or three kadis exists in 
Jerusalem. Until 1975, this court consisted of the kadis 
of the courts of first instance, except the kadi whose 
judgment was appealed against. In that year, it was 
administratively ordained that the court of appeal 
should consist of permanent members not serving in 

In Palestine, the Druzes were not recognised as a 
religious community. In the Ottoman era, the Shari'a 
court had residuary jurisdiction over them. They in 
fact resorted to it, especially in matters of succession. 
At the same time, they enjoyed a certain autonomy, 
within the framework of their religious and customary 
law, in matters of personal status and wills. The Man- 
datory authorities refused to recognise them as a 
religious community, in the interest of maintaining 
the status quo in matters of religion. They continued to 
recognise a certain Druze autonomy with regard to 
the performance of marriages, while residuary 
jurisdiction was transferred from the Shari'a courts to 
the civil courts, though in fact the Druzes continued 
to resort to the Shari'a courts. 

In Israel, the Druzes were recognised as a religious 
community in 1957. Pending the establishment of 
their own religious courts in 1963, they continued to 
resort to Shari'a courts, although this practice has no 
foundation in law. But in matters in which the Druze 
religious-legal norm is utterly different from the 
Islamic, such as polygamy, divorce and wills, the 
Druzes turned to religious functionaries who acted by 
voluntary agreement of the parties; their decisions 
had not the effect of judgments enforceable in execu- 
tion proceedings but of arbitral awards anchored in 
their personal authority and supported by religious 
and social sanctions. The arbitrators decided in accor- 
dance with custom and tradition ('addl wa-takdlid); 
there were no strict rules of procedure. 

The institutionalisation of arbitration and its 
transformation into a judicial proceeding began in the 
Ottoman era with the appointment of the first ' 'kitf? ' 
in Palestine in 1909. He acted as an arbitrator, and 
his existence did not do away with the residuary 
jurisdiction, in respect of the Druzes, of the Shari'a 
court in the Ottoman era or of the District Court 
under the Mandate. The office of " kadi" -arbitrator 
was hereditary in the Tarif family. In 1954, a "Com- 
mittee of Religious-Legal Supervision" (ladpiat al- 
murakaba al-madhhabiyya) was set up to supervise mar- 
riage solemnisers (ma^dhun) appointed under an Or- 
dinance of 1919. In 1959, a "Committee for Druze 
Wakf Affairs" (al-ladpia li-shu^un al-awkdf al-durziyya) 
was established. The two committees in fact also dealt 
with the settlement of disputes in matters of marriage 
and divorce. They did not act as statutory judicial 
authorities; their decisions were valid only with the 
consent of the parties and could not be enforced in ex- 
ecution proceedings. At the same time, they showed 
many characteristics of institutionalised judicial 
authorities. The awards of "judgments" of the com- 
mittees were recognised, though with some hesitation 
by the various state authorities. The committees were 
a kind of unofficial courts of law, and most of their 
members later became kadis of the Druze courts. 

The Druze Religious Courts Law, 1962, vests the 
courts with exclusive jurisdiction in matters of mar- 
riage and divorce of the Druzes in Israel and with con- 
current jurisdiction in all their other matters of 
personal status. They also have exclusive jurisdiction 
in matters relating to the creation or internal ad- 
ministration of a religious endowment established 
before a Druze court or in accordance with Druze 
custom, i.e. by will and not before any judicial 

In its original version, the law provides that the 
Court of First Instance shall consist of three kadi 
madhhabs and the Court of Appeal of not less than 
three. In 1967, it was laid down that if it was not 
possible to form such courts the court might consist of 
two kadis, and in 1972 it was provided that the Court 

of First Instance might consist of one kadi. The ka4is 
are appointed by the President of the State on the 
recommendation of an appointments committee, most 
of the members of which are Druzes. A transitional 
provision prescribes that the first Court of Appeal 
shall consist of the members of the "Religious Coun- 
cil", i.e. the Spiritual Leadership of the Druze com- 
munity. The Druze courts are integrated in the 
general legal system of the State, which enforces their 
judgments. Since the establishment of Druze courts, 
the Druzes have ceased to resort to the Muslim Shari'-a 

The Druzes of the Golan Heights formerly settled 
most of their matrimonial affairs, without resort to 
any judicial authority, by means of religious func- 
tionaries acting as arbitrators, and in so far as they did 
go to a court, it was, in the Ottoman era, the Druze 
madhhab court in Djabal al-Duruz or in Hasbayya in 
Lebanon, and under Syrian rule, the Muslim Shari'-a 
court in Kunaytra. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, 
the latter court ceased to function. In 1970, by order 
of the military commander of the region, a court of 
first instance and a court of appeal were set up with 
powers similar to those of the Druze courts in Israel. 
From 1972 onwards, the kadis of the Israeli Court of 
First Instance and Court of Appeal acted as members 
of the corresponding Golan Heights courts by virtue 
of the above mentioned order. In 1974, a court of first 
instance consisting of local kadis was set up in the 
Golan Heights. 

Before being recognised as a religious community 
in Israel, the Druze had no codified law of personal 
status and succession. They dealt with these matters 
in accordance with their esoteric law and with custom, 
and in so far as they restored to a judicial authority, 
it was the Shari'-a court, which applied the Ottoman 
Family Rights Law or, in the absence of an express 
provision in the latter, shar'i law according to the 
Hanafi school. In 1961, the Spiritual Leadership of 
the Druze community in Israel, in its statutory capaci- 
ty as the "Religious Council", adopted the Personal 
Status Law of the Druze Community in Lebanon of 
1948 (see Section 4. iii above) with the following 
modifications: (a) the Hanafi doctrine, which served 

e of la 

•s of ir 

and in the absence of an express provision of law in 
a particular matter of personal status, was replaced by 
custom and "the law accepted by the members of the 
Druze community in Israel"; (b) Lebanese legislation 
designed to supplement the Druze Personal Status 
Law was replaced by Israeli legislation. The 
"Religious Council" sanctioned the Druze Courts 
Procedure Regulations of 1964, which incorporate 
norms of Israeli law. 

The law applying to matters of personal status in 
the Golan Heights was until the introduction of Israeli 
law there on 14 December 1981 the Syrian Personal 
Status Law of 1953 (see Section 4. ii above). The 
Israeli Succession Law of 1965 was extended to the 
Golan Heights by the above-mentioned order of the 
military commander of 1970. In practice, the kadis, in 
matters of personal status, apply the Lebanese Druze 
Personal Status Law, as adopted by the Religious 
Council. Since the introduction of Israeli law in the 
Golan Heights, this practice has been validated. All 
Israeli legislation in matters of personal status express- 
ly referred to religious courts is likewise applicable in 
Druze religious courts there. 

Under Egyptian military rule in the Gaza Strip, 
there were three Shari'-a courts of first instance at 
Gaza, Khan Yunis and Dayr al-Balah, respectively. 
They had jurisdiction in matters of personal status 

and wakf within the meaning of the Palestine Order in 
Council, 1922. Under Israeli military rule (since 
1967), two additional courts have been set up in 
Djabaliyya and Rafah. A Sharica court of appeal 
operates in Gaza in accordance with the Egyptian 
Law of Procedure of Muslim Religious Courts no. 12 
of 1965. The Ottoman Family Rights Law of 1917 ap- 
plies in these courts. The salaries of the kadis are paid 
by the Military Government. 

Bibliography: F. M. Goadby, Inter-religious 
private law in Palestine, Jerusalem 1926; E. Vitta, The 
conflict of laws in matters of personal status in Palestine, 
Tel-Aviv 1947; S. D. Goitein and A. Ben Shemesh, 
ha-Mishpat ha-muslemi be-medinat YisraM ("Muslim 
law in Israel"), Jerusalem 1957; A. Layish, Women 
and Islamic law in a non-Muslim state, Jerusalem and 
New York 1975, and the bibl. there; idem, The 
Muslim waqf in Israel, in Asian and African Studies, ii 
(1965), 43-51; idem, Qadis and shari'a in Israel, in 
AAS, vii (1971), 237-72; idem, The family waqf and 
the Shari'-a law of succession according to waqfiyyal in the 
sijills of the Sharica courts, in G. Baer (ed.), Social and 
economic aspects of the Muslim waqf (forthcoming); Y. 
Meron, Moslem courts, their jurisdiction in Israel and 
neighbouring lands, (forthcoming); R. H. Eisenman, 
Islamic law in Palestine and Israel, Leiden 1978; Y. 
Meron, The religious courts in the administered territories, 
in M. Shamgar (ed.), Military government in the ter- 
ritories administered by Israel 1967-1980, Jerusalem 
1982, 354, 361-2; on Druze justice, see A. Layish, 
Marriage, divorce and succession in the Druze family, 
Leiden 1982, and the bibl. there; idem, The Druze 
testamentary waqf, in Baer (ed. ),_»/>. cit. On tribal 
justice in Palestine see c Arif al- c Arif, Kitab al-Kada ' 
bayn al-badw, Jerusalem 1933. (A. Layish) 

The shar ' f legal system in Jordan is based on a medley 
of legal traditions. Both banks of the Jordan River 
were under Ottoman rule until World War I and 
under British Mandate thereafter. Ottoman legal 
tradition was preserved to a greater extent in the East 
Bank owing to the autonomy enjoyed by the emirate 
which eventually became an independent kingdom, 
while the influence of English law was felt more 
strongly in the West Bank. 

After the inclusion of the West Bank in the 
Kingdom of Jordan, steps were taken to integrate the 
two legal systems, including shar 1 - ("jurisdiction, which 
in Transjordan was regulated by Shari'-a Courts Law, 
1931, and to unify the organisation of the religious 
establishment. The law which regulated the 
reorganisation of the Shari'a courts in the united 
Hashemite Kingdom repealed the provisions of Man- 
dated Palestine's Supreme Muslim Council Order of 
1921 relating to the shar 'i legal system (see Section 4. 
v above). Closely connected therewith was the ap- 
pointment of a staunch supporter of the Amir c Abd 
Allah as Mufti of Jerusalem in place of Amin -al- 
Husaynl [q.v. in Suppl.] already in December 1948, 
and the transfer of the primacy from the Mufti of 
Jerusalem to the Mufti of the Kingdom of Jordan, 
whose seat is in 'Amman. Since unification, the Jor- 
danian kadi 'l-kuddt takes the place of the President of 
the Supreme Muslim Council in the West Bank. He 
appoints the kadis and muftis and supervises the wakf 
administration and the religious and educational in- 
stitutions supported by it, the 'Ulama' 1 Council 
{hay V), the Council for Preaching and Guidance 
(madjlis al-wa 'z wa 'l-irshdd) and the Committee for the 
Rehabilitation of the al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome 
of the Rock. He has the status of a government 

minister and is directly subordinate to the Prime 

The jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts in the West 
Bank has been assimilated to that of their counterparts 
in the East Bank. The Jordanian constitution of 1952 
and other enactments of the early nineteen-fifties vest 
the Shari'-a courts with jurisdiction in all matters of 
personal status and succession as defined in Islamic 
law, which definition is wider than that of the 
Palestine Order in Council, as well as in matters of 
wakf and blood-money (diya) of Muslims. Their 
jurisdiction in matters of personal status is limited to 
Muslims. Residuary jurisdiction in matters of per- 
sonal status of non-Muslims has been transferred to a 
civil court of first instance, except where the parties 
agree to the jurisdiction of the Shari'-a court. In mat- 
ters of blood-money and of wakfs established before a 
Shari'a court, the Shari'a courts have jurisdiction also 
with regard to consenting non-Muslims. 

The law applying to matters of personal status on 
both banks of the Jordan was until 1951 the Ottoman 
Family Rights Law of 1917. In 1951, it was replaced 
by a liberal family law. Previously, in 1927, a new 
personal status law was adopted in Transjordan, but 
it was repealed in 1943 in favour of the traditional 
doctrine of family law. A provisional Jordanian family 
Rights Law, no. 26, was enacted in 1947, to be 
superseded by the law of 1951. The Law of Personal 
Status, no. 61 of 1976, replaced the law of 1951. The 
new law is more extensive and detailed than the 
earlier one and includes important amendments. The 
Shari'-a Courts Establishment Law and the Personal 
Status Law of 1951 provide that the courts shall hear 
matters within their jurisdiction in accordance with 
the most approved opinion of the HanafT school, save 
where a provision of law to the contrary exists. A 
similar provision exists also in the laws of personal 
status of 1951 and 1976. An overwhelming majority of 
the Kingdom's population belongs to the Shafi' I 
school. The Shari'a courts on both banks of the Jordan 
apply the .SW^Procedure Law, no. 31 of 1959, which 
replaced the Procedure Law no. 10 of 1952. 

The Shari'a Courts Establishment Law of 1951 
established a unitary judicial system on both banks. 
Twenty-four courts of first instance, each consisting of 
a kadi sitting alone, were set up at district and sub- 
district centres, eight thereof in the West Bank. The 
Court of Appeal consists of a president and two 
members. It passes decisions by a majority of votes 
and its judgments are final. The law enables the 
establishment of an additional court of appeal, and in 
fact two courts of appeal, one in 'Amman for the East 
Bank and one in Jerusalem for the West Bank, were 
at first set up; however, after a short time, in August 
1951, it was decided that there should be only one 
Shari'a court of appeal, which was to have its perma- 
nent seat in 'Amman but might be convened in 
Jerusalem when necessary. The Shar'i Law Council, 
headed by the Director of the Shari'a Office, is respon- 
sible for the appointment and dismissal of kadis. Its 
decisions require the approval of the king. 

The powers of the courts of the Christian com- 
munities in Jordan have been greatly widened com- 
pared with the Ottoman period and assimilated to 
those of the Shari'a courts. According to the Religious 
Councils Law, no. 2 of 1938, which was extended to 
the West Bank in 1958, and the Consitution of 1952, 
they have jurisdiction in all matters of personal status 
and succession, as well as in matters of the establish- 
ment and internal administration of wakfs founded for 
the benefit of the community. They apply the law of 

wills, which are governed by Islar 

The Bedouin in Jordan are not amenable to shar'i 
jurisdiction. They have tribal courts (mahdkim 
al-'ashdHf) regulated by a law of 1966, which replaced 
a law of 1924. Every mutasarrif is responsible for the 
activities of the court in his district, and the army 
commander is responsible for the court in the Desert 
District. A law of 1949 provides that these courts shall 
have jurisdiction in all disputes of Bedouin, except 
matters of ownership and possession of immovable 
property and written partnership agreements concer- 
ning thoroughbred horses. The mutasarrif enforces the 
judgments, but the penalty for offences must not ex- 
ceed one year's imprisonment and a fine of a specific 
amount. The mutasarrif or the army commander, as 
the case may be, may transfer cases from the tribal 

A judgment of a tribal court is appealable to a tribal 
court of appeal. This court may consult experts in 
tribal law. It may increase or reduce the penalty or 
return the matter to the court of first instance for a re- 
hearing. The tribal courts apply customary law. 
However, state law forbids certain customs, such as 
giving girls as diya. Procedure in tribal courts is also 

As a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, the West 
Bank was separated from the Kingdom of Jordan, but 
Jordanian law still applies there, except in East 
Jerusalem, where Israeli law has been introduced. 
This situation affects the functioning of the religious 
establishment. The Shari'a courts of first instance 
have been left without their court of appeal, the per- 
manent seat of which, as stated, is in 'Amman. 

On 24 July 1967, Muslim political leaders and 
religious functionaries in East Jerusalem set up a 
"Muslim Council" (al-hay^a al-isldmiyya), which 
assumed authority for the conduct of Muslim affairs 
in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The sole pur- 
pose of this body, which has no statutory status in 
either Jordanian or Israeli law, is to fill the place of the 
absent Muslim sovereign. The Council appointed its 
president to be kadi 'l-kuddt of the West Bank with 
powers as defined by Jordanian law. 

The Israeli Shari'a Court of Jaffa, the area of 
jurisdiction of which has been extended to include 
East Jerusalem (see Section 4. v above), is not 
recognised by most East Jerusalem Muslims, while 
the local Shari'a court, which is subject to the Muslim 
Council, is not recognised by the Israeli authorities. 
East Jerusalem Muslims do not resort to the Israeli 
court unless they are interested in the execution of a 
judgment or in the performance of some act in a 
government office on the strength of a certificate from 
the court. In the West Bank, the Israeli Military 
Government has inherited the powers of the Jorda- 
nian Government in its various spheres of activity and 
is consequently charged with the operation of the 
courts, the appointment and dismissal of the kadis and 
the payment of their salaries, and the collection of 
court fees. In fact, however, it is the Jerusalem kadi'l- 
kuddt who appoints the kadis and the Jordanian 
Government which pays their salaries. The Military 
Government recognises their appointments ex post facto 
and the executive offices subject to it enforce their 
judgments. As the Shari'a Court of Appeal of the West 
Bank is in Jerusalem, its judgments are not valid in 
the West Bank, but in day-to-day reality they are en- 
forced there. The Shari'a courts of the West Bank and 
of East Jerusalem apply the Jordanian law of personal 
status and rules of procedure. 

Along with their judicial tasks, several East 
Jerusalem kadis carry out various other functions— 
exegetic (the Mufti of Jerusalem), administrative and 
public— connected with the religious establishment. 

The Muslim Council has conferred on the Sharif 
Court of Appeal the powers of the Council of En- 
dowments and Islamic Affairs, the General Ad- 
ministration of Endowments and the Committee for 
the Rehabilitation of the al-Aksa Mosque and the 
Dome of the Rock, bodies anchored in Jordanian 

Bibliography: Adlb al-Halasa, Usus al-lashn' 
wa 'l-nizam al-kaddH fi 'l-Urdunn, n.p. 1971; 
Mahmasani, al-Awdd' al-tashri'iyya, 304-13; J. N. 
D. Anderson, Recent developments in Shari'a law. viii. 
The Jordanian law of family rights 1951, in MW, xlii 
(1952), 190-206; E. T. Mogannam, Developments in 
the legal system of Jordan, in MEJ, vi (1952), 194-206; 
idem, The practical application of the law in certain Arab 
states; on the shari'-a courts in the West Bank and 
East Jerusalem, see A. Layish, ha-Mimsad ha-dati 
ha-muslemi ha-gadah ha-ma 'aravit ba-tekufa ha-yardenit 
("Muslim religious institutions in the West Bank 
under Jordanian rule"), in Medain, Mimshal 
vi(Y)hasim Beinleumiyim, xi (1977), 97-108; D. 
Farhi, ha-Mo'atza ha-muslemit be-mizrah Yerushalayim 
uvi- Yehuda ve-Shomron me-az milhemet sheshet ha-yamim 
("The Muslim Council in East Jerusalem and in 
Judea and Samaria since the Six-Day War"), in 
Hamizrash Hehadash, xxviii (1979), 1-2, 3-21; Y. 
Meron, The religious courts in the administered territories, 
353-68. On the position of the Shari'a and the 
Shari'a courts in tribal society, see J. Chelhod, Le 
droit dans la socie'te bedouine, Paris 1971; A. Layish 
and A. Shmueli, Custom and shari'a in the Bedouin 
family according to legal documents from thejudean Desert, 
in BSOAS, xlii (1979), 1, 29-45; A. Layish, The 
islamization of the Bedouin family in thejudean Desert, as 
reflected in the sijills of the shari'a court, in E. Marx and 
A. Shmueli (eds.), The changing nomad: Bedouin in 
and around Israel, New Brunswick, N.J. 1983. 

(A. Layish) 

vii. Saudi Arabia 

The Arabian Peninsula was under the nominal 
sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, but the 19th cen- 
tury legal reforms of the Empire were not applied 
there except in the major urban centres of the Hidjaz, 
and even there with only limited success. At the time 
of his conquest of the Hidjaz in the early 20th century, 
c Abd al- c Aziz Ibn Sa c ud found there a legal system 
progressive by the standards of other regions of the 
peninsula. In the small towns of Nadjd, disputes were 
settled by the local amir or a kadi appointed by him. 
Among the Bedouin, customary law, applied by ar- 
bitrators, reigned absolute. 

The "constitution" of the Hidjaz of 1926 makes no 
express reference to the judicial system, but says that 
the King is limited by the Shari'-a and that the legisla- 
tion of the kingdom shall be based on the Kurgan, the 
Sunna of the Prophet and the idjmd' of his Compa- 
nions. Afatwdoi the 'ulama\ of 1927, demanded inter 
alia that c Abd al- c Aziz forthwith repeal the Ottoman 
laws in force in the Hidjaz and restore the position of 
the Shari'a. 

A royal decree of 1927 established three grades of 
courts in the Hidjaz: 

(1) Expeditious Courts (mahkama musta 'djila), com- 
petent to try misdemeanours (dhunah) punishable by a 
fine not exceeding a specific amount, offences the 
penalty for which was left to the discretion of the kadi 
(ta'zirat) and felonies (dfinayat) entailing Kur'anic 
punishments (hudud), except mutilation (kaf°) or 
death; they consist of a single kadi. Such courts were 
set up in Mecca and Medina and later in Riyad and 
other major cities. Mecca had a further Expeditious 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

Court, hearing claims by Bedouin. In small ad- 
ministrative units, and especially among the 
numerous tribes of desert Bedouin, the local amir acts 
as kadi; he generally applies the Shari'-a but sometimes 

(2) Greater Shari'a Courts (mahkama shar'iyya 
kubra), competent to deal with serious criminal 
(djaza^i) matters and civil (hukuki) claims, except those 
under the jurisdiction of the Expeditious Courts, and 
with matters of personal status, probate and land. 
One such court exists in Mecca and one in Medina. 
The one in Mecca consists of three kadis. Ordinary 
cases are heard by a single kadi, but the judgment is 
given by the full court. Cases in which the punishment 
may be death or mutilation are heard by the full 
court. The court in Medina consists of a single kadi 
(with a nd Hb) and so does the one in Djidda, but after 
the recent abolition of the Expeditious Court in Djid- 
da the Greater Shari'a Court there hears all cases, ex- 
cept those under the jurisdiction of al-madjlis al-tidjari 
(see below). In all the other towns of the Hidjaz and 
Nadjd, the court, consisting of a single kadi, hears all 

The penalties of death and mutilation in all the 
towns of the Hidjaz, all Kur'anic punishments, and 
discretionary punishments in Mecca, require confir- 
mation by ra^is al-kada ' and hay^at al-tamyiz (see below) 
before being carried out. In Medina and other 
localities where the court consists of several members, 
a penalty for a misdemeanour, a discretionary punish- 
ment and a Kur 3 anic punishment other than death re- 
quire confirmation by the Grand Kadi of the town 
before being carried out. In towns where the court 
consists of a single kadi, judgments are only carried 
out if confirmed by the most senior administrative of- 
ficial in the town in question. 

An opportunity is provided — this is an innovation 
which has no basis in the classical texts — to appeal 
from the judgment of a Shari'a court to a Greater 
Shari'a Court, which, as stated, is competent to try 
felonies as a court of first instance. In 1954, it was or- 
dained that every judgment of a kadi should be carried 
out forthwith, except judgments against which a com- 
plaint has been lodged on the ground of injustice and 
judgments imposing the death penalty, mutilation or 
confiscation (musadara); the latter ones require confir- 
mation by the supreme authorities, even if they are 
not appealed against. 

By the side of every Greater Shari'a Court, there 
acts an official of the Public Treasury (ma^mur bayt al- 
mal), whose task is the distribution of inheritances and 
the protection of the interest of minors. 

(3) The Commission on Judicial Supervision 
(hay >at al-murakaba al-kada ^iyya), the seat of which is in 
Mecca. It comprises a Board of Judicial Review 
(hayht al-tadkikat) consisting of four members and 
headed by a ra~>is al-kadd^. This body acts as a court 
of cassation (mahkamat al-tamyiz). It examines 
judgments and confirms them or returns them to the 
lower court for a re-hearing in order to clarify a point 
or to rectify a procedural error. It may reverse 
judgments incompatible with the Kur 3 an and the Sun- 
na and direct the lower court to retry the case. If the 
kadi abides by his original decision, the case must be 
referred to another kadi. The Board also examines 
sentences of mutilation, death and confiscation. The 
Commission on Judicial Supervision gives legal opi- 
nions on matters not within the competence of the 
Shari'a courts. 

The ra^is al-kada^ performs the functions of Presi- 
dent of the Supreme Court and Minister of Justice. 
He also supervises the Public Treasury (bayt al-mdl), 


the mechanism of religious-legal opinions (iftd *) and 
disciplinary proceedings against kadis, and handles 
complaints about the functioning of any part of the 
shar'i system. Moreover, he supervises all the Public 
Morality Committees (hay^at al-amr bi 'l-ma'ruf wa 7- 
nahy 'an al-munkar) in the Hidjaz and Nadjd, the 
religious functionaries, education and shar' i institu- 
tions, including the Islamic University of Medina, 
and religious instruction at state educational in- 

This sharci judicial system remained in existence 
until the mid-seventies. Minor amendments were 
made by orders of the years 1931, 1936, 1938 and 
1952. The name of the Commission on Judicial 
Supervision was changed in 1938 to Office of the 
Chief Justice (rpasat al-kada 3 }, but its functions re- 
mained the same. In 1967, amendments were in- 
troduced in the organisation of the judiciary and in 
the powers of the kadis, and in 1970, a Ministry of 
Justice was set up. In 1974, the shar' ("judicial system 
was thoroughly reorganised. Three grades of courts 
were established on the Western pattern: magistrates' 
courts (mahdkim djuzHyyd), district courts (mahdkim 
'dmma) and a court of cassation (mahkamat al-tamyiz). 
Moreover, a High Judicial Council (madflis al-kada 3 
al-a'la) was formed whose functions were to supervise 
the kdfiis and to try disciplinary offences. The law en- 
sures the independence of the kadis (they cannot be 
removed from office); their appointment and promo- 
tion are effected by the king on the recommendation 
of the Judicial Council. 

Shar'i law applies to all matters within the com- 
petence of the Shari'a courts. In 1927, the kadis were 
ordered to decide in accordance with the teachings of 
the Hanball school. Six books of that school, in a 
specific order, were recognised as authoritative 
sources that must be adhered to. This, in a way, in- 
troduced an element of codification and unification of 
the material law into the nation's judicial system. In 
1927, c Abd al- c Aztz Ibn Sa<ud, inspired by Ibn 
Taymiyya, suggested the preparation of a code of 
Islamic law based not only on the Hanball doctrine 
but also on any other doctrine which, with regard to 
the matter in hand, was close to the Kur'an and the 
Sunna. But he abandoned the idea under pressure 
from Hanball 'ulamd 3 . In the Ottoman era, the Han- 
ball doctrine prevailed only in Nadjd and the Shafi c i 
doctrine in the Hidjaz, except for the courts in the ma- 
jor towns, where the HanafT doctrine enjoyed official 
status. An order of 1930 provided that where an ex- 
press provision existed in those authoritative sources 
as to a case being heard by a Shari'a court consisting 
of several kadis, a decision might be given without 
convening the members of the court; in the absence of 
such a provision, they were to be convened in order 
to exercise their collective discretion. The kadis were 
permitted to resort to other orthodox doctrines where 
the opinion of the Hanball school was likely to cause 
damage and was not compatible with the public in- 
terest (maslahat alburnum). An order of 1934 required 
the court, in deference to local custom, to decide mat- 
ters relating to contracts of lease of agricultural land 
('ukud al-musakdt) or palm plantations (idxarat al-nakhi[) 
in accordance with the doctrine prevailing in the 
locality where the action was brought. In matters con- 
taining religious observances ('ibdddi), the individual 
is free to follow the doctrine of the school to which he 
belongs. The Shari'a courts are subject to the sharci 
rules of procedure. Enactments relating to these rules 
were made in 1931, 1936 and 1952. 

Professional lawyers have recently been authorised 
to appear before Shari'a courts. In 1928, a Notarial 

Office (kitdbat al-'adl) was established for the registra- 
tion of shar'i documents (sukuk), powers of attorney, 
sales and pledges, but not of wakfs, which are within 
the competence of the Shari'-a courts. There are 
notaries in Mecca, Djidda and Medina. In provincial 
towns, the functions of the notary are performed by 
the kadi. A programmatic statement by Crown Prince 
Faysal's government in 1962 promised the creation of 
the post of State Public Prosecutor at the Ministry of 

From time to time, the King confers quasi-judicial 
powers on various bodies with a view to solving pro- 
blems cropping up in the economic, social or ad- 
ministrative sphere. Some of these bodies in fact enjoy 
extremely wide powers. They function concurrently 
with the shar'-i judicial system and are ostensibly 
designed to supplement it, but in reality restrict it. 

The most important of these bodies is the 
Grievances Board (diwdn al-mazdlim), established in 
1954, whose seat is in al-Riyad, with an extension in 
Djidda. Anyone who believes that an injustice has 
been done to him by a decision of a judicial authority 
or by an administrative authority may complain to it. 
Its functions are to investigate the complaint and to 
suggest to the Royal Chancellery and to the govern- 
ment ministry concerned the adoption of measures 
against the authority in question; to investigate, 
together with other bodies, corruption offences, 
disciplinary offences in the army, and offences against 
economic boycott regulations (if the recommendations 
of the Board are rejected, the matter is to be brought 
before the King); to hear appeals against decisions of 
the Minister of Commerce in matters relating to 
foreign capital investments; to supervise the applica- 
tion of the Shari'a by the government in day-to-day 
life (the Board includes experts on Shari'a matters and 
sometimes refers complaints to the Shari'a court) 
and — at the special request of the King — to deal with 
serious matters relating to Bedouin and matters in 
which foreigners are involved; and to execute foreign 

The chairman of the Board is appointed by the 
King and has the status of a government minister; 
since 1964, he has been responsible to the King for the 
work of the Board (all the decisions of the Board re- 
quire the approval of the King). The Grievances 
Board is a permanent institution. Its simple procedure 
and the fact that most of its members are lawyers with 
a modern background ensure greater flexibility in the 
conduct of proceedings than prevails in shar'i justice. 

Other administrative-judicial bodies are the Com- 
mission on Cases of Forgery (tazwir), established in 
1960, headed by the Minister of Justice and including 
representatives of the Grievances Board; the Commis- 
sion on Cases of Bribery, established in 1962 and 
headed by the chairman of the Grievances Board; and 
the Commission on the Impeachment of Ministers, 
competent to try various offences, ranging from in- 
terference by Ministers in the working of the judicial 
system to high treason (punishable with death); it is 
an ad hoc body appointed by the Prime Minister and 
consists of ministers and senior kadis; death sentences 
must be passed unanimously; the judgments of the 
Commission are appealable to the King. 

Several judicial bodies deal with commercial mat- 
ters: the Central Committee on Cases of Adulteration 
(fhishsh tidjtiri), which tries offences connected with 
food and drugs; and Chambers of Commerce (ghurfat 
al-tidjdra), established in 1963 and consisting of 
representatives of the economic ministries, which they 
act as arbitral boards in commercial disputes. The 
most important of these bodies was the Commercial 

Tribunal (mahkama tidjariyya), first established in Djid- 
da in 1926 for the handling of commercial disputes. 
Its composition and powers were laid down by a com- 
mercial regulation in 1931. It consisted of a presiding 
judge and seven members, one of them from the shar'-i 
legal system, who were appointed by the king. Its 
decisions might be appealed to the Consultative 
Council (madjlis al-shura). Its rules of procedure were 
similar to those of the Shari'a courts. Smaller commer- 
cial tribunals were established in Yanbu c and Dam- 
man. Their judgments were appealable to the 
Commercial Tribunal in Djidda. 

The commercial tribunals in Djidda, Yanbu c and 
Damman were abolished and their functions taken 
over by the Ministry of Commerce in 1954. They 
were restored in 1965, when Commercial Disputes 
Arbitration Boards were set up, one in each city, each 
Board consisting of three officials of the Ministry of 
Commerce and Industry. A Commercial Disputes 
Appeals Board was established in 1967, consisting of 
three officials of the same ministry, one of them, its 
head, the Deputy Minister. These Boards are not 
bound by the Shari'a, but they can draw upon it as 
well as upon Western law and international law and 
agreements. The Saudi authorities have recently 
directed that agreements of commercial companies 
shall contain an express clause forbidding the settle- 
ment of disputes by arbitration contrary to the prin- 
ciples of the Shari'a. 

A Supreme Board on Labour Disputes was set up 
in 1963; it consists of the legal advisers of the Ministry 
of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of 
Petroleum and Minerals. Disciplinary Councils for 
Civil Servants try offenders — by virtue of regulations 
of 1958— only after they have been convicted by a 
Shari'a court. Disciplinary Councils for Military Per- 
sonnel act as military tribunals by virtue of regula- 
tions of 1947. Their judgments may be set aside or 
commuted by the Chief of the General Staff or the 
Minister of Defence. Disciplinary Councils for Inter- 
nal Security Personnel try police officers, members of 
the coast guard, frontier patrolmen, members of the 
fire brigade and criminal investigators. The King 
supervises the judicial system by virtue of his being 
the supreme kadi and sometimes sits on the bench 
himself, advised by 'ulama^. 

Saudi Arabia was not subject to the influence of 
foreign systems of law other than the Ottoman, the 
impact of which was limited to the Hidjaz. The Shari'a 
functioned here in a sovereign Muslim state which 
had grown out of the Wahhabiyy a [q.v.], a puritanical 
Muslim renaissance movement which sought to apply 
religious law strictly and uncompromisingly in all 
spheres of life and in relations with the outside world. 
Saudi Arabia is perhaps the most theocratic state in 
the SunnT Muslim world. Religion has a monopoly of 
the judicial system, education, public morals and the 
fiscal system; the 'ulama 3 are integrated in the political 
establishment; there is no constitution and no 
legislative authority; and the Hanbali doctrine is en- 
forced upon the entire kingdom. 

At the same time, there are significant manifesta- 
tions of a decline of the status of religion and religious 
law in the state, although they are minimal compared 
with the secularisation processes in other Middle 
Eastern Arab countries. Important, though somewhat 
vague, elements of a constitution were adopted by 
various enactments and declarations under external 
pressure; an increasing number of administrative 
regulations made by the government and the King 
(nizam, marsum), which have the force of law, are 
ostensibly designed to supplement the Sharica but in 

fact impair its substantive validity; important reforms 
have been made in commercial law: regulations based 
on the Ottoman Commercial Code of 1850, in turn 
based on a purely French model, have been enacted 
with the omission of all references to interest (that 
Code is applied in the tribunals of the chambers of 
commerce); banks have begun to operate on the basis 
of interest, although it is called commission; marine 
and other property insurance is permitted, though 
not, for the time being, life insurance; extensive fiscal 
legislation (customs duties, income and alms (zakdt) 
tax, etc.) has been enacted; contracts regulating oil 
concessions to foreign companies have been entered 
into, although the terminology is shar'-i as far as possi- 
ble; social laws and laws regulating labour relations 
and transport have been enacted; slavery was abolish- 
ed in 1962 in deference to international public opi- 
nion, although there are indications that reality is still 
stronger than the law; shar'-i criminal law, including 
the harsh Kur'anic penalties (decapitation and 
mutilation for theft), is still mainly applied, although 
a tendency to replace corporal punishment by im- 
prisonment or fines is discernible; new penalties, not 
strictly conforming to the provisions of the Shari'a, 
have been introduced (e.g. the drinking of wine (shurb 
al-khamr) entails a discretionary punishment (ta'zir), 
not a Kur'anic one (hadd); blood-money (diya) has 
been limited; penalties have been prescribed for 
forgery, strikes, causing death or injury in road ac- 
cidents and military offences); there are deviations 
from the Shari'a as to the status of non-Muslims (e.g. 
their testimony in criminal proceedings has the same 
weight as that of Muslims and their oath is accepted; 
the same blood-money is exacted for them as for 

Bibliography: Snouck Hurgronje, Mekka, ii; 
idem, Mekka in the latter part of the 19th century: R. B. 
Winder, Saudi Arabia in the nineteenth century, London 
1965, see index; Soliman A. Solaim, Constitutional 
and judicial organization in Saudi Arabia, Ph. D. thesis, 
The Johns Hopkins University, Washinton, D.C. 
1970; Muhammad Ibrahim Ahmad C A1I, Social 
responsibilities of the individual and the state in Sa'udi 
Arabian law, Ph. D. thesis, University of London 
1971; Abulaziz Mohammad Zaid, Law of bequest in 
traditional Islamic law and in contemporary law of Saudi 
Arabia, Ph. D. thesis, University of London, 1978; 
Mahmasani, al-Awda' al-tashri'iyya, 354-75; 
Muhammad c Abd al-Djawad Muhammad, al- 
Tatawwur al-tashri'i fi 'l-mamlaka al-'arabiyya al- 
sa'udiyya, Alexandria 1977; N. Anderson, Law 
reform in the Muslim world, London 1976, see index; 
Liebesny, The law of the Near and Middle East, see in- 
dex; S. von Gerd-Riidiger Puin, Der moderne Alltag 
im Spiegel hanbalitischer Fetwas aus ar-Riyad, in 
ZDMG, Suppl. iii, 1 (1977), 589-97; A. Layish, 
' Ulama 3 and politics in Saudi Arabia, in M. Heperand 
R. Israeli (eds.), Islam and politics in the modern Mid- 
dle East (forthcoming). (A. Layish) 

viii. Yemen and the People's 
Republic of Southern Yemen 
Towards the end of their rule in Yemen , the Ot- 
tomans tried to apply their laws there and firmly to 
establish there the Shafi c i school, whose main 
foothold was in the Tihama region and in the south of 
the country. The Imam resisted this attempt suc- 
cessfully. A sultanic firman of 1913 confirmed the 
Treaty of Da" an of 1911, by which the Ottomans 
agreed to the demands of the Imam, the most impor- 
tant of them being the reinstatement of the Shari'a as 
the only system of law in Yemen. The Imam was 

authorised to appoint kufis to the courts in regions 
populated by Zaydi Shi c is (the San c a' region and the 
northern mountainous province). The power of the 
Ottoman Wdli was confined to the enforcement of 
their judgments. 

After World War I, when Yemen obtained full in- 
dependence, it became a theocracy. Zaydi Shi'i law, 
which is nearest to SunnI law, held unlimited sway in 
the imamate. The Imam was the spiritual head, the 
head of the executive branch and the Supreme Judge 
(al-kdfi al-a'la). 

The powers of the Shari'a courts are very wide. 
They comprise personal status and criminal law. 
Severe Kur'anic punishments, such as death and 
mutilation, are still applied, though not frequently. 
The Imam has directed that Zaydi Shrn law shall be 
applied in the courts. The Shari'a courts system con- 
sists of several grades. The court of first instance is 
manned by a single judge (hakim). His judgement is 
appealable, with the consent of the local governor 
( c dmi7), to a higher judge and finally to the High 
Court of Appeal (ra 'u al-isti ^naf), which has its seat 
in San'a 5 . The Imam is the supreme appellate authori- 
ty, but appeals to him are infrequent. The Imam ap- 
points the judges in all the districts and sub-districts 
from among the graduates of al-Madrasa al- c Ilmiyya 
in San c a '. The amir al-liwd 3 enforces their judgments, 
but the supervision of the shar'i system is the 
prerogative of the Imam. 

Concurrently with the Shari'a judicial system, a 
judicial system of the provincial governor ('amil) 
functions which handles civil matters. Its judgments 
are appealable to the prince as ruler of the principality 
(liwa*) or, in certain cases, to the Imam. This system 
is governed by the Shari'-a as far as commercial trans- 
actions and tax matters are concerned. 

The Shari'a courts operate in the towns. Outside the 
towns, among the tribes, an arbitral (mankad) system 
exists, and tribal councils adjudicate disputes concern- 
ing water, boundaries and criminal offences in accor- 
dance with tribal custom ('urf) and tradition (takalid). 
Appeals against judgments of tribal courts are heard 
by the c dmil, whose judgments are in turn appealable 
to the provincial amir. Here, too, the Imam is the 
supreme appellate authority. The Imam has sought to 
eliminate customary justice and to subject the 
Bedouin to the Shari'-a. For this purpose, he has ap- 
pointed persons with a religious training as judges in 
the customary judicial system, hoping that they will 
gradually substitute the shari'-a for traditional 
customary law, but he has had only partial success. 
He has had to recognise 'urfi justice officially by the 
side of shar'i justice. 

When Aden was a British protectorate, it had a 
dual judicial system, part shar'i (with wide powers in 
matters of personal status and criminal law) and part 
customary. The Imam of Yemen accepted the situation 
on condition that the Shari'a was applied. Most kadis 
were ordered to adhere to the Shafi c T doctrine and 
even more to that of Ibn Hadjar. There is evidence of 
the application of K.ur 3 anic punishments, including 
the death penalty. Only minor reforms were introduc- 
ed during that period. 

In the period preceding the British conquest of 
Aden in 1839, the kadis of Lahdj [q.v.] were ap- 
pointed by the Imam of Yemen; their judgments were 
only enforced with the consent of the parties. After the 
British conquest, a central administration was 
established in the sultanate of Lahdj and, inter alia, 
Shari'a courts equipped with wide powers, including 
the imposition of sanctions, were set up there by the 
sultan. Customary courts functioned side by side with 

them; their procedure and rules of evidence differed 
only slightly from those of the Shari'a courts. In 1950, 
a law establishing an Agricultural Court (al-mahkama 
al-zira'iyya) was enacted in the sultanate of Lahdj; this 
court applies the provisions of that law as well as 
custom and agricultural practice. The purpose of that 
law was to exclude agricultural matters from the 
jurisdiction of the Shari'a courts and the application of 
the Shari'a. 

Since the achievement in 1967 of the independence 
of the People's Republic of Southern 
Yemen, of which the Aden Colony and the Western 
and Eastern Protectorates form part, the judicial 
system has, in the main, continued unchanged. On 
the other hand, in 1974, a family law was enacted of 
a radicalism unparalleled in the Muslim Middle East. 
Under Marxist influence, it aims at complete equality 
between the sexes. Some of the reforms contained in 
it have no basis whatsoever in Islamic law (see Section 
4. x below). The courts apply a combination of 
customary and shar'i procedure. A procedural law 
was under consideration at the beginning of 1972. 
Bibliography. Mahmasani, al-Awdd' al- 
tashri'iyya, 380-3; A. M. Maktari, Water rights and 
irrigation practices in Lahj, Cambridge 1971; Ander- 
son, Law reform in the Muslim world, see index; 
Liebesny, The law of the Near and Middle East, see in- 
dex; M. W. Wenner, Modern Yemen 1918-1966, 
Baltimore 1967, 39, 46-8, 55, 67, 70, 155; Isam 
Gharem, Social aspects of the legal systems in South-West 
Arabia, with special references to the application of Islamic 
family law in the Aden courts, M. Phil, thesis, Univer- 
sity of London 1972; J. Chelhod, in idem (ed.), 
U Arabic du Sud, iii, Culture et institutions du Yemen, 
Paris 1985, 127-81. (A. Lavish) 

ix. The Gulf states 
Under the Bitish protectorate, most of the Persian 
Gulf Shaykhdoms and Trucial States had no courts of 
law in the accepted sense of the term. Justice was ad- 
ministered "under the palm tree" by the rulers 
themselves, who applied the Shari'a loosely and ar- 
bitrarily or were assisted by kadis. Some of the 
Shaykhdoms had a dual judicial system: part shar'i, 
dealing with matters of personal status, and part civil, 
dealing with all other, including criminal and com- 
mercial, matters and strongly influenced by English 

After independence, the judicial system was 
reorganised. The Provisional Constitution of the 
United Arab Emirates of 1971, confirmed for 
another five years in 1976, provides that Islam shall 
be the religion of the Union and that the Shari'a shall 
be a principal source of the Union's legislation. But in 
fact, even the shar'i judicial system is not, in most of 
the countries, based on pure shar'i law. Shar'ilaw is 
here attenuated or superseded by customary law or 
modern legislation. The civil courts apply several 
sources of law, of which the Shari'a is only one and not 
the most important. In some of the countries, a civil 
code modelled on the Egyptian Civil Code of 1948 has 
been introduced, of which the Shari'a is supposed to 
be one source of inspiration; but the role of the Shari'a 
is this context should not be exaggerated. The new 
graded civil system comprises many lawyers from 
other Arab countries. 

In Kuwayt, a dual judicial system, part shar'i and 
part civil, was functioning under the British protec- 
torate. The jurisdiction of the shar'i kcu).is was confined 
to matters of personal status. The ruler set up two new 
courts, for criminal and civil matters, respectively. He 
had jurisdiction not only over his own subjects but 

also over resident nationals of some other Arab coun- 
tries. Those courts applied the Shari'a and the or- 
dinances of the ruler. The harsh Kur'anic 
punishments were abolished. In 1959, an Organisa- 
tion of Justice Law was enacted. In I960, the Sharif 
courts were abolished and their powers transferred to 
modern civil courts supervised by the Ministry of 
Justice. Domestic Courts were set up, with separate 
chambers for Shl c s, Sunnls and non-Muslims, to deal 
with matters of marriage, divorce, succession and 
wills. Criminal, civil and commercial courts were also 
set up. The Court of Appeal comprises departments 
for criminal and other matters, including personal 
status and succession. The legal system remained un- 
changed after independence (1961). 

The courts apply the products of some very inten- 
sive modern law-making: codes of procedure, of 
criminal law and of commercial law have been 
enacted. Matters of personal status and blood-money 
(diya) of Muslims are still dealt with in accordance 
with the Shari'a, as taught by the respective schools. 
The Kuwaytl constitution provides that the Shari'a 
shall be the principal basis of legislation, but in point 
of fact the main source of inspiration is reformist 
Egyptian legislation, especially the Civil Code 
prepared by c Abd al-Razzak al-Sanhurl. In 1977, a 
commission was appointed "to amend and develop 
Kuwaytl legislation in accordance with the provisions 
of the Shari'a," but it is too early to assess the real 
significance of these terms of reference. 

Under the British protectorate, a dual judicial 
system, part shar'i and part civil, was set up in 
Bahrayn. The Shari'-a courts, subdivided into SunnI 
and Dja c farl sections, dealt with matters of personal 
status and applied the Shari'a in accordance with the 
relevant doctrine. The Shaykh and members of his 
family acted as judges in the "civil" courts. These 
courts applied the ordinances of the Shaykh and 
customary law, which was largely based on Sudanese 
law; in any case, the Shari'-a was not applied in these 
courts. The ruler also had jurisdiction over resident 
nationals of some other Arab states. 

The dual, shar'i and civil, system remained in ex- 
istence after independence (1971) and so did the sub- 
division of the Shari'a courts (including the appeal 
stage) into SunnI and Dja c farl sections. The powers of 
the Shan'a courts are confined to matters of personal 
status of Muslims, while the civil courts have jurisdic- 
tion in civil, commercial and criminal matters and in 
matters of personal status of non-Muslims. The Con- 
stitution of Bahrayn of 1973 provides that the Shari'-a 
shall be a principal source of legislation, and the 
Judicature Law of 1971 lays down that in the absence 
of a suitable provision in legislation, the judge shall 
base his decision on the principles of the Shari'a or, if 
the latter, too, fails to offer a solution, on custom. 
Local custom is to be given priority over general 
custom, and where no guidance is found in custom, 
the tenets of natural law or the principles of equity and 
good conscience shall be applied. 

In Kafar, too, a dual, shar'i and civil, judicial 
system was established under the British protectorate. 
The Shari'a courts decided matters of marriage, 
divorce and succession in accordance with the Shari'a 
as taught by the Hanball school. The ruler set up a 
civil court, which heard also criminal cases. It applied 
customary law and the decrees of the ruler. The ruler 
had advisers from among the religious leadership, 
whose task was to see that the decrees did not deviate 
from the Shari'a. The ban on the import, sale and con- 
sumption of alcoholic beverages was also strictly en- 
forced. Through the activity of the ruler's British 

adviser, who served in the civil judiciary, English law, 
as applied in India and the Sudan, greatly influenced 
the criminal law of Kafar. The harsh Kur'anic 
punishments, such as mutilation, had long been 
abolished and been replaced by imprisonment. Law 
no. 13 of 197 1 , regulating the courts of justice, left the 
Shari'a courts with residuary jurisdiction in matters of 
personal status of Muslims. It established courts with 
civil and criminal jurisdiction over both Muslims and 
non-Muslims, and a labour court. 

The Amended Provisional Constitution of Katar, 
of 1972, says that the Shari'a is a principal source of 
law. The last few years have seen a considerable out- 
put of civil and criminal legislation, which is applied 
in the civil courts. In 1971, a Civil and Commercial 
Law was enacted, based on the Egyptian Civil Code 
of 1948. It designates the Shari'a as a source of law on- 
ly to be applied in the absence of a suitable norm in 
either statute or custom. There has also been legisla- 
tion in specific spheres of commerce, such as the Share 
Companies Law, 1961, for the settlement of disputes 
with foreign oil companies by arbitration. 

Shar 'i justice in Abu Dhabi (ZabI) is regulated 
by legislation of the years 1968 and 1970. A distinc- 
tion is made between matters of personal status and 
succession, dealt with by shar'i kadis, and other civil 
matters, dealth with by civil judges. However, there 
is no formal distinction between a shar' i and a civil 
judicial system. Every District Court has a shar'i kafi. 
A civil matter other than of personal status or succes- 
sion may be referred to the shar'i kadi with the consent 
of the parties. Both the civil judges and the shar' i kafis 
are to act in accordance with justice or conscience or 
with the general principles of justice, provided that 
they are guided by Islamic law. The ruler appoints all 
the judges, including the kadis. 

The basic judicial system in Dubayy is still the 
shar'i one. The entire legal system is regulated by the 
Courts Law of 1970. The civil courts are competent 
only for a few specific matters, leaving the Shari'a 
courts with residuary jurisdiction. Still, under the 
same law, the ruler may transfer any matter or action 
from the Shari'a court to the civil court. Most com- 
mercial matters have recently been so transferred. 
There are also criminal courts. The Shari'a courts are 
to apply the Shari'a with the modifications required by 
the laws of the emirate. Except for a few matters 
regulated by local custom and tradition, legal disputes 
are settled in the Shari'a court in accordance with the 
principles of the Shari'a. The civil courts are to apply 
usage and custom, the principles of natural justice, 
the law of equity, and the laws and legal practices of 
neighbouring countries, in addition to the laws of the 
emirate and the Shari'a. The Law of Procedure of 
1971, which relates to civil and commercial matters, 
allows significant deviations from shar'i procedure, 
such as written testimony. The ruler appoints the 
kadis, including the Chief Shari'a Judge. 

Until 1968, Sharjah (al-Sharika) had only 
Shari'a courts. Sunnls and Shl'Is had separate courts 
(and wakf administrations). These courts had jurisdic- 
tion in all matters. In 1968, the judicial system was 
reorganised: civil courts were established by the side 
of the Shari'a courts, whose jurisdiction was from then 
on confined to matters of personal status, succession 
and wills of Muslims, and wakf and blood-money 
(diya) where at least one of the parties was a Muslim. 
The civil court has jurisdiction, in civil and criminal 
matters, also over non-Muslim foreigners. A law of 
1971 reconfirmed the dual judicial system and em- 
powered the ruler to establish ad hoc judicial bodies for 
all matters. The law applying in the Shari'a courts is 

Islamic law, SunnI or Shi c i, as the case may be. The 
civil courts are to apply the statutes of the 
Shaykhdom, the principles of Islamic law, the deci- 
sions of Muslim jurists, common law and local 
custom, and the general principles of English law: 
right, justice and equity. There has been intensive 
legislative activity in the fields of criminal law, con- 
tracts, commercial law etc., as a result of which the 
Sharjah legal system is the most developed of any of 
the United Arab Emirates. 

The Shari'a is the principal system of law also in 
c Adjman, Umm al-Kaywayn, Ra's 
al-Khayma and Fujayra. c Adjman and Ra's al- 
Khayma have also civil courts. In Ra ] a al-Khayma. 
a Courts Law patterned on the corresponding law of 
Dubayy was enacted in 1971; it confers wide powers 
on the Shan'-a courts, also in civil matters other than 
personal status and in criminal matters. A law of 1972 
regulates the functioning of the Shari'a Court of Ap- 
peal. In the case of death sentences, appeal is 

In the sultanate of Muscat and Oman 
(Maskat and c Uman) (Oman since 1970), the 
Shari'a is about as firmly established as in Sa c udi 
Arabia. There is no written constitution. The Shari 'a 
courts have wide jurisdiction, including criminal mat- 
ters involving Kur'anic punishments, although there 
is a tendency to mitigate the latter. There are still 
public executions, but decapitation and mutilation are 
banned. The Shan'-a courts apply the non-codified law 
of the Ibadi sect [see ibadiyya], to which most of the 
population of the sultanate belongs, with such 
modifications as arise out of legislation enacted by the 
Sultan in civil and commercial matters to meet 
present-day requirements, viz. legislation relating to 
investments by foreigners, commercial companies and 
baking. The judgment of the kadi is appealable to a 
bench of kadis and to a Chief Court, the seat of which 
is in Oman. A final appeal lies to the Sultan. 

There is a separate court for matters in which 
foreigners are involved; its seat is in Muscat. When 
the sultanate was a British protectorate, the Consular 
Court had jurisdiction in certain matters concerning 
British subjects, but in cases involving both British 
subjects and local nationals, the Sultan had jurisdic- 
tion. The Commercial Companies Law of 1974 
established a Committee for the Settlement of Com- 
mercial Disputes, vested with judicial powers. In large 
areas of the sultanate outside the urban centres, tribal 
justice and custom reign almost absolute. 

Bibliography: Liebesny, The law of the Near and 
Middle East, 108-11; idem, British jurisdiction in the 
states oj the Persian Gulf, in MEJ, iii (1949), 3, 330-2; 
W. M. Ballantyne, Legal development in Arabia, Lon- 
don 1980; H. M. Albaharna, The Arabian Gulf 
States; their legal and political status and their international 
problems 2 . Beirut 1975; N. Sinclair, in collaboration 
with W. Olesiuk, Problems oj commerce and law in the 
Arab states oj the Lower Gulf, in D. Dwyer (ed.), The 
politics of law in the Middle East (forthcoming); 
Anderson, Law reform in the Muslim world, see index. 
(A. Lavish) 

x. Morocco 
Before the establishment of the French and Spanish 
Protectorates, the peoples under the sultan's authority 
had recourse, more or less, for matters of personal 
status, property and contracts or religious en- 
dowments (ahbds), to the kadis who were to be found 
in centres of some importance. Till the middle of the 
19th century, the kadi of Fas had the tide of kadi 7- 
kudat and filled all religious offices. Later, the Moroc- 

can government reserved for itself the right to pro- 
ceed, on the proposal of this judge, to nominate all the 
other kadis, the staff of mosques and the professors of 
the University of al-Karawiyyin [q.v.]. The kadis were 
aided by witnesses to deeds ('adl [q.v.], pi. 'udul; in 
French, adel, pi. adoul), who received and registered 
the acts of witness and drew up the judicial deeds; 
whilst the judges received payment on the issuing of 
these deeds, the 'udul had to rely on the generosity of 
those receiving justice. These last had the right to seek 
recourse to the muftis, who would deliver/atoas to sup- 
port their pleas. 

On the other hand, the sultan was represented too 
in the towns by pashas and in the rural areas by kd 'ids 
[q.v.] who, in the judicial field, put the kadis' 
judgements into force and themselves gave judgement 
in regard to certain crimes and misdemeanours 
without going by any written code but basing 
themselves on good sense, tradition and local custom, 
and who held certain powers in civil and commercial 

Their judgements, like those of the kadis, were put 
into practice immediately and there was no court of 
appeal. However, in the government itself, where the 
"ministerial departments" were made up of a series 
of little rooms (banika, pi. banikat) which gave out on 
to a courtyard and in each of which there was a 
"minister" (wazir) seated on mats and carpets before 
a little desk with an inkwell, pens and paper, there was 
one banika occupied by a wazir al-shikdydt, a "minister 
for complaints", who received all the petitions of 
those seeking justice and transmitted them to the 
sultan, who decided personally or who delegated his 
power here to the prime minister (al-sadr al-a'zam). 

Out in the provinces, which were mainly peopled 
by Berber speakers and over which the central govern- 
ment had not control, local customary law was applied 
by the djama'a [q.v.] of the section or tribe, both in 
civil and criminal cases. 

One of the first cares of the Protectorate authorities 
was to seek a better system of administering justice 
and to end abuses of power. A few days after the con- 
stituting of a commission which was aimed at combat- 
ting breaches of duty — which were common — and 
which was given the responsibility of revising 
judgements tainted by illegality, there was created, in 
particular by a firman of 20 Dhu '1-Ka c da 1330/31 Oc- 
tober 1912, a Ministry of Justice (wizarat al-'adliyya), 
with responsibility for everything connected with the 
shari'a, together with the recruitment and supervision 
of the personnel of the mahkamas, religious education 
in the Kur'anic schools and zawiyas [q.v.] and the 
higher education given at the Karawiyyln in which the 
kadis were to be trained. This firman was confirmed 
and amended by a dahir (zahir) of 2 Sha c ban 1366/21 
June 1947, which added to the Karawiyyln the 
madrasa of Ibn Yusuf founded at Marrakech by the 
dahir of 8 Shawwal 1357/1 December 1938. 

The shar'i courts were only slightly modified under 
the Protectorate, but several dahirs fixed the rules of 
how they functioned. At the head of the mahkama was 
a single kadi, who held session every day except for 
Thursday and Friday. He was usually accompanied 
by a deputy (na Hb) who could act for him if the kadi 
was unable to function (dahir of 24 Rabi c II 1357/23 
June 1938), and should need arise, by nuwwab in the 
quarters and suburbs of the towns, as also in small 
places which were distant from the seat of the court. 
The kadis, chosen from the graduates of the two col- 
leges cited above, were recruited, after the dahir of 1 
Ramadan 1356/5 November, from a competition 
organised by the Ministry of Justice, which subse- 


quently controlled them; they were nominated, 
transferred on their own demand (because they were 
immovable) and on occasion penalised, by dahir. At 
the time of their nomination they received a silver seal 
with their own name and that of the seat of their 
jurisdiction. They received a fixed salary increased by 
15% of the due levied by the mahkama. They had 
jurisdiction over personal status, succession, property 
and contracts, and gave their judgement on the basis 
of the standard manuals of MalikI fikh. Their deci- 
sions could be appealed, for a council of 'ulama 3 set up 
by the dahir of 29 Muharram 1332/20 December was 
followed by the establishment of three appeal courts at 
Rabat (4 Sha c ban 1345/7 February 1927), Tetouan 
and Tangiers. 

In his mahkama, the kadi is assisted by a number, fix- 
ed for each centre, of notaries which he proposes 
himself but who have to pass an examination unless 
they have certain qualifications. These '■u.dul, whose 
status was established by a decree of 24 Rabi c II 
1357/23 June 1938, are paid, according to com- 
plicated calculations, on the issuing of the judicial 
deeds which they have the task of drawing up. Fur- 
thermore, the mahkama has in certain cases an ex- 
ecutive official (W) and a matron ( e arifa) to take care 
of women. After the dahir of 16 Sha c ban 1342/23 
March 1924, litigants could be represented by an 
ouki] (wakil, pi. wukala *) or legal pleader whose func- 
tions were laid down in a very detailed dahir of 18 
Safar/7 September 1925. Advocates, for their part, 
could only intervene, and then only on a written basis, 
before an appeal court. In each shar'-i court, six 
registers had to be kept: for landed property, 
miscellaneous deeds, successions, lawsuits, appeals 
and the careers of the 'udui. after the dahir of 1 2 Safar 
1363/7 February 1944, acts of witness were entered in 
a separate register. 

As for the makhzan [q.v.] courts (al-mahakim al- 
makhzaniyya), that is, those of the pashas in the towns 
and of the kdHds among the tribes, these were 
regulated by several dahirs, the most important of 
which was that of 26 Shawwal 1336/4 August 1918. 
These officials had limited competence up to a certain 
sum of money in civil and commercial cases; they 
could refer complicated cases to the kadis or have 
recourse to experts. In criminal law, they could judge 
misdemeanours involving theft, blows, woundings, 
etc., but did not have the right to inflict a prison 
sentence than a fixed period or a fine longer above a 
fixed limit. The government commissioner (who was 
an official of the Protectorate power) watched that the 
rules were kept and, in the case of any breach or short- 
coming, could require an appeal to the superior Shari- 
fian court (al-mahkama al-'ulya al-sharija) set up by the 
above-mentioned dahir. This last jurisdiction was 
made up of two chambers: the first acted as an appeal 
court against the judgements of pashas and kd ^ids, 
whilst the second was a criminal court for dealing with 
cases of murder, rape, procurement of abortion and 
other crimes falling outside the jurisdiction of the of- 
ficials with judicial powers, but investigated by them, 
who sent along the relevant files to the criminal sec- 
tion of the superior court. The pasha had a 
government-paid secretariat, according to the provi- 
sions of the dahir of 29 Rabl c II/2 April 1946, 
although the kaHd had to pay himself his secretary 
ifkih). In the big towns, the pashas had in the quarters 
and suburbs subordinates who had the same powers 
(dahir of 5 Djumada II 1368/4 April 1949). 

All these authorities made their judgements on a 
basis of the shari'a when it gave a solution, but more 
often on the se 

Among the Berber tribes, it was the dj_ama'a which 
continued to decide cases between members of the 
group according to local customs, also unwritten. As 
the French forces advanced into the dissident areas, 
some kadis were progressively installed there, but ex- 
perience showed that those seeking justice continued 
in general to address themselves to the dj_ama c a, which 
charged no fees. In any case, a dahir of 20 Shawwal 
1332/11 September 1914 already envisaged the reten- 
tion of customary law (which some Berberists strove 
to collect and record in written form), but it was the 
dahir of 16 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1348/15 May 1930 (con- 
firmed again on 23 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1352/8 April 1934) 
which had the greatest repercussions in the Islamic 
world and even in lands like the Netherlands East In- 
dies where custom was indeed a fundamental source 
of law [see c ada]. France was accused of having 
wanted to de-Islamise Morocco, when it was simply 
trying to institutionalise the already existing Berber 
system of justice by setting up customary law courts 
of first instance (to which there was attached a public 
attorney charged with ensuring regularity in the 
court's functioning), and customary law appeal 
courts. The composition and jurisdiction of these 
courts were determined by a vizieral decree of 5 
Djumada II 1353/15 September 1934; another decree 
(7 Jafar 1357/8 April 1938) fixed there powers, pro- 
cedure, structure and functioning. 

For its part, the Jewish community in Morroco 
had, in respect of personal legal status, courts which 
were controlled by dahir, in 1918 in the French zone, 
in 1914 at Tangiers and in 1914 in the Spanish zone, 
as well as a rabbinical high court. Finally, foreigners 
and a certain number of Moroccans who had the pro- 
tection, as individuals, of a foreign power benefited 
from the capitulations [see imtiyazat] and thus 
received justice from the consular courts; these last 
were replaced in the French zone on 9 Ramadan 
1331/13 August 1913 and in the Spanish one on 1 
June 1914 by courts with exclusive competence in all 
cases where non-Moroccans were involved, whilst at 
Tangiers mixed courts were set up by dahir of 16 
February 1924. 

After independence, the Moroccan government 
legitimately envisaged bringing about three main ob- 
jectives: first, a separation of powers by ending the in- 
tervention of the administrative authorities in the 
exercise of justice; second, to unify and arabise the lat- 
ter by "Moroccanising" it; and third, to introduce 
modern codes of law based at least in part on the 

As early as 17 Muharram 1376/25 August 1956, the 
customary law courts were suppressed and replaced 
by shar'-i courts. A few months later, two dahirs pro- 
mulgated simultaneously on 23 Radjab 1376/23 
February 1957 created two types of Jewish courts, 
rabbinical and regional, together with a higher court. 
As for the French or Spanish courts and the interna- 
tional court at Tangiers, these changed their name to 
become the modern ('asriyya) courts. 

Nevertheless, the authorities gave greatest attention 
to bringing about the objectives outlined above. By a 
dahir of 24 Radjab 1375/7 March 1956, there were 
suppressed first of all the judicial functions of the 
deputies (nuwwab) of the pashas, and, on 6 Sha c ban/19 
March of the same year a dahir put an end to the in- 
terference of the executive power in the administra- 
tion of justice, whose independence was asserted. The 
dahir of 22 Sha'ban 1375/2 April 1956 aimed at 
replacing the courts of the pashas and kaHds (the 
mahdkim makhzaniyyd) by ordinary courts (mahakim 
'adiyya) covering the kinds of courts of first instance 

called sadadiyya, regional (iklimiyya) courts and the 
high Sharifian court and fixing their spheres of com- 
petence in both civil and criminal affairs. A dahir of 
14 Radjab 1348/16 December 1929 had created con- 
ciliation boards with the task of settling conflicts in 
labour matters; these were replaced on 28 Ramadan 
1376/29 April 1957 by labour courts (mahdkim 

As for shar'-i justice, it had been reorganised by a 
dahir of 5 Djumada I 1376/8 December 1956, which 
had created several new courts, apart from those 
which were to replace the customary law courts, and 
had instituted in the various regional courts boards 
with the task of examining appeals directed against 
judgements of the kddis' courts. In the following year, 
on 23 Djumada I 1377/16 December 1957, the pro- 
cedure to be followed by the shar c i courts was fixed by 
a law less detailed than the code of civil procedure pro- 
mulgated in 1913. In the same year, on 22 Muhar- 
ram/16 August, there was set up a commission with 
the task of codifying/i'AA. It began immediately on the 
law of personal status, which was naturally to remain 
in the sphere reserved to the kadis, and it speedily 
brought its activities to an end. On 20 November 
1962 a criminal code, in large measure based on 
French legislation, was promulgated. 

Regarding appeal courts, the dahir of 25 Safar 
1377/21 September 1957 ended that of Tetouan, 
reorganised the one at Tangiers and created one at 
Rabat to replace the high Sharifian court; a third ap- 
peal court has been set up at Fas on 29 Shawwal 
1380/15 April 1961. From 2 RabI 1377/27 September 
1957 onwards, control over the Moroccan legal 
system was vested in the Superior Council (al-madjlis 

The law of 23 Ramadan 1384/26 January 1965 
made the Moroccanisation, Arabisation and unifica- 
tion of the administration obligatory, and this was 
followed by the formal unification of the judicial 
system and by a decree of the Minister of Justice re- 
quiring use of the Arabic language in all documents 
laid before the courts. 

Despite the progress achieved, in particular in the 
sphere of criminal law, which is no longer in the hands 
of administrators, there still exists a certain vacillation 
arising from the divergent tendencies of the personnel 
involved, some wishing to preserve at least part of the 
system bequeathed by the Protectorate whilst others 
want to create a totally new and original system. 
Bibliography: For the pre-independence 
period, see H. Bruno, La justice indigene, in Introduc- 
tion a la connaissance du Maroc, Casablanca 1942, 
413-30; A. Coudino, Fonctionnement de la justice 
berbere, in ibid, 431-46; and the ch. on the legal 
system in the treatise of c Abd al-Hamid 
Benashenhu, al-Baydn al-mutrib li-nizdm hukumat al- 
MafhriV, Rabat 1370/1957. For the following 
period, an unpublished account by Idris al- 
Dahhak, al- c Addla al-maghribiyya min khildl rubu c 
karn, has been used. (Ed.) 

xi. Algeria. [See Supplement] 

xii. Tunisia. [See Supplement] 

xiii. Reforms in the law applying in 
Sharl'a courts 
In the 20th century, many reforms, some of them 
very far-reaching, have been effected in matters of 
personal status, succession and wakf, which are under 
the jurisdiction of the Shan'a courts. The most impor- 
tant of them are the raising of the age of competence 

for marriage and the imposition of restrictions on the 
marriage of minors; the prohibition of forced mar- 
riages; the prohibition of opposition to the marriage of 
persons having reached the age of competence for 
marriage; the prevention of great differences in age 
between spouses; the restriction of the institution of 
equality in marriage (kafa 5 a) to the point of complete 
abolition and the limitation of the functions of the 
marriage-guardian; the limitation of the 
the dower (Southern Yemen, 1974); the refinement of 
the use of stipulations in the marriage 
prove the position of women; the perfc 
riages in courts of law ( c Irak, 1978); and the 
prohibition of polygamy, leaving discretion to the kadi 
to permit it under special circumstances (in Southern 
Yemen, the consent of the District Court is required 
for polygamy, 1974). 

The amount of maintenance of the wife is fixed in 
accordance with the economic position of the hus- 
band; both spouses are responsible for their own sup- 
port and that of their children, each according to his 
or her ability (Southern Yemen, 1974); maintenance 
awarded by the court is paid by a government 
authority, which in turn recoups itself from the judg- 
ment debtor (Egypt, 1976; Israel 1972). 

Wrongs resulting from the husband's right of ar- 
bitrary divorce have been redressed: repudiation pro- 
nounced under compulsion or in a state of drunkness 
or a fit of anger and divorce by way of an oath or a 
threat (provided there is no intent to divorce) are in- 
valid; the effect of a double or triple repudiation pro- 
nounced on a single occasion has been reduced to that 
of one revocable divorce; divorce against the wife's 
will is prohibited (Israel 1951, 1959); the husband 
must seek judicial approval or registration of the 
divorce or dissolution of the marriage by the court 
(Southern Yemen, 1974); compensation to the 
amount of one or two years' maintenance, in addition 
to waiting-period maintenance, is due to a wife 
divorced without justification (Syria, 1953; Jordan, 
1976; Egypt, 1979); the respective economic resources 
of the spouses must be equalised upon divorce (Israel, 
1973). Additional grounds have been provided for 
dissolution on the initiative of the wife or of both 
spouses: a physical or mental defect of the husband, 
sterility of the husband; non-payment of prompt 
dowry (before consummation of marriage) or of 
maintenance to the wife; cruelty; the taking of a se- 
cond wife; prolonged separation from or abandon- 
ment of the wife without legal cause (even if 
maintenance is provided), prevention of the wife from 
entering the conjugal dwelling after marriage; im- 
prisonment of the husband for several years, together 
with non-supply of maintenance; and adultery of the 
spouse ( c Irak, 1978). 

The period of the mother's custody of minors has 
been extended in the interest of their well-being; both 
parents have been declared the natural guardians of 
their children (Israel, 1951, 1962). The rights of heirs 
within the nuclear family have been strengthened, 
with daughters, in the absence of sons, being given 
preference over other KuPanic heirs; the spouse en- 
joys the radd, the residue of the estate, in the absence 
of KuPanic heirs and dhawu 'l-arhdm; germane 
brothers— contrary to the position of the Hanafi 
school— share the uterine brothers' portion of the 
estate in cases where the Kur'anic portions exhaust 
the estate (Jordan, 1976); the Shi'I system of succes- 
sion, which is not based on the agnatic principle, has 
been adopted ( c Irak, 1963); the rights of heirs have 
been determined on the basis of equality of the sexes 
( c Irak, 1959 to 1963; Palestine, 1923; Israel, 1951, 

1965); bequests in favour of legal heirs have been per- 
mitted to the extent of one-third of the estate; the 
absence of the principle of representation has been 
remedied by the device of an "obligatory bequest" in 
favour of an orphaned grandson. 

In Egypt (1946) and in Lebanon (1947), the 
founder of a wakf has been given an option to revoke 
it; to stipulate whether a kjjayri wakf shall be perpetual 
or temporary (but a family wakf must be temporary) 
and to spend the income of the wakf for purposes not 
indicated in the wakf deed; a stipulation by the 
founder as to the conduct of the beneficiary is no 
longer valid; the disinheritance of legal heirs by. means 
of a wakf exceeding one-third of the estate has been 
prohibited; wakf property is to be administered by the 
beneficiaries; wakf property damaged beyond repair 
through neglect is to be liquidated. Most of these 
reforms relate to wakfs to be established in the future. 
The military regimes in Syria (1949) and Egypt 
(1952) abolished the family wakf completely. In 1957, 
Egypt nationalised the property of that wakf for the 
purposes of agrarian reform. In Israel (1965), the 
family and khayri wakfs, as far as they comprised 
absentee property, were abolished; the property is to 
pass into the full ownership of the beneficiaries and of 
Muslim boards of trustees, respectively. 

Important reforms have also been effected in the 
rules of evidence and procedure of the Shari'a courts; 
written evidence is now admissible and is accorded the 
same weight as oral testimony — in fact, with regard to 
some matters, documentary evidence is eligible but 
not oral testimony; witnesses may be cross-examined; 
the court is given discretion to assess the credibility of 
the witness and the testimony; the defendant may 
bring witnesses to refute the testimony of the plain- 
tiffs witnesses; the defendant may return the oath to 
the plaintiff; circumstancial evidence is admissible; 
periods of prescription of actions have been in- 

Rulers and parliaments have used a wide gamut of 
methods to introduce reforms in the law applied by 
the courts: (1) The procedural expedient: refusal of 
legal relief to parties who disregard a particular refor- 
mist norm, such as the age of competence for mar- 
riage. This method is based on the ruler's right to 
restrict the powers of the court (lakhsis al-kada 7 ). (2) 
The takhayyur expedient: the selection of elements 
within or outside the heritage of the ruling school 
which suit the purpose the legislator seeks to achieve; 
sometimes such elements, patched together into a 
statute, contradict one another (talfik). The theoretical 
justification of this expedient lies in the power of the 
ruler to direct the kd4i, his agent, to apply a particular 
doctrine, and disregard others, in the public interest 
(maslaha [q.v.]). In the Sudan, the direction was given 
by means of a "judicial circular" issued by the Grand 
Kadi with the consent of the British Governor- 
General. (3) Administrative orders, provided that 
they do not conflict with the Shari'a; they rely on the 
duty of Muslims to obey their rulers. In Saudi Arabia, 
the reforms are carried out by means of royal orders 
based on the utility principle: al-masalih al-mursala or 
maflahat al-'umum or siydsa shar'iyya. (4) Criminal 
legislation which, while its sanctions are supposed to 
deter potential violators of reformist norms, such as 
the age of competence for marriage and the prohibi- 
tion of polygamy, does not derogate from the substan- 
tive validity of the Shari'a. (5) A "modernistic" 
interpretation of the textual sources (Kur'an and 
Sunna), e.g. in matters of polygamy and divorce, with 
a view to adapting them to the requirements of 
present-day society. In Saudi Arabia, the plenum of 

the Greater Shari'a Court may practise legal reasoning 
{idjlihad) collectively. (6) The abolition of the Shari'a 
courts and the application of Islamic substantive law 
by civil judicial authorities in accordance with civil 
rules of evidence and procedure. The process which 
took place in British India (Anglo-Muhammadan law) 
may now be expected to occur in Egypt and Kuwayt. 
It occurs to a limited extent in countries where the 
civil courts have incidental and other jurisdiction in 
matters to which Islamic law applies. 

The direct approach of the reformers to the sources 
of religious law bears a certain, but purely technical, 
resemblance to the classical idjtihdd [q. v. ] . There are 
material differences as to the mode of using those 
sources (replacement of the deductive kiyas [q. v. } by 
the maflaha or utility principle) and as to the sources 
of inspiration and motivation of the reforms (Western 
ideas, and pressures arising from a disturbance of 
balances in Muslim society as a result of modernisa- 
tion and Westernisation). The reforms rely on state- 
imposed, not religious, sanctions, and their somewhat 
forced link with Islamic sources has been severed in 
the process of legislation. They have an autonomous 
existence, independent of the sources, and should only 
be interpreted within the framework of the statutes in 
which they are embodied. In some cases, they have no 
basis at all in religious law. They are, first and 
foremost, legislative acts of secular parliaments. It is 
true that even in the past the secular legislation of 
caliphs and temporal rulers was outside the Shari'-a, 
but there was then the pious fiction that this legislation 
was intended to supplement the Shari'a and that 
everybody, including the ruler, was subject to the lat- 
ter, whereas today the parliaments are the declared 
sources of sovereignty and set bounds to the Shari'-a. 
Most Arab countries are today at an advanced stage 
of transition from jurists' law to statute law, and the 
question of idjlihad has thus ceased to be relevant. 

The purpose of resort to traditional mechanisms in 
legislation is a national and tactical one: the creation 
of the impression that the reforms are a kind of inter- 
nal renovation of the Shari'a. Islamic law is conceived 
as part of the Arab national-cultural heritage; this 
prevents the creation of an ideological debt and sub- 
jection to the West. Reference to the modernists of the 
school of Muhammad c Abduh is intended to facilitate 
acceptance of the reforms by the 'ulamd 3 and conser- 
vative circles and by the shar'i judiciary. 

The success of the reforms depends, to a decisive 
extent, on the kadis charged with the application of the 
legislation designed for the Shari'-a courts. The kofis, 
including those integrated into the national courts in 
Egypt, have in their vast majority had a traditional 
iAar c f training. It seems that, contrary to the expecta- 
tions of the legislator, they do not exercise the wide 
discretion given to them and that in many cases, out 
of devotion to taklid, they ignore reformist legislation. 

At the same time there have been cases (in Israel) 
in which that legislation impressed the kadis, and tliey 
explicitly relied on it in their judgments. Here the 
kadis were not opposed to legislation in so far as it did 
not supersede the Shari'a. Some kadis would even 
welcome additional legislation, procedural or penal, 
with a view to using the statutory sanction to buttress 
the shar'i norm, which is sustained by a toothless 
ethical sanction. Druze kadis still use religious and 
social sanctions of court. Some kadis do not shrink 
from calling for legislation of a definitely substantive 

The increasing ascendancy in the Shari'a courts of 
lawyers with a secular training and a modern social 
outlook will eventually, in judicial practice, lead to a 


kind of synthesis between the Shari'a and national 
law. There are kadis who, in their liberal interpreta- 
tion of religious law, do not hesitate to deviate from 
taklid and who, by means of the techniques of takhayyur 
and talfik, have scored achievements not inferior to 
those of parliamentary legislation. In Saudi Arabia, 
the kadis, in the absence of an express provision as to 
a particular matter in authoritative Hanball 
literature — as designated by decree — are permitted to 
rely on elements from other doctrines as far as it is in 
the public interest to do so, and there have in fact been 
cases in which they applied the maslaha mechanism in 
their decisions. 

The kadis make use of their personal authority, 
sometimes with the assistance of mediators, to bring 
about a peaceful settlement of disputes and to give the 
effect of judgments to compromises that have been 
reached. They thereby continue a tradition of tribal 
arbitration. This method also prevents a confronta- 
tion with religious law. The proceedings are simple, 
quick and matter-of-fact. Druze kadis are sometimes 
called upon to act as arbitrators in criminal cases 
heard before civil courts. 

The kadis react in different ways to the encounter of 
Shari c a and custom ('urf 'ada [q. v. ]), according to 
their degree of orthodoxy, education and professional 
training, their social philosophy and the measure of 
their understanding of the Islamisation processes of a 
society not yet wont to regard Islam as an obligatory 
way of life. Some reject custom absolutely; others ac- 
quiesce in its sovereign existence by the side of the 
Shari'a, but there are also attempts to absorb custom, 
whilst compromising with it, into the Shari'-a. Custom 
is an extremely important source of law in the 
jurisprudence of the Druze courts, owing to the 
absence of a tradition of institutionalised communal 
justice and the esoteric character of Druze religious 

Following the introduction of a uniform and bin- 
ding material law (secular statutes), and a hierarchy of 
collegial courts and appeal stages, in the shar' ("judicial 
system, there are significant indications of the 
development of a case law, a phenomenon alien to the 

For the time being, there are no significant effects 
of the abolition of the Shari 'a courts in Egypt. The 
kadis, who have been integrated into the national 
courts, continue, out of loyalty to taklid, to apply not 
only Islamic substantive law but also the Islamic rules 
of evidence and procedure, as they used to do in the 
Shari'-a courts. But there can be no doubt that in the 
long run, as their place is taken by civil judges with 
a secular legal training and no traditional £Aar c !" educa- 
tion, the reform will make itself felt and Islamic law 
will be exposed to the influence of secular — national 
and Western — legal principles. 

Bibliography: G. H. Bousquet, Du droit 
musulman et de son application effective dans le monde, 
Algiers 1949; idem, et alii, EP, art. c ada, with im- 
portant bibliography; J. N. D. Anderson, Recent 
developments in Sharif law, i-ix, in MW, xl-xlii 
(1950-2); idem, Islamic law in the modern world, Lon- 
don 1959; idem, Law reform in the Muslim world; 
Schacht, Introduction, 100-11, with important 
bibliography on 252 ff., 283; Coulson, History, part 
iii; idem, Conflicts and tensions in Islamic jurisprudence, 
Chicago and London 1969; idem, Succession in the 
Muslim family, Cambridge 1971; Orientalisches Recht, 
Leiden and Cologne 1964, 344-440; Y. Linant de 
Bellefonds, Traile de droit musulman compare, i-iii, 
Paris and the Hague 1965, 1973; M. H. Kerr, 
Islamic Reform, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1966; 

Chehata, Droit musulman; Liebesny, The law of Near 
and Middle East, chs. 6-12; G. Baer, Waqf reform, in 
his Studies in the social history of modern Egypt, Chicago 
1969, 79-92; A. Layish, The contribution of the moder- 
nists to the secularization of Islamic law, in Middle 
Eastern Studies, xiv (1978), 3, 263-77. 

(A. Layish) 
5. The Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. 
[See Supplement] 
6. Indonesia 
The complex history of Islamic courts in Indonesia 
is evident in the many names by which they have been 
known over the last century in various parts of the 
country: among them Pengadilan Surambi, Priesterraad, 
Road Agama, Penghulu Gerecht, Rapat Kadi, Pengadilan 
Agama, Mahkamah Syariah, and at the appeals level 
Mahkamah Islam Tinggi, Kerapatan Kadi Besar, 
Mahkamah Syariah Propinsi, and Pengadilan Tinggi 
Agama. The mixed roots of these terms reflect the sub- 
tle interplay of Islamic, pre-Islamic, and Dutch co- 
lonial influences in the evolution of the courts. When 
in 1980 the Ministry of Religion finally imposed a 
uniform religious-judicial nomenclature throughout 
Indonesia, Pengadilan Agama (pengadilan = court, 
agama = religion), combining Arabic and Indie roots, 
rather than the Arabic and Islamically derived 
Mahkamah Syariah, became the name of choice for first 
instance religious courts. Appellate religious courts 
are now called Pengadilan Tinggi Agama (tinggi = high). 
Unlike many other Islamic countries, where 
religious courts have been progressively restricted, in 
Indonesia they have actually grown in number and in- 
fluence. Despite continual efforts to confine or 
eliminate them, since the late 19th century the politics 
of their development has led, at every stage, to some 
institutional accretion. Legally, they are subordinate 
to civil courts, on which they depend for enforcement 
decrees, but socially they enjoy a measure of 
autonomy and authority guaranteed by Islamic com- 
mitment and political power. 

The modern history of these courts began in 1882 
under the colonial administration of the Netherlands 
East Indies. Earlier they existed in various forms 
throughout Java and only here and there in the other 
major islands, always under the control of local 
aristocratic authorities whose Islamic credentials were 
often dubious. In Java, where Islamic courts were 
paid most attention in the colony, they were known as 
surambi courts, from the forecourt of the mosque in 
which they convened, serving in part as general courts 
of the land and in part as Islamic courts proper. In the 
colony these surambi courts were related to the first in- 
stance colonial civil courts for Indonesians (landraden) 
in two ways: religious judges served as advisers to the 
landraden, and Islamic court decisions were required to 
obtain enforcement decrees (executoire verklaring) from 
the landraden. The first rule has long since faded, but 



In 1882 the colonial administration reorganised the 
Islamic courts, which were now called Priesterraden 
(priest's courts) — though popularly raad agama, or 
landraad agama, after the style of the Dutch courts — on 
an erroneous understanding of the mosque ad- 
ministrators, penghulu, who staffed the courts. The 
new courts were collegial, with three judges, following 
from European rather than Islamic judicial traditions. 
The most important effect of the reform, however, 
was to make the courts formally more autonomous, 
and potentially independent of the local Javanese 
aristocracy that had traditionally appointed and con- 
trolled Islamic officials. 

The reform of 1882 was roundly criticised by the 
famous Dutch Islamologist C. Snouck Hurgronje, 
whose arguments helped to inspire a second round of 
reforms, resulting in a new regulation of 1931 whose 
implementation, for economic and political reasons, 
was delayed until 1937. Applying only to Java and the 
nearby island of Madura, the new law responded 
superficially to Snouck's earlier criticism by renaming 
the courts Penghulu Gerecht (penghulu court) and 
reconstituting them, following Islamic tradition, as a 
single kadi (kadi) accompanied by two assessors and a 
clerk. Originally, the reform had called for payment 
of regular salaries to the religious judges and their 
staffs, who had acquired a reputation for venality, but 
this measure was put off because of budgetary shor- 
tages during the depression. Only later, during the 
revolution, did the Islamic courts begin to receive 
financial support from the state. But the heart of the 
1930s reform, promoted by Dutch and Indonesian 
adat (customary) law scholars who opposed recogni- 
tion of Islamic law except insofar as it was "received" 
by indigenous customary law, had to do with issues of 
substantive jurisdiction. Matters of wakf (wakf) and, 
crucially, inheritance, were removed from the com- 
petence of the Islamic courts and given over to the 
civil landraden. When this provision was implemented, 
it caused an uproar among Islamic groups, who have 
tried unsuccessfully ever since to restore the in- 
heritance jurisdiction to Islamic courts in Java. It was 

major symbolic as well as practical loss for Islam, 

which at about the si 

is able i 

d off a 

challenge to polygamy. In 
established a new Islamic appellate instance, the 
Mahkamah Islam Tinggi (Islamic High Court) to hear 
appeals from all the religious courts of Java. Although 
suspect at first among Islamic officials, the Mahkamah 
Islam Tinggi was eventually opened in the central 
Javanese city of Surakarta, where it remains today. 
Outside of Java, only in Kalimantan (Borneo) were 
similar reforms begun, also in 1937, mainly by way of 
reorganisation of local religious courts (Rapat Kadi) 
and the creation of appellate courts (Kerapatan Kadi 
Besar), before Japanese forces occupied the country 
during the second World War. 

During the occupation and early in the revolution 
(1945-50) against the returning Dutch administration, 
efforts to eliminate Islamic courts failed utterly in the 
face of Islamic determination to preserve and develop 
Islamic public institutions. A political compromise led 
in 1946 to the establishment of a new Ministry of 
Religion, which soon absorbed various elements of 
Islamic administration, including the existing courts, 
and later became a driving force behind their con- 
solidation and expansion throughout independent In- 
donesia. Islamic judicial affairs were organised in the 
Ministry under a Directorate of Religious Justice. 

With the revolution, the primary issues of the 
Islamic judiciary shifted to the islands outside of Java, 
particularly Sumatra, where religious courts were few 
and poorly developed. In 1946, during a period of 
violent local conflict, Islamic groups in Aceh (nor- 
thern Sumatra) established new Mahkamah Syariah 
(Shari c a councils). These courts ambitiously assumed 
a wide jurisdiction, which the national government 
later whittled away gradually by creating competitive 
civil courts and subjecting the Mahkamah Syariah to 
legal limits as a condition of their incorporation into 
the national religious bureaucracy. In response to 
what had happened in Aceh, however, in 1947 the 
republican governor of Sumatra issued an instruction 
to establish Islamic courts, also fashioned as 
Mahkamah Syariah, elsewhere in Sumatra. The tem- 

of Dutch rule prevented it from 
going into effect, though local Dutch administrations 
in Sumatra themselves set up Islamic courts here and 

When the Dutch had finally departed, by 1950, a 
serious contest quickly developed within the new state 
over the creation of Islamic courts outside of Java. 
Opposition came from secular parties and the national 
Ministry of the Interior, which administered the pro- 
vinces in close association with local elites that had 
long resisted the expansion of Islamic authority. On 
the other side, the Ministry of Religion, supported by 
Islamic parties, pressed the case for new religious 
courts assiduously. Religious Affairs Offices (Kantor 
Urusan Agama), responsible inter alia for registering 
marriages and divorces (nikah, talak, rujuk), established 
the local presence of the national Ministry and helped 
to generate local pressures in favor of Islamic courts. 
At length, in early 1957 the Achehnese courts were 
finally validated, and later in the same year a new 
regulation provided for Mahkamah Syariah and ap- 
pellate Mahkamah Syariah Propinsi, modelled on the 
Mahkamah Islam Tinggi in Java, for those provinces 
outside of Java which did not yet have Islamic courts. 

The end result was two disparate Islamic judicial 
regimes: one in Java and Madura based on the 
reforms of 1882 and 1931-7, which influenced regula- 
tions of 1937 for the Kalimantan courts, and a second, 
based on the regulation of 1957, for all other areas. 
The essential differences had to do with substantive 
jurisdiction. While the religious courts of Java- 
Madura were confined to matrimonial issues — 
essentially divorce — the younger courts elsewhere had 
also acquired jurisdiction over issues of child custody 
and support (hadhanah), wakf, public religious funds 
(baitulmal), charity (sedakah), pre-testamentary gifts 
(hibbah), and, above all, inheritance (maris), which 
however they shared uneasily and uncertainly with 
civil courts. National uniformity in the competence of 
religious courts was very difficult to achieve because 
of the political sensitivity of the inheritance issue, 
jurisdiction over which the Islamic courts in Java 
wished to retrieve and those outside of Java would not 

While Islamic courts spread after 1957, problems of 
internal organisation and development were much 
harder to deal with. The courts suffered persistently 
from inadequate funds, poorly trained personnel, low 
prestige and institutional isolation. From a 
sociological point of view, they served their com- 
munities well enough, but beyond routine they often 
fell into disorder, and from a legal point of view, 
whether Islamic or secular, they were an easy target 
for critics. During the 1970s, however, some move- 
ment began on these problems, though it was inspired 
largely from outside the religious courts themselves. 

In the 1960s, the Directorate of Religious Justice 
had begun to move gently towards serving as a na- 
tional review instance of sorts, despite objections from 
local religious judges, in response to protests over pro- 
cedural errors and related problems in the first in- 
stance and appellate Islamic courts. This development 
was cut short by a new statute of 1970 on national 
judicial organisation. In addition to confirming the 
Islamic judiciary as one line of national judicial in- 
stitutions (along with civil, military, and ad- 
ministrative courts), the new law also provided for 
appeals in cassation from Islamic appellate courts to 
the civil Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung). Although 
there were qualms about this among both civil and 
Islamic judges, for different reasons, it did finally 
establish a national institutional apex for the Islamic 


judiciary. But only a few such appeals have been 
heard, by late 1982, and it is too early to predict the 
influence of the Supreme Court on the religious 

The next major stage in the evolution of Islamic 
courts was unexpected and rather surprising in its ef- 
fects. In 1973 Parliament considered a new unified 
marriage law for all religious groups which incensed 
many Muslims by its challenge to polygamy and other 
Kur'anic legal symbols. Islamic groups protested 
vehemently, and after a great deal of political tension 
the Government revised the original drafts of the law 
to meet Islamic objections. One result of the new law 
in its final form was to place more authority and func- 
tional responsibility squarely on the Islamic courts. 

Until the passage of the 1974 marriage law, the 
overwhelming daily fare of Islamic courts everywhere 
in the country was made up of divorce issues. Despite 
the additional jurisdiction over inheritance of the 
courts outside of Java, not many cases of the sort ac- 
tually came to them. (Ironically, the Javanese 
religious courts continued informally even after 1937 
to hear many inheritance cases, often deciding them 
in the form of fatwas, advisory opinions, as people 
continued to bring them; sometimes because they 
were ignorant of the legal change, sometimes because 
the Islamic courts were much speedier than the civil 
courts, and sometimes because devout Muslims simp- 
ly regarded the Islamic courts as the proper authority 
to take care of their inheritance problems.) The vast 
majority of the Islamic courts' clients were women, as 
only women had to go to court for a decree invoking 
their husband's divorce (talak) on prescribed grounds. 
Husbands bent on divorce need only pronounce the 
talak and register it at a local religious office. 

The law of 1974 changed all this, however, making 
divorce more difficult for men by requiring them also 
to go to court, an equalising measure intended to pro- 
mote family stability. The traffic in Islamic courts 
naturally increased, though less than expected 
because the new legal procedures themselves had the 
effect of discouraging divorce. In addition, all Islamic 
courts now have jurisdiction over a wide range of 
family law issues, including, among others, permis- 
sion for a husband to take an additional wife, permis- 
sion to marry in the absence of or disagreement 
among appropriate kin, dispensation from mar- 
riageable age rules, prevention of marriages, an- 
nulments, charges of neglect, determination of child 
custody, support of divorced wives, child support, 
legitimacy of children, withdrawal of parental 
authority, appointment of a wait, and review of ad- 
ministrative refusal to allow mixed marriages. Several 
of these questions require only administrative action, 
while others constitute litigation, but all together im- 
press on the courts a more variegated responsibility 
than they have been used to. As before, decisions of 
the religious courts are legally enforceable only by 
writ of the civil courts, a requirement that the new law 
appears to render perfunctory, indeed mainly 

A a consequence of this burgeoning significance of 
the religious courts, the Ministry of Religion moved 
enthusiastically to demand more courts, more funds 
and more facilities. By ministerial regulation, two 
new appellate courts were provided for West and East 
Java, confining the old Mahkamah Islam Tinggi to the 
territorial jurisdiction of Central Java. Increasing at- 
tention has begun to be paid matters of recruitment 
and training of religious judges. The national standar- 
disation of the names of the courts in 1980 implies a 
further commitment to uniform policies in their 

Indonesia's Islamic courts have survived as one 
critical symbol of the Islamic community, but they 
have been progressively integrated into state ad- 
ministration. The law of 1974 has transformed them 
into rather full-blown domestic relations tribunals, 
responsible for profoundly important matters of social 
life and state policy. 

Bibliography: C. Snouck Hurgronje, Rapport 
. . . over de Mohammedaansche Godsdienstige Rechtspraak, 
met name op Java, Feb. 14, 1890, in Adatrechtbundels, 
i, 1911; Th. W. JuynboU, Handleiding tot de Kennis 
van de Mohammedaansche Wet 1 , 1903; J. H. van de 
Velde, De godsdienstige rechtspraak in Nederlands- Indie, 
staatsrechtelijk beschouwd, 1928; Notosusanto S. H., 
Peradilan Agama Islam di Djawa dan Madura ("Islamic 
justice in Java and Madura"), 1953?; J. Prins, Adat 
en lslamietische Plichtenleer in Indonesia, 1954; 
Notususanto S. H., Organisasi dan Jurisprudensi 
Peradilan Agama di Indonesia ("Organisation and 
jurisprudence of Islamic justice in Indonesia"), 
1963; Daniel S. Lev, Islamic courts in Indonesia, 
1972; Dept. of Justice, Republic of Indonesia, 
Sekitar Pembentukan undang-undang Perkawinan, beseria 
peraturan pelaksanaannya ("On the formation of the 
marriage law, along with its implementing regula- 
tions"), 1974; Dept. of Justice, Republic of In- 
donesia, Himpunan Undang-undang dan 
Peraturan- peraturan tentang Perkawinan ("Laws and 
regulations concerning marriage"), 1977; S. H. 
M. Tahir Azhary, Hukum Acara Perdata di 
Lingkungan Peradilan Agama ("Civil procedure in the 
sphere of religious justice"), XII Hukum dan Pem- 
bangunan, no. 2 (March 1982); S. H. Ichtijanto, 
Pengadilan Agama di Indonesia, ("Religious courts in 
Indonesia") XII Hukum dan Pembangunan, no. 2 
(March 1982). (D. S. Lev) 
MAHLUL (a.), a term used in Ottoman ad- 
ministrative parlance to mean v a c a n t . It is used in 
the registers of a grant or office which has been 
vacated by the previous holder, by death, dismissal, 
or transfer, and not yet re-allocated. The term is also 
used more generally for land and other assets left 
without heir (see also mukhallafat). (Ed.) 

MAHMAL (modern pronunciation of the word 
vocalised by the lexicographers mahmil or mihmal), a 
type of richly decorated palanquin, perched on a 
camel and serving in the past to transport people, 
especially noble ladies, to Mecca (cf. al-Sam c anI, 
Kitab al-Ansab, under the word al-mahdmilt). The 
famous al-Hadjdjadj b. Yusuf is said to have been the 
first to use them. 

In a more restricted and precise sense, the word 
designates palanquins of this same type which became 
political symbols and were sent from the 7th/ 13th 
century by sovereigns with their caravans of 
pilgrims to Mecca (or the principal caravan when 
it was split up) in order to bolster their prestige. In the 
modern period in Egypt, the head-rope of the camel 
which carried it was solemnly presented to the Amir al- 
Hadjjdj., the leader of the pilgrimage, in the course of 
a ceremony during which the camel, followed by some 
musicians, performed seven circuits on the ground in 
front of the officials' platform. In time, the crowds ac- 
corded these palanquins, encompassed by the glory of 
the Holy Places, a veneration which was excessive and 
at times condemned (e.g. the kissing of the head-rope, 
the seven circuits, the participation of the religious 
brotherhoods in the ceremonies, allowing the belief 
that it was actually a religious emblem). Forming the 
centre of picturesque demonstrations in Cairo, 
Damascus (and Istanbul) at the time of the departures 
and returns of the caravans of pilgrims, they were 
mentioned by European travellers. At the end of 

1952, the Egyptian mahmal, the last still in service, was 
suppressed by a governmental decision. The camel 
which carried it, a splendid and well-nourished 
animal, stayed resting all the year at the dar al-kiswa, 
at Khoronfish Street in Cairo, waiting for the 
ceremonies in default of journeys. 

There exists little precise evidence, in the Middle 
Ages, on the form of these political mahmals. On the 
other hand, those of the modern period have been 
described, photographed and displayed in museums. 
In Egypt, the last ones were built of wood and approx- 
imately cubic, broader (1 m 75) than they were long 
(lm 35), surmounted by a four-faced pyramid, with, 
in the upper angles of the cube, four gilded balls and 
on top of the pyramid, a much larger ball surmounted 
by a stem, a star and a crescent: the whole was 
covered in an embroidered material. There existed 
two types of coverings: the first, for towns and the 
parade, was in a very rich brocade, enhanced by pom- 
poms and fringes. The name of the sovereign and a 
verse of the Kur'an_(e.g. the "throne verse", II, 255, 
on that of King Fu'ad I) was embroidered respective- 
ly on the face in front of the pyramid and on a band 
encircling the top of the cube. The second covering of 
simpler material (green in recent times) was put on for 
the journey or minor halts. The oldest covering which 
has been preserved is that of the mahmal of Sultan 
Kansawh al-Ghuri (d. 922/1516) at present in Istan- 
bul, in the Topkapi Museum (Turkish embroideries 
section, no. 263, Mehmel). A good photo of it is sup- 
plied in the magazine La Turquie Kemaliste, Istanbul, 
August 1941. The embroidered text expresses pious 
wishes but is not Kur'anic. It is reproduced in J. 
Jomier, Le Mahmal du sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri, in Annales 
Islamologiques (1972), 183-8. The richness of certain 
coverings has been mentioned by chroniclers: such as 
that of the mahmal of the 'Irakis in 721/1321, en- 
crusted with gold, pearls and precious stones (Die 
Chroniken des Stadt Makka, ed. Wustenfeld, ii, Got- 
tingen 1859, 278). 

Various legends concerning these mahmah are to be 
dismissed at the outset. The legend according to 
which the Egyptian mahmal goes back to the reign of 
Queen Shadjarat al-Durr is not found in any 
presently-known ancient source. Those according to 
which the palanquin contained Kur'ans or served to 
transport the hangings (kiswa) of the Ka c ba have no 
firm basis. The mahmal was normally empty. The 
word "sacred cloth" used by Westerners to designate 
it is pure fantasy. In Arabic it is called the noble 
mahmal, al-mahmal al-sharif, an adjective very often ap- 
plied to that which is in contact with the Holy Places. 

The (political) mahmal seems to be a creation of the 
Mamluk Sultan Baybars, who sent it for the first time 
in 664/1266. It is recorded in the context of the 
transfer to Cairo of the c Abbasid caliphate after the 
capture of Baghdad by the Mongols (656/1258). 
Yemen and Egypt were then rivals to offer the hang- 
ings of the Ka c ba (a gift which had always remained 
the caliphs' privilege of honour) until the Sharif of 
Mecca promised Kalawun that only the Egyptian 
hangings would be hung (681/1282). The sending of 
the mahmal coincided with the reopening of the 
pilgrimage route via Suez, Aqaba and the east coast 
of the Red Sea, closed since the Crusades (reopening 
in 660 A.H. plus, the manuscripts having a blank for 
the units' figure). Briefly, Baybars showed by his 
policy towards the Holy Places that he was the protec- 
tor of the caliph, some of whose privileges of honour 
he took over. At Mecca, and then at c Arafat, the 
mahmal was placed in a position where it could easily 
be seen, also reinforcing by its presence the sym- 
bolism of the hangings. 

Very quickly other countries wanted to rival Egypt: 
Yemen also (from 969/1297), c Irak, (from 718/1319) 
had their mahmals, doubling their hangings. Hence 
there were conflicts of precedence, at times violent, in 
the course of which Egypt always insisted on the first 
place. Syria (from 692/1293) sent its mahmal, but this 
was the responsibility ipso facto of the Mamluk sultans 
of Cairo. The presence or absence of one or the other 
depended on the vicissitudes of politics. With the Ot- 
toman seizure of Egypt and Syria, Istanbul took on 
itself this policy of prestige, and the mahmals came on 
its behalf. In the harim of the Top Kapi Palace in 
Istanbul, the group of three mahmals (Egypt, Syria 
and Yemen) appears three times running on the 
faience panels (17th century) representing the Holy 
Places. It is in this period that the Yemeni mahmal 
ceased to be sent. Toward the end of the same cen- 
tury, M. d'Ohsson (Tableau general de V Empire Ottoman, 
iii, Paris 1790, 263-6) mentions as customary a sym- 
bolic departure of the mahmal at Istanbul, with the of- 
ficial delegation of the pilgrimage, this palanquin then 
being dismantled and returned to its store. 

When the Wahhabls seized the Holy Places in 
1807, the Egyptian mahmal fell into their hands and 
was burnt by them. Its sending was only resumed 
after their defeat. The war of 1914 put an end to the 
sending of the Syrian mahmal; the Egyptian one con- 
tinued to be sent until 1926, the date on which a clash 
between the soldiers of the escort and the Wahhabl 
Ikhwan caused its despatch to be definitively sup- 
pressed. The Egyptian Government and King Hu- 
sayn of the Hidjaz (1915-21) had already confronted 
each other on the subject of this palanquin and 
especially the ceremonial which was to preside over its 
reception. Despite exchanges of points of view, the 
conflict twice led to the suspension of its sending. 
After Ibn Sa c ud had become King of the Hidjaz, 
negotiations took place on the same subject, the 
Wahhabls refusing to allow the music which accom- 
panied the procession and various superstitious prac- 
tices. Symbol of a political protection over the Holy 
Places, the mahmal no longer had its raison d'etre after 
the suppression of the caliphate and the Wahhabls' 
desire for independence. 

The popular festival aspect was manifest in Egypt 
in the course of three annual ceremonies (in the Mid- 
dle Ages), in the course of which the mahmal was 
solemnly led across the city with a large escort and 
parts of the caravan, accompanied by troops armed 
with lances and sometimes even clowns. Ladies were 
accustomed to go out to see the processions. The first 
procession announced the approach of the season of 
pilgrimage, the second was that of the departure and 
the third that of the return. 

In the desert, the mahmal was the centre of the prin- 
cipal caravan. When in 1882, and then in 1884 and 
after, the Egyptian caravan ceased to take the desert 
route and left by train (for Suez) and then by boat, the 
mahmal was hoisted into a train (it had its own special 
carriage) and then embarked. From 1328 to 
1331/1910-13, it went via Alexandria, the sea, Haifa 
and the Medina railway. In the Hidjaz itself, the small 
caravan re-formed and it was always the centre of it. 
The goings and comings of this caravan have been 
described in the valuable reports, full of realistic 
details, composed by the physicians who accompanied 
it and published pro-manuscripto from the beginning of 
the century by care of the Quarantine Service. Infor- 
mation and photos are also to be found in al- 
Batanunl, al-Rihla al-higjaziyya, Cairo 1329 A.H. and 
Rifat, Mir'at al-haramayn, 2 vols., Cairo 1925. Two of 
the old processions (departure and return) lasted until 
1926 in Cairo. Suppressed after the incident with the 


Sa c udl Ikhwan, they were re-established in 1937, the 
year in which the hangings (kiswa) of the Ka c ba were 
once again sent and accepted, although the mahmal 
was formally refused. These processions inside Cairo 
lasted until 1952, the date of their definitive abolition. 
The custom in Egypt was for the facade of the 
pilgrims' houses, in the popular quarters, to 
decorated around the door with naive frescos recalling 
their journey. These frescos painted at the time 
their return might stay in place for several years 
before being worn away by time. Until 1952 the 
mahmal was almost always represented. At present it 
appears only rarely: the new generations no longer 
know what it is. See Giovanni Canova, Nota s'ulle raf- 
figurazioni popolati del pellegrinaggio in Egitto, in Annali 
della Facolta di lingue e letterature straniere di ca' Foscari, 
xiv/3 (1975), 83-94, with 8 plates (University of 

Finally, how can one explain the choice by Baybar: 
of this type of symbol? Did he merely want a roya 
tent? Did he dream of the leather kubbas, carried oi 
chariots in the steppes of Asia, familiar to somi 
Mamluks, and which had a religious meaning or a 
least one of honour? Or should we not look in the 
direction of the known symbolic palanquins of the 
Arabs, such as the one among the Rwala at the begin- 
ning of this century which was the emblem of the tribe 
(Musil, Die Kultur, 1910, 8 ff., described under the 
name Abii Zhiir al-Markab), or that which bore 
'A'isha at the Battle of the Camel? The question re- 
mains open. 

Bibliography: J. Jomier, Le Mahmal et la 
caravane egyptienne des p'elerins de la Mecque (XIII'-XX' 
siecles), Cairo 1953; R. Tresse, Le pelerinage syrien aux 
villes saintes de I' Islam, Paris 1937; Lane, Manners and 
customs of the modem Egyptians, London 1936, ii, 
180-6, 245 ff. (with a reproduction of the Egyptian 
mahmal); Burton, A pilgrimage to el-Medinah and 
Mekka, London 1856, iii, 12, 267; Snouck- 
Hurgronje, Mekka, i, 29, 83 ff., 152, 157 (with a 
photograph in the Atlas, PI. v); T. Juynboll, Hand- 
buch des islamischen Gesetzes, 151 ff. In Arabic, apart 
from the texts mentioned in Jomier, op. cit. , see 
c Abd al-Kadir al-Ansaii al-Djazarl, al-Durar al- 
fara Hd al-munazzamafi akhbar al-hadjdj. wa-farik Makka 
al-mu'-azzama, especially the autograph ms. at al- 
Azhar (first version and the autograph ms. at Fas, 
Karawiyyin (completed version, printed by the 
Matba c a Salafiyya, Cairo 1384, sponsored by 
Sa'udis). The author was for a long time the official 
responsible (kdtib) for the Pilgrimage Office (diwan 
al-hadjdi) in the 10th/16th century. The work is a 
compendium of all the knowledge (Arab tribes, 
itineraries, gifts to make, functionaries, a chronicle 
of the pilgrimage year by year, etc.) necessary for 
an Amir al-Hadjdi- (F*- Buhl - [J. Jomier]) 

MAHMAND. [see mohmand] 
MAHMUD. The following articles on a large 
number of personages called Mahmud are arranged 
as follows: 

M., rulers of Bengal, p. 46-7. 
M., sultans of Dihll, p. 47-50. 
M., rulers of Gudjarat, p. 50-52. 
M., rulers of Malwa, p. 52-55. 
M., Ottoman sultans, p. 55-61. 
M. Khan, ruler in KalpI, p. 61. 
M. Shah Shark!, ruler in Djawnpur, p. 61. 
M. Shihab al-DIn, ruler in the Deccan, p. 62. 
M. b. Isma c u, p. 63. 

M. b. Muhammadb. Malik-Shah. Saldjuksultan,p. 63. 
M. b. Sebiiktigin, Ghaznawid sultan, p. 65. 
M. Ekrem Bey, p. 66. 

M. Gawan, p. 66. 

M. Kemal, p. 68. 

M. Nedim Pasjia, p. 68. 

M. Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier, p. 69. 

M. Pasha, beylerbeyi of Yemen and of Egypt, p. 72. 

M. Shabistarf, p. 72. 

M. Shewkat Pasha, p. 73. 

M. Tardjuman, p. 74. 

M. Taymur, p. 75. 

M. Yalawac, p. 77. 

MAHMUD, the name of several mediaeval 

s of B 


Nasir al-DIn (846-64/1442-59), 
was a descendant of Ilyas Shahi dynasty of Bengal. 
On the assassination of the tyrant, Shams al-DIn (ca. 
846/1442), the grandson of the usurper, Radja 
Ganesh (817-21/1414-18), a scramble for power 
began among the nobles, which led one of them, nam- 
ed Nasir Khan, to seize power by killing his rival, 
Shadi Khan. But within a week, Nasir Khan himself 
was put to death. Thereupon, the nobles chose 
Mahmud, who was a descendant of Sultan Ilyas Shah 
and was living in obscurity, carrying on agriculture. 
He ascended the throne as Nasir al-Din Abu '1- 
Muzaffar Mahmud. 

Mahmud was just and liberal and an able ad- 
ministrator. Since the Shark! rulers of Djawnpur 
[q. v. ] , who were a constant threat to the kingdom of 
Bengal, were involved in conflicts with the Lodls, 
Mahmud was able to enjoy peace, and this he utilised 
in promoting the prosperity of his people, in construc- 
ting mosques and khankahs, bridges and tombs. In 
Gawr, his capital, he built a fort and a palace and 
other buildings. Unfortunately, only the five-arched 
bridge, the Kotwali Darwaza and a part of the walls 
of the fort have survived. 

These were not the only achievements of Mahmud. 
He also strengthened his military power and extended 
the boundaries of his kingdom by annexing parts of 
the districts of Djassawr and Khulna and a portion of 
the twenty-four parganas. He died after a successful 
reign of approximately seventeen years and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Rukn al-DIn Barbek. 

Bibliography: Ghulam Husayn "Salim" 
Zaydpuri, Riyad al-salafin, ed. c Abd al-Hakk c Abid, 
Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1890-1, Eng. tr. c Abd al-Salam, 
Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1902-4; Muhammad Kasim 
Hindu-Shah. Ta^nkh-i Firishta, ii, Lucknow 
1281/1864; Nizam al-DIn, Tabakat-i Akbari, iii, ed. 
B. De and Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 
1935, and Eng. tr. B. De and Baini Prashad, Bibl. 
Ind. Calcutta 1938; J. N. Sarkar, ed., The history of 
Bengal, ii, Muslim period, Dacca 1948; M. Hablb 
and K. A. Nizaml, eds., A comprehensive history of In- 
dia (1206-1526), v, Dihlf 1970; W. Haig, ed., Cam- 
bridge history of India, iii, Cambridge 1928; Compos, 
History of the Portuguese in Bengal, 1919; F. C. 
Danvers, The Portuguese in India, London 1894; 
Rakhal Das BanerdjI, The Banglar Mhos, ii, Calcut- 
ta 1917; N. K. BhattasalT, Coins and chronology of the 
early independent Sultans of Bengal, Cambridge 1922; 
Ahmad <A1I Khan, Memoirs of Gaur and Pandua, ed. 
H. E. Stapleton, Calcutta 1913. 
2. Mahmud II, Nasir al-Din, was the third 
Habashi (Abyssinian) Sultan. Some modern 
historians consider him to be the son of Djalal al-DIn 
Fath Shah (886-92/1481-87), the last ruler of the Ilyas 
Shahi dynasty; but Firishta, ii, 300-1, and Nizam al- 
Dln, iii, 269, regard him as the son of Sayf al-DIn 
Firuz (892-95/1487-90), a Habashi Sultan of Bengal. 
This view seems to be correct, because it was FIruz 
who appointed a tutor for Mahmiid's education and, 

when he died, Mahmud succeeded him. However, 
since Mahmud was very young, the government was 
carried on by his tutor, Habash Khan. Meanwhile, 
another Habashi, Sidi Badr, nicknamed Diwana 
("the Mad"), killed Habash Khan and declared 
himself Regent. He then put to death the young king 
by winning over the palace guards, and himself 
ascended the throne of Bengal. Mahmud had reigned 
only for about a year. 

Bibliography. See that for mahmud i. 

3. Mahmud III, Ghiyaib al-Din (940-5/1533-8), 
ruler of Bengal. He was one of the eighteen sons of 
<Ala al-Din Husayn Shah (899-925/1493-1519) of 
Bengal, and had been nominated by his elder brother, 
Nusrat Shah (925-39/1519-32) as his heir-apparent. 
But Makhdum-i c Alam, his brother-in-law and gover- 
nor of North Bihar, raised to the throne Nusrat 's son, 
Abu '1-Badr, with the title of "Ala 5 al-Din Flruz. He 
ruled only for a few months because, in 940/1533, he 
was put to death by his uncle, Mahmud, who declared 
himself Sultan and ascended the throne as Ghiyath al- 
Din Mahmud III. Makhdum, however, refused to 
recognise him and allied himself with Shir Khan (later 
Shir Shah), whose power was steadily growing. 
Mahmud, on the other hand, made the mistake of 
entering into an alliance with the Nuhanis of Bihar, 
who were weak and without an able leader. The result 
was that, when in 940/1533 Mahmud sent the 
Nuhanis with Kutb Khan, governor of Monghyr, 
against Shir Khan, Kutb was defeated and killed. 

Mahmud next sent an army against Makhdum. 
who was defeated and slain, as the Nuhanis were able 
to prevent Shir Khan from coming to his assistance. 
However, the victory did not benefit Mahmud 
because before setting out to fight, Makhdum had en- 
trusted all his treasure to Shir Khan's envoy. 

Meanwhile, Djalal Khan, the Nflhanl ruler of 
Bihar, plotted the assassination of Shir Khan, but his 
attempt having failed, he was affected with panic, and 
crossed over to Bengal with his supporters and sought 
the protection of Mahmud, which was given. 
Mahmud succeeded in occupying Bihar and, in 
Ramadan 940/March 1534, a strong force under 
Ibrahim Khan moved out of Monghyr and met Shir 
Khan on the plain of Suradjgafh, near the town of 
Barh. But Ibrahim was defeated and killed, while 
Djalal Khan again fled to Mahmud. 

Now it was Shir Khan's turn to retaliate and, tak- 
ing advantage of Humayun's pre-occupation in 
Gudjarat, he opened a campaign in 942/1536. Since 
Mahmud had strongly fortified the Teliyagafhl Pass 
with Portuguese help, Shir left behind a detachment 
under his son, Djalal Khan, and having made a 
detour, marched through the Jharkand country and 
appeared before Gawr, Bengal's capital. Mahmud 
was taken by surprise. The Portuguese advised him to 
hold out until the outbreak of the monsoon, when 
Shir's retreat could be cut off by their navy. But 
Mahmud was so demoralised that he did not follow 
their advice and, instead, came to a settlement with 
Shir Khan, by agreeing to pay him an annual tribute 
of ten lacs of tankas and to cede the territory from the 
river Kosi to Hadjlpur and from Gafhl to Monghyr, 
which was of considerable importance to the security 
of Bengal. 

Shir Shah (who had by now assumed the title of 
Shah) was too ambitious to remain satisfied with these 
gains and, on the pretext of non-payment of tribute by 
Mahmud, invaded Bengal. He entered the 
Teliyagafhl Pass, which the Bengalis failed to defend, 
and laid siege to Gawr. But hearing that Humayun 
had invested Cunar, he at once set out to relieve it, 

leaving behind his son Djalal to continue the siege. 
Mahmud despairing of any outside help, for the Por- 
tuguese refused immediate assistance, and being faced 
with dwindling supplies, sallied out of the fort to give 
battle. But he was wounded and fled to north Bihar, 
meanwhile, on 6 Dhu '1-Ka c da 944/6 April 1538, the 
Afghans captured the fort by an assault. Mahmud, 
now a fugitive, appealed to Humayun, who im- 
mediately marched towards Gawr. But before he 
could reach the city, Shir Shah had carried away all 
its treasure. It was on his way to Gawr with Humayun 
that Mahmud heard of the murder of his two sons by 
the Afghans. This effected him so much that he died 



Mahmud was a voluptuary, but the Portuguese ac- 
count that he had 10,000 women in his harem is an 
exaggeration. He was incompetent, and inept in the 
art of diplomacy, lacking courage, tact and imagina- 
tion. His mistake in antagonising Shir Shah and his 
failure to make an alliance with the Mughals and the 
Sultan of Gudjarat led not only to his own overthrow 
but also to the loss of Bengal's independence. 

Bibliography: See that for mahmud i; and for 
the relations of Mahmud III with the Afghans, con- 
sult the following: Kh w adja Ni c mat Allah, TaMkh-i 
Khan-i Dj.ahdni, i, ed. Imam al-DIn, Dacca 1960; 
c Abd Allah, TaMkh-i DawOdt, ed. c Abd al-Rashid, 
Aligarh 1954; Ahmad Yadgar, Ta^rtkh-i Saldtin-i 
Afdghina, ed. Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. Ind., Calcutta 
1939; K. R. Qanungo, Sher Shah and his times, 
Calcutta 1965; I. H. Siddiqi, History of Sher Shah 
Sur, Aligarh 1971. (Mohibbul Hasan) 

MAHMUD, the name of two of the Dihll 
sultans of mediaeval India. 

1. Mahmud I, Nasir al-Din was the son of Iltut- 
mish (Firishta, i, 70-1; Minhadj-i Siradj Djuzdjanl, i, 
471-2) and not his grandson, as some modern 
historians have asserted. He ascended the throne on 
23 Muharram 644/10 June 1246 through the joint ef- 
forts of Balban [q.v. in Suppl.], and Mahmud's 
mother. Since Mahmud was weak and of a retiring 
disposition, devoting himself "to prayers and 
religious observances", and he owed his throne to 
Balban, the latter became very powerful. He further 
strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to 
the young Sultan and securing the important office of 
na >ib-i mamlakat and the title of Ulugh Khan (Premier 
Khan). His younger brother, Sayf al-DIn Aybak, was 
given the title of Kashll Khan and made amir-i hddjib, 
while one of his cousins, Shir Khan, was appointed 
governor of Lahore and Bhatinda. 

In 651/1253, however, a eunuch named c Imad al- 
DIn Rayhan, who was jealous of Balban, organised a 
group of discontented Indian Muslims and some 
Turks and succeeded in persuading the Sultan to 
dismiss Balban and his relations. They were accor- 
dingly ordered to leave for their respective iktah. 
Balban was replaced by Rayhan, who now became 
wakil-i dar and virtual ruler. Shir Khan was replaced 
by Arslan Khan as governor of Lahore and Bhatinda. 
Deprived of power and position as a result of these 
changes, the Turkish element became discontented 
and organised itself under Balban's leadership to 
overthrow Rayhan and, in Ramadan 652/October 
1254, marched towards Dihll. Mahmud, under the 
influence of Rayhan and his followers, moved out 
against the rebels and encamped near Samana. 
Rayhan wanted an armed conflict, but Mahmud 
refused, because most of his nobles favoured Balban, 
and agreed on a compromise. Rayhan was dismissed 
and transferred first to Bahra-'ic and then to 
Bada'un. Balban was reappointed naHb and his 

kinsmen and followers were reinstated. In conse- 
quence, the Turkish nobility, and with it Balban, 
became even more powerful and strongly entrenched 
than before. 

But the problems which Balban had to confront 
were great, because Iltutmish had not been able to 
consolidate the Sultanate; nor had his immediate suc- 
cessors done anything to strengthen it. In fact, it was 
threatened with dissolution by refractory Hindu 
zamindars, ambitious provincial governors and 
Mongol pressure. 

Already in 645/1247-8, a year after Mahmud's ac- 
cession to the throne, Balban had led a campaign 
against a zamindar in the Do 3 ab and captured a. fort 
called Talsindah in the Kannawdj district. He had 
then attacked a Radjput chief "Dulka va Mulka", 
who ruled over the area between the Djumna and 
Kalindjar, and defeated and expelled him. It took 
Balban two campaigns to secure control over the 
"Katahriya infidels", who ruled Bada'un and Sam- 
bhal. Balban also reduced the refractory tribes of 
"Djarali and Datoll". But these successes were tem- 
porary, and he had to undertake annual campaigns in 
the Ganges-Djumna area to maintain peace. In 
646/1248-9 he attacked Ranthambor and Mewat, but 
the campaign was abortive. In fact, Balban's efforts to 
subdue the Radjputs during Mahmud's reign proved 
a failure; and although he led two expeditions against 
the Me 3 6s [g.v.], who were led by the Radjputs, and 
massacred a large number of them, he failed to crush 

Owing to the preoccupation of Mahmud's govern- 
ment with the Mongols, who had become a great 
threat by 635/1237, the provincial governors raised 
the banner of revolt. Kutlugh Khan, Mahmud's step- 
father, who held the province of Awadh [q.v.] and was 
anti-Balban, allied himself with Rayhan and defied 
royal authority. Balban therefore sent Sandjar 
Sihwastanl to take over Bahra'ii from Rayhan. But 
Kutlugh came to Rayhan's aid, intercepted and seiz- 
ed Sandjar. Sandjar managed to escape and, having 
collected a small force, attacked Rayhan and killed 
him. Balban thereupon ordered Kutlugh to leave 
Awadh and take over Bahra'if , but the latter refused 
and rebelled. Balban attacked him, but he escaped to 
the Himalayan foothills. In 654/1256 he came out of 
his retreat, reoccupied Awadh and even made an at- 
tempt to occupy Karra and Manikpur; but Arslan 
Khan, who held the province, expelled him. 

In 655/1257, Yuzbek-i Tughrfl, a Kipcak Turk, 
who was governor of Lakhnawti [q. v. ] defied the Dihli 
government. He led a successful expedition into 
Djadjnagar (Orissa), occupied Awadh and had the 
khutba recited in his name. But in a campaign in 
Kamrup, he was taken prisoner by the forces of its 
Radja and executed. 

Yuzbek was succeeded by c Izz al-DIn Balban-i 
Yuzbekl. But the latter did not rule long, for in 
657-8/1259-60, Arslan Khan, governor of Karra, 
without Dihli' s permission, advanced on Lakhnawti 
and seized it. Yuzbekl was defeated and slain. Owing 
to the central government's preoccupations with other 
problems, it could do nothing. Fortunately however, 
Arslan Khan died on 18 Djumada I 663/27 February 

The authority of Dihli over the Pandjab and Sind 
was weak partly because of the Mongol pressure and 
partly due to their distance from the centre. In 
639/1241, Lahore had been occupied by the Mongols. 
About the same time Kabir Khan, governor of 
Multan had declared his independence and occupied 
Uc£h. Shortly afterwards, Hasan Karligh, a lieute- 

nant of Djalal al-DIn Kh w arazm-Shah, succeeded in 
occupying Multan, but on the approach of the 
Mongols fled to Lower Sind. Kabir's descendants, 
who held Ucch, appealed to Dihli for help. Balban at 
once marched with a strong army, whereupon the 
Mongols withdrew. Balban placed Multan under 
Kishlu Khan, while UMh was left with Kabir's fami- 
ly. Kishlu was, however, allowed to annex U««h as 
well on condition that he relinquished Nagawr. But 
Kishlu refused to give up Nagawr and did so only 
when he was compelled. In 647/1249-50 Hasan 
Karligh returned from Lower Sind and seized Multan 
from Kishlu. Yet he was not able to retain Multan 
long, for it was occupied by Shir Khan, governor of 
Lahore and Bhatinda, who not only refused to restore 
it to Kishlu, but dispossessed him of UMh as well. It 
is more than probable that Shir Khan's action was in- 
spired by Balban. 

Although Kishlu was compensated by the gover- 
norship of Bada 3 un, he was not reconciled to the loss 
of Multan and joined the anti-Balban faction led by 
Rayhan. In spite of this, Kishlu was, on Rayhan's 
dismissal, given back his former possessions of 
Multan and Uc£h according to the settlement of 
652/1254. But after establishing himself firmly, 
Kishlu threw off the authority of Dihli and transferred 
his loyalty to Hulegii, and Mahmud's government 
was not strong enough to take any action. 

Not satisfied with this, Kishlu, early in 655/1257, 
joined his father-in-law, Kutlugh Khan, and together 
they marched on Dihli. Balban moved out to meet 
them near Samana. While the two forces were prepar- 
ing for a conflict, some religious leaders of Dihli sent 
word to Kishlu that they would surrender the town to 
them. This leaked out and the conspirators were 
banished. So when the rebel army reached Dihli on 21 
June 1257, after eluding Balban's forces and Kishlu 
found that no support was forthcoming, he returned 
to Uc£h. Nothing is known as to what happened to 
Kutlugh. But Kishlu paid a visit to Hulegii in 'Irak 
seeking help to attack Dihli and, at the end of 
655/1257, a Mongol army under Sali Bahadur arrived 
in Sind; but, deterred by Balban's military prepara- 
tions, it did not attack Dihli. Balban succeeded in oc- 
cupying both Multan and the Pandjab. Twice Kishlu 
tried to occupy Multan with Mongol help, but failed. 
Early in 656/1258, Hulegu's envoys arrived in Dihli. 
Balban organised outside the city a spectacle, con- 
sisting of soldiers and common people, human heads 
and corpses, to express the might and invincibility of 
the Sultanate. It seems that Balban was able to arrive 
at some understanding with Hiilegu, by which he was 
able to occupy Sind. 

Mahmud died in 665/1266-7. No contemporary 
evidence exists to reveal the manner of his death. But 
Ibn Ba(tu(a and c IsamI say that he was poisoned by 
the ambitious Balban, and this is not improbable. On 
Mahmud's death, Balban ascended the throne as 
Ghiyath al-DIn Balban. 

Bibliography: Djuzdjanl. Tabakdt-i Nasiri, ed. 
<Abd al-Hayy Hablbl, Kabul 1342/1963, also ed. 
Nassau Lees, Khadim Husayn and c Abd al-Hayy, 
Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1864; Eng. tr. H. G. Raverty, 
Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1897; c Isami, Futuh al-salafm, 
ed. Agha Mahdl Husayn, Agra 1938; also ed. A. 
S. Usha, Madras 1948; Eng. tr. Agha Mahdl Hu- 
sayn, ii, Aligarh 1977; Ibn Batfuta, Eng. tr. Agha 
Mahdl Husayn, Baroda 1953; Diya> al-DIn 
BaranI, TaMkh-i Flruz Shahi, ed. Sayyid Ahmad 
Khan, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1862; c Abd al-Kadir 
Bada'unl, Muntakhab al-tawarikh, i, ed. Ahmad 
C A1I, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1868, Eng. tr. G. Rank- 

ing, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1898; Nizam al-DIn, 
Tabakdt-i Akbari, i, ed. and Eng. tr. B. De, Bibl. 
Ind. Calcutta 1927; Muhammad Kasim Hindu- 
Shah, TaMkh-i Firishta, i, Lucknow 1281/1864-5; 
A. B. M. Habibullah, The foundation of Muslim rule 
in India, Allahabad 1961; M. Hablb and K. A. 
Nizami, eds., A comprehensive history of India 
(1206-1526), v. Dihll 1970; W. Haig, ed., Cam- 
bridge history of India, iii, Cambridge 1928; R. C. 
Majumdar, History and culture of the Indian people, v, 
The struggle for empire, Bombay 1957; H. H. 
Howorth, History of the Mongols, i, London 1927; 
D'Ohsson, HistoiredesMongoles, iii, The Hague and 
Amsterdam 1834; P. Saran, Politics and personalities 
in the reign of Nasir al-Din Mahmud, the Slave, in Studies 
in medieval Indian history, Dihll 1952; K. A. Nizami, 
Balban, the regicide, in Studies in medieval Indian history, 
Aligarh 1956; G. H. Odjha, Radjputaneka Itihas, 
Adjmer 1927. 

2. Mahmud II, Nasir al-din b. sultan 
Muhammad Shah b. Firuz S_hah Tughluk; ascended 
the throne of Dihlf on 20 Djumada 796/23 March 
1394, on the death of his brother 'Ala 3 al-DIn Sikan- 
dar Shah, after two weeks of discussion between the 
Firuz Shahl slaves and the Afghan Lodi amirs. 
Mahmud tried to reconcile the nobles belonging to the 
two groups. He appointed Malik Sarwar, a eunuch, 
as wazir with the title of Kh w adja Djahan and Dawlat 
Khan Lodi as koiwil of Dihll. c Abd al-Rashld Khan 
SultanI was given the title of Sa c adat Khan and ap- 
pointed barbek. Sarang Khan Lodi, a cousin of Dawlat 
Khan was assigned Dlpalpur, while Sarang's younger 
brother Mallu Ikbal Khan [q.v.] was made deputy 

The sultanate was in the process of disintegration. 
Provinces had declared their independence; even the 
territory around Dihll was in a state of turmoil. In 
Radjab 796/May 1394, Mahmud sent Malik Sarwar 
to suppress the rebellion of a zamindar in Djawnpur 
and gave him the title of Sultan al-Shark. Malik Sarwar 
suppressed the rebellion, annexed considerable ter- 
ritory and founded the kingdom of Djawnpur [q.v.]. 

Meanwhile, Blr Singh Deva, the Tomara zamindar 
of Danaroli, attacked Gwaliyar [q.v.] and occupied it. 
Mahmud marched towards Gwaliyar with Sa c adat 
Khan in Sha'ban 796/June 1394, leaving behind 
Mukarrab Khan, the heir-designate, in charge of 
Dihll. On approaching Gwaliyar, Mallu Ikbal and 
other amirs, who were jealous of Sa c adat, conspired to 
assassinate him. But news of this leaked out and 
Sa c adat put to death two of the conspirators. Mallu 
Ikbal, however, escaped to DihlT to the protection of 
Mukarrab Khan. Mahmud and Sa c adat therefore 
returned to Dihll, but finding its gates closed to them, 
besieged it. In the course of the siege, which lasted for 
three months, Mahmud became dissatisfied with 
Sa c adat and went over to Mukarrab. Thereupon 
Sa c adat withdrew to Flruzabad, which he seized, 
and, in Rabi I 797/January 1395, set up Nusrat 
Khan, another grandson of Firuz Shah, as Sultan. 
But not long after, Sa c adat's fellow-slaves turned 
against him and he fled to Dihll, where Mukarrab put 
him to death. However, the rebel slaves remained 
loyal to Nusrat Shah and recognised him as king. The 
result was that there were two rulers; Mahmud, who 
was supported by the Lodls [q. v. ] and held the forts of 
Dihll and Sirl and their suburbs, and Nusrat, who was 
supported by the slaves, and was in possession of 
Firuzabad, including some parts of the Do-'ab, Sam- 
bhal, Panipat and Rohtak. For three years skirmishes 
continued between the partisans of Mahmud and 
those of Nusrat, until suddenly Mallu Ikbal, the most 

unscrupulous of the Dihll nobles of the period, 
brought Nusrat to Djahanpanah and professed loyalty 
to him, but then attacked him. Nusrat fled to 
Flruzabad and then to his wazir, Tatar Khan, in 
Panipat. Mallu Ikbal occupied Flruzabad and fought 
against Mukarrab for two months, and then killed 
him. But he did not hurt Mahmud, whom he now 
acknowledged as Sultan and whom he dominated. 

Owing to these internecine conflicts, the Dihll 
government was absolutely ineffective and, as 
Bada 5 iini was to observe later; "the rule of the Sultan 
of Dihll is from Dihll to Palam" (hukm-i khudawand-i 
c alam az Dihlist ta Palam). Gudjarat, Radjasthan, 
Bengal and Bihar no longer acknowledged the 
authority of Dihll: Kannawdj, Dalmaw, Awadh and 
Bahra'ic' were annexed to the new kingdom of 
Djawnpur. The Hindu zaminddrs to the east and west 
of Dihll were in a state of rebellion. In the north-west, 
Khidr Khan held Multan; but in 798/1395-6 Sarang 
Khan, who had been assigned Dlpalpur, attacked 
Khidr Khan and seized Multan with the help of his 
brother, Mallu Ikbal. He then defeated Shaykha 
Khokar and appointed his younger brother, c Adil 
Khan, as governor of Lahore. But on 15 Muharram 
800/8 October 1397, Sarang was defeated by Tatar 
Khan at the battle of Kotla. 

Such was the condition of Dihll and its provinces 
when the storm of Timur's invasion burst on Hin- 
dustan. Already PIr Muhammad, Timur's grandson 
and commander of the vanguard of his army, had oc- 
cupied Ucch and Multan and killed Sarang Khan 
Lodi. Timur crossed the Indus in the second week of 
Dhu '1-Hidjdja 799/September 1399 and marched 
towards Dihll, leaving behind a trail of death and 
destruction. On hearing of Timur's approach, 
Mahmud and Ikbal improvised a force of 4,000 horse, 
5,000 foot and 27 elephants and offered resistance 
near the Djahanpanah palace, where Timur had 
taken residence. But Mallu Ikbal fled after the first en- 
counter. On 18 December, however, he and Mahmud 
confronted Timur with 10,000 horse and 40,000 foot, 
but were completely routed, Ikbal fleeing to Baran 
and Maljmud to Gudjarat and then to Malwa. After 
staying in Dihll for fifteen days, during which the city 
was plundered and its inhabitants ruthlessly 
massacred or enslaved, Timur left. 

Onn Timur's departure, Nusrat occupied Dihll, 
but he was driven out by Mallu Ikbal into Mewat, 
where he shortly after died. Ikbal thereupon invited 
Mahmud from Malwa and restored him his throne on 
6 Rabl c I 804/14 October 1401. In the same year, 
Mahmud, accompanied by Ikbal, marched against 
Ibrahim SharkI but, weary of his minister's domina- 
tion, he went over to Ibrahim. However, as he was 
not treated with the respect due to him by the 
Djawnpur ruler, he escaped to Kannawdj [see 
Kan awdj] , where he established himself. Mallu Ikbal 
made an attempt on Kannawdj, but was unsuccessful; 
he then attacked Khidr Khan, but was defeated and 
slain by him on 19 Djumada I 808/14 November 1405 
on the banks of the river Dhanda in the Adjudhan 
district. Mahmud returned to Dihll at the invitation of 
Dawlat Khan Lodi and Ikhtiyar Khan, two leading 
nobles. But he was faced with serious problems; in the 
first place, his kingdom had considerably shrunk, 
because the provinces had become independent; 
secondly, he was confronted by two formidable 
enemies, Sultan Ibrahim SharkI in the east and Khidr 
Khan in the west. In Sha c ban 809/December 1406, 
Ibrahim SharkI besieged Kannawdj and took it after 
a siege of four months. Then in Djumada I 
810/October 1407 he marched towards Dihll, but on 

Encyclopaedia of Islan 

, VI 

hearing that Muzaffar Shah I of Gudjarat was advan- 
cing towards Djawnpur, withdrew to save his capital. 
Mahmud took advantage of Ibrahim Sharkl's retreat 
to occupy Baran (Bulandshahr) and Sambhal. 

It was, however, Khidr Khan who proved to be 
Mahmud's most dangerous enemy. He had con- 
solidated himself in the wildyat of Multan and the shikk 
of Dipalpur and, on the plea that TTmur had ap- 
pointed him his viceroy, he directed his attention 
towards Dihll. In S_ha c ban 809/January 1407, he oc- 
cupied Hisar-FIruza, Samana and Sirhind; and 
although the next year Mahmud reoccupied Hisar, it 
was a temporary success, for in Ramadan 
811/January 1409, Khidr Khan sent Malik Tuhfa, 
one of his lieutenants, to plunder the Do 3 ab, while he 
himself set out towards Dihll and besieged Mahmud 
in Sir! and Ikhtiyar Khan in Firuzabad. Lack of pro- 
visions due to famine compelled Khidr to withdraw. 
But in 813/1410-11 he conquered Rohtak, and the 
next year he again invested Dihll. Ikhtiyar. who held 
Firuzabad, submitted, but Mahmud held out in Siri, 
and Khidr was once again compelled to withdraw on 
account of the lack of provisions. Mahmud died in 
Radjab 815/November 1412, and Dawlat Khan LodI 
became the ruler of Dihll. In Ramadan 
816/November-December 1413, Khidr for the third 
time advanced on Dihll and besieged Siri. After 
holding out for four months, Dawlat Khan sur- 
rendered. He was imprisoned in Hisar-Firuza, and 
Khidr obtained possession of Dihll on 1 7 Rabi 1817/6 
June 1414, thus laying the foundations of the short- 
lived Sayyid dynasty. 

Bibliography: Shams Siradj c AfTf, TaMkh-i 
FiruzShahi, ed. Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. Ind. Calcut- 
ta 1890; Yahya b. Ahmad b. c Abd Allah Sirhindl, 
Ta \ikh-i Mubarak Shahi, ed. Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. 
Ind. Calcutta 1931, Eng. tr. K. K. Basu, Baroda 
1932; Nizam al-Din, Tabakat-i Akbari, i, ed. and tr. 
B. De, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1927; c Abd al-Kadir 
Bada'unl, Muntakhab al-tawdrikh, i, ed. and tr. G. 
A. Ranking, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1898; Muhammad 
Kasim Hindu-S_hah, Ta ^rikh-i Firishta, i, Lucknow 
1281/1864; A. Mahdr Husayn, Tughluk dynasty, 
Calcutta 1963; M. Hablb and K. A. NizamI, eds., 
A comprehensive history of India (1206-1526), v, Dihll 
1970; W. Haig, ed., Cambridge history of India, iii, 
Cambridge 1928; R. C. Madjumdar, ed., History 
and culture of the Indian people, v. The struggle for empire, 
Bombay 1957. (Mohibbul Hasan) 

MAHMUD, the name of three mediaeval 
rulers of Gudjarat, [q.v.] in India. 

1. Mahmud I, Sayf al-Din, Begarha or Becra, a 
younger brother of Sultan Kutb al-DIn and son of 
Muhammad Shah, ascended the throne on 1 Sha c ban 
863/3 June 1459, at the age of thirteen, with the title 
of Abu '1-Fath Muhammad Shah, after the nobles had 
dethroned his uncle Dawiid. He is known as Mahmud 
Begarha because of the two forts (gafhs) of Girnar and 
Campaner which he conquered. 

Four months after his accession, Mahmud was fac- 
ed with a conspiracy of some leading nobles aimed at 
overthrowing his able minister, Malik Sha'ban. They 
told him that the minister was plotting to depose him 
and thereby secured his imprisonment. But on 
discovering that the charges were false, Mahmud 
secured his release. Realising that the Sultan had 
come to know of their designs, the conspirators decid- 
ed to attack him; however, as their followers deserted 
to the Sultan, they fled. Mahmud had thus crushed 
the plot by his courage and presence of mind. Malik 
Sha c ban, though restored to his office, soon retired 
and Mahmud took the reins of government in his own 

In 866/1462, Mahmud marched to the help of 
Nizam Shah BahmanI, whose kingdom had been in- 
vaded by Mahmud KhaldjT I [q.v.] of Malwa. But 
learning that Nizam S_hah had been defeated, he 
entered Khandesh [q.v.] and thereby cut off the 
retreat of Mahmud KhaldjI who had to make his way 
back through Gondwana after much hardship. Next 
year again Mahmud KhaldjI invaded the Dakhan, but 
withdrew on hearing that Mahmud Begarha was com- 
ing to Nizam Shah's assistance. Henceforth, the 
KhaldjI ruler never again committed aggression 
against Nizam Shah. 

In 867/1463, Mahmud invaded Dun, situated be- 
tween Gudjarat and Konkan, because of its Radja's 
acts of piracy. The Radja was defeated and his fortress 
occupied; but it was restored to him on condition of 
an annual tribute. 

In 871/1466, Mahmud attacked Girnar 
(Djunagafh), and compelled its chief, Rao Mandalik 
Cudasama, to pay tribute. But although Mahmud re- 
ceived the tribute regularly, he decided to annex Gir- 
nar and led an invasion. The Rao retreated to his- 
citadel of Uparkot, situated north-west of the town, 
but as supplies ran short, surrendered on 10 Djumada 
II 875/4 December 1470. Mahmud had to undertake 
three campaigns in four years to subdue the Rao. Gir- 
nar was annexed and its chief, having entered the ser- 
vice of the Sultan, embraced Islam and was given the 
title of Khan-i Djahan. At the foot of the Girnar hills 
the Sultan founded the city of Musfafabad, which 
became one of his capitals. 

Mahmud next marched against the frontier tribes 
of the Sumras, Sodhas and Kahlas who lived on the 
KaMh border and who, although claiming to be 
Muslims, were in fact ignorant of the Shan c a. They 
surrendered without offering any resistance and 
agreed to send their leaders to Ahmadabad to be 
taught the tenets of Islam. 

In 877/1473, the Djat and Baltic tribes rebelled 
against Mahmud's maternal grandfather, Djam 
Nizam al-DIn. Mahmud crossed the Rann of KaMh 
in order to suppress the rising, but the rebels dispers- 
ed without offering any resistance. It was suggested to 
Mahmud that he should annex Sind but he refused, 
saying that his mother belonged to its ruling family. 

On his return from Sind, Mahmud heard that 
Mawlana Mahmud Samarkandl, a poet and philoso- 
pher, who had long been in the service of the BahmanI 
rulers, while sailing in a ship bound for Hormuz, had 
been driven to Dwarka, situated in the north-western 
corner of Kathiawar, where pirates had robbed him of 
all his belongings, including his womenfolk. After 
many hardships, the Mawlana arrived in 
Mustafabad. Angry at his plight, the Sultan marched 
towards Dwarka. Its Radjput chief, Bhim, took refuge 
in the island-fortress of Bet or Sankhodhar. Mahmud 
marched through dense forests, full of wild animals, 
and invested it. Bhlm was defeated in a sea fight and 
taken prisoner. The Mawlana's goods were now 
restored to him. 

Tired of the Sultan's constant wars and his plans of 
invading Campaner, which would be a prolonged af- 
fair, the Gudjarat nobles plotted to overthrow him 
and set up his son on the throne. But Ray Rayan, an 
important Hindu noble, revealed the plot to the wazir 
Baha 3 al-DIn, who, in turn, reported it to Mahmud. 
To test the reaction of the conspirators, the Sultan an- 
nounced that he had decided to go on a pilgrimage to 
Mecca. Realising that Mahmud had been informed of 
the conspiracy, and that they would not succeed in 
their aims, they requested him to undertake the cam- 
paign for the conquest of Campaner, and then pro- 
ceed to Mecca. 

Accordingly, on Dhu '1-Ka c da 887/12 December 
1482, he marched towards Campaner on the pretext 
that its Radja, Rawal Djay Singh, had raided his 
kingdom. The Radja was defeated and took refuge in 
the hill fortress of Pavagafh, above Campaner. 
Mahmud thereupon besieged it. But learning that 
Mahmud KhaldjI I, to whom the Radja had appealed 
for aid, was marching towards Gudjarat, Mahmud 
left his officers to continue the siege, and he himself 
set out to intercept the Malwa army. But as Mahmud 
KhaldjI withdrew to Malwa, the Sultan returned to 
prosecute the siege. Supplies in the fort ran short and, 
after a breach was affected by a cannonball, it was 
captured. Of the 700 Radjputs, who performed the 
djawhar, all were slain except the Radja and his 
minister, who were seized and executed. But the 
Radja's son accepted Islam and was given the title of 
Nizam al-Mulk and made the ruler of Idar. Cam- 
paner was renamed Muhammadabad. 

Mahmud now turned his attention to Radja c Adil 
Khan II of Khandesh (861-907/1457-1501), who had 
not only not paid his annual tribute, but had asserted 
his independence. In 904/1498, Mahmud invaded 
Khandesh and compelled its ruler to pay tribute and 
recognise his suzerainty. Later, on the death of Radja 
c Adil Khan's son, Ghaznl Khan (914/1508), who left 
no male heir, Mahmud took part in the dispute over 
succession. Ahmad Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, 
c Imad Shah of Berar, and Husam al-DIn, a powerful 
noble, all favoured c Alam Khan, who belonged to the 
Faruki dynasty. But Mahmud supported his maternal 
grandson, also called c Alam Khan, and marched with 
him to Thalner, the capital of the Faruki rulers. 
Thereupon, the rulers of Ahmadnagar and Berar, 
who had arrived in Burhanpur, withdrew, and on 19 
DJiu '1-Hidjdja 914/10 April 1509, Mahmud installed 
c Alam Khan as <Adil Khan III on the throne of 
Khandesh; and when, subsequently, a rebellion sup- 
ported by Nizam Shah broke out, he sent troops to the 
aid of his grandson, so that the rebels fled. 

The Portuguese had diverted the trade between 
Europe and the East from the ancient route via Egypt 
and the Red Sea to the new route via the Cape of 
Good Hope, discovered by Vasco da Gama in 1498. 
So, when in 913/1507 the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt 
sent an expedition to the Gudjarat coast to destroy the 
Portuguese power, Mahmud readily sent his naval 
ship under Ayaz, a Turk in his service, to his help. In 
a naval battle off Chaul in Ramadan 913/January 
1508, the Portuguese were defeated and their com- 
mander, Dom Lourenco, son of the Portuguese 
viceroy Almeida, was killed. To avenge the defeat and 
the death of his son, Almeida attacked the combined 
Egyptian and Gudjaratl navy near Diu and scored a 
victory. Impressed by this victory, the Sultan sent an 
ambassador to the Portuguese Viceroy, Albuquerque 
(1505-15), and a treaty was concluded. It was agreed 
that the Portuguese would not hinder Gudjarat trade 
and would respect the right of Gudjaratl vessels to ply 
in the Indian waters. In return, the Portuguese 
prisoners would be released and the Portuguese 
vessels would be permitted to visit the Gudjarat ports. 
Mahmud released the prisoners of war and offered the 
Portuguese a site for a factory at Diu. 

Mahmud died on 2 Ramadan 917/23 November 
1511, at the age of sixty-seven, and was buried in the 
mausoleum which he had built for himself at 
Sarkhedj, about six miles south-west of Ahmadabad. 
He was by far the greatest of the Sultans of Gudjarat, 
and his reign was the most glorious period of 
mediaeval Gudjarat. Brave, just and liberal, possess- 
ing great energy and a strong will, he was not only a 

military genius but also an able admi 
pointed able officers like Malik Gopi, his Hindu chief 
minister, to carry on the government. He advanced 
money to repair old houses, he dug wells, built inns, 
planted trees on both sides of the road, made roads 
safe for travellers and merchants, freed the country 
from internal strife and tried to exterminate piracy. 
Owing to these measures, trade increased, agriculture 
flourished and the people became prosperous. 

Mahmud was a cultured ruler and enjoyed the 
society of learned men. He had the famous 
biographical dictionary of Ibn Khallikan translated 
into Persian, under the name of Manzar al-Islam. He 
also patronised Sanskrit, and his court poet 
Udayaradj wrote a poem in his praise. He was also a 
great builder, and his contribution to Gudjarat ar- 
chitecture is considerable. He laid out two beautiful 
gardens, Bagh-i Firdaws and Bagh-i §ha c ban near 
Ahmadabad. He founded the towns of Mustafabad, 
Mahmudabad and Muhammadabad-Campaner and 
embellished them with palaces and mosques. He 
beautified Ahmadabad with broad streets and a 
number of fine buildings. At Campaner he con- 
structed a magnificent Djam c Masdjid, and at Sar- 
khedj he built for himself on the banks of a reservoir 
a grand palace. The fame of Mahmud's achievements 
spread far and wide; in Safar 914/June 1508, an em- 
bassy came from Sikandar LodI of Dihli, and an em- 
bassy also arrived from Shah Isma c il $afawi of 
Persia, but as the Sultan was lying seriously ill he 
could not receive the Persian envoy. 

Bibliography: c Abd Allah Muhammad b. 
c Umar, Zafar al-walih bi-Muzaffar wa-alih, ed. E. D. 
Ross, An Arabic history of Gudjarat, London 1910-28; 
Eng. tr. of vol. i by S. Lokhandwala, Baroda 1970; 
Sikandar b. Muhammad, alias Manjhu, MiPat-i 
Sikandari, ed. S. C. Misra, Baroda 1961, Eng. tr. 
Fadl Allah Lutf Allah Farldl, Bombay 1899, and by 
E. C. Bayley, London 1886; C A1I Muhammad 
Khan. Mir^at-i Ahmadi, ed. Sayyid Nawwab 'All, 
Baroda 1927-8, Eng. tr. M. F. Lokhandwala, 
Baroda 1965; Mir^dt-i Ahmadi, Supplement, ed. 
Sayyid Nawwab c Ali, Baroda 1930, Eng. tr. idem 
and C. N. Seddon, Baroda 1928; Muhammad 
Kasim Hindu-Shah. Ta ^rikh-i Firishta, ii, Lucknow 
1281/1864; Nizam al-DIn, Tabakat-i Akbari, iii, ed. 
B. De and Hidayat Husayn, Calcutta 1935, and 
Eng. tr. B. De and Baini Prashad, Bibl. Ind. 
Calcutta 1938; The commentaries of the great Alfonso 
d'Alboquerque, Eng. tr. Walter de Gray Birch, 
Hakluyt Society, I-IV, 1875-1905; The hook of 
Duarte Barbosa, M. L. Dames, Hakluyt 
Society 1918; M. S. Commissariat, A history of 
Gudjarat, i, London 1938; W. Haig, ed., Cambridge 
history of India, iii, Cambridge 1928; M. Hablb and 
K. A. Nizami, eds., A comprehensive history of India 
(1206-1526), v, Dihli 1970; works by J. Burgess on 
Muhammadan architecture of Gudjarat, published be- 
tween 1875-1905. 

2. Mahmud II, was the sixth son of Sultan Muzaf- 
far Shah (917-32/1511-26), on whose death his eldest 
son and heir-designate, Sikandar, succeeded as Sultan 
with the support of c Imad al-Mulk Khushkadam and 
Khudawand Khan, two powerful nobles. His third 
son, Latif, contested the throne, but was defeated and 
slain. Sikandar was extremely handsome, but he sur- 
rounded himself by low favourites, gave himself up to 
pleasure and took no interest in affairs of state. This 
made him unpopular with both the nobles and 
Sayyids of Gudjarat. Taking advantage of this, 
Khushkadam, who was angry with Sikandar for ig- 
noring him and not making him wazir, caused him to 

be assassinated on the night of 14 Sha'ban 932/27 
May 1526, and raised to the throne Muzaffar Shah's 
six-year old son Nasir Khan as Mahmud II. 
However, jealous of Khushkadam, who was the de fac- 
to ruler, the nobles, led by Tadj Khan Narpall, offered 
the throne to Muzaffar Shah's second son, Bahadur 
Khan; Khushkadam appealed to the neighbouring 
princes and to Babur, but received no help. On 
receiving the nobles' invitation, Bahadur, who was on 
his way to Djawnpur to try his fortune there, rushed 
back to Ahmadabad and ascended the throne on 26 
Ramadan 932/July 1526. From Ahmadabad he mar- 
ched to Campaner, and having occupied the fort with- 
out meeting much resistance, executed Khushkadam 
:r Mahmud II, whose reign of about forty days 


Bibliography: See that for mahmud i; also Mir 

Abu Turab Wall, Ta^tkh-i Guajaml, ed. E. D. 

Ross, Bibl. Ind., Calcutta 1909. 

3. Mahmud III, Abu 'l-Futuhat Sa c d al-Din, 
was the third son of Latlf Khan, son of Sultan Muzaf- 
far Shah II. On the death of Bahadur Shah on 3 
Ramadan 943/13 February 1537, who left no son, 
Muhammad Zaman Mirza, the Emperor Humayun's 
brother-in-law, claimed the throne on the ground that 
Bahadur Shah's mother had adopted him as his heir, 
and he had the ihutba recited in his name in the 
Djami c Masdjid at Diu. But the Gudjarat nobles 
refused to acknowledge him as Sultan and offered the 
throne to Miran Muhammad Shah Faruki, son of 
Bahadur Shah's sister. Miran set out from Burhan- 
pur, but died on the way (926/1527). Thereupon, the 
nobles decided to set up on the throne Latlf s younger 
son Mahmud Khan, who, during the reign of 
Bahadur Shah, had been in the custody of Miran 
Muhammad Shah of Khandesh. But Mubarak Shah, 
Mfran's successor, refused to release him, he himself 
being a claimant to the throne of Gudjarat. So Ikh- 
tiyar Khan Siddlkl invaded Khandesh and brought 
Mahmud to Ahmadabad, where he was enthroned as 
Abu 'l-Futuhat, Sa c d al-DIn Mahmud Shah III. But 
as Mahmud was only eleven years of age, Ikhtiyar 
Khan became the Regent. He was an able man, but 
jealous of his power, and Muhafiz Khan and Darya 
Khan had him assassinated. But these two last soon 
fell out and fought with each other to dominate 
Mahmud. Darya Khan emerged victorious; but not 
long after he was replaced by c Alam Khan, another 
noble, who now dominated the young Sultan. In 
856/1545 Mahmud, weary of being a puppet king, 
decided to assert himself and shifted his capital to 
Mahmudabad, which had been founded by Mahmud 

On 4 September 1538, Sulayman Pasha, the Ot- 
toman governor of Egypt, arrived off the coast of Diu 
with a large fleet in order to overthrow the Portuguese 
power in the Indian waters. Mahmud helped him 
when, in Djumada I 945/October 1538, he attacked 
Diu abortively. In 453/1546, Mahmud himself made 
an attempt to seize Diu. The Portuguese governor, 
Dom Joao de Castro, retaliated by committing great 
atrocities on the Gudjarat coast. Realising the in- 
vicibility of the Portuguese, Mahmud made peace 
with them and granted them favourable terms. 

In 1551 Mahmud thought of invading Malwa, but 
instead directed his attention to the suppression of 
Radjput landlords, who had rebelled because of the 
resumption of the large land grants which they held. 
The rebellion was crushed with great severity and 
their lands were seized; but the Radjput peasant was 
not interfered with. Mahmud was planning to march 
towards Mandu to the help of the Emperor Humayun 

when, on the night of 12 Rabl c I 961/15 February 
1554, he was assassinated by his attendant Burhan al- 
DIn, in revenge for the punishment which he had once 
inflicted on him. 

Mahmud was weak and incompetent, but capable 
of committing acts of cruelty and of displaying occa- 
sional outbursts of energy. He was nevertheless 
generous and distributed food and clothes to the poor, 
and in winter gave them firewood and even bedding. 
He was a cultured prince and fond of the society of the 
learned and the pious. In Mahmudabad he erected an 
enclosure, six miles in area, which he named the Deer 
Park (Ahu-khana), and in which various kinds of wild 
animals roamed freely. He built in it splendid 
buildings and laid out nice gardens and spent his time 
there in the company of beautiful women, with whom 
he hunted and played polo. 

Mahmud left no male heir because, dreading that 
he would have a rival, he used to procure the abortion 
of any of his women who happened to become preg- 
nant. So after Mahmud's death, the nobles asserted 
their independence in their djagirs and fought with 
each other for power. They first set up a boy, who was 
related to him as Sultan with the title of Ahmad III, 
who ruled nominally until Sha c ban 968/April 1561, 
and then Muzaffar III who reigned until 980/1572, 
when the Emperor Akbar invaded Gudjarat and put 
an end to the prevailing chaos by annexing it. 

Bibliography: See those for mahmud I and 

mahmud II of Gudjarat. (Mohibbul Hasan) 

MAHMUD, the name of two mediaeval 
rulers of Malwa [q.v.] in India. 

1 . Mahmud Khaldji I, the son of Malik Mughith, 
whose mother was the sister of Dilawar Khan, the 
founder of the Qhurl dynasty of Malwa. On the death 
of Sultan Hushang Shah on 8 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 838/5 
July 1435, his son Ghaznl Shah succeeded with the 
support of Mahmud Khan and assumed the title of 
Muhammad Shah Ghurl. He was weak and cruel 
and, thinking that Mahmud Khan wanted to usurp 
the throne, tried to have him assassinated. But 
Mahmud Khan came to know of this and caused 
Mahmud Ghurl to be poisoned. He then offered the 
throne to his father, but since the latter refused, he 
himself ascended the throne on 29 Shawwal 839/16 
May 1436. He, however, conferred on his father the 
title of A c zam Humayun, and permitted him the use 
of all the symbols of royalty. He also consulted him on 
all affairs of state and acted on his advice. 

At the very outset of his reign, Mahmud was faced 
by the rebellion of the nobles of Muhammad Ghurl, 
who refused to recognise him as Sulfan. This he sup- 
pressed, executing some nobles and forgiving others 
on the advice of his father, who suggested a policy of 
appeasement. However, this policy was not suc- 
cessful, because a rising on a much larger scale now 
broke out. A c zam Humayun first had Prince Ahmad 
Khan, son of Hushang Shah, poisoned, and then 
eliminated the rebels one by one, so that by Radjab 
841 /January 1438 he had succeeded in crushing the 

Meanwhile, Mahmud was faced with a serious 
threat from Sultan Ahmad Shah of Gudjarat, who 
championed the cause of Mas'ud Khan, son of 
Muhammad Ghurl, and having entered Malwa, laid 
siege to Mandu [q.v.], its capital. While the siege was 
in progress, Mahmud heard that c Umar Khan, 
youngest son of Ahmad Shah, had attacked Canderi 
and killed its governor, HadjdjI Kamal, and that 
Prince Muhammad Khan, another son of Ahmad 
Shah, was marching to c Umar Khan's aid. In order 
to intercept Prince Muhammad, Mahmud marched 

out of Mandu towards Sarangpur. This led to the 
recall of Prince Muhammad by his father. Mahmud, 
having prevented any help reaching c Umar Khan, 
defeated and killed him and then, on hearing that 
Ahmad Shah had withdrawn to Gudjarat because 
plague had broken out in his army, he returned to 
Mandu. But after seventeen days, he set out towards 
Canderl and captured it after a siege of four months. 
Here he received a request of help from Bahar Khan. 
mukta c of Shahr-i Naw, which was being invested by 
Dungar Sen of Gwaliyar [q.v.]. Mahmud, instead of 
marching towards Shahr-i Naw, advanced towards 
Gwaliyar. This strategy was successful, because 
Dungar Sen, realising the danger to his capital, 
retired from Shahr-i Naw. Mahmud, having achieved 
his object, withdrew from Gwaliyar and proceeded to 
Shahr-i Naw, where Bahar Khan acknowledged his 

consolidating his position, Mahmud in 
844/1440-1 turned his attention towards the border 
chiefs. He first advanced on Khandwa, situated be- 
tween Malwa and Khandesh and of great strategic 
importance. Ray Narhar Das, its chief, finding 
himself unable to resist, fled, so that Mahmud was 
able to annex it, along with Khora and Khirki, and 
secured the submission of Kherla's chief, Narsingh 
Deva. From Kherla [q. v. ] , Mahmud marched towards 
Sargudja. On the way, the petty zamindars sent 
elephants as tribute and begged him spare their ter- 
ritories. Radja Bhodja of Sargudja submitted and 
promised to supply elephants to the Sultan. Similarly, 
the mukaddams of Raypur and Ratanpur came forward 
with elephants as tribute. Mahmud returned from 
Sargudja to Mandu in 845/1441-2. 

Mahmud's reputation having spread far and wide, 
some of the '■ulama 5 of Dihlf invited him to overthrow 
its Sayyid ruler, Sultan Muhammad Shah 
(837-47/1434-43). Mahmud accepted the invitation 
and set out towards Dihll at the end of 845/1442. But 
in an engagement near Dihll he was unable to defeat 
Prince c Ala> al-Dln, Sultan Muhammad Shah's son, 
and, finding no hope of future success, he returned to 
Mandu on 1 Muharram 846/12 May 1442. 

Mahmud now turned his attention to Rana Kum- 
bha of Mewar, against whom he nursed a grievance. 
The Rana had helped Prince c Umar Khan of 
Gudjarat to seize the throne of Malwa, and had reduc- 
ed the Radjput chiefs on the borders of Malwa, which 
had accepted the suzerainty of Sultan Hushang Shah. 
Mahmud took advantage of the rivalry between the 
Sisodias and the Rathors and of the struggle for power 
between Rana Kumbha and his brother, Khem 
Karan. Since the latter was expelled by the Rana, 
Mahmud used it as a pretext for its invasion. On 26 
Radjab 846/30 November 1442, he advanced towards 
Mewar. On reaching Kumbhalgafh, he attacked the 
Banmata temple, situated at its base, occupied it after 
seven days and razed it to the ground because it con- 
tained arms for the defence of the main fort and, 
although outwardly a temple, formed part of the 
defences of the main fort. Mahmud then marched 
towards Citor, but before he could attack it, he heard 
the news of his father's death in Mandasor. He 
therefore proceeded to Mandasor and, after the 
period of mourning was over, returned to Citor, but 
finding its capture difficult, returned to Mandu and 
decided to reduce Mewar gradually. So on 13 
Shawwal 847/3 February 1444 he occupied Gagrawn 
and named it Musjafabad. Two years later he reduced 
Ranthambhor. He then attempted to seize Man- 
dalgafh, but failed. In 851/1447-8, he marched on 
Gwaliyar and defeated Dungar Sen, who was compel- 

led to retreat into his fort. Mahmud proceeded to 
Agra and thence to Bayana, whose chief, Muhammad 
Khan, submitted to him. In 859/1455, Mahmud oc- 
cupied Adjmer and, early in 861/January 1457, he 
besieged the strong fort of Mandalgafh. He took it on 
1 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 861/20 October 1457, by first break- 
ing the dams of the fort's reservoir, which caused the 
water to flow out, and then affecting a breach in the 
fort's walls. He destroyed an old temple and built a 
mosque in its place, and returned to Mandu after ar- 
ranging for its administration. Until the end of his life 
Mahmud made several attempts to reduce Citor, but 
failed; and although he defeated Rana Kumbha, he 
failed to crush him and occupy any large part of 

In Sha'ban 848/January 1444, Mahmud came into 
conflict with the Shark! ruler of Djawnpur [q.v.], who 
had occupied Kalpi and refused to restore it to Nasir 
Khan, his vassal. This led to an armed conflict. 
However, through the mediation of the Shaykh al- 
Islam, Shaykh Dja^ilda, who enjoyed the respect of 
both the Sultans, a settlement was arrived at and 
Kalpi was given back to Nasir Khan [see mahmud 


Mahmud, taking advantage of the incompetence of 
Muhammad Shah of Gudjarat, tried to interfere in 
the affairs of his kingdom. Accordingly, in 854/1450 
he set out to the assistance of Ganga Das of Cam- 
paner, which had been attacked by v Muhammad 
Shah. But instead of marching to Campaner, he 
directed his attack on Ahmadabad, capital of 
Gudjarat. Alarmed for the safety of his capital, 
Muhammad Shah raised the siege of Campaner and 
returned to Ahmadabad. Meanwhile, having received 
an invitation for the invasion of Gudjarat, Mahmud 
marched at the end of 854/January 1 45 1 and entered 
Gudjarat. But since Muhammad Shah had died, 
Mahmud found himself confronted by his successor, 
Kutb al-Dln, at Kaparbandj. On the last night of 
Safar 855/2 April 1451 , he made a night attack on the 
Gudjarat army, but it proved abortive. In an engage- 
ment the next day, Mahmud suffered a defeat and 
had to retreat with the loss of eighty elephants and his 
baggage. On his return to Mandu, Mahmud, to 
avenge his defeat, sent Prince Ghiyath to raid the 
Gudjarat ports of Surat and Rainder. Accordingly, 
the prince plundered the suburbs and countryside of 
Surat and returned to Mandu with the booty. 
However, realising that his chances of success against 
the Gudjarat army were remote, Mahmud decided to 
compel Kutb al-Dln to make peace by a show of his 
military power. This device worked, for when, on 6 
Dhu '1-Hidjdja 855/30 December 1451, he sent an ar- 
my to invade Gudjarat, Kutb al-Dln agreed upon a 
treaty by which they were to respect each other's ter- 
ritories and Mewar was to be divided into two parts 
for the military activities of the two rulers. 

In Muharram 857/January-February 1453, 
Mahmud invaded the Deccan under the impression 
that the Bahmani Sultan 'Ala 5 al-Dln Ahmad II, had 
died. But on reaching the borders of Mahur, he 
discovered that the Bahmani ruler was not only alive, 
but had personally come to attack him; hence he 
returned to Malwa. 

In 866/1461 Mahmud again invaded the Deccan, 
defeated the Bahmani forces at Maheskar on the 
Mandjar river and invested Bidar. The Dowager 
Queen, mother of the boy-king, Nizam Shah, sent an 
army under Mahmud Gawan and at the same time 
appealed to Mahmud I of Gudjarat [q.v.] for aid. 
Realising that he was not strong enough to fight the 
two armies simultaneously, Mahmud withdrew to 

Malwa. He for the third time invaded the Deccan on 
26 Rabl c I 867/19 December 1462, and occupied 
Dawlatabad, but on hearing of the approach of 
Mahmud Begafha [q.v.\, he again withdrew. But 
since the route via Khandesh was blocked by the 
GudjaratI forces, Mahmud had to make his way back 
through the forests of Gondwana and suffer great 
hardship. Convinced that he would not be able to con- 
quer the Deccan, Mahmud came to a settlement with 
the Bahmanids. It was agreed that Elicpur [q.v. in 
Suppl.] would be the boundary between the kingdoms 
of Malwa and the Bahmanids, and that Mahmud 
would not in future invade the Deccan. 

Mahmud died on 19 Dhu '1-Ka c da 873/31 May 
1 469 at the age of sixty-eight and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, Ghivath al-DIn Shah. He had been a 
precocious child and, impressed by his intelligence, 
Sultan Hushang Shah used to keep him by his side, 
and gave him the title of Khan when he was only six- 
teen. So it was no surprise that Mahmud proved to be 
the greatest ruler of mediaeval Malwa, which reached 
the height of glory under him. He was wise, brave and 
benevolent, and a man of great energy and deter- 
mination. Although religious, he was tolerant towards 
Hindus and associated them in his government; 
Sangrama Singh was his treasurer and Ray Rayan 
Siva was one of his most important and respected 
nobles. It is true he destroyed some temples, but this 
was done in the territory of his enemies in the course 
of his campaigns; in his own kingdom he respected the 
sanctity of Hindu places of worship. 

Mahmud tried to promote the welfare of his sub- 
jects. When the crops were damaged by the marches 
and counter-marches of his troops, he compensated 
the peasants for their losses. He encouraged trade by 
patronising the Jains and encouraging them to settle 
in Malwa, and he made the roads safe for the 
movements of goods. He established a big hospital in 
Mandu which he richly endowed. He also opened a 
college with a hostel, where board and lodging was 
provided for both teachers and students. 

The fame of Mahmud's achievements reached as 
far as distant Egypt and Transoxiana. In 867/1462 al- 
Mustandjid bi'llah, the puppet c Abbasid caliph of 
Egypt, sent an envoy to Mandu with a khil'-a [q.v.] 
and a diploma of investiture, conferring on Mahmud 
sovereign powers. Some years later, in 867/1462, an 
envoy came from TImur's great-grandson, Abu Sa c Id 
of Transoxiana and Khurasan, with presents for 
Mahmud. In return, when the envoy left, he was ac- 
companied by Prince 'Ala 3 al-DIn and his father's en- 
voy and carried rich presents for Abu Sa c Id. 
Unfortunately, no details of Mahmud's mission to 
Harat are available. 

Mahmud was an enthusiastic builder. He com- 
pleted the mosque and tomb of Hushang Shah, whose 
foundations had been laid by the latter. He also 
erected a number of buildings to commemorate his 
victory over Rana Kunbha of Mewar. 

Bibliography: c Abd Allah Muhammad b. 
c Umar, Zafar al-wdlih bi-Muzaffar wa-alih, ed. 
E. D. Ross, An Arabic history of Gudjarat, London 
1910-28; C A1I b. Muhammad al-Kirmanl, 
Ma >aihir-i MahmOd Shdhi, ed. Nur al-Hasan, Dihll 
1968; Yahya b. Ahmad b. c Abd Allah al-Sirhindl, 
Ta >rikh-i Mubarak Shahl, ed. Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. 
Ind., Calcutta 1931, Eng. tr. K. K. Basu, Baroda 
1932; Nizam al-DIn, Tabakai-i Akbari, iii, ed. B. De 
and Hidayat Husayn, Bibl. Ind., Calcutta 1935 
and Eng. tr. B. De and Baini Prashad, Bibl. Ind., 
Calcutta 1938; Muhammad Kasim Hindu Shah, 
Ta \Tkh-i Firishta, Lucknow 1281/1864; U. N. Day, 

Medieval Malwa (1401-1561), Dihll 1965; M. Hablb 
and K. A. Nizaml, eds., A comprehensive history of In- 
dia (1206-1526), Delhi 1965; W. Haig, ed., Cam- 
bridge history of India, iii, Cambridge 1928; G. 
YazdanI, Mandu: the city of joy, Oxford 1929. 
2. Mahmud KhaldjI I, whose real name was 
A c zam Humayun, the third son of Sulfan Naslr al- 
Dln Shah (906-16/1501-10). The latter had designated 
his eldest son, SJiihab al-DIn, as his successor, but as 
Shihab al-DIn had rebelled, he nominated A c zam 
Humayun to succeed him, and gave him the title of 
Mahmud Shah. Accordingly, on the death of his 
father, Mahmud declared himself Sultan. But his two 
elder brothers, Shihab al-DIn and Sahib Khan, refus- 
ed to recognise him. The former set out towards Man- 
du, but his advance was checked by Muhafiz Khan 
and Khawass Khan, who were in favour of Mahmud. 
In consequence, he retired to Khandesh [q.v.]. 
Mahmud, who had been following him, succeeded in 
entering Mandu and ascended the throne on 6 Rabi c 
I 917/3 June 1511. 

Mahmud was weak, incompetent, fickle-minded 
and a puppet in the hands of his nobles, who struggled 
with each other to dominate him. He first came under 
the influence of Ikbal Khan and Mukhtass Khan, who 
were so powerful as to assassinate the wazir, Basant 
Ray, in the audience hall, and secure the banishment 
of Sangran Soni, the treasurer. But Mahmud soon 
turned against them and allowed himself to be 
dominated by Muhafiz Khan. Ikbal and Mukhtass 
thereupon recalled Shihab al-DIn, and finding their 
life in danger, left Mandu to join the pretender. 
Shihab al-Din advanced from Khandesh by quick 
marches, but died on the way due to heat and exhaus- 
tion. Meanwhile, Mahmud, weary of Muhafiz 
Khan's domination, tried to overthrow him. But 
before he could take any action, the minister himself 
struck and raised to the throne his elder brother, 
Sahib Khan, as Muhammad Shah II. Mahmud, fin- 
ding himself helpless, escaped from Mandu and went 
first to Udjdjayn and then to Canderl, where its 
governor refused to help him. However, he secured 
the help of Ray Cand Purbiya, upon whom he confer- 
red the title of Medni Ray, and attacked Sahib Khan. 
He defeated him and then besieged him in Mandu. 
Sahib Khan, unable to hold out, fled to Gudjarat with 
Muhafiz Khan and was given protection by its ruler. 
Muzaffar II. 

Mahmud, in recognition of Medni Ray's services, 
made him his wazir. But this aroused the hostility of 
the nobles like Sikandar Khan of Satwas and Bahdjat 
Khan of Canderl, who rebelled and took up the cause 
of Sahib Khan, who had returned to Malwa. Medni 
Ray succeeded in reducing Sikandar Khan to obe- 
dience, but operations against the other rebels had to 
be postponed because Muzaffar II invaded Malwa 
and besieged Mandu. Fortunately, however, finding 
Mandu too strong to be reduced, Muzaffar withdrew 
and Mahmud, with Medni Ray's help, was able to oc- 
cupy Canderl and expel Sahib Khan in Djumada I 
920/July 1514. 

The victories achieved by Medni Ray made him 
very powerful, and he began to fill all the important 
posts by his own Radjput followers, dismissing old 
Muslim officers. Mahmud resented these changes, 
and chafing under Medni Ray's domination, 
demanded that the dismissed Muslim officers be 
reinstated, and that the Radjputs should not keep 
Muslim women as mistresses. Medni Ray accepted 
these conditions, but his assistant Salivahan refused. 
Mahmud therefore decided to get rid of both of them 
by assassination. Medni Ray escaped with minor in- 

juries, but Salivahan was killed. This led to the revolt 
of the Radjputs. Mednl Ray, however, pacified them 
and continued as wazir. But Mahmud, having failed 
to overthrow him, escaped from Mandu at the end of 
923/1517 to Gudjarat and sought the aid of Muzaffar 
II. The latter, thereupon, invaded Malwa in order to 
restore Mahmud's authority. On hearing of the inva- 
sion, Mednl Ray proceeded to Citor to seek the aid of 
Rana Sangarama Sengh, leaving his son, Ray 
Pithora, in charge of Mandu. Meanwhile, Muzaffar 
II invested Mandu and having taken it by an escalade 
on 4 Safar 924/15 February 1518, ordered the 
massacre of the Radjputs who had defended the fort. 
He reinstated Mahmud and returned to Gudjarat, 
leaving behind 10,000 troops for his protection. 

These events completely alienated Mednl Ray and 
his Radjput followers from Mahmud. Mednl Ray oc- 
cupied Gagrawn and, when Mahmud besieged him, 
he appealed to Rana Sangarama for help. The Rana 
marched to his relief. Mahmud raised the siege and 
set out to intercept the Rana, but was defeated, 
wounded and taken prisoner. He was taken to Citor, 
and allowed to return to Malwa after his wounds were 
healed, but had to surrender his crown and leave 
behind his son as a hostage. 

On his return to Mandu, he found his position ex- 
tremely weak; and it was further weakened by the 
withdrawal of the Gudjarat! forces by Muzaffar II at 
his request. The result was that Rana Sanga occupied 
Mandasor; Mednl Ray seized Canderi; Silhadi oc- 
cupied Bhilsa and Raisin; and Sikandar Khan 
declared his independence in Satwa\ The disintegra- 
tion of Mahmud's power was almost complete, and he 
was left with only a small territory around Mandu. 
But instead of consolidating his position and trying to 
recover his territories, Marimud committed the 
mistake of giving asylum and support to Cand Khan 
against his brother, Bahadur Khan, who had ascend- 
ed the throne of Gudjarat. Bahadur Khan was greatly 
offended and invaded Malwa. He besieged Mandu, 
captured it by assault on 9 Sha'ban 937/2 April 1531, 
and caused the khutba to be recited in his name. 
Malwa thus passed into his possession. Mahmud and 
his sons were sent as prisoners to Campaner. On the 
way, he made an attempt to escape, but was seized 
and killed along with his sons on the night of 14 
Sha c ban 837/2 April 1531; with his death the KhaldjI 
dynasty of Malwa came to an end. 

Bibliography: See that for mahmud khaldji i. 

MAHMUD, the 


1. Mahmud I (1143-68/1730-54), (with the title of 
Ghazi and the literary nom-de-plume of SabkatI). The 
eldest son of Sultan Mustafa II, he was born on the 
night of 3 Muharram 1108/2 August 1696 in the 
Palace at Edirne. His mother was Walide Saliha 
Sultan. He undertook his first studies on Wednesday, 
20 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1113/18 May 1702 with a grand 
ceremony at the Edirne Palace which his father 
Mustafa II attended in person, and was given his first 
lesson by the Shaykh al-hlam Sayyid Fayd Allah Efen- 
di. In due course, the latter's son Rumeli Payeli 
Ibrahim Efendi was appointed to act as his tutor. 
Following the deposition of his father Mustafa II as a 
result of the "Edirne Incident" and the accession of 
his uncle Ahmad III on 10 Rabi c II 1115/23 August 
1703, Prince Mahmud, together with his mother and 
her other children, was taken into custody by the in- 
surgents at the Palace in Edirne and was subsequently 
taken to Istanbul along with the Ottoman palace staff 
and shut up in a private apartment in the Imperial 

Palace (the Saray-i djedid). His circumcision was ef- 
fected with a simple ceremony on Thursday, 22 Dhu 
'1-Hidjdja 1116/17 April 1705. 

Prince Mahmud's life of seclusion in the Palace 
continued for 27 years up to 1730. It was only when 
Ahmad III was forced to abdicate the Ottoman throne 
as a result of the Patrona Khalil revolt that he was set 
free, becoming sultan on Monday, 19 Rabi c I 1143/2 
October 1730. Having ordered his release from the 
apartment in the Palace where he had been shut up, 
his uncle invited Mahmud to spend the night of 1-2 
October with him so that he could advise him on the 
administration of the Empire. He then joined his two 
sons in swearing allegiance to Mahmud and was thus 
the first ro recognise him officially as sultan. The for- 
malities necessary for his accession were completed at 
EyyQb on Friday, 23 Rabl c I 1143/6 October 1730, 
when he girded on the sword and the khutba was read 
in his name for the first time. 

During the first days of Mahmud's reign, the rebels 
had complete control over the affairs of the state. In 
particular, their leader Patrona Khalil forced the 
sultan to carry out his wishes with regard to new ap- 
pointments, while Mahmud I also complied with the 
rebels' demands by agreeing to the abolition of one 
category of taxes and to changes in the way some 
others were collected, and he had to sit idly by as the 
buildings at pleasure-grounds such as Kaghitkhane 
and Fenerbaghcesi were demolished by the in- 
surgents. However, disorderly conduct of this kind 
was not permitted for much longer. Under the leader- 
ship of Mahmud's mother Saliha Sultan, some of the 
Empire's most experienced statesmen — the Kizlar 
aghast Beshir Agha, Kaplan Giray, a former Khan of 
the Crimea, and the Kapudan-i derya Djanim-Khodja 
Mehmed Pasha — cooperated with Kabakulak 
Ibrahim Agha and others in arranging for the leading 
rebels to be put to death in the Imperial Palace — 
inside the Rewan Kasr'and the Siinnet Odasi— on 25 
November 1730, and Mahmud was thus assured of 
the freedom to rule without such interventions. 

Despite the outbreak of a second uprising on 25 
March 1731, which seems to have been a continuation 
of the first revolt and may even have been organised 
by Fatima Sultan, the daughter of Ahmad III and 
widow of the executed Grand Vizier Newshehirli 
Ibrahim Pasha, in order to revenge herself on the new 
Sultan, the people's manifest support for Mahmud 
and the strong measures taken by the Grand Vizier 
Kabakulak Ibrahim Pasha and the Kapudan-i derya 
Djam'm Khodja Mehmed Pasha meant that this 
disturbance was confined to the neighbourhoods of 
Bayezld and Aksaray and was suppressed before it 
could gain strength. 

After achieving a strong position in the internal af- 
fairs of the Empire, Mahmud I turned his attention to 
the problems facing it abroad. His first moves were 
against Nadir Shah, who was causing the Ottoman 
Empire difficulties in the East. The forces which he 
sent against Iran under the command of the governor 
of Baghdad, Eyyubl Ahmad Pasha, won the first suc- 
cess of his reign at the battle of Koridjan on 13 Rabl c 

I 1144/15 September 1731, and by the treaty signed 
on 10 January 1732 the Safawid ruler Shah Tahmasp 

II agreed to cede the districts of Gandja, Tiflls, 
Rewan, Shirwan and Daghistan to Mahmud. Never- 
theless, the war between the Ottomans and Iran could 
not be concluded because of Mahmud's objections 
over the question of Tabriz, and it continued to rage 
with full force through the districts of al-Mawsil, 
Kirkuk, Baghdad, Tabriz, Gandja, Tiflls and Kars 
until the end of 1735, during the period when Nadir 

Shah was acting as guardian to c Abbas MIrza (III). It 
was on account of the successes of the Ottoman forces 
during the early years of this war that Mahmud I 
adopted the title of Ghazl. Later on, however, the Ot- 
toman army suffered defeat after defeat and eventual- 
ly, as a result of negotiations which were initially 
conducted by the representatives of Nadir Shah and a 
Turkish delegation under the commander of Gandja, 
Gene 1 C A1I Pasha, in the Mughan steppe in Adhar- 
baydjan and later by an Iranian delegation led by 
c Abd al-Baki Khan and Mahmud I himself in Istan- 
bul, an agreement was reached between the two 
powers in 1736 which dealt with the border question 
but left the madhhab dispute unsettled. 

At this point, Nadir Shah wished to turn his atten- 
tion to Iran's eastern borders, while Mahmud I was 
intent on dealing with the Russian threat from the 
north. Relations between Mahmud I and the Russian 
Empress Anna Ivanovna had been soured by the 
Polish question and a number of other border 
disputes, and because, in the course of the struggle 
with Nadir for control of Kars and the surrounding 
area in 1735, a contingent of Crimean troops had 
crossed Kabartay territory on their way to reinforce 
the Ottoman army in northeastern Anatolia. Finally, 
after the Russian attack on the fortress of Azak on 31 
March 1 736, Mahmud I held a great diwan in Istanbul 
on 2 May and personally took the decision to declare 
war on Russia. However, as Talman, the Habsburg 
Emperor's representative in Istanbul, who later join- 
ed the Ottoman army in the field, followed a policy of 
distracting the Ottoman government with plans for 
peace, this campaign was not given the necessary 
degree of importance and the Ottoman commanders 
were therefore unable to gain any success during the 
first year. Furthermore, from June 1737 onwards, 
when the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI took 
Russia's side in this war, Mahmud was forced to de- 
fend the borders of the Empire along a very broad 
front. There were engagements on the banks of the 
Sava in northern Bosnia, in the Nish and Vidin areas 
south of Belgrade as well as in Little Wallachia, along 
the Aksu (Bug) and Turla (Dnestr) rivers near 6zu 
and Bender, in the Crimea, and around Azak. In his 
attempts to gain the upper hand against both these 
states, Mahmud I frequently changed his Grand 
Vizier. Eventually, the victories which the Ottoman 
forces won against the Austrians on the western front, 
which was considered the more important, forced 
both states to come to terms with Mahmud through 
the good offices of the French ambassador, the Mar- 
quis de Villeneuve, and led to the signing of the treaty 
of Belgrade on 18 September 1737. 

Mahmud I thereby regained from the Habsburg 
Empire a number of towns, Belgrade being the most 
important, which had been lost by the treaty of 
Passarowitz in 1718. For their part, the Russians had 
to evacuate several areas they had occupied in nor- 
thern Moldavia. In return for the Marquis de 
Villeneuve's services, France's commercial advan- 
tages were increased by the capitulation dated 30 May 
1740. At the same time, in order to improve his 
political relations with Russia, Mahmud I sent the 
Defteremini Mehmed Ernni Beyefendi on an embassy to 
St Petersburg, while the Birindji ruznamcedji Djanib 
C A1I Efendi was dispatched as ambassador to the 
Habsburg Empire. Meanwhile, a commercial treaty 
had been signed with the kingdom of Sweden in 1737 
and a defence pact in 1740, in which same year a 
purely commercial agreement was reached between 
the Empire and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. 

However, while Mahmud I was still putting his 

political relations with the European states in good 
order, his relations with Nadir Shah reached another 
crisis point. Nadir Shah, who had returned from his 
campaign in India, again marched to Iran's western 
borders and laid siege to the Ottoman cities of 
Baghdad and Kirkuk in the spring of 1743 under the 
pretext that, during the truce, Mahmud I had not ac- 
cepted the Dja'farl school as the fifth madhhab, as 
Nadir had proposed. Because the Turkish mission 
which Mahmud I had previously sent to Iran under 
Miinlf Mustafa Efendi in July 1741 had been unable 
to prolong the good relations with Nadir Shah, the se- 
cond phase of the war between the Ottomans and Iran 
had begun before the gates of Baghdad, Kirkuk and 
al-Mawsil. However, Mahmud I, with the assistance 
of Ahmad Pasha, the Ser'asker of Kars, had Safi Mir- 
za, a member of the Safawl dynasty who was living in 
the Ottoman Empire, sent to the Iranian frontier and 
turned a number of khans in the Daghistan and Shir- 
wan areas south of the Caucasus against Nadir Shah 
by granting them their independence. Nadir Shah 
was therefore unable to remain in the Baghdad and al- 
Mawsil areas and had to lift the sieges of these two 
cities and abandon Kirkuk, which he had already 
taken, in order to move to the area around Kars. The 
fighting in this area and around Rewan continued un- 
til the end of 1745. In the epd, in the face of the deter- 
mination and perseverance shown by Mahmud I and 
despite the fact that he had gained a number of vic- 
tories, Nadir Shah, who was also influenced by events 
at home, abandoned the struggle for the Kars region 
and made a serious peace proposal to Mahmud. The 
peace negotiations between the Ottomans and Iran 
began at a great diwan on 1 February 1746, after the 
delegation which Nadir had sent under the leadership 
of Fath C A1T Khan had arrived in Istanbul. 

Mahmud I reacted favourably to the proposals put 
forward by Nadir Shah on this occasion and, having 
decided upon a new border settlement which was bas- 
ed on the Kasr-i Shirin treaty of 1639, but leaving 
aside the problem of the Dja c fari school, he dispatched 
a Turkish delegation to Iran under the leadership of 
Mustafa Nazlf Efendi on 9 March 1746 with authority 
to negotiate with Nadir Shah. This delegation met 
Nadir Shah in the Kardan steppe between Kazwln 
and Tehran and, as a result of their negotiations, 
peace was declared between the two states on 17 
Sha<ban 1159/4 September 1746. Mahmud I, who 
signed the instruments of this settlement in December 
1 746, sent the text of the treaty back to NSdir Shah in 
the care of the ambassador Kesriyeli Ahmed Pasha. 

After Nadir's death, Mahmud I followed a con- 
ciliatory policy towards his neighbours such as Iran, 
Russia and Austria up until his own death. Mean- 
while, however, the internal problems of the Empire, 
such as the agitation among the Palace Aghas after the 
death of the Kizlar aghast Beshlr Agha, the suppression 
of the Lewend bandits [?.».]. who were bringing 
destruction to Anatolia, the murder of Sayyid Fatjb.1 in 
Syria, the revolt of the Janissary garrison at Nish, the 
Wahhabi movement in Nadjd, the uprising in Istan- 
bul on 2 July 1748, and many other similar incidents, 
occupied his attention. Mahmud died at the 
Demirkapi in the Imperial Palace while on his way 
back from the Friday prayers on 27 Safar 1168/13 
December 1754. He was not interred in the 
mausoleum which he had built beside the Nur-i 
c Othmaniyye mosque, but was buried beside his 
grandfather Mehemmed IV and his father Mustafa II 
in the mausoleum of Walide Turkhan Khadidje 
Sulfan in the Yefii Djami c complex by order of his 
brother and successor c Othman III. 

He was a thin, short, well-tempered man, who gave 
priority to the maintenance of public order inside Is- 
tanbul and would go to meetings of the diwdn in order 
to hear the people's complaints. He was keen on the 
sports of djerid [q. v. ] , horse-racing and swimming and 
was knowledgeable about poetry and music. We know 
that he used the makhlas Sabkati and that he wrote 
poetry in Arabic (Shehrizade Sa c Id Efendi, Makhzan 
al-safa', Belediye Kiituphanesi, ms. Muallim Cevdet 
0.74, f. 53b; Tayyar-zade Ahmad c Ata>, Ta'rikh-i 
c Atd\ iv, Istanbul 1293, 67; C AU Emiri, Djawdhir al- 
muluk, Istanbul 1319, 30). He knew enough about 
music to be a composer in his own right, but he is 
more often spoken of as an instrumentalist and as a 
patron of other musicians (Yilmez Oztuna, Turk 
musikisi lugati, 120, 407; Subhi Ezgi, Nazari, ameli Turk 
musikisi, Istanbul 1940, iv, 93). This Sultan, wh 
interested in chess and had a passion for flow* 
also known to have lavished a good deal of at 
on the cultivation of tulips. In his free time and when 
the weather permitted, he would make trips to the 
pleasure-grounds along the Bosphorus, at 
Kaghitkhane and at Fenerbaghcesi, and would spend 
his time in the summer houses there. Although the 
Nur-i c Othmaniyye complex, with its mosque, 
madrasa, maktab, library, mausoleum, '■imdret and sebit, 
was built at his orders, it was given its present name 
because it was completed in the reign of his brother 
c Othman III. Similarly, the Yfldiz-Dede and Defter- 
dar Kapfsf mosques and the mosque of the Tulum- 
badjilar Odasi near the Yalf Koshkii, the 
landing-stage at Rumeli Hisari, the c Arab Iskelesi at 
Beshiktash, the Friday mosques at Uskiidar which 
were named after him and at Kandilli on the 
Bosphorus were also built by this Sultan. In addition, 
he had the Opuzlu reservoir built to collect the water 
from the streams passing between Baghcekoy and 
Balabankoy near Kaghitkhane in order to supply the 
famous Meydan Ceshmesi fountain which he had had 
constructed in Topkhane via the cistern at Takslm, 
while water from the same cistern was used to supply 
water for around 40 fountains in Kasimpasha, 
Tepebashi, Ghalata and in the Beshiktash area. He 
also had three libraries built, one in the Ayasofya 
Mosque in 1740, the second beside the Fatih Mosque, 
in 1742 and the third in the Ghalata Sarayf in 1754. 
The Beshiktash Sahil Sarayf, the Bayildim Kasri at 
Dolmabaghce, and the Tokat Koshku near Yiisha 
were all repaired in his reign. Furthermore, in his 
time the Kandilli quarter on the Bosphorus was also 
called Newabad, as he had had it built up from sc 
and had had the Mihrabad summer palace 

Ottoman sultan, his political and social activii 
numerous. Because neither he nor his brother 
had any children, the Ottoman dynasty was 
intinued by the children of his uncle Ahmad III. 

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part II, Suleymaniye Library, ms. Resid Efendi, 
Tarih 667; Sirri (Diwdn-i humdyun kdtibi), Makdle-yi 
wdki c a-yi muhsara-yi Kars, Suleymaniye Library, 
ms. Es c ad Efendi 2417 (another copy: Topkapi 
Sarayi Miizesi, ms. Revan 1427); Sultan Mahmud-i 

University Library, ms. TY 2270; piydfet-ndme 
(describing the banquet given at the opening of the 
TaksTm cistern), Topkapi Sarayi Miizesi, ms. 
Hazine 1441; c Othman, / Mahmud devrinde Hare- 
meyne gdnderilen esya defteri Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, 
ms. Hazine 1636; Ni c met Efendi, / Mahmud'un 
1 749 yihnda Hicaz'a gonderdigi esya defteri, Istanbul 
University Library, ms. TY 2505; Shem c danl-zade 
FindiklMi Siileyman Efendi, Mur^i 'l-tawdrikh, ed. 
Munir Aktepe, i, Istanbul 1976, ii, 1978, passim; 
Ahmad Wasif, Ta'rikh, Istanbul 1219/1804-5, i, 
40 ff.; Halim Giray, Gulbiin-i khdnan, Istanbul 
1287/1870-1, 86; A. Vandal, Une ambassade fiancaise 
en Orient sous Louis XV, Paris 1887, 249 ff., 348 ff.; 
J. von Hammer, Histoire de I'Empire Ottoman, Paris 
1839, xiv, xv; Hiiseyin Ayvansarayi, Hadikat al- 
dxawdmi', Istanbul 1281/1864-5, i, 12, 204, ii, 33, 
61, 152, 166; Jouannin, Turquie, Paris 1840, 344; 
c Abd al-Rahman Sheref, Ta'rikh-i dewlet-i 
'Othmdniyye, Istanbul 1312/1894-5, ii, 162; Gabriel 
Efendi Noradounghian, Recueil d'actes international 
de I'Empire Ottoman, Paris 1897, i, 65-73, 239-314; 
Mehmed Thureyya, Sidjill-i c Othmdni, Istanbul 
1308/1890-1, i, 72; V. Minorsky, Esquisse d'une 
histoire de Ndder-chdh, Paris 1934; Lockhart, Nddir 
Shdh, London 1938; Mary Lucille Shay, The Ot- 
toman Empire from 1 720 to 1 734 as revealed in despatches 
of the Venetian Baili, Urbana 1944; I. Hakki Uzun- 
carsih, Osmanli tarihi, iv/1 and 2 Ankara 1956; 
Miinir Aktepe, Patrona isyani (1730), Istanbul 1958; 
A. D. Alderson, The structure of the Ottoman dynasty, 

Oxford 1956, 36, 45, 67, 80, 105, 107, 110, 129, 
130, Table XLII; Ibrahim Hilmi Tamsik, Istanbul 
cesmeleri, i, Istanbul 1943, ii, 1945; M. de la Croix, 
Abrege chronologique de I 'Histoire Otlomane, Paris 1748, 
ii, 725-6; M. Mignot, Histoire de I'Empire Ottoman 
depuis son origine jusqu' a la paix de Belgrade en 1740, 
Paris 1773, iv, 340-446; Jouannin and Jules van 
Gaver, Turquie, Paris 1840, 334-44; Raghfb Pasha, 
Tahkik ve tewfik, Istanbul University Library, ms. 
TY 3371; R. W. Olson, The Siege of Mosul and 
Ottoman-Persian relations, 1718-1743, Indiana 1975, 
83-90, 131, 148-50, 155, 191; Mustafa Ali Mehm- 
ed, Istoria Turcilor, Bucharest 1970; G. R. Bosscha 
Erdbrink, At the Threshold of Felicity: Ottoman-Dutch 
relations during the embassy of Cornells Calkoen at the 
Sublime Porte, 1726-1744, Ankara 1975. 



2. Mahmud II (reigned 1223-55/1808-39). Born 
Topkapi palace on 13 Ramadan 1199/20 July 1785, 
he was the youngest of twelve sons of sultan c Abd al- 
Hamld I. He succeeded to Mustafa IV on 28 July 
1808. An armed coup led by the provincial governor 
Musfafa Bayrakdar [q. v. ] aimed at restoring to the 
throne the formerly deposed sultan Sellm III. In the 
course of the action, however, Selim was assassinated, 
the reigning Mustafa deposed, and Mahmud, as the 
only remaining legitimate candidate, was declared 
sultan. Until his ascendance to the throne, Mahmud 
had spent his entire life in seclusion, according to Ot- 
toman practice. 

At this point the Ottoman empire appeared to be on 
the verge of final disintegration. The central govern- 
ment wielded minimal authority over the provinces, 
administered largely by self appointed local rulers [see 
a c yan, derebey]. A temporarily inactive state of war 
with Russia and Britain imposed further strains on the 
political fabric. In Istanbul itself political power was 
exercised by extra-legitimate forces, composed mainly 
of '■ulamd 3 and soldiers. The sultan's office was reduc- 
ed to political impotency (Djewdet, ix, 16). 

During the first months of Mahmud's reign real 
power was wielded by Bayrakdar, who had himself 
appointed grand vizier. He convened an assembly of 
provincial rulers in Istanbul which adopted the Deed 
of Agreement [see dustur. ii. turkey]. This docu- 
ment sought to change the constitutional framework 
of the empire by limiting the sultan's sovereignty and 
establishing a quasi-feudal political system. In addi- 
tion, it aimed at reviving Selim Ill's military reforms. 
In mid-November 1808, Bayrakdar's government 
was brought down by a popular uprising led by the 
s of Istanbul. It was the culmination of a 
>sed to reform as well as to the seizure 
of the central government by provincial elements. 

Following their victory, the Janissaries set up in 
Istanbul a reign of terror and once again began to in- 
terfere in state affairs. The anarchy which prevailed at 
the capital since the fall of Selim III in May 1807 left 
the political elite hopelessly divided and demoralised. 
Meanwhile, Mahmud exhibited characteristics of 
strong leadership and dedication to traditional values. 
The religious and bureaucratic elites desiring the re- 
establishment of orderly government began to turn to 
the court for guidance (Djewdet, ix, 59-61). Thus 
were laid the foundations for the restoration of the 
court as an active centre of government. Mahmud 
seized this opportunity to curb the Janissaries. 
Throughout his reign he consistently endeavoured to 
strengthen the court's position by subordinating all 
other political forces. Gradually, he formed a network 
of advisers and assistants who helped him carry out 
his policies. Some of these at various times attained 

In January 1809 a peace treaty was concluded with 
Britain, in spite of strong protests by Napoleonic 
France. But negotiations with the Russians, who had 
in 1806 occupied Bessarabia, Moldavia and 
Wallachia, failed. In April 1809 the war was resumed 
with the Russians attacking south of the Danube. The 
Ottomans suffered defeat in several battles, but suc- 
ceeded in foiling a Russian attempt to take Shumla 
and to storm across the Balkan mountains. Faced with 
the mounting threat of war with France, the Russians 
were prepared to compromise. The war was ter- 
minated with the Treaty of Bucharest (May 28, 1812) 
which ceded Bessarabia to Russia, while the Ot- 
tomans regained Moldavia and Wallachia. 

Meanwhile, Mahmud initiated a policy designed to 
restore central authority over the provinces, and when 
the war ended this became his primary concern. By 
1820 Istanbul succeeded in re-asserting its power over 
most of the provincial centres in Anatolia, as well as 
over Thrace, Macedonia and the Danube districts. 
The local ruling notables were replaced by governors 
appointed from Istanbul. In the view of the govern- 
ment, all local notables were usurpers of legitimate 
authority (muteghallibe). Consequently, their suppres- 
sion was often ruthless and indiscriminate. This tend- 
ed to destroy the local administrative infrastructure, 
weakening thereby the very bases of Ottoman power 
(cf. Shanlzade, ii, 230-1, 246-7; Djewdet 2 , x, 146-8, 
181-7, 217-19). This was a factor which facilitated the 
emergence of the national movements of the Serbs 
and Greeks. 

During the same period, the sultan intervened oc- 
casionally in the affairs of his Syrian and Mesopota- 
mian provinces, but achieved ephemeral results only. 
In Arabia the power of the Wahhabis was curbed by 
enlisting the military services of Muhammad C A1I, the 
governor of Egypt. While still maintaining his 
allegiance to the sultan, Muhammad C A1I gradually 
transformed Egypt into a formidable state. The sultan 
had no means with which to reassert his authority over 
the distant African provinces of Tripoli, Tunis and 
Algiers, but he still claimed suzerainty over them. 

The Serbs had taken advantage of the weakening of 
Ottoman provincial administration to rise in 1804-13 
and again in 1815. Under Russian pressure the sultan 
agreed to grant the Serbs complete autonomy. The 
process was gradual, and was completed in 1829. The 
drawn-out conflict between the sultan and 
Tepedelenli C A1I Pasha [see c ali pasha tepedelenli], 
the most powerful notable in Albania and Greece, aid- 
ed the Greek cause. The sultan initiated the conflict 
with C A1I in July 1820 and the Peloponnesus was up 
in arms in March 1821. Although Mahmud was pro- 
foundly shaken by the outbreak of the Greek uprising, 
for almost another year he continued to direct the 
main military efforts against C A1I, whom he con- 
sidered the greater threat to the realm (A. Levy, Ot- 
toman attitudes to. . . Balkan nationalism). C A1I was finally 
defeated and executed in February 1822. Meanwhile, 
a series of border skirmishes with Iran in 1820 
escalated into a full-scale war. After several years of 
desultory fighting, peace was restored in July 1823. 
The sultan now concentrated all his efforts to subdue 
Greece. Uprisings in Macedonia and Thessaly were 
suppressed, but the Ottoman forces proved incapable 
of advancing into the Peloponnesus and a stalemate 
ensued. The sultan once again appealed to Muham- 
mad C A1I for assistance, promising to cede to him the 
governorship of Crete and the Peloponnesus in return 

for his services. In February 1825 the modernised 
Egyptian army landed in Greece, drastically altering 
the military balance. The Ottomans renewed their at- 
tacks and by April 1826, with the fall of the key for- 
tress of Missolonghi, the Greek position became 

The Greek uprising made a great impact not only 
on the Ottoman political elite but also on wide 
segments of the Muslim population at the centre of the 
empire. The proximity of the fighting and the destruc- 
tion of long-established Turkish communities in 
Greece and the islands were among the main reasons 
which caused Muslim society to view this conflict as 
a threat to its very survival. In addition, the poor per- 
formance of the largely untrained Ottoman troops 
could be compared with the effectiveness of the 
modernised Egyptian army. This created a percepti- 
ble change in the mood of Ottoman society favouring 
military reform (Djewdet, xii, 139-46, 159). Since 
early in his reign Mahmud had been cautiously in- 
troducing significant improvements in several 
military branches, especially in the artillery and navy. 
But in the spring of 1826, with his authority restored 
at the capital and in many provinces, and with the 
Greek rising appearing close to extinction, it seemed 
to Mahmud that the time had come to carry out more 
comprehensive reforms. But he adopted a gradual ap- 
proach. The first project called for reorganising part 
of the Janissary corps as an elite unit of active soldiers 
called Eshkindjiyan. The sultan took precautions to 
enlist the support of the religious and bureaucratic 
elites as well as the Janissary officers themselves. 
Nevertheless, on the night of 14 June the Janissaries 
rose up in arms. The sultan reacted with speed and 
determination. He mustered loyal troops and on 15 
June, within hours, the rebellion was crushed with 
considerable bloodshed. Two days later an imperial 
order declared the Janissary corps abolished. 

It is difficult to exaggerate the impact which the 
suppression of the Janissaries made on contemporary 
Ottoman society as well as on Europe. It was con- 
sidered the end of one era and the beginning of an- 
other. In an effort to gain for it universal approval, 
the regime termed the incident the "Beneficial Af- 
fair" (wak'-a-yi khayriyye) and the court historian Es'ad 
Efendi was charged with recording the official version 
for future generations. Es c ad's detailed account entitl- 
ed The foundation of victory (Uss-i zafer) was printed in 
1828. Indeed, the ease with which the suppression of 
the Janissaries was carried out and its general accep- 
tance by the public were indications of the changing 

Now the Eshkindjiyan project was abandoned in 
favour of a more ambitious plan calling for the forma- 
tion of an entirely new army organised and trained on 
western models. The new force was named the 
"Trained Victorious Troops of Muhammad" 
(Mu '■allem '■asakir-i mansure-yi muhammadiyye), or Man- 
sure, for short. But the project encountered great dif- 
ficulties from its very inception and its progress was 
much slower than had been expected. By spring 1828 
the new army had some 30,000 men only, poorly 
organised, trained and equipped. 

Meanwhile, the plight of the Greeks elicited Euro- 
pean intervention. Britain, Russia and France offered 
mediation. The Ottomans rejected the proposals, 
arguing that the conflict was an internal matter. The 
European powers countered by sending their fleets to 
Greece where on 20 October 1827, inside the harbour 
of Navarino, they destroyed an Ottoman-Egyptian 
fleet. Ottoman losses alone amounted to 37 ships with 
over 3,000 sailors, comprising more than two-thirds of 

the entire seaworthy navy. In May 1828 the Russians 
launched an offensive against the Ottoman dominions 
in Europe and Asia. In 1829 they achieved complete 
victory. A Russian army under the leadership of 
General Diebitsch bypassed Shumla, stormed through 
the passes of the Balkan Mountains, captured Edirne 
(August 20) and threatened to march on Istanbul. 
The sultan was forced to sue for peace. By the Treaty 
of Edirne/Adrianople (14 September 1829) the Ot- 
tomans ceded to Russia the Danube delta in Europa 
and the province of Akhaltsikhe (Akhiskha) in Asia. 
In addition, they were required to pay to Russia a 
heavy war indemnity as well as to recognise the 
autonomy of Serbia, Moldavia, Wallachia and Greece 
under Russian protection. Later, in negotiations be- 
tween the European powers, it was determined that 
Greece should become an independent monarchy. In 
July 1832 the sultan accepted these terms. 

Military defeat and the apparent failure of the 
government's reform policies rekindled unrest and 
rebellion in widely flung provinces, especially in 
Bosnia, Albania, eastern Anatolia and Baghdad. 
These movements, sometimes led by former 
Janissaries and their sympathisers, were partly a 
delayed conservative reaction against the govern- 
ment's reforms. More commonly, they represented 
protest against increased taxes, forced conscription 
and, in general, the sultan's heavy-handed centralis- 
ing policies. The government was generally successful 
in putting down these movements by employing the 
new disciplined troops, which proved sufficiently ef- 
fective as an instrument of suppression and centralisa- 
tion. Nevertheless, throughout the remaining years of 
Mahmud's reign, unrest and rebellion continued to 
flare up in various districts. 

In 1830 the sultan tried unsuccessfully to prevent 
the French occupation of Algiers. Meanwhile, 
Muhammad c Ali became determined to seek compen- 
sation for his losses in Greece. His perception of the 
sultan's military weakness encouraged him to demand 
the governorship of Syria. When this was refused, in 
October 1831 the Egyptian army invaded Syria, 
defeated two Ottoman armies and completed the con- 
quest by July 1832. When the sultan countered by 
preparing yet another army, the Egyptians marched 
into Anatolia, defeated the Ottomans again at Konya 
(21 December), occupied Kutahya (2 February 1833) 
and were in a position to march on Istanbul. The 
sultan sought help from the great powers, but only the 
Russians dispatched a naval force to defend Istanbul 
(February 1833). This induced Britain and France to 
offer mediation, resulting in the Convention of 
Kutahya (April 8). It conferred on Muhammad C A1I 
the government of Syria and the province of Adana. 
Meanwhile, Russian paramountcy in Istanbul was 
underscored by the Treaty of Hiinkar (Khunkar) 
Iskelesi (8 July), a Russian-Ottoman defensive 
alliance. But the treaty alarmed other European 
powers, especially Britain, who became determined to 
help the Ottomans liberate themselves of Russian 
dependence. The Ottoman empire now came under 
the protection of the European Concert, and its 
foreign relations with Britain, Austria and Prussia 
were increasingly improving. 

In spite of military disasters and political setbacks, 
during the 1830s Sultan Mahmud relentlessly pro- 
ceeded with his reformatory measures. His main ob- 
jectives continued to focus on centralisation of 
government and the attainment of greater efficiency 
in its work. In 1835 the entire administration was 
reconstituted into three independent branches: the 
civil bureaucracy (kalemiyye), the religious-judicial 

hierarchy (filmiyye) and the military (seyfiyye). Their 
respective heads — the grand vizier, the sheykh iil-Isldm 
and the ser- c asker— were now considered equals, and 
therefore, responsible directly to the sultan (BBA, HH 
24031; Lutfl, v, 25-6). Throughout most of 
Mahmud's reign the court had been the most impor- 
tant centre of power. Now it was officially recognised 
as such. The aggrandisement of the court was mainly 
at the expense of the grand vizier's office. Traditional- 
ly, the grand vizier was considered the sultan's ab- 
solute deputy (wekil-i mutlak) and as such the head of 
the entire government, civilian and military. To 
underscore the reduction of his authority, in March 
1838 the grand vizier's title was officially changed to 
that of chief deputy, or prime minister (bash wekil). At 
the same time, the grand vizier's chief assistants were 
given the title of minister (ndzir and later wekil). These 
changes were combined with attempts to attain a bet- 
ter definition of administrative responsibilities. Con- 
sequently, from 1836 government departments were 
being regrouped into ministries (nezdret) for internal, 
foreign and financial affairs. A further distinction was 
made between the executive and the legislative. Con- 
sultative councils were established to supervise 
military and civil matters and to propose new legisla- 
tion. The highest of these, the Supreme Council for 
Judicial Ordinances (Meajlis-i wdld-yi ahkdm-i 'adliyye), 
established in 1838, acted as an advisory council to the 
sultan. New regulations granted the civil servants in- 
creased security, but also required higher standards of 
performance. But all these were mere beginnings. 
The difficulties were due mainly to the lack of trained 
personnel. In most cases the staffs of new departments 
were drawn from old ones, and the administrative 
reforms often amounted to a mere reshuffle of offices. 
Nevertheless, the groundwork was prepared for the 
emergence of a new generation of administrators with 
a more modern outlook. 

The military, which during Mahmud's last years 
was allocated about 70% of the state's revenues, con- 
tinued to be the focal point of reform. Most significant 
was the gradual extension of the authority of the 
commander-in-chief (ser-'-asker) of the Mansure over 
other services and branches. Thus the headquarters of 
the ser-'-asker (Bdb-i Ser-'Asker [q.v. ]) gradually came to 
combine the roles of a ministry of war and a general 
staff and was in charge of all land forces. The navy 
continued to operate as a separate organisation under 
the grand admiral, whose administration comprised a 
separate ministry. In the different branches of the ar- 
my, larger permanent units were formed with their 
regular commanding officers and staffs. Segments of 
the old feudal (limdrlu) cavalry were reformed. In 1834 
a provincial militia (redif) was established. The last 
two measures were intended to provide the regular ar- 
my with reserve forces as well as to co-opt the provin- 
cial notability into the new system by conferring on 
them commissions and honours. After 1833 the 
strength of the regular armed forces was considerably 
increased, and by the end of Mahmud's reign there 
were some 90,000 men in all the services, exclusive of 
the militia and other semi-regular organisations. 
Several European governments began extending 
modest military assistance. The Russians and British 
each sent a few military instructors. The British also 
helped establish the beginnings of a modern arms in- 
dustry and sent teams of engineers and workmen. 
Most useful services were rendered by the Prussian 
military mission which increased from one officer 
(Helmuth von Moltke) in 1835 to twelve by 1837. 
This was the beginning of a continuing pattern of 
military cooperation which was to last until the 20th 

century. At the same time, the sultan rejuvenated the 
military engineering schools which had been founded 
in the 18th century and had subsequently fallen into 
decay. He also established a military medical school 
(1827) and an officer school (1834). The sultan 
enlisted the support and cooperation of the 'ulama 5 in 
many of his military reforms (A. Levy, Ulema). But 
the paucity of adequately trained personnel and 
limited financial resources made progress difficult. 
The commissary system could not support the rapid 
increase of the military establishment as demanded by 
the sultan. Epidemics were rife and over a quarter of 
all recruits succumbed to disease. Desertion was also 
very high, and it was necessary to replenish the ranks 
continuously with new, untrained conscripts (BBA, 
Kepeci 6799; Moltke, Brief e, 349-50). 

In May 1835 the international community was 
taken by surprise when an Ottoman expeditionary 
force occupied Tripoli in Africa, claiming it back to 
the sultan. In the following years Ottoman fleets ap- 
peared several times before Tunis, but were turned 
back by the French navy (BBA, MMD, ix, 99-110). 
The continued occupation of Syria by Muhammad 
C A1I could not be tolerated by an autocratic ruler like 
Mahmud. In the spring of 1839, believing that his ar- 
my had sufficiently recovered and that a general 

Mahmud precipitated another crisis. On June 24 the 
Egyptians, once again, decisively routed the Ottoman 
army at Nizib. On July 1 Mahmud died, probably 
without learning of his army's last defeat. 

During Mahmud's reign, due to the inertia effects 
of long historical processes, the Ottoman empire con- 
tinued to decline in relation to the West. Its 
dependence on Europe increased and it continued to 
suffer military humiliation and territorial losses. Yet, 
within the reduced confines of his realm Mahmud's 
achievements were considerable. He resurrected the 
sultan's office, and with that he reformed and re- 
juvenated the central government. He arrested the 
disintegration of the state and even initiated a process 
of consolidation. In spite of his intensive reformatory 
activity, Mahmud was inherently dedicated to tradi- 
tional values. He did not attempt to alter the basic 
fabric of Ottoman society, but rather to strengthen it 
through modern means. He generally succeeded in in- 
tegrating the old elites into the new institutions. This 
was in keeping with his strong attachment to the ideal 
of justice in the traditional Ottoman sense. The sobri- 
quet he selected for himself, 'Adli, "the Just," is an 
indication of the cast of his mind. It may be said, 
therefore, that the principles which guided him 
throughout his reign were Islam, autocracy and 
justice. Nevertheless, though he may not have intend- 
ed it, the reforms which Mahmud introduced were to 
produce basic change and to launch Ottoman society 
on the course of modernisation in a final and ir- 
revocable manner. 

Bibliography : The Ottoman archives contain a 
vast number of relevant documents dispersed in 
numerous collections. All the documents cited 
above are from Ba^bakanhk Ar$ivi (abbreviated as 
BBA). For a description of the holdings of this ar- 
chive see M. Sertoglu, Muhieva bahmtndan Basvekalet 
Arsivi, Ankara 1955. Especially valuable concentra- 
tion of documents are located in the following col- 
lections: Kanunndme-i askeri defierleri (abbreviated as 
KAD), vols, i, ii, vi (military legislation, organisa- 
tion, history); Muhimme-i mektum defierleri (ab- 
breviated as MMD), vols, v-ix (mainly internal 
political matters); Maliyeden mudevver defierleri, vol. 
9002 (financial and administrative matters); Tev- 


cihat ve redif ve mevad ve muhimme-i asdkir defterleri (ab- 
breviated as TRD), vol. xxvi (military reform and 
financial administration); Tevziat, zehayir, esnaf ve 
ihitisab defterleri, vols, xxiv - xxxii (taxation, provi- 
sions and various matters); Kamil Kepeci tasnifi 
(numerous documents dealing with the financial 
administration of the government and armed 
forces). The Cevdet tasnifi and Hatt-i humdyuhlar (ab- 
breviated as HH) collections are very useful, but 
more disparate. 

European archives contain extensive information 
in the correspondence and reports of envoys sta- 
tioned in the Ottoman empire. At the Archives de 
la Guerre, Paris, carton no. MR1619 contains an 
especially valuable collection of detailed and in- 
formed reports on political and military conditions. 

The Ottoman chronicles for this period are: 
Ahmed c Asim, Ta>rikh, 2 vols., Istanbul n.d. (vol. 
ii discusses the events of 1808); Shanizade Mehmed 
'Ata'ullah, Ta Vi&, 4 vols., Istanbul 1290-1/1873-4 
(events of 1808-21); Mehmed Es c ad, TaMkh, 2 
vols., unpublished ms. (events of 1821-6); Ahmed 
Djewdet, TaMkh, 12 vols., Istanbul 1270-1301/ 
1854-83; 2nd rev. ed. 1302-9/1884-91 (vols, ix-xii 
discuss events of 1808-26; Ahmed Lutfi, TaMkh, 8 
vols., Istanbul 1290-1328/1873-1910 (vols, i-vi 
discuss the period 1825-39). 

Other important Ottoman historical works are: 
Ahmed Djewad, TaMkh-i 'askeri-yi 'Othmani (5 
books in 3 vols.), vol. i—Yenic'eriler, Istanbul 
1297/1880 (tr. G. Macrides, Etat militaire. . . ; tome i, 
livre I — Le corps des janissaires, Constantinople 
1882); vols, ii, iii, unpublished ms. (vol. ii, book IV 
discusses Mahmud's military reforms). Haffz 
Khidr (Khizir) Ilyas, WekaV-i UfaHf-i enderun, 
Istanbul 1276/1859 (life and politics at Mahmud's 
court). Mehmed Es c ad, Uss-i zafer, Istanbul 
1243/1828 (the destruction of the janissaries; tr. 
Caussin de Perceval, Precis historique de la destruction 
du corps des janissaires. . . , Paris 1 833); Mustafa Nun, 
NetiHax al-wuku'it, 4 vols., Istanbul 1294-1327/ 
1877-1909 (vol. iv discusses political, military and 
economic developments). 

Of the extensive western travel accounts, 
memoirs and other contemporary works, the 
following have special value: A. F. Andreossy, Con- 
stantinople et le Bosphore de Thrace 3 , Paris 1841; A. 
Boue, La Turquie d' Europe..., Paris 1840; J. E. 
Dekay, Sketches of Turkey in 1831 and 1832, New 
York 1833; V. Fontanier, Voyages en Orient. .. , Paris 
1829; A. Juchereau de St. Denys, Les revolutions de 
Constantinople en 1807-1808, Paris 1819; idem, 
Histoire de V empire Ottoman depuis 1792jusqu'en 1844, 
Paris 1844; C. MacFarlane, Constantinople in 1828, 
London 1829; idem, Turkey and its destiny..., Lon- 
don 1850; Helmuth von Moltke, Brief e..., Berlin 
1841; R. Wagner, Moltke und Muhlbach zusammen 
unterden Halbmonde, Berlin 1893 (very useful; based 
on private and public documents). 

In addition to numerous articles in EI and IA, 
modern studies discussing this reign include: N. 
Berkes, The development of secularism in Turkey, Mon- 
treal 1964, 89-135; C. V. Findley, The legacy of tradi- 
tion to reform: origins of the Ottoman foreign ministry, in 
IJMES, i (1970), 334-57; idem, The foundation of the 
Ottoman foreign ministry: the beginnings of bureaucratic 
reform under Selim III and Mahmud II, in IJMES, iii 
(1972), 388-416; H. inalcik, Sened-i Ittifak ve Gulhane 
Hatt-i Humdyunu, in Belleten, xxviii (1964), 603-22; 
A. Levy, The officer corps in Sultan Mahmud IPs new 
Ottoman army, 1826-1839, in IJMES, ii (1971), 
21-39; idem, The Ottoman ulema and the military 

reforms of Sultan Mahmud II, in Asian and African 
Studies, vii (1971), . 13-39; idem, The eshkenji- 
project—an Ottoman attempt at gradual reform (1826), in 
Abr-Nahrain, xiv (1973-4), 32-9; idem, Ottoman at- 
titudes to the rise of Balkan nationalism, in B. K. Kiraly 
and G. E. Ruthenberg, eds., War and Society in east 
central Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, i, New 
York 1979, 325-45; B. Lewis, The emergence of modern 
Turkey, London 1961, 75-104; S. J. Shaw and E. 
Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman empire and modern 
Turkey, ii, Cambridge 1977, 1-54; F. R. Unat, 
Bashoca Ishak efendi, in Belleten, xxviii (1964), 
89-116. (A. Levy) 

MAHMUD KHAN, NasIr al-DIn, the 
founder of a short-lived dynasty ruling in 
Kal pi [q.v.] in the first half of the 9th/ 15th century. 
He was the son of Malikzada FIruz b. Tadj al-DIn 
Turk, the wazir of Ghiyath al-DIn Tughluk II, who 
was killed with his sovereign in Dihll in 791/1389; 
after that event he fled to KalpI, his ikta ', gave it the 
honorific name of Muhammadabad, and "aspired to 
independence" (dam az istiklal mizad). This was not 
difficult to attain in the disrupted conditions of the 
Dihll sultanate after TTmur's sack and withdrawal, 
and Mahmud consolidated his position at the expense 
of his Hindu neighbours. His status was never really 
secure against the growing power of the neighbouring 
sultanates of Malwa and Djawnpur [q. vv. ] , and the 
historians of those regions indicate that the arrogated 
titles of shah and sultan were resented by the rulers of 
the larger and more powerful regions. Mahmud died 
in 8 1 3/ 1 4 1 0- 1 1 and was succeeded by his son (Ikhtiy ar 
al-DIn Abu '1-Mudjahid) Kadir Khan, referred to by 
Firishta as c Abd al-Kadir al-mawsum ia-Kadir Shah 
(Lucknowlith., ii, 306, 307), d. ca. 835/1432; in a war 
of succession between his three sons, Malwa and 
Djawnpur again intervened, resulting in a son called 
Djalal Khan being installed under the suzerainty of 
Malwa; he managed to assert his independence more 
firmly than his father or grandfather, for he issued 
coins as Fath al-Dunya wa '1-DIn Djalal Shah Sulfanl 
in 841/1437-8. The length of his reign is not known, 
but his brother Nasir Khan, ruling in 847/1443, was 
chastised by the Djawnpur forces and temporarily 
deprived of Kalpi after being suspected of apostasising 
from Islam; thereafter, this semi-independent dynasty 
does not appear in the historians. 

Bibliography: The prime text is Muhammad 
Bihamad Khanl, TaMkh-i Muhammadi, B.M. ms. 
Or. 137 (Rieu, Cat. Pers. mss., i, 84 ff.), completed 
in 842/1438-9; the author was brought up in the 
house of Mahmud Khan's father, and later served 
under Mahmud's brother and wazir Djunayd 
Khan, receiving the ikta'- of Iric for military ser- 
vices. His information is corroborated by Yahya b. 
Ahmad Sirhindl, TaMkh-i Mubarak Shahi, and 
Firishta, and he is cited as an authority by Nizam 
al-DIn Ahmad, Tabakdt-i Akbari (whence also the 
later information on Nasir Khan); S. H. Hodrvala, 
The unassigned coins ofjalal Shah Sullani, in JASB, NS 
xxv (1929), Numismatic Supplement N. 41-6. 

(J. Burton-Page) 
Djawnpur [q.v.], the eldest son of Ibrahim Shah 
SharkI, ascended the throne in 844/1440. In 
846/1442, he decided to invade Bengal, but owing to 
reasons not clear he refrained from carrying out his 
plans. The account in the Mafia' al-sa'dayn that he did 
so because of a warning from the Tlmurid Shah 
Rukh, seems to be apocryphal. 

In 847/1443, hearing that Nasir Shah, ruler of 
KalpI (Mahmiidabad), had plundered the town of 


Shahpur and harassed its Muslim population, 
Mahmud decided to punish him, and with the permis- 
sion of Mahmud KhaldjI [q.v.] of Malwa, whose 
feudatory Nasir Shah's father, Kadir Khan, had 
been, Mahmud SharkI marched on Kalpi. Nasir fled 
to Canderi and appealed to Mahmud KhaldjI for 
help. The latter wrote to the SharkI Sultan to restore 
Kalpi to Nasir, but since the Shark! ruler ignored this, 
Mahmud KhaldjI advanced towards Eraih on 2 
Sha c ban 848/14 November 1444 and attacked him. 
Although both sides suffered losses, the result of the 
conflict was indecisive, and hostilities ended through 
the mediation of the Shaykh al-Islam, Shaykh 
Dja'ilda, a holy man much respected by both the 
rulers; Mahmud SharkI agreed to restore Kalpi to 
Nasir Shah. 

Soon afterwards, Mahmud crushed a rebellion in 
Cunar and annexed a greater portion of it. He then 
invaded Orissa which he plundered and, after laying 
the foundations of two mosques at Paharpur, returned 

Mahmud now put forward a claim to the throne of 
Dihli on the ground that its ruler Sultan 'Ala 3 al-Dln 
c Alam Shah (847-83/1443-76) was his wife's brother. 
The Sultan was a puppet in the hands of his wazir, 
Hamld Khan, who was the de facto ruler. But weary of 
his minister's domination, he had gone away to 
Bada 3 un. Hamld Khan, finding his position insecure 
on account of the machinations of the Sultan and the 
hostility of some Dihli nobles, invited Bahlul from 
Sirhind. Bahlul immediately set out towards Dihli and 
occupied it on 17 Rabl c I 855/19 April 1451. He then 
imprisoned Hamld Khan and declared himself king. 

At the beginning of 856/1452, Mahmud Shah, in- 
stigated by his queen, BIbi RadjI, and invited by the 
nobles who detested the uncouth Afghans, advanced 
towards Dihli with 170,000 cavalry and 1,400 war 
elephants and invested it. Meanwhile, Bahlul LodI 
hastened from DIpalpur to the help of his son, 
Kh w adja Bayazld, whom he had left in charge of 
Dihli. On hearing of BahluTs approach, Mahmud 
Shah despatched an army of 30,000 cavalry and 30 
elephants under Darya Khan LodI and Fath Khan 
Harawi, who met Bahlul at Narela, 17 miles north of 
Dihli. Before the battle Sayyid Shams al-Dln, a loyal 
follower of Bahlul, won over Darya Khan by appeal- 
ing to his racial feelings. The result of Darya Khan's 
defection was that the SharkI army became demoralis- 
ed and, although numerically superior, it was 
defeated by Bahlul's 7,000 troops. Fath Khan was 
taken prisoner and beheaded. Mahmud SharkI had no 
alternative except to return to Djawnpur. 

In 858/1454 Mahmud sent a force to occupy Udj- 
djayn, whose chief, Ishwar Singh, Djawnpur's 
feudatory, had declared his independence. Ishwar 
Singh fled, but was pursued and captured and then 
put to death (859/1455). Udjdjayn was then annexed. 

Emboldened by his victory at Narela, Bahlul LodI 
decided to extend his territories. He occupied RaprI 
and expelled the SharkI governor of Etawah. 
Mahmud marched against the Afghan army, which 
he met at Etawah (856/1452-3). The battle was in- 
decisive, and peace was brought about through the 
mediation of Kutb Khan, cousin and brother-in-law 
of Bahlul, and Ray Pratap, ruler of Bhongaon and 
Kampil. It was agreed that Bahlul would return the 
seven elephants he had captured at Narela; that each 
would retain possession of the territories which had 
belonged to Ibrahim SharkI and Mubarak Shah 
Sayyid of Dihli; and lastly, that Shamsabad would be 
ceded to Bahlul. 

But hostilities again broke out in 861/1456-7 

because Djawna Khan, the SharkI governor of Sham- 
sabad, refused to surrender it. Bahlul therefore attack- 
ed him and after expelling him, handed over 
Shamsabad to Ray Karan. Mahmud hastened to the 
aid of Djawna Khan. Kutb Khan and Darya Khan 
made a night attack on him, but this proved abortive 
and Kutb Khan was taken prisoner. Greatly distress- 
ed on hearing of Kutb Khan's imprisonment, Bahlul 
set out to attack Mahmud. But the latter fell ill and 
died in 862/1458. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Bhlkam Khan, who ascended the throne of Djawnpur 
as Sultan Muhammad Shark!. 

Mahmud was an able ruler and his subjects were 
happy and prosperous during his reign. He is said to 
have spent his time in the society of the c ulama 3 and 
Sufis. He was interested in architecture and built the 
famous Lai Darwaza Mosque in Djawnpur, and adja- 
cent to it a magnificent palace for his queen, Bibl 
RadjI. He also built a bridge and madrasas, and laid 
the foundations of another palace outside Djawnpur. 
Bibliography: Nizam al-Dln, Tabakat-i Akbari, 
iii, ed. B. De, Bibl. Ind., Calcutta 1935 and Eng. 
tr. B. De and Baini Prashad, Bibl. Ind., Calcutta 
1938; Muhammad Kasim Hindu-Shah, Ta^rikh-i 
Firishta, ii, Lucknow 1281/1864; c Abd al-Bakl 
Nihawandl, Ma^athir-i rahimi; Mawlawl Khayr al- 
Dln Muhammad AllahabadI, DJawnpur-nama, 
Djawnpur 1875, 1895, abridged Eng. tr. Fakir 
Khayr al-Dln Muhammad, Calcutta 1814, Urdu 
tr. Nadhlr al-DTn Ahmad, Djawnpur 1921; Miyan 
Muhammad Sa c Id, The Shark! Sultans of Dja wnpur. 
KaraiSI 1972; M. Hablb and K. A. Nizaml, eds., A 
comprehensive history of India (1206-1526), v, Dihli 
1970; Sir W. Haig, ed., Cambridge history of India, 
iii, Cambridge 1928; M. A. Rahlm, A history of the 
Afghans in India, KaraH 1961; S. Hasan c AskarI, 
Discursive notes on the Sharkt monarchy of Djawnpur, in 
the Procs. of the Ind. Hist. Congress, 1960, Part i; R. 
R. Diwarkar, ed., Bihar through the ages, Calcutta 
1959; Percy Brown, Indian architecture. The Islamic 
period, Bombay 1956. (Mohibbul Hasan) 

MAHMUD SHIHAB AL-DIN, the fourteenth 
ruler of the BahmanI dynasty [q.v.] in the 
Dakhan (Deccan). He ascended the throne at 
Muhammadabad-Bldar at the age of twelve on the 
death of his father, Shams al-Dln Mubammad III, on 
5 Safar 887/26 March 1482. During Mahmud's long 
reign of twenty-six years, the kingdom continued on 
its downward course on account of his own in- 
competence and the greed and intrigues of his nobles. 
The bitter rivalry between the Dakhanis, consisting of 
the natives and old settlers, and the Newcomers called 
Afakls or Gharibis, comprising Turks, Persians and 
Arabs, continued in all its intensity. Malik Hasan 
Nizam al-Mulk, a Hindu convert to Islam and gover- 
nor Qarafaar) of Telingana, became the leader of the 
Dakhanis and planned to destroy the Afakls, already 
weakened since the death of Mahmud Gawan [q. v. ] 
on 5 Safar 886/5 April 1481. He succeeded in per- 
suading the boy-king to order the massacre of the 
Turkish population of the town. Accordingly, the 
gates of the town were shut and about 4,000 Turks 
were massacred in cold blood. Fortunately, Yusuf 
c Adil, tarafaar of Bldjapur and leader of the Afakls, 
who had come to attend the king's coronation 
ceremony, was saved because he had encamped out- 
side the town wall, and after the massacre left for 

The government was carried on by a Regency with 
the Queen-Mother as President of the Council of 
Regency; Malik Hasan Nizam al-Mulk as Mir Na^ib; 
Fath Allah c Imad al-Mulk, also a Hindu convert to 


Islam, as wazir and Mir Djumla as finance 
Kasim Band, a Turk who had watched the 
of the people of his own race with indifference, was 
appointed kotwdl [q.v.]. 

In 891/1486, four years after his accession, 
Mahmud, anxious to assert his power, conspired with 
Kasim Band and Dastur Dinar, the leader of the 
Abyssinians (Habashls), to get rid of both Nizam al- 
Mulk and c Imad al-Mulk. But the plot leaked out and 
the Sultan apologised to them. However, c Imad al- 
Mulk, realising his life to be in danger, left for his own 
province of Berar, never to return again. Nizam- al- 
Mulk, who took no precaution, was strangled to death 
by his friend, Dilpasand Khan, at the instigation of 

Nizam al-Mulk's removal from the scene led to the 
victory of the Afakls. But the Dakhanis, alarmed and 
angry by the murder of their leader, plotted to 
assassinate the king with the support of the Habashls; 
and on 21 Dhu '1-Ka c da 892/8 November 1487, they 
entered the palace, locking the gate behind them so 
that no one else could enter. They killed the Turkish 
guards, but Kasim Band, with a detachment of 
12,000 men, scaled the walls of the palace and rescued 
the king. The next morning, Mahmud ordered the 
massacre of the Dakhanis, and for three days this con- 
tinued until it was stopped by the intercession of Shah 
Muhibb Allah, son of the saint Khalll Allah. 

Taking advantage of these events, Kasim Band 
raised the banner of revolt, and compelled Mahmud 
to make him wakil or prime minister (897/1492). 
Meanwhile, Malik Ahmad, Nizam al-Mulk's son, 
who was at his djdgir [q.v.] of Djunayr, on hearing of 
his father's death, adopted the title of Nizam al-Mulk 
and without seeking the permission of the king, con- 
quered all the forts in Maharashtra, including the 
whole of Konkon and the territory up to the river 
Godavari. He then came to Bldar, where he was 
received by Mahmud and confirmed in his new 
possessions; but at the same time Mahmud sent troops 
against Malik Ahmad and also ordered Yusuf c Adil to 
march against him. The royal troops were defeated, 
while Yusuf c Adil, in defiance of the king's order, 
congratulated Malik Ahmad on his success. It was in 
895/1490 that Malik Ahmad, on achieving his victory 
over the king's army, had founded the town of 
Ahmadnagar [q.v.], which became the capital of the 
Nizam Shahl dynasty [q.v.]. 

Encouraged by the incompetence of the ruler, the 
governors in the provinces began to assert their in- 
dependence. Bahadur Khan Guam, kotwdl of Goa, 
took possession of the whole west coast from Goa up 
to Dabul as well as the greater portion of southern 
Maharashtra. But on 5 Safar 900/5 November 1494, 
he was defeated and killed by Sultan Kull Kutb al- 
Mulk, tarafddr of Telingana. Dastur Dinar, the 
HabashI, who held the djdgirs of Culbarga, Aland and 
Gangawati, also declared his independence in 
901/1496. But although he was defeated by Yusuf 
c Adil, he was forgiven by Mahmud and his djdgirs 
restored tohim. 

Yusuf c Adil's position became strong due to the 
betrothal of his daughter to the crown prince, Ahmad, 
early in 903/1497, which enabled him to secure the 
djdgirs of Gulbarga, Aland and Gangawati which had 
been assigned to Dastur Dinar. Previously to this, 
Kasim Band, being jealous of Yusuf c Adil, had con- 
trived his overthrow. He had suggested to Narasa 
Nayak, the prime minister of Vidjayanagar, to occupy 
Raycur and Mudgal which were in Yusuf c Adil's 
possession, and had also tried to win over Malik 
Aljmad against Yusuf by offering him Panhala, 

Konkon and Goa, which were at the time in Bahadur 
Guam's possession. But Yusuf c Adil had succeeded in 
foiling Malik Ahmad 's plans. He had first marched 
towards Bldar and defeated Kasim Band, who was ac- 
companied by Mahmud, near the capital. He had 
then directed his attention towards the Vijayanagar 
army, which he had defeated on 1 Radjab 899/18 
April 1493 and had reoccupied Raycur and Mudgal, 
thus upsetting Kasim Band's plans. 

Disenchanted with Kasim Band, Mahmud now in- 
vited Yusuf c Adil and Ku{b al-Mulk to his rescue at 
the end of Dhu 'l-Hidjdja 903/August 1497. They 
came and besieged Kasim in his djdgir of Ausa, but 
gained no success, for the minister was soon reconcil- 
ed to the king. However, in 909/1503-4, Kasim Barid 
was replaced by Khan-i Djahan, also a Turk, until 
Kasim Barid contrived his death. Thereupon, Yusuf 
c Adil, Kutb al-Mulk and Dastur Dinar marched on 
Bldar to wrest power from Kasim. The latter was 
defeated and fled, but this did not improve things, 
because he once again won over Mahmud. Frustrated 
in their attempts to rescue the king, the tarafddrs in 
disgust returned to their respective djdgirs, leaving 
Kasim Barid as powerful as before. When he died in 
910/1504-5 he was succeeded by his son Amir C A1I 
Band, whose domination was even more effective 
than that of his father. 

Taking advantage of these internecine conflicts, 
Krishnadevaraya compelled Yusuf c Adil to evacuate 
the Do'ab. The Gandjpatls of Orissa, on the other 
hand, occupied the whole east coast which had 
belonged to the Bahmanids. In 923/1517, Mahmud 
tried to recover the Do'ab from the Radja of 
Vidjayanagar, but he was defeated and wounded and 
compelled to retreat. 

Mahmud's last days were unhappy. In addition to 
these territorial losses, there were risings of his taraf- 
ddrs, who were engaged in carving out independent 
kingdoms for themselves, which he was helpless to 
prevent; soon his writ did not run beyond the walls of 
Bldar, and even there he was subject to the will of 
Amir C A1I Barid. 

Mahmud died on 4 Dhu 'l-Hidjdja 924/7 December 
1518. He was succeeded by four kings, one after 
another, set up or set aside according to C A1I Band's 
pleasure. Kallm Allah, Mahmud's son, was the last 
king. He wrote to Babur for help against 'All Barid, 
but as the latter found this out, Kallm Allah fled to 
Bldjapur and thence to Ahmadnagar, where he is sup- 
posed to have died in 945/1538. 

Bibliography: Sayyid C A1I Tabataba, Ta^rikh-i 
Burhdn-i ma^dthir, ed. Sayyid Hashim, Dihll 
1355/1936; Muhammad Kasim Hindu-Shah, 
TaMkh-i Firishta, i, Lucknow 1281/1864; Nizam al- 
Dln, Tabakdt-i Akbari, iii, ed. B. De and Hidayat 
Husayn, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1935, Eng. tr. B. De 
and Baini Prashad, Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1938; H. K. 
Sherwam, The Bahmanis oj the Deccan, Hyderabad 
1953: H. K. SherwanI and P. M. Djoshi, eds., 
History of medieval Deccan (1295-1724), 2 vols., 
Hyderabad 1973-4; M. Hablb and K. A. NizamI, 
eds., A comprehensive history of India (1206-1526), v, 
Dihll 1970; G. YazdanI, Bldar and its history and its 
monuments_, Oxford 1947. (Mohibbul Hasan) 
MAHMUD B. ISMA'lL. [See lu>lu\ badr 

SHAH, Mughith al-Dunya wa 'l-Din Abu 'l- 
Kasim, Great Saldjuk sultan in western Persia 
and c Irak 511-25/1118-31. 

The weakening of the Great Saldjuk central power 
in the west, begun after Malik-Shah's death in the 


period of the disputed succession between Berk-yaruk 
and Muhammad [q.vv.], but arrested somewhat once 
Muhammad had established his undisputed authori- 
ty, proceeded apace during Mahmud's fourteen-year 
reign. This arose in part from the latter's initial 
youthfulness (he came to the throne, at the age of 13 
and as the eldest of his father's five sons, on 24 Dhu 
'1-Hi djdj a 511/18 April 1118, through the support of 
Kamal al-Mulk SimlrumI, subsequently his vizier), 
but stemmed mainly from the continued vitality 
among the Saldjuks of a patrimonial concept of rule 
which made clear-cut father-eldest son succession dif- 
ficult to enforce. Mahmud's uncle Sandjar [q.v. ] re- 
mained as undisputed ruler of the eastern Persian 
lands, and from his seniority and experience became 
regarded as head of the Saldjuk family, even though 
since the time of Toghril Beg the holder of the seat of 
power in the western half of the sultanate had normal- 
ly been regarded as supreme sultan. But what made 
Mahmud's reign so full of strife were the pretensions 
of his four brothers, Mas c ud, Toghril, Sulayman 
Shah and Saldjuk Shah. All of them held some degree 
of power in various parts of the western sultanate at 
different times, and the first three of them eventually 
achieved the title of sultan itself, though their reigns 
followed after the brief one of Mahmud's son Dawud 
(525-6/1131-2) and were interspersed with those of 
two other sons, Malik-Shah III (547-8/1152-3) and 
Muhammad II (548-55/1153-60). 

The claims of these fraternal rivals for power during 
Mahmud's reign could not have been sustained 
without military support from their own Atabegs or 
guardians [see atabak] and other Turkish com- 
manders, through whose control large sections of the 
sultanate were frequently abstracted from Mahmud's 
direct rule, with deleterious effects on his finances, his 
ability to pay his troops and therefore his enforcing his 
authority. As lamented by Anushlrwan b. Khalid 
[q.v.], who acted as Mahmud's vizier 521-2/1127-8, 
"they [sc. Mahmud's rivals] split up the kingdom's 
unity and destroyed its cohesion; they claimed a share 
with him in the power, and left him with only a bare 
subsistence" (Bundari, 134). Mahmud's sultanate 
also witnessed further steps in the process of the 
revival of the c Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad's temporal 
power, and the growing confidence of Mahmud's con- 
temporary al-Mustarshid (512-29/1118-35) was only 
held in check by the caliph's enemies in central 'Irak, 
the Shi c i Arab dynasty of the Mazyadids [q.v.] under 
Dubays b. Sadaka. 

The ascendancy over the young sultan Mahmud 
immediately established by the Chief Hdajib c Ali Bar 
soon led to an invasion by Sandjar, who came 
westwards with a powerful army, defeated Mahmud 
at Sawa and dictated peace to him, but on a fairly 
amicable basis (513/1119); Sandjar secured control of 
the Caspian provinces and Ray, but gave Mahmud 
one of his daughters in marriage and made him his 
heir. Meanwhile, Mahmud was losing control of the 
northern parts of his dominions, for his brother 
Toghril 's cause was espoused in northern Djibal by 
the Atabeg Kuntoghdi, and from a base at Kazwln, 
Toghril defied Mahmud for the whole of his reign. 
Also, Adharbaydjan and al-Djazira had been granted 
to Mas'ud b. Muhammad, with Ay-Aba iDjuyush 
Beg as his Atabeg. The separatist tendencies of local 
Turkish and Kurdish chiefs, including c Imad al-Dln 
Zangi, encouraged Mas c ud, and in 514/1120 he and 
Ay-Aba rebelled openly, but were defeated by 
Mahmud's general Ak Sunkur BursukI at Asadabad 
near Hamadhan, and Mas c ud's vizier al-Hasan b. 
C A1I al-Tughra-'i [q.v.], the famous poet and stylist, 

was executed. Ay-Aba had hoped to incite Dubays b. 
$adaka against Mahmud, and over the next few years 
the amir of Hilla's hopes of reducing Saldjuk influence 
in c Irak were raised. Fortunately for Mahmud, fear of 
the Shi c I threat had the effect of forcing the caliph al- 
Mustarshid into close co-operation with Mahmud's 
own vizier Shams al-Mulk c Uthman b. Nizam al- 
Mulk, and in 520/1126 Mahmud came with an army 
to Baghdad to enforce his rights and reinforce the 
authority of his shihna or military governor there. 

On the extreme northern fringes of the sultanate, a 
threat had arisen from the resurgent Georgians [see 
al-kurdj] under David IV the Restorer (1089-1125), 
who had stopped paying tribute to the Saldjuks (see 
W. E. D. Allen, A history of the Georgian people, London 
1932, 96-100). An army sent by Mahmud in 
515/1121, and including Toghril, Dubays and the Ar- 
tukid Il-QhazI, failed to halt the Georgians, who cap- 
tured Tiflis and Am and dislodged the latter's 
Shaddadid prince, and a further expedition to Shfr- 
wan led personally by the sultan (517/1123) achieved 
nothing either. Toghril and Dubays tried soon after 
this to stir up 'Irak against Mahmud and al- 
Mustarshid, but failed and had to flee to Khurasan. 
They persuaded Sandjar to move westwards to Ray in 
522/1128, but Mahmud became reconciled to his un- 
cle; Dubays had eventually to move to Syria, and in 
524/1130 Mahmud and Mas c ud made peace, the lat- 
ter being confirmed in his appanage centred on Gan- 
dja in Adharbaydjan. 

Mahmud died in Djibal on 15 Shawwal 525/10 
September 1131 at the age of only 27, and his death 
was to plunge the western sultanate into sharp succes- 
sion disputes. Despite an alleged love of luxury, 
Mahmud achieved a favourable mention from 
historians for his justice and reasonableness and for 
his Arabic scholarship, rare among the Saldjuk rulers. 
He patronised many of the leading poets of his time, 
and both he and the caliph al-Mustarshid were the 
mamduhs of Haysa Baysa [q.v.] (see C AM Djawad al- 
Tahir, al-Shi c r al- c arabi fi 'l- c Irak wa-bildd al- c Adjam fi 
7-W al-Salajuki, Baghdad 1958-61, index s.v. 
Mahmud). The ten grave accusations levelled against 
Mahmud by Anushlrwan b. Khalid (listed in Bun- 
dari, 120-4), including those of breaking up the unity 
of the Saldjuk house and of causing disharmony in 
c Irak, of squandering his father's treasury, of splitting 
up the royal ghulams, of raising the siege of Alamut 
because of Isma c HI sympathies, of encouraging an at- 
mosphere of immorality at court, etc., and the further 
accusations laid at the door of the vizier Kiwam al- 
Din Darguzlnl or AnsabadhI (Anushirwan's 
predecessor and then successor in office), contain 
palpable exaggerations, and do not take sufficient ac- 
count of the parlous financial state of the sultanate, 
because of which Mahmud was compelled to grant out 
to his commanders more and more land as iktah and 
thus reduce his own income. 

Bibliography: 1. Sources. See the general 
chronicles, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn al-DjawzI and Sibt al- 
Djawzl; and of the Saldjuk, sources, Bundari, Zub- 
datal-nusra, 119-56; Rawandl, Rahat al-sudur, 203-6; 
Sadr al-DIn Husayni, Akhbar al-dawla al-Saldjukiyya, 
88-9, 96-9; Ibn al-KalanisI, Dhayl Ta>rikh Dimashk, 
198 ff. There is a biography in Ibn Khallikan, ed. 
Ihsan 'Abbas, v, 182-3, no. 174, tr. de Slane, iii, 

2. Studies. See M. A. Koymen, Biiyiik Selcuklu 
imparalorlugu tarihi. ii. Ikinci imparatorluk devri, 
Ankara 1954, 5-148, 164-73; C. E. Bosworth, in 
Cambridge hist, of Iran, v, 119-24. 

(C. E. Bosworth) 



MAHMUD b. SEBUKTIGIN, sultan of the 
Ghaznawid dynasty [q.v.], reigned 

388-421/998-1030 in the eastern Islamic lands. 

Abu '1-Kasim Mahmud was the eldest son of the 
Turkish commander Sebiiktigin, who had risen from 
being one of the slave personal guards of the Hddjib-i 
buzurg or commander-in-chief Alptigin [see alp takin] 
under the Samanids to becoming the virtually in- 
dependent amir of a principality centred on Ghazna 
[q.v.], at that time on the far eastern fringe of the 
Samanid empire. Mahmud was born in 361/971, his 
mother being from the local Iranian (?) gentry stock 
of Zabulistan [q.v.], the district around Ghazna in 
what is now eastern Afghanistan; hence in the 
eulogies of his court poets, Mahmud is sometimes 
called "Mahmud-i Zabuli". 

Mahmud was involved at his father's side in the 
confused, internecine warfare which marked the last 
years of the Samanid amlrate. In 384/994 the two of 
them fought on behalf of the amir Nuh II b. Mansur 
against the rebels Abu c Ali Slmdjuri and Fa-'ik 
Khassa. and Mahmud was rewarded with the 
honorific title Sayf al-Dawla and command of the ar- 
my of Khurasan in place of Abu C A1I. Control of this 
powerful military force was of prime value to 
Mahmud when, in Sha'ban 387/August 997, 
Sebiiktigin died and Mahmud had to establish by 
force of arms his own claim to the amlrate in Ghazna 
against that of Isma c u, his younger brother, whom 
Sebiiktigin had by a somewhat puzzling decision ap- 
pointed his successor (388/998) but who had no 
military experience or reputation comparable to that 
of Mahmud. 

Once securely in power, the latter's first step was to 
re-establish the position in Khurasan by ejecting the 
general Begtuzun, who had taken over the province 
whilst Mahmud was involved in civil war with 
Isma c il. By securing a decisive victory over all his op- 
ponents in Khurasan, Mahmud was able to turn 
against his old masters the Samanids on pretext of 
seeking vengeance for the deposed amir Mansur b. 
Nuh II; he then secured from the c Abbasid caliph al- 
Kadir [q. v. ] direct investiture of the governorships of 
Khurasan and Ghazna and the la/iabs of Yamin al- 
Dawla and Amln al-Milla (the former honorific being 
that by which Mahmud became most widely-known, 
to the point that the whole Ghaznawid dynasty was 
often referred to later as the Yamlniyan). With the 
final disintegration of the Samanid state >in the face of 
a fresh invasion from the north by the Karakhanids or 
Ilek Khans [q.v.], it was a question for Mahmud of 
moving quickly to consolidate his hold over his own 
share of the former Samanid dominions, those south 
of the Oxus, for the Ilig Khan Nasr b. C A1I coveted 
Khurasan also. Whilst Mahmud was pre-occupied in 
India in 396/1005-6, a Karakhanid army invaded 
Khurasan, and the united forces of the Ilig and his 
kinsman Yusuf Kadir Khan of Kashghar were not 
finally driven out till 398/1008, after which 
Mahmud 's grip on Khurasan was never again 
threatened from that quarter. 

Mahmud's 32 years of rule were filled with almost 
ceaseless campaigning over a vast expanse of southern 
Asia, so that by his death he had assembled an empire 
greater than any known in eastern Islam since the 
decline of the c Abbasid caliphs. Continuance of his 
father's policy of raids into the Indian subcontinent 
enabled Mahmud to build up a great contemporary 
reputation as hammer of the heretical Isma c Hi ShT c is 
in Multan and other centres of Sind, but above all, of 
the pagan Hindus. In retrospect, it appears to us that 
the prime motivation for Mahmud's raids was finan- 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

cial greed rather than religious zeal. The temple 
treasures of India were thereby tapped, and the pro- 
ceeds used to beautify mosques and palaces in Ghazna 
and at places like Lashkar-i Bazar [q.v.], but above 
all, to maintain the central bureaucracy and the 
highly expensive, multi-national professional army 
which could not be stood down between campaigns. 
For the army, indeed, the manpower of India, in the 
form of infantrymen and elephant-drivers, was press- 
ed into service, and it does not seem that Mahmud 
baulked at employing these men whilst they were still 
pagan. The details of Mahmud's Indian campaigns, 
usually enumerated at 17 in all, can conveniently be 
read in Nazim's Sultan Mahmud (see BibL), 86-122. 
Briefly, the Hindushahi [q.v.] dynasty of Way hind, 
which had stood as a bulwark in northwestern India 
against Muslim expansion down the Indus valley and 
across to the Gangetic plains, was assaulted in several 
campaigns, and successive Radjas, Djaypal (d. 
393/1002-3), Anandpal, Trilocanpal (d. 412/1021-2) 
and Bhimpal (d. 417/1026, the last of his line) 
humbled, despite their attempts at alliance with other 
threatened potentates such as the Radjas of Kalindjar, 
Kanawdj, Gwaliyor, Dihll and Udjdjayn. Expeditions 
against these latter rulers led Mahmud well into the 
Do^ab and into Central India, whilst a spectacular 
march across the Thar Desert in 416/1026 gained him 
fabulous plunder from the idol-temple at Somnath in 
Kaihlawaf , ancient Sawrashira, an enhanced reputa- 
tion throughout the Muslim world, and the fresh lakab 
of Kahf al-Dawla wa 'I-Islam. Nor were Muslim 
dissidents spared, and the Isma c ili ruler of Multan, 
Abu '1-Fath Dawud b. Nasr, one of the local Arab 
rulers in Sind who had acknowledged the distant 
suzerainty of the Fatimids, was subdued and finally 
deposed in two campaigns (396/1006 and 401/1010). 

The raiding of India was thus a financial necessity 
for maintaining the momentum of the Ghaznawid 
military machine. A political annexation and the mass 
conversion of the Hindus were probably never en- 
visaged, and could not have been maintained in face 
of the strenous opposition offered by the Hindu 
princes except by an enormous army of occupation 
and the settlement of myriads of Muslim colonists. By 
the end of Mahmud's reign, Islam must have had a 
good hold in the lower and middle Indus valley 
regions, but Lahore remained for nearly two centuries 
essentially a frontier bastion for Muslim ghazi activity 
against Hindu-held territory which lay not far to the 
east; it was to be the task of Mu c izz al-Dfn Muham- 
mad G_hurT and his commanders really to establish 
Islamic political control over northern India in the 
7th/13th century [see ghGrids and dihli sultanate]. 

The other aspect of Mahmud's imperialist policies 
concerned the Iranian world, where, as successor- 
state to the Samanids, the sultan employed a mixture 
of direct conquest and the extension of tributary states 
over outlying regions. Thus the local Saffarid rulers of 
Sistan were reduced to vassalage (393/1003), as had 
been already at Mahmud's accession the Farighunids 
[q.v. in Suppl.] in Guzgan [q.v.] and the Shers or 
princes of Gharcistan [q.v.]; whilst the rulers of 
Kusdar and Makran [?.»».] in modern Balu&stan had 
to acknowledge Mahmud in 402/1011 and at the 
sultan's accession respectively. His forcible annexa- 
tion of the ancient kingdom of Kh w arazm [q.v.] on 
the lower Oxus and the extinguishing of the native 
Ma'munid dynasty of Kh w arazm-Shahs [q.v.] in 
Gurgandj in 408/1017, an isolated outpost of conquest 
which Mahmud's son Mas c ud had to relinquish only 
five or six years after his father's death, nevertheless 
enabled the Ghaznawids to turn the flank of the 


western branch of the Karakhanids. who under 
c AJTtigin had never ceased to show hostility to the 
sultan, and to achieve a position of dominant in- 
fluence in Central Asia. 

Mahmud inherited from the Samanids a tradition 
of rivalry with the Daylami Buyids [see buwayhids] 
concerning possession of Ray and northern Persia and 
concerning the exercise of suzerainty over the petty 
rulers of the Caspian region. The death of Fakhr al- 
Dawla [q.v.] of Ray and Djibal in 387/997 in- 
augurated a period of weaker rule for the northern 
Buyid amlrate under his youthful son Madjd al-Dawla 
Rustam [q.v] and his imperious mother and regent 
Sayyida. Mahmud made the Ziyarid ruler of Gurgan 
and Tabaristan Manuiihr b. Kabus [see ziyarids] his 
vassal, but only towards the end of his life did he feel 
freed from his many other commitments to lead a full- 
scale expedition against the Buyids (an expedition into 
the Buyid province of Kirman in 407/1016-17 in sup- 
port of a Buyid claimant to the governorship there had 
achieved no lasting result). Madjd al-Dawla was 
dethroned and his amlrate annexed, and the Ghaz- 
nawid troops pushed into northwestern Persia, tem- 
porarily subduing local Daylami and Kurdish princes 
like the Kakuyids and Musafirids [q.vv.] (420/1029). 
The whole campaign was retrospectively justified by 
propaganda denouncing the Buyids for their ShI'ism, 
their encouragement of heretics and their tutelage of 
the caliphs in Baghdad, and grandiose plans for ad- 
vancing on 'Irak and confronting the Fatimids on the 
Syrian Desert fringes envisaged. All these plans were 
cut short by the sultan's death at the age of 59 on 23 
Rabl c II 421/30 April 1030 and rendered impossible 
of execution for his son Mas c ud because of the grow- 
ing menace from the Turkmen incursions, which were 
to lead eventually to the triumph of the Saldjuks at 
Dandanqan [q.v. in Suppl.] and the Ghaznawids' loss 
of Khurasan. 

The contemporary image of Mahmud was that of a 
SunnI hero, sedulous in sending presents to the caliph 
in return for honorifics and investiture patents, and 
zealous to maintain orthodoxy within his dominions 
against all religious dissent and against odd pockets of 
paganism in regions of Afghanistan like Ghur and 
Kafiristan [q.vv.]. The centralised, despotic 
machinery of state with the sultan at its head, as 
created by Mahmud and his Persian officials, typifies 
the Perso-Islamic "power-state" in which the ruling 
institution of officials and soldiers was clearly set apart 
from the masses of tax-paying subjects, the ra c dyd. It 
was not for nothing that within half-a-century of 
Mahmud's death, the great vizier Nizam al-Mulk 
[q. v. ] could hold the sultan up in his Siydsat-ndma as an 
exemplar for his own Saldjuk, masters, and the 
military state typified by that of the Ghaznawids 
became the model for many later Islamic powers, a 
large proportion of them likewise directed by Turkish 
military castes. However, the figure of Mahmud also 
exemplifies how speedily and successfully the Islamic 
cultural milieu could attract and mould in its own im- 
age an outsider whose father had been a barbarian 
from the pagan Turkish steppes; for amongst other 
things, the literary and intellectual circles at 
Mahmud's court, which nurtured several leading 
poets like c Unsuri, Farrukhl and, for a short time, Fir- 
dawsl [q. vv. ] and provided a congenial centre of work 
for the scientist al-BIrunl [q.v.], show that the sultan 
conceived of himself as a full member of the comity of 
Islamic prince-patrons. 

Bibliography: 1. Primary sources. The 

main contemporary source is c UtbI's al-Ta'rikh al- 

Yamini, together with that of a generation or so 

later, Gardizi's Zayn al-akhbdr; this last plus Ibn al- 
Athlr contain valuable material from the lost 
TaMhh Wuldt Khurdsdn of Sallaml. Although the 
relevant volumes of Bayhaki's Mudjalldt for 
Mahmud's reign have not survived, those subse- 
quent ones forming the Tar'nkh-i Mas 1 udi give im- 
portant retrospective information, e.g. for the 
conquest of Kh w arazm. The later biographies of 
viziers, such as Nasir al-DIn MunshI Kirmani's 
Nasa Hm al-ashdr and Sayf al-DIn c UkaylT's Athdr al- 
wuzard*, are important, as are adab works and col- 
lections of anecdotes, including c Awfi's Djawdmi'- 
al-hikdydt and Fakhr-i Mudabbir's Adab al-harb wa 

2. Secondary sources. M. Nazim's The life 
and times of Sul)dn Mahmud of Ghazna, Cambridge 
1931, is a detailed, somewhat eulogistic, full-scale 
study; briefer, but more critical, is M. Habib's 
Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznin 2 , Dihli 1951. Other 
studies containing important information include 
Barthold, Turkestan down to the Mongol invasion 2 , 
London 1928; C. E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids, their 
empire in Afghanistan and eastern Iran 994-1040, Edin- 
burgh 1963; idem, in Camb. hist, of Iran, iv, ch. 5, 
v, ch. 1 ; and idem, The medieval history of Iran, 
Afghanistan and Central Asia, London 1977 (contains 
several reprinted relevant articles). For a survey of 
later historiography about Mahmud, see P. Hardy, 
Mahmud of Ghazna and the historians, in Jnal. of the 
Panjab Univ. Historical Soc., xiv (Dec. 1962), 1-36. 

(C. E. Bosworth) 
MAHMUD EKREM BEY. [See ekrem bey]. 
MAHMUD GAWAN, Kh"adja c Imad al-DIn, 
BahmanI minister in South India during the 
years 862-87/1458-82. 

He was born in 813/1411 (al-SakhawI, al-Daw" al- 
lami*, x), and arrived at BIdar [q.v.] the capital of the 
BahmanI kingdom [q.v.] at the age of 43. His family 
had held high office in Gilan in the Caspian 
coastlands, but it had fallen into disgrace and 
Mahmud had been compelled to leave the land of his 
birth. After wandering from place to place, he at last 
reached the BahmanI port of Dabul with the intention 
of entering the profession of merchant. From Dabul 
he wended his way to the metropolis of the Deccan in 
order to sit at the feet of Shah Muhibb. Allah, son of 
the famous saint Shah Ni'mat Allah of Kirman, who 
had made the Deccan his home. It was not long after 
this that he caught the attention of the sultan, Ahmad 
II (839-62/1435-58), who appointed him mansabddr of 
1,000 and ordered him to go and suppress the 
rebellion of the royal kinsman Djalal KJian at Nalgun- 
da. After desultory fighting, the rebels soon sur- 
rendered to Mahmud on his promise to intercede with 
the sultan for their lives and safety, and this was the 
beginning of the policy of conciliation and com- 
promise which Mahmud tried to pursue during the 
whole of his life. 

Ahmad II was succeeded by Humayun Shah 
(862-5/1458-61). Mahmud had already secured a con- 
siderable position in the kingdom, and the new king 
appointed him as his prime minister, later bestowing 
on him the highly-esteemed title of Malik al-Tu djdjd r. 
"Prince of Merchants". On Humayun's death his 
eldest son, who was barely eight years old, succeeded 
him as Nizam al-DIn Ahmad III (865-7/1461-3). The 
late king had willed that the country should be govern- 
ed during the minority of the new sultan by a council 
of regency consisting of Mahmud Gawan, Kh w adja 
Djahan Turk and the dowager queen, Makhduma 
Djahan Nargis Begam, who was to act as the president 
of the council with a casting vote on all matters of 


policy. The regency lasted throughout the reign of 
Ahmad III and during the minority of the next sultan, 
Muhammad III (867-87/1463-82). The short reign of 
Ahmad III saw two major military operations, name- 
ly, a war with Kapileshwar of Ufisa (Orissa), who 
took advantage of the sultan's youth to invade the 
Deccan from the north-east, and the struggle with 
Mahmud KhaldjI of Malwa, who invaded it from the 
north; in both of these, Mahmud Gawan's policy and 
strategy were successful. While Kapileshwar had to 
retreat and pay a large indemnity, Mahmud KhaldjI, 
who menaced the very existence of the Deccan as an 
independent state, was defeated with the help of the 
sultan of Gudjarat [q.v.\. This alliance of Gudjarat 
with the Deccan was initiated at the instance of 
Mahmud Gawan and became the corner-stone of the 
foreign policy of the Bahmani kingdom for many 

Three years after the accession of Muhammad III 
in 867/1463, a palace intrigue caused the murder of 
one of the members of the council of regency, 
Kh w adja Djahan Turk, followed later by the retire- 
ment of the dowager queen from the day-to-day af- 
fairs of state. Mahmud Gawan was now invested with 
the insignia of premiership and the title of Kh w adja 
Djahan [q.v.] conferred on him. Mahmud KhaldjI 
was again repulsed with the help of Gudjarat, and 
following the policy of conciliation already exercised 
effectively, the Deccan now entered into a treaty of 
friendship with Malwa. Soon an opportunity arose for 
interference in the affairs of Ufisa when in 875/1470-1 
two factions came to grips at Djadjnagar, the capital 
of the Gadjapatis, and one of them sought the help of 
the Bahmani sultan (JASB [1893], and Burhan-i 
ma>athir). Mahmud Gawan thereupon sent Malik 
Hasan Bahri (later Nizam al-Mulk and ancestor of the 
Nizam-Shahl dynasty of Ahmadnagar [g. v. ]) to Ufisa. 
Malik Hasan not only succeeded in putting the 
rightful claimant on the Ufisa throne, but also in an- 
nexing Radjamandrl and Kondavidu to the Bahmani 

It was now the turn of the lands beyond the 
Western Ghafs to be pacified. Goa had already been 
reduced by the founder of the dynasty, 'Ala 3 al-Din 
Bahman Shah (748-59/1347-58), but it seems that it 
had subsequently passed into Vidjayanagar's orbit. 
Moreover, certain local chieftains were in the habit of 
waylaying Bahmani ships plying in the Arabian Sea. 
By a series of brilliant campaigns which lasted three 
years from 873/1469 to 876/1472, Mahmud Gawan 
successfully negotiated the difficult terrain, captured 
the great fort of Sangameshwar and boldly marched to 
Goa, which he entered on 20 Sha c ban 876/1 February 

The frontiers of the kingdom had now reached the 
Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea in the 
west, and Mahmud Gawan rightly felt that it was time 
to reform the administration which had remained 
more or less static since the reign of Muhammad I 
(759-76/1358-75). He ordered that the whole land 
should be measured and a record of rights kept, thus 
forestalling the reforms of Akbar the Great and Radja 
Todar Mai by about a century. He re-divided the 
kingdom into eight instead of four atraf (sing, taraf) or 
provinces, brought certain tracts in each province 
under the direct rule of the sultan as royal domain, 
made kil c adars or commanders of fortresses in each 
province directly responsible to the centre, and 
demanded accounts from military djagirddrs or 
fiefholders. He thus curbed the power of the 
fiefholders and provincial magnates, who had exercis- 
ed absolute power for several decades. Although 

himself an Afaki or "Newcomer", he tried to keep the 
balance between the native Dakhnis and the Afakis in 
the matter of the distribution of high posts, and thus 
strove to solve a problem which had adversely affected 
the body-politic. Two significant events vastly in- 
creased the prestige of the kingdom, and with it that 
of the Kh w adja. One was the complete rout of 
Purushottam of Ufisa, who had advanced to the 
banks of the Godavarl to make common cause with 
the rebels of Kondavidu, and the other was the state 
visit of c Adil Khan FarukI of Khandesh to Bldar. 
c Adil Khan's visit is remarkable in that it resulted in 
the circulation of Bahmani coins in Khandesh as well 
as the mention of the Bahmani sultan's name in the 
khutba at Burhanpur, the capital of the principality. 
Thus Khandesh. which was once at daggers drawn 
with the Deccan, became virtually a protectorate of 
the Bahmanls at this time. 

It was when Muhammad III was away on an ex- 
pedition to Nellur and KancI (Conjiverum) in 
Shawwal 885/December 1481 that a conspiracy was 
formed in the royal camp at Kondapalli 
(Mustalanagar, now in the Krishna district of Andhra 
Pradesh) against Mahmud Gawan. The old feudal 
lords resented the loss of their power at the hands of 
the Kh"adja, while the Dakhnis had never reconciled 
themselves to the rise of a mere "Newcomer" to such 
heights. Nizam al-Mulk Bahri, who was the leader of 
the conspirators, persuaded Mahmud Gawan's Hab- 
shl private secretary, under the influence of strong 
drink, to affix the Kh w adja's seal to a piece of paper. 
The conspirators then forged a letter purporting to be 
from the Kh w adja to the Radja of Ufisa and sug- 
gesting that the time was opportune for an invasion of 
the Deccan. This letter was shown to the sultan on his 
return from the south. He at once summoned the 
Kh w adja to his presence, and as his ears had been 
poisoned against him from time to time ever since he 
had been leading the western campaigns, he did not 
even enquire how the letter had come in the posses- 
sion of Nizam al-Mulk. The old man was decapitated 
forthwith as a traitor, on the sultan's orders, on 5 
Safar 886/5 April 1481 when he was 73 lunar years 

The Kh w adja was not merely the political and 
military leader of the Deccan, but was its cultural 
leader as well. He no doubt re-built a number of forts 
such as the one at Parenda, but it is the noble edifice 
of the great madrasa at Bldar which was to remain a 
permanent symbol of his concern for the public 
welfare. The college is a three-storeyed building, 
covering a site of 205 ft by 180 ft., and is surrounded 
by a large courtyard which was once fringed by a 
thousand cubicles where students lived and were pro- 
vided not only with free education but with food and 
clothes as well. The library was the central feature of 
the institution, and it is related that no one could give 
the Kh w adja a more acceptable present than a rare 
manuscript. This and other works of utility such as 
water-works and numerous public buildings must 
have made Bldar known far and wide. The Russian 
traveller, Afanasy Nikitin, who was in the Deccan 
from 1469 to 1474, says that this city was "the chief 
town of Hindustan" and was the centre of trade in 
horses, cloth, silk, pepper and many other species of 

Mahmud Gawan continued the policy of making 
the kingdom the resort of the learned which had been 
initiated by Flruz Shah (800-25/1397-1422). He was 
himself a scholar of renown and was recognised as one 
of the most learned exponents of the Persian 
language. He has left us two important works, namely 


the Manazir al-insha* and the Riyd4 al-inshd*. The 
former, which was compiled in 880/1475, is a hand- 
book of Persian diction of the ornate type in fashion 
in those days, treating of the subject in a pro- 
legomenon, two discourses and an epilogue. The 
Riyad al-inshd ' is a collection of his letters written to 
kings, ministers, princes and divines in practically all 
the states in India and the Middle East. It contains 
historical material of almost unsurpassed value, as it 
is the only contemporary record of many important 
events in which the Kh w adja was the chief actor. 

Mahmud Gawan's real character may be gleaned 
from the contrast between the image of the public 
minister and the real, private man. Nikitin says that 
500 men belonging to all walks of life sat down to dine 
with the minister every day and that his stables con- 
tained 2,000 horses of the best breed, while his man- 
sion was guarded by a hundred armed men night and 
day. But as transpired after his death, he was per- 
sonally a man of extremely simple habits. His 
treasurer swore to the sultan that the late minister's 
personal expenses did not exceed twelve silver pieces 
per day, and even this amount came out of the forty 
thousand laris which he had brought from Gflan. The 
sultan realised too late the worth of the servant who 
had been so summarily done to death by his orders, 
and his remorse was so great that he himself died just 
one lunar year after the deed (5 Safar 887/26 March 
1482). Mahmud Gawan's death was one of the causes 
of the downfall of the dynasty which he had served so 
well, and hastened the day when the provincial gover- 
nors (sc. the c Adilshahls at Bldjapur, the Baridshahis 
at Bidar, the c lmadshahls in Berar and the Kutb- 
shahls in Tilangana [?■»»•]) became virtually 
autonomous and ultimately independent of the central 

Bibliography: Mahmud Gawan, Riyad al- 
insha\ Haydarabad Dn., 1948; al-SakhawI, al- 
Daw* al-ldmi', x; Firishta, Gulshan-i Ibrahlmi; V. 
Major, India in the fifteenth century; J. S. King, History 
of the Bahmani dynasty; H. K. Sherwani, Mahmud 
Gawan, the great Bahmani Wazir, Bombay 1942; 
idem, The Bahmanis of the Deccan, an objective study, 
Hyderabad 1953; G. Yazdani, Bidar, its history and 
monuments, Oxford 1947; The history and culture of the 
Indian people, vi. The Delhi sultanate, Bombay 1960, 
266-9, and bibl. at 768-9. (H. K. Sherwani) 
MAHMUD KEMAL. [See inal]. 
bureaucrat and twice Grand Vizier under 
Sultan c Abd al- c Aziz, was born in Istanbul in 
1233/1817-18. He was the younger son of Gurdjii 
Mehmed Nedjib Pasha (d. 1267/1850-1), who had a 
distinguished governmental career and became walioi 
Syria and of Baghdad. After the traditional elemen- 
tary education, Mahmud Nedim at age 14 entered the 
scribal bureaucracy, in the sadaret mektubi. He rose 
fairly rapidly, perhaps in part owing to his father's 
position, but also because he was intelligent and at- 
tracted the favourable notice of Mustafa Reshid 
Pasha [q.v.] and, later, of Mehmed Emin c Ali Pasha 

In 1256/1840-1 he entered the amedi kalemleri. In 
Rabi* I 1263/February-March 1847 he was promoted 
to the first rank, second class, in the correspondence 
office of the grand vizier Reshid Pasha. In Radjab 
1265/May-June 1849, again under Reshid's auspices, 
he became the deputy ameddji [q.v.] of the diwdn-i 
humayun [q.v.], and by Muharram 1266/November- 
December 1849 attained the full position. In 
1270/1853 he became beylikdji of the diwan-i humayun. 

Mahmud Nedim's career then shifted into near- 

ministerial levels. Under Mustafa Na 'ill Pasha he was 
sadaret musteshari for three months from 23 Djumada II 
1270/24 March 1854, and then miisteshar of the 
Foreign Ministry from 29 Ramadan 1270/25 June 
1854. For 16 days he was detached to carry orders to 
the commander-in-chief Ekrem c 6mer Pasha, in 
Bulgaria, during the war with Russia. On 7 Djumada 
II 1271/25 February 1855 Mahmud Nedim attained 
the rank of wezir with appointment as wall of Sidon. 
He was transferred as wait to Damascus in Rabi c II 
1272/December 1855 and to Izmir in Muharram 
1274/ August-September 1857. He managed to return 
to the capital in Radjab 1274/February-March 1858 
as a member of the Tanzimdt Council. Two months 
later he was acting Foreign Minister for a time while 
the minister, Fu'ad Pasha [q.v.], was at the Paris con- 
ference on the Danubian Principalities. He became a 
minister, finally, on 20 Muharram 1275/30 August 
1858 with the portfolio of commerce, from which he 
was dismissed in Djumada I 1276/November- 
December 1859. For half a year he was unemployed. 

Till this point, Mahmud Nedim had a mixed 
reputation. He was thought to be able, but some con- 
sidered him a sycophant and untrustworthy. Reshid 
Pasha once compared him to mushy soap, suitable 
neither for washing hands nor for doing laundry. He 
knew the bureaucratic forms and language, but no 
foreign tongue save Arabic. 

On 19 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 1276/8 July 1860 Mahmud 
Nedim was named wait of Tarabulus-i G_harb, a post 
not much sought-after, at his own request, and re- 
mained there for seven years. Toward the end of this 
period occurred the original conspiracy of the small 
group of New Ottomans [see yeni c othmanlilar] , of 
which Mahmud Nedim's nephew Saghir Ahmed-zade 
Mehmed Bey was a member. Mehmed Bey proposed 
that the grand vizier c Ali Pasjia, whom the con- 
spirators detested, be replaced by his uncle Mahmud 
Nedim. The plan was leaked to the authorities and 
known to C A1I Pasha. Therefore in Dhu '1-Hidjdja 
1283/April-May 1867 Mahmud Nedim returned to 
Istanbul to clear his name with the Grand Vizier. 
Although C AH at first refused to see him, Mahmud 
Nedim eventually talked his way back into c All's good 
graces. By 15 Safar 1284/18 June 1867 Mahmud 
Nedim was a member of the Medjlis-i wala-i ahkam-i 
'adliyye, on 23 Rabl c II 1284/24 August 1867 he was 
da c dwindziri, and on 11 Dhu '1-Ka c da 1284/5 March 
1868 was briefly sadaret musteshari for the second time. 
Eight days later he became Minister of Marine, a post 
which he held for more than three years, during c Ali 
Pasha's last grand vizierate. Mahmud Nedim 
cultivated relations with the Palace, catered to Sultan 
c Abd al- c AzIz's interests, and emerged as the sultan's 
choice to succeed C A1I Pasha after 'All's death. 

On 22 Djumada II 1288/8 September 1871 
Mahmud Nedim entered on his first grand vizierate, 
which lasted eleven months. His administration was 
chaotic, marked by a constant shifting of officials both 
in provincial posts and in the capital (in 11 months: 
five ser c askers, four navy ministers, four justice 
ministers, five finance ministers, six arsenal com- 
manders, etc.). He cut salaries in the name of 
economy, exiled important rivals, among them Hu- 
sayn c AwnI [ q. v. ] , to the provinces, hobbled the wildyet 
system and in general created new enemies for 
himself. He evidently took bribes from the Khedive 
Isma c il of Egypt. Although the New Ottomans at first 
welcomed his appointment as an improvement over 
the "tyrant" C A1I, they were soon disenchanted. 
Namik Kemal [ q. v. ] in his newspaper Hbret began to 
criticise Mahmud Nedim, who then suspended the 


paper and ordered Namfk Kemal out of Istanbul to 
the post of mutasarrif of Gelibolu. The Russian am- 
bassador, Ignatyev, however, thought well of 
Mahmud Nedlm's and- Tanzimdt activities. The 
public began to use the nickname "Nedimoff ' for the 
grand vizier. Eventually Sultan c Abd al- c AzIz seems 
to have become disillusioned, too; he later called 
Mahmud Nedim duplicitous and corrupt, and spoke 
of him to the British ambassador, "in terms so 
disparaging that I have some hesitation in recording 
them in a despatch" (PRO. FO 78/2220, Elliot, 2 
Nov. 1872). Mahmud Nedim was dismissed suddenly 
on 25 Djumada I 1289/31 July 1872 as the result of 
Midhat Pasha's [q.v.] energetic representations to the 
sultan about the harm the Grand Vizier was causing. 
Midhat, already and for ever after an opponent of 
Mahmud Nedim, replaced him. Public rejoicing 

For nearly three years Mahmud Nedim was under 
a cloud. He was investigated and condemned for ir- 
regular financial dealings, but pardoned by c Abd 
al- c AzIz. In Rabl c II 1290/June 1873 he was sent into 
provincial exile as wall of Kastamonu, after a month 
or two was transferred to forced residence in Trabzon, 
then on 22 Sha c ban 1290/15 October 1873 was sent 
on to be wait of Adana, from which post he was finally 
allowed to return to Istanbul on 23 Safar 1292/31 
March 1875. Somehow he had retained or regained 
the sultan's favour. He apparently persuaded c Abd 
al- c Aziz that he could deal with the revolt that broke 
out in July in Herzegovina, and spread to Bosnia. On 
19 Radjab 1292/21 August 1875 Mahmud Nedim was 
made president of the §hura-yi dewlet [q.v.], and four 
days later replaced Es c ad Pasha as Grand Vizier. 

Mahmud Nedlm's second grand vizierate was, if 
anything, less successful than his first. He was con- 
fronted with a treasury crisis. Without funds for pay- 
ment of the October coupons of Ottoman bonds, his 
ministry defaulted on half the amount on 6 October 
1875, arousing much enmity from domestic and 
foreign bondholders. The revolt in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina grew, attracting support from 
Montenegro. Bulgarian revolutionaries rose in revolt 
early in May 1876; they were put down with much 
bloodshed. The French and German consuls in 
Salonika were killed by a mob as a by-product of a 
religious controversy. These events brought ineffec- 
tual reform palliatives from Mahmud Nedlm's 
government and provoked pressures and diplomatic 
intervention by the great powers. Russian backing for 
"a Grand Vizier devoted to Russia" (Nelidow, 
"Souvenirs...," Revue des deux mondes, 6th per., 27 
[1915], 308) brought no solutions. Public sentiment 
rose against Mahmud Nedim. On 8 May 1876, 
theological students in Istanbul began to strike; on 10 
May, encouraged by Midhat Pasha, they 
demonstrated to demand dismissal of Mahmud 
Nedim. The sultan bowed and let him go on 1 1 May. 
The next day Miiterdjim Mehmed Rushdi was ap- 
pointed Grand Vizier, and allowed Mahmud Nedim 
to go to Ceshme rather than suffer more distant exile; 
actually, he took up residence on Sakfz Ada. 

In 1879, when Tunuslu Khayr al-DIn Pasha [q.v.] 
was Grand Vizier, Maljmud Nedim was offered and 
declined the governorship of Mawsil wilayet. He then 
lived on Midilli until 3 Dhu '1-Ka<da 1296/19 Oc- 
tober 1879, in Mehmed Sa'Iad Pasha's grand 
vizierate, when he was appointed Minister of the In- 
terior. On 20 Rabl c II 1300/26 February 1883, owing 
to a lengthy illness, he was dismissed and put on 
unemployment pay. He died on 7 Radjab 1300/14 
May 1883 and was buried in Djaghaloghlu in 

Mahmud Nedlm's reputation has generally been 
unsavoury. His opponents have stressed his 
Russophile views, his alleged venality, a character 
that included fickleness and deceitfulness, and his 
chaotic administrations. Yiisuf Kemal Pasha thought 
him qualified only to be a chief secretary to a vizier. 
In each session of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies, 
1877 and 1878, there were votes to try him for crimes 
and incompetence. This was not done. Among 
Mahmud Nedlm's writings are some unpublished 
poems, a published one (Hasb-i hat) on his career, and 
an unpublished apologia pro vita sua, Mudafa < a-name or 
Reddiyye, much quoted in Pakalin and inal. 

Bibliography: Ibniilemin Mahmud Kemal 
Inal, Osmanli devrinde son sadnazamlar , Istanbul 
1940-53, 264-321 and picture at 258; Mehmed Zeki 
Pakalin, Mahmud Nedim Pasa, Istanbul 1940. These 
two quote extensively from the standard Ottoman 
histories and memoirs, and are the most infor- 
mative. Mehmed Thureyya, Sidpll-i 'Othmani, 
Istanbul 1308-15, iv, 336-7; 1. A. Govsa, Turk 
meshurlan ansiklopedisi, Istanbul 1946, 235; La Tur- 
quie, 9 September 1871; Ahmed Cevdet, Tezakir, 4 
vols., Ankara 1953-67, indices; R. H. Davison, 
Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 1856-1876, Princeton 
1963, index; Mahmud Djalal al-DIn, Mir^at-i 
haklkat, Istanbul 1326-7, i, 35-6, 91-4; c Abd al- 
Rahman Sheref. Ta ^rikh musahabeleri, Istanbul 
1339, 187-8; Mithat Cemal Kuntay, Namik Kemal, 
Istanbul .1944-56, i, 152, 231, ii, 116-9; C A1I 
Haydar Midhat, Midhat Pasha, hayat-i siyasiyyesi. i. 
Tabsira-yi Hbret, Istanbul 1325, 125-34; Mehmed 
Memduh, Mir^at-i shu^undt, Izmir 1328, 45-66; 
Ahmed Sa'ib, Wak c a-yi Sulfdn c Abd al-'Aziz, Cairo 
1320, 190-91; R. Devereux, The First Ottoman Con- 
stitutional period, Baltimore 1963, 193, 240. 

(R. H. Davison) 
MAHMUD PASHA (? - 879/1474), Ottoman 
Grand Vizier. Contemporary Ottoman historians 
tell us nothing of his origins. Authors of tadhkiras from 
the 10th/ 16th century down to c Othmanzade Ta'ib 
(HadTkat al-wuzara\ Istanbul 1271/1854-5, 9; facs. 
repr., Freiburg 1969) state that he was a native of 
Aladja Hisar (Krusevac) in Serbia, but this seems 
unlikely. According to Phrantzes, he was born of a 
Serbian mother and a Greek father. Chalcocondylas 
makes his mother Bulgarian, while Kritovoulos 
(Turkish tr., TaMkh-i Mehemmed Khan-i thani, in 
TOEM, Suppl. 1328/1910, 192) makes him the 
descendant of a noble Greek family, whose father, 
Michael, was a descendant of Alexios III 
Philathropenos. According to Martinus Crusius (Tur- 
cograecia, Basel 1584, 21), Mahmud Pasha was, on his 
mother's side, the Serbian-born grandson of the 
Byzantine nobleman Marko Yagari. He also tells us 
that Mahmud Pasha's cousin, George Amirutzes, the 
protovestiarius of the Comnene Emperor of Trebizond, 
David, was a grandson of the same Yagari. According 
to F. Babinger (Mehmed the Conqueror and his time, Eng. 
tr. R. Manheim, ed. W. Hickman, Princeton 1978, 
115), based on Chalcocondylas (L'Histoire de la 
decadence de V Empire Grec, Paris 1620, i, 229, 246), he 
was the son of Michael Angelus of Novo Brdo. He was 
in all probability a scion of the Angeli, i.e. the 
Thessalian branch of the Serbian despotate. 

It is uncertain when the Ottomans captured 
Mahmud Pasha. The accounts in Chalcocondylas (op. 
cit. , i, 246), Tashkopriizade (al-Shaka Hk al-nu maniyya, 
tr. Medjdl, Istanbul 1269/1852-3^ 176) and <Ashik 
Celebi (Tadhkira, University Library, Istanbul, 
Turkish ms. 2406, f. 215a) are identical in all but a 
few minor details. They each relate how the com- 
mander Mehmed Agha took Mahmud Pasha and his 


mother prisoner on the road between Novo Brdo and 
Smederovo and, since Tashkopriizade (he. cit.) tells 
us of Mehmed Agha's taking Mahmud from the 
"lands of infidelity" to Edirne, together with 
Mawlana c Abd al-Karim and Mawlana Ayas (cf. 
c Ashfk Celebi, he. cit.), it seems likely that Mehmed 
Agha patronised all three, and it is undoubtedly 
through him that he was presented to Murad II. 
Tashkopruzade's claim that Murad II attached him to 
the suite of Prince Mehemmed, later Mehemmed II, 
is probably false (cf. c Ashfk Celebi, op. cit., f. 214a). 

He underwent a period of education in the Palace 
at Edirne and, after the accession of Mehemmed II in 
855/1451, began to receive royal favours. He attained 
the rank of odjak aghast, and was in the sultan's com- 
pany at the siege of Constantinople. According to 
some accounts, the sultan sent him to Constantinople 
at the beginning of the siege at the end of Rabi c I 
857/beginning of April 1543 to demand the surrender 
of the city. During the siege, Mahmud Pasha and the 
beglerbegi of Anadolu, Ishak Pasha, received the com- 
mand to attack the city wall between modern Edirne 
Kapi and Yedi Kule, and a section of the sea-walls in 
this area (Kritovoulos, op. cit. , 48, 76). Those tadhkiras 
which include a biography of Mahmud Pasha and cer- 
tain histories claim that Mahmud Pasha participated 
in the siege as a vizier and beglerbegi, but this informa- 
tion is almost certainly false. The most reliable 
sources agree that his promotion to the vizierate 
followed not the fall of Khahl Pasha Djandarli [q.v.j, 
but the dismissal of Zaganos Pasha in 858/1454 (Ibn 
Kemal, Tevarih-i dl-i Osmdn, VII defter, ed. Serafeddin 
Turan, Ankara 1954, 147; Neshri, Kiiab-i cihan-numa, 
ed. F. R. Unat and M. A. Koymen, Ankara 1957, ii, 
717; Enwerl, Dustur-ndme, ed. Mukrimin Halil 
Yinanc, Istanbul 1928, 103; Idris-i BitlisI, Hesht 
behisht, Ali Emiri Library, Istanbul, Persian ms. 806, 
f. 83a). Since his uncle Karadja Beg was beglerbegi until 
his death at the siege of Belgrade in 860/1456 
(TewkI c I Mehmed Pasha, Tewdrikh al-salatin 
al-'Othmdniyya, ed. Mukrimin Halil Yinanc, in Turk 
tahikhi endjumeni medjmU'asi [1340/1921-2], 147), 
Mahmud Pasha must have become beglerbegi after his 
siege, as Orudj Beg (Tewarikh-i dl-i 'Othmdn, ed. F. 
Babinger, Hanover 1925, 72) and Chalcocondylas 
(op. cit._, i, 252) confirm (cf. also Ibn Kemal, op. cit. , 
147; c Ashik Celebi, op. cit., f. 214b). The statement 
by Kiicuk Nishandji Ramadanzade Mehmed 
(Tahikh, Istanbul 1279/1862-3, 162), that he was at 
the same time kadi 'asker, is probably based on a 
reference in the Mendkib-ndme (Mendklb-i Mahmud 
Pasha-yi Well, Ali Emiri Library, Istanbul, Turkish 
ms. 43, f. 50a), which makes it clear that he received 
his appointment temporarily while the kadi '■asker 'Ml 
Efendi performed the pilgrimage. 

Mahmud Pasha accompanied Mehemmed II on a 
number of campaigns, in all of which he achieved 
outstanding successes. The Sultan promoted him to 
the vizierate in recognition of his courageous exploits 
at the siege of Belgrade (Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 122), 
after which he served as vizier and beglerbegi of 
Rumelia. When, on 24 Djumada I 863/31 March 
1458, the Serbian Queen removed Mahmud Pasha's 
brother Michael Anglovic and appointed a Catholic 
Bosnian in his stead, the Serbian boyars contacted 
Mehemmed II and offered him suzerainty over Serbia 
(J. W. Zinkeisen, Geschichie des Osmanischen Reiches in 
Europa, Gotha 1845, ii, 116). The Sultan ordered 
Mahmud Pasha to settle the Serbian question. To the 
Rumelian troops which he had equipped at his own 
expense, Mahmud Pasha added the troops of Anadolu 
and 1,000 Janissaries which the Sultan had allotted to 

him (Dursun Beg, Ta \ikh-i Ebu 'l-Feth, in TOEM, 
Suppl. 1330/1912, 82; Sa c d al-Dln, Tadj. al-tewdrikh, 
Istanbul 1279/1862-3, i, 465) and marched to Sofia. 
He succeeded, with numerous promises, in overcom- 
ing the objections of the troops, who refused to ad- 
vance when the Serbs announced that they would 
observe the terms of the agreement only if the Sultan 
came in person, and that otherwise they would refuse 
to surrender the fortresses and join with the 
Hungarians. Continuing the advance, the Ottoman 
forces seized several fortified places, the most impor- 
tant being Resaya and Kuruca (for the other for- 
tresses, see _ c Ashik-Pasha-zade, Tewarikh-i dl-i 
'Othmdn, ed. C A1I, Istanbul 1332/1913-14, 150; Dur- 
sun Beg, op. cit., 86). Mahmud Pasha then unsuc- 
cessfully laid siege to Smederovo, before withdrawing 
to the fortress which the Sultan had built nearby. 
Shortly afterwards, he improved the fortifications, 
and captured the castles of Ostrovica and Rudnik 
(Dursun Beg, op. cit., 89; Enwerl, op. cit., 103; Ibn 
Kemal, op. cit., 154; Bihishti, Tewarikh-i dl-i 'Othmdn, 
BL ms., Add. or. 7869, f. 168a). 

After celebrating bayram at Yellii Yurt near Nish, 
Mahmud Pasha appeared before Golubac. He seized 
and repaired the fort before despatching Minnet Beg- 
Oghlu Mehmed Beg with akindji troops to raid into 
Hungary. He then joined the Sultan in Skoplje. It was 
he who dissuaded the Sultan from demobilising the 
army when the Hungarians crossed the Danube. A 
number of sources state wrongly that Mahmud Pasha 
commanded the Serbian expedition which resulted in 
the fall of Smederovo in 864/1459 (cf. J. von Ham- 
mer, GOR, i, 447), whereas Dursun Beg (op. cit. , 90) 
and Idris-i BitlisI (op. cit. ) make the Sultan himself the 
commander (cf. also Zinkeisen, op. cit., ii, 116). 

In 864/1460, Mahmud Pasha took part in 
Mehemmed II's Morean campaign (see D. 
Zakythinos, Le despotat grec de Moree, Paris 1932, i, 
285 ff.) On the Sultan's command he laid siege to the 
fortress of Mistra which the Despot Demetrios held 
and, with the Sultan's Greek secretary, Thomas 
Katavolenos, acting as intermediary, he persuaded 
the Despot to surrender and sent him, on 9 
Sha c ban/30 May, to the Sultan in Istanbul. Since the 
Despot had voluntarily surrendered the fortress, the 
Sultan treated him well (Ducas, Historia Byzantina, 
Bonn 1834, 521; Kritovoulos, op. cit., 128; Dursun 
Beg, op. cit., 94; Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 168). 

In the following year, Mahmud Pasha served with 
great distinction under the sultan on the campaign 
against Sinop, Amasra and Trebizond. Mehemmed 
II apparently attached great importance to the con- 
quest of the Genoese-held Amasra, which earlier 
sultans had neglected to capture ( c Ashfk Pasha-zade, 
op. cit., 153; Neshrl, op. cit., ii, 739), and despatched 
Mahmud Pasha to blockade the city with a force of 
150 ships, while he himself came overland. In 
865/1461, the city surrendered to the Ottomans 
(Neshri, he. cit.; Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 185; Hadldl, 
Tewdrikh-i dl-i 'Othmdn, University Library, Istanbul, 
Turkish ms. 1268, f. 126b). Mahmud Pasha also 
mounted the operations which resulted in the fall of 
Sinop. Sending a fleet of 100 galleys from Istanbul, 
with a letter written by Dursun Beg, he himself went 
first to Edirne and then to Bursa with the assembled 
troops. In describing the campaign Neshri (op. cit. , ii, 
743) wrote: "Mahmud Pasha was now at the height 
of his glory. It was as though the sultan had renounc- 
ed the sultanate and bestowed it on Mahmud". In 
describing the council held at Bursa in the Sultan's 
presence, the Ottoman writers tell how Mahmud 
Pasha influenced the other members by speaking 


against the enemy of the Ottomans, Isfendiyar-Oghlu 
Isma c a Beg of Sinop, and attribute the preparations 
for the expedition to Mahmud Pasha. According to an 
anonymous Ta^rikh-i al-i '■Othman (Library of the 
Topkapi Sarayi, ms. Revan 1099, 91), he spread the 
rumour that the expedition was aimed against Trebi- 
zond. At Ankara, the sultan announced the true goal 
of the campaign, and sent Malimud Pasha ahead to 
Sinop. Despatching a letter composed by Dursun Beg, 
Mahmud Pasha secured Isma'Il Beg's submission to 
the Sultan (Dursun Beg, op. cit., 98; c Ashfk-Pasha- 
zade, op. cit., 156; Chalcocondylas, op. cit.,i, 274. See 
also Yasar Yiicel, Candar ogullan beyligi, in Belleten, 
xxxiv/135 (1970), 373-407). 

Before the Trebizond campaign, Mahmud Pasha 
accompanied the sultan on his way to confront Uzun 
Hasan Ak Koyunlu, as far as Yassi Cimen, where, ac- 
cording to one account, a joint deputation from Uzun 
Hasan's mother Sara and Kurd Sheykh Hasan, the 
beg of Cemishgezek, secretly presented him with a 
petition for peace (Sa c d al-DIn, op. cit., i, 479). After- 
wards, he took part in the Trebizond campaign as 
commander of the troops of Rumelia. At the head of 
the left wing in the vanguard of the army, Mahmud 
Pasha appeared before Trebizond, and persuaded 
first the townspeople, and then the Emperor David 
and his family to surrender (Chalcocondylas, op. cit. , 
i, 278; Crusius, op. cit., 21, 121). As David's pro- 
tovestiarius, Mahmud Pasha's cousin, the philosopher 
George Amirutzes played an important role as in- 
termediary, which had led a number of Greek writers 
to accuse him of treachery (Ducas, op. cit. , 343; on the 
fall of Trebizond, see J. P. Fallmerayer, Geschichte des 
Kaisertums Trapezunt, Munich 1827; Heath Lowry, The 
Ottoman tahrir defiers as a source for urban demographic 
history: the case study of Trabzon, Ph. D. thesis, UCLA 
1977, unpublished, ch. i [in course of revision by the 

In 866-7/1462, Mahmud Pasha participated in the 
Wallachian campaign, where he successfully 
prevented Vlad Drakul from routing Ewrenos Beg's 
akindji troops and repulsed Vlad's night attack 
(Enweri, op. cit. , 104; Dursun Beg, op. cit. , 106). Vlad 
sought refuge in Hungary, where he was imprisoned 
by Matthias Corvinus. According to S. Ferencs 
(Magyaroszdg a tdrok hoditas korban, Budapest 1886, 41), 
Matthias' motive in imprisoning him was a letter 
which he had sent in the same year to Mehemmed II 
and Mahmud Pasha, offering Transylvania to the Ot- 
tomans (cf. Zinkeisen, op. cit., ii, 176). In 862/458, 
the Duke of Lesbos, Niccolo II Gattilusio, had 
strangled his brother Domenico, whom he accused of 
collaboration with the Ottomans. This provided 
Mehemmed II with a pretext to attack the island in 
866/1462. Placed in command of the expedition, 
Mahmud Pasha besieged Lesbos with a fleet of about 
60 galleys and 7 transport vessels (sources differ as to 
the exact number of ships) and a portion of the army. 
He bombarded the city with 27 guns and captured it 
on 24 Dhu '1-Hidjdja 866/19 September 1462. Accor- 
ding to some sources, the city was stormed (Dursun 
Beg, op. cit., 112); according to others, it surrendered 
voluntarilyjTJucas, op. cit., 346, 511; Kritovoulos, op. 
cit., 163; c Ashfk-Pasha-zade, op. cit., 163). Mahmud 
Pasha imprisoned the Duke and made a register of the 
booty (Neshri, op. cit. , ii, 759) and gave the govern- 
ment of the island to C A1I al-Bistaml (F. Babinger, op. 
cit., 211). 

When the Bosnian king Stjepan Tomasevic laid 
claim to Smederovo and failed to send tribute, the 
Sultan determined on the conquest of Bosnia. On 3 
Ramadan 867/22 May 1463, the Sultan seized 

Bobovac and, resolving to capture the king at Jajce, 
sent Mahmud Pasha to lay siege to this fortress. 
Mahmud Pasha sent Turakhan-Oghlu c 6mer Beg 
ahead on a raid. The king surrendered when he heard 
that the Sultan had besieged Jajce. Mahmud Pasha 
then received orders to prevent the attacks of the 
Venetians who were inciting the Greek towns in the 
Morea to rebellion (H. Kretschmayr, Geschichte von 
Venedig, Gotha 1920, ii, 372). He marched to the 
Morea, routed the Venetians and captured Argos. 
His victories frightened the Greek rebels into submis- 
sion. He then sent c Omer Beg to raid the Venetian 
territories in the Morea, while he himself was despat- 
ched to relieve Lesbos which the Venetians were 
besieging. Within 12 days, he raised a fleet of 110 
ships and pursued the Venetians, who had abandoned 
Lesbos and retreated to Euboea. 

In 868/early 1464, when the Hungarians had pass- 
ed to the attack, the Sultan, himself occupied with the 
siege of Jajce, ordered Mahmud Pasha on a winter 
campaign against Hungary. Mahmud Pasha sent 
words of encouragement to Zvornik to resist the 
Hungarians and, shortly afterwards, sent Mlkhal- 
oghlu C A1I Beg to this fortress with akindji troops, forc- 
ing the Hungarians to withdraw (Enweri, op. cit. ,105; 
Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 273; Kritovoulos, op. cit., 178). In 
869-70/1465, Mahmud Pasha conducted negotiations 
with Venice and, in the following year, took part in 
campaigns in Albania under the command of the 
Sultan (Munshe'dt, ms. Selim Aga Library, Istanbul 
862; Kritovoulos, op. cit., 189; Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 

In 872/1468, Mehemmed II intervened in the 
troubles in Karaman following the death of Karaman- 
oghlu Ibrahim Beg. Accompanying the Sultan to 
Konya and Gevele, Mahmud Pasha received orders 
to pursue the beg of Karaman, Pir Ahmed, whom he 
was, however, unable to capture. Malimud Pasha's 
rival, Rum Mehmed Pasha, used this opportunity to 
win the Sultan and the army to his cause, by ascribing 
Mahmud Pasha's failure to negligence. Although the 
event angered the sultan (Sa c d al-DIn, op. cit. , i, 511), 
he concealed his wrath and sent Mahmud Pasha first- 
ly in pursuit of the Turghudlu Turcomans and then, 
shortly afterwards, commanded him to deport all the 
master-craftsmen from Konya and Larenda to Istan- 
bul. Mahmud Pasha could not, however, restrain 
himself from absolving some of these from deporta- 
tion, and offering his consolation to the rest (Ibn 
Kemal, op. cit., 291). To discredit him further, his 
rivals claimed that he had deported only the poor, and 
spared the_ rich in return for bribes (Hadldl, op. cit. , 
f. 139b; c Ashfk-Pasha-zade, op. cit., 170). It was not 
long before these accusations influenced the Sultan. 
Mahmud Pasha's post went to Rum Mehmed Pa§ha 
and, according to an unsubstantiated report (F. Bab- 
inger, op. cit. , 272) the former Grand Vizier's tent was 
collapsed over his head when his army arrived at 
Afyon Karahisar. Through the misrepresentations of 
Rum Mehmed Pasha, he had been dismissed from 
both the vizierate and the beglerbegilik of Rumelia. 

Ibn Kemal (pp. cit. , 293) and Hadldl {op. cit. , f. 
140a) state that, shortly after his dismissal, Mahmud 
Pasha retired to his khass but, before long, he was ap- 
pointed Admiral (kapudan) with the rank of sanajak begi 
of Gelibolu, with the task of restoring and equipping 
the Ottoman fleet (spring 873/1469 or 874/1470). 

On 5 Dhu '1-Hid j d j a 874/5 June 1470, he left 
Gelibolu at the head of a large fleet to attack the Vene- 
tian island of Euboea (Negroponte, Egriboz). 
Mahmud Pasha arrived off Euboea after capturing 
the island of Skiros and warding off the Venetian Ad- 


miral Niccolo da Canale. Approaching the island 
from the mainland with a large army (Ma'nawi, Fetfi- 
name-yi Egriboz, in Fatih ve Istanbul, Istanbul 1954, i, 
305), he persuaded the Sultan, who was hesitant, 
despite having had a bridge built on which he had 
crossed over from the mainland, to press on with the 
conquest of the island (Ma'all, Khunkdr-name. ms. 
Library of the Topkapi Sarayi, 1417, f. 9a; Dursun 
Beg, op. cit., 140; Chalcocondylas, op. cit., ii, 113; 
Orudj Beg, op. cit. , 127). The island capitulated on 13 
Muharram 875/12 July 1470. 

When Uzun Hasan's troops began to advance into 
Anatolia, Mahmud Pasha, in recognition of his part 
in the conquest of Eiiboea, replaced Rum Mehmed 
Pasha as Grand Vizier (Dursun Beg, op. cit. , 148; Ibn 
Kemal, op. cit., 350). In Istanbul, he attended the 
council which the Sultan had convened to consider 
what measures to take against Uzun Hasan. At 
Mahmud Pasha's suggestion, the beglerbegi of 
Anadolu, Dawud Pasha, serving nominally under 
Prince Mustafa, was sent against Uzun Hasan. Ac- 
cording to contemporary sources, Mahmud Pasha's 
refusal of the leadership led to a breach between 
himself and the sultan. 

On 13 Dhu '1-Ka c da 877/11 April 1473, Mahmud 
Pasha left Istanbul with the sultan and marched to 
Sivas, where he encouraged Mehemmed to attack 
Karahisar-i Shark. (Sheblnkarahisar) [see kara 
hisar]. The Sultan rejected his advice and, at the bat- 
tle of Otluk Beli, cast him in a secondary role by posi- 
tioning him with the beglerbegi of Rumelia, Khass 
Murad Pasha. Mahmud Pasha acted with great 
perspicacity and, perceiving Uzun Hasan's strategy, 
warned Khass Murad not to cross the Euphrates. 
Khass Murad ignored him and, after his death, 
Mahmud Pasha fought with Uzun Hasan's son, 
Ughurlu Muhammad (Ma' alt, op. cit. , f. 29a). At the 
battle of Bashkent on 19 Rabl c I 878/1 1 August 1473, 
he fought among Dawud Pasha's forces (R. R. Arat, 
Fatih Sultan Mehmed' in yarligi, in Turkiyat mecmuast, vi 
[1936-9], 285-322). Popular opinion attributed the 
victory to Mahmud Pasha (Ma'ali, op. cit., 154); but 
Mahmud Pasha's enemies disgraced him in the 
sultan's eyes and caused his downfall (BihishtT, op. 
cit., f. 202b). 

He retired to his estates at Khasskoy, but returned 
to Istanbul on the death of Prince Mustafa and, 
against the advice of his kh w daja, Kurt Hafiz, ap- 
peared before the sultan. The sultan received him 
coldly. Suspecting him of taking pleasure in the death 
of Prince Mustafa, he imprisoned him in Yedi Kule. 
He was executed shortly afterwards on 3 Rabl c I 
879/18 July 1474 (Ibn Kemal, op. cit., 376-7; Sa'd al- 
Dln, op. cit. , i, 553 gives the month as Rabl c II) and 
buried in the turbe near the mosque in Istanbul which 
he had endowed (built 867/1462). 

Bibliography : for further references see tA art. 
Mahmud Pasa (M. Sehabeddin Tekindag) of which 
this article is an abridged and slightly emended 
translation. See also Konstantin Mihailovic, 
Memoirs of a Janissary, tr. B. Stolz, with historical 
commentary by S. Soucek, Michigan 1975; 
Selahettin Tansel, Osmanh kaynaklarma gore Fatih 
Sultan Mehmed' in siyasi ve askeri jaaliyeti, Ankara 
1953. (C. H. Imber) 

MAHMUD PASHA, an Ottoman governor 
or beylerbeyi of Yemen and of Egypt in the 
10th/ 16th century, whose avarice and devotion to self- 
promotion led to the near-expulsion of the Ottomans 
from southwestern Arabia. A Bosnian by birth, 
Mahmud was selected at Damascus in 944/1538 by 
Dawud Pasha, the new governor of Egypt 

(945-56/1538-49), as his ketkhudd. He subsequently 
held various positions in Egypt, including those of 
amir al-hadjdi for 957/1550 and 958/1551 and of sandjak 
beyi, making both enemies and friends in his pursuit 
and distribution of wealth. In 967/1560, he gained the 
governorship of Yemen through the influence of 
Khadim C A1I Pasha, the governor of Egypt 
(966-7/1559-60), and probably by purchase. His ap- 
pointment proved the first in a series of unfortunate 
appointments to the governorship of Yemen, where 
Ottoman authority had recendy been much expanded 
and consolidated. Arriving deeply in debt, Mahmud's 
only apparent goal in Yemen was to exploit its riches 
for his own gain. Towards this, he demoralised the 
Ottoman soldiery by grossly further debasing the 
silver coinage to retain the surplus precious metal for 
himself; and he alienated Ottoman allies among the 
non-Zaydi population by seizing their wealth without 
pretext and levying taxes on previously tax-exempt 

When recalled in 972/1565, Mahmud lavished 
much of his accumulated fortune among the influen- 
tial persons of Istanbul in order to gain the governor- 
ship of Egypt. To enhance his reputation and chances 
of success, he persuaded the Grand Vizier Sokollu 
Mehmed Pasha, a fellow-Bosnian, to divide Yemen 
into two beylerbeyiliks (5 Djumada II 973/28 December 
1565). This arrangement proved destructive to Ot- 
toman interests for the three years during which it re- 
mained in effect, and contributed to the collapse of 
Ottoman rule in Yemen by 976/1568-9. In 973/1566, 
Mahmud secured his long-coveted posting to Cairo, 
where, according to Egyptian chronicles, he ruthlessly 
extorted private wealth, and from where he was able 
to manipulate official dispatches from Yemen reflec- 
ting adversely on his reputation and warning of the 
degenerating situation there. The steady erosion of 
Ottoman authority in Yemen was thus concealed from 
Istanbul until after his assassination at Cairo in 
Djumada I 975/November 1567. 

Bibliography: The only comprehensive con- 
temporary source is the Arabic chronicle by Kufb 
al-Din al-Nahrawall, al-Bark al-yamant, published as 
Ghazawat al-a^arakisa wa ' l-atrdk ff djunub al-<jjazira, 
ed. Hamad al-Djasir, al-Riyad 1967. Its author, 
who met with Mahmud Pasha on at least three oc- 
casions, incorporated all of the relevant material 
provided by the Egyptian chronicles, including al- 
Minah al-rahmdniyya by Ibn Abi '1-Surur al-Bakri. 
Two modern studies dealing in part with this in- 
dividual are M. Salim, al-Fath al- c Uthmani al-awwal 
li-'l-Yaman, Cairo 1969, and J. R. Blackburn, The 
collapse of Ottoman authority in Yemen, in WI, xix 
(1980), 119-76. Q. R. Blackburn) 

MAHMUD B. c Abd al-Karim b. Yahya 
SHABISTARI, (or ShabustarI, according to 
modern Azeri writers) Shaykh Sa c d al-Din, Persian 

He was born at Shabistar, a small town near the 
north-eastern shore of Lake Urmiya. The date of his 
birth is unknown, but would have to be fixed about 
686/1287-8 if the report that he died at the age of 33 
(mentioned in an inscription on a tombstone erected 
on his grave in the 19th century) is accepted. He is 
said to have led the life of a prominent religious 
scholar at Tabriz. Travels to Egypt, Syria and the 
Hidjaz are mentioned in the introduction to the 
Saf- adat-nama. He may also have lived for some time at 
Kirman where, in later times, a group of mystics, 
known as the Kh w adjagan, claimed to descend from a 
marriage of his contracted in that city (cf. Zayn 
al- c Abidin Shirwani, Riya<j, al-siyaha, Tehran 


1334/1955, 89-90). In the Persian tadhkiras, dates 
varying between 718/1318 and 720/1320-1 are given 
for his death. The tomb at S_habistar, where he was 
buried next to his teacher Baha 3 al-DTn Ya c kub 
TabrizI, has become a place of pilgrimage. It has been 
restored several times during the last century. 

The fame of Mahmud rests entirely on a short 
mathnawi( 1,008 bayats in the most recent edition), the 
Gulshan-i rdz ("The rose garden of the secret"). Ac- 
cording to the poet's introduction, it was written in 
the month of SJiawwal 717/December 1317-January 
1318 in reply to a versified letter (ndma) sent by a 
"well-known notable" (buzurgi mashhur) from 
Khurasan. A generally accepted tradition, appearing 
for the first time at the end of the 9th/15th century in 
Djaml's Nafahat al-uns (ed. Tehran 1337/1958, 605), 
specifies that the letter contained questions on difficult 
points of mystical doctrine and was composed by Hu- 
saynl Sadat Amir [q.v.], who was an expert writer on 
the subject in his own right. These details are not con- 
firmed by the text of the poem. The text of the letter, 
which is extant in some manuscripts of the Gulshan-i 
rdz, was probably only put together afterwards with 
lines taken from the lines of the poem itself, which 
precede each of the fifteen main divisions under the 
heading m'a/ ("question"). The answers given by the 
poet are subdivided into theoretical parts (kd Hdd) and 
illustrative parts (tamthil). The subject-matter of the 
poem is the doctrine of man's perfection through 
gnosis. This involves a number of cosmological, 
psychological and metaphysical themes as well as 
topics proper to the Sufi traditions, such as the prob- 
lem posed by expressions of identification with the 
Divine Being. The influence of Ibn al-'Arabl, 
acknowledged by Mahmud in his Sa c dddl-ndma, is 
quite obvious. He also continues, however, the older 
tradition of Persian religious poetry as it appears from 
his treatment of poetical images as mystical symbols in 
the last sections of the Gulshan-i rdz, and from a 
reference to c Attar [q.v.] as his example. 

The great value attached to the poem is reflected, 
especially, in the many commentaries which were 
written on it throughout the centuries. The diversity 
of its contents, in spite of its concision, made the 
Gulshan-i rdz into a convenient starting-point to 
elaborate expositions of mystical doctrine, like the 
celebrated Mafdtih al-i'djdz by Shams al-DIn Muham- 
mad b. Yahya al-LahidjI al-Nurbakhshi, dated 
877/1472-3 (several editions, the latest by Ghulam- 
Rida Kaywan-SamI c I, Tehran 1337/1958). Other 
notable commentators were Diya 3 al-DIn C A1I Turka 
Khudjandl (d. 835/1431-2), Nizam al-DIn Mahmud 
al-Husaynl "al-Da c I ila 'llah" (d. ca. 869/1464-5) 
and Shudja c al-DIn Kurball, who wrote his work be- 
tween 856/1452-3 and 867/1462-3. As early as 
829/1425-6, a Turkish translation in mathnawi verses 
was dedicated to the Ottoman sultan Murad II by 
Elwan Shfrazi (cf. E. Rossi, Elenco di manoscritti turchi 
delta Bibl. Vaticana, Vatican City 1953, 236; B. Hem- 
ming, Turkische Handschrifien, i, Wiesbaden 1968, no. 
366). Imitations were composed until the present cen- 
tury, e.g. the Gulshan-i rdz-i djadid, an appendix to the 
Zabdr-i 'adjam (1927) by Muhammad Ikbal. (See fur- 
ther on the commentaries, translations and imitations 
of the Gulshan-i rdz: A. Gultfn-i ma'am, in Nuskhahd- 
yi khatfi, iv, Tehran 1344/1965, 53-124; Munzawl, 
ii/1, 1248-53 and passim.) A manuscript with glosses 
by an anonymous Isma c ili author was brought to 
notice by W. Ivanow (JBBRAS, viii [1932], 69-78) 
and published by H. Corbin. 

The 17th-century traveller Jean Chardin was the 
first Western writer to note the importance of this 

poem to the Persian Sufis as a "somme theologique" 
(Voyages, ed. Langles, Paris 1811, iv, 453). It was then 
used by F. A. D. Tholuck as a source of his study on 
Persian mysticism (Sufismus, Berlin 1821; wrongly 
ascribed to "Asisi") and his anthology of mystical 
poetry in German translation (Bluthensammlung aus der 
morgenlandischen Mystik, Berlin 1825). The text, with a 
full translation, was published by J. von Hammer- 
Purgstall (Rosenflor des Geheimnisses , Pesth-Leipzig 
1838) and by E. H. Whinfield (The mystic rose garden, 
London 1880; repr. 1978). Several other editions were 
published in Iran and on the Indian subcontinent. A 
critical edition was prepared by Gurban-eli Memmed- 
zade (Baku 1973). 

Of the other works ascribed to Mahmud Shabistarl, 
the most likely to be authentic are the mathnawi called 
the Sa'-adat-nama, on mystical theology, containing 
also valuable data for the biography of the author (cf. 
Rieu, ii, 871; Ates, no. 351/1; Munzawl, iv, 2909-10) 
and Hakk al-yakin fi ma c rifat rabb al-'-dlamin, a prose 
work which was repeatedly printed (cf. Browne iii, 
149-50; Munzawl, ii/1, 1129-30). The Mir>dt al- 
muhakkikin, also in prose, is in some manuscripts 
ascribed to Ibn Sina or others (cf. Munzawl, ii/1, 
842-4 and 1374-5). No longer extant are the Shdhid- 
ndma, mentioned in Hakk al-yakin as well as in 
Gazurgahi's Madjalis al- c ushshdk, and a translation of 
Muhammad al-Ghazall's Mishkat al-anwdr. The 
mathnawi called Kanz al-hakdHk, published under 
Mahmud Shabistari's name (Tehran 1344/1965), 
seems to be identical with a poem wrongly attributed 
to c Attar (cf. H. Ritter, in hi, xxv [1939], 158 f.; 
idem, in Oriens, xi (1958), 21 f.; Ates, no. 122/13). 
The real author is probably Pahlawan Mahmud 
Puryar Kh^arazml (cf. Ates, under nos. 351/2 and 
382; Munzawl, iv, 3059-60). Some of his ghazah and 
quatrains are extant in anthologies (cf. e.g. Ethe, In- 
dia Office, no. 1747; Ismailov, 165). 

Bibliography: Ch. Rieu, Cat. ofthePers. mss. in 
the Brit. Museum, ii, London 1881; H. Ethe, in 
Gr.I.Ph., ii; idem, Cat. of the Pers. mss. in the Library 
of the India Office, Oxford 1903; Browne, iii, 146-50; 
H. H. Schaeder, in ZDMG, lxxix (1925), 253 ff.; 
M. A. Tarbiyat, in Armaghdn, xii (1310/1931), 
601-10; idem, Ddnishmanddn-i c Adharbdydj.dn, 
Tehran 1314/1935, 334-8; Kaywan-SamI c I, in- 
trod., to the ed. of Mafdtih al-Pdjaz, Tehran 
1337/1958, pp. lxxvii ff.; Tahsin Yazici, iniA, s.v. 
§ebisteri; H. Corbin, Trilogie ismaelienne, Tehran- 
Paris 1961; E. E. Bertel's, Izbraniyejrudi. Sufizm i 
sufiyskayaliteratura, Moscow 1965, 109-25; A. Ates, 
Istanbul kutuphanelerinde farsca manzum eserler, i, Istan- 
bul 1968; A. Munzawl, Fihrist-i nuskhahd-yi fdrsi, 
ii/1, Tehran 1349/1970 and iv, Tehran 1351/1972; 
Shaig Ismailov, Filosofiya_ Makhmuda Shabustari, 
Baku 1976. (J. T. P. de Bruijn) 

Ottoman general, war minister and Grand- 
Vizier (1913), was born in Baghdad. He came from 
a Georgian family long settled in Irak and thoroughly 
Arabised, so much so that he was known as c Arab 
Mahmud at the War Academy. His father 
Ketkhudazade Siileyman was a former mutasarrif of 
Basra, and his mother an Arab lady of the ancient 
house of al-Farukhl. After completing his early educa- 
tion in Baghdad he entered the War Academy in 
Istanbul, graduating in 1882 at the head of his class. 
He was appointed to the General Staff with the rank 
of captain and thereafter promotions came with 
regularity. He rose to the rank of major in 1886, col- 
onel (1891), brigadier-general (1894), and divisional 
general orferik (1901). In 1905 he became army com- 


mander or birinaji ferik and was appointed governor of 
Kosova, one of the most troublesome provinces in Ot- 
toman Macedonia. He soon established a reputation 
as a tough, efficient, and fair-minded administrator 
who did not kow-tow to the Hamidian clique in Istan- 
bul. As a result, immediately after the constitution 
was proclaimed in July 1908, Shewkat Pasha was ap- 
pointed commander of the Third Army at Salonica 
and in November, acting Inspector-General of 
Rumelia, succeeding Hiiseyn Hilmi [q.v.]. 

In April 1909 when military insurrection and 
counter-revolution broke out in Istanbul, Shewkat 
Pasha marched with his Third Army from Salonica 
and crushed it with ruthless determination. He soon 
emerged as the most powerful political-military figure 
in the Empire. Though he permitted the creation of a 
civilian government, Shewkat Pasha, as martial law 
commander and Inspector-General of the first three 
army corps, refused to accept its authority, especially 
its attempts to control the military budget. For a time 
there was even tension between the Pasha and the 
Committee of Union and Progress (Ittihad we Terakki 
DjemHyyeti [q. v.]), whose fortune he had saved in April 
1909, but which resented the Pasha's independence of 
cabinet control. When Ibrahim Hakkl Pasha [q.v.] 
became Grand Vizier in 1910, he tried to bring 
Mahmud Shewkat under cabinet control by appoin- 
ting him Minister of War. But this scheme did not 
work either and the Pasha even resigned (October 
1910) when the Finance Minister attempted to inspect 
military spending. The ministerial crisis that followed 
was resolved on the Pasha's terms: the audit law was 
not to be applied to the War Ministry. 

By the beginning of 1911, as the government faced 
rebellion in the Yemen, Albania and Macedonia, as 
well as political dissension at home, there were 
rumours in the press that Shewkat Pasha intended to 
seize power and set up a military dictatorship. Despite 
his independence of and contempt for the civilians, 
Shewkat Pasha had no such intentions. He denied 
these charges in the Assembly, claiming that he had 
not availed of such an opportunity when it had 
presented itself in April 1909. His position— and that 
of the CUP— declined following the outbreak of an 
unsuccessful war with Italy in September 191 1 . By the 
spring of 1912 an anti-CUP opposition had emerged 
in the army, reminiscent of the movement of 1908. 
Shewkat Pasha introduced legislation to curb this 
movement, but with no effect. The rebellion con- 
tinued unabated, and he was forced to resign as War 
Minister on 9 July 1912 though he retained his 
military command. 

Shewkat Pasha remained in political eclipse until 23 
January 1913 when the CUP seized power. Again, the 
Unionists turned to the Pasha because of his populari- 
ty with the army and the people, and had him ap- 
pointed Grand Vizier and War Minister. But now the 
Unionists were in control, and used Shewkat Pasha's 
talents to reorganise the Ottoman army after the 
disasters of the Balkan Wars. It was under Mahmud 
Shewkat's influence that the decision to invite a Ger- 
man military mission under Liman von Sanders was 
taken. Meanwhile, in the turmoil following the fall of 
Edirne (26 March 1913), the Liberal opposition began 
to conspire to overthrow the CUP. As a part of that 
conspiracy, Shewkat Pasha was assassinated on 11 
June as he drove to the Sublime Porte. 

Mahmud Shewkat Pasha was one of the most im- 
portant military-political figures of the Young Turk 
period. Despite the role he played, he lacked political 
ambition and his principal concern was always the in- 
terest of the amy and the state. He created neither a 

clique in the army nor a political faction in the CUP. 
He therefore found himself totally isolated in the 
political crisis of 1912 and was forced to resign. While 
he collaborated with the Unionists, he did not trust 
them nor they him: any co-operation between them 
was based on the shared goal of an independent and 
strong Ottoman state. While Turkish sources do not 
deal adequately with his alleged financial corruption, 
German sources, quoted by George Hallgarten, find 
him "hardly less corrupt than other Turks" (Im- 
perialisms vor 1914, ii, Munich 1951, 139). Yet it is 
worth noting that he did prevent the Unionists from 
investigating the pilfering of the Yildiz Palace treasure 
by martial law authorities after April 1909. He was 
always considered pro-German, and there can be little 
doubt that his ten years in Germany and the influence 
that Field Marshal von der Goltz had upon him in- 
clined him in that direction. But there was no question 
of his seizing power in order to set up a military 
regime devoted to German interests, as a Unionist 
paper claimed, even in 1909. Mahmud Shewkat 
Pasha was primarily a professional soldier and a 
cautious statesman devoted entirely to the Ottoman 
state, and unwilling to involve it in any rash adven- 
ture. While he was alive there was little danger that he 
would take any risks that would threaten the Empire's 
very existence. Had he lived, he might have provided 
the stable leadership to prevent the war party in the 
CUP from taking Turkey into the World War at a 
time not of its choosing. 

Bibliography: Mahmud Kemal Inal, Osmanlt 
devrinde son sadri-dzamlar, 14 pts., Istanbul 1940-53, 
1869-92; Glen Swanson, Mahmud §evket Pasa and the 
defense of the Ottoman empire: a study of war and revolu- 
tion during the Young Turk period, unpublished Ph. D. 
thesis, Indiana University 1970; Generalfeld- 
marschall Freiherr von der Goltz, Erinnerungen an 
Mahmud Schewket Pascha, in Deutsche Rundschau, 
xl/1-2, October and November 1913, 32-46, 
184-209; Sina Aksin, 31 Mart olayt, Ankara 1970; 
idem,7o« Turkler ve ittihat ve Terakki, Istanbul 1980; 
Feroz Ahmad, The Young Turks: the Committee of 
Union and Progress in Turkish politics 1908-1914, Ox- 
ford 1969; Mehmed Cavit, Mesrutiyet devrineait Cavit 
Beyin hatiralan, in Tanin (Istanbul), 3 August 
1943 ff.; Halid Ziya Usakligil, Saray ve otesi, i, 
Istanbul 1940; F. McCullagh, The fall of Abd-ul- 
Hamid, London 1910; Halil Mentese, Eski meclisi 
mebusan reisi Halil Mentese 'nin hatirlan, in Cumhuriyet, 
18 October 1946; Ali Fuad Turkgeldi, Goriip 
isittiklerim 1 , Ankara 1951; I. H. Danismend, Izahli 
Osmanh tarihi kronolojisi 2 , iv, Istanbul 1961; 31 Mart 
vak'asi, Istanbul 1961; General Pertev Demirhan, 
Generalfeldmarschall Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz, Got- 
tingen 1960. _ (Feroz Ahmad) 

MAHMUD TARDJUMAN, interpreter and 
diplomat for the Ottomans. Born in Bavaria of a 
noble family, he was taken captive (probably at the 
age of 16) by the Turks at the battle of Mohacs (1526) 
while serving as page to Louis II. Sent to the Palace 
School in Istanbul, he became famous for his extraor- 
dinary knowledge of languages. From 1550 at the 
latest, he served as interpreter to the Porte, with the 
title agha, and in 1573 he was promoted to chief inter- 
preter, with the title beg. As Turkish ambassador he 
played an important role in the diplomatic relations of 
the Porte with the Hungarian king John Sigismund 
and the latter's widow Isabella (1553-4). In 1569 a 
diplomatic mission brought him to France, and in 
1570 he was sent as ambassador to Venice in order to 
summon the Republic to withdraw from Cyprus. The 
negotiations remained inconclusive, war broke out 


and Mahmud was kept back in Verona. Only in 1573 
did he return to Istanbul. In 1574 he was sent to Vien- 
na and in 1575 to Prague, where he died. His body 
was brought to Gran (Esztergom), then on the boun- 
dary of the Hungarian region which had been con- 
quered by the Turks. Mahmud was described by his 
contemporaries as a learned and capable diplomat. 
Although it cannot be proved unequivocally, it is 
assumed that Mahmud can be identified with the 
author of the same name who wrote the Ta\ikh-i 
Ungurus, chronicle of the history of Hungary in 
Turkish, the unique manuscript of which is in the col- 
lection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of 
Science (Torok. F. 57). 

Bibliography: J. Matuz, Die Pfortendolmetscher 

zur Herrschafiszeit Suleymans des Prikhtigen, in 

Sudostforschungen, xxiv_(1975), 26-60. (G. Hazai) 

MAHMUD TAYMUR (born in Cairo 16 June) 
1894, died in Lausanne 25 April 1973), Egyptian 
writer whose prolific output includes novels and 
short stories, theatrical pieces, accounts of journeys, 
articles and various studies, in particular relating to 
Arabic language and literature. He is beyond doubt 
the best known of the Taymur family, although his 
brother Muhammad (1892-1921) was a talented 
short-story writer and dramatist. 

Hagiography has claimed the most remote origins 
for this family. Henceforward, the most reliable 
source for information on these origins is "the story 
of the Taymurs", from the pen of the learned adib 
Ahmad Taymur, father of Muhammad and of 
Mahmud, which figures as supplement to his work 
Lu-'-ab al-'-Arab "The games of the Arabs", 1st ed., 
Ladjnat al-mu 3 allafat al-Taymuriyya, Cairo 

The first known ancestor of the Taymurs, Muham- 
mad b. C A1I Kurd Taymur, was a Kurd from the 
region of Mawsil who arrived in Egypt with the troops 
sent by the Porte after the departure of the French 
forces of Bonaparte (1801). Rising through the 
military echelons he became a general, then a senior 
official — the title of kashif is also attached to his name. 
Having been the confidant of Muhammad c Alr, he 
was to become that of his son Ibrahim. 

The Taymurs were thus installed in Egypt from the 
beginning of the 19th century. The devotion of these 
foreigners to the Arabic language and the people of 
Egypt intrigued and delighted the Egyptians, whether 
historians of literature or literary critics. Their ascen- 
dancy otherwise poses no problems since the Kurds, 
it is said, are pure Arabs, descended from Kahtan. 
But what is astonishing is to see this dignitary of the 
Ottoman state and his descendants showing a clear 
predilection for the Arabic language and not keeping 
themselves aloof from the Egyptians, not displaying 
towards them that arrogance which is so typical of a 
foreign aristocracy. 

Furthermore, Isma'u, the son of the kashif, marks 
the transition between official and man of letters. His 
mastery of Turkish and of Persian earned him the post 
of private secretary of Muhammad C A1I, and he subse- 
quently exercised important functions in the Khedival 
Diwan under Ibrahim, c Abbas I, Sa c Id and Isma c Il. 
But it was no secret that he preferred the company of 
books to dealings with people. It was he who laid the 
foundations of a library which was to become famous. 

The son and one of the two daughters of Isma c Il are 
the two first renowed members of the family in the 
modern era. The daughter, 'A'isha (1840-1902), re- 
ceived, at home, a very substantial education, both 
religious and poetic, in Arabic, Turkish and Persian, 
and produced a corpus which is all the more remark- 

able in view of the fact that Arab poetesses were at 
that time scarcely numerous. The son, Ahmad 
Taymur (1871-1930), who became a Pasha in 1919, 
devoted his entire life to Arabic language and 
literature; at his death, he bequeathed to the National 
Library of Cairo 4,134 volumes, including many 
manuscripts, wich constitute the Taymur collection. 

Mahmud, the third son of Ahmad, was born on 16 
June 1894 in Cairo, in the Darb al-Sa c ada quarter, 
between the street of the MuskI and Bab al-Khalk. 
Subsequently, the family was to dwell in another 
quarter of Cairo, al-Hilmiyya, and, between these 
two stages, took up residence in c Ayn Shams, a 
suburb still barely urbanised. Many cultured visitors 
frequented the home of Ahmad Pasha Taymur, some 
of them famous: the Imam Muhammad c Abduh, the 
erudite MaghribI al-Shanki{I and the orientalist Krat- 

In this propitious milieu, Mahmud and his brother 
Muhammad, two years his senior, were able to satisfy 
their precocious appetite for literature. Their father 
definitely possessed too strong a classical background 
not to make them learn by heart the Mu c allaka of 
Imru 3 al-Kays, but he was sufficiently imaginative to 
encourage them to read the Thousand and one nights. 
While still adolescents, the two brothers developed a 
passion for the theatre and, in emulation of Salama al- 
HidjazI whom they saw at every opportunity, they 
composed plays which they performed before their 
family and their friends; they were also enthusiasts for 
journalism and, with the means at their disposal (the 
bdluza was the stencil of that time), they circulated on 
a very small scale the family newspaper which they 

Mahmud was to find himself the beneficiary of an- 
other advantage. Shortly before the outbreak of the 
First World War, his brother Muhammad, returning 
from France where he had studied law for four years, 
revealed to him the existence of a realist trend in 
literature and acquainted him with the work of 
Maupassant. He accepted these discoveries with ad- 
miration but also with circumspection, because the 
change of direction to which he saw himself called was 
considerable. He had believed that he had realised his 
cultural aggiomamento in applauding the attempts 
made by Syro-Lebanese emigrants to America to 
liberate Arabic language and thought from ponderous 
classical cliches; his sensibility had been aroused by 
reading the al-Adjniha al-mutakassira, the poetic 
"novel" of Djabran (1883-1931), the greatest of the 
"Americans", just as he appreciated the heart- 
rending stories, original or adapted, which the Egyp- 
tian al-Manfalutl (1876-1924) [q.v.] related in such 
exquisite Arabic. Now, his brother assured him, 
literature worthy of the name did not need to flee from 
reality to take refuge in romantic exaltation, but 
should cling as close as possible to life such as it is, to 
everyday Egyptian life. Of all contemporary Arabic 
writing, he said, two works alone deserved to find 
favour: the Hadith c Isd Ibn Hisham of Muhammad al- 
Muwaylihl (1858-1939) and Zaynab of Muhammad 
Husayn Haykal (1888-1956) [q.vv.]. 

He therefore took some time assimilating this doc- 
trine, though he did not dispute its worth. Appearing 
after some poems which he had composed in free 
verse, the first story which he published in the review 
al-Sufurin September 1916 was sentimental and, in his 
own estimation, mediocre. On the other hand, in the 
same period his brother Muhammad was for his part 
attempting to apply the new principles; he worked 
with other enthusiastic amateurs for the creation of a 
popular Egyptian theatre, and published, in different 


reviews, short stories which count among the first 
realist Egyptian publications to mark an epoch. His 
untimely death persuaded Mahmud to engage 
resolutely in the path which his brother had traced 
out, and as a first step he published, one year after his 
death, an edition of his collected works in three 
volumes (1922). 

However, the stories indicating that Mahmud had 
really taken up the mantle of Muhammad seem to 
have been slow in coming. The first narrative to 
reflect his move towards realism, al-Shaylsh Qjutrfa, 
dates from 1921, but it was in 1925 that his Usta 
Shahhata yutalibu bi-aa^rihi "The coachman Shahhata 
claims his due", drew attention to him. The-al-Fadjr 
review of avant-garde literature in which the text was 
published, saw its author as "the Egyptian Maupas- 
sant", and the critics stressed, not necessarily as a 
compliment, the audacious nature of this little tableau 
of manners. One of them reckoned that Oriental 
society was still too hypocritical to allow itself to be 
stripped bare by a Zola. 

This was the real departure. Henceforth, his pro- 
duction became more prolific and he began publishing 
compilations: two for the one year 1925, each contain- 
ing a dozen short stories, and another appearing in 
the following year. These first three compilations had 
particular importance for him because about ten years 
later (1937) he published a selection from them under 
the title al-Wathba al-ula "The first leap". It could in 
fact be said that here is a collection of the first truly 
meritorious works, on account of which he is con- 
sidered the creator of the Arabic short story, an opi- 
nion held not only in Egypt and the Arab world but 
also in Europe, where the orientalists Kratchkovski, 
Schaade and Wiet presented and translated his 
writing. Until 1939, he published on average one col- 
lection of short stories every year. After a certain slow- 
ing down due to the war, the rhythm was 
subsequently sustained. It may be noted that from the 
decade of the 1940s onward, the storyteller also began 
writing novels and theatrical pieces which have added 
little to his reputation. Suffice it to say that as novelist 
or dramatist, Mahmud Taymur followed the same 
preoccupations as in his short stories. Always 
painstaking in his clarity and accuracy, here too he 
drew upon various sources of inspiration: the most 
immediate present (the war in al-Makhba? rakm 13 
"Shelter no. 13", play, 1942); social questions (the 
condition of woman is the basis of Hawwa 3 al-khalida 
"Eternal Eve", play, 1945, and of Ila al-lika^ ayyuhd 
al-hubb "Farewell, love", novel, 1959); and historico- 
legendary evocations tending towards fantasy and 
humour (Kliyubatra Jt Khan al-Khalili "Cleopatra in 
Khan al-Khaffli", novel, 1946, and Ibn Djala : '( = al- 
Hadjdjadj, play, 1951). There are, however, par- 
ticular features: only full-length fiction gave him the 
opportunity to develop the kind of psychological 
analysis to which he had always aspired (Saliva Ji 
mahabb al-rih "Salwa to the four winds", novel, 1944). 

The fact remains that Mahmud Taymur was before 
all else a short story writer — in the course of his life he 
published a total of some thirty compilations. From 
the start, he aimed to produce an Egyptian ceuvre. 
Much attention is therefore given to the local colour 
in his writing, and it is taken as evidence of his 
patriotism. In fact, if he locates the majority of his 
tales in a context familiar to the Egyptians, he does so 
out of concern for authenticity and writes with such 
sobriety, with such mastery of ellipsis, that the 
predominant impression gained from his work is one 
of technical virtuosity. In addition, nothing could be 
less banal than the plots and the characters that he 

presents. The fuiuwwa, that is the bad boy, leader of 
a gang of ruffians, is indeed a familiar type among the 
common folk of Egypt; making him a ha didj is not con- 
sistent with natural logic, but bestowing upon him this 
title and the dignity which accompanies it by having 
him serve as a hairdresser to a group of pilgrims 
travelling by train to Mecca, is something which 
departs totally from traditional norms and reveals the 
mischievous attitude of the author (al-fiadjdi Shalabt, 
in the collection bearing this title, 1930). Realism re- 
quires thus! In the quest for the desired effect, the 
writer leaves nothing to chance. He begins with an ex- 
isting situation, a character who may be of any kind 
but is easily recognisable and, without any un- 
necessary delay, he brings out the weakness of the 
character, the incident which, breaking the daily 
routine, will prepare the way for catastrophe. In other 
cases, pathology plays a part from the outset; inspired 
and possessed persons abound in his work, as well as 
beings beset by obsessive beliefs and those whom 
misery, frustration or sickness have unbalanced. But 
all of this would be incapable of holding the attention 
of the reader were it not for the interplay of artistic 
qualities: narration which is clear yet precise, 
judicious choice of eloquent detail or of striking for- 
mula, sense of suspense and, essential to all the 
preceding, firmness of writing. 

The question of language was central, in fact, in the 
art and in the life of Mahmud Taymur. Out of con- 
cern for realism, he opted first for the spoken 
language which he employed in his early stories and 
theatrical pieces. Taking part in a Congress of Orien- 
talists held in 1932 in Leiden, he expressed the opi- 
nion that classical Arabic language should be 
simplified and relieved of certain cumbersome gram- 
matical forms in order to meet the needs of hitherto 
unknown literary genres, sc. the novel and drama. 
This being the case, his recourse to dialect, the natural 
language of conversation, is clearly explicable. But 
subsequently he was to take a different view. No 
doubt he felt himself obliged to employ a more polish- 
ed, more "academic" language when official recogni- 
tion was accorded to him: in 1947 the Fu 3 ad I 
Academy awarded him the short story prize for the 
corpus of his works written in the classical language; 
in 1950 he was elected a member of this Academy; 
and in 1952 he received the State Prize, which he 
shared with Tawffk al-Haklm. 

It would, however, be a mistake to overstress this 
aspect and to forget that on his own account, for 
reasons of taste and also out of concern for efficacy 
and appeal, he had taken the side of the Jushd. That 
which he lost in Egyptian parochialism, he gained in 
universality, but above all he was capable of express- 
ing himself in a language simultaneously pure and 
adapted to the objectives that he imposed upon 
himself: a narrative, living language, freed from the 
traditional rhetorical tinsel which would in fact be 
totally out of place. On the other hand, those .ex- 
pressive classical idioms which had been unjusdy 
abandoned are restored and rehabilitated in his work. 
JThis style which is both functional and mildly 
anachronistic gives to Taymur' s stories their 
distinguishing mark, their peculiar flavour. Most 
often the phrase is brief, but the syntax and 
vocabulary recall and embellish the technique of the 
prose masters of antiquity. 

It may be that he attached too much importance to 
these questions of language. Not only did he eschew 
dialect completely in his later works but he 
systematically set about rewriting the earlier ones, or 
at least those of them closest to his heart. Dramatic 


pieces and stories received their definitive version, 
revised and corrected to an extent that would satisfy 
the most rigorous academic standards. A lengthy text 
dating from 1934 (Abu "-All c amil artist) was thus revis- 
ed twenty years later, becoming Abu '■All al-fanndn 
(1954). Of course, the removal of dialect was not 
always the only reason for the revision, which could 
be influenced equally by considerations of composi- 
tion (lengthy passages are abbreviated, the profound 
sense of history is modified, etc.). However, it is im- 
possible not to regret this perfectionism which drove 
a great writer to the rewriting of works which had 
been published many years before. To a certain ex- 
tent, these scruples are a credit to a craftsman anxious 
to produce fine work, but they also have the effect of 
preventing the artist from developing truly original 
creations. In the end, it is certainly true that the art 
of Taymur, too cultivated, too polished, could no 
longer, at a given moment, respond to the curiosities 
and dissatisfactions of new generations, in Egypt and 
in other Arab countries. It has come about that his 
successors, many of them his disciples, denounce his 
romantic or theatrical style of writing but further- 
more, question the realism and the rationalism of 
which he was a resolute partisan. 

Bibliography: Brockelmann, S III, 218-26; H. 
Peres, Le roman dans la litterature arabe moderne, in 
AIEO Alger, v (1939-41), 167-86; c Abd al-Muhsin 
Taha Badr, Tatawwur al-riwaya al-'-arabiyya al-haditha 
fi Mist (1870-1938), Cairo 1963; Yahya Hakkl, 
Fadjr al-kissa al-misriyya, Cairo; J. Landau, Studies in 
the Arab theater and cinema, Philadelphia 1962, Fr. tr. 
Paris 1965; c Abbas Khidr, al-Kissa al-kasira fi Misr 
mundhu nasW'aliha holla 1930, Cairo 1966; Ch. Vial, 
Contribution a I' etude du roman et de la nouvelle en Egypte 
des origines a 1960, in, ROMM, iv/2, 1967; E. 
Galvez Vazquez, El Cairo de Mahmud Taymur — 
Personajes literarios, Seville 1974; eadem, Cuentosegip- 
cios de MahmUd TaymUr, Madrid n.d. [1976]; N. K. 
Kotsarov, PisateliEgipta, Moscow 1975, 212-17; 
Fathi al-Ibyari, c Alam Taymur al-kasasi, Cairo 1976; 
La litterature egyptienne, in L' Egypte d'aujourd'hui, 
ouvrage collectif du GREPO d'Aix-en-Provence, 
CNRS, Paris 1977; K.A.S. El Beheiry, L'influence 
de la litterature francaise sur le roman arabe, Sherbrooke, 
Quebec 1980, index. (Ch. Vial) 

MAHMUD YALAW AC, minister in Central 
' and China of the Mongol Khans in the 

13th o 

Barthold surmised (Turkestan 3 , 396 n. 3) that 
Mahmud Yalawac was identical with Mahmud the 
Khwarazmian mentioned by Nasawl as one of the 
leaders of Cingiz's embassy of 1218 to the 
Khwarazm-Shah c Ala' al-DIn Muhammad [see 
kh^arazm-shahs] . It is true that the Secret history of the 
Mongols (tr. E. Haenisch, Die Geheime Geschichte der 
Mongolen 2 , Leipzig 1948, 132) refers to Mahmud 
Yalawac' and his son Mas c ud Beg [q.ti.] as 
Kh w arazmians (Kurumshi) and that yalawac I yalawar 
means "envoy" in Turkish (Clauson, Etymological dic- 
tionary, 921 : perhaps of Iranian origin?). He was clear- 
ly from the merchant class, and must have rendered 
services to the Mongols, for under the Great Khan 
Ogedey (1227-41) he achieved high office, being ap- 
pointed over all the sedentary population of Transox- 
ania and Mogholistan [q.v.] (i.e. the steppelands to 
the north of Transoxania) and ruling these from Khu- 
djand [q.v.]. During his governorship, a serious 
popular revolt aimed against the Mongol overlords 
and the local notables broke out in Bukhara under the 
leadership of the sieve-maker Mahmud TarabI 
(1238), and it was only Mahmud Yalawad's interces- 

sion which saved the city from savage Mongol 
reprisals. Soon after this, he fell into dispute with 
Caghatay, to whom part of Transoxania and 
Mogholistan had been granted as an indjii or ap- 
panage [see Caghatay khan and ma wara 1 al^nahr. 
2. History], and was dismissed by Caghatay. Ogedey 
expressed disapproval, but accepted his brother's ex- 
cuses and then appointed Mahmud Yalawad as gover- 
nor of Peking in northern China, an office later 
confirmed by Guyiik and Mongke Khans, where he 
died in 1254; his son Mas c ud Beg succeeded him as 
minister for the Mongols in Central Asia. Mahmud 
Yalawad is accordingly mentioned in Chinese sources 
as Ya-lao-wa-i 3 i (E. Bretschneider, Mediaeval researches 
from eastern Asiatic sources, London 1888, i, 11-12). 

Djuwayni praises the beneficent rule in Transox- 
ania of Mahmud Yalawai and his son: they restored 
a city like Bukhara to something of its old splendour, 
after the Mongol devastations, and Mahmud abolish- 
ed compulsory labour and military services and ex- 
traordinary imposts (f-awarid [q.v.]). 

Bibliography: (in additions to references 
already given); Djuwaynl-Boyle, index, s.v.; 
Rashld al-DIn, tr. Boyle, The successors of Genghis 
Khan, New York and London 1971, index, s.v.; W. 
Barthold, Turkestan down to the Mongol invasion 3 , 
London 1968, 465, 469 ff; idem, Histoire des Turcs 
d'Asie Centrale, Paris 1945, 142-3; V. Minorsky, 
Four studies on the history of Central Asia, i, Leiden 
1962, 45 : 6. _ _ (C. E. Bosworth) 

MAHMUDABAD FAMILY, a leading landed 
family of north India prominent in public life 
under the Mughals. the Kings of Awadh [q.v.] and the 
British. These Siddlki Shaykhs trace their descent 
from Abu Bakr through one Nasr Allah, a kadi of 
Baghdad who is said to have come in the 7th/ 13th cen- 
tury to India, where his descendants were kadis of 
Dihll. In the 8th/14th century, kadi Nasr Allah's 
great-grandson, kadi Nusrat Allah, acquired land in 
Awadh, and under the Mughals his descendants, 
Nawwab Dawud Khan, Nawwab Mahmud Khan and 
Bayazid Khan, rose high in the imperial service. 
Nawwab Mahmud Khan founded the town of 
Mahmudabad in the Sitapur district of Awadh, which 
gave its name to the junior branch of the family, 
dominant over the last 150 years, and whose palace 

In recent times, the family's fortunes were founded 
by Nawwab <A1I Khan (d. 1858) a Shl'I poet, scholar 
and able estate manager. Between 1838 and 1858 he 
took advantage of the disturbed conditions of Awadh 
to add to the few lands he inherited, using all means 
at his disposal, until he possessed what Sleeman 
described as a "magnificent estate"; see P. D. 
Reeves, ed., Sleeman in Oudh, Cambridge 1971, 
269-73. Although he took a prominent part in the 
uprising against the British of 1857-8, the 
Mahmudabad estate which was his great achievement 
did pass in large part to his son, Amir Hasan Khan. 
The British policy of clemency, and their aim to create 
an Indian aristocracy in Awadh, thus enabled the 
family to consolidate the gains made under the Awadh 
regime and to emerge in the late 19th century as one 
of the largest Muslim landlords in India. 

The wealth of the Mahmudabad estate provided the 
basis on which the descendants of Nawwab C A1I Khan 
were able to play leading roles in Indian and Muslim 
affairs under the British. Radja Amir Hasan Khan's 
(d. 1903) activities were those of a cultivated landed 
gentleman. He followed literary pursuits, in par- 
ticular, writing elegies on the Imam al-Husayn, whilst 
he was a great public benefactor in Awadh, support- 


ing schools and a public library. In 1871 he became 
vice-president, and from 1882 to 1892 President, of 
the British Indian Association, the organisation of the 
Awadh ta'allukddrs. He also served on the Viceroy's 
council and was prominent in opposing the Indian 
National Congress. 

The Radja's son, Muhammad c Ali Muhammad 
Khan, played a more varied and yet more distinguish- 
ed role in public life. He maintained the traditions 
established by his father. He gave generously to 
educational projects like the Lucknow University and 
Lucknow Medical College and founded the Lucknow 
Madrasat al-Wa'izIn. Moreover, he not only gave to 
the Muslim University at c Aligafh [q.v. ] but also 
played a very active part in the movement to raise the 
funds to transform c Aligafh College into the Universi- 
ty of which he was the first Vice-Chancellor from 1920 
till 1923. He was President of the British Indian 
Association 1917-21 and 1930-1, and served on the 
United Provinces' Legislative Council 1904-9 and the 
Governor-General's Council 1907-20. From 1920 to 
1925 he was the first Home Member of the United 
Provinces' government, and consequently had the 
embarassing task of putting many personal friends, 
Congressmen and Khilafatists, in prison. In 1925 he 
was given the personal title of Maharadja. 

More important were Muhammad C A1I Muham- 
mad's activities as a leading Muslim politician, and as 
patron of other politicians. He became involved in the 
politics of protest for the first time in 1909, demand- 
ing joint electorates in the negotiations leading to the 
Morley-Minto Legislative Council reforms, when the 
majority of North Indian Muslims were asking for 
separate ones. From 1909 to 1917 he was closely 
associated with the radical wing of Muslim politics. 
He took the part of the radicals in the Muslim Univer- 
sity movement, he protested most vigorously to 
government over the Kanpur mosque incident of 1 9 1 3 
[see kanpur] and helped bring about the pact between 
the All-India Muslim League and the Indian National 
Congress at Lucknow in 1916, by which time his 
political stance had annoyed the government so much 
that it threatened to confiscate his estates. From 1915 
to 1919 he was President of the All-India Muslim 
League and presided over its sessions in 1917, 1918 
and 1928. Throughout much of his life he helped to 
support, both financially and in other ways, young 
men who were just entering politics, for instance, 
Sayyid Wazlr Hasan, the secretary of the All-India 
Muslim League 1912-19, RadjaGhulam Husayn, the 
editor of New era, Cawdhari Khalik al-Zaman, who 
for a while he made his education secretary, and the 
leading Pan-Islamist politicians Muhammad and 
Shawkat c Ali. However, his political support was not 
restricted to Muslim causes alone; he was also a na- 
tionalist and counted leading Congressmen like 
Motilal and Jawaharlal Nehru amongst his friends. In 
the last years of his life he strove, in the teeth of much 
Muslim opposition, to draw his community behind 
the Nehru Report of 1928, the Congress response to 
the communal problem which supported the creation 
of Muslim provinces but rejected separate representa- 
tion, and then threw his weight behind the Muslim 
Nationalist Party founded in 1929. He died in May 

The Maharadja was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Radja Muhammad Amir Ahmad Khan (1914-73), 
who, though he began as an Indian nationalist in 
politics, soon became absorbed in Muslim separatism. 
In 1936, as a young man, he was drawn into the All- 
India Muslim League by Djinnah, a close family 
friend for over two decades and a trustee of the 
Mahmudabad estate. From 1937 to 1947 he played a 

leading role in the League, as treasurer, chairman of 
the Working Committee and a major benefactor. In 
particular, he operated as the link between the League 
and Muslim youth; he was president of the All-India 
Muslim Students Federation and devoted himself 
especially to organising the student forces which 
played such a considerable role in the League's cam- 
paigns for support. But Amir Ahmad Khan did not 
follow League policy in all things. A deeply religious 
man, in the early 1940s he became involved in the 
IslamI Djama'at and advocated, against Djinnah. 
that Pakistan should be an Islamic state. 

After the partition of India, Amir Ahmad Khan liv- 
ed for a time in 'Irak and in Pakistan. He played little 
part in Pakistani politics, and rejected AyyGb Khan's 
demand that he refound the Muslim League on the 
grounds that Pakistan needed a "party with socialist 
aims wedded to Islamic justice"; see Dawn (Karachi) 
for 15 October 1973. From 1968 until his death he was 
Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, 
where his principal achievements were to bring to 
fruition plans to complete the London Mosque and to 
establish an Islamic Science Foundation. His life was 
distinguished by his faith, his simplicity, his generosi- 
ty and a high level of cultivation in Urdu, Arabic, 
Persian and English, a level of scholarship which had 
been the hall-mark of his ancestors in the previous 
three generations. 

Bibliography. There is a family history by 
Shaykh C A1I Hasan, the Ta>rikh-i Mahmudabad, ras, 
Lucknow n.d.; short histories of the family can be 
found in Nurul Hasan Siddiqui, Landlords o] Agra 
and Avadh, Lucknow 1950 and H. R. Nevill, 
Sitapur. a gazetteer, being Volume XL of the District 
Gazetteers of Agra and Oudh, Allahabad 1905; T. R. 
Metcalf, Land, landlords and the British Raj: Northern 
India in the nineteenth century, Berkeley and Los 
Angeles 1979, P. D. Reeves, The landlords' reponse to 
political change in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, 
India, 1921-1937, Ph. D. thesis, Australian Na- 
tional University, 1963, unpublished, and idem, 
ed., Sleeman in Oudh, Cambridge 1971, throw light 
on the family as ta'-allukddrs; while F. Robinson, 
Separatism among Indian Muslims: the politics of the 
United Provinces' Muslims 1860-1923, Cambridge 
1974, Choudhuri Khaliquzzaman, Pathway to 
Pakistan, Lahore 1961, and the Raja of 
Mahmudabad, Some memories, in C. H. Philips and 
M. D. Wainwright, eds. The partition of India: 
policies and perspectives 1935-1947, London 1970, of- 
fer information on the political careers of Amir 
Hasan Khan, Muhammad C A1I Muhammad Khan, 
and Amir Ahmad Khan. (F. Robinson) 

MAHPAYKAR. [see kosem], 
MAHR (a.), Hebrew mohar, Syriac mahrd, 
"bridal gift", originally "purchase-money", 
synonymous with saddk which properly means 
"friendship", then "present", a gift given voluntari- 
ly and not as a result of a contract, is in Muslim law 
the gift which the bridegroom has to give the bride 
when the contract of marriage is made and which 
becomes the property of the wife. 

1. Among the pagan Arabs, the mahr was an 
essential condition for a legal marriage, and only 
when a mahr had been given did a proper legal rela- 
tionship arise . A marriage without a mahr was regard- 
ed as shameful and looked upon as concubinage. In 
the romance of c Antar, the Arab women, who are be- 
ing forced to marry without a mahr, indignantly reject 
such a marriage as a disgrace. Victors alone married 
the daughters of the conquered without giving them a 

In the pre-Islamic period, the mahr was handed over 

to the wall, i.e. the father, or brother or relative in 
whose guardianship (wald*) the girl was. Here the 
original character of the marriage by purchase is more 
apparent. In earlier times the bride received none of 
the mahr. What was usually given to the woman at the 
betrothal was the saddk; the mahr, being the purchase 
price of the bride, was given to the wall 

But in the period shortly before Muhammad, the 
mahr, or at least a part of it, seems already to be given 
to the woman. According to the Kur'an, this is 
already the prevailing custom. By this amalgamation 
of mahr and saddk, the original significance of the mahr 
as the purchase price was weakened and became quite 
lost in the natural course of events. There can be no 
doubt that the mahr was originally the purchase price. 
But the transaction of purchasing, in course of long 
development, had become a mere form. The remains, 
however, as they survived in the law of marriage in 
Islam, still bear clear traces of a former marriage by 

2. Muhammad took over the old Arab patriarchal 
ceremony of marriage as it stood and developed it in 
several points. The Kur'an no longer contains the 
conception of the purchase of the wife and the mahr as 
the price, but the mahr is in a way a reward, a 
legitimate compensation which the woman has to 
claim in all cases. The Kur'an thus demands a bridal 
gift for a legal marriage: "And give them whom ye 
have enjoyed their reward as a wedding-gift" (lit. 
farida "allotment of property", IV, 24) and again: 

"And give the women their dowries voluntarily" (IV, 
3); cf. also IV, 25, 34; V, 5; IX, 10. 

The bridal gift is the property of the wife; it 
therefore remains her own if the marriage is dissolved. 
"And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and 
have given one a talent, take nothing of it back" (IV, 
20). Even if the man divorces the wife before he has 
cohabited with her, he must leave half the mahr with 
her (II, 236-7). 

Up to the Muslim period, the wife was considered 
after the death of the husband as part of his estate; the 
heir simply continued the marriage of the deceased. 
Such levirate marriages are found in the Old Testa- 
ment also. Muhammad abolished this custom, which 
still remained in his time, by sura IV, 19; "O ye who 
are believers, it is not permitted to you to inherit 
women against their will". In his social reforms, 
Muhammad made the mahr into a settlement in the 
wife's favour. 

3. There was an ample store of traditions about 
the mahr, and these pave the way for the theories laid 
down by the jurists in the fikh books. From all the 
traditions, it is clear that the mahr was an essential part 
of the contract of marriage. According to a tradition 
in Bukhari, the mahr is an essential condition for the 
legality of the marriage: "every marriage without 
mahr is null and void". Even if this tradition, so brief 
and to the point, is not genuine, a number of tradi- 
tions point to the fact that the mahr was necessary for 
the marriage, even if it only consisted of some trifling 
thing. Thus in Ibn Madja and al-Bukharf. traditions 
are given according to which the Prophet permitted a 
marriage with only a pair of shoes as mahr and approv- 
ed of a poor man, who did not even possess an iron 
ring, giving his wife instruction in the Kurgan as 

A few hadiths endeavour to show that the mahr must 
be neither too high nor too low. From the traditions 
we also learn what mahr was given in particular cases 
in the Prophet's time: for example, the bridal gift of 
c Abd al-Rahman b. c Awf was an ounce of gold, that 
of Abu Hurayra 10 ukiyas and a dish, that of Sahl b. 
Sa'd an iron ring. 

In the hadiths we again frequently find the Kur'anic 
regulation that in a divorce after cohabitation the 
woman has the right to the whole mahr. 

i. According to Muslim fikh-books, marriage is 
a contract {'■akd) made between the bridegroom and 
the wall of the bride. An essential element in it is the 
mahr or saddk, which the bridegroom binds himself to 
give to the bride. The marriage is null without a mahr. 
The jurists themselves are not quite agreed as to the 
nature of the mahr. Some regard it practically as 
purchase-money (e.g. Khalil: "the mahr is like the 
purchase-money") or as equivalent {Hwad) for the 
possession of the woman and the right over her, so 
that it is like the price paid in a contract of sale; while 
other jurists see in the mahr a symbol, a mark of 
honour or a proper legal security of property for the 

All things can be given as mahr that are things {mil) 
in the legal sense and therefore are possible to deal in, 
that is, can be the object of an agreement. The mahr 
may also — but opinions differ on the point — consist in 
a pledge to do something or in doing something, e.g. 
instructing the woman in the Kurgan or allowing her 
to make the pilgrimage. The whole of the mahr can 
either be given at or shortly after the marriage or it 
may be paid in instalments. When the latter is the 
case, it is recommended to give the woman a half or 
two-thirds before cohabitation and the rest after- 
wards. The woman may refuse to allow consumma- 
tion of the marriage before a part is given. 

Two kinds of mahr are distinguished: 

a. Mahr musammd, "specified mahr", the amount of 
which is exactly laid down in the wedding contract. 

b. Mahr al-mithl "mahr of the like", i.e. unspecified 
dower, in which the amount is not exactly laid down, 
but the bridegroom gives a bridal gift befitting the 
wealth, family and qualities of the bride. This mahr al- 
mithl is also applied in all cases in which nothing ; 
definite about the mahr was agreed upon in the 

The mahr becomes the property of the wife and she 
has full right to dispose of it as she likes. In the case 
of any dispute afterwards as to whether certain things 
belong to the mahr or not, the man is put upon oath. 

The Shari^a lays down no maximum. There is also 
no upper limit to the mahr: whatever is agreed upon 
in the contract must be paid. The mahr generally is ad- 
justed to what other women of equal status (sister, 
daughter, aunt) have received. As regards the 
minimum for the amount of the mahr, limitations were 
introduced by the various law-schools; the Hanafis 
and Shafi c is insist upon 1 dirhams as a minimum and 
the Malikis three dirhams. The difference in the 
amount fixed depends on the economic conditions in 
the different countries where the madhhabs in question 

paid in every case if cohabitation has taken place; but 
the bridegroom may withdraw from the marriage 
before it is consummated; in this case he is bound to 
give the woman half the mahr. 

Bibliography: W. Robertson Smith, Kinship 
and marriage in early Arabia, Cambridge 1885 (cf. 
thereon Th. Noldeke, in ZDMG, xl [1886], 148-9); 
Wellhausen, Die Ehe bei den Arabern, in Nachrichten 
der G. W. zu Gbit. (1893), 431 ff.; G. Jacob, Alt- 
arabisches Beduinenleben, Berlin 1897; R. Roberts, 
The social laws of the Qoran, London 1925, 29, 124; 
Gertrude H. Stern, Marriage in early Islam, London 
1939; W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Medina, 
Oxford 1956, 283, 393.— For the hadiths, cf. 
Wensinck, Handbook, 145; the chapters Nikah and 
Sadak or Mahr in the Fikh-books. Further: 


Mahomed Yusoof, Mohamedan law relating to mar- 
riage, dower, divorce, legitimacy and guardianship of 
minors according to the Soonees, i-iii, Calcutta 1895-8; 
Ameer Ali, Mahommadan law, i 4 , Calcutta 1912, ii 5 , 
Calcutta 1929; T. Juynboll, Handbuch des islam. 
Geseizes, 181 ff.; E. Sachau, Muhammadanisches 
Recht, 34 ff.; D. Santillana, Istituzioni di diritto 
Musulmano Malichita, Rome 1926, p. 168 sqq.; van 
den Berg, Principes du droit musulman (tr. France de 
Tersant), Algiers 1896, 75; Khalil, Mukhtasar, 
Italian tr. Santillana, Milan 1919, ii, 39 ff, French 
tr. G.-H. Bousquet, Abrege, Algiers 1956-62; Tor- 
nauw, Moslem. Recht, Leipzig 1855, 74 ff.; G. 
Bergstrasser, Grundzuge, index; J. Schacht, The 
origins of Muhammadan jurisprudence, Oxford 1959; 
idem, An introduction to Islamic law, Oxford 1964, 
167-8; Asaf A. A. Fyzee, Outlines of Muhammadan 
law 3 , Oxford 1964, 126-38,' Delhi 1974, 132-45; N. 
J. Coulson, A history of Islamic law, Edinburgh 1964, 
40, 137-8, 207-8; see also the works of Milliot, 
Bousquet, Linant de Bellefonds and Brunschvig. 

(O. Spies) 

MAHRA, a tribe living in the south-eastern part 

of the Arabian peninsula, in a stretch of land along the 

coast of the Indian Ocean between Hadramawt and 

c Uman, and in the hinterland belonging to that 

More accurately, the boundaries of Mahra-land 
run in the west from the coast along WadT MasHa, a 
continuation of Wadl Hadramawt, in the north-west 
along Wadl Rama 3 as far as Sanaw, from there east- 
north-east, and reach via Andawr the north-eastern 
coast at Ras Hasik, to the north of Hasik, the ancient 
Mahra settlement. These boundaries enclose also the 
territories of other tribes, namely of the SJiahara, the 
Kara and the Batahira in Zufar. At the present time, 
Mahra-land comes within the People's Democratic 
Republic of Yemen in the west and in the Sultanate 
of c Uman in the east. Until very recently, the Mahra 
of the Zufar province in the Sultanate of 'Uraan, liv- 
ing mainly on the highlands between the desert and 
the mountains, led a Bedouin life; but those living on 
the coast have always been sedentary. The present- 
day sixth governorate (muhafazd) of South Yemen, 
with its chief town Kishn [q.v.\, corresponds more or 
less with the former Mahra sultanate, with the same 

The Mahra can be considered not only as a tribe 
but as a separate people, since they speak a language 
of their own, Mahri [?.».], and have until very recent- 
ly retained a high degree of autonomy. That the 
Mahra are mentioned by classical Arabic authors is 
mainly due to this fact that they have their own 
language, not understood by anybody else (Ibn al- 
Mudjawir, 271, 1. 17). 

A member of the Mahra tribe is indicated in their 
own language as mahri or mehri, pi. mahre or mehre (A. 
Jahn, Mehri-Sprache, 130, 1. 14); the corresponding 
feminine forms are mehriut (Hein, Mehri-Texte, 137, 1. 
2), plural mehreyten (Jahn, 210). They indicate Mahra- 
land as rahbei dha-mahre (cf. Jahn's map, op cil., 211). 

According to Yakut (Mu c djam, iv, 700, 1. 8), the 
correct form is Mahara, not Mahra, but he stands 
alone in this opinion, which is moreover uncor- 
roborated by any proof. Mahara is perhaps an incor- 
rect reconstruction of an alleged plural Maharat, a 
place name in the Nadjd of Mahra land (Mu c djam, iv, 
697, 1. 2). Ibn Durayd (Kitdb al-Ishtikak, ed. C A. M. 
Harun, 2nd ed. Baghdad 1979, 552, 11. 3 f.) derives 
the name Mahra from Arabic mahir "skilful, ex- 
perienced". Ibn al-Mudjawir (271, 11. 8-14) relates 
an aetiological story, according to which the Mahra 

are descendants of three hundred virgins who, having 
escaped a massacre in a place called al-Dabadib, were 
given a dowry (mahr) by the people of the surrounding 
mountains and then married by them. 

The most important of the still-existing sub-tribes 
of the Mahra (their orthography not being always 
consistent in the sources) are: Bayt Kalshat, Bayt 
Samudat, Bayt Thuwar, Bayt Za c banat, Bayt 
Harawiz, Bayt Ziyad, Bayt Bara'fit, Bayt Kamslt and 
Bayt Balhaf (see the charts and lists of the Mahra 
tribes in Dostal, Beduinen, 77 ff.; H. C A. Lukman, 
Ta^rikh al-ajuzur al-yamaniyya, Beirut 1972, 47-50: 
Ka W al-mahrlfi Hadramawt; Carter, Tribal structures, 
46-8). W. Dostal (Beduinen, 34) estimates the number 
of their able-bodied, weapon-carrying men as 8,000. 
J. Carter (Tribal structures, 37) supposes that there are 
5,000 members of this tribe in c Uman, and T. M. 
Johnstone (The Modern South Arabian languages, Malibu 
1975, 2) is of the opinion that the individuals of all 
Mahra groups taken together amount to some 15,000. 
According to the Gazetteer of Arabia. A geographical and 
tribal history of the Arabian peninsula, ed. Sh. A. Scoville, 
i, Graz 1979, 80, the number of the Mahra on the 
mainland, the Bedouin included, amounted to 50,000 
in the then Aden Protectorate at the time of the First 
World War. A census carried out in 1983 numbers the 
population of the sixth governorate of the People's 
Democratic Republic of Yemen at 60,000. If one 
takes into account that on the one side people from 
Hadramawt and elsewhere have immigrated into the 
country of the Mahra and that on the other hand 
members of the Mahra tribes have emigrated to other 
provinces and to the Gulf Emirates the total number 
of the Mahra, i.e. the people speaking Mahri, can be 
estimated at about 60,000 (A. Lonnet, The Modem 
South Arabian Languages in the P.D.R. of Yemen, in Pro- 
ceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, xv [1985], 51). 

It cannot be maintained any longer that Mahra- 
land was already known to the ancient Greek writers, 
nor that Mamali, with the variant Mali, named by 
Theophrastus (Historia plantarum, ix, 4,2) as the fourth 
South Arabian land next to Saba 3 , Hadramawt and 
Kataban [?.»».], is probably a corruption of Mahra 
and should be identified with it (F. Hommel, 
Eihnologie und Geographic des Alien Orients, Munich 1926, 
137). E. Glaser's endeavour (Skizze der Geschichte und 
Geographie Arabiens, ii, Berlin 1890, 26) to identify 
Minaia, mentioned by Strabo (Geographia, xvi, 4,4 = 
768), who refers to Eratosthenes, with Mahra-land, 
has also been proved to be incorrect. The earliest at- 
testation of the Mahra is apparently found in the 
Hadramite inscription RES 4877 from al- c Ukla, a 
pre-Islamic stronghold to the west of the capital Shab- 
wa. The text, presumably dating from the beginning 
of the 3rd century A.D., runs as follows: (1) shhrm/bn 
(2) w Hmlkb (3) rPmhrn, "Shahirum (or Shahrum), son 
of Wa'ilum, chief of the Mahrites". It is true that A. 
F. L. Beeston (The Philby collection of old South-Arabian 
inscriptions, in Le Museon, li [1938], 324) translates 
khrPmhrn as "chief of the artificers", and A. Jamme 
(The Al-'-Uqlah texts, Washington 1963, 50) as "leader 
of the specialised workers". But in the inscriptions, 
kabir almost always indicates the leader or the chief of 
a tribe, and is followed by the name of the tribe or by 
the nisba plural in the form fHn, af-ulan, usual in an- 
cient South Arabian, e.g. khr/fyshn (RES 3913,1) 
' 'kabir (of the tribe) of Fayshan" , kbr/srwh (RES 395 1 , 
1 f.) "kabir (of the city-tribe) of §irwah", 
kbrlkllsh c bnPrymn (RES 4085,1) "kabir of the entire 
tribe of the Raymanites", kbrlhsm Qa. 816,2) "kabir 
(of the tribe) of the Hasiran", etc.; the "leader of the 
Bedouin of the king of Saba 5 " (khrl"rblmlklsb' > : Ja 

665, 1 f.) is indicated in the same way. Thus 'mhrn is 
the nisba of an unattested * mhryn "Mahrite", i.e. 
Amhuran, or perhaps Amharan, since the place-name 
Burkat al-Amhar, mentioned as lying next to al- 
Ghayda (Mahrl: Ghaydat) (HamdanI, Sifa, 147, 1. 
17), certainly does not mean anything else but 
"Burka of the Mahrites". W. Dostal's conjecture (Be- 
duinen, 134) that the Mahra, being neighbours of the 
highly-developed culture of ancient South Arabia, 
served as mercenaries already in the armies of the pre- 
Islamic kings in the same way as they went into ser- 
vice occasionally later, is confirmed by inscription 
RES 4877. A further evidence for the country and the 
tribe of Mahra has been found in the Sabaean rock- 
inscription from Wadi c Abadan from the middle of 
the fourth century A.D., in which military campaigns 
"towards the country of Mahra" (line 7: 
qbl/>rd/mhrt) and "against the Mahra" (line 21: 
Hylmhrt) are mentioned (cf. the reproduction of the 
text in J. Pirenne, Deux prospections historiques au Sud- 
Yemen, in Ray dan. Journal of Ancient Yemeni Antiquities 
and Epigraphy, iv [1981], 235). F. Hommel's assump- 
tion (Sud-arabische Chrestomathie, Munich 1893, 45) that 
the form Amhar is still alive in the name of Amhara 
people, who allegedly have migrated from Mahra 
land to Ethiopia, is wrong. Already A. Sprenger (Alte 
Geographie, 268) had wrongly maintained that the 
Semites of Ethiopia were of Mahra origin. An alleged 
form mhrt, found in the late Sabaean inscription RES 
4069,5 from Nisab, has nothing to do with the Mahra; 
the passage should rather be read as 
wmhrglwkbwrlsh^bnlsybn, and translated as "and the 
administrators and the leaders of the Sayban tribe". 
The Yemenite authors al-Hamdani and Ibn al- 
Mudjawir excepted, the classical Arabic geographers 
who localised Mahra-land in the region between 
Hadramawt and c Uman (al-Istakhri, 12, 1. 20; al- 
MukaddasI, 53, 11. 9-11), had only a superficial 
knowledge of it; the interior in particular was almost 
completely unknown to them. Al-Hamdani (Sifa, 45, 
11. 18 f.; see also Mil, i, 72, 1. 19) names al-As c a 5 
as the centre of the Mahra. C. de Landberg 
(Hadramout, Leiden 1901, 158) wanted to correct this 
name into al-Ashgha, but there is no necessity for 
this, for the place-name al-As'a 3 , apparently not 
mentioned any more since the early Islamic period, is 
now verified as Vyn (As c ayan; Yanbuk 47, 1. 7) in a 
late Sabaean inscription from Yanbuk in Hadramawt 
(M. A. Bafaqih, New light on the Yazanite dynasty, in Pro- 
ceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, ix [1979], 7; 
M. Bafaqih et Chr. Robin, Inscriptions inedites de Yan- 
bug, in Raydan. Journal of Ancient Yemeni Antiquities and 
Epigraphy ii [1979] 49 f.). According to E. Glaser (Die 
Abessinier in Arabien und Afrika, Munich 1895, 87), the 
co-ordinates given by al-Hamdani for the position of 
al-As c a 3 point to the region of Damkot and Ras Dar- 
bat C A1T, thus rather precisely to the middle of the 
coastal strand which was, moreover, at a later time 
still inhabited by the Mahra. This conclusion cor- 
responds with al-Hamdanfs indication, given in 
another passage (Sifa, 87, 11, 21 f.), that al-As'a 3 is 
a port. Elsewhere (Sifa, 127, 1. 4), al-Hamdani counts 
Mahra among the coastal lands of the Arabian Sea. 
According to him, the Wadi al-Ahkaf (for the term al- 
Ahkaf [q.v.], see also L. Forrer, Sudarabien nach al- 
Hamdani' s " Beschreibung der Arabischen Halbinsel" , 
Leipzig 1942, 220, n. 4) flows for several days' 
journeys from the land of Hadramawt into Mahra- 
land (Sifa, 87, 1. 10), and likewise to the left of the 
great wadi, the Wadi Thawba where the tomb of the 
Prophet Hud is to be found (Sifa, 87, 1. 8). Mahra- 
land is considered to belong to the farthest part of 

Yemen (Yakut, Mu c djam, i, 280, 11. 1 f.; ii, 510, 1. 
13; etc.) and is named as one of its mikhlafs (Yakut, 
Mu c djam, iv, 700, 11. 11 f.). The steppe region be- 
tween the slope down to the coast in the south and the 
desert in the north is called Nadjd, as was already 
done by al-Tabari (Ta'rikh, i, 1980, 1. 12), Yakut 
(Mu'djam, iii, 681, 1. 11; iv, 697, 1. 2.; etc.) and 
others; from that region originates also the nadjdi, a 
highly-appreciated kind of frankincense (A. 
Grohmann, Sudarabien als Wirtschaftsgebiet, i, Vienna 
1922, 137 f.). Al-Shihr is also mentioned as a main 
centre of Mahra-land (al-Istakhri, 25, 11. 10 f.; Ibn 
KhaldGn, Mukhtasar, 132, 1. 2). Muhammad b. 
Habib (Kitab al-Muhabbar, ed. I. Lichtenstaedter, 
Haydarabad 1942, 266, 11. 4-6) counts al-Shihr in 
Mahra as one of the markets of the Arabs in pre- 
Islamic times; it is said to lie at the foot of the moun- 
tains in which the tomb of the Prophet Hud is found, 
and said further that no tithe is levied on that market 
because the town does not belong to any kingdom. Al- 
Shihr is occasionally even identified with Mahra-land 
(Ibn Khaldun, Muktasar, 132, 11.1,4 f.), as can also 
be concluded from Nash wan b. Sa'Id al-Himyari, 
Shams al-'-ulum, when he (under the root s- c -y) defines 
al-As c a (sic) as a place in al-Shihr, i.e. in Mahra-land. 
This is also the case when, for the year 694/1294-5, 
during the zenith of the power of the Rasulids [q.v.] 
under al-Ashraf, it is said that the latter's domination 
was firmly established in the Yemen, in al-Shihr (i.e. 
in Mahra-land) and in Hadramawt (Yahya b. al- 
Husayn, Ghayat al-amdni fi akhbdr al-kutr al-yamani, 
Cairo 1968, 477, 11.6 f.). Thereafter, for long al- 
Shihr, once the residence of a Mahra sultan, did not 
belong any more to Mahra-land; it passed into the 
possession of the Ku'aytl sultans of al-Shihr and 
Mukalla. Only families like the Al Kiraynun, living 
there in isolation, testify to the former presence of the 
Mahra in al-Shihr. 

The Mahra trace their genealogy back to their 
ancestor Mahra b. Haydan b. c Amr b. al-Haf. 
Already A. Sprenger (Alte Geographie, 266) recognized 
in these names some geographical and ethnographical 
names of places on the South Arabian coast, e.g. in 
Ibn al-Haf the port of Bal-Haf, lying to the west of BIr 
C A1I. Early Arabic authors traced these geneaological 
connections further back to Kahtan: al-Haf b. 
Kuda'a b. Malik b. Himyar b. Kahtan (see the 
genealogy of the descent of the Mahra in Carter, 
Tribal structures, 38). On the descendants of Mahra b. 
Haydan and the sub-divisions of the Mahra according 
to Arabic sources, see al-Hamdani, al-Iklil, i, 72, 1. 
19-74, 1. 8, and the remarks by W. W. Muller on 
some of the names mentioned there in OLZ, lxiv 
(1969), 265-6. Less reliable than this South Arabian 
source is the rendering of the often specifically Mahra 
names by North Arabian authors like Ibn al-Kalbl, 
DJamharal al-nasab, ed. W. Caskel, i, Leiden 1966, 
Table 328. The Mahra genealogy as given by the 
Arabic authors shows in any case a tendentious 
endeavour to reconstruct a pattern of origins for the 
tribes which often does not coincide with the 
genealogy handed down by the Mahra themselves. 
Their genealogy distinguishes clearly between the 
authentic Mahra (cf. the groups indicated in al- 
Hamdanl, Mil, i, 73, 1. 12 as afsah Mahra and the 
"mahricised" Arabs (cf. the groups which are said 
newly to have come to join them: dakhala ft Mahra, al- 
Hamdanl, Mil, i, 73, 11. 20 f.), and thus reflects the 
fusion of Arab groups with the Mahra and their 
assimilation to the latter's genealogy. Rivalry between 
these Arab groups and those who claim descent from 
Mahra exists until today. Of these two groups which 

differ genealogically, the one, whose members are 
considered to be "pure" Mahra, claim descent from 
the Banu Sharawih; the others who are said to be of 
Arabic origin, are brought together in the Banu Sar. 
Each of these two great confederacies is sub-divided 
again into several patrilineal groups (see the tables of 
the classification of the Mahra tribes and their attribu- 
tion to these two groups in Dostal, Beduinen, 77). The 
greater part of the Mahra coastal area is in the hands 
of the Banu Sar, while the inland zone belongs to the 
Banu Sharawih, who have access to the coast only 
between Kishn and Dabot and possess a small enclave 
further north (for a general outline of the region where 
both of the Mahra confederacies are at present dwell- 
ing and roaming, see the map in Dostal, Beduinen, 
125). This spread of the Mahra over two areas is 
perhaps reflected already in al-Tabari (Ta'rikh, i, 
1980, 1. 9-1981, 1. 3), who mentions two groups of 
the Mahra under two different leaders, one dwelling 
in the plain around Djayrut (this form is also found in 
Ibn al-Mudjawir 260, 1. 9), the other in Nadjd, i.e. 
in the highland zone. 

According to Ibn al-Mudjawir (271, 11. 15 f.), the 
origin of the Mahra is to be sought in the remains of 
the people of c Ad; when God destroyed the greater 
part of them, this group of people was saved and went 
to live in the mountains of Zufar and the islands of 
Sukutra (Socotra) and al-Masira. Ibn Khaldun 
(Mukhtafar, 132, 11. 11 f.) also says that the land, 
afterwards inhabited by the Mahra, in prehistoric 
times belonged to the c Ad mentioned in the Kur'an. 

The first Kahtanid to settle in this area is said to 
have been Malik b. Himyar, who was succeeded by 
his son Kuda'a. The latter's possessions, however, 
became restricted to the land which later was named 
after his great-grandson (Yakut, Mu c djam, iv, 700, 1 . 
10; Ibn Khaldun, Mukhtasar, 132, 11. 13-17). Ibn 
Khaldun goes on to say that the Mahra have come to 
their later dwelling-places from Hadramawt or from 
the Kuda c a, but this certainly does not correspond 
with reality. The derivation of the Mahra from the 
Kahfan through Kuda'a and Himyar is a mere con- 
struction of Arabic genealogists which does not with- 
stand examination. Immigration from further west is 
also out of the question. Although the Mahra do not 
have written historical traditions, yet in their oral 
transmission the memory survives of large parts of 
'Uman having belonged in earlier times to the regions 
where they were living and roaming and of their being 
expelled from there by the Arabs. The pressure of 
their eastern neighbours must have caused the Mahra 
to withdraw to the west and brought about their great 
loss of fertile regions. W. Dostal (Beduinen, 184-8) sup- 
ports this tradition of the Mahra by collating non- 
Arabic place-names in south-east Arabia ending in 
-ut, -ot and -It. He also illustrates this tradition with 
the aid of a map showing the spread of Mahri place- 
names (Beduinen, 133, PI. 19). Further criteria for 
Mahri place-names in this region are: the ending -et 
occuring as a variant of -it, the feminine plural en- 
dings -oten and -uten, the relative frequency of place- 
names with the prefixes ya- and yi-, and finally the 
etymology which in many cases indicates a place- 
name as being clearly Mahri. The majority of these 
place-names, mostly names of wadis, lies in the in- 
terior. On the coast they are only found in the area 
which is traditionally Mahri. Their greatest density 
occurs between long. 51° and 55° and lat. 16° and 
18°. Since more than half of these non-Arabic place- 
names lie in regions now inhabited by Arabic- 
speaking tribes, this finding shows at the same time 
the present limitations of the Mahri living space. Al- 

Hamdam (#>, 52, 11. 5 ff.; Mil, i, 73, 1. 15) still at- 
tests that the Banu Riyam, a group of the Mahra tribe 
of the Kamar, were settled in c Uman; other tribes, 
too, he remarks, have their dwelling places in the 
region of c Uman (Mil, i, 73, 1. 5) or on the sea-coast 
of c Uman (Mil, i, 73, 1. 4). Other groups, like the 
Banu Khanzirit (Si/a, 51, 11. 25 ff.) and the 
Thughara (Sifa, 52, 11. 2 ff.) were entangled in 
warlike altercations with Arabs who pressed forward 
along the coast into Mahra-land. Al-Hamdanl (Si/a, 
51, 11. 16 ff.) still includes in his description of the 
"Green Yemen" the territory of the Mahra tribes of 
the Ghayth. Kamar and c Ukar. On the island of 
Sukutra [q.v.] (Socotra), Mahra are also to be found 
living (al-Hamdanl, Sifa, 53, 1. 1), i.e. members of all 
Mahra tribes (Mil, i, 74, 1. 9). Ibn Ruzayk attests 
that even in the year 884/1479-80, part of c Uman was 
in the possession of the Mahra, since in that year the 
Ibadi Imam compelled the departure of the Mahra 
from c Uman. 

After 608/1211-12, the Mahra tribe of the Banu 
Zanna pushed forward into the eastern part of 
Hadramawt, where they exercised control over the 
town of Tarlm for some time after 673/1274-5. In 
945/1538-9 serious danger was brought to the Mahra 
by the Banu Kathlr under sultan Badr Bu Tuwayrik. 
The latter occupied great parts of the Mahra territory, 
and in 952/1545-6 conquered even the Mahra port of 
Kishn, where they murdered almost all the members 
of the family of the sultan of the Banu c Afrar, the 
mashayikh of the Mahra. But in 955/1548-9 sultan 
Sa c Id b. c Abd Allah of the Banu c Afrar succeeded in 
reconquering the town of Kishn from the Banu 
Kathlr. He started from the island of Sukutra, where 
the Mahra had constructed a fortress after the retreat 
of the Portuguese in 917/151 1-2. Since the Kathlr had 
joined the Ottomans, the Mahra were supported by 
the Portuguese. In 1876 the Mahra sultan of Sukutra 
and Kishn guaranteed not to surrender any of his 
possessions except to the British Government and in 
1886 he agreed to a Treaty of Protectorate with Great 

The Mahra also participated in the Islamic cam- 
paigns of conquest. Together with other South Ara- 
bians, they settled in c Irak and in even greater 
numbers in Egypt. In Kufa and in Old Cairo they liv- 
ed in their own quarters (cf. the khitfat Mahra of al- 
Fustat in al-Kalkashandi, Subh al-a'sha, m, 327, 1. 
12). There were also communications between the 
coast of Mahra-land and the island of Sukutra on the 
one hand, and with East Africa on the other, where 
the Mahra may have had settlements. Thus on Vasco 
da Gama's first journey, the Mahri Ibn Madjid [q.v.] 
guided the Portuguese as a pilot from Malindi to In- 
dia. As well as Sulayman Mahri [q.v.], he left behind 
nautical texts. In 923/1517 the Mamliik sultan 
Barsbay enlisted Mahra as soldiers for his undertak- 
ing in the Yemen (see L. O. Schuman, Political history 
of the Yemen at the beginning of the 16th century. Abu 
Makhrama's account of the years 906-927 h. (1500-1522 
A.D.) with annotations, Groningen 1960, 27 ff.). 
Mahra are attested in Zayla c during the years 
944-5/1537-9, and a group of about seventy Mahra 
with their chiefs (mukaddams) are repeatedly mention- 
ed in the Futuh al-Habasha (see Serjeant, Portuguese, 81 , 
n. 5). The Comoro Islands [see kumr] allegedly owe 
their name to the Kamar or Moon mountains of 
Mahra-land (see H. Ingrams, Arabia and the Isles 3 , 
New York 1966, 64). For Mahra immigrants to 
Somalia, see E. Cerulli, Un gruppo Mahri nella Somalia 
Italiana, in RSO, xi (1926-8), 25-6. 

The Mahra are "tall handsome people" (Ibn al- 

Mudjawir, 271, 1. 17) of brown complexion with 
black, often curly, hair. Because of these physical 
characteristics they have been considered as not 
belonging to the Mediterranean race but as related 
rather to the Veddas in South India. Until circumci- 
sion, boys have their hair shaven at both sides, so that 
only a tuft remains in the middle of the head. Circum- 
cision of boys takes place at the age of twelve or also, 
as was usual in earlier days, only immediately before 
the wedding. After circumcision the hair grows long, 
either tied into a knot or falling down loosely and only 
kept together with a long braid, either plaited or made 
of leather; growing a beard is forbidden. Sedentary 
Mahra wear an indigo-coloured loin cloth and a skirt, 
the Bedouin generally only a loin cloth, an extremity 
of which can be thrown over the shoulder. Boys' or- 
naments consist of amulets and occasionally also 
necklaces; men adorn themselves with a leather belt 
equipped with characteristic ornamentation and 
sometimes stitched with pearls. Many Bedouin also 
wear an earring in the right ear and an armlet above 
the right elbow. Tattooing scars are also found, and 
all men carry the curved dagger (djanbiyya), more as 
an ornament than as a weapon. Nowadays, rifle and 
cartridge-belt are carried as weapons; formerly there 
were used the spear and the throwing stick ter- 
minating almost in a point, together with a sword 
without a sheath and a round shield. The Mahra have 
their own war-cry. They greet each other with a three- 
fold kiss on the cheek, starting with the right cheek, 
then the left and the right again. Girls are circumcised 
immediately after birth. Mahra women wear the hair 
braided and go unveiled. Women's dress is preferably 
also indigo-coloured and has an open square or round 
neck. Women like to wear many silver ornaments like 
chains at the forehead, rings at nose, ears, fingers and 
ankles, and armlets (Ibn al-Mudjawir, 271, 1. 12, 
describes Mahra virgins as mukhalkhaldt mudamladjdt 
"provided with armlets and ankle rings"), and occa- 
sionally wearing head or neck ornament hanging 
down to the belt, single parts of which are adorned 
with geometrical embellishments and cornelians 
(akik). At the neck, an amulet of leather, silver or gold 
is also worn, and one side of the nose is usually per- 
forated in order to wear a precious stone as ornament. 
The breast ornament is an indication of the social 
status of the wearer. Women also use face-painting. 
The nomads among the Mahra make do with 
modest shelters. They live mainly in caves, seek 
refuge under protruding rocks or make a roof against 
the sun amongst trees and shrubs. Remarks that the 
Mahra in these dwelling-places resemble animals (Ibn 
al-Mudjawir, 272, 11.2 ff.) and are like wild animals 
(wuhush) in those sands (Ibn Khaldun, Mukhtasar, 132, 

I. 12), may allude to their modest way of life and their 
familiarity with the surrounding nature. In their land, 
the Mahra do not know the cultivation of date-palms 
or agriculture (al-Istakhri, 25, 1. 12); this information 
refers of course to the Bedouin and not to the seden- 
tary Mahra who, in the western part of their land, at 
the edge of Wad! Masna, practice a well-developped 
farming and lay out palm plantations. The riches of 
the Mahra consist of camels and goats, while they live 
on meat, milk and a kind of small fish on which they 
also feed the animals (Ibn Khaldun, Muktasar, 132, 

II. 3 ff.). This fish is the sardine-like c ayd, found in 
great numbers along the coast and which, after having 
been dried, is given to the animals, especially when 
other food is lacking. Goats are still predominant 
among the Mahra and more appreciated than sheep. 
Camels bred by the Mahra (sing, mahriyyal"" , pi. 
mahara, mahdr" 1 and mahdriyy") were considered from 

ancient times as a particularly good breed (al- 
Hamdani, Sifa 100, 11. 1 ff.). Among these were 
valued as noble the c Idite camels, named after c IdI 
(vocalisation according to al-Hamdanl, Iktil, i, 73, 1. 
11), a Mahra tribe (Sifa, 201, 1. 14). Already in the 
biography of the Prophet (Ibn Hisham, Sira, ed. F. 
Wustenfeld, 963, 1. 9) Mahra camels are mentioned; 
they were valued by the caliphs (al-Kazwini, '■AdjdHb, 
i, 41, 11. 3 ff.) and repeatedly celebrated by the an- 
cient poets (e.g. Abu Tammam, Diwdn, ed. M. C A. 
c Azzam, ii, 132, 1.4 = Aghdn?, xv, 106, 1. 16). They 
spread as far as North Africa, where the form mahn 
(pi. mahara) made its way into French as mehari 
"riding camel" (pi. mehara) from which term was 
derived mehariste to indicate a member of the camel 
riders. Besides making use of their herds, the Mahra 
provide the transport of merchandise by procuring 
caravan service, convey pilgrims to the places of 
pilgrimage and supply local markets with camels. If 
they do not possess their own incense trees, a sup- 
plementary source of livelihood consists in employ- 
ment as seasonal workers in Zufar at the time of the 
incense harvest in order to scrape the gum off the 
trees; The Kara leave their incense trees to the 
Bedouin to take half of the harvest. The Mahra living 
on the coast are mostly fishermen; a few are also mer- 
chants and seafarers. With the rise of the oil industry 
in the Arab countries of the Gulf, many Mahras have 
departed thither as labourers. 

Among the Mahra exists a patrilinear system of 
kinship; however, still-remaining traces of matriliny 


cial : 

Monogamy is the prevailing form of marriage; if 
polygamy occurs, it is in fact mainly a multi-local 
polygamy based on uxorilocal marriage. 

The Mahra settle their social and political affairs 
almost exclusively inside their tribe. The sultanate of 
the Banu c Afrar exercised authority only in name, and 
thus had only a limited influence on the political situa- 
tion of the mainland, the more so because the sultan 
used to reside on Sukutra, with another member of 
the c Afrar family acting as his representative in 
Kishn. The real power over the individual tribes is in 
the hands of their chiefs, the mukaddams, who have 
always enjoyed great esteem. Feuds exist between the 
Mahra and almost all of their neighbouring tribes (see 
the charts on inter-tribal relations in Dostal, Beduinen, 
109); lasting hostility exists especially with the 
Manahil. Friendly relations exist only with the Banu 
Kathlr and the Banu Rashid, bringing about also 
marriages between members of these tribes and the 

Al-Hamdam (Sifa, 87, 1.11) relates that the Mahra 
visit at all times the tomb of the Prophet Hud. Besides 
this pilgrimage place, the Mahra also venerate other 
holy places like the tomb of Bin <A1I in Mirbat, of 
shaykh c Afff in Taka or of Bin c Aribat in Raysiit. Oath- 
taking and vows play an important role among them 
(see T. M. Johnstone, Oath-taking and vows in Oman, in 
Arabian Studies, ii [1975], 7-18). In order to prove their 
innocence, they swear on the tombs of the saints and 
invoke divine judgement by way of ordeal by fire. 
They practise all kinds of charms, especially against 
malevolent djinn or against the evil eye. Ibn al- 
Mudjawir (271, 11. 17-272, 1. 1) even wanted to 
derive from sihr "witchcraft" the term Sahara, 
another name for the Mahra which has not as yet been 
satisfactorily explained. He attributes (272, 1. 1) to 
the Mahra ignorance (djaht) and reason ( c ak[) and 
some demoniac possession (djunun), moreover, and 
continues (272, 1. 2) by saying that they benefit from 
God's blessings without giving praise and thanks, and 


that they worship not Him but someone else. The first 
statement probably refers to the indifference in 
religious matters and to the non-performance of the 
prescribed worship, which can be observed especially 
among the nomadic Mahra. The last statement, on 
the other hand, may be attributed to the fact that the 
Mahri language does not know either the word Allah 
or the word rabb, but speaks of God as ball (literally 
"my Lord"), so that an Arab, not understanding this 
word might infer that they serve another deity. Ibn 
Khaldun (Mukhlasar, 132, 11. 12 ff.), however, righdy 
remarks that, so far as religious confession is concern- 
ed, the Mahra are Kharidjis, in fact Ibadis [q.vv.]. In- 
formation about the Mahra's conversion to Islam is 
given by Ibn Sa c d, Tabakdi, i/2, Leiden 1917, 83, 11. 
13-26. After the Prophet's death, Mahra-land also 
formed part of the areas joining the ridda movement; 
but c Ikrima, one of Abu Bakr's commanders, suc- 
ceeded in reconquering Mahra-land for Islam (al- 
Tabari, Tahikh, i, 1980, 1.5- 1982, 1. 2). 

Bibliography: Apart from the works quoted in 
the text, only the more frequently quoted and most 
important sources are mentioned here: Tabari, 
Ta'rikh; Hamdani, Si/at djazirat al- c Arab, i, ed. D. 
H. Miiller, 1884; Hamdani, al-Iklil, i/2, ed. O. 
Lofgren, Uppsala 1965; Istakhri; Mukaddasi; 
Yakut, Mu'djam al-bulddn; Ibn al-Mudjawir, Ta^rikh 
al-muslabsir, ii, ed. O. Lofgren, Leiden 1954; Ibn 
Khaldun, Mukhlafar al-la^M, with H. C. Kay, 
Yaman, its early mediaeval history, London 1892, 
103-38 of the Arabic text; A. Sprenger, Die alle 
Geographic Arabiens, Bern 1875; A. Jahn, Die Mehri- 
Sprache in Siidarabien, Vienna 1902; W. Hein, Mehri- 
und Ha(lrami-Texte, Vienna 1909; J. Tkatsch, art. 
Mahra, in EI 1 (contains numerous further details on 
the history of the exploration of Mahra-land and 
the Mahri language); R. B. Serjeant, The Portuguese 
off the South Arabian coast, Oxford 1963; W. Dostal, 
Die Beduinen in Siidarabien, Vienna 1967 (this is the 
most important work on the Mahra, based on field- 
studies; it has been much utilised for the present ar- 
ticle), cf. the review of W. W. Miiller, in ZDMG, 
cxviii (1968), 399-402; T. M. Johnstone, Folklore 
and folk literature in Oman and Socotra, in Arabian 
Studies, i (1974), 7-23; J. Carter, Tribal Structures in 
Oman, in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 
vii (1977), 11-68, esp. 37-49. (W. W. Muller) 
MAHRAM BILItlS. [see marib]. 
MAHRATTAS. [see maratha]. 
MAHRI. The Mahri language, called by its 
speakers Mghrayygt, is spoken by many thousands, 
both Bedouin and settled people, over a large area of 
South Arabia extending in a great half-circle from 
Mukalla in South Yemen to the small coastal towns of 
Zufar or Dhofar. In South Yemen, the speakers are 
Bedouin, merchants, fishermen and seamen, but 
many Mahra of the more prosperous classes are now 
monolingual in Arabic. In Zufar, the Mahri speakers 
are, or were, mainly concentrated in Nadjd, the high 
desert area of Zufar behind the fertile part of the long 
mountain range (Mahri s'ahayr) which is largely 
populated by speakers of Djibball. For a long time, 
however, there have been large settlements of Mahra 
in the eastern coastal towns and their hinterlands, and 
in some of these coastal towns (like Sidh, for exam- 
ple), the Mahra speak only Arabic and Djibball. 

The Mahra also continuously penetrate the s'ahayr, 
the fertile part of the Zufar mountain which gets the 
monsoon rains, not without some resistance from the 
Kara, the dominant Djibball-speaking group. Many 
of these immigrants lose their Mahri language also, 
and come to speak only Djibball and Arabic. The 

western dialect is not confined entirely to South 
Yemen, and is spoken in the coastal area of Zufar 
nearest to South Yemen (where there is also a 
defmably western dialect of Djibball). 

A number of non-Mahri groups within this area 
speak what may be defined as dialects of Mahri, or as 
languages closely related to Mahri. Within Zufar, a 
small group of people, the Bajahira, speak a language 
or dialect closely related to Mahri. Now fishermen, 
formerly of humble status, they were apparendy 
driven from their homes in the fertile hinterland of the 
coastal towns of Shuwaymiyya and Sharbijhat, at or 
near where they are now mainly settled. It seems like- 
ly that they learnt their language from the invaders, 
unlike the Kara who would seem to have learnt their 
language from the original inhabitants of the fertile 
area they conquered. In the desert between the Zufar 
province and the Sharkiyya province of c Uman, in the 
area between Hayma and the Wadi Halfayn, is the 
small tribe of the Harasls, apparently of Arab origin. 
Harsusi, which is fairly easily understood by Mahra, 
shows signs of having been acquired by them on the 
borders of Zufar and South Yemen. In the same 
border area is the last of the groups speaking a Mahri- 
related language, namely Hobyot. Hobyot is spoken 
by a small number of people in litde setdements on 
both sides of the border. It shares a few features with 
Harsusi: thus, "I want" is xom in Harsusi and xom in 
Hobyot, as against Mahri horn and Ba(hari ham. 

Nadjdi Mahri (NM) appears to be a more conser- 
vative dialect than the South Yemen dialect (SM). 
Thus NM retains the interdentals I, d and d, which 
in (most dialects of) SM are replaced by (, 2, and f. 
The Austrian expedition (SAE) publications give no 
indication that SM has a definite article, a passive 
voice, or conditional verb forms. This does not con- 
clusively prove that they do not occur in SM, 
however, since the SAE publications also give no in- 
dication that glottalised consonants occur in SM, 
though they do occur in SM texts recorded by the pre- 

The principal features of interest in the phonology 
of Mahri (M) are, firstly, the occurence of the glot- 
talised consonants d (mainly NM), k, s, f, and / (as 
against the series of emphatic/velarised consonants in 
Arabic), the occurrence of the laterals / and i (which 
probably occurred in early pre-literary Arabic) and 
finally the (virtual) non-occurrence of the voiced 
pharyngal (Ar. c ayn). 

The syllabication of M is also of considerable 
historical and comparative interest. In M all forms 
with a final Cv (C) syllable (other than -CsC) have 
final stress. This stress results in a lengthening of the 
vowel of the final syllable where it was not already 
long, and the reduction to a of the short (or lengthen- 
ed) vowels of the non-final syllables. 

Thus consider kotub ("he wrote", from earlier 
*kotab(a)), htibut ("she wrote" from *katabat), and 
hbbis ("he wrote it", f., from *katab-a-s). Non-final 
stress occurs in many earlier monosyllables. Thus 
badr, "seed" has become bedsr, but in affixed forms it 
remains -badr-, as, e.g., abadnh, "his seed", where the 
a-element is a definite article. It is a puzzling feature 
of phonology that the vowel of the stressed syllable of 
nominal forms is not always of the same quality as 
that of the comparable verbal forms. Thus contrast 
sayur, "he went", with sabeb, "cause"; and bedar, 
"seed" withjifor, "it got broken". Even if it is likely 
that the nouns lost their final vowels before the verbs 
(though some plural nouns like hadutm, "hands", still 
have a final nunation which is elided on affixation), 
this does not throw much light on the problem. Fem. 

nouns, for example, may be characterised by an -et, - 
it, -ot, or -it ending. 

The noun in M is not inflected for case but has two 
genders, masc. and fem., and three numbers, sing., 
dual and pi. Some common nouns, such as baft, 
"house" and mhor, "day", are fem. in M (and in- 
deed, in all the Modern South Arabian languages). 
The dual in M ends in -i, thus gawgi, "two men" and 
fakhi, "[two] halves". It rarely occurs without a 
following numeral pro (masc.) or prayt (fem.), "two", 
and, unlike dual verb forms, can be considered to be 
obsolescent. Thus speakers clearly believe when they 
say "two boys" that they are saying gdggen tiro, and 
not gdggenitro. 

Nouns have sound or broken plurals. Masc. nouns 
for the most part have broken plurals, while fem. 
nouns mostly have sound pis. in -otm, itm, -altm, etc. 
The noun in NM can be defined by the prefixation of 
a. This can, however, be affixed only to words with an 
initial voiced or glottalised consonant. Thus httob, 
"a/the book", abedrr, "the seed", and asayd, "the 


mple themes and si 

CaCuC (a) and ClCaC (b) 

causative haCCuC 

Reflexive CatCaC (a) and aCtaCuc (b) 

Causative-reflexive SaCCuc (a) and SaCeCaC (b) 
The reflexive types (a) and (b) often overlap in their 

The verb has a perfective and an imperfective 
aspect. The imperf. indie, and subj. patterns are 
markedly different from Arabic. Thus consider htub 
(perf. )lyakiub (indie. )lyakteb (suhj. )/y»ktebm (cond.). 
Conditional forms occur relatively rarely, mainly in 
sentences involving hypothetical conditions. All 
dependent verbs are subj., and the subj. also func- 

Dnally as 


Imperative forms are subj. in syllable 
lack the personal prefixes, so, e.g. k(s)teb!, "write'.". 
The verb has the following persons: 3 m.s., 3 f.s., 2 
m.s., 2 f.s., 1 c.s.; 3 m.du., 3 f.du., 2 c.du., 1 c.du; 
3, 3, 2, 2, 1 The verb has 
also verbal nouns, and active and passive participles. 
s. kstbona, f.s. htbita, 

:c.) func 


Mahrl (or at least NM) has a large vocabulary 
relatively little affected by Arabic, and there is a good 
deal of resistance to borrowings from Arabic. Lexical 
items may be considered to be for comparative pur- 
poses in a number of categories: words which have no 
cognates in literary or colloquial Arabic (as, e.g., 
sxdwdlul, "he sat"); words which have Ar. cognates 
but cannot, for phonological or morphological 
reasons, be borrowings (as, e.g., zafor, Dhofar/Zafar); 
words which have the same radicals as the equivalent 
Ar. words (as, e.g., sdd, "it sufficed"); words which 
have been borrowed and modified to become com- 
pletely Mahrl in terms of phonology and morphology 
(such as, perhaps, ibtodi, "he began"); and borrow- 
ings from Ar. which have been left virtually unchang- 
ed (as, e.g., rmftah, "key"). There is a large area of 
the vocabulary, which is not possible to categorise 
with any degree of certainty. Since M and Ar. have 
lived side by side for many centuries, it is difficult to 
say in many cases which language has borrowed from 
the other. Thus ssyir, "he went", is paralleled by sir 
in most Ar. dialects of the South. It is just as likely, 
however, that such Ar. dialects are influenced by 
Mahrl as that Mahrl has been influenced by Arabic. 
Bibliography: All references up to his date of 

publication are collected in W. Leslau, Modern South 
Arabian languages — a bibliography, New York 1946; 
for later references, see E. Wagner, Syntax der 
Mehri-Sprache. . . , Berlin 1953. The most important 
of these earlier sources are the following (all 
published in Vienna) by the Austrian South Ara- 
bian Expedition (SAE) associates: (grammar) A. 
Jahn, Grammatik der Mehri-Sprache in Sudarabien, in 
SB Ak. Wien, Phil.-Hist. Kl., Bd. 150, Abh. 6, 
1905; M. Bittner, Studien zur Laut- und Formenlehre 
der Mehri-Sprache in Sudarabien, in SB Ak. Wien, Phil.- 
Hist. Kl., Bd. 162, Abh. 5; Bd. 168, Abh. 2; Bd. 
172, Abh. 5; Bd. 174, Abh. 4; Bd. 178, Abh. 2, 3, 
1909-15; (texts) A. Jahn, SAE 3, 1902 (with 
vocabulary); W. Hein, SAE 9, 1909 (ed. D. H. 
Miiller); D. H. Muller, SAE 7, 1907. For more re- 
cent work, see the following publications of T. M. 
Johnstone: HarsOsi lexicon, Oxford 1977; A definite 
article in the Modem South Arabian languages, in 
BSOAS, xxxiii/2 (1970); Dualforms in MehriandHar- 
susi, in BSOAS, xxxiii/3 (1970); Diminutive patterns in 
the Modern South Arabian languages, in JSS, xviii 
(1973); Folklore and folk-literature in Oman and Socotra, 
in Arabian Studies, i (1973); Contrasting articulations in 
the Modern South Arabian languages, in Hamito-Semitica, 
Leiden 1975; Oath-taking and vows in Oman, in Ar. 
St. , ii (1975); Knots and curses, in Ar. St. , iii (1976); 
A St. George of Dhofar, inAr. St., iv (1977); Jibbdli lex- 
icon, 1981; Mehri lexicon, 1984. 

(T. M. Johnstone) 
MAHSATI (the most probable interpretation of 
the consonants mhsty, for which other forms, like 
Mahisti, Mahsiti or MihistI, have been proposed as 
well; cf. Meier, 43 ff.) a Persian female poet 
whose historical personality is difficult to ascertain. 

She must have lived at some time between the early 
5th/l lth and the middle of the 6th/12th century. The 
earliest sources situate her alternatively in the en- 
vironment of Mahmud of Ghazna, of the Saldjuk 
Sultan Sandjar, or of a legendary king of Gandja in 
Adharbaydjan. The qualification dabir or dabira is 
often attached to her name, but it is uncertain whether 
she actually worked as a professional scribe, the func- 
tion designated by this term. Usually, she is 
represented as a singer and a musician as well as a 
poet of the court, though not as a panegyrist. The 
poems attributed to her name are almost without ex- 
ception quatrains. Their dominating theme is the 
lover's complaint about the absence, the lack of atten- 
tion or the cruelty of his or her beloved. Several poems 
belong to the genre of shahrashub poetry in which the 
beloved is presented as a young craftsman. Mahsati 
has acquired a reputation as a writer of bawdy verse. 
Mystical and fatalistic thoughts, often expressed in 
Persian quatrains, are absent and the antinomism of 
the kalandariyyit can only seldom be found. The 
authenticity of these poems remains in each case ques- 
tionable. An original collection is not known to exist. 
The current diwans of Mahsati are modern compila- 
tions from many different sources. 

Mahsati became already at an early date the 
heroine of romantic tales. The oldest specimen is con- 
tained in 'Attar's Ilahi-nima (Meier, 53-6; tr. 
J. A. Boyle, Manchester 1976, 218-20). A similar 
story, embellished by inserted quatrains, was used by 
c Abd Allah Djawharl in a commentary on the kasida-yi 
hawliyya, a poem about alchemy, towards the end of 
the 7th/13th century. It is, however, not derived from 
'Attar's story (Meier, 63-7). The Distin-i Amir Ahmad- 
u Mahsati is a popular romance, built upon an exten- 
sive cycle of quatrains, dealing with the love between 
two poets, of whom the former is sometimes referred 


to as "the son of the preacher of Gandja" {pur-i khafib- 
i Gandja). It is extant in two versions of different 
lengths (Meier, 123 and passim; E. E. Bend's, Nizami 
i Fuzuli, 78, n. 12). 

Bibliography: The fundamental study by F. 
Meier, Die schone Mahsati. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte 
des persischen Vierzeilers. Band I, Wiesbaden 1963, 
gives full references to the preceding literature. It 
also contains a critical edition of 279 poems with 
translation and commentary; the quatrains which 
only occur in the Ddstan, have been excluded. See 
further: E. E. Bertel's, Istoriyg persidsko-tadzikskoy 
literaturi, Moscow 1960, 425, 489 f.; idem, Nizami-i 
Fuzuli, Moscow 1962, 77-81; Iradj Afshar, Fihrist-i 
makalal-i first, i, Tehran 1340/1961, 693-6 and ii, 
Tehran 1348/1969, 495; A. GulcTn-i ma c anl, Shahr- 
ashub dar shi'r-i first, Tehran 1346/1967, 15-7; J. 
Rypka et alii, History of Iranian literature, Dordrecht 
1968, 199. (J. T. P. de Bruijn) 

MAHSUD, the name of a Pafhan tribe on 
the north-west frontier of Pakistan, in British 
Indian times the fiercest opponents there of British 
rule. The Mahsuds inhabit the heart of Wazlristan 
around Kaniguram and are shut off from Pakistan 
territory by the Bhittanni country. On all other sides 
they are flanked by Darwlsh Khel Wazlris. It is now 
generally accepted that they left their original home in 
the Birmal hills of modern Afghanistan sometime 
towards the close of the 8th/14th century and gradual- 
ly extending eastwards occupied the country in which 
they now reside. The tribe has three main branches: 
the Bahlolzay, Shaman Khel. and the c Alizay. 

The Mahsuds have always been the scourge of the 
Bannu and Deradjat borders. This was the case in the 
days of Sikh rule and, after the annexation of the Pan- 
djab in 1849, they still continued to plunder and 
devastate the borders of British India. This and the 
fact that their rocky mountain fastnesses command 
the Gomal and Toci, two of the five main passes con- 
necting India with Afghanistan, compelled the British 
to resort to reprisals. On three occasions, in 1860, 
1881 and 1894, the Mahsuds became so troublesome 
that punitive expeditions had to be undertaken 
against them. On the conclusion of the 1860 expedi- 
tion, a temporary peace was patched up by which each 
of the three main sections of the tribe agreed to hold 
themselves responsible for outrages committed by 
their respective clansmen. From 1862 to 1874 various 
sections of the tribe were at one time or another placed 
under a blockade until, in 1873 and 1874 respectively, 
the Shaman Khel and Bahlolzay, finding their con- 
tinued exclusion from British territory irksome, made 
full submission. The burning of Tank by a band of 
Mahsuds in 1879 and other outrages brought about 
the expedition of 1881, when a British force 
penetrated Wazlristan as far as Kaniguram and 
Makin. For the next ten years, British subjects were 
left practically unmolested and the whole of the 
Waziri border enjoyed a period of comparative peace. 
So peacefully disposed were the Mahsuds that, in 
1883, they even rendered assistance in the survey of 
the country around Khadjuri Kac, and, in 1890, were 
granted allowances for the watch and ward of the 
Gomal pass. 

In 1894, under the influence of Mulla Powinda, a 
Shabi Kh el mulla belonging to the c AlIzay section of 
the tribe, the Mahsuds attacked the British boundary 
demarcation camp in defiance of the subsidised 
maliks. From this time the Mulla's influence steadily 
increased, and all efforts to uphold the authority of the 
maliks against his faction failed. Continued depreda- 
tions along the British borders after 1897 called for 

reprisals. From December 1900 to March 1902, the 
Mahsuds were subjected to a stringent blockade, but 
it was only after the blockade had been varied by sud- 
den punitive sallies into the Mahsud hills that they 
were forced to come to terms. During this period, 
there were two factions in the country, the one headed 
by the maliks, the other by their enemy, the Mulla 
Powinda (to whom also, in an effort at conciliation, a 
monthly allowance had been granted in 1900); and 
from 1902 onwards the Mulla's influence was para- 
mount. After 1908 the Mahsud question became 
acute again, and a series of raids into British territory 
were traced to him. On his death in 1913, his place 
was taken by Mulla c Abd al-Hakim, who continued 
the policy of attempting to preserve the independence 
of the Mahsud country between British India and 
Afghanistan by exploiting the marauding proclivities 
of the tribesmen. From 1914 to 1917 the history of the 
Dera Isma c il Khan district was one long tale of rapine 
and outrage. Eventually, in 1917, troops marched in- 
to the Mahsud country, but were able to effect only a 
temporary settlement. British preoccupations else- 
where delayed the day of retribution, and during 1919 
and 1920, the wind-swept raghzas of Wazlristan 
witnessed the severest fighting in the annals of the In- 
dian frontier. 

During the disturbances in Afghanistan following 
on the abdication of Aman Allah [q.v. in Suppl.] and 
the brief assumption of power by the adventurer 
Bac<!a-yi Sakao (1928), Mahsuds and Wazirs joined 
the returning Nadir Khan in his march on Kabul, and 
were the spearhead of his successful bid for the throne. 
But they were disappointed at not receiving a licence 
to loot indiscriminately, and were subsequently stir- 
red up by the partisans of Aman Allah, so that in 1933 
a Mahsud and Wazir Ioshkar crossed the Durand Line 
and besieged Matun in the Khost district till repulsed 
by Nadir's brother Hashim Khan. 

From 1936 onwards, the Mahsuds were further in- 
flamed by the presence amongst them of the virulently 
anti-British "Fakir of Ipi" [q.v. in Suppl.], HadjdjI 
MIrza C A1I Khan, and in 1938 they and the Wazirs 
were stirred up by the "Shaml PIr", Sa c Id al-DjIlanl 
from Syria, who established himself at Kaniguram 
with the aim of working for a restoration in 
Afghanistan of Aman Allah, until the PIr was bought 
off by a large subsidy from the Government of India. 
Mahsuds and Wazirs took part enthusiastically in 
the Kashmiri djihad against India in 1948; since Parti- 
tion, considerable numbers of Mahsuds have 
migrated down to the Indus valley and other parts of 
Pakistan in search of work. 

Bibliography: C. U. Aitchison, Treaties, engage- 
ments and sanads , xi, Bombay 1909; R. I. Bruce, The 
Forward Policy and its results, London 1900; C. C. 
Davies, The problem of the North-West Frontier, Cam- 
bridge 1932; idem, Coercive measures on the Indian 
borderland, in Army Quarterly Review, April 1928; R. 
H. Davies, Report showing relations of British Govern- 
ment with tribes on N. W.F. of the Punjab, 1855-1864, 
1864; Frontier and overseas expeditions from India (con- 
fidential), ii, 1908; North-West Frontier Province ad- 
ministration reports (published annually in British 
Indian times); Operations in Wazlristan, 1919-1920, 
1921; W. H. Paget and A. H. Mason, Record of ex- 
peditions against the N. W.F. Tribes since the annexation 
of the Punjab, London 1884; Punjab administration 
reports, 1850-1900; Parliamentary papers, lxxi, Cd. 
1177, 1902; H. Priestley, Hayat-i Afghani, 1874; H. 
A. Rose, Glossary of tribes and castes of the Punjab and 
North-West Frontier Province, iii, s.v. Wazir; H. C. 
Wylly, From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, 1912; 


Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957, 
London 1958, 392-4, 397, 406-9; J. W. Spain, The 
Pathan borderland, The Hague 1963, 52-3. 

(C. Collin Davies*) 
MAHSUSAT (A.), "sensibilia". For the 
theories of sense-perception held by the principal 
falasifa of Islam, see hiss. In addition to these, it 
should be mentioned that Ibn Ba djdj a is perhaps the 
philosopher who most closely follows Aristotle's views 
on this subject, and that his Kitdb al-Nafs (ed. M. S. 
Hasan Ma'suml, Damascus 1960; tr. as Ibn Bajja's 
< Ilm al-nafs, Karachi n.d.), while undoubtedly an 
original work, may be regarded as almost a 
paraphrase of Aristotle's De anima. In particular, he 
differs from other Islamic philosophers in not referr- 
ing to to "internal" and "external" senses or to al- 
kuwwa al-mushtarika. 

In falsa/a, mahsusdt are frequently contrasted with 
ma'-kulat, "intelligibilia'. In tasawwuf, however, both 
are regarded as equally unreliable as means of arriv- 
ing at the truth and are contrasted with dhawk. For a 
clear statement of this position, see al-Ghazall, 
al-Munkidh min al-dalal (where '■akliyyat is used rather 
than ma'-kulat). In spite of the Sufis' avowed rejection 
of falsa/a, such views as these may, to some degree, be 
considered to represent less a complete abandonment 
of it than a turning away from Aristotelianism 
towards Platonism (in neo-Platonic guise). That 
falsa/a continued to exercise an influence may be seen 
from Djalal al-Din Ruml's references in the Mathnawi 
to the "internal" and "external" senses and to the 

Bibliography: Given in the article and in hiss. 
(J. N. Mattock) 

MAHUR, asmall town of mediaeval India 
in the extreme north of the former Hyderabad State 
of British India. It is situated in lat. 19" 49' N. and 
long. 77° 58' E. just to the south of the Penganga 
river, a left-bank affluent of the Godavari, where it 
forms the boundary between the former regions of 
northern Hyderabad [see haydarabad] and Berar 
[q.v.] in Central India. 

In pre-Muslim times, Mahur had the shrine of Sri- 
Dattatreya. In the middle years of the 8th/14th cen- 
tury, the territory up to Mahur was conquered by the 
Deccani power of the Bahmanls [q.v.\. In 857/1453 
Mahmud I KhaldjI \q.v.} of Malwa besieged the for- 
tress of Mahur, but was unable to conquer it from the 
Bahmanls, and in 872/1468 it was again a bone of 
contention between the two powers. In later times, 
however, it relapsed into insignificance. In British In- 
dian times, it fell after 1905 within the c Adilabad 
District and ta'-alluk, the district being described in the 
1901 census as sparsely-populated forest land, with 
76% of the people being Hindus, 11% animistic 
Gonds and 5% Muslims, whilst, from the linguistic 
point of view, 44% were Telugu-speaking and 28% 
Maraihi-speaking. In the Indian Union, after the 
1956 administrative reorganisation, the Mahur region 
was placed within Maharashtra State, and is now in 
Nanded District and Kinvat ta'-alluk. Mahur village 
had in 1971 a population of 380. 

Mahur has an important fortress, which may have 
been in existence in pre-Bahmanid times. It stands on 
a steep hill 380 feet/120 m. above the valley of the 
Penganga, and is irregularly shaped since it occupies 
the edges of two adjacent spurs (the intermediate 
valley is converted into a large tank through the con- 
struction of a massive connecting wall); the hill is 
precipitous on the east, south and west, its northern 
access being defended by multiple gateways. The 
main northern gateway (known as Cirri" Darwaza, 

from the panels of Bahmanid tilework on its facade) 
encloses a defended entry with guard rooms along 
each side, and the Kil'adar's residence is set in an up- 
per storey. 

Bibliography: Gazeteer of India. Provincial series. 

Hyderabad State, Calcutta 1909; G. Yazdani, Report 

on c Adilabdd District, in Annual Report, Archaeol. Dept. 

Hyderabad, 1327 F./1917-18, 6-8; Maharashtra State 

District gazeteers. Nanded, Bombay 1971; Description 

of some of the antiquities in Jnal. Hyderabad Archaeol. 

Soc. (1918), 48-59. 

(C. E. Bosworth-J. Burton Page) 

MAHYA, a communal nightly liturgical ritual 
in which the recital of supplications for divine grace 
for the Prophet [see salawat] is central. 

Such sessions were originally introduced as a 
mystical method [see tarIka] by Nur al-Din al-Shuni 
(d. 944/1537; cf. Brockelmann, II, 438, for the titles 
and additional details about the salawat composed by 
him), a shaykh of c Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha c ranI [q.v.] at 
the mosque of Ahmad al-BadawT in Tanja and at al- 
Azhar mosque in Cairo in the year 897/1491-2 ( c Abd 
al-Wahhab al-Sha c rani, al-Tabakat al-kubra, Cairo 
1954, ii, 172-3; cf. Nadjm al-Din b. Muhammad al- 
GhazzI, al-Kawdkib al-saHra fi a'yan al-mi c a al-'ashira, 
Beirut 1945-59, ii, 216-19). The meetings were held 
after the maghrib prayer on Thursday night until the 
adhan for the Friday prayer the following noon. Later, 
mahya sessions were held on Monday night as well {al- 
Tabakat, ii, 171). In these sessions many candles were 
burnt. This aspect brought about criticism from the 
side of the students at the mosque. They condemned 
it as an act of Mazdaism. It elicited afatwd from al- 
Burhan b. Abl Sharif who denounced the lightning of 
more candles than were necessary for sufficient il- 
lumination (al-GhazzI, ii, 216), while Abu 'l- c Abbas 
Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Kastallani [q.v. ] wrote a 
treatise in its defence (see al-Ghazzi, ibid.). 

The spread of this new institution in Egypt and 
from there to Syria, North Africa, Takrur and the 
Hidjaz during al-£huni's life-time (see al-Tabakat, ii, 
172) may be viewed as one of the manifestations of the 
growing reverence for the Prophet, particularly from 
the 7th/13th century onwards (cf. T. Andrae, Die Per- 
son Muhammeds in Lehre und Glauben seiner Gemeinde, 
Stockholm 1918, 379, 388, and I. Goldziher, Ueberden 
Branch der Mahja Versammlungen im Islam, in WZKM xv 
[1901], 38 f.). 

At al-Azhar, supervision and organisation of these 
meetings became institutionalised in an office. The in- 
cumbent to this office was known as shaykh al-mahya. 
The names of the mashayikh al-mahya from al-Shuni 
until the year 1057/1647-8 are mentioned by Muham- 
mad al-Muhibbf, Khuldsat al-athar fi a'ydn al-karn al- 
hadi <as_har, Cairo 1284, i, 266, iii, 382 f. (see also 
c Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha'ranl, al-Tabakat al-sughra, 
Cairo 1970, 88 f. for data concerning al-Shuni's 
khalifa, Shihab al-DIn al-Bulklnl, d. 960/1553). After 
this year, no incumbents are known and no informa- 
tion concerning the exact nature of the office has 
become available. It seems likely, however, that the 
office of shaykh al-mahya has been similar to the offices 
of shaykh kurra ' al-Hizb and shaykh kird ''at Dala HI al- 
Khayrat existing in 19th century Egypt (cf. F. De Jong, 
Turuq and turuq-linked institutions in nineteenth century 
Egypt. A historical study in organizational dimensions of 
Islamic mysticism, Leiden 1978, 112). The office of 
shaykh al-mahya must have become redundant or great- 
ly insignificant during the 18th century, since no men- 
tion of an incumbent is made in c Abd al-Rahman 
al-Djabarti, '■AdjaHb al-dthdr fi 'l-taradjim wa 'l-akhbar, 
while the term mahya itself lost its specific meaning 


with dhikr[q.v.]; cf. Abu '1- 
ida al-Zabidl, Tddj_ al- c arus 
Is, Cairo 1306-7, x, 110. 
particularly in the sense of 
weekly hadra [q. v. ] , the term is used in a treatise by the 
well-known Rifa'iyya shaykh Muhammad Abu '1- 
Huda al-Sayyadl (1859-1909), al-Tanka al-RifdHyya, 
Baghdad 1969, 131. In the 7th/13th century another 
Rifa c iyya author uses the term mahya (Izz al-Dfn 
Ahmad al-Sayyad al-Rifa c T, al-Ma c drif al- 
Muhammadiyya fi 'l-wazd'if al-Ahmadiyya, Cairo 1305, 

and became synonymou 
Fayd Muhammad Mur 

min shark dj_awdhir al-Kdr, 

); the a 

r, defies 

ion of 

ing). The term is equally employed 
the hadra of the Demirdashiyya order [q.v.\ in Cairo, 
which is not a mahya of the type introduced by al- 
Shuni, as is erroneously supposed by Goldziher (ibid. , 
49 f.; cf. E. Bannerth, La Khalwatiyya en Egypte. Quel- 
ques aspects de la vie d'une confrerie, in MIDEO, viii 
[1964-6], 47; and idem, Uber den Stifter und Sonderbrauch 
der Demirdds'iyya Sufis in Kairo, in WZKM, lxii [1969], 
130, for a description of the ritual. For the texts 
recited during the hadra, see also Husayn Amfn al- 
Sayyad, al-Fuyuddt al-nurdniyya fi mahya al-tarika al- 
Demirdashiyya, Cairo n.d., 12 ff.). In Egypt, the in- 
particular in the 9th/15th century, in tarikas, some of 
which, like the Shadhiliyya [q.v.], held the recital of 
salawdt as part of the hadra, and the rise of al- 
Sha'raniyya [q.v.] as an independent tarika after the 
death of <Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha c ram (d. 973/1565), 
who had been shaykh al-mahya in al-Ghamurl mosque 
(cf. al-Ghazzi, ii, 217), may have contributed to the 
decline of the mahya as an institution independent 
from the main stream of Islamic mysticism. 

Before the middle of the 10th/16th century, the 
mahya had also become institutionalised in Mecca, as 
is testified by afiatwd given by Ibn Hadjar al-Haytami 
[q.v.], al-Fatdwi al-hadithiyya, Cairo 1307, 137-40, 
relative to the salawdt formulae recited on these occa- 
sions. No other data on the mahya in this part of the 
Islamic world have come down to us. 

In Damascus, the mahya was introduced by c Abd al- 
Kadir b. Muhammad b. Suwar (921-1014/1515- 
1605). The first mahya in this city was held in al- 
Buzuri mosque in Radjab 970/March 1563. Shortly 
afterwards, a weekly mahya was started in the 
Umayyad mosque (cf. al-Muhibbi, ii, 454; iii, 276; 
Muhammad Khalil al-Muradl, Silk al-Durarfi a'ydn al- 
karn al-thanFashar, Bulak, 1301, i, 112 f.; ii, 160; iii, 
179; and al-Ghazzi, ii, 218). In Damascus, as in 
Cairo, organisation and supervision of the mahya ses- 
sions became an office which is referred to in the 
sources as shaykh al-mahya (Ahmad al-Budayri, 
HawadithDimashk al-yawmiyya (1154-7511741-62), ed. 
Ahmad c Izzat <Abd al-Karfm, Cairo 1359, 180, 230; 
al-Muhibbi, i, 281, 336; ii, 454; iv, 375) and shaykh 
sadjdjadat al-mahya al-shanf (al-Muradl, iii, 142). This 
office, about which little is known, was hereditary 
within the Ibn Suwar family. Members of this family 
conducted mahya sessions twice weekly at the mosques 
mentioned, until the end of the 19th century at least 
(cf. Goldziher, 49). 

In addition, the term laylat al-mahya (night of the 
mahya, i.e. the night made alive by devotional activity; 
cf. Goldziher, 42; and al-Ghazzi, ii, 217, for 
etymological details and references) was used to 
denote the night of 27 Radjab, when religious gather- 
ings were held at the shrine of c All, in early 8th/ 14th 
century al-Nadjaf (Ibn Battuta, i, 417-8); the night of 
27 Ramadan, when the Haririyya order com- 
memorated the death of the order's founder, in 
8th/14th century Damascus (Kutubl, Fawat, Cairo 

1951, ii, 91); and the night of mid-Sha c ban in, as 
would seem, several parts of the Islamic world in that 
period (see Muhammad b. Muhammad al- c Abdari 
(= Ibn al-Hadjdj), al-Mudkhal, Cairo 1320, i, 260; 
and also c Alf b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad al-Wasi(i, 
Khuldsat al-iksir fi nasab sayyidind al-Ghawth al-Rifa c ial- 
Kabir, Cairo 1306, 92). 

Bibliography: Given in the article. 

(F. DEjONG) 

MAIMONIDES. [see ibn maymun]. 
MA C IN, name of an ancient people of 
Southwest Arabia, mentioned by the 3rd century 
B. C. Greek geographer Eratosthenes as one of the 
four principal peoples (ethne) of the area, under the 
form Minaioi. 

In Strabo and Pliny they figure as largely engaged 
in the aromatics trade between South Arabia and the 
Mediterranean; according to Pliny, they were the in- 
itiators of the frankincense trade. Apart from sparse 
notices in Greek and Latin sources, our knowledge of 
them is based on their own inscriptions, in a distinc- 
tive language which has however some afinities with 
the language of Saba [q.v.]. The widespread nature of 
their trade is evidenced by Minaean inscriptions from 
the island of Delos and from the Egyptian FayyOm, 
but apart from such scattered examples, all the texts 
in this language come from in and around their main 
centre Karnaw (Khirbet Ma c in) at the eastern end of 
the South Arabian Djawf, from the oasis of Yathill 
(Barakish) a little south of there (both these places still 
show impressive town walls), and from their trading 
settlement at Dedan (al- c Ula in the northern Hidjaz). 
But they certainly had other similar trading posts 
elsewhere, and a Katabanian language text from 
Timna c in the Wadi Bayhan [see kataban] mentions 
a "magistrate of the Minaeans in Timna c ". 

In effect, the term Minaeans seems to have had a 
double application. There must have been an original 
Minaean folk who, to judge from Pliny's remark that 
"they possessed palmgroves, but their main wealth 
lay in cattle", may perhaps most plausibly be sited in 
the steppe country north of Karnaw. But considered 
as a trading organisation, they were subdivided in a 
number of ahdli or "folks", of whom the most signifi- 
cant in the texts are the ahl GBW. Earlier scholars did 
not hesitate to identify these with Pliny's Gebbanitae, 
and although in recent years there has been a tenden- 
cy to equate them with the Katabanians, the earlier 
view still seems more probable, since Pliny's Geb- 
banitae (and also Strabo's Gabaioi) figure as prin- 
cipally concerned with the frankincense trade up the 
west coast of Arabia. The Minaean language texts all 
belong within the Ptolemaic period, and after Pliny 
(whose information may well be already a little out-of- 
date when he wrote), they disappear from the records. 
Evidently, therefore, their trading monopoly had 
broken up by about the turn of he Christian era, the 
west coast trade having been taken over by 
Nabataeans and other north Arabian peoples, while 
the Minaeans seem to have sunk back into obscurity. 
Bibliography: Strabo, Geogr., xvi. 4 4; Pliny, 
Nat. hist, xii. 54, 63-4, 68-9, 88; Les monuments de 
MaHn, i by M. Tawfik, ii by K. Y. Nami (Pubis. 
Inst. Fr. d'Arch. Or. du Caire, Etudes sudarabi- 
ques, 1-2), Cairo 1951-2; J. Pirenne, Paleographie 
des inscriptions sud-arabiques , i, Brussels 1956; A. F. 
L. Beeston, Pliny's Gebbanitae, in Procs. Fifth Seminar 
for Arabian Studies, London 1972, 5-8; idem, Some 
observations on Greek and Latin data relative to South 
Arabia, in BSOAS, xlii (1979), 7-12). 

(A. F. L. r 
MAKADUNYA, the Ottoman Turkish n 


Macedonia, a region which occupies the centre of 
the Balkan Peninsula. Despite its historically mixed 
population of Slavs, Ottoman Turks, Greeks, Alba- 
nians, Vlachs, Sephardic Jews and others, Macedonia 
forms a geographical unit. Its boundaries are 
sometimes disputed, but may be said to follow the line 
of peaks which stretches from the gar Planina in the 
north to the Rhodope range and the river Mesta in the 
east, and to the Albanian mountains and the Pindus 
in the west. On the southern side it is naturally limited 
by the Gulf of Salonica. Macedonia was visited by the 
early Arab traveller Harun b. Yahya, and is mention- 
ed in the form Makaduniya by the c Abbasid geographer 
Ibn Khurradadhbih (257/870) and by the anonymous 
Hudud at-'alam (372/982). 

1. Ottoman Macedonia. Immediately before 
the Ottoman conquest, Macedonia was loosely divid- 
ed between the Byzantine and various local poten- 
tates. In 784/1383, during the reign of Murad I, 
Ottoman forces penetrated as far^ as Seres, and in 
787/1385 captured Ishtlp (Stip), Manastir, 
(Monastir, Bitola) and Pirlepe (Prilep). Uskiib (Skop- 
je) fell in 794/1391 . Selanlk (Salonica) was briefly held 
from 789/1387, but not finally secured until 834/1430. 
Thereafter Ottoman rule was consolidated. The fron- 
tier marches were replaced by sandjaks dependent on 
the beglerbeglik of Rumeli, and the timar system was in- 
troduced. Turkish settlements began at an early date. 
Anatolian yiiruks were established in the 
neighbourhood of Selanlk, Ishtip and Uskiib. The 
dewshirme [q.v.] was levied, and during the 
9th- 10th/ 15th- 16th centuries, conversion to Islam 
proceeded at a significant rate. Institutions of Islamic 
culture and learning were established in the major 
towns. Popular Islam was in the hands of the dervish 
orders, amongst whom the Bektashis were prominent. 
The llth/17th century saw the emergence of an in- 
tractable haydud or brigandage problem. Economical- 
ly, the region was a traditional exporter of grain; the 
development of ciftliks [q.v.] in the 12th/18th century 
led to an expansion of rice and tobacco cultivation. 
The Ottoman Empire did not recognise Macedonia as 
an administrative unit, and the sandjaks, into which 
the beglerbeglik, subsequently eyalet, of Rumeli was 
divided, bore little relation to Macedonia's 
geographical borders. In 1864 the Law of the Wilayets 
divided the region between the wilayets of Kosowa, 
Manastir and Selanlk, and apart from a brief period 
when the wilayet of Manastir was suppressed, this ad- 
' 'e partition survived to the end of Ottoman 





Macedonia acquired a political significance during the 
19th century as a result of the revival of the Christian 
nationalities and the rival aspirations of Greeks, Serbs 
and Bulgarians to establish themselves in Macedonia 
as the Ottoman Empire's prospective successor. The 
Greeks were the first to mount an effective national 
propaganda designed to secure the allegiance of the 
Macedonian Christians, but they were rapidly 
challenged by the Bulgarians, who won ecclesiastical 
independence with the establishment of the Bulgarian 
Exarchate in 1870. Russia obliged Sultan c Abd al- 
Hamld II to agree to the inclusion of most of 
Macedonia in an autonomous Bulgarian principality 
at the Treaty of San Stefano (3 March 1878), but the 
subsequent Treaty of Berlin (13 July 1878) restored 
Macedonia to Ottoman control. Greek, Serbian and 
Bulgarian propaganda continued, and began to 
assume a violent form. In 1893 local Slavs formed the 
Internal Macedonia-Adrianople Revolutionary 
Organisation to fight for the establishment of an 

Macedonia. It was soon rivalled by the 
overtly pro-Bulgarian Supreme Macedonian Com- 
mittee. There was an upsurge of guerilla and terrorist 
activity in which Greeks, Vlachs and Albanians soon 
joined. The Internal Organisation's abortive Ilinden 
Rising in August 1903 led the Powers to impose a pro- 
gramme of administrative reforms upon Sultan c Abd 
al-Hamld, but their intervention fanned existing 
discontent among Ottoman troops stationed in 
Macedonia, where the Ittihdd we Terakki Dje mHyyeti 
[q.v.] was increasingly active. As a result, it was from 
Macedonia that the sucessful Young Turk Revolution 
was launched in July 1908. The Young Turk regime 
attempted to alter the confessional balance in 
Macedonia by encouraging the immigration of 
Muslims from Bosnia, but lost all of Macedonia in the 
Balkan Wars of 1912-13. Macedonia was partitioned 
between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia (subsequently 
Yugoslavia). Bulgaria's share was reduced somewhat 
after World War I. The partition has had far-reaching 
ethnic consequences. Thanks to immigration from 
Asia Minor, the population of Greek Macedonia now 
consists overwhelmingly of Hellenes. Before World 
War II, attempts were made to Serbianise Yugoslav 
Macedonia; however, the subsequent Communist 
regime has recognised the Macedonian Slavs as a 
separate historic Macedonian nation. The Turkish 
population has been drastically reduced by emigration 
to Asia Minor. In 1913 Turks accounted for 29.5% of 
the population of Greek Macedonia, and numbered 
some 300,000: all were deported during the Greco- 
Turkish population exchanges of the 1920s. Bulgarian 
Macedonia, where Turks accounted for 16.3% of the 
population in 1913, has been similarly cleared. The 
Turkish population of Yugoslav Macedonia has been 
reduced by voluntary emigration from a total of 
209,000 in 1913 to 129,000 in 1971, falling as a pro- 
portion of the total population from 19.3% to 6.6%. 
Against this, the Albanian population of Yugoslav 
Macedonia rose from 13% of the total in 1961 to 17% 
in 1971. The surviving Turkish community in 
Yugoslav Macedonia enjoys full minority rights. 
Bibliography: The geography and 
ethnography of Ottoman Macedonia is outlined 
in S. Gopcevic', Makedonien und Alt-Serbien, Vienna 
1889; Benderev, Voennaya geografiya i statistika 
Makedonii i sosyednikh s neyu oblastey Balkanskogo 
poluoslrova, St. Petersburg 1890; and J. Cvijic, 
Mazedoien und Altserbien, Gotha 1908. For 
mediaeval Islamic geographers, see V. 
Minorsky, tr., Hudud al- c alam, London 1937, 156, 
420. There exists no comprehensive account of 
Macedonia under Ottoman rule. Istorija na 
Makedonskiot narod, 3 vols., Skopje 1969, is sketchy. 

have been translated into Macedonian and publish- 
ed in the two series, Turski dokumenli za istorija na 
Makedonskiot narod, i-iv, Skopje 1963-72, and Turski 
dokumenti za Makedonskata istorija, i-v, Skopje 
1952-8. Documents from Istanbul are published as 
Makedonija vo XVI i XVII vek: dokumenti od carigrad- 
skitearhivi (1557-1645), Skopje 1955. A. Birken, Die 
Provinzen des Osmanischen Reiches, Wiesbaden 1976, 
describes provincial organisation, as does 
B. Cvetkova, Les institutions ottomanes en Europe, 
Wiesbaden 1978, which also deals with economic 
and social questions. The salnames of the wilayets of 
Kosowa, Manastir and Selanlk give basic informa- 
tion for the later Ottoman period, as does 
Mahmud, Manastir wilayetinih ta^rikhcesi, Manastir 
n.d. Popular religion is dealt with in F. M. 
Hasluck, Christianity and Islam under the sultanate, 2 


vols., Oxford 1929. The question of Islamisa- 
tion is broached in B. Cvetkova, op. cit. Settle- 
ment of yiiriiks is dealt with in M. Tayyib 
Gokbilgin, Rumeli'de Yurukler, Tatarlar ve Evlad-i 
Fdtihdn, Istanbul 1957. The haydud problem is 
documented in J. Vasdravellis, Klephts, Armatoles 
and pirates in Macedonia during the rule of the Turks 
1627-1821, Thessaloniki 1975, and in two volumes 
of documents published as Turski izvori za ajdutstvolo 
i aramistvoto vo Makedonija, Skopje 1961. See also A. 
Stojanovski, Dervendzistvoto vo Makedonija, Skopje 
1974. Aspects of economic history are covered 
in N. Todorov (ed.), La ville balkanique, XV'-XIX' 
siecles, Sofia 1970; Khr. Khristov, Agrarnite ot- 
nosheniya v Makedoniya prez XIX v. i nacalato na XX v. , 
Sofia 1964; Zografski, Razoitokot na kapitalistickite 
elementi vo Makedonija, Skopje 1967, contains much 
data. See also M. Lascaris, Salonique a la Jin du 
XVIII siecle d'apres les rapports consulages jrancais, 
Athens 1939; N. Svoronos, Le commerce de Salonique 
au XVIII siecle, Paris 1956; F. Bianconi, Carte com- 
merciale de la province de Macedoine, Paris 1888; Khr. 
Gandev. Targovskata obmena na Evropa s balgarskite 
zemi prez XVIII inachaloto naXIXvek, in Godishnik na 
sqfiiskiya univerzitet, xl, Sofia 1944; A. Matkovski, 
G'urcin Kokaleski, Skopje 1959. The literature of the 
Macedonian question is extensive and highly 
controversial. F. Adamr, Die macedonische Frage, 
Wiesbaden 1979, uses Turkish materials; E. 
Barker, Macedonia, London 1950, concentrates on 
the post-Ottoman period. The issue is approached 
from varying national standpoints by E. Kofos, Na- 
tionalism and Communism in Macedonia, Thessaloniki 
1964; I. Katardziev, Serskiot okrug od kresnenskoto 
vostanie do mladoturskata revolucija, Skopje 1968; G. 
Kyosev, Istoriya na makedonskoto natsionalno revolyut- 
sionno dvizhenie, Sofia 1954. Useful information is 
found in D. Dakin, The Greek struggle in Macedonia 
1897-1912, Thessaloniki 1966; Khr. Silyanov, 
Osvoboditelnite borbi na Makedoniya, 2 vols., Sofia 
1933-43. Some light is shed on the attitudes of c Abd 
al-Hamid II and his advisers by M. Hocaoglu, Ab- 
dulhamit Han' in muhtirlan, Istanbul n.d.; H. K. 
Bayur, Sadrazam Kdmil Pasa, Ankara 1954; Sa c Id 
Pasha, SaHd Pasha' nin khatirati, ii, Istanbul 1328. 
The Macedonian background to the 
Young Turk Revolution is traced in Ahmed 
Niyazi, Khatirat-i Niyazi, Istanbul 1326; Kazim 
Nami Duru, Arnavutluk ve Makedonya hatiralanm, 
Istanbul 1959; §evket Sureyya Aydemir, Enver Pasa, i, 
Istanbul 1970. Albanian aspects are covered 
by J. Bartl, Die albanischen Muslime zur Zeit der na- 
tionalen Unabhdngigkeitsbewegung (1878-1912), 
Wiesbaden 1968; Stavro Skendi, The Albanian na- 
tional awakening 1878-1912, Princeton 1967. Tahsin 
Uzer, Makedonya eskiyahk tarihi ve son osmanh 
ybnetimi, Ankara 1979, is a personal memoir of the 
Ittihad we Terakki Dje mHyyeti in Macedonia. For a 
brief account of the fate of the Turkish 
population of Macedonia since 1913, 
R. Grulich, Die tiirkische Volksgruppe in Jugoslawien, 
in Materiala Turcica, i, Bochum 1975, the Yugoslav 
Turkish periodicals Sesler, Cevren, and Birlik may 
also be consulted. (F. A. K. Yasamee) 

MAKALA (a.), article. 

1. In Arabic 
This masdar mimi from the root k-w-l "to say", has 
etymologically the sense of "statement", "ut- 
terance", etc. It will be noted, however, that in a 
typical hundred pages of text from the classical period, 
it is found only once with this "oral" sense (Ch. Vial, 

Al-Gahiz, quatre essais, ii, Cairo 1979, 132). On the 
other hand, its usage in contemporary Arabic is 
remarkably frequent, all the more so in that its sense 
is henceforward almost exclusively related to the writ- 
ten rather than the spoken text. The modern user 
designates by the word makal or makdla that which we 
call "article", and doubtless there would be nothing 
further to add in this context were it not that the 
history of the word impinges upon the recent history 
of Arabic literature. 

It being unnecessary to dwell in detail on an evolu- 
tion which is now well-known, it will simply be recall- 
ed that modern Arabic prose has been forged through 
the intermediary of the press. It was a a result of the 
creation and development of Arab journals and 
reviews at the end of the 19th century that the affected 
and inflated language which had hitherto prevailed 
rapidly gave way to a convenient and direct means of 
expression. In avoiding the conventional attractions 
of hackneyed rhythm and rhyme (sadf), the writer 
simultaneously freed himself from the mould of en- 
trenched ideas which had hitherto been imposed on a 
variety of subjects. The liberation of the language was 
accompanied to a certain extent by a liberation of 
thought. This fundamental change was effected by 
departure from the domain of the classical Arabic 
humanities and by contact with European languages. 
There were genuine grounds for fearing that a move- 
ment of such magnitude might compromise the very 
nature of the Arabic language. There was much con- 
cern that, by dint of inspiration from foreign press 
agencies and the desire to imitate the style of Euro- 
pean periodicals, the grammatical correctness of ar- 
ticles appearing in the Arabic press would be severely 
impaired. Authoritative voices — linguists, professors 
and writers — were raised to engage in often impas- 
sioned debate on the most common defects and on the 
means of preventing the corruption of the Arabic 
language. The development of education, the visceral 
attachment of the Arabs to their language, the fre- 
quent criticism brought to bear on the linguistic cor- 
rectness of texts of all kinds, the painstaking work of 
academies of the Arabic language [see madjma c c ilmI. 
1.], all these elements have enabled "the language of 
the press" to maintain a thoroughly respectable stan- 
dard, even though — in Arabic as elsewhere — a 
number of eminent individuals protest at the liberties 
taken by the press, and more recently by radio and 
television, with the rules of the language (cf. in par- 
ticular the arguments between linguists at the end of 
the last and the beginning of the present century; 
among them, the Lebanese Ibrahim al-Yazidji and his 
Lughat al-djardHd, Cairo 1901). 

But the makdla does not represent only the testing 
bench or laboratory of that which, more elaborated 
and better adapted, has become the contemporary 
literary prose. It represents a mode of expression 
regarded as special, and some would go as far as to see 
it as a whole literary genre in its own right. In the 
same way that there is talk of oratorical literature 
(adab al-khataba) it has come about that there is talk of 
literature of the article (adab al-makala). There is an 
impression that, mutatis mutandis, the treatment of this 
term today is similar to the treatment undergone in 
the Middle Ages and until more recent times by the 
word risdla [q.v.]. In the latter case, the notion of 
"epistle" was abandoned in favour of that of a 
literary text of variable length and sometimes very 
long, retaining nothing in common with the idea of 
epistolary form other than the more or less fictitious 
existence of a recipient (sc. the one to whom the text 
is dedicated). Henceforward, the original sense of 

"letter", "missive", "epistle", was no longer ap- 
propriate and, as works of undisputed literary quality 
dealing in principle with a relatively circumscribed 
subject which is considered in an original manner, it 
became appropriate to regard them as "essays" (cf. 
Vial, op. cit., i, 2-3). Also, it will be noted that the 
definition of this risdla genre is so vague that it 
becomes impossible to lay down the guidelines accor- 
ding to which literature is to be conceived either as 
a manifestation of thought or as an artistic effect, in 
other words, closer to the original expression of a con- 
sistent thought or more akin to gratuitous rhetorical 
cliche. Precisely the same considerations apply "to the 
makala (cf. Anouar Abdel-Malek, Anthologie de la lit- 
teraiure arabe contemporaine. ii. Les essais, Paris 1965). 

On the one hand, Arab intellectuals who have ac- 
quired a western culture are inspired both by the ideas 
and the style of the French and English writers whom 
they have taken as models and masters. Djabran, 
c Arida and Nu'ayma in America, al- c Akkad, Taha 
Husayn and al-Mazinl in Egypt, have attempted to 
present and adapt to the Arab public a new concep- 
tion of literature and of reflection, and the framework 
in which they have expressed themselves is precisely 
that of the makala, where the temperament and style 
of each of these authors is revealed: the concise phrase 
of Nu c ayma, the causticness of al- c Akkad, the fulsome 
sentence-structure of Taha Husayn, etc. Moreover, it 
is by no means absurd to consider an article of Hasdd 
al-HasJiim by al-Mazinl as being just as revealing of his 
literary personality as one of his stories of Bayt al-fd'-a. 

This close connection between essay and the nar- 
rative text enables a further step to be taken in the 
assessment of the role of the makala. It is a known fact 
that the contemporary period has seen the develop- 
ment of a novelistic genre among the Arabs. As has 
been indicated above, the modernisation of the 
language, achieved as a direct result of the develop- 
ment of the press, gives to novelists an appropriate 
tool which they can perfect still further. But, on the 
other hand, there is a danger that the makala may im- 
pose itself as a screen or as a substitute for narrative 
fiction as such. The first Arabic novels, those which 
attempt to evoke the problems of oriental society in 
the framework of an imported genre, often have the 
appearance of political or sociological articles. The 
first narrative essays of the Iraki Dhu '1-Niin Ayyub 
represent the transition between the article and the 
story and it is the author himself who calls them al- 
makdssa ( = makala kissa). But even in the case of con- 
firmed novelists, it is not unusual for the writer to in- 
dulge in an art which is located on the fringe of fiction. 
Examples are very numerous, but worthy of mention 
are the collections of articles by Yahya Hakki and in 
particular one of his mixed collections (fAntara wa- 
Ijjuliyai) in which "tableaux" (lawhdt) are found 
alongside "stories" in the true sense of the term. It is 
easy to demonstrate that, in this case as in other 
similar ones, the literary article which becomes the 
outline of a narrative corresponds to particular condi- 
tions of composition and readership; a journal is 
assured of the weekly collaboration of a writer of 
repute (in this case, for his humanity and his 
humour). The result of this is a special tone midway 
between the free expression of opinion or dilettante 
story-telling, and literary narration proper. The in- 
terest of the reader whose sympathy must be rapidly 
gained is attracted by the use of language that is ap- 
parently amiable and relaxed, but where the use of a 
carefully chosen dialectal term responds to strategic 
considerations. This having been said, it appears 
quite superfluous to consider makala as a separate 

genre in itself, since if it were so, it would risk confu- 
sion with the "diverse" category, those varia which 
defy classification by any reputable catalogue. 

Bibliography: Mainly given in the text, but see 
also c Abd al-Djabbar Dawud al-Basrl, Ruwwad al- 
makdla al-adabiyya fi 'l-adab al-Hraki al-haditt, 
Baghdad n.d.; Muhammad Yusuf Nadjm, Farm al- 
makdla, Beirut 1957; c Abd al-Laflf Hamza, Adab al- 
makala al-suhufiyya, 8 vols., Cairo 1965, 1966 ff. 
(Ch. Vial) 

2. In Persian. 

Makala has been used in Persian to denote a collec- 
tion of discourses, spoken or written, on a given sub- 
ject (e.g. Cahar makala by Nizami-yi c ArudI, ed. M. 
Mu'In, 135; Khakanl's Munshfdt, ed. M. Rawshan, 
174; Hamdldl's Makdmdt, ed. Gh. Ahani, 5, 17, 38; 
Baba Afdal's Writings, ed. Y. Mahdawl and M. 
Minowi, ii, 393; DjuwaynTs Tdrikh-i Djahdngusha. ed. 
M. Kazwini, i, 32; and also the poems of Nasir-i 
Khusraw and Sa c di). Makala was used in reference to 
spoken discourses and sermons up to the late 19th cen- 
tury (see Muhammad-Hasan I c timad al-Saltana, al- 
Ma>dthir wa 'l-dthdr, under the biography of Burhan 
al-Wa c izIn of Gilan, 1306 A.H., 201 col. 1). 

Makala has also been used to designate a book's in- 
ner divisions, synonymously with such other terms as 
fasl, bdb, ba khsh or guftdr. Nizami-yi c ArudI, op. cit. , 
19, writes: "The book, therefore, comprises four 
makdlat ..., in each makdlat whatever was found befit- 
ting in the domain of philosophy was included." The 
title of his work, Cahar makala, was not bestowed upon 
it by its author. The book was found to contain four 
discourses, and so it became popularly known as Cahar 
makala, and Hadjdji Khalifa appears to be the first 
person to have recorded down its title as such (see 
Kashf al-zunun, under Cahar makala). 

The term makdlat has been also used for the ut- 
terances, statements and dictations of §ufi shaykhs, the 
best-known of these being the Makdldt-i Skams; to the 
same category also belongs the Makdldt-i '■Ala 1 ' al- 
Dawla Simndni. 

Makala in contemporary Persian is synonymous 
with article in English and article or essai in French. It 
started with the practice of modern journalism in 19th 
century Iran, and was applied to almost any kind of 
writing produced for the printed page (even a news 
story, short story or play was often referred to as 
makala in place of nivishta or maflab), and the person 
who engaged in such writing would be called makdla- 
nivis or equally matlab-nivis (see Afdal al-Mulk Zandl, 
Afdal al-tawdnkh, ed. M. Ittihadiyya and S. 
Sa c dwandiyan, Tehran 1361 A.H.S.). 

The leading article of a newspaper, or its editorial, 
would be called sar-makdla in Persian, and a series that 
would be carried over several issues would be makdldt-i 
musalsal or silsila makdlat. 

Scholarly papers, which usually get published. in 
academic journals, are also referred to as makala (see 
Zarrlnkub's Nakd-i adabi, ii, 640), and a volume con- 
taining a collection of such papers would be called 
makdlat or madjmu^a makdlat, e.g. the Makdldt-i Takizdda 
or Makdldt-i Kasrawi. Sometimes the number of papers 
contained in such a volume will provide an ap- 
propriate title for it, e.g. Bist [20] makdla-yi Kazwini, 
Bist makdla-yi Takizdda, Cihil [40] makdla-yi Husayn 
Nakhdjawdni and Cand [several] makdla-yi Nasr Allah 

The practice of indexing published articles and 
papers does not go back a long time. For a listing of 
selected writings in the field of Iranian studies, Iradj 
Afshar's Fihrist-i makdldt-i Fdrsi is available. Three 

volumes have been published so far, containing 
references to some 16,000 makalat that have appeared 
between 1915 and 1971 in Iran. The fourth volume, 
unpublished as yet, deals with the writings of the past 
decade. Some other fields for which indexes are 
already available are geography, social sciences, 

Bibliography. Given in the article. 

(I. Afshar) 

3. In Turkey 

In the majority of Turkish dictionaries of the 19th 
century, the term makala figures with the primary 
sense of "discourse", of "monograph" or of "thing 
said or written regarding any given subject" (Shams 
al-Dln Sami, Kamus-i Tiirki). In this period it is usual- 
ly encountered, often in the plural {makalat), in the 
titles of collected editions of the "sayings" or 
"writings" of a certain writer or eminent person. 
However, since the middle of the 19th century, with 
the development of the Turkish language press, it has 
appeared more and more frequently as a designation 
of an article published in a periodical, pro- 
gressively displacing from current usage other words 
such as bend or bahth. 

Although a noun of Arabic origin, makala has 
resisted quite well the various trends towards 
turkification of vocabulary which have characterised 
the history of the Turkish language in the 20th cen- 

le, this 

is still ir 

use in the sense of an article in a journal or review (its 
primary sense of "thing said" having been forgotten), 
even though the word yazi "writing") which some 
would seek to substitute for it is gradually gaining 
ground, in spite of its inaccuracy. 

Specialists in Turkish literature readily present 
makala as a specific literary genre, distinct from the 
essay (deneme) or the anecdotal account (pkra). It is 
thus, for example, that Cevdet Kudret defines it as a 
"writing composed with the object of exposing, defen- 
ding or supporting a point of view on a certain sub- 
ject" and states specifically that this type of work 
should not be confused with the essay (C. Kudret, 
Orneklerle edebiyat bilgileri, Istanbul 1980, ii, 372). In 
practice, however, it seems very difficult to assign 
precise limits to the makala genre, this term being ap- 
plied in fact, in customary usage, to every kind of arti- 
cle, ranging from the editorial of a daily newspaper to 
a learned study published in a specialist review, and 
including the article of literary criticism (generally 
classed in the category of "essays"), the "paper" of 
the historian or the political pamphlet. 

While not constituting a major genre, the makala is 
clearly a means of expression particularly valued by 
Turkish writers. The majority have written them 
while some, among the most eminent, have published 
nothing other than journalistic articles, promoting 
this type of production to the status of genuine artistic 

If the makala has thus become the literary genre pro- 
bably most widely practised in Turkey, this fact is to 
be explained in terms of the spectacular rise enjoyed 
by the periodical press in this country, beginning in 
the second half of the 19th century (see djarida. iii). 
The first Turkish language journals — the Takwim-i 
waka"i c , founded in 1832, and the Dje ride-yi hawadith 
launched by the Englishman William Churchill in 
1840— accorded only limited space for "articles", and 
essentially offered their readers short stories and of- 
ficial bulletins. However, with the appearance in 1860 
of Terdjuman-i ahwal, published by Agah Efendi in col- 
laboration with Shinasi [q. v. ] , one of the most talented 

literary figures of the period, matters were to change 
in a radical manner. In fact, under the influence of 
Shinasi and of all those writers who were soon to 
become active in the same field, the nascent Turkish 
press rapidly acquired the objective not only of infor- 
ming the public but also of working for the reform of 
society, and the journalistic article, in particular the 
editorial (soon to be designated by the term bash 
makala), henceforward became a licensed instrument 
of education. 

In the Turkish periodicals of the 1860s and 1870s, 
the majority of the leading contemporary literary 
figures are encountered. Besides Shinasi, who launch- 
ed in 1861 his own journal, the Taswir-i efkar, writers 
of renown including Ziya (Diya') Pasha, C A1I Su c awl, 
Namik Kemal, Shams al-DIn SamI and Ebu 1-Ziya 
(Abu 1-Piya') Tewfik, contributed to making the 
makala one of the most flourishing genres. It was to a 
great extent through their articles, published in in- 
creasingly numerous intellectual journals, that ideas 
of reform began to spread at an accelerated pace. 
Neither political institutions, nor social structures, 
nor traditional culture escaped the criticism of these 
intellectuals of liberal tendency, most of whom 
belonged to the "Society of Young Ottomans" (Yeni 
'■Othmanlilar Dj_emHyyeti), which sought to transform 
Turkey into a modern country based on the model of 
the West, a state endowed with a constitutional 
regime and directed towards new manners of thought, 

During this period of genesis, the newspaper article 
did not constitute only a means for the propagation of 
ideas received from elsewhere. It also played the role 
of a spear-head in the elaboration of a new literary 
language, closer to spoken Turkish. Shinasi and Diya' 
Pasha were among the first advocates of this 
simplification of the written language. They were 
soon followed by Namik Kemal — who was not always 
capable of putting into practice his own precepts on 
the matter — Shams al-DIn Sami and numerous 

While the makala genre thus flourished in the con- 
text of the intellectual press, there also came into be- 
ing in Turkey in the same period of time, a specialised 
periodical press — scientific reviews, women's 
magazines, professional organs, literary journals, 
etc.— in which there were to be found, alongside 
numerous translations, scholarly studies, articles of 
literary criticism and historical pieces comparable, in 
their professionalism, to writings of the same type 
promulgated by the Western press. Among these 
periodicals, one of the most notable was the Medjmu'-a- 
yi finun, founded in 1861 by Munif Pasha. This 
monthly, which was presented as the organ of the 
"Ottoman Society of Sciences" (Djem'iyyet-i c Ilmiyye- 
yi c Othmaniyye [?.».]) and which included articles 
dealing with such diverse disciplines as geography, 
history, geology, philosophy or natural sciences, was 
distinguished, during the few years of its existence, by 
the quality of its presentation and it played in Turkey 
of the mid- 19th century a role similar to that of the 
Grande Encyclopedic in France of the Enlightenment. 

Conscious of the danger which could be posed by 
these periodicals, which were continually growing in 
number, the Ottoman government had, since 1864, 
enacted various measures aimed at limiting the 
freedom of the press. With the accession to power of 
c Abd al-Hamid II in 1876, the weight of bureaucratic 
interference was to become even more oppressive. But 
censorship, while preventing for several decades the 
publication of articles judged subversive, did not halt 
the development of Turkish journalistic production. 

Indeed, on the contrary, as has been noted by Niyazi 
Berkes (The development of secularism in Turkey, Mon- 
treal 1964, 277), the prohibition, beginning at the end 
of the 1870s, of subjects of political nature, was largely 
balanced by the proliferation of writings on scientific 
or cultural themes, which led to the accelerated diffu- 
sion of new ideas and knowledge. 

Ahmed Midhat Efendi is definitely the most 
representative publicist of the Hamidian period. 
Becoming a fervent supporter of c Abd al-Hamld II, 
after having flirted for some time with the adversaries 
of absolutism, he was very careful to write nothing 
which could have been interpreted as a criticism of the 
regime. This did not prevent him publishing an in- 
calculable number of articles on the most diverse sub- 
jects, using the press, and in particular his own 
journal, the Terdjiiman-i hakikat, founded in 1878, as a 
veritable instrument of popular instruction. 

The same encyclopaedic, somewhat disorderly 
curiosity is encountered in the case of Abu 'l-Diya' 
Tewfik who, for almost thirty years, was practically 
the sole contributor to the Medjmu'a-yi Abu 'l-Diya' , 
one of the best cultural periodicals of the reign of c Abd 

Among other great names of the Turkish press in 
this period, it is appropriate to mention also Ahmed 
Ihsan Bey, founder of the Therwet-i funun, a scientific 
and literary magazine which brought together, until 
ca. 1900, the best writers of the time, notably the poet 
Tewfik Fikret and the essayist Djanab Shihab al-DIn, 
thus opening the way to the development of a whole 
literary school, subject to diverse influences but 
especially interested in symbolism and realism as then 

This having been said, although makalas on scien- 
tific or cultural themes represented, in these last years 
of the 19th century, the essence of Turkish journalistic 
production, political literature was also being 
developed. In fact, while within Turkey the periodical 
press employed its best efforts to avoid the attention 
of the Hamidian censorship, abroad there was a pro- 
liferation of opposition journals, entirely devoted to 
anti-government diatribe. The Young Turk leader 
Ahmed Rida Bey, who in 1895 had founded Meshweret 
in Paris, was one of the foremost exponents of the 
political makala and an expert at transcribing into 
Turkish the effects of French eloquence. His rivals 
were the founder of Mizan, Murad Bey, and various 
other revolutionaries, among whom particular men- 
tion is due to c Abd Allah Pjewdet, whose c Othmanli, 
set in motion in Geneva in 1897, was for several years 
the most widely read organ of the Committee for 
Union and Progress. 

After the Young Turk Revolution, which finally 
broke out in July 1908, the makala genre was to enter 
a new stage in its development. The period of in- 
stability which ensued was marked not so much by 
liberalisation of control of the press as by the spec- 
tacular rise of a resolutely nationalist literature. In the 
daily press, it was the Tanin, headed by Hiiseyn 
Djahid and Tewfik Fikret, which played the role of the 
leading mouth-piece of this effervescent nationalism. 
But the Turkish intellectuals had at their disposal a 
large number of literary and scientific reviews in 
which they were able to publish considerably more 
"considered" articles than those destined for the daily 
consumption of the readers of newspapers. 

According to a survey undertaken by Ahmed Emin 
in 1913 (The development of modern Turkey as measured by 
its press. New York 1914, 113-16), there were at this 
time in Istanbul, besides the official newspaper and 8 
ministerial weekly bulletins, 60 periodicals, classified 

as follows: 6 dailies, 3 humorous magazines, 5 il- 
lustrated magazines, 6 "nationalist" reviews, 11 
reviews intended for children, 2 women's journals, 6 
religious reviews, 4 professional organs, 5 agricultural 
reviews, 6 military reviews and 7 scientific reviews. A 
large number of these periodicals had appeared after 

1910, on the full crest of the nationalist wave, and 
they expressed, with different nuances and according 
to various approaches, the same aspiration towards a 
national rebirth. While the illustrated magazines ac- 
corded an ever increasing amount of space to 
photographs, the majority of the other reviews were 
composed almost entirely of makalas, often quite long. 
It was not unusual, for example, for Turk Yurdu, one 
of the leading nationalist organs of the period, to 
publish articles ten or more pages in length, in the 
form of serials continued over several issues. Makalas 
also occupied a relatively significant place in the daily 
press. According to the survey made by Ahmed Emm, 
makalas of all kinds (editorials, points of view) covered 
between 30 and 52% of the space of the six journals 
in circulation when the survey was conducted in 1913. 
The editorial alone occupied 11.74% of the space in 
Sabah, an independent pro-government journal, 
11.20% in Tanzimdt, an organ of the extreme left, 
1017% in Yehi Gazete, favourable to the opposition 
and between 6 and 10% in Tanin, official organ of the 
government, c Alemddr (opposition) and Ikdam 
(moderate). These by no means negligible percen- 
tages testify in fact to the fidelity of the Turkish 
publicists to the tradition of the preceding decades 
where the bash makala, the "leading article", con- 
stituted the essential and indispensable element of the 
newspaper, sometimes occupying as much as a 
quarter of the space available. 

When this prolific production of articles is con- 
sidered in total, the constant recurrence of certain 
themes cannot be other than striking. Among the 
questions of greatest interest to Turkish intellectuals 
in these years, the most prominent was the long- 
standing debate over the simplification and moder- 
nisation of the written language. The publication, in 
the review Gene Kalemler of Salonica, of a series of ar- 
ticles by 'Omer Seyf al-Din and C A1I Djanib proposing 
the adoption of the spoken Turkish of Istanbul as a 
means of literary expression was to open the way, in 

1911, to the movement of the "new language". The 
impassioned discussions which took place around this 
theme mobilised a large number of writers, some 
favourable to the theses defended in Gene Kalemler— 
prominent among those belonging to this category 
was Diya' Gokalp, one of the leading advocates of the 
nationalist trend — others opposed to them, among 
whom it is appropriate to mention Kopruliizade 
Mehmed Fu'ad and Djanab Shihab al-DIn, resolutely 
hostile to what they considered a debilitating debase- 
ment of the language. Another vigorous debate, in a 
quite different scheme of ideas, revolved around 
economic questions. Since the end of the 19th cen- 
tury, certain Turkish publicists, including Ahmed 
Midhat, had begun to express concern at Western 
control over the Ottoman economy and had advanced 
propositions aimed at putting an end to this state of af- 
fairs. Immediately after the Young Turk Revolution, 
controversies on this theme resumed in earnest, pit- 
ting the advocates of a liberal policy, favourable to 
foreign investments and freedom of commercial ex- 
changes, against the supports of a strategy of tight 
government control, capable of opening the way to 
the establishment of a "national economy." Practical- 
ly all the major periodicals of the period took part in 
these discussions, giving column space either to 

"enlightened amateurs" such as Diya' Gokalp and 
Mustafa Subhi, or to genuine specialists such as Alex- 
ander Israel Helphand, alias Parvus (one of the 
leading figures of German Social Democracy who liv- 
ed in Turkey from 1910 to 1915) or Tekin Alp (pen- 
name of Moise Cohen), editor-in-chief of Ikti}ddiyyat 
Medpnu'-asl, the leading economic review of the 

In some publications, a very important place was 
also accorded to the literature and history of the 
Turks. In the review Turk Yurdu especially, writers 
whose origins lay in the Russian Empire, including 
Yusuf Akcura, c Ali Hiiseynzade and Ahmed 
Aghaoghlu, supported by Ottoman intellectuals in- 
cluding the novelist Khalid Edib, the poet Djelal 
Sahir, the historian Kopruliizade Mehmed Fu'ad and 
the literary critic C A1T Djanib, skilfully exalted the 
prestigious past of the "Turkish race" and pleaded 
unceasingly for a reunification, if only cultural, of the 
peoples derived from the primal Central Asian stem. 
Among the periodicals contributing to this explora- 
tion of the literary and historical foundations of 
Turkish nationalism , also worthy of mention are the 
monthly Bilgi and the weekly Khflka Dogtru, both 
published by Djelal Sahir, and, in particular, the 
Ta'nkh-i '■Oifonani Endjiimeni Medjmu'asl, organ of the 
Ottoman Historical Society which, through the 
medium of the works of scholars such as Ahmed Reftk 
and c Abd al-Rahman S_heref, the last official 
chronicler of the Imperial Court, was to give decisive 
encouragement to the development of a "national" 
Turkish historiography. 

To the range of themes which caused the greatest 
amount of ink to flow in the Young Turk decade, it 
is appropriate to add, finally, the religious question. 
In this domain, the controversies were particularly 
impassioned. While Muslim periodicals such as 
Volkan, Beyan al-hakk or Sebil iil-reshad pressed for 
various forms of Islamic revival, advocating the 
teaching of the Kur'an as the effective response to the 
evils of the age, certain nationalists and the "western- 
ists" who had as their principal mouth-piece the 
review IdHihad of the doctor c Abd Allah Djewdet, 
published numerous articles which, if not overtly anti- 
religious, at least favoured a "rationalisation" of 
Islam and went so far as to demand a strict secularisa- 
tion of Ottoman institutions which would free civil 
society from all religious domination. 

The entry of the Ottoman Empire into war in 1914 
did not bring about a fundamental change in the 
subject-matter of the makdlas published by Turkish 
men of letters. In fact, a large proportion of the work 
produced in the preceding years had already con- 
stituted a literature of propaganda, intended prin- 
cipally to equip public opinion with ideological 
weapons in readiness for the approaching conflict, 
signalled in advance by a succession of regular crises. 
However, with the outbreak of hostilities there was 
witnessed a sharp radicalisation of the points of view 
expressed in the periodical press. Learned controver- 
sies were replaced by slogans, the exaltation of the na- 
tional identity was transformed into belligerence and 
the eulogy of "Turkish" cultural values became 
racism. This nationalism exacerbated by war did, 
however, allow numerous Turkish individuals to 
clarify their positions. It was during the war years that 
Tekin Alp and some others put the finishing touches 
to theories of "national economy". It was also during 
the war years that Diya' Gokalp, who had become the 
foremost ideologue of the regime, promoted in the 
most excessive terms the cause of "Turkism". 

Naturally, the circumstances were hardly 

favourable to freedom of expression. Literary men 
were obliged to take into account not only the im- 
peratives of the war but also the increasingly marked 
authoritarianism of the Committee for Union and 
Progress, the holders of absolute power since 1912. It 
was not until the end of the global conflict that a ge- 
nuine plurality of opinions was once more established 
in the Turkish periodical press. To be sure, occupied 
by the forces of the Entente, Istanbul, the intellectual 
capital of the country, was obliged for many years to 
bow to the censorship of the Allied High Commis- 
sions. But that which could not be said and written in 
the Ottoman capital could be blazoned forth in 
Anatolia, where Mustafa Kemal was leading the 
struggle for Turkish independence, and conversely, 
writings which would not be tolerated by the 
Anatolian government could be published without dif- 
ficulty in the regions controlled by the Entente. 

In Istanbul, a large number of journalists and 
writers took advantage of this situation to oppose 
systematically the ideas propounded by the na- 
tionalists, and to campaign with equally vigorous pro- 
paganda against those who still supported the 
Committee of Union and Progress in opposition to 
Mustafa Kemal and his partisans. The most virulent 
among them was C A1I Kemal Bey, editor-in-chief of 
Peydm-i $abdh, whose editorials bore witness to a par- 
ticularly incisive polemical talent. For their part, 
literary men who supported the nationalist movement 
undertook as their primary task to put a stop to 
defeatism, using their writings to stimulate Turkish 
patriotism. But some also pondered over the future of 
Turkey and indulged in speculation as to the form 
which would be taken by the future Turkish state. No 
reader of the journalism dating from the beginning of 
the War of Independence can fail to notice, in par- 
ticular, to what an extent the nationalists were 
fascinated by the Soviet experience. In Yehi Gun, 
editorials favourable to the Soviets — most of them ow- 
ed to Yunus Nadi, the proprietor of the newspaper, or 
to Mahmud Es c ad — could be counted by the score. 
Articles of similar type, though fewer in number, were 
also published by hldkimiyyet-i milliyye, the official 
organ of the Kemalist government. It is, however, ap- 
propriate to state that this love affair with revolu- 
tionary Russia was short-lived. At a very early stage, 
the ideologues of the national movement — prominent 
among whom was Mustafa Kemal himself, who did 
not hesitate to take to the pen to express his point of 
view — were putting forward concepts very similar to 
those championed some years previously by the 
theorists of the Young Turk regime, leaving the 
defence of the Soviets to genuine Communists such as 
Sheftk Hiisnu and Sadr al-DIn Djelal, the two leading 
contributors to the review Aydinllk. 

Undoubtedly the most remarkable phenomenon in 
these years was the emergence of a genre closely 
related to that of the makdla, thejikra, a kind of short 
news item generally of entertaining nature, combin- 
ing anecdote with comment on some matter of con- 
temporary importance. The first major practitioner of 
this literary genre, Ahmed Rasim, had begun to 
publish his articles towards the end of the 19th cen- 
tury. Subsequently, numerous other writers, in par- 
ticular the poet Ahmed Hashim and the journalist 
Huseyn Djahid YalcTn, made names for themselves as 
eminent authors of fikras. But it was especially after 
the First World War, with the appearance of new 
specialists such as Refik Khalid Karay and Falih Rffkf 
Atay, that this type of news-item came to occupy a 
position of major importance in newspapers and 
reviews, possibly because the anecdotal tone which 


was its distinguishing feature enabled it to discuss 
political questions in a manner unlikely to alarm the 
censors, possibly also because the public expressed an 
ever-increasing interest in this form of expression. 

Extremely sensitive to the fluctuations of political 
circumstance, the Turkish periodical press was oblig- 
ed once again to change its complexion in the 
mid-1920s, with the establishment in Turkey, shortly 
after the proclamation of the Republic, of a single- 
party regime. In fact, although this did not lead to the 
total disappearance of opposition newspapers and 
reviews, the monopoly exercised by Mustafa Kemal's 
creation, the Republican People's Party, over the con- 
duct of public affairs was accompanied by a spec- 
tacular inflation— especially noticeable after 1930— in 
the press entrusted with the defence of the official line. 
This development of a republican press was made 
possible only by means of a vast mobilisation of in- 
tellectuals. Journalists, writers, historians, eco- 
nomists, sociologists, all were called upon to make 
their contribution to the building of the new Turkey. 
Those who responded to this appeal — and there were 
many of them — did so by producing for the Kemalist 
periodicals makalas remarkable, whatever the subject 
tackled, for the eagerness of their commitment. 

It is probably in the monthly Kadro, published be- 
tween 1932 and 1934, that there appeared the most re- 
markable and significant articles of the period. 
Motivated by a relatively limited team of writers in- 
cluding in particular Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, 
Vedat Nedim T6r, Sevket Sureyya Aydemir, Ismail 
Husrev and Burhan Asaf, this review was especially 
concerned with economic and social questions, and it 
contributed in a significant manner to the refinement 
of Kemalist theses in these domains. Writers involved 
with this magazine were responsible for the most con- 
vincing arguments in favour of the state control policy 
adopted by the regime in economic matters, from the 
beginning of the 1930s. 

The articles published in Kadro, often relatively 
long and technical, were addressed to an educated 
public of bureaucrats and intellectuals. Makalas of a 
more accessible type were to be found for example in 
the numerous organs of the "People's Houses" [see 
Khalkevi], kinds of public forums established by the 
Republican People's Party to propagate Kemalist 
values throughout the country. The reviews, of which 
the best was Ulkii, the monthly magazine of the Peo- 
ple's House of Ankara, provided an impressive collec- 
tion of works, generally modest in scale but sometimes 
of very high quality, concerning the folklore, the 
history, the arts and the social life of Turkey all of 
which had the aim, often in explicit manner, to 
stimulate the national pride of the population and to 
lay the foundations of a new culture compatible with 
republican ideas. 

With the spread of universities, high schools and 
research institutions, Kemalist Turkey was also soon 
to be endowed with various specialised reviews, 
among which it is appropriate to mention in particular 
Turkiyat Mecmuasi, organ of the Institute of Turcology 
of the University of Istanbul, and Belleten, review of 
the Foundation for Turkish History. The scientific 
makalas published in these periodicals were generally 
of a quality comparable to that of articles of similar 
type produced in countries with a long university 
tradition. However, some writers willingly took ac- 
count of the directives and principles of the regime, 
eager to construct from all their work hypotheses and 
theories capable of supporting them. 

This said, even though writings inspired by official 
doctrines constituted until the end of the Second 

World War the major portion of the material appear- 
ing in the Turkish periodical press, dissidents were 
not deprived of the opportunity for self-expression, 
provided that they did not overstep certain limits. It 
was thus for example that one of the most talented 
journalists of the period, Peyami Safa, was responsi- 
ble for a large number of subtly reactionary makalas 
and fikras of which some were even published in 
government journals such as Yunus Nadi's Ciimhuriyet 
and Ulus, the official organ of the Republican Party. 
Similarly, persons suspected of Communist sym- 
pathies such as Zekeriya Sertel, Sabahattin Ali, Aziz 
Nesin, Sadrettin Celal and numerous others, were 
able for many years to write in periodicals known for 
their progressive ideas — in particular the daily Tan 
and the monthly Yurt ve Diinya — without being unduly 
molested. It was only in 1945, in the wake of violent 
polemical struggle with Pan-Turkist organs, that they 
were obliged to put an end to their activities, some of 
them even being forced into exile. 

After the Second World War, with the establish- 
ment of a pluralist regime and the emergence of new 
political parties, the various constituents of Turkish 
opinion were able to make their points of view known 
with greater ease than in the past, on condition 
however of exercising a degree of self-censorship. On- 
ly extremist factions, in particular all those considered 
to be Communists, as well as certain religious or 
ultra-nationalist groups, found themselves deprived 
for rather more than a decade of freedom of expres- 
sion. This was however gradually restored to them in 
the wake of the coup d'etat of 1960 which inaugurated 
in Turkey a period characterised by a growing 
liberalisation of political life and ideological debate. 

This was a climate eminently favourable to the 
development of the press, as the statistics 
demonstrate. In 1951, there was a total of 551 
periodicals in Turkey; by the end of the 1970s, the 
number had risen to more than 1,400. In such cir- 
cumstances, the makala genre could not but prosper. 

The political makala in particular flourished 
remarkably, especially in the period beginning in the 
mid-1960s. Among the outstanding specialists in the 
genre, mention should be made, on the left, of Dogan 
Avcioglu, who in 1961 launched the weekly Yon, the 
first of a whole series of increasingly subversive 
periodicals which were to come into existence in suc- 
ceeding years, as well as journalists of great talent in- 
cluding Qetin Altan, Abdi Ipekci and ilhami Soysal. 
As for the conservative camp, besides Peyami Safa, 
who continued to produce extremely corrosive makalas 
until his death in 1961, worthy of mention, among 
many other polemicists of great virulence, are the poet 
Necip Fazil Kisakiirek, founder of the Islamic and na- 
tionalist review Biiyiik Dogu, Ahmet Kabakli, author of 
a large number of news-items of fundamentalist tone 
published in various journals, and Nazli Ihcak, 
editor-in-chief of the daily Tercuman. 

During the same period, literary criticism and the 
related genre of the essay (deneme) also developed in a 
remarkable manner. Nurullah Atac, who died in 
1957, had dominated the preceding decades with his 
refined sensibility and literary talent, leaving to 
posterity thousands of articles dispersed among scores 
of periodicals. Slightly younger than him, Suut Kemal 
Yetkin, Sabahattin Eyuboglu, Azra Erhat and Tahir 
Alangu had also contributed to the enrichment of 
modern Turkish letters in these two domains. In their 
wake, with the proliferation of literary reviews from 
1950 onwards, there appeared a host of new talents, 
of whom there is space here to mention only a few 
such as Asim Bezirci and Fethi Naci, very productive 


literary critics; Mahmut Makal, the pioneer in 
Turkey of the essay on rural themes; Salah Birsel, 
who was responsible in particular for numerous 
theoretical writings on poetry; and most of all Atilla 
Ilhan, author of news-items of a very personal tone on 
problems of contemporary Turkish society. 

Finally, it is appropriate to note the remarkable 
proliferation of works of academic type published in 
reviews intended for a limited audience. Until recent- 
ly, only establishments of higher education had at 
their disposal organs capable of accommodating such 
production. Several reviews of wider circulation, 
designed with the aim of laying the results of scientific 
research before an educated public, have begun to ap- 
pear since the mid-1970s, at the initiative of private 
individuals or associations. The most characteristic 
example which may be cited in this context is the 
quarterly Toplum ve Bilim, founded by Sencer Divit- 
cioglu which, since its inception, has given a new im- 
petus to works in the domain of economic and social 

If the makala appears as a whole to be an ever- 
expanding genre, it should nevertheless be noted that, 
in the daily press, the tradition of the bash makala has 
tended, for its part, to disappear. An essential element 
of the newspaper in the 19th century and during the 
Young Turk period, from the end of the 1930s the 
editorial occupied no more than approximately 1 to 
2 % of available space in organs such as Cumhuriyet or 
Ulus. Today, it has disappeared from the majority of 
dailies — including Cumhuriyet, in spite of its long-lived 
traditional role as a journal of opinion— or survives 
only in the form of articles of variable regularity 
relegated to the interior of the newspaper. This aban- 
donment of the bash makala is perhaps a result of the 
proliferation, in newspapers, of particular rubrics— 
fikra, news of foreign politics, economic news, etc. — 
enabling different members of the staff to express their 
point of view on matters of the moment. It is explain- 
ed, above all, by the radical transformation experienc- 
ed by the Turkish daily press after 1960. The 
appearance of non-political newspapers of mass 
circulation— in 1982 Gunaydin had a readership of 
more than 800,000 and Hiirriyet approximately 
600,000 — and the competition posed by television 
have had a drastic effect on the ideological press 
which, to survive, has found itself in many cases 
obliged to adopt the formulae operated by the mass- 
circulation dailies: development of photographic 
reportage, expansion of space reserved for sport, for 
humorous cartoons, for entertainments, multiplica- 
tion of short stories at the expense of serious articles. 
The most successful example of this adaptation to the 
new circumstances of journalism is provided by the 
conservative daily Tercuman which in 1982 drew a 
readership of almost 400,000. However, as has been 
seen, these structural changes have not prevented the 
makala on political themes from prospering. The tradi- 
tional bash makala has been replaced not only by the 
news-items and diverse "points of view" published on 
the inside pages of daily newspapers, but also by the 
widespread production of weekly or bi-monthly 
periodicals of all shades of opinion, whose prolifera- 
tion has only been temporarily halted by the measures 
taken to restrict the freedom of the press in the after- 
math of the military intervention of 1980. 

Bibliography: Nermin Abadan, Cumhuriyet ve 

Ulus gazeteleri hakkmda muhteva tahlili, in Ank. Univ. 

Siyasal Bilgiler Fakiltesi Dergisi, xvi/2 (June 1961), 

93-1 18; Korkmaz Alemdar, Basinda Kadro dergisi ve 

Kadro hareketi He ilgili bazi goriisler, in Kadro (new facs. 

edn. by Cem Alpar), Ankara 1978, i, 21-42; Niyazi 

Berkes, The development of secularism in Turkey, Mon- 
treal 1964; 6mer Sami Cosar, Milli mucadele basint, 
n.p., n.d.; Server Iskit, Turkiye' de nesriyat harekelleri 
tarihine bir bakis, Istanbul 1939; A. D. Zeltyakov, 
Turkiye'nin sosyo-politik ve kulturel hayatinda basin 
(1729-1908 yillari), n.p., n.d. (tr. from Russian); 
Alpay Kabacali, Turkiye' de yazann kazana, Istanbul 
1981; Kemal Karpat (ed.), Political and social thought 
in the contemporary Middle East, New York 1968; 
Cevdet Kudret, Orneklerle edebiyat bilgileri, 2 vols., 
Istanbul 1980; J. Landau, Radical politics in modern 
Turkey, Leiden 1974; idem, Pan-Turkism in Turkey. 
A study in irredentism, London 1981; B. Lewis, The 
emergence of modem Turkey' 1 , Oxford 1968; §erif Mar- 
din, The genesis of Young Ottoman thought, Princeton 
1962; Rauf Mutluay, 50yihn tiirk edebiyati 3 , Istanbul 
1976; idem, Cagdas tiirk edebiyati (1908-1972), Istan- 
bul 1973; Fuat Sureyya Oral, Tiirk basin tarihi, 2 
vols., n.p., n.d.; Ragip Ozdem, Tanzimattan beri 
yazi dilimiz, in Tanzimat, i, Istanbul 1940, 859-931; 
Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, 19uncu asir tiirk edebiyati 
tarihi 1 , Istanbul 1956; Zafer Toprak, Turkiye'de 
"Milli Iktisat" (1908-1918), Ankara 1982; Tank 
Zafer Tunaya, Islamcihk cereyam, Istanbul 1962; 
Hilmi Ziya Ulken, Turkiye'de cagdas dusunce tarihi 2 , 
Istanbul 1979; M. Bulent Varhk, Turkiye basm-yaytn 
tarihi kaynakcasi, Ankara 1981; idem, Turkiye'de 
basin-yayin tarihi kaynakcasina ek-I in iletisim, 1982/4, 
351-84; Ahmed Emin [Yalman], The development of 
modem Turkey as measured by its press, New York 
1941. (P. Dumont) 

MAKALLA. [see al-mukalla] . 
MAKAM (a., pi. makamat), literally "place, posi- 
tion, rank", began to appear in Islamic musical 
treatises at the end of the c Abbasid period, to 
designate Arabo-Irano-Turkish and assim- 
ilated musical modes and, in this musical sense, 
it is still predominantly used today. It is thought that 
this usage comes from the place assigned to the musi- 
cian with a view to the interpretation of a given 
musical mode; but it will be seen later that each mode 
also has a defined place and a position on the finger- 
board and fingering of the c ud [q.v.]. 

Makam has a broader meaning than its translation 
"mode". Makam defines both the "formulary mode" 
(J. Chailley), the Greek concept of the systemic mode, 
the "scale-system" (J. -CI. Ch. Chabrier) with the 
heptatonic octave (sullam, diwan asasi) or, going 
beyond the octave, the analysed modal structure, 
standardised or conceived on the c ud through a 
joining-together of tri-, tetra-, or pentachordal genres 
(djins, pi. adjnds), the plan, process or "operational 
protocol" of improvisation or interpretation of the 
mode according to the models, forms, formulas or 
musical cadences, and finally "the ethos" or "modal 
sentiment" (ruh al-djins), linked to the conception or 
perception of the given musical mode. 

Such a fairly broad meaning of the word, compris- 
ing the system, structure, form and aura of the mode, 
entails a relative synonymity of the term makam with 
other generic names of modes, used concurrently by 
the musicologists of mediaeval Islam, such as lahn, 
djam c , tarika, dastan, madjrd, tarkib, djins, dawr, shadd, 
murakkab, shu'-ba, barda, awdz, gusha, bahr, etc. In the 
20th century, even if the term makam remains the most 
classical and widespread, other generic names 
designate the musical mode in various regions: nagh- 
ma, nagham (Arab East); fab, san c a (Maghrib); awdz, 
dastgah, naghma (Iran). The term makam becomes 
makam in Turkey, mugam in Adharbaydjan and 
Turkmenistan and makom in Central Asia. 

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one another at present the partisans of the makdm- 
system and the partisans of the makdm-form. The 
ambiguity arises from the fact that a maiam-system be- 
ing made musically concrete entails the illustration of 
its structures in the form of a solo melodic modal im- 
provisation entrusted to an instrumentalist (this is the 
laksim), to the human voice without written music 
(this is the laydli), or in the form of a memorised or 
written elaboration entrusted to an instrumental 
group (takht or ajawk) or to an orchestra with soloists, 
singers and choral voices. In the latter case, the 
listener retains the written music or poetry and the 
form more than the system. In some countries, e.g. 
those of the Maghrib or Central Asia, as in Iran, 
Adharbaydjan or c Irak, the makdm is understood 
precisely through the agency of its forms or models 
transmitted on the instrument from master to pupil or 
entrusted to solo artists acquainted with the tradi- 
tional repertoire (nawba in the Maghrib, makom in 
Central Asia, radif'm Iran, mugam in Adharbaydjan or 
makdm in 'Irak, for example). 

Whatever may be the ascendancy of human voices 
and the impact of words and poems on the Islamic 
populations, even if it remains at the central core of 
Islamic culture, the Arabo-Irano-Turkish makdm ap- 
pears in the history of musical language to be a rela- 
tion which has evolved from the ancient musical 
mode, rethought, conceived and standardised on the 
fingerboard of the c ud through an association of genres 
(aajnds). The understanding of the makdm is thus in- 
separable, on the level of the analysis of modal struc- 
tures, from a study of the language of the c ud, an 
instrument which has defined the scale of sounds and 
tested the types constituting the modes. The modal 
languages of Islam were developed under the finger 
(isba', pi. asabi c ), on the finger-board (dastdn) and 
along the scale-range of the '■ui. This process of 
elaboration allowed each makdm, from the time of its 
creation, to go beyond its own technical and intellec- 
tual conception and each system to be transmuted into 
a process and a form which would put into a concrete 
shape the "idea-material", the "makam-'-ud" rela- 
tionship. Hence the risk constituted by the representa- 
tion of a makdm or its modal structures on a musical 
stave in the 20th century. 

Formation and evolution of the 
theoretical scale of sounds.— The first 
technical and modal problem of music within Islam 
seems to have been the combination of the 
autochtonous or empirical systems inherited from the 
Djahiliyya with the scholarly systems borrowed from 
the Byzantines, Lakhmids and Sasanids. The artists 
and theoreticians, therefore, until the end of the 
c Abbasid period, had to find on the finger-board of 
the lute theoretical scales whose intervals and ' ' finger- 
degrees" or "scaling-fingerings" might be compati- 
ble with the local practices and Greek theories which 
were regarded as ideal [cf. musiki]. 

As the Greek modes had been conceived on the lyre 
and the local modes on long-necked lutes, it was 
necessary to multiply the number of fingering-degrees 
and positions on the finger-board of the c ud, a short- 
necked lute adopted with the rise of Islam, so as to 
ratify the juxtaposition of various scales with different 
intervals and to open up the possibility of producing 
sound-degrees to suit various systems and 

The technical genesis of the makdm, heir of the an- 
cient mode, passed according to mediaeval treatises 
through the following stages: 
1 . Calculation of a theoretical scale, defining sounds 

and ii 

2. Study of tetrachordal genres on the finger-board of 

3. Elaboration of heptatonic octave scale system. 

In fact, the theoreticians proceeded rather in the op- 
posite way; starting with musical modes in use, they 
analysed their genres and attempted to conceive a ra- 
tional theoretical scale. 

What must be intended here by a theoretical scale 
is a series (tabaka) or a framework of available con- 
secutive sounds disposed from low to high within an 
octave and over several octaves, to depart from which 
knowledgeable musicians could select the intervals or 
standardise the fingering-degrees, then the genres, 
and finally the modes of a piece of music in a given 
temperament. Throughout the evolution of the 
musical sciences within Islam, various theoretical 
scales were conceived and used, either successively or 

The first theoretical scale of tones, which existed 
before Islam and was known to the ancient Greeks, 
was based on the division of the string into forty ali- 
quot parts, and, following from this, the division of 
the first octave into twenty musically unequal inter- 
vals. Al-Farabi, writing in the 4th/10th century, 
describes the tunbur of Baghdad in these terms, 
distinguishing five first fingerings in use since the 
Djahiliyya and five others which are his own invention. 
Theoretically, this acoustic system defines numerous 
intervals which are to be found in earlier or later 
systems. Worthy of mention are a sub-quarter-tone 
diesis (40/39) of Eratosthenes, a sub-limma 
(40/38 = 20/19; 89 cents), a sub-neutral-second, 
prefiguring that of Ibn Slna, (40/37), a minor har- 
monic tone (40/36 = 10/9; 182 cents), a maximal tone 
(40/35 = 8/7; 231 cents). Furthermore, al-Farabi pro- 
poses a subminor-third (40/34 = 20/17; 281 cents), a 
sub-neutral-third (40/33), a major harmonic third 
(40/32 = 5/4; 386 cents), an implicit diminished fourth 
(40/31) and a perfect fourth (40/30 = 4/3; 498 cents). 
If this system is pursued, the logical outcome will be 
a sub-diminished fifth (40/29), a harmonic tritone 
(40/28= 10/7; 617 cents), a short fifth (40/27) and a 
super-"wolf's-fifth" (40/26). But al-Farabi restricts 
his description to the fourth, and no evidence is 
available concerning the details of the diffusion of this 
system in proto-Islamic or early Islamic music. 

In Baghdad, in the 2nd-3rd/8th-9th centuries, the 
eminent and skilled classical soloists of the 'ud, like 
Ishak al-Mawsili, seemed more inclined to employ the 
Pythagorean Hellenistic system. The latter was 
characterised by a limma (256/243; 90 cents), an im- 
plicit apotome (2187/2048; 114 cents), a major tone 
(9/8; 204 cents), a minor third (32/27; 294 cents), a 
major (third) or ditone (81/64; 408 cents), a perfect 
fourth (4/3; 498 cents), an implicit tritone subsequent- 
ly described by al-Farabi with reference to the harp 
(729/512; 612 cents) and a perfect fifth (3/2; 702 

The two systems were thus only compatible on the 
level of the limma and of the fourth. At the same time, 
Mansur Zalzal, a virtuoso lutist, apparently reconcil- 
ed the popular and learned traditions by giving official 
status to a para-Pythagorean system based on em- 
pirical and equidistant longitudinal divisions of the 
string of the '■id, following the Pythagorean fingering- 

Zalzal thus recommended the use of the following 
complementary degrees: a "Persian" neutral second 
(162/149; 145 cents; 6,4 holders), a "Zalzalian" 
neutral second (54/49; 168 cents; 7,4 holders), a 
"Persian" minor third (81/68; 303 cents; 13,4 
holders) and a "Zalzalian" neutral third (27/22; 355 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

'APJAM-'ASHIRAN i_T I II II I ii .1830 

-SjJ" NIHAWAND 6us*lik Bu S aliK-Kurd( OJ-C Ch.bri.r.lWl 

cents; 15,7 holders.) Thus there came about, in 
regard to the fingerboard of the c ud , the confrontation 
between the Hellenistic or universal acoustic systems 
and the specific or empirical Arabo-Irano-Turanian 
musical systems. 

The treatises of al-Kindl, al-Munadjdjim (3rd/9th 
century), al-Farabi, al-Isfahanl, the Ikhwan al-$afa 3 
(4th/10th century), Ibn Slna (5th/llth century) and 
many other scholars thus had as their object or desired 
aim to position on the finger-board of the c ud a 
theoretical scale capable of standardising the intervals 
of these different systems. 

The ideal solution seems to have been found in the 
7th/ 13th century by the Systematists with Safi al-Dfn 
al-Urmawi and Kutb al-DIn al-ShlrazI, thanks to a 
commatic scale supporting the Pythagorean system 
and assimilating, by justifying them by longitudinal 
measures and mathematical calculations, the intervals 
of the Djahiliyya and the neutral intervals. It all led in 
practice to the (theoretical) comma, the limma (4 
commas), the apotome (5 commas), the minor tone (8 
commas), the major tone (9 commas) divided into two 
limmas and a comma, and their combinations, 
amongst these being a minor third (13 commas), a 
neutral third which became "natural" (17 commas), 
a major third (18 commas) and a perfect fourth (22 

Subsequently, Iran, Central Asia and the outer 
regions moved away from reference to the 'ud and 
returned to empirical systems. The Arab world was to 
experience the recession before adopting from the 
18th century, and more precisely with Mikha'Il 
Mushaka (19th century), under the influence of 
Europe, a theoretical scale dividing the octave into 
twenty-four quarter-tones (rub°). Only the Ottomans 
and the heirs of c Abbasid elitism were able to 
perpetuate the commatic system of the Systematists. 

In the 20th century, a comparative Arabo-Irano- 
Turkish study entails the reconstitution of a 
theoretical scale of sounds confronting the three 
systems of contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish 
temperaments. In spite of divergences, the octave can 
be divided into twenty-four intervals defining twenty- 
five fingering-degrees or scaling-fingerings (daradja, 
barda, perde), supposing there to be four per major 
tone. The traditional names of these fingering-degrees 
are somewhat variable from one language to another 
(e.g. segdh-sikah, cahdrgah-diahdrkdh). 

The preliminary division of the octave into fifty- 
three Holderian commas among the Turks and 
twenty-four quarter-tones among the Arabs and Ira- 
nians only presents minor problems of temperament, 
illustrated by the controversies as to the height of the 
"neutral" fingering-degrees, as, for example, the 
segah higher in the Zarlinian third (17 commas, 
Turkey, Aleppo, Baghdad than in the Zalzalian third 
(16 commas or 7 quarters, Cairo, Damascus). Of the 
twenty-five theoretical fingering-degrees, modern Ira- 
nian treatises mention only eighteen fingering-degrees 
to the octave, dividing the octave into seventeen inter- 
vals which are unequal, having a semi- tone and two 
quarter-tones in a major tone. So it is not a case of 

This theoretical scale is transposable in its entirety 
in terms of the pitch (tabaka) then of the height of 
reference chosen. Also the guide mark and key tone of 
the scale, yegah and rdst, can be aligned on a frequen- 
cy, a pitch and then an equivalent Latin note which 
varies according to the countries, schools or, obvious- 
ly, voices to be accompanied. The rdst, key tone, can 
be a si b , a do (Mediterranean), a re (Turkey), a fa or 
a sol ( c Irak, Iran) or even a la, and the whole scale is 

led by it like a mobile keyboard or a set of nays (obli- 
que flutes) of various pitches. 

This theoretical scale can be deduced from the 
historical 'ud which conceived it and is reducible to 
the modern '•ud which is its ideal standard. For this 
reason, it is influenced by "units" of fourths, and 
presents in the 20th century preferential degrees cor- 
responding to the open strings of the c ud with classical 
tuning, supposing that, from low to high, is a bass 
string: kardr-rast or kardr-dugdh, 1st string yegah, 2nd 
string 'ashirdn, 3rd. string dugdh, 4th string nawa, 5th 
string gardan. So it is not equalised like a piano scale. 

This theoretical scale is only a range without an im- 
mediate melodic outcome. The twenty-five sounds 
disposable on the octave are not played in conjunction 
or simultaneously. A given modal structure uses nor- 
mally only four degrees to the fourth or eight degrees 
to the octave in the rules of heptatonic diatonism. 

Value of the intervals and formation of 
the genres. Historically in the treatises and logically 
in analysis, the approach to the makamat entails, the 
unit of measure and theoretical scale of sounds being 
known, a study of the intervals and fingering-degrees 
which, in dividing the fourth or the fifth, seek to 
define the tri-, tetra- or pentachordal genres con- 
stituting the makamat. The genre (djins, bahr, 'ikd, in 
Arabic, dortlu-beslt in Turkish) is thus the elementary 
unit of the modal structures in contemporary Arabic 
and Turkish treatises. In Iranian treatises it is not ex- 
plicitly identified, but a modal analysis should reveal 
its presence. 

The selection of a given genre brings a choice of 
fingering-degrees on the theoretical scale of sounds 
and also ordains a specific series of juxtaposed inter- 
vals. The value of these intervals is determined by the 
systems or temperaments adopted. 

In the Arab countries and Iran, the intervals are 
measured in quarter-tones at the rate of twenty-four 
quarters per octave. The chromatic quarter-tone is ex- 
ceptional. The current melodic intervals are the semi- 
tone (2 qs.), the three-quarter-tone (3 qs.), the major 
tone (4 qs.), the maxim tone (5 qs.), the trihemitone 
(an augmented second of (6 qs.). The thirds are minor 
(6 qs.), neutral (7 qs.) or major (8 qs.). The fourths 
are perfect (10 qs.), but the shortened fourth (6 qs.) 
of the sabd genre should be noted as well as the 
augmented fourth (tritone of 12 qs.) of the nikriz, 
nawathar and kurdi-athar genres. The perfect fifths are 
14 qs. The intervals are more flexible in Iran. 

In Turkey and the academic schools (Aleppo, 
Mosul, Baghdad) the intervals are measured in 
Holderian commas at the rate of fifty-thre< 

•. The a 

e the li 

a (4 

commas), the apotome (5 cs.), the l 
the major tone (9 cs.), the "trilimma" or trihemitone 
(augmented seconds of 12 or 13 cs.). The thirds are 
minims (12 cs.), minors (13-14 cs.), rarely neutrals 
(15-16 cs.), Zarlinian naturals (17 cs) or Pythagori- 
cian majors (18 cs.). The fourths are perfect (22 cs.), 
shortened (18) or augmented (26 cs.), in the genres 
mentioned above. The perfect fifths are of 31 

The Arab, Iranian and Turkish treatises give the 
specific intervals historical names, of which the 
variants will not be mentioned here. The fingering- 
degrees or scaling-fingerings are not always 
designated by their Eastern names, and, under the in- 
fluence of European notation, Latin names of the 
notes are frequently used by giving them adapted in- 
flections. Also, more precisely since the Congres de 
musique du Caire (1932), a note lowered a quarter- 
tone (made semi-flat) can be called nuss-bemol, kar- 

bemol or koron. Raised a quarter-tone (made semi- 
sharp), it becomes nuss-dieze, kar-dieze or sort. The 
Turkish codes of inflection are clearly more rigid due 
to the commatic system. There are regular new ini- 
tiatives, amongst which is a code of the Colloque de 
Beyrouth (1972). One of the most recent (code arabes- 
que, 1978) normalises the signs and transcribes all the 
commatic inflections. 

Just as the theoretical scale of sounds is only a 
range, the quarter-tone and the comma are only units 
of measure and not melodic or chromatic intervals. 
Heptatonic diatonism theoretically escapes the pro- 
liferation of fingering-degrees or scaling-fmgerings 
beyond eight to the octave, when there is a given 
modulation. Further, the conception of the genres on 
the finger-board of the 'ud can only use the open 
string and four fingers, which reinforces the link be- 
tween the fifth and the playing of a pentachord and 
does not stir the musician to imagine micro-intervals 
smaller than the limma which do not exist in the tradi- 
tional genres. Here, moreover, the makam owes more 
to the 'ud than to the laboratory. 

Nevertheless, some "micro-intervals" are smaller 
than the semi-tone or the limma. In diatonism, they 
may be detected below the fingering-degree segdh of 
the rare genres awdj-drd and sdz-kdr described by 
Erlanger (quarter-tone between re di'eze and mi semi- 
bemol). There is also a leading note at the same level 
in the segdh genre, which is superimposed on 
diatonism. However, it would appear to be a matter 
of Turkish limmas, which, transposed in the Arabic 
quarter-tone system, are devalued. In chromatism, 
there are micro-intervals in the execution of the rare 
mukhdlif genre of c Irak; but it is, in this case, an alter- 
nated overlapping of the sabd and segdh genres on the 
same part of the scale. In this case, it is even possible 
to analyse a makam Mukhdlif formed from the overlap- 
ping of the three Sabd, Segdh and Huzam makdmdt 
mobilising twelve degrees per octave (cf. Arabesques 
record 5, Luth en Iraq traditionnel, '■Ud Jamil Bachir). 

As the selection of a genre brings a choice of 
fingering-degrees and ordains a specific series of 
juxtaposed intervals, the genre is an elementary and 
invariable modal structure which should be identified 
on analysis in terms of the value of its intervals and in- 
dependently of the temperament adopted. The ear 
itself is probably aided by characteristic melodic for- 
mulae of the genre and by an intuitive perception. 
However, apart from the variations of temperament 
from one country to another, the universal laws of 
music "temper" the rigidity of the specific intervals. 

Some fingering-degrees of the genre, in particular 
the two poles or extremities often inserted in an open 
string of the 'ud, are rigorously fixed, except, for in- 
stance, in the Iranian- c Irakian Dashti-Dasht mode. 
Others, the intermediaries, can be mobile. This 
mobility is frequently linked to phenomena of ascen- 
ding or descending gradient or enharmonic change, 
quite natural on instruments with a non-fretted 
finger-board such as the 'ud or the violin, and more 
artificial on instruments such as the kdnun. It also 
responds to phenomena of attraction or repulsion 
valid in other kinds of music. 

Also, such a fingering-degree or scaling-fingering 
will be raised more in ascending than in descending. 
In spite of the fairly rigid commatic precision of the 
system applied in Turkey, the third fingering-degree 
segdh of the rdst genre occurs at 17 commas of the finale 
in ascending and 16 in descending, also inflecting a 
Zarlinian third and a Zalzalian third. By contrast, if 
this segdh fingering-degree becomes the finale of the 
segdh genre it becomes a modal pole and it is fixed 

more especially as it is doubled with a leading note 
given the space of several commas. 

It may be remarked that the mobile degrees are fre- 
quently linked, as historical treatises or musical prac- 
tice confirm, with the index or medius finger on the 
finger-board of the historical or modern 'ud. In the 
modes of Iran, these mobile fingering-degrees, which 
the analysts do not associate with the role of the 'ud, 
are called mutaghayyir. 

The establishment of a nomenclature of Arabo- 
Irano-Turkish musical genres can only lead to a 
didactic compromise due to the complexity of the 
criteria allowing the specificity of a genre to be con- 
firmed. However, the same term can designate dif- 
ferent genres, or the same genre may be designated 
variously according to the countries. An Arabo- 
Turkish terminology will be normalised here. 

Erlanger presents an Arabo-Turkish system mark- 
ed by the academic tradition of Aleppo with a quarter- 
tone scale and enumerates seventeen genres. An 
Arabo-Turkish system will be presented here marked 
by the 'ud school of Baghdad with a commatic scale. 
A progression of structures will follow from the 
"Hellenic" scale (tones and semi-tones) to the 
"Islamic" scale (which includes also neutral seconds 
and thirds). The reverse approach would also be 

Attention will be given to eight structures of the 
main genres by giving precise information on their 
characteristic interval: cahdrgdh or 'adjam-'ashirdn (ma- 
jor); busalik (minor); kurdi (minor second and third); 
hidjaz (with trihemitone-augmented second); baydti 
and nawd tetrachords or husayni and 'ushshdk pen- 
tachords (neutral second and minor third); sabd 
(neutral second, minor third and diminished fourth); 
segdh and Hrdk (finale on a neutral fingering-degree 
with apotome and short neutral third), rdst, an 
academic and classical genre (major second and 
neutral third). 

Six structures will also be cited derived from the 
main genres by correlation, overlapping, combina- 
tion, inflection: kurdi-athar (kurdil hidjaz correlation); 
nikrlz and nawathar (busalik/ hidjaz correlation); mukhdlif 
(sabd-segdh overlapping); huzam (segdhlhidjdz combina- 
tion); musta'dr inflection of the segdh); and zawil 
(hidjazlrdst interaction). 

All these genres are compatible with the fifth and 
can be represented in the form of pentachords on a 
diagram illustrating the real value of the intervals and 
the preferred insertion on the scale of sounds, itself 
transposable. However, so as to facilitate reading, a 
scale of sounds is often chosen with a rdst key tone in 
do (Mediterranean) and one may also remark the 
equivalence in Latin notes of the height of the 
fingering-degrees or scaling-fingerings by giving their 
inflections precisely. 

genres. — The mode (makam in Arabic; dastgah, dwdz, 
naghma in Persian; makam in Turkish) is formed by the 
combination of genres. However, musicologists who 
do not play the 'ud, Iranian authors and numerous 
Western musicologists study the mode as a whole like 
a Greek mode or an Indian raga. 

In popular traditions and archaic practices, a single 
tri-, tetra- or pentachordal genre can constitute a 
makam of limited ambitus. In general, it is a genre 
more autochthonous than Hellenic such as the hidjaz, 
the baydti, the sabd or the rdst. A Bedouin's improvisa- 
tion on his rabdba is often limited to a tetrachord. But 
an educated artist can decide to play deliberately in 
the popular style and produce an astonishing result 
(e.g. Djamil Bashir interpreting the swihli-nd 'Hon the 

'ud; cf. Arabesques record 5, Luth en Iraq traditionnel, 'Ud 
Jamil Bachir). 

Two genres joined from low to high can form the 
"scale system" (diwdn asdsi, sullam in Arabic; dizi in 
Turkish) of a classical heptatonic makam bearing a 
tonic finale (asds, maye\ durak), a witness-pivot (gham- 
mdz, shdhid, giiclii), normally placed at the juncture of 
the two genres and corresponding most often to an 
open string of the '■ud, which, in fact, by structural 
and acoustic definition, is a preferential degree. Other 
degrees can be preferential or mobile according to the 
genres and modes played and in terms of what the 
ethnomusicologists call the hierarchy of degrees. 

Musical treatises class makamat in terms of the 
degree on which they are inserted and progress from 
low to high. Here it will be limited to a small number 
of heptatonic "scale systems", simple or compound 
according to the identical (or theoretically identical) or 
different genres from which they are formed. All the 
makamat cited point to Arabo-Turkish academic tradi- 
tions and a certain number of these makams seem to be 
of relatively recent creation from the time of the Ot- 
toman Empire (18th- 19th centuries). 

The constituent genres will be mentioned from low 
to high with and by their arbitrary limitation to the 

1 . The principal makamat formed by the combina- 
tion of two identical genres are called simple, and 
often bear the same name as their constituent genre or 
the fingering-degree of insertion on the theoretical 
scale of sounds: 

Cahargdh or 'Adiam-'Ashirdn (or Mdhur): major; major 
pentachord + major tetrachord. 

Nihdwand or Busalik: minor; busalik tetrachord + 
busalik pentchord 

Farahnumd, Hididz-kdr-kurdi, Kurdi: two disjointed kur- 
di tetrachords (or Kurdi tetrachord + busalik pentachord 
Lami: two descending, joined kurdi tetrachords (minor 
without finale) 

Shadd-'Araban, Suzidil, Hididz-kar, Shahndz: hidiaz pen- 
tachord + hidjaz tetrachord (or the latter + nikriz- 
nawathar pentachord) 

Husayni: baydti-'u shsh dk pentachord + bayati 
tetrachord (pivot on 5th degree) 
Rast: rast pentachord + rast tetrachord (two neutral 
thirds) (3rd and 7th degrees are neutral) 

2. Some compound makamat are formed by joining 
two different genres constituting a heptatonic blend 
(tarkib, miirekkep): 

Sultdni-yegdh, Nihdwand-kabir: harmonic minor; busalik 
pentachord + hidiaz tetrachord (or busalik tetrachord 
+ nikriz pentachord) 

Athar-kurdi: kurdi-athar pentachord + hidjaz tetrachord 
Nikriz: nikriz pentachord + modulating rast tetrachord 
Nawathar: nikriz nawathar pentachord + hidiaz 
Hidiaz: hidiaz tetrachord + modulating rast pen- 

Baydti, Nawd: bayati tetrachord + modulating rast pen- 
tachord (busalik pentachord in the Turkish Bayati) 
Kara^ighdr: bayati tetrachord + modulating hidiaz pen- 

Shur: bayati tetrachord + modulating bayati, busalik, 
rast or hidjaz pentachord (mobile 5th and 6th degrees) 
Dasht: bayati-'-ushshak pentachord (mobile 5th degree 
witness-pivot) + modulating Kurdi tetrachord). 
Suzndk: rast pentachord + hidiaz tetrachord 

3. Some complex makamat are reducible to three 
different genres by their octave system (a theory not 
found in Turkey): 

Huzam: segdh trichord + hidiaz tetrachord + rast 

Segdh: segdh trichord + modulating rast or bayati 
tetrachord + rast trichord 

'Irak: segdh trichord + baydti tetrachord + rast trichord 
Saba: sabd tetrachord + hidiaz overlapping (no octave) 
4. Some makamat are reducible to an overlapping of 
genres or modes: Farahfazd: minor-major modal 
relativity with several leading notes 
Mukhalif: overlapping of sabd, segdh and huzam 


The definition of the makam limited to the octave is 
only a didactic diagram, for only archaic improvisa- 
tions are limited to the octave. The extension of the 
system beyond the octave can be made in various 
ways. In the most common case, the heptatonic struc- 
ture is recommenced in the adjacent low and high oc- 
taves. In scholastic practice, the theory or science of 
the musician adds new structures to the high and low 
in the form of connected genres or modes. It also leads 
to the formation of makamat of a broad ambitus, of 
which many are described in treatises. Going beyond 
the register of the human voice, they apply to in- 
struments covering three octaves such as the c £y with 
six courses of strings, the kdnun, the santur or the nay. 
In this way, the makam is freed from its antiquity. 

On the occasion of an improvisation (taksim), 
Arabic and Turkish traditions define for each makam 
a point of departure (mabda?, zemin), a process of 
melodic movement (tawr, seyr), stopping points 
(mardkiz, asma kararlar), specific melodic formulas such 
as the kafla before returning to the finale (kardr). Ira- 
nian traditions entail the unrolling of a certain 
number of melodic models (gushas) according to a fix- 
ed protocol in the official repertoire (radif), with the 
periodic return of a conclusive formula-coda (forud) 
such as bal-i kabutar. 

Apart from the vertical association of genres and 
modes from low to high, horizontal associations in 
time allow for improvisation by modulating from a 
makam of reference. Genres and modes constituting 
the initial modal system are renewed in terms of the 
laws of Arabo-Turkish modulation (talwin, gecki) by 
the substitution or evolution of structures engendering 
a succession of genres and modes at intermediate 
stages (miydna, meyan) and illustrating a rich proces- 
sion of ten or twenty makamat before returning to the 
initial makam (e.g. "Reveries sur le maqam 
Farahfaza", Arabesques record 6, Luth au Yemen classi- 
que, 'Ud Jamil Ghdmm) 

Al-makam al-Hraki, based on the same process, is a 
typically c Iraki genre whose poem is entrusted to a 
solo singer (makdmci) and the accompaniment to an in- 
strumental quartet (calghi) from the beginning (tahrir) 
to the finale (taslim) (e.g. "Meditations sur des 
naghams traditionnels d'Iraq", in makam Pandjgdh, 
Arabesques record 1, Luth en Iraq classique, 'Ud Munir 

Insertion, height in frequency, transposi- 
tion, gradient, ethos. — Makamat are not of a fixed 
height in frequency with reference to universal 
physical principles. But they have for preferential in- 
sertion that of their main genre, which is done more 
readily on certain fingering-degrees of the scale of 
sounds. Also the Shadd 'Arabdn, the Yegdh are inserted 
onyegdh; the Suzidil on 'ashiran; the 'Adiam-'Ashirdn on 
nim-'adiam; the 'Irak on Hrdk; the Nihdwand, Nikriz, 
Nawathar, Hididz-kar, Rast on rast; the Kurdi, Hidiaz, 
Bayati, Nawd, Husayni, 'Ushshdk, Saba, Shahndz on 
dugah; Segdh, Huzam, Musta'dr on segdh; etc. 

As the height in frequency of the fingering-degrees 
or scaling-fingerings is in terms of the height in fre- 
quency of the theoretical scale of sounds and the latter 
varies from one country to another and one school to 

another, it would be difficult to speak of absolute 
height, more especially as the European pitches, 
which are often cited in reference, have continued to 
rise since the 18th century. Recourse to the nay, 
sometimes evoked as a pitch, presents the same risk 
since, with the fixed fingering-degrees, the nay 
transposes the scale in terms of its size. 

In the Mediterranean Arab countries, the rast is 
generally assimilated to a do2 and played as such by 
trained musicians. In Turkey the scale has been 
deliberately fixed and the rast key tone, called sol and 
written sol by convention is a re2 in official institu- 
tions. In c Irak and Iran, the rast is more readily a/a? 
a sol2. These heights suit baritone singers quite 
... ta]ists 

in prac 

choose their scale and the soloist singers impose thei: 
in terms of their vocal aptitudes. 

The makamdt can be transposed in various ways, in 
addition to transposition by total displacement of the 
tuning-pitch of the instrument or the theoretical scale 
of sounds. Transposition can be obtained on the nay 
by preserving the fingerings and changing the nay. On 
the kanun and the santur, the playing is displaced after 
the tuning-pitch has been refined. On the c ud all the 
fingering-degrees of a course of strings can be 
transferred to the next course, corresponding to a 
translation of a fourth without modification of the in- 
ternal acoustic equilibrium of the makdm. Also a bayati 
on a dugah (3rd open string) can be transposed on a 
nawa (4th open string) or on an '■ashiran (2nd open 
string) without breaking its structure, since the finale 
and the pivot (4th degree) remain inserted on the open 
strings. In some cases, the makdm transposed in this 

In other cases, a musician displaces the finale in a 
longitudinal fashion on the string, which leads to a 
transposition with translation of all the fingering- 
degrees and a modification of the acoustic structure of 
the makdm. Such would be the case of a makdm Rast 
played on a segdh finale, a particularly arduous perfor- 
mance which alters the acoustic role of the pivot (5th 
degree), usually on an open string (nawa), and plays 
it on a fingering in the middle of a string. 

Some makdms have, observed on a stave, octave 
scale systems absolutely identical with those of other 
makamat, whose height of insertion on the theoretical 
scale is different. Such is the case of makamat 
Shadd- c Arabdn (on yegdh), Sizidil (on c ashirdn), Hidjaz- 
kdr (on rast), Turkish Zengule and Shahnaz (on dugah). 
Played on a kanun in the absence of a criterion of 
height, they could only be differentiated from one 
another by formulas, details of modulation or 
cadence. By contrast, on an c ud, they have their own 
acoustic equilibrium. The yegdh finale (1st open string) 
of the Shadd-'-Arabdn is on the c u<f a preferential and 
fundamental degree. On the other hand, the rast finale 
(on a fingering of minor third on ^ashiran 2nd string) 
of the Hidjaz-kdr, which is a very important key tone, 
is not an acoustically preferential degree. Conse- 
quently, a makdm Hidjaz-kdr is not a transposed 

The question of the gradient of the makamat has 
given rise to several controversies. Some makamat, at 
the time of their improvised melodic evolution, 
deliberately display ascending melody, others no less 
deliberately descending melody. The musicologists of 
Turkey give precise information in their works as to 
the nature of the pitch to be given its value. At times, 
two makamat of identical modal structure and identical 
insertion have different gradients. Also, the Turkish 
Bayati is descending and the Turkish c Ushsh ak ascen- 
ding; the Turkish Hidjaz ambivalent and the < Uzzdl 

ascending; the Turkish Neva ascending and the 
Turkish Tahir descending. In c Irak, two popular 
makamat based on the modal structure of the Saba are 
respectively the Mansuri, usually ascending, and the 
NaHl, usually descending. 

Historically, each genre and mode is supposed to 
correspond to a certain ethos (ruh) or a "modal senti- 
ment", which conditions the inspiration of the artist, 
and the perception or sensation of his accompanists 
and audience, when he improvises. Each mode or 
genre even had in former times its preferred hour, at 
dawn (makdm Rdhawi), at the end of the evening 
(makdm Zirafkand), if reference is made to the 
Anonymous treatise dedicated to the Ottoman sultan Mehem- 
medll (9th/ 15th century). But in the 20th century, the 
holding of musical sessions in the evening and the in- 
fluence of the media have upset the nyctemeral ruh as 
they have the sentimental ruh. 

Nevertheless, the Rast is classical and academic, the 
Bayati has a rural and collective tendency and is well- 
suited to popular songs, the Segdh expresses lofty sen- 
timents and is claimed by the mystics, the Saba, linked 
to the fresh wind of dawn, expresses the weariness of 
the end of the night with a clear tendency to sadness 
and depression. It is all together strange, on the other 
hand, to the idea of waking up and is not an arousing 
makdm. The Hidjaz is a makdm able to evoke sadness 
without depression and it is remarkable to Western 
ears. In a certain measure, the calls to prayer main- 
tain a kind of nyctemeral ethos of the makamdt, since 
they are supposed to change the makdm at each call. 

proaches. — The number of real or fictitious 
makamat is difficult to determine in the absence of a 
preconceived idea and due to the plurality of musical 
traditions perpetuated in the heart of Arabo-Irano- 
Turkish Islam. 

A Persian theoretician of the Sasanid period, Bar- 
badh. had elaborated a mystical and cosmogonous 
musical system describing seven khusrawanh (modes), 
thirty lahns (genres?) and three hundred and sixty 
dastgdhs (modulations?). This type of nomenclature as 
the basis of fatidical numbers has not disappeared and 
some contemporary musicologists retain seven notes 
and forty intervals to the octave so as to reach three 
hundred and sixty makamdt. In the 7th/13th century, 
Safl al-DIn described twelve shudud, six dwdzdt, one 
murakkab and two undetermined modes. 

Apart from large mediaeval treatises which studied 
the scales, intervals, genres and modes conceived on 
the c ud, and which established the nomenclatures for 
the classification of the modes used, we should take ac- 
count of the delicate art and patronage which en- 
couraged musicians to create a new mode and present 
it to the prince amidst a circle of initiates or on the oc- 
casion of a collective feast. Also, throughout thirteen 
centuries, hundreds of makamdt have been described 
and it has been possible to elaborate thousands. 
However, the present current practice is limited to a 
few tens of simple or compound makamdt and a hun- 
dred transposed makamat. 

In the 20th century, Erlanger describes one hun- 
dred and nineteen Eastern makamat and twenty-nine 
Tunisian makamdt belonging to the Hispano-Arabic 
tradition. S. al-Mahdi describes forty makamat. Alexis 
Chottin notes the existence of twenty-four nawbat of 
North Africa, corresponding to twenty-four modes. 
Hiiseyin Sadeddin Arel describes a hundred Turkish 
makamlar. Nelly Caron and Dariouche Safvate 
describe twelve Iranian modes, seven being dastgdh 
and five dwdz. Jiirgen Eisner notes the existence of the 
system of six makomot in Central Asia, usually 

characterised by their forms. Habib Hassan Touma 
evaluates the mugdm of Adharbaydjan as more than 
seventy. Among all these structures there exist 
similarities and divergences. 

Aesthetic, natural musical and universal laws, the 
limited character of the theoretical scale of sounds and 
a large number of historical interferences explain how 
numerous Arabo-Irano-Turkish makdmdt or those of 
Central Asia may be identical with Indian modes 
(ragas), Greek modes or modes perpetuated in the 
Eastern churches or among the minorities. 

As for the similarities with India, we can recognise 
the identity of structure between the Indian Bhairav-i 
and the Kurdi. As for the Greek heritage, it must be 
remarked that classical musicians of the end of the 
2nd/8th century such as Ishak al-Mawsill [q.v.] used 
exclusively the Pythagorean Hellenic scale. The 
rehabilitation of autochthonous structures in 
academic music seems to be undertaken with Mansur 
Zalzal and his neutral fingering-degrees. Since then, 
"Greek" and "local" structures coexist. Some 
musicologists of Islam do not fail to underscore the 
homology between "Islamic" and Greek genres: Io- 
nian, Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian. The process, 
nevertheless, suffers from the multiplicity of classifica- 
tions of the Greek genres. Thus we have to remark the 
presence of a major and a minor and the similarities 
with the modes of Greek churches, namely Rdst- 
natural diatonic, Baydti-minor chromatic, and Hidjdz- 
iar-major chromatic. 

The similarities with the Greek modes arise equally 
from the European influences of the 19th century 
which provoked a paradoxical re-Hellenisation. After 
the c Abbasid period, which marked the flight of 
Arabo-Irano-Turanian musical syncretism, academic 
musical forms regressed among the Arabs and Ira- 
nians and were to discover a new brilliance at the 
court of the Ottomans. But from the 19th century on- 
wards, imperial patronage and the taste of Istanbul 
were more and more influenced by Europe. A 
recrudescence of the Nihdwand (minor) took place and 
the "creation" of makdmdt for grand occasions, with a 
very broad ambitus, and a "tempered" tendency 
such as the Nawathar (neveser), Sulldni-yegdh (harmonic 
minor), Hidjdz-kdr-kurdi (Kiirdili-Hidjdz-kdr), Farahfazd 
and Farahnumd. It is these makdmdt, along with so 
many others perpetuated at the Ottoman court, which 
were to be introduced in Egypt by c Abdu al-Hammuli 

parlous condition, if the descriptions of Villoteau are 
to be believed. 

The similarity between the modes of Islam and the 
modes of the Eastern churches is at times striking, 
despite divergences of form and style. It might as well 
be attributed to relics of the common ancient heritage 
claimed by both traditions, to a period of modal syn- 
cretism, or to the fruits of a coexistence which lasted 
more than ten centuries. The same question can be 
posed as regards the commatic chant of the churches 
whose territory was administered by the Ottomans, 
when the latter perpetuated the Byzantine artistic 
heritage and commatic system. 

The problem of the musical modes perpetuated by 




similarities. As regards the Kurds, for example 
well-known in Turkey, c Irak and Iran that the Kur- 
dish singers and instrumentalists interpret more 
readily the Husayni or Dasht modes according to their 
own forms and styles. The form and style can also be 

precise ethnic cri 

, if it is 

of re 

worthy that the same Husayni or Dasht modes were 
perpetuated with the same structures and more 
classical forms or styles in Istanbul, Baghdad or 

Some modes, endowed with structures that can be 
found throughout the Arabo-Irano-Turkish world, 
have taken a form, style and name which makes them 
characteristic of a region. But they are not linked 
especially strictly to a nation. Also, the Shur and Dashti 
modes (baydti structure) or Afshdri (segdh structure) of 
Iran, perpetuated equally in Adharbaydjan, corres- 
pond respectively, as far as structure is concerned, to 
the Shun, Dasht and Awshdr makdmdt of c Irak, and it 
may be supposed that they derive from a common 
regional ancestral patrimony in these three countries. 

A classical mode can present local variants. Also the 
Segdh, remarkable for its finale on a neutral fingering- 
degree, is articulated according to various patterns: in 
the 3rd degree, on a modulating rdstl busalik tetrachord 
(in the Arab countries) or on the equivalent of a baydti 
genre (in Iran), or, in the fifth degree, on a hidjaz 
tetrachord (in Turkey). Another mode called makdm 
Nawdldastgdh-i NawdlNevd makdmi is also constituted: 

— a Baydti tetrachord (hardly variable) inserted on the 
dugdh fingering-degree (3rd open string on the (i ud) 

— a modulating variable pentachord inserted on the 
nawd fingering-degree (4th open string on the c urf) 
which may be 

(a) a rdst pentachord in Turkey (5th degree hardly 

(b) a rdst or busalik pentachord in the Arab coun- 
tries (5th degree mobile); or 

(c) a rdst, busalik, Baydti or hidjaz pentachord in Iran 
(5th and 6th degrees mobile) 

Turkish modes would allow, by making an abstrac- 
tion of nationalisms, separatisms or claims of paterni- 
ty, the discovery of a large number of divergent 
structures under a common name or common struc- 
tures under different names. However, ambiguities of 
terminology are involved. What is called a 
makdmi Cahdrgdh among the Arabs and Turks is a ma- 
jor, while the Cahdrgdh of Iran corresponds to an 
Arabo-Turkish Hiajdzkdr. The major is called Mdhur 
or Rdst-pandjgdh in Iran, while the Arab Mdhur is not 
a major. The makdmdt called Pandjgdh and Shun in 
c Irak would be called Suzndk and Kardjighar in Turkey 
and Syria. 

The fruitless efforts since the Congress of Arabic 
Music in Cairo in 1932 show that it is too late to 
establish normalised Arabo-Irano-Turkish nomen- 
clature and that it is illusory to want to fix the height 
of the neutral degrees, very high in Istanbul and very 
low in Cairo. Finally, the two recent Baghdad Con- 
gresses of Music in 1975 and 1978 have allowed us to 
ascertain that it is just as impossible to agree to a 
definition of the term makdm in its musical sense. 

Moreover, every amateur and every musicologist 
will persist in perceiving the makdm in terms of his sen- 
sibility or formation: familiar melodic formulas, 
recollection of a cultural identity, expression of an 
ethnic music, modal system, heptatone on a stave, 
modal protocol, form of improvisation, aesthetic 
vestige of the Golden Ages, obstacle to progress by 

linguistic system of the c ud and specific language, etc. 
Bibliography: There is a very full 
bibliography on the makdm as understood by 
orientalist musicologists or ethnomusicologists, on 
musiki and the c ud in J. Eisner, Zum Problem des Ma- 
quam, in Acta musicologica, xlvii/2 (1975), 208-30; H. 
G. Farmer, arts. musiki and c 0d in 



and of the 
r, &m 

'ud in Islam. Translations: Th. Ant; 
al-Din Muhammad al-Saydawi al-Dimasqi. Livre de la 
connaissance des tons et lew explication, Sorbonne typed 
thesis, Paris 1979; J. E. Bencheikh, Les musiciens et 
la poesie. Les ecoles d'Ishdq al-Mawsili (m. 225 H.) et 
dTbrahim al-Mahdi (m. 224 H.), in Arabica, xxii 
(1975), 114-152; J. -C. Chabrier, Un mouvement de 
rehabilitation de la musique arabe et du lulh oriental. 
L'ecole de Bagdad de Cherif Muhieddin a Munir Bachir, 
Sorbonne typed thesis, Paris 1976; A. Chottin, La 
musique arabe, in Roland-Manuel (ed.), Histoire de la 
musique, Paris 1960, 526-43; R. d'Erlanger, La 
musique arabe, i-iv, Paris 1930-8; H. G. Farmer, The 
lute scale of Avicenna, in JRAS (1937), 245-57; L. 
Ronzevalle, Un traite de musique arabe moderne, in 
MFOB, iv (1913), 1-120; J. Rouanet, La musique 
arabe and La musique arabe dans le Maghreb, in A. 
Lavignac (ed.), Histoire de la musique, Paris 1922, 
2676-2939; A. Shiloah, L'epitre sur la musique des 
Ikhwan as-Safd, annotated translation, in REI 
(1964), 125-62, (1966), 159-93; idem, Al-Hasan ibn 
Ahmad ibn 'Alt al-Katib. La perfection des connaissances 
musicales, Paris 1972; idem, Un ancient traite sur le 'ud 
d'Abu Yisuf al-Kindi, in Israel Or. Studies, iv (1974), 
179-205; idem, The theory of music in Arabic writings 
c. 900-1900, in R.I.S.M., Bx, Munich 1979; O. 
Wright, The modal system of Arab and Persian music. 
A.D. 1250-1300, Oxford 1978; Z. Yusuf, Ibn al- 
Munadjdjim, Risala fi 'l-musika, critical ed., Cairo 
1964; Chabrier, Evolution du luth-'ud et periodisation 

des si 

(ed.), Proceedings of the ninth congress of the U. E.A.I. 
Leiden 1981, 31-47; G. Villoteau, De I'etat actuel de 
I 'art musical en Egypte ou Relation historique et descriptive 
des recherches et observations faites sur la musique en ce pays 
par M. Villoteau, in Description de I'Egypte, 2nd ed., 
xiv, Paris 1826.— Modes and scales in 
general: J. Chailley, Formation et transformations du 
langage musical, Sorbonne duplicated handbook, 
Paris 1955, 1-24, 69-143, 191-200; idem, Essai sur 
les structures melodiques, in Revue de Musicologie, xliv 
(1959), 139-75; idem, L'Imbroglio des modes, Paris 
1960, 5-9, 35-41, 10-28; Chailley, and H. Challan, 
Theorie complete de la musique, Paris 1951; E. Weber 
(ed.), La resonance dans les echelles musicales (C.N.R.S. 
Colloquium 1960), Paris 1963.— Makam and 
takslm in the Arab countries: Djamfl Bashlr, 
al-'Ud wa-tarikat tadnsihl'Ud, ways and methods of 
teaching, Baghdad 1962; d'Erlanger, La musique 
arabe, v, Paris 1949; Eisner, Zum Problem des Ma- 
quam; idem, Der Begriff des maqdm in Agypten, in 
Beitrage zur musikwissenschaftlichen Forschung in DDR, 
v (1973); E. Gerson-Kiwi, On the technique of Arab 
Taqsim composition, in Festschrift W. Graf, Vienna- 
Cologne-Graz 1970, 66-73; M. Guettat, La musique 
classique du Maghreb, Paris 1980; M. Khemakhem, 
La musique tunisienne traditionnelle. Structures et formes, 
Sorbonne typed thesis, Paris 1974; S. Mahdl, La 
musique arabe, Paris 1972; idem (Salih al-Mahdi), 
Makamdt al-misikd al-'Arabiyya, Tunis (1982); R. 
Riddle, Taqsim Nahawand, a study of sixteen perfor- 
mances by Jihad Racy, in Yearbook of the International 
Folk Music Council (1973); B. Nettl, Thoughts on im- 
provisation. A comparative approach, in The Musical 
Quarterly, lx/1 (1974), 1-19; Aly Jihad Racy, 
Musical change and commercial recording in Egypt, 
1904-1932, thesis Univ. of Illinois, Urbana 1977; 
A. Shiloah, The Arabic concept of mode, in JAMS 
xxxiv/1, 1981; H. H. Touma, Maqam, une forme 
d'improvisation, in The World of Music , xii/3 (1970), 

22-31; idem, The Maqam phenomenon: an improvisation 
technique in the music of the Middle East, in 
Ethnomusicology (1971); idem, Der Maqam Bayati im 
arabischen Taqsim, Hamburg 1976; H. A. Mahfuz, 
Mu'djam al-musikd al-'arabiyya, Baghdad 1964. — 
Makam 'irdki and makdmdl in Mrak: 
Chabrier, thesis, cited above; B. Fa'iq, The Iraqi 
maqam, in Baghdad, x (May 1975), 25-8; 'A. Biia, 
al-Nagham al-mubtakar fi 'l-musika al-'irdkiyya wa 
'l-'arabiyya, Baghdad 1969; al-Hadjdj M. Hashim- 
Radjab, al-Makdm al-'iraki, Baghdad 1961; M.S. 
Djalall, al-Makdmdt al-musikiyyafi 'l-Mawsil, Mawsil 
1941.— Modal structures in Iran: M. 
Barkechli and M. Ma c rufi, La musique traditionnelle 
de I'Iran et les systemes de la musique traditionnelle 
(Radif), Tehran 1963; M. Barkechli, La musique ira- 
nienne, in Roland-Manuel (ed.), Histoire de la musi- 
que, 453-525; N. Caron and D. Safvate, Iran. Les 
traditions musicales, Paris 1966; H. Farhat, Form and 
style in Persian music, in The World of Music , ii (1978), 
108-14; Gerson-Kiwi, The Persian doctrine of Dastga 
composition, Tel Aviv 1963; Khatschi-Khatschi, Der 
Dastgah, Studien zur neuen persischen Musik, in Kolner 
Beitrage zur Musikforschung, xix (1962); 
M. F. Massoudieh, Awaz-e Sur, Zur Melodiebildung 
in der persischen Kunstmusik, in ibid. , xlix (1968); B. 
Nettl and B. Foltin, Dardmad of Chahdrgdh: a study in 
the performance practice of Persian music, in Detroit 
monographs in musicology, ii (1972); G. Tsuge, Nota- 
tion in Persian music, in The World of Music , ii (1978), 
1 19-20; E. Zonis, Classical Persian music, an introduc- 
tion, Harvard-Cambridge 1973.— Modal struc- 
tures in Turkey: H. S. Arel, Turk musikisi 
nazariyati dersleri, Istanbul 1968; S. Ezgi, Nazari ve 
ameli tiirk musikisi, 5 vols., Istanbul 1933-53; B. 
Mauguin, Utilisation des echelles dans la tradition 
musicale turque contemporaine, typed thesis, Paris 
1969; G. Oransay, Die melodische Linie und der Begriff 
Makam der tradilionellen lurkischen Kunstmusik vom 15. 
bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, Ankara 1966; Y. Oztuna, 
Tiirk musikisi ansiklopedisi, Istanbul 1969, 3 vols.; A. 
Saygun, La musique turque, in Roland-Manuel (ed.), 
Histoire de la musique, 573-617; K. L. Signell, 
Makam: modal practice in Turkish art music, thesis, 
Seattle 1977; R. Yekta-Bey, La musique turque, in 
A. Lavignac (ed.), Histoire de la musique, Paris 1922, 
1845-3064.— Modal structures in C. Asia, 
makom and the shash-makom system: J. 
Eisner, see above; V. M. Belyaev, Ocerki po istorii 
musiki narodov S.S.S.R., I, Mosow 1962. 
Specific discography: There are analyses of the 
Arabo-Irano-Turkish modal structures with tables 
of transposition, finger-boards of the 'ud and 
transcription of all the perceived modulations in J.- 
C. C. Chabrier (ed.), Arabesques— recitalbum. An- 
thologie phonographique du recital oriental, ten albums, 
Paris 1974-9 (with the cooperation and patronage 
of the C.N.R.S. and the Institut du Monde Arabe, 
to be reissued): 1 . Lulh en Iraq classique, Meditations. 
'Ud Munir Bachir 2. Cithare au Liban classique. Qanun. 
Muhammad Sabsabi 3. Flute en Syrie classique. Nay. 
Selim Kosur 4. Luth en Syrie. Themes damascenes. 'Ud. 
'Omar Naqichbendi 5. Luth en Iraq traditionnel. Evoca- 
tions. 'Ud Jamil Bachir 6. Luth au Yemen classique. 
Reveries. 'Ud Jamil Ghanim 7. Cithare en Egypte. Le 
Caire. Qanun. Muhammad 'Atiya 'Omar 8. Luth au 
Liban traditionnel. Buzuq. Nasser Makhoul 9. Flute en 
Turquie mystique. Nay. Soufi Hayri Turner 10. Cithare 
en Iran classique. Santur. Fardmarz Payvar. 

(J.-Cl. Ch. Chabrier) 
MAKAM IBRAHIM denotes, according to 
Kur'an, II, 125 (... wa-ttakhidhu min makdmi Ibrahimi 


musallan ...) a place of prayer. Some commen- 
tators interpreted, however, the word musallan as "a 
place of invocations and supplications", a definition 
which would considerably modify the status of the 
place. The reading of the verb in the phrase became 
the subject of discussion. Several scholars read it in 
the perfect tense "... wa-ttakhadhu ...", and they 
rendered it" ... and they took to themselves 
Abraham's station for a place of prayer", linking it 
with the preceding clause" ... and when We ap- 
pointed the House to be a place of visitation for the 
people and shelter and they took to themselves ..." 
(see e.g. Mudjahid, Tafsir, ed. <Abd al-Rahman al- 
Surati, Islamabad n.d., i, 88, 89 n. 1; al-Shawkanl, 
Fath al-kadir, Beirut n.d., i, 138; Ibn Mudjahid, Kitdb 
al-Sab'afi 'l-kird^dt, ed. Shawkl Dayf, Cairo 1972, 
169, no. 45; al- c AynI, 'Umdat al-kdri, Cairo 1348, 
repr. Beirut, ix, 212). In the other version, the verb 
is read as an imperative "... wa-ttakhidhu ..." and 
rendered "... and take to yourselves ..."; this is the 
reading preferred by the majority of Muslim scholars. 
The verse was connected with the person of 'Umar, 
who according to tradition approached the Prophet 
asking him to establish the spot on which the stone 
known as makam Ibrahim was located as a place of 
prayer. After a short interval, God revealed to the 
Prophet the verse of sura II, 125 "... and take to 
yourselves ...". This is one of the miraculous cases in 
which c Umar's advice proved to be congruent with 
the will of God, the Kur'anic verses lending confir- 
mation to his suggestion (see Aba Nu c aym, Hilyat al- 
awliyd\ Cairo 1351/1932, iii, 302, 377, iv, 145; al- 
Tabarani, al-Mu'djam al-saghir, ed. c Abd al-Rahman 
Muhammad 'Uthman, Cairo 1388/1968; al-Muttaki 
al-Hindl, Kanz al-'ummal, Hyderabad 1390/1970, 
xvii, 99, nos. 283-5; al-Fakhr al-RazI, al-Tafsir al- 
Kabir, Cairo n.d., xxiii, 86; Amln Mahmud Khattab, 
Fath al-malik al-ma c bud, takmilat al-manhal al- c adhb 
al-mawrud, sharh sunan al-Imdm Abi Ddwud, Cairo 
1394/1974, ii, 11; al- c AynI, op. cit., ix, 212; al- 
Kurtubl, Tafsir [al-Dxdmi" li-ahkam al-Kur^dn], Cairo 
1387/1967, ii, 112; al-Shawkanl, op. cit., i, 140 inf.; 
Anonymous, Mandkib al-sahdba, ms. Br. Mus., Or. 
8273, fol. 3a). Ibn al-Djawzi is reported to have 
wondered why c Umar had asked for a practice from 
the faith of Abraham (millat Ibrahim) to be introduced 
into the ritual of Islam despite the fact that the Pro- 
phet had forbidden him to quote passages from the 
Torah. Ibn al-Djawzi tries to explain this, saying that 
Abraham is revered in Islam as an imam, the Kur 3 an 
urges people to follow in his steps, the Ka c ba is linked 
with his name and the prints of his feet are like the 
marks of the mason; that is the reason why c Umar 
asked to turn the makam into a place of worship (see 
al- c AynI, op. cit., iv, 145; Ibn Hadjar, Fath al-bari, 
Cairo 1300 [repr. Beirut], viii, 128). One of the com- 
mentators states that the injunction is linked with sura 
II, 122 ("... Children of Israel, remember my bless- 
ing...") and that the Children of Israel are those who 
were addressed by it (al-Fakhr al-RazI, op. cit., i, 
472); another one says that the injunction is incum- 
bent upon the Jews at the time of the Prophet (al- 
Tabari, Tafsir, ed. Mahmud and Muhammad Shakir. 
Cairo n.d., iii, 31); a third commentary connects the 
injunction with II, 124: "... and when his Lord tested 
Abraham ...". According to this last interpretation, 
the makam Ibrahim is one of the words of the Lord by 
which Abraham was tested (al-Shawkanl, op. cit., i, 
139; Ibn Kathlr, Tafsir, Beirut 1385/1966, i, 291). 

There was disagreement among Muslim scholars as 
to the significance of the expression makam Ibrahim. 
Some of them claimed that the expression denotes the 

whole place of the pilgrimage, others said that c Arafa, 
Muzdalifa [q.vv.] and the Djimar are meant; a third 
group maintained that makam Ibrahim refers to c Arafa 
only, while the fourth view identifies it with the Haram 
of Mecca (see e.g. al- c AynI, op. cit., iv, 130, ix, 212; 
Abu 'l-Baka 5 Muhammad b. al-Diya 5 al- c AdawI, 
AhwdlMakka wa 'l-Madina, ms. Br. Mus., Or. 11865, 
fol. 84b; Amln Mahmud Khattab, op. cit. , ii, 11). The 
great majority of the scholars identified makam Ibrahim 
with the stone in the sanctuary of Mecca which com- 
monly bears this name (see e.g. al- c Ayni, op. cit., ix, 
212; A. Spitaler, Ein Kapitelaus den Fada'il al-Qur'an 
von Abu c Ubaid al-Qdsim b. Saldm, in Documenta islamica, 
Berlin 1952, 6, nos. 29-30) and behind which the Pro- 
phet prayed when he performed the circumambula- 
tion of the Ka c ba (see e.g. al-Wakidl, al-Maghdzi, ed. 
M. Jones, London 1966, 1098; ai-Harbl, al-Mandsik, 
ed. Hamad al-Djasir, al-Riyad 1389/1969, 433, 500; 
al-Tabaranl, op. cit., i, 22; Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari, 
al-Kird li-kdsid umm al-kurd, ed. Mustafa al-Sakka, 
Cairo 1390/1970, 342 sup.). 

The sanctity of the stone was enhanced by the fact 
that it bears the footprints of Abraham (see e.g. al- 
Isfara'Ini, Zubdat al-a c mdl wa-khuldsat al-afdl, ms. Br. 
Mus., Or. 3034, fol. 6b). The footprints of the Pro- 
phet had exactly the same size as the footprints in the 
makam (see e.g. al-TabarsI, IHdm al-ward, ed. c Ali 
Akbar al-Ghaffari, Tehran 1379, 73; al-Kazarunl, 
Siral al-nabi, ms. Br. Mus. Add. 18499, fols. 70b, 88a, 
89a). Some traditions say that the miracle of 
Abraham's footprints in the stone appeared when 
Abraham built the Ka c ba; when the walls became too 
high he mounted the makam which miraculously rose 
and went down in order to let Isma c fl hand him the 
stones for the building (see e.g. al-Sindjari, MandHh 
al-karam bi-akhbdr Makka wa 'l-Haram, ms. Leiden, Or. 
7018, fol. 22b; al-Sayyid al-Bakrl, Fdnat al-ldlibin c ald 
hall alfdz fath al-mu c in, Cairo 1319, repr. Beirut, ii, 295 
inf. -296 sup.; al-Isfara'Inl, op. cit., fol. 83b; al- 
Khargushl, Lawdmi<, ms. Vatican, Arab. 1642, fol. 
67b; al-Suyuti, al-Hdwi li 'l-fatdwi, ed. Muhammad 
Muhyl al-DIn <Abd al-Hamid, Cairo 1378/1959, ii, 
201; al-Salihl, Subul al-hudd wa ' l-rashdd fi sirat khayr 
al-Hbdd, ed. Mustafa c Abd al-Wahid, Cairo 
1392/1972, i, 181; Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari, op. cit, 
343); other traditions claim that the miracle occurred 
when the wife of Isma c II washed the head of Abraham 
(see e.g. al-Mas c udI, Ithbdt al-wasiyya, Nadjaf 
1374/1955, 39 inf.-40 sup.; Abu '1-Baka 3 al- c AdawI, 
op. cit., fol. 85a; al- c Ayni, op. cit., ix, 212); a third 
tradition says that it happened when Abraham 
mounted the makam in order to summon the people to 
perform the pilgrimage to Mecca (see e.g. Abu '1- 
Baka 3 al- c AdawI, loc. cit.;. al-Salihl, op. cit., i, 184-5; 
anon., <Arf al-tib, ms. Leiden, Or. 493, fol. 70a; 
Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari, op. cit. , 342; al-Sindjari, op. 
cit., fol. 28b; al-MadjlisI, Bihdr al-anwdr, Tehran 1388, 
xcix, 182, 188). Certain traditions affirm that 
Abraham took the stone as a kibla [q.v.\; he prayed at 
the stone turning his face to the Ka c ba (see e.g. al- 
Isfara'Inl, op. cit.,io\. 83b; Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari, 
loc. cit.; Abu 'l-Baka 3 al- c AdawI, loc. cit.). Some 
scholars, however, defined the stone merely as a 
means to mark the kibla, bidding the believer to have 
the stone placed in front of himself while facing the 
Ka c ba (al- c AynI, op. cit., iv, 130: fa-inna 'l-makdma in- 
namdyakunu kiblatan idhd dja c alahu al-musalli baynahu wa- 
bayn al-kibla). Certain scholars pointed out that the 
prayer at the makam is not obligatory (al- c AynI, op. 
cit., ix, 212: wa-hiya '■aid wadjh al-ikhliydr wa 'l-istihbdb 
dun al-wudjub ...). 

Numerous traditions about the qualities and virtues 


of the makam report that the stone was sent down from 
Heaven, that supplications at the makam will be 
answered and sins will be forgiven (see e.g. al-Salihl, 
op. cit. , i, 204; al-Sindjarl, op. cit. , fol. 23b; anon., c Arf 
al-tib, fol. 73b; al-MadjlisI, op. cit., xcix, 219, 230, 
231; al-Fasi, Tuhfat al-kiram, ms. Leiden Or. 2654, 
fol. 66b; Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabaii, op. cit., 324; al- 
Shibll, Mahdsin al-wasdHl fi ma'rifat al-awdHl, ms. Br. 
Mus., Or. 1530, fol. 38b; al-Isfara >InI, Zubdat al- 
a'mal, fols. 76b-77a; al-Kh w arazmI, Mukhtasar itkdrat 
al-targhib ma 'l-tashwik, m s. Br. Mus., Or. 4584, fols. 
lla-13a; al-KazwInl, Athar al-bildd, Beirut 1382/1962, 
118; Ibn Abl Shayba, al-Musannaf, Hyderabad 
1390/1970, iv, 108-9; c Abd al-Razzak, al-Musannaf, 
ed. Hablb al-Rahman al-A'zaml, Beirut 1392/1972, 
v, 32, no. 8890; al-Sayyid al-Bakrl, op. cit., ii, 295). 
The sanctity of the makam was associated with that of 
the rukn and with zamzam; 99 prophets are buried at 
this spot, among them Hud, Salih, Nuh and Isma'fl 
(see e.g. al-Sindjarl, op. cit., fol. 26a; al-Suyufl, al- 
Durr al-manthur, Cairo 1314, i, 136). Prayer at the 
graves was permitted on the ground that this was a 
cemetery of prophets; as prophets are alive in their 
graves, prayer is not only permitted but even 
meritorious (cf. al-Sayyid al-Bakri, op. cit., ii, 277). 
Scholars criticised the practice of kissing the stone, 
stroking it, and even performing a kind of circumam- 
bulation round it (see Ibn Abl Shayba, op. cit. , iv, 61, 
116; Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari, p. cit, 357, no. 109; 
anon., c Arf al-tib, loc. cit.; but see Ibn Djubayr, al- 
Rihla, Beirut 1388/1968, 55, ... tabarraknd bi-lamsihi 
wa-takbilihi ...). 

The makam is a stone of small dimensions: 60 cm. 
wide by 90 cm. high (see the data recorded by al-Fasi, 
Tuhfat al-kiram, fol. 67a; measured by al-Fasi anno 753 
AH; and see al-Sindjarl, op. cit., fol. 23a). It is now 
"closely surrounded by glass and bars set into a 
polygonal base, the whole structure, capped by a 
much narrower kind of 'helmet', being about three 
yards above ground level" (A. J. Wensinck- 
J. Jomier, art. ka c ba). In the early periods of Islam, 
the stone, encased in a wooden box, was placed on a 
high platform so as to prevent its being swept by a tor- 
rent. During the prayer led by the ruler or his deputy, 
the box used to be lifted and the makam shown to the 
people attending the prayer; after the prayer, the box 
was again locked and placed in the Ka c ba (cf. al- 
MukaddasI, 72). It was sad to see how al-Hadjdjadj 
tried with his leg to set up the makam Ibrahim back to 
its place after it had moved (see c Abd al-Razzak, op. 
cit., v, 49, no. 8959). 

In 160/777 the makam was brought to the abode of 
al-Mahdl in Mecca when he performed the 
pilgrimage. In the next year, when the makam was 
raised carelessly by one of its keepers, it fell down and 
cracked; it was repaired at the order of al-Mahdi and 
its upper and lower parts were braced with gold. Al- 
Mutawakkil in 241/855-6 improved the pedestal of the 
makam, embellished the makam itself with gold and 
ordered the building of a cupola over the makam (cf. 
al-Sindjarl, op. cit, fol. 120b). In 252/866 the makam 
was stripped of its gold by the governor of Mecca 
Dja c far b. al-Fadl; the gold was then melted down for 
minting dinars, which he spent in his struggle against 
the rebel Isma c il b. Yusuf b. Ibrahim (see al-Sindjarl, 
op. cit, fols. 120a ult. - 120b, 121a; on Isma c fl b. 
Yusuf, see al-Fasi, al-'-Ikd al-thamin, ed. Fu'ad Sayyid, 
Cairo 1383/1963, iii, 311, no. 783). A thorough 
restoration of the makam was carried out in 256/870 by 
the governor C A1I b. al-Hasan al-Hashiml (see on him 
al-Fasi, op. cit, vi, 151, no. 2050). Al-Fakihl gives a 
detailed description of the stone in its place (cf . Le Mu- 

seon, lxxxiv [1971], 477-91). When the stone was 
brought to the dar al-imdra, al-Fakihl noticed the in- 
scription on it and tried to copy parts of it. R. Dozy 
reproduced the inscription and tried to decipher it (R. 
Dozy, Die hraeliten zu Mekka, Leipzig 1864, 155-61). 
His reading and interpretation are implausible (Prof. 
J. Naveh's opinion, communicated verbally). 

Lengthy and heated discussions took place among 
the scholars about the place of the makam. The tradi- 
tions about whether the stone was established in its 
place are divergent and even contradictory (see e.g. 
Ibn Abi 'l-Hadld, Sharh Nahdj. al-balagha, ed. Muham- 
mad Abu '1-Fadl Ibrahim, Cairo 1964, xii, 160; al- 
Kuda c I, Ta\ikh, Bodleian ms. Pococke 270, fol. 58a; 
al-Harbl, al-Mandsik, ed. Hamad al-Djasir, 500; al- 
Shibli, op. cit. , fol. 38a-b; al-Muttakl al-Hindi, op. 
cit, xvii, 97-9, nos, 278-81; Ibn Hibban al-Bustl, al- 
Thikdt, Hyderabad 1395/1975, ii, 218; <Abd al- 
Rahman b. Abl Hatim al-RazI, c Ilal al-hadith, ed. 
Muhibb al-DIn al-Khaflb, Cairo 1343, i, 298). These 
traditions were divided by al-Sindjari into five groups. 
According to some reports, c Umar was the first who 
removed the stone. Others say that in the time of 
Abraham the stone was in the same place as it is now, 
but in the time of the Djahiliyya it had been attached 
to the Ka c ba and so it remained during the periods of 
the Prophet and of Abu Bakr and for some time dur- 
ing the caliphate of c Umar, who returned it to its pro- 
per place. A third series of traditions claims that the 
Prophet removed the stone from its original place 
(next to the Ka c ba) and put it in its present location. 
A fourth tradition maintains that c Umar moved the 
stone to its present place and returned it to the same 
spot after it had been swept away by a torrent. Final- 
ly, some scholars say that the makam has always been 
in the place where it is nowadays; c Umar re-installed 
it to this place after it was swept away by a torrent (see 
al-Sindjarl, op. cit. , fols. 23a-b, 76b-78a). A tradition 
which contains new aspects of the location of the 
makam is recorded by Ibn Kathir. The stone was in the 
Ka c ba; the Prophet took it out of the Ka c ba and at- 
tached it to its wall (i.e. of the Ka c ba). Then he said, 
"O people, this is the kibla" (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, ii, 
322). It is noteworthy that in this tradition there is no 
mention of c Umar, of his advice or of the changes car- 
ried out by him. It is quite plausible that c Umar's 
change had to be legitimised and duly justified. 
Muhibb al-DIn al-Tabari tries to explain this 
discrepancy by reporting that c Umar inquired after 
the death of the Prophet about the place in which 
Abraham put the stone. In the time of the Prophet, 
the stone was indeed attached to the wall of the Ka c ba; 
but c Umar was aware of the Prophet's will to follow 
the sunna of Abraham, and returned the makam to its 
original place, the place in which it had been put by 
Abraham (al-Kird, 347; quoted by Abu 'l-Baka 3 
al- c AdawI, Ahwdl Makka wa 'l-Madina, fols. 86b-87a). 
A divergent report is recorded by al-Sindjari on the 
authority of Ibn Suraka. Between the door of the 
Ka c ba and the place of Adam's prayer (where God ac- 
cepted his repentance) there were nine cubits; it was 
the place of makam Ibrahim and there the Prophet per- 
formed two rak'-as after finishing the tawdf and after 
receiving the relevation of the verse "... and take the 
makam Ibrahim as a place of prayer. . . " . It was the Pro- 
phet himself who later removed the stone to the place 
where it is nowadays, sc. at a distance of 20 cubits 
from the Ka c ba (al-Sindjarl, op. cit , fol. 77a). Instruc- 
tive is the report of Ibn Djubayr. The ditch (hufra) at 
the door of the Ka c ba (in which the water gathers 
when the Ka c ba is washed) is the place of the makam 
in the time of Abraham; the place is crowded by 


believers who pray there; the stone was moved by the 
Prophet to the present place (see al-Rihla, 55 inf. - 56; 
al-Sindjan, op. cit., fol. 78a). The change of the place 
of the makam and the possibility that the stone should 
be moved to another place of the haram led to a distur- 
bing question: would it be incumbent upon the 
believer to pray, in such a case, in the new place (since 
the injunction clearly makes it necessary to take the 
makam as a place of prayer), or to stick to the original 
place? (See al-Sindjan, op. cit., lib and also fol. 78a: 
the former makam occupied half of the ditch (hu/ra) at 
the hiajr). 

Shi' I scholars were aware of the change carried out 
by c Umar. Shi'I imams are said to have recommended 
prayer at the former place of the makam Ibrahim. This 
"former place" is described as being between the rukn 
al-Hraki and the door of the Ka c ba. Second in merit is 
the prayer behind the present makam (cf. al-MadjlisI, 
op. cit., xcix, 230, no. 4, 231 nos. 6-7). Ibn Babawayh 
sketches the history of the changes as follows. 
Abraham attached the stone to the Ka c ba, stood on it 
and summoned the people to perform the pilgrimage 
to Mecca; on that occasion his footprints were mould- 
ed in the stone. The people of the Djahiliyya then 
removed the stone and put it in its present place in 
order to make the circumambulation of the Ka c ba 
easier. When the Prophet was sent, he reinstalled the 
makam in the place where it had been put by 
Abraham. c Umar asked where its location had been 
during the period of the Djahiliyya. and returned it to 
that place; hence the present place of the makam 
Ibrahim is the same as it was in the time of the 
Djahiliyya (see Ibn Babawayh, '■Hal al-shardV, ed. 
Muhammad Sadik Bahr al- c ulum, Nadjaf 1385/1966, 
423, bdb 160; quoted by al-MadjlisI, op. cit. , xcix, 232, 
no. 1; cf. anon., untitled ms. Vatican Arab. 1750, fol. 

Some traditions related by al-Fakihi add certain 
peculiar details about the change carried out by 
c Umar. A report traced back to Sa c id b. Djubayr says 
that Abraham placed the stone in front of the Ka c ba. 
c Umar removed the stone and placed it in its present 
spot, as he was afraid that people performing the tawdf 
might tread on it; it is now facing the former makam. 
Another report given on the authority of Hisham b. 
c Urwa and transmitted to him by his father c Urwa 
says that the Prophet prayed facing the Ka c ba; after- 
wards, both Abu Bakr and c Umar in the early part of 
his caliphate prayed in the same direction. But later, 
c Umar announced that God, blessed He is and lofty, 
says "... and take to yourselves the makam Ibrahim as 
a place of prayer . . . " ; thereafter, he moved the stone 
to the (present) place of the makam (al-Fakihi, Ta^rikh 
Makka, fol. 331a). Both these reports recorded by al- 
Fakihl are sober, concise and devoid of miraculous 
features or of obligatory divine injunctions, and 
deserve a fair degree of confidence. The conclusion 
must be that it was c Umar who relocated the place of 
the makam, probably out of pragmatic considerations. 
The latest change in the place of the makam has been 
carried out by the Sa c udi government: the makam was 
moved to the rear in order to widen the path for the 
circumambulation of the Ka c ba (see in al-Harbi, op. 
cit., 500, n. 2 of Hamad al-Djasir). 

Bibliography: In addition to references given 

in the text, see the bibl. in LeMuseon, lxxxiv (1971), 

477-91. (M. J. Kister) 

MAKAMA, a purely and typically Arabic 

literary genre. The word is generally translated as 

"assembly" or "session" (Fr. "seance"), but this is 

an approximation which does not convey exactly the 

complex nature of the term. 

Semantic evolution of the term. The 
semantic study of this vocable for the period previous 
to the creation of the genre is complicated by the fact 
that the plural makdmat, which is frequently used, is 
common to two nouns, makdma and makam [q.v.]. Both 
are derived from the radical k-v»-m, which implies the 
idea of "to rise, to stand in order to perform an ac- 
tion", but which is often weakened in that it simply 
marks the beginning of an action, whether the agent 
rises or not, and even loses its dynamic sense 
altogether, taking on the static sense of "to stay in a 
place". Makam occurs fourteen times in the Kur'an 
with the general sense of "abode, a place where one 
stays", more specifically in the beyond, but in one 
verse (XIX, 74/73), where it is used in conjunction 
with nadi, "tribal council", it must refer to a meeting 
of important people; the same applies to a verse of 
Zuhayr b. Abl Sulma (Cheikho, Shu c ara> al- 
Nasrdniyya, 573, v. 6: makdmat ... andiya). Otherwise, 
from the archaic period onward, makam naturally con- 
veyed the sense of "situation, state", and, in a verse 
of Ka c b b. Zuhayr (Banat Su^dd, ed. and tr. R. Basset, 
Algiers 1910, v. 41), the makam of the poet, which is 
certainly dramatic, is judged terrifying (ha HI) by the 
commentator. It is probable that an analysis of an- 
cient poetry would supply more precise and il- 
luminating examples, but it seems likely that by 
means of a transference of meaning, starting with "a 
tragic situation", makam came to designate a battle, a 
combat, a melee, and that, as a result of a confusion 

makdma also took on this sense. In a verse of Djarir in 
-si(Sharh DTwdn Qxanr, ed. Sawi, Cairo n. d., 326, v. 
1 of the 2nd poem), makdma seems to signify, not 
magjlis "assembly" (as it is glossed by the editor, who 
confines himself to reproducing the dictionary defini- 
tion), but "battle"; similarly, in a verse of Abu Tam- 
mam in -da (Badr al-tamdm fi sharh Diwdn Abi Tammdm, 
ed. M.I. al-Aswad, Beirut 1347/1928, i, 222, v. 5), 
makdma (read as mukdma by the editor, but glossed as 
"scene of warlike actions") is used in conjunction 
with muHarak and doubtless has the sense of "theatre 
of warlike valour". In other examples of this type it 
is the plural which is attested, and it is not known to 
which singular it corresponds. In any case, it is cer- 
tainly in the sense of "battles, military actions" that 
this plural is to be best understood in a pa 
Kitdb al-Bukhald^ of al-Djahiz (ed. Hadjirl 
rectify accordingly the translation by Pellat, 289), 
where there is a case of Bedouins talking of battles of 
the pre-Islamic period (ayydm [q.v.]) and of makdmat, 

:s of her. 


: people, eloquence was a 
natural feature, and it is not surprising that, by means 
of another transference of meaning, makam should also 
refer to the topics discussed in the course of these 
meetings, then, by extension, to more or less edifying 
addresses delivered before a distinguished audience. 
This evolution is attested, in the 3rd/9th century by 
Ibn Kutayba {q.v.} who, in his '■Uyun al-akhbdr (ii, 
333-43), gives the title Makdmat al-zuhhdd Hnd al- 
khulafd^ wa 'l-muluk to a chapter in which he 
reproduces pious homilies designated, in the singular, 
by the term makam. Before him, the Mu'tazili al-Iskaff 
(d. 240/854 [q.v.]) had written a Kitdb al-Makdmdt fi 
tafdil '■All, and in the following century, al-Mas c udi 
[q.v.] (Murudj_, iv, 441 = § 1744) speaks of homilies by 
C A1T b. Abi Talib and (v, 421 = § 2175) of a sermon 
by c Umar b. <Abd al- c Aziz, delivered on the occasion 
of their makdmat, where it is impossible to tell whether 
the corresponding singular is makam or makdma. 
Whatever the case may be, al-Hamadhanl was 

perhaps thinking primarily of the latter interpreta- 
tion, while retaining in the background the memory of 
the concept of feats of arms when he adopted the term 
makama to designate the speeches, which he considered 
instructive, if not edifying, of Abu '1-Fath al-Iskandari 
and the "sketches", the "sessions", in the course of 
which they are reported by c Isa b. Hisham; then, this 
word came to be applied to a whole genre, and was 
ultimately confused often, as will be seen in due 
course, with risdla [q.v.]. W. J. Prendergast (The Ma- 
qdmdt ofBadi'' al-Zaman al-Hamadhdni, London- Madras 
1915, repr. with introd. by C. E. Bosworth, London- 
Dublin 1973, 11-14) has collected a number of occur- 
rences of makama and makdmdt in poetry and prose pre- 
dating Badl c al-Zaman, but the most exhaustive 
research has been that of R. Blachere, Etude semantique 
sur le nom maqama, in Machriq (1953), 646-52 (repr. in 
Analecta, Damascus 1975, 61-7). 

Birth ofthe genre. In the makdmdt described by 
Ibn Kutayba, it is often a Bedouin or a person of 
rather shabby appearance, although extremely elo- 
quent, who addresses an aristocratic audience. Before 
an audience of common people, an analogous role was 
performed by the kdss [q.v.], who originally delivered 
edifying speeches but, as is well-known, in the course 
of time soon took on the dual function of storyteller 
and mountebank, whose activity was to a certain x- 
tent comparable to that of the mukaddi [q.v.], the 
wandering beggar or vagrant who went from town to 
town and easily gathered around him an audience 
who rewarded him financially for the fascinating 
stories that he told. It seems probable that the first to 
introduce these colourful characters into Arabic 
literature was al-Djahiz [q.v.], who devoted a long 
treatment to them in the Kitdb al-Bukhala ' and wrote 
at least two other pieces on the stratagems of thieves 
(Hiyal al-lusus) and of beggars (Hiyal al-mukaddin), of 
which al-Bayhakl (Mahdsin, ed. Schwally, i, 521-3, 
622-4) has preserved extracts which are unfortunately 
very short (see Pellat, Arabische Geisteswelt, Ziirich- 
Stuttgart 1967 = The life and works ofjdhiz, London- 
Berkeley-Los Angeles 1969, texts xlii and xliii). The 
interest taken by the aristocracy and men of letters, 
not only in the popular classes, but also in members 
ofthe "milieu" is remarkably illustrated by the Kasida 
sdsdniyya of Abu Dulaf al-KhazradjI(4th/10th century) 
[q.v.] which has given C. E. Bosworth occasion to 
write a masterly work ( The medieval underworld, the Band 
Sasdn in Arabic society and literature, Leiden 1976, 2 vols.) 
to which the reader must be referred; he will find 
there, in particular, a very well-documented first 
chapter on vagabonds and beggars, as well as a discus- 
sion (97-9) of opinions regarding the birth of the 
makama. In the formation of the latter it is in fact 
possible to discern a certain influence from earlier 
literature relating to the adventures of some marginal 
elements of society, and in particular from the kasida 
of Abii Dulaf (cf. al-Tha'alibl. Yatima, Damascus 
1885, iii, 176). To this influence there should no 
doubt be added that of mimes [see hikaya], since the 
makama contains an undeniable theatrical element, at 
least in the make-up of the hero and the posture of the 
narrator. Recently, A. F. L. Beeston (The genesis ofthe 
maqamat genre, in Journal of Arabic literature, ii [1972], 
1-12) has endeavoured to show that the reputation of 
al-Hamadhani has been to some extent exaggerated 
and that the anecdotal literature represented especial- 
ly by the Faradi ba c d al-shidda of his contemporary 
al-Tanukhl (329-84/939-94 [q.v.]) also presented 
persons of pitiable appearance who prove to be en- 
dowed with an exceptional talent for oratory. The 
contrast between the external appearance and elo- 

quence or wisdom is a commonplace of adab, and 
while the anecdotal literature discussed by Beeston 
has certainly exercised an influence, it has not been 
the only one to do so. 

As early as 1915, Prendergast (op. laud., 6) had 
drawn attention to and translated a subsequently well- 
known passage of the Zahr al-dddb (ed. Z. Mubarak, 
Cairo 1344, i, 235; ed. BudjawT, Cairo 1972/1953, i, 
261) of al-Husri (d. 413/1022 [q.v.]), who states that 
al-Hamadhani imitated ('drada) the forty hadiths, of 
Ibn Durayd [q.v.] and composed four hundred "ses- 
sions" on the theme of the kudya, the activity of the 
mukaddun. After Margoliouth had, in the first edition 
of the EI (s.v. al-hamadhani), given credit to this 
passage, Z. Mubarak, in 1930, adopted the same 
point of view in al-Muktataf (lxxvi, 412-20, 561-4) and 
reproduced it in his thesis on La prose arabe au IV' siecle 
(Paris 1931), while, in the same volume of the 
Muktafaf (588-90), Sadik al-Rafi c I refuted his 
arguments by emphasising the weakness of the source 
on which he relied. R. Blachere and P. Masnou (al- 
Hamaddni, choix de Maqamat, Paris 1957, 15) criticise 
the exploitation of the information supplied by al- 
Husri and write that the only conclusion to be drawn 
from it "is that at the end ofthe 10th century or at the 
beginning ofthe 11th, a Muslim scholar discovered a 
link between the 'sessions' of Hamadani and the 
stories attributed to a philologist-poet of Iraq, Ibn 
Duraid"; as Prendergast had done, these authors 
observe that no work of this genre features in the list 
of Ibn Durayd's writings, and C. E. Bosworth, in his 
introduction to the reprinted edition of Prendergast, 
concludes that al-Husri 's information is suspect. 
Powerful evidence in support of this conclusion is sup- 
plied by the silence of a compatriot of the latter, Ibn 
Sharaf (d. 460/1067, q.v.), who at the beginning of his 
MasaHl al-intikdd (ed.-tr. Pellat, Algiers 1953, 5) 
declares that he himself has been inspired by the Kalila 
wa-Dimna, by Sahl b. Harun [q.v.], who also wrote 
about animals, and by Bad! c al-Zaman, but makes no 
mention of Ibn Durayd. 

In another context, in his account of the great rival 
of al-Hamadhani, al-Kh w arazmI [q.v.], Abu Bakr 
(323-83/934-93), Brockelmann (S I, 150) adds, having 
listed the mss. of the RasdHl of this author, "nebst 
Maqdmen, in denen wie bei al-Hamadanl c Isa b. 
Hisam auftritt"; moreover, al-Kalkashandl (Subh, 
xiv, 128-38) reproduces, from the Tadhkira of Ibn 
Hamdun (495-562/1102-66 [q.v.]), a makdma of Abu 
'l-Kasim al-Kh«arazmI in which the author recounts 
his victory over a learned opponent encountered in 
the course of a journey. Even allowing for the fact that 
al-Kalkashandi made a mistake over the kunya of this 
Kh w arazmi, this makama is certainly of a later period 
than the first Seances of Badi c al-Zaman. The same can 
probably be said ofthe Hikaya of Abu '1-Mutahhar al- 
AzdT [q.v. in Suppl.] (A. Mez, Abulkdsim, ein bagddder 
Sittenbild, Heidelberg 1902) of which the connections 
with makama are not clear [see hikaya]. 

Whatever the case may be, it may be asserted that 
the idea ofthe "session" as we know it was in the air 
and that, in the absence of information to the con- 
trary, the first to have adopted it for the creation of a 
new literary genre was, as all the critics agree, al- 
Hamadhani (358-98/968-1008 [q.v.]). It does not 
seem obligatory, in fact, to search desperately for a 
model whenever an innovation appears, since the 
most elementary justice demands that allowance be 
made for personal invention. Prendergast (op. laud. , 
20-1) poses the question as to whether Badi c al- 
Zaman owes anything to Greek or Byzantine models, 
but considers such influence totally improbable and 

concludes that "the same demons of difficulty, 
obscurity and pedantry entered the orators and poets 
of both nations in different periods". This assess- 
ment, the accuracy of which will become apparent in 
the course of the study of the evolution of the makama, 
cannot, however, be fully applied to al-Hamadhanl. It 
is undeniable that this author was, in the framework 
of Arabic literature and Arab-Islamic society in 
general, subject to various influences, but he should 
be given credit for having succeeded, through a com- 
mendable work of synthesis, in setting in motion two 
principal characters charged with precise roles, in par- 
ticular a hero who symbolises a whole social category. 

Structure of the original makama. From the 
point of view of form, this genre is characterised, in 
the work of its initiator, by the almost invariable use 
of sadf [q.v.], of rhymed and rhythmic prose 
(sometimes blended with verse) which, in the 4th/ 10th 
century, tended to become the almost universal mode 
of literary expression, especially in the class of ad- 
ministrative secretaries to which al-Hamadhanl 
belonged, and was to remain so until the end of the 
19th century. As regards the structure of an individual 
makama, the fundamental characteristic is the ex- 
istence of a hero (in this case Abu '1-Fath al-Iskandarl) 
whose adventures and eloquent speeches are related 
by a narrator (in this case c Isa b. Hisham) to the 
author who, in turn, conveys them to his readers. As 
Abd El-Fattah Kilito has quite correctly observed in a 
suggestive article (he genre "seance" , in St. hi., xliii 
[1976], 25-51), in the makama, a text is obtained 
through the research of a rdwi and transmitted 
through a second raw! (the author), in such a way that 
the mode of transmission recalls that of ancient poetry 
and, still more precisely, that of haditt, with the dif- 
ference that the text, the person who speaks it and the 
first rawi are fictitious. In a typical makama, Kilito 
adds (48), the order of events is as follows: arrival of 
the rawi in a town, encounter with the disguised baligh 
(the eloquent man = the hero), speech, reward, 
recognition, reproach, justification, parting. It need 
hardly be said that this general scheme does not apply 
invariably to all the makamat of al-Hamadhanl. still 
less to those of his successors. From the start, this 
literary form was employed to cover a great variety of 
subjects: criticism of ancient and modern poets, of 
prose-writers like Ibn al-Mukaffa c and al-Djahiz, of 
the Mu c tazills, exposure of the sexual slang and 
jargon of vagabonds, display of lexicographical 
knowledge, etc.; six makamat of Badl c al-Zaman 
celebrate the author's benefactor, Khalaf b. Ahmad, 
the ruler of Sidjistan, to whom Margoliouth (art. cit.) 
believes that the whole work may have been 
dedicated. It is not, however, certain that all these 
compositions were put together in a compilation con- 
stituted ne varietur. In fact, Ibn Sharaf (op. laud. , 5) 
counts no more than twenty of them and adds that 
they were not all available to him, while al- 
Hamadhanl (RasdHl, Beirut 1890, 390, 516), quoted 
by al-Tha c alibi (Yatlma, Damascus 1885, iv, 168) and 
al-Husri (see above), claims to have written four hun- 
dred of them, which is highly improbable; current edi- 
tions contain fifty-one each (fifty-two in all), so that 
fifty may be reckoned the average number of makamat 
of Badi c al-Zaman in circulation in the Middle Ages; 
the figure of fifty was subsequently considered ar- 
tificially to be a traditional characteristic and was 
respected by numerous imitators of al-Harlri (see 
below), who had himself adopted it. 

In summary, the original makama appears to be 
characterised fundamentally by the almost exclusive 
use of rhymed prose (with the insertion of verse) and 

the presence of two imaginary persons, the hero and 
the narrator. As for its content, this appears to be a 
complex amalgam having recourse to numerous 
genres such as the sermon, description, poetry in 
various forms, the letter, the travelogue, the dialogue, 
the debate, etc., which allowed the successors of al- 
Hamadhani the greatest of latitude in the choice of 

Development of the genre. These authors 
had no difficulty in obeying the exigencies of the form, 
namely rhymed prose, but it was not long before they 
indulged in verbal acrobatics, the first manifestations 
of which are encountered in the works of the most 
eminent successor of Badi c al-Zaman, al-Harlri 
(446-516/1054-1122 [q.v.]). The latter retains the 
structure created by his predecessor and presents a 
hero and a narrator, but many of his imitators were 
to dispense with the former character, if not with 
both. The diversity of themes dealt with in primitive 
makamat set the scene for the exploitation of the genre 
for the most varied of purposes and we shall see that 
if the objective of the genre is that of the authentic 
adab, seeking to instruct through entertainment, by 
means of a harmonious blending of the serious and the 
joking (al-djidd wa 'l-hazl [q.v.]), many makamat 
deviate from this purpose and in this respect follow the 
evolution of the adab which has a tendency either to 
neglect the djidd or to forget the hazl. 

Furthermore, some compositions corresponding 
approximately to the exigencies of this genre are 
known by other names, such as risaia or hadith, while 
some so-called makamat show none of the fundamental 
features of "sessions". What has happened is an 
evolution similar to that of the word tabakat, which 
after usually designating biographical works arranged 
according to generation (fabaka), is ultimately applied 
to those which follow alphabetical order. A confusion 
between risaia and makama is already visible in the 
Risalat al-TawaW- wa 'l-zawabi 1 - of Ibn Shuhayd 
(382-426/992-1035 [q.v.]), who was well-acquainted 
with Bad! c al-Zaman since he makes use of his sahib, 
his inspiring spirit (ed. B. al-Bustani, Beirut 1951, 
172-4); J. Vernet goes so far as to assert (Literatura 
drabe, Barcelona n.d., 1 1 4) that he was inspired by the 
makama iblisiyya in the writing of his Risaia, which in 
effect contains two features of the "sessions", rhymed 
prose and the presence of a companion of the author, 
in this case a genie who questions the tawabi'- of 
various representatives of Arabic literature. Other 
evidence is supplied at an early date by Ibn Sharaf 
(see above) who gives the title hadith to his composi- 
tions, while one manuscript of the surviving fragment 
bears the title Masd HI al-intikdd and another, Rasa HI 
ol-intikad; the subject-matter comprises questions of 
literary criticism articulated by a scholar expressing 
his opinions of ancient and modern poets, somewhat 
in the style of al-Hamadhanl, but without an in- 
termediary rawi (see Ihsan c Abbas, TaMkh al-nakd al- 
adabi Hnd al-^Arab, Beirut 1391/1971, 460-9). 

These two authors were writing in al-Andalus 
where, on the other hand, the word makama was to be 
used "to designate any rhetorical exercise in rhymed 
verse, with or without an ingredient of poetry, 
whatever the theme inspiring it: congratulating a 
recently-appointed provincial judge, accompanying a 
basket of first-fruits sent as a gift, describing a land- 
scape, recounting an incident of minimal importance 
or the perils of a journey, giving praise or blame or 
simply indulging in caprice, as an antidote to 
boredom. Any theme is considered valid, and this 
type of composition, laden to the point of asphyxia 
with all the devices of language, erudition and pedan- 

try and well-nigh indecipherable, is indiscriminately 
called risdla or makama, without any account being 
taken of the theme (if indeed it has one...)" (F. de la 
Granja, Maqdmas y risdlas andaluzas, Madrid 1976, p. 
xiv). The above remarks could equally well be applied 
to many of the oriental makamdt. 

History of the genre. Independently of the al- 
Kh w arazmT mentioned above, whose dates cannot be 
precisely established, a contemporary of al- 
Hamadhanl, Ibn Nubata al-Sa c di (d. 405/1014) wrote 
a "session" which is preserved in Berlin (see 
Brockelmann, I, 95; Blachere and Masnou, op. laud., 
39 and n. 1), but it cannot be said whether it is an im- 
itation or an original work. Again in the 4th/10th cen- 
tury, c Abd al- c Aziz al- c Iraki was the author of a 
makama on the resurrection (Brockelmann, I, 524). 
Chronologically, it is here that one should place Ibn 
Shuhayd (see above) and Ibn Sharaf (see above) who 
confines himself to presenting his hadith in the form of 
the beginning of a dialogue followed by a long 
monologue of the scholar who takes the place of the 
hero and the rdwi; one gains the impression that, for 
this learned Tunisian who made his home in Spain, 
the essential features of makama are rhymed prose and 
the intervention of a fictional character who is an elo- 
quent speaker (baligh). It is thus that many later 
authors interpret the scheme of Badl c al-Zaman, 
when they do not eliminate the hero. In any case, the 
works of Ibn Shuhayd and of Ibn Sharaf. not to men- 
tion the Zahr al-dddb of al-Husri, testify to the rapid 
diffusion of the Makamdt of al-Hamadhani in Ifrikiya 
and al-Andalus where, in the same century, a poet, 
Ibn Fattuh, was the author of a makama on the poets 
of his time which was also presented in the form of a 
dialogue (Ibn Bassam Dhakhira, i/2, 273-88; F. de la 
Granja, op. laud. , 63-77), and where Ibn al-Shahid 
[q.v.] made the account of a journey by a member of 
a group of travellers in a makama [Dhakhira, i/2, 
104-95; F. de la Granja, 81-118) which exercised a 
certain influence on the genre as developed in Hebrew 
(see below). Ibn Bassam (Dhakhira, i/2, 246-57) men- 
tions another makama by Abu Muhammad al-Kurtubl 
(443-83/1051-92; see R. Arie, Notes sur la maqama an- 
dalouse, in Hesperis-Tamuda, ix/2 [1968], 204-5). 

In the east, a close successor of Bad! c al-Zaman, the 
physician Ibn BuUan (d. after 460/1068 [q. v. ]) was the 
author of a Makama fi tadbir al-amra<j. (Brockelmann, S 
I which might well deserv 


le of his 

is Ibn 

Nakiya (410-85/1020-92 [q.v.]), nine of whose 
makamdt are available to us; this author rem 
oneness of the hero and introduces several 
but this plurality would amount to nothing more, ac- 
cording to Blachere and Masnou (39-40), "than a 
mark of respect paid to the model", Badi c al-Zaman, 
to the extent that the possibility of varying the 
methods of narration has been understood (ed. Istan- 
bul 1331; O. Rescher, Beitrdge zur Maqdmen-Literatur , 
iv, 123-52; tr. CI. Huart, in JA, 10th series, xii 
[1908], 435-54). Nevertheless, the most eminent suc- 
cessor of al-Hamadhan! is incontestably al-Hariri 
(446-516/1054-1122 [q.v.]) who gave the genre its 
classic form, freezing it, so to speak, and diverting it 
from its actual function; according only a secondary 
interest to the content and placing his entire emphasis 
on the style which often takes on the nature of 
ponderous obscurity, al-Hariri's ultimate aim is the 
preserving and teaching of the rarest vocabulary, to 
such an extent that some twenty philologists have 
commented on his makamdt and many of his imitators 
accompany their own compositions with lexi- 
cographical commentaries. (In the same way, a 

Maghrib! author was to write 1 2 makamdt in dialectical 
Arabic in order to improve the language spoken in 
southern Algeria; see G. Faure-Biguet and G. 
Delphin, Les seances d'El-Aouali, textes arabes en dialecte 
maghrebin de Mohammed Qabih al-Fa'l (M. le Mauvais su- 
jet), in JA, 11th ser., ii [1913], 285-310, iii [1914], 
303-74, iv [1914], 307-78.) The success of al-Hariri's 
Makamdt, which appealed to the taste of readers to 
such an extent that, after the Kur'an, children were 
made to memorise them, overshadowed those of al- 
Hamadhani, which were too easily intelligible, and 
prompted many later writers to imitate the rhetorical 
artifices invented by al-Hariri (see Prendergast, 22-5; 
Crussard. Etudes sur les Seances de Hariri, Paris 1923; 
Blachere and Masnou, 42-6) and to take such little in- 
terest in the substance that verbal richness remained 
in fact the principal, if not the only specific 
characteristic of this original and fertile literary genre 
in its principle. 

In spite of the specialisation of the term which 
designates it, we still see al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111 
[q. v. ]) in his Makamdt al-'-ulamd 3 baynayaday al-khulafd 3 
wa n-umard^ (ms. Berlin 8537/1) and al-Sam c ani (d. 
562/1167 [?.».]) in his Makamdt al-'-ulamd 1 ' baynayaday 
al-umard 11 (HadjdjT Khalifa, no. 12702), of which the 
titles and content recall the chapter of Ibn Kutayba 
mentioned above, returning to the previous notion of 
makdm/makdma = "pious discourse"; the same applies 
to al-Zamakhsharl (467-538/1074-1143 [q.v.]), who, 
while appearing to take his inspiration from al- 
Hamadhani and al-Hariri, composed fifty makamdt in 
which he addresses to himself a number of moral ex- 
hortations, also entitled Nasd^ih al-kibdr; they would 
appear to testify to the repentance of the author who 
has decided, after an illness, to renounce profane 
literature (see Brockelmann, S I, 511; Blachere and 
Masnou, 40-1; ed. Cairo 1312, 1325; tr. Rescher, 
Beitrdge, vi, 1913), but, unable to forget that he is also 
a philologist, he produces a commentary on his own 
compositions (Yakut, Udabd\ xix, 133). 

Two authors of the 6th/12th century are also 
credited with makamdt composed in imitation of al- 
Hariri: al-Hasan b. Saff, nicknamed Malik al-Nuhat 
('489-568/1095-1173; see Yakut, Udaba\ viii, 123-4; 
al-Suyuti, Bughya, 220) and Ahmad b. Djamu (d. 
577/1182) of Baghdad, whose only work cited by 
Yakut (Udaba\ ii, 282) is a Kitab Makdmdt. 

The work of al-Hariri soon became known in 
Spain, where the most celebrated commentary on it, 
that of al-Sharishl (d. 619/1222 [q.v.]), was written. 
These makamdt were already being imitated there, ap- 
parently, by a slightly younger contemporary of their 
author, Ibn al-Ashtarkuwi (d. 538/1143) in al- 
Makdmdt al-Sarakustiyya, which numbering the 
henceforward traditional fifty, may perhaps be, 
according to F. de la Granja (op. laud. , p. xiii) the only 
Spanish ones which conform to the classical norms; in 
addition, the other title by which they are known, 
Kitab al-Khamsin makama al-luzumiyya, could be an in- 
dication of the influence of al-Ma'arri and of his 
Luzumiyydt (cf. luzum ma la yalzam; A. M. 
al- c AbbadI, in RIEEIM, ii/1-2 [1954], 161); two of 
them, which deal with literary criticism, have been the 
object of a study on the part of Ihsan c Abbas (op. laud. , 
500-1), but the others would doubtless merit closer ex- 
amination (on the mss., see Brockelmann, S I, 543). 
It was also at the beginning of the 6th/12th century 
that the wazir Abu c Amir Ibn Arkam composed a 
makama in praise of the Almoravid amir of Granada 
Tamlm b. Yusuf b. Tashffn (see R. Arie, art. cit., 
206); judging by the fragment which has been 
preserved by al-Fath b. Khakan (Kald^id al-Hkyan, ed. 

Paris, repr. Tunis 1966, 153-4), this composition in 
rhymed prose is related to the rahil of the kasida, but 
there appears in it a fictitious person who engages the 
author in a discussion on the mamduh. Al-Fath b. 
Khakan himself (d. ca. 529/1134 [q.v.]) composed a 
makdma on his master al-BatalyawsT (H. Derenbourg, 
Mss. de I'Escurial, 538), and Ibn Khayr al-Ishbill 
(502-75/1108-79 [q.v.]) mentions in his Fahrasa (328, 
450) a further seven makdmat written by the wazir Abu 
'1-Hasan Sallam al-Bahili (see al- c Abbadi, art. cit., 
162; R. Arie, art. cit., 205). For his part, al-Makkari 
(Azhdr al-riydd, ed. Cairo 1361/1942, iii, 15) attributes 
a number of them to afakih of Granada named °Abd 
al-Rabman b. Ahmad b. al-Kasir (d. 576/1180; see 
Arie, 206). In Spain in the 6th/12th century, we may 
note (Ibn al-Abbar,_ Takmila, 407) a further two 
makdmds by al-Wadi Ashl (d. 553/1 158), one of which 
is written in praise of the kadi c Iyad 
(476-544/1083-1149 [q.v.]), but, contrary to a 
widespread opinion, this eminent person is neither the 
author nor the dedicatee of al-Makama al-dawhiyya or 
al-Hyddiyya al-ghazaliyya which is the work of Muham- 
mad b. c Iyad al-Sabti and of which Ibn Sa c id has 
preserved a few lines (see F. de la Granja, op. laud. , 
121-8). Ibn Ghalib al-Rusafi (d. 572/1177) composed 
a Makarna fi wasf al-kalam of which a brief surviving 
fragment has been edited and translated by F. de la 
Granja (131-7). It was very probably in Syria that Ibn 
Muhriz al-Wahranl (d. 575/1 1 79) wrote al-Makama al- 
fdsiyya, in which the hero is questioned about a 
number of real actual people who are characterised in 
a few sometimes incisive lines (ed. S. A c rab, in al- 
Bahth al-Hlmi, Rabat, no. 5 [1965], 195-204). 

Too much attention should not be given to the 
Makamdt sufiyya of al-Suhrawardi al-Maktul (d. 
587/1191 [q.v.]) which deal with Sufi terminology 
(Brockelmann, S I, 783), even less to the Makamdt or 
Stages on the Mystic Way, of another Suhrawardi, 
Abu Hafs c Umar (d. 632/1234 [q.v.]). Neither shall 
we enlarge on the various collections of Makamdt deal- 
ing with mystical ethics rightly or wrongly ascribed 
(see O. Yahia, Histoire et classification de I'ceuvre d'Ibn 
'Arabi, Damascus 1964, nos 415, 416, 417) to Ibn 
'Arab! (560-638/1165-1240 [q.v.]). 

Abu 'l-'Ala 3 Ahmad b. Abl Bakr al-RazI al-Hanaff, 
who dedicated thirty "sessions" to the grand kadi 
Muhyi '1-DIn al-Shahrazuri, seems to belong to the 
end of the 6th/12th century. He strives to imitate al- 
Hamadhanl and al-Hariri, like them presenting a 
hero and a narrator, but he uses simpler language; he 
is fond of rich descriptions of a high-spirited nature 
which are not always free of obscenity and he com- 
poses makamdt which go together in pairs and are 
mutually explanatory (ed. Rescher, Beitrdge, iv, 

At the beginning of the 7th/13th century, attention 
may be drawn to al-Makama al-mawlawiyya al-sdhibiyya 
of al-Wazir al-Sahib Safa 5 al-DIn, which deals with 
judicial questions (Brockelmann, S I, 490; ed. 
Rescher, Beitrdge, iv, 153-99), then to an imitation of 
al-Hariri's work, al-Makdmdt al-zayniyya, fifty in 
number, composed in 672/1273 by al-Djazari (d. 
701/1301 [q.v. in Suppl.]). In the course of the same 
century, the names of Ibn Karnas (ca. 672/1273), of 
al-Bara c I (ca. 674/1275) and of al-Kadl Hashid (ca. 
690/1291) are mentioned by Brockelmann (I, 278), as 
well as those of the young poet al-Shabb al-Zarif 
(661-88/1263-89 [q.v.]), author of the amorously- 
inspired Makamdt al-'u shsh dk (S I, 458), and Ibn al- 
A c ma (d. 692/1293) who wrote a Makdma bahriyya (S 
I, 445). His contemporary Zahir al-Kazaruni (d. 
697/1298) presents a narrator and a hero who visits 
' with him and describes some early customs 

in a Makarna fi kawd'id Baghdad fi 'l-dawla al- 
'Abbdsiyya, published by K. and M. c Awwad, in al- 
Mawrid, viii/4 (1979), 427-40. Ibn al-Sa'igh 
(645-722/1247-1322) is credited with a Makdma 
shihdbiyya which did not survive. 

In the 8th/ 14th century, imitations seem to pro- 
liferate, often applying to religious or parenetic sub- 
jects. In 730/1229, Ibn al-Mu c azzam al-RazI is still 
using the term makdm which we have encountered in 
the work of Ibn Kutayba in the title of his twelve com- 
positions, al-Makdmdt al-ithnd'ashar (ed. Hara'iri, 
Paris 1282/1865, Tunis 1303; Brockelmann, II, 192, 
S II, 255); the Tunisian-born Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (d. 
734/1334 [q.v.]) celebrates the Prophet and his Com- 
panions in al-Makdmdt al-'-aliyya fi 'l-kardmdt al-djaliyya. 
Shams al-DIn al-Dimashkl (d. 727/1327) puts the 
form of the makdma to a mystical purpose in al- 
Makdmdt al-jalsajiyya wa-tardjamat al-$ufiyya which are 
fifty in number (Brockelmann, S II, 161). The Diwdn 
of Ibn al-Wardl (689-749/1290-1349 [q.v.]), published 
by Faris al-Shidyak in Constantinople in 1300, con- 
tains some makamdt and a risdlal makdma, al-Nabd^ c an 
al-wabd^, concerning an epidemic in which he died 
shortly afterwards (Brockelmann, II, 140, S II, 174, 
1 75). An author of Maghrib! origin, Ahmad b. Yahya 
al-Tilimsanl, also known as Ibn Abl Hadjala (725-776 
or 777/1325 to 1374-5 or 1375-6), who spent most of 
his literary career in Cairo, was renowned in his day 
as a writer of makamdt, and one curiosity of his is a 
makdma on chess which he dedicated to the Artukid 
ruler of Mardln, al-Malik al-Salih Shams al-DIn 
Salih, presumably himself a chess enthusiast (see 
Brockelmann, IP, 5-6, S II, 5, and J. Robson, A chess 
maqdma in the Rylands Library, in Bull. John Rylands 
Library, xxxvi [1953], 111-27). 

AnAndalusian, Ibn al-Murabi c (d. 750/1350 [q.v.]) 
drew attention to himself with his Makamdt al- c id, 
published by A. M. al- c Abbadi (in RIEEIM, ii/1-2 
[1954], 168-73) and translated by F. de la Granja (op. 
laud, 173-99); the hero is a beggar, one of the Banu 
Sasan, searching for a victim to sacrifice on the occa- 
sion of the Great Feast, and the text also supplies in- 
formation concerning the history of Granada, the 
home of an eminent contemporary of the author, Ibn 
al-Khatlb (713-76/1313-75 [q.v.]). In the extensive 
and varied literary output of the latter there are a 

features of the "session"; of the four texts analysed by 
R. Arie (Notes, 207-14): Khatrat al-fayj fi rihlat al-shitd^ 
wa 'l-sayf (account of a journey), Mufdkharat Mdlaka 
wa-Sald (a eulogy of Malaga), Mi'-ydr al-ikhtiyar fi dhikr 
al-ma' i dhid wa 'l-diydr and Makdmat al-siydsa, it is the 
two last which are most closely related to the makdma. 
In the Mi'-ydr (ed. A.M. al- c Abbadi, Mushdhaddt Lisdn 
al-Din Ibn al-Khatib fi bildd al-Maghrib wa 'l-Andalus, 
Alexandria 1958, 69-115), the author presents a 
traveller who describes thirty-four towns and villages 
of al-Andalus, and a doctor who eulogises sixteen- 
localities in the Ma gh rib: as in the second text men- 
tioned above, the reader is faced with a mufdkhara or 
a mundzara, a debate, of which a large number of ex- 
amples is found in the "sessions" which ultimately 
absorbed this particular genre (see below). The 
similarity with the classical makdma is more marked in 
the Makdmat al-siydsa (apud al-Makkari, Nafh al-tib, ed. 
Cairo, ix, 134-49), in which the author brings into the 
presence of Harun al-Rashid an old man of un- 
prepossessing appearance who gives him advice on 
good administration and the duties of the ruler (see D. 
M. Dunlop, A little-known work on politics by Lisdn al- 
Din b. al-Hatib, in Miscelanea de estudios drabesy hebraicos, 
viii/1 [1959], 47-54). 

While still dealing with al-Andalus, we may further 

recall that the kadi 'l-djama c a of Granada, al-Nubahi 
[q.v.], inserted in his Nuzhat al-BasaHr wa 'l-absdr, in 
781/1379, a commentary on his own Makama nakhliyya 
presented in the form of an erudite, obscure and 
pedantic dialogue between a palm-tree and a fig-tree 
(see R. Arie, art. cit., 212-12). In Spain in the follow- 
ing century, in 844/1440, a similar calamity to that 
described by Ibn al-Wardl (see above) inspired 'Umar 
al-Malaki al-Zadjdjal to write his Makama fi amr al- 
waba> which is preserved by al-Makkari in his Azhar 
al-riyda 1 (ed. Sakka 5 et alii, Cairo 1939-42, i, 125-32) 
and translated by F. de la Granja (op. laud., 201-30); 
this jurist-poet is also the author of the Tasrih al-nisdl 
ild makdtil al-fassdl which according to the same Mak- 
kari, who twice reproduced the text of it (Azhar, i, 
1 17-24 and Nafh al-fib, ed. Cairo, vi, 345-50), was ap- 
preciated by the populace but rejected by the khdssa on 
account of the mudjun [q.v.\ which characterised it. 

In the East, the names of some writers of the 
8th/ 14th century have been mentioned by 
Brockelmann: al-Shadhill (702-60/1302-58; S II, 
148); al-Safadi (696-764/1296-1363 [q.v.]), the author 
of the Wdfi, who wrote a makama on wine, Rashf al- 
rahik fi was/ al-harik (S II, 29); and al-Bukharl (d. 
791/1389; S II, 289). 

Al-Kalkashandl (d. 821/1418 [q.v.]) reproduces in a 
chapter of the Subh (xiv, 110-38) a text of al- 
Kh"arazml (see above) and a makama of his own in- 
vention regarding the function of the secretary to a 
chancellery (see C. E. Bosworth, A maqdma on 
secretaryship: al-QalqashandC s al-Kawdkib al-duriyyafi 7- 
mandqib al-badriyya, in BSOAS, xxvii/2 [1964], 291-8). 
Naturally, the prolific writer al-Suyufi (849-911/ 
1445-1505 [q.v.]) could not avoid cultivating the 
makama genre, which he uses in the form of dialogues, 
abandoning the traditional structure and dispensing 
with hero and narrator, to deal with religious and 
secular questions, such as the fate of the family of 
Muhammad in Heaven, the qualities of perfumes, 
flowers and fruits, and obscene subjects are not ex- 
cluded (see Rescher, Zu SqjutVs Maqdmen, in ZDMG, 
lxiii [1919], 220-3; Brockelmann, S II, 183, 187, 197, 
198; L. Nemoy, Arabic MSS in the Yale University 
Library, New Haven 1956, ms. L. 754, fols. 47-50). 
His contemporary, the South Arabian Zaydl Ibrahim 
b. Muhammad al-Hadawi Ibn al-WazIr (d. 914/1508) 
applies this form to theological questions in al-Makdma 
al-nazariyyal al-manzariyya wa 'l-fdkiha al-khabariyya 
(Brockelmann, II, 188, S II, 248; Nemoy, op. laud., 
ms. L-366, fols. 140-7), and al-Suyuti' s rival, Ahmad 
b. Muhammad al-Kastallani (d. 923/1517) did 
likewise in his Makdmdt al-'-drifin (Brockelmann, II, 
72). Brockelmann also mentions al-Birkawi 
(929-81/1523-73; S II, 658), al-Ghazafi (ca. 997/1589; 
S II, 383), al-Mardini (ca. 1000/1591; S II, 383), al- 
Kawwas (ca. 1000/1591), author of nine "sessions" 
(II, 272, S II, 383) and al-Fayyumi (d. 1022/1614; S 
II, 486). Not mentioned by Brockelmann is the In- 
dian author from Multan, Abu Bakr al-Husayni al- 
Hadrami (floruit late 10th/ 16th century) who wrote a 
set of fifty makdmdt inspired by al-Hariri; cf. L. 
Cheikho, Madjani 'l-adab, Beirut 1957, vi, 76-8, and 
R. Y. Ebied and M. J. L. Young, Arabic literature in 
India: two maqdmdt of Abu Bakr al-Hadrami, in Studies in 
Islam (1978), 14-20. 

In the period of literary decadence which marked 
the 11th and 12th/17th and 18th centuries, the "ses- 
sion" was still used to deal with a wide range of sub- 
jects. In 1078/1697, Djamal al-Din Abu C A1I Fath 
Allah b. c Alawan al-Ka c bi al-Kabbani composed one 
describing the war conducted by Husayn Pasha and 
c Ali Pasha Afrasiyab of Basra against a Turkish army 

commanded by Ibrahim Pasha, and added a com- 
mentary, the Zdd al-musafir (printed in Baghdad in 
1924; Brockelmann II, 373; S II, 501). Also en- 
countered are the names of al-Kashi/al-Kashani 
(1007-90/1598-1679; S II, 585), c Arif (d. 1125/1713; 
S II, 630), Ba c bud al- c Alawi who produced in 
1128/1715 (S II, 601) an imitation of al-Hariri in 
which al-Nasir al-Faffah (the victorious conqueror) 
recounts the fifty adventures, in India, of Abu '1-Zafar 
al-Hindi al-Sayyah ("the triumphant Indian vaga- 
bond") under the title al-Makdmdt al-hindiyya (lith. 
1264), and al-Djaza>iri (1050-1130/1640-1718; S II, 

In Morocco, the genre is represented by Muham- 
mad b. c Isa (d. 990/1582) and Muhammad al-Maklati 
(d. 1041/1631-2), whose Makama bakriyya is a eulogy of 
Mahammad b. Abi Bakr al-Dila > i (d. 1021/1612 [see 
dila 5 in Suppl.]), the son of the founder of al-Zawiya 
al-dilaHyya (see M. Lakhdar, La vie litteraire au Maroc 
sous la dynastie calawide (1075-131111664-1894), Rabat 
1971, 42). Muhammad al-Masnawi al-Dila 5 ! 
(1072-1136/1661-1724) describes this zawiya and 
laments its destruction in al-Makdma al-fikriyya fi 
mahasin al-zawiya al-bakriyya, which is of classical struc- 
ture, with hero and narrator (see Lakhdar, 156-8). 

Nemoy (op. laud.) records a ms. (Yale L-182) of al- 
Makdma al-rumiyya of al-Bakri (1099-1162/1688- 
1749 [?.&•]), which is part of his Tafrik al-humum wa- 
taghrik al-ghumumfi ' l-rihla ild bildd al-Rum. c Abd Allah 
b. al-Husayn al-Baghdadi al-Suwaydi (d. 1174/1760) 
and his son Abu '1-Khayr c Abd al-Rahman (d. 
1200/1786) use this form (Brockelmann, II, 374, 377, 
S II, 508) as a means of bringing together, in an enter- 
taining fashion, a whole series of ancient and modern 
proverbs, the father, in Makdmat al-amfhal al-sdHra 
(Cairo 1324), and the son, in al-Makdma djami'at al- 
amthdl <azizat al-imihal (ms. Berlin 8582/3). 

In the same way that al-Hariri, in the two risdlas 
called al-stniyya and al-shtniyya, employed only words 
containing respectively a sin and a shin, c Abd Allah al- 
Idkawi (d. 1 184/1 770) wrote al-Makdma al-iskandariyya 
wa ' l-tashifiyya in which pairs of words which differ on- 
ly in diacritical points are placed beside each other 
(Brockelmann, II, 283). A display of erudition is the 
main characteristic of al-Makdma al-Dudjayliyya wa 7- 
makdla al-'-Umariyya of Uthman b. c Ali al- c Umari al- 
Mawsili (d. 1184/1770) which contains essentially a 
list and a brief definition of Islamic sects 
(Brockelmann, S II, 500; Rescher, Beitrdge, iv, 
191-285, where other products in this style are to be 
found). Nemoy (op. laud.) further mentions (Yale 
L-302) Makdmdt in mixed prose and verse by AJimad 
al-Armanazi (18th century?). 

The popular theme of competitive debate (see 
Steinschneider, Rangstreitliteratur, in SBAk. Wien, clv/4 
[1908]; Brockelmann, in Mel. Derenbourg, 231; 
Blachere and Masnou, 48 and n. 2; H. Masse, Du 
genre litteraire "Debat" en arabe et en persan, in Cahiers de 
civilisation medievale, iv, 1961), is developed in the 
Makdmat al-muhdkama bayn al-muddm wa 'l-zukur (ms. 
Berlin, 8580) of Yusuf b. Salim al-Hifni (d. 
1178/1764), also the author of al-Makdma al-hifniyya 
(B. M. 1052/1; Brockelmann, II, 283; S II, 392). The 
Cretan Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Rasml (1106-79/ 
1694-1783) also experimented with this genre and 
wrote al-Makdma al-zuldliyya al-bishdriyya 

(Brockelmann, II, 430). Of the work of al-Badn (d. 
1215/1800) there survives a brief makama (Yale L-30a) 
composed in sadf and verse (Nemoy, op. laud.). In a 
similar way, by inserting numerous verses of his own 
composition, the Tunisian poet al-Warghi (d. 
1 190/1776) put together three makdmdt edited by c Abd 

al- c Az!z al-Glzanl at Tunis in 1972 and called al- 
Bdhiyya (on the founder of the zdwiya bdhiyya in 
1160/1747), al-Khitdniyya (on the occasion of the cir- 
cumcision of the Bey C A1I b. al-Husayn's sons in 
1 1 78/1 764) and al-Khamriyya (in praise of this same 
Bey in 1 183/1769). His compatriot and contemporary 
al-Ghurab (d. 1185/1771) likewise left three makdmdt 
behind, of which two, al-Hindiyya and al-Bdhiyya, have 
a hero and a narrator, without however conforming to 
all the genre's exigencies, whilst the third, al-<-Aba"Hyya 
or al-Sdbdniyya, is merely a risdla (see H. H. al-GhazzI, 
al-Adab al-lunisifi ' l- c ahd al-husayni , Tunis 1972, 95-7; 
see also 154-60, on al-Warghl). Another Tunisian, 
Isma'Il al-Tamlml (d. 15 Djumada I 1248/10 Oc- 
tober 1832) wrote a Makdma fi hakk al-shaykh sayyidi 
Ismd' il kadi al-hadra al-'-aliyya bi-Tunis, which has been 
published by H.H. al-GhuzzI, in al-Fikr, xxv/2 (April 
1980), 25-9 (see also the latter's study on al-Makdma 
al-tunisiyya bayn al-taklid wa 'l-tatawwur al-marhali nahw 
al-kissa, in ibid., xxvii/5-6 (1982), 33-9, 96-103). 

Other names which could be mentioned are those of 
c Abd al-Rahman b. c Abd Allah al-Suwaydi (1134- 
1200/1721-86; II, 374), al-Barblr (1160-1226/1748 
-1811; S II, 750), Hamdun Ibn al-Hadjdj al-FasI 
(1174-1232/1760-1817; S II, 875) whose Makdma ham- 
duniyya is said to be found in ms. in Cairo (M. 
Lakhdar, op. laud, 282). Again in Morocco, Abu 
Muhammad c Abd Allah al-Azarlfl (d. 
1214/1799-1800) addressed to the sultan's khalifa in 
Sus a makdma comprising a hero and a narrator and 
describing the conditions prevailing in Saharan areas 
in the 12th/18th century (text in al-Bahth al-Hlmi, xiii/2 
[1396/1971], 166-72). Another Moroccan writer al- 
Zayyanl (1147-1249/1734-1833) is the author of a 
makdma fi dhamm al-ridjdl directed against the con- 
spirators who deposed Mawlay Sulayman (Lakhdar, 
323). Another well-known Moroccan, Akansus 
(1211-94/1796-1877 [q.v.[) left a makdma of mystical 
appeal (ms. Rabat D 1270) designed to show the vani- 
ty of the things of this world; it contains a hero and 
a raw! and comprises poems, dialogues and descrip- 
tions (Lakhdar, 343-5). 

Thus we arrive at the 19th century, where the first 
name to be noted is that of al- c Attar (d. 1250/1824; 
Brockelmann, S II, 720), then that of Abu '1-Thana 
al-AlusI (1217-70/1802-53), author of five makdmdt 
without hero or narrator which contain advice to the 
writer's children, autobiographical information, 
descriptions and reflections on death (see 
Brockelmann, II, 498, S II, 786; EI\ s.v. al-alusI); 
they were lithographed in 1273 at Karbala 5 , but do 
not seem to have enjoyed great success (see M. M. al- 
Basir, Nahdat al-Hrdk al-adabiyya, Baghdad 1365/1946, 

It was precisely in the period of the Nahda, the 
renaissance, that a number of writers set themselves 
the task of reviving this genre in accordance with the 
classical norms, believing that, as a genre exclusive to 
Arabic literature, it was the best means of stimulating 
the interest of readers and of putting back into circula- 
tion a rich vocabulary that had fallen into disuse over 
the course of the preceding centuries. In this respect, 
the most eminent writer of the 19th century is the 
Lebanese Christian Naslf al-YazidjI (1800-71 [see al- 
yazidji]), who, with his Madjma' al-bahrayn, offered 
the public, for didactic purposes, a successful imita- 
tion of al-Harm; in his work, which nevertheless con- 
tains sixty makdmdt (instead of the fateful number of 
fifty) accompanied by his own commentary, the hero 
and the narrator meet sometimes in the town, but 
often in the desert, a traditional setting for eloquent 
speech (see also Blachere and Masnou, 49-50). 

Brockelmann also mentions al-Djaza'iri (S II, 758, 
III, 379), al-Hamsh (S III, 338) and c Abd Allah 
Pasha Fikrl (d. 1307/1890 [q.v.]), whose works (al- 
Athdr al-fikriyya, Bulak 1315) contain a number of 
makdmdt including al-Makdma al-fikriyya fi 'l-mamlaka 
al-bdtiniyya which has been published separately in 
Cairo in 1289 (Brockelmann, II, 475, S II, 722). 
Some Makdmdt by Mahmud Rashld Efendi were 
edited in Cairo in 1913 (S III, 85). In 'Irak, Dawud 
Celebi (Makhtmt al-Mawsil, 299) has found a makdma 
on Baghdad by <Abd Allah b. Mustafa al-Faydl al- 
Mawsill (late 19th century). In the Lebanon, Ibrahim 
al-Ahdab (1242-1308/1826-91 [q.v.]) left eighty-eight 
"sessions" of traditional structure, with hero and 
rdwi, which are as yet unedited (see Dj. <Abd al-Nur, 
in DdHrat al-ma'drif, vii, 172). 

In 1907, in Cairo, Muhammad Tawflk al-Bakri 
published a collection of makdmdt, Sahdridj_ al-luHu^, a 
number of which were chosen by c Uthman Shakir and 
included, in 1927, in his work entitled al-LuHu> fi 

It is not our intention to dwell here on the Hadith 
<Isd b. Hishdm of al-Muwaylihl (1868-1930 [q.v.]) of 
which the first edition in book form dates from 1907; 
this "novel", which is both the first major achieve- 
ment of 20th century Arabic literature and the swan- 
song of classical literature, has been the object of a 
number of studies, the list of which is to be found in 
G. Widmer, Beitrdge zur neuarabischen Literatur, iv, in 
WI, n.s. iii/2 (1954), 57-126; H. Peres, in Melanges 
Massignon, iii, Damascus 1957, 233; N. K. Kotsarev, 
Pisateli Egipla xx vek, Moscow 1975, 157-9. It will 
however be recalled that while still being published in 
instalments, this satire on contemporary mores had 
inspired an imitation, Laydli Satih, on the part of Hafiz 
Ibrahim (1872-1932 [q.v.]), who also aspired, 
although with less success, to present a satirical 
portrait of society in the form of a long makdma (see H. 
Peres, in B. Et. Or., x [1943-4], 13 ff.; Kotsarev, op. 
laud, 104-7). The Wadjdiyydt of Muhammad Farld 
Wadjdl, published in Cairo in 1910, contain eighteen 
"sessions" which have not attracted much interest 
(but see the Tunisian review al-Mabdhith, xxxi ff.). 
Finally, it is possible that other writers of the first half 
of the 20th century have composed, as rhetorical exer- 
cises or for a specific purpose, makdmdt which have not 
come to the attention of literary critics and historians. 
This applies notably to Amln al-RIhanl (1876-1940 
[q.v ]), whose Rihdniyydt contain (ed. 1956, ii, 83-6) al- 
Makdma al-kabkadjiyya, where the narrator is a moth- 
grub ( c uththa) searching for an attractive book in a 

The above list cannot be regarded as exhaustive; it 
is based essentially on the article Makdma by 
Brockelmann in EP and his Geschichte der arabischen Lit- 
teratur, the material of which has already been ex- 
ploited by Blachere and Masnou (op. laud., 123-9); 
our intention has been to complete this inventory by 
means of less ancient works but, in order to achieve 
a more satisfactory result, it would be necessary to go 
through recently published or still unedited 
biographical works, as well as catalogues of 
manuscript collections, and to carry out research in 
certain libraries whose riches have not been explored. 
As our list has been compiled in approximately 
chronological order, no mention has been made of a 
dozen or so fairly late authors whose dates have not 
been precisely located. Blachere and Masnou mention 
the following: al-Sukkarl (Brockelmann, S II, 906), 
al-Khanlnl (S II, 908), al-Ha>irI (Rescher, Beitrdge, 
iv, 328), al-Saghanl (ibid, iv, 335), al-Shafi c I (S II, 
908), Ibn Rayyan (S II, 909), Ibrahim b. 'All b. 

Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

Ahmad b. al-Hadl (S II, 909), al-Antakl (Rescher, iv, 
116), al-Munayyir (S II, 1010), al-Husaynl (Rescher, 
iv, 311), al-Ras c anT (Rescher, iv, 339), al- c Umari al- 
Mawsill (Rescher, iv, 199). 

In general, however, it seems certain that the most 
significant representatives of the genre have not 
escaped scrutiny, giving rise to the works enumerated 
in the bibliographies of the noticesdevoted to them by 
the present Encyclopaedia. But alongside those authors 
whose makdmat are known only by a sometimes 
misleading title or by a brief mention in one or other 
of the bibliographical works, there are a number 
whose surviving works deserve, if not an edition, at 
least a fairly thorough examination, in order to allow 
for a more confident judgment. The general observa- 
tions which follow are therefore still fragmentary. 

Of the characteristics of primitive makdma, all the 
authors have essentially retained the use of rhymed 
prose, more or less rhythmic and mingled with verse, 
and, taking the example of al-Hamadhani and 
especially of al-Hariri, a vocabulary obscure to the 
point of being sometimes impenetrable; furthermore, 
sadf, which sometimes goes to acrobatic extremes, is 
all the less likely to make use of simple language since 
the object of many of the authors is to make a display 
of their verbal dexterity. Quite apart from this com- 
mon feature, the presence of two characters is not 
always felt to be necessary, so that the hero and the 
narrator are the same person in a large number of 
makdmat, where this device is still retained. 

From a theoretical point of view, the "seance", 
which belongs to adab is, by this definition, certainly 
designed to entertain, but also to instruct, since it is 
inconceivable that, originally, prose literature could 
have lacked any purpose. While the didactic function 
was to be served by means of the educational or edify- 
ing content, it was soon the form which fulfilled this 
role to the detriment of the essence, through the ac- 
cumulation, scarcely bearable today for the average 
reader, of rare and unnecessary words, through a 
disagreeable pedantry and an impenetrable obscurity. 
The first objective, for its part, was to be realised, as 
in the case of adab, by a mixture of the serious and the 
joking, by the interesting quality of the adventures 
related and the theatrical element introduced by the 
two imaginary characters. Now, just as the risdla, 
being a convenient means of display on the part of 
authors full of false modesty, tended to be nothing 
more than a rhetorical exercise, in the same way the 
makdma, while supplying authors with an opportunity 
safely to express personal opinions in fictitious guise, 
enabled many others simply to make a show of their 
lexicographical expertise, at the same time, however, 
aiming at a certain aestheticism, one is tempted to 
say, at art for art's sake. This tendency is an expres- 
sion of the love of Arabic-speakers for fine verbal 
style, and one gains the impression that an exquisite 
form sometimes conceals nothing more than a total 
vacuum. It is, however, not impossible that at least 
some of the compositions which appear most hollow 
lend themselves to different interpretations at a level 
which has yet to be ascertained. 

The authors of manuals on the history of Arabic 
literature, when tackling the subject of makdma, right- 
ly cite al-Hamadhani and al-Hariri as those whose 
works are considered the first milestone on the path 
followed by this original genre; subsequently, they 
maintain their silence and, for the next seven cen- 
turies are unaware of one author worthy of mention 
as an eminent representative of the "session", which 
is evidently the sign of an unfortunate decline; more 
detailed studies will perhaps enable one to correct this 

severe judgment, but the fact remains that, in the 
absence of evidence to the contrary, it is necessary to 
wait until the 19th century to find, in the Mai£ma<- al- 
bahrayn of al-Yazidji, a third significant milestone, 
although the new lease of life given to the makdma by 
this author did not inspire any notable works, perhaps 
because his object was far too didactic. In any case, 
the fourth and final milestone was planted by al- 
MuwaylihT, whose Hadith c Isd b. Hishdm is sometimes 
described as a novel. But at this time rhymed prose 
had already begun to lose its appeal, and the educated 
public turned for entertainment, either in the original, 
or in translation, to foreign works which inspired 
modern Arabic literature to the detriment of a 
henceforward discredited genre. 

The theatrical element contained in classical 
makdmat has not been satisfactorily exploited, for we 
do not see many playwrights drawing from them their 
inspiration and staging some of them. C A1I al-Ra c T 
(Some aspects of modem Arabic drama, in R.C. Ostle 
(ed.), Studies in modern Arabic literature, Warminster 
1975, 172 ff) thinks that the shadow-plays of Ibn 
Daniyal [q. v. ] are linked to Arabic literature through 
the makdma and points out that the Moroccan al- 
Tayyib al-Siddiki has based himself on the famous 
Madira [q. v. ] and other sections of al-Hamadhani to 
write plays which have met a great success; but this is 
an isolated attempt. 

Imitation in other literatures. The success of 
the genre created by al-Hamadhani and consolidated 
by al-Hariri was so remarkable in Arabic-speaking 
circles that some authors, who normally expressed 
themselves in other languages but had direct access to 
the Arabic texts, conceived the idea of composing 
makdmat of their own. 

In Persia, particularly highly esteemed were the 
twenty-four "sessions" which HamTd al-DIn Balkhl 
(d. 559/1156) composed in 551/1156 in imitation of 
the two great Arabic authors (HadjdjI Khalifa, no. 
12716; lith. Tehran and Cawnpore); some of them 
consist of debates between a young man and an old, 
a SunnI and a Shi'i, a doctor and an astronomer; 
others contain descriptions of summer and autumn, 
love and folly, judicial and mystical discussions, but 
the sense is always sacrificed to the form (see H. 
Masse, Du genre "Debat", 143-4). The example of 
Hamid al-DIn does not seem to have been much 
followed; nevertheless, the journalist Adrb al- 
Mamalik (d. 1917) composed a series of makamdt 
(Browne, iv, 349). 

In Spain, Yehuda ben Shlomo Harizi (1165-1225 
A.D.) first translated al-Hariri into Hebrew (in 
502/1205), then composed fifty makdmat which he en- 
titled Sefer Tahkemoni; in these "sessions" the style of 
the model is imitated by means of a very skilful use of 
Biblical quotations; as for the content, it has been 
noted that Harizi was inspired by a makdma of Ibn al- 
Shahid which we have mentioned above (see S. M. 
Stern, in Tarbiz, xvii [1946], 87-100; J. Schirmann, 
ibid, xxiii [1952], 198-202; J. Razahbi, ibid., xxvi 
[1957], 424-39); the work had been the object of par- 
tial translations into German, by Krafft (in 
Literaturblatt des Orients, xiii [1840], 196-8, xiv, 213-5) 
and L. Dukes {Ehrensaulern, etc., Vienna 1873, 92-4), 
before being published by P. de Lagarde, under the 
title Iudae Harizii Macamae (Gottingen 1881, 2nd ed. 
Hanover 1924). 

A contemporary of Harizi, Jacob ben Eleazar of 
Toledo (beginning of the 13th century A.D.) for his 
part composed ten makdmat which he intitled Meshdlim, 
with a narrator, but no hero; this work has been 
studied by J. Schirmann, Les contes rimes de Jacob ben 


Eleazar de Tolede (in Etudes d' orientalisme ... Levi- 
Provencal, ii, 285-97). In addition, J. M. Millas 
Vallicrosa mentions, in La poesia sagrada hebraico- 
espanola (Barcelona 1948, 133-4, 136-7, 144) other 
Jewish writers of Spain whose works could be com- 
pared to makamat. 

The archbishop of Nisibin, c Ebedyeshu c / c Ab- 
dlshu c (d. 1318 A.D.) composed in 1290-1, in imita- 
tion of al-Harirl, fifty "sessions" in Syriac verse of 
religious and edifying content, divided into two parts 
designated under the names Enoch and Elias; he 
himself explained, in a commentary written in 1316, 
the extremely artificial language abounding with 
acrostics and verses which can be read indifferently 
from right to left or from left to right (see Chabot, Lit- 
erature syriaque , Paris 1934, 141); the first half of these 
"sessions" was published by Gabriel Cardahi in 
Beirut, in 1899, under the title Paradaisa dha Edhen seu 
Paradisus Eden carmina auctore Mar Ebediso Sobensis. 

Apparently there is no makama composed or 
translated into Latin or Romance during the Middle 
Ages, but it is quite clear that the hero of the picares- 
que novel, the picaro, closely resembles in many ways 
the characters of Abu '1-Fath al-Iskandari or Abu 
Zayd al-Sarudji, and the diffusion in Spain of the 
work of al-Hamadhanl, and later and more 
significantly that of al-Hariri, suggests a direct or in- 
direct influence of the makama. The works which have 
been undertaken in this area (in particular by 
Menendez Pelayo, Origenes de la novela, 1943, i, 65 ff; 
A. Gonzales Palencia, Del Lazarillo a Quevedo, Madrid 
1946, 3-9) appear as so far inconclusive. On the other 
hand, A. Rumeau {Notes au Lazarillo, in Langue neo- 
latines, no. 172 (May 1965), 3-12)' has shown that the 
central episode, La casa lobregay oscura, of the Lazarillo 
de Tomes is closely related to an anecdote mentioned 
by al-Ibshml (Mustatraf, tr. Rat, ii, 670), but already 
figuring in the work of al-Bayhakl, who probably bor- 
rowed it from al-Djahiz; thus it is likely that the long 
road travelled from the fata and the mukaddi of the lat- 
ter to the picaro passes through the makama. This ques- 
tion, linked to that of the influence of the 1001 Nights, 
has been recently discussed in an extensive thesis by 
M. Tarchouna, Les margitans dans les re'cits picaresques 
arabes et espagnols, Tunis 1982, which contains a pro- 
found comparison between the two sources mentioned 
above and the picaresque literature (and extensive 

Bibliography : To the references in the text, the 
following may be added: V. Chauvin, Bibliographic 
des outrages arabes ou relatifs aux Arabes, ix, Liege 
1904; the studies published in the Tunisian review 
al-Mabahith, xxiii-xxv, xxvii-xxviii; A. Mez, 
Renaissance, index; G. E. von Grunebaum, The 
spirit oj Islam as shown in its literature, in SI, i (1953), 
114-19; Dj. Sultan, Fann al-kissa wa 'l-makama, 
Damascus 1362/1943; Shawkl Dayf, al-Makama, 
Caire 1954; <Abd al-Rahman Yaghl, Ray fi 'l- 
makama, Beirut 1969; Jareer Abu-Haydar, Maqamat 
literature and the picaresque novel, mJAL, iii (1974), 
1-10; M. R. Hasan, Athar al-makama fi nash'at al- 
kissa al-misriyya al-haditha, Cairo 1974; H. Nemah, 
Andalusian maqamat, in JAL, iii (1974), 83-92; R. 
MarzukI, Tatawur al-makama shakl an wa-madum a " , in 
CERES, Kadaya 'l-adab al-'arabi, Tunis 1978, 
299-335; R. Droury, Hawl kawfid labaddul al-kqfiya 
fi l-makama, in S. Somekh (ed.), Abhathfi ' l-lugha wa 
'l-uslab, Tel Aviv 1980, 7-13; and A. Kilito, Les 
seances, Paris 1983. Several "maitrise" theses deal- 
ing with the makama have been presented in recent 
years to the University of Tunis; see also the 
general studies in manuals of the history of Arabic 

literature, in particular H. A. R. Gibb, Arabic 
Literature 2 , 1963, index, s.v. maqama; F. Gabrieli, 
Storia della letteratura araba, Milan 1951, 202-7; G. 
Wiet, Introduction a la litterature arabe, Paris 1966, 
174-9; and J. Vernet, Literatura arabe, Barcelona 
n.d., 125-9. (C.Brockelmann - [Ch. Pellat]) 
MAKAN b. KAKI, Abu Mansur, DaylamI 
soldier of fortune who played an important part 
in the tortuous politics and military operations in nor- 
thern Persia, involving local DaylamI chiefs, the 
c Alids of Tabaristan and the Samanids, during the 
first half of the 4th/ 10th century. 

The house of Kakl were local rulers of Ashkawar in 
Ranikuh, the eastern part of Gilan in the Caspian 
coastlands. Makan rose to prominence in Tabaristan 
in the service of the c Alid princes there, and as the 
c Alids themselves dissolved into internecine rivalries, 
he became the contender with a fellow-commander, 
Asfar b. Shiruya [see asfar b. shirawayhi] for con- 
trol over the Caspian lands. Makan allied with the 
Hasanid al-Da'-i al-Saghir al-Hasan b. al-Kasim [q.v. 
in Suppl.] against the latter's rival Dja'far b. al- 
Hasan b. al-Utrush and his supporter Asfar, but was 
worsted in battle in 316/928 by the rule of the c Alids 
in Tabaristan, and Makan had temporarily to flee in- 
to Daylam. His fortunes nevertheless revived, and by 
318/930 he was master of Tabaristan, Gurgan and 
even of Nishapur in Khurasan, and had repelled an 
attack by Asfar's supplanter Mardawidj b. Ziyar 
[q.v.], master of Ray (319/931). 

Mardawldj's elan could not be stemmed by Makan, 
who lost Tabaristan and had to retire to Samanid ter- 
ritory in Khurasan, receiving from the amir Nasr b. 
Ahmad [q.v.] the governorship of Kirman. However, 
when Mardawidj was assassinated in 323/935 by his 
slave troops (according to Gardlzl, at Makan's in- 
stigation), Makan returned from the east to the Cas- 
pian region, established himself as governor of 
Gurgan for the Samanids, and allied with another 
local leader, Mardawldj's brother Wushmaglr, 
founder of the subsequent Ziyarid dynasty [q.v.]. 
With Wushmaglr's support, he threw off the control 
of Bukhara, but the amir sent against him an army 
under Abu C A1I Ahmad b. Muhtadj Caghanl. Makan 
was dislodged from the town of Gurgan and compel- 
led to fall back on Ray; and outside the town, at a 
village called Ishakabad on the Damghan road, the 
forces of Wushmaglr and Makan were defeated on 2 1 
Rabl c I 329/25 December 940. Makan was killed and 
his head sent first to Bukhara and then to the caliph 

Makan's career is typical of several DaylamI con- 
dottieri in the early stages of the "DaylamI intermez- 
zo" of Persian history, when the decline of caliphal 
power in northern Persia allowed various local in- 
terests to vie for power there; but in the long run, it 
was the Buyids who were able to establish the most en- 
during domination ( C A1I b. Buya, the later c Imad al- 
Dawla [q.v.], seems to have taken an important step 
forward in his career by joining Makan's army as a 
commander, perhaps in ca. 316/928, but left Makan 
when the latter was temporarily eclipsed by Mar- 
dawidj, see above). Collateral relatives of Makan, the 
family of his cousin al-Hasan b. Flruzan, continued to 
rule locally in Daylam till the end of the century. 
Bibliography: 1. Sources: Mas c iidl, Murudj., 
ix, 6-8 = §§ 3578-9; c Arib, 137-8; Miskawayh, in 
Eclipse of the 'Abbasid caliphate, i, 275 ff., ii, 3-6; Gar- 
dlzl, ed. Nazim, 30-1, ed. Hablbl, 83-5, 153; 
HamadhanI, Takmila, ed. Kan'an, i, index; Ibn 
Isfandiyar, tr. Browne, 208-li; Nizaml c ArudI 
Samarkandl, Cahar makala, ed. Kazwlnl and 


Mu c In, 24-7, Browne's revised tr. 16-18 
(chronologically confused anecdote): Ibn al-Athlr, 
viii, 140-292, passim; Zahir al-Dln, ed. Dorn, 
171-6; 2. Studies. H. L. Rabino, Mdzandardn and 
Astardbdd, 140; V. Minorsky, La domination des 
Dailamites, in Iranica, twenty articles, Tehran 1964, 
17, 27; Spuler, Iran, 89-94; W. Madelung, in Cam- 
bridge hist, of Iran, iv, 141-2, 211-12, 253-4; EP s.v. 
(M. Nazim). (C.E. Bosworth) 

MAKARI. [see kotoko] 

MAKASSAR, since 1972 renamed "Ujung Pan- 
dang" with reference to one of its oldest quarters 
around the harbour, is the capital of the Indone- 
sian Province of Sulawesi Selatan (South 
Celebes). It has 434,168 inhabitants, among them 
332,618 Muslims. After World War II, Makassar was 
the capital of the Dutch-sponsored East Indonesian 
State (until 1950). It still remains the dominant 
cultural, administrative, economic and traffic centre 
in East Indonesia, its population comprising notable 
minorities of Torajas, Menadonese, Ambonese, 
Timorese, etc. 

Its name "Makassar" originates from the people 
living in its hinterland, stretching over the most 
southern part of the south-western peninsula of 
Sulawesi. The population of the island of Selayar, to 
the south, is usually also counted among the 
Makassars, although their dialect shows a number of 
differences from genuine Makassarese. Their 
neighbours to the north are the Buginese, who are 
closely related to the Makassars in their customs, 
manners, and language. At the present, there are 
about 1,250,000 people living in the predominently 
Makassarese-speaking kabupatens (regencies) of Gowa, 
Takalar, Jene Ponto, Bantaeng, Maros, and Pangka- 
jene (here mixed with Buginese). 

Originally, as H. J. Friedericy had pointed out by 
examining the old Bugis-Makassarese epic La Galigo, 
Makassarese society was divided into three main 
groups: the ana' karaeng, or family of the king, the to 
deceng, or free people, and the ata, or slaves, who were 
either captives, those who could not repay their debts, 
or who had acted against the adat (customary law). 
Since the beginning of the 20th century, slavery has 
been abolished. An outstanding feature of the 
character of the Makassars (and Buginese) is called 
siri' , a feeling of humiliation and shame if the rules of 
adat are broken; it usually leads to revenge. 

Little is known about the history of Makassar in 
pre-Islamic times. In the middle of the 14th century, 
the area was under the rule of the Javanese kingdom 
of Majapahit. According to the chronicles of Gowa 
and Tallo', which are the names of the two ancient 
Makassarese kingdoms, Gowa originally consisted of 
an alliance of nine small districts, each under a noble; 
after the government had passed into the hands of one 
man and the kingdom had expanded, to include for 
example the lands of what was later Tallo', Gowa is 
said, after the death of the sixth king (the first one 
described as an ordinary mortal), to have been divid- 
ed between his two sons; the one became ruler of 
Gowa and the other of Tallo'. Both kingdoms usually 
had close relations and were known to the Europeans 
as the "kingdom of the Makassars". About the year 
1512, one year after the conquest of Malacca by the 
Portuguese, "Malays" were given permission to set- 
tle in Makassar and to build a mosque in their 
quarter. Also, in other ports on the west coast of 
South Sulawesi, Muslim traders began to settle. 
Those in Pangkajene were resisting tendencies among 
the family of the local ruler to adopt the Christian 
belief. But on the whole, during the 16th century, the 

Makassars and their rulers were still adhering to their 
traditional religion, and an even-handed policy was 
pursued towards the Muslim traders, most of whom 
originated from Johore, Malacca, Pahang, Blam- 
bangan, Patani, Banjarmasin, and the Minangkabau 
in West Sumatra on one hand, and the Portuguese on 
the other. 

When the Makassarese kings started to become in- 
terested in trade affairs, they usually asked the Por- 
tuguese for their good services. The karaeng of Tallo', 
Tu Nipasuru' (first half of the 16th century) is said to 
have travelled to Malacca and Johore for trade 
reasons. During the reign of Tu Nijallo as karaeng of 
Gowa (1565-1590), the sultan of Ternate, Bab Allah, 
visited Makassar about 1580. Besides trying to solve 
their political disputes, Bab Allah, a fervent enemy of 
the Portuguese who had murdered his father, urged 
the karaeng to adopt Islam. It seems doubtful that he 
had any success, and it was not until 9 Djumada I 
1014/22 September 1605 that the young karaeng of 
Tallo', I Mallingkaang Daeng Nyonri, who at the 
same time acted as patih (prime minister) of Gowa, 
publicly confessed the Islamic shahdda. Later he was 
known as Sultan c Abd Allah Awwal al-Islam. The 
karaeng of Gowa, I Mangu' rangi Daeng Nanra'bia, 
soon followed his example and adopted the name 
Sultan 'Ala 5 al-DIn. On 18 Radjab 1016/16 
November 1607, the islamisation of the two 
Makassarese kingdoms was officially declared to be 
completed. This was followed by successful wars 
against the Buginese neighbours, who thus were forc- 
ed to convert to Islam too. One of the most celebrated 
teachers of Islam at that time was the miraculous 
Dato' riBandang, a mystic from Kota Tengah in the 
Minangkabau, who is said to have been a pupil of 
Sunan Giri in Java. Other outstanding teachers were 
Dato' riTiro and Dato' Patimang. Their tombs 
became centres of worship. 

In the first half of the 1 7th century, the kingdom of 
Makassar extended very much, so that it brought 
under its suzerainty almost the whole of Sulawesi, 
Buton, Flores, Sumbawa, Lombok and the east coast 
of Kalimantan. In 1609, the Dutch East India Com- 
pany was granted permission to establish a factory, 
but disputes about the trade with the Moluccas gave 
cause to repeated warfare and treaties which reduced 
the sovereignty of the Makassarese kings, and led to 
the expulsion of the Portuguese and later, in 1667, of 
the British as well. A treaty dictated by Admiral C. 
Speelman in 1667, which was reconfirmed in 1669, 
gave the right to the Dutch to settle there permanent- 
ly. These wars are the topic of the SjaHr Perang 
Mangkasara' . 

Although the main port in South Sulawesi was (and 
is) Makassar, the most skilled sailors and shipmakers, 
however, were not the Makassars but the Buginese, 
especially those from Wajo, who formed in 
Makassar— like in some other major ports, e.g. in 
East Kalimantan — their own community supervised 
by the matoa. The third matoa, Amanna Gappa, 
assisted by two of his colleagues from other ports, 
compiled in about 1676 a code of trade and navigation 
law which reflects at the same time their understan- 
ding of the cosmic order, together with Islamic and 
traditional elements. 

Both the Makassars and likewise the Buginese are 
usually considered as strong, and sometimes fanatical 
confessors of Islam. Generally speaking, most of the 
legal duties of Islam are conscientiously observed. But 
this does not prevent them from maintaining, at the 
same time, pre-Islamic religious convictions, and a 

istence or are even gaining in strength, especially 
among the villagers, but also among intellectuals. 
Since the beginning of this century, modernist 
Muslim ideas have been spread by Zaini Dahlan, a 
former pupil of the Sumatra Thawalib, and the journal 
al-Isldm which was published since 1906 for some 
years by a Sumatran living in Malaya, and which 
resembled al-Mandr in its orientation. A branch of the 
modernist Muhammadiyah movement was established 
in 1929. 

In 1950, Makassar became the starting point of the 
"Darul-Islam" rebellion led by Kahar Muzakkar. In 
1963 came the establishment of the Ikatan Masjid dan 
Mushalla Indonesia Mutahhidin, or Association of 
United Indonesian Mosques and Prayer Houses (ab- 
brev. IMMIM), which tries to propagate the prin- 
ciples of unity in the c akida, but tolerance in matters 
of the khilafiyyat. Thus among its members are mos- 
ques which are owned by the Muhammadiyah, or by the 
traditionalist Nahdlatul Ulama party, or by other 
groups. They are urged by the leaders of the IMMIM 
to keep their special convictions among themselves in 
order to avoid public turmoil. It has branches now in 
Central and Southeast Sulawesi, in the Moluccas and 
in Irian Jaya. 

Bibliography: see article macassar in £/'; T. 
Leigh and D. Midwinter, An historical description of 
the Kingdom of Macasar in the East Indies, London 
1701, republ. 1971; H.J. Friedericy, De Standen bij 
de Boegineezen en Makassaren, in BKI, xc (1933), 
447-602; J. Tideman, Een Makassaarsch Adat 
huwelijk, in Koloniaal Tijdschrift, xxiii (1934), 66-77; 
H. T. Chabot, Verwantschap , Stand en Sexe in Zuid- 
Celebes, Groningen-Jakarta 1950; G. J. Resink, 
Volkenrecht in vroeger Makassar, in Indonesia, v 
(1952-3), 393-410; J. Noorduyn, De Islamisering van 
Makasar, in BKI, cxii (1956), 247-66; M. Sjarif 
Saleh Daeng Paesa, Analisa Perjuangan Muhammadi- 
jah di Sulawesi Selatan, in Almanak Muhammadijah 
Tahun Hijra 1380, Jakarta 1960, 132-49; Ph. O. L. 
Tobing, Hukum Pelayaran dan Perdagangan Amanna 
Gappa {The Navigation and Commercial Law of Amanna 
Gappa), Makassar 1961, repr. Jakarta-Ujung Pan- 
dang 1977 (with an abbreviated English version); 
Mattulada, Siri' dalam Hubungannya dengan 
Perkawinan Masjarakat Mangkasara' , Makassar 1962; 
C. Skinner, SjaHr Perang Mengkasar (The Rhymed 
Chronicle of the Macassar War) by Entji' Amin, 's- 
Gravenhage 1963 ( = VKI 40); G. J. Wolhoff and 
Abdurrahim, Bingkisan Sedjarah Gowa. Makassar 
1964; Bahar Mattalioe, Kahar Muzakkar dengan 
Petualangannja. Jakarta 1965; Abdurrazak Daeng 
Patunru', Sedjarah Gowa, Makassar 1967; Mat- 
tulada, Kebudajaan Bugis-Makassar, in Koentjaran- 
ingrat (ed.), Manusia dan Kebudajaan di Indonesia, 
Jakarta 1971, 264-83; Bingkisan Budaya Sulawesi 
Selatan, new series since 1976 (ed. by South 
Sulawesi Cultural Foundation, Ujung Pandang); 
Hamka, Pandangan Islam terhadap Siri', in Panji 
Masyarakat No. 227, 15 July 1977; Chr. Pelras, Les 
premieres donnees occidentales concernant Celebes-Sud, in 
BKI, cxxxiii (1977), 227-60 (with useful 
bibliography); IMMIM menuju persatuan ummat 
dengan kerja, in Panji Masyarakat No. 263, 15 January 
1979. _ (W. H. Rassers - [O. Schumann]) 

MAKAYIL (a.), "measures of capacity" 
(sing. mikyal(a); var. makayil, sing, mikyat), and 
MAWAZIN (a.) "weights" (sing, mizan). On the 
measures of length and surface area, see misaha. 

l.In the Arabic, Persian and Turkish lands. 
In the history of Oriental metrology, the spread of 

Islam meant no abrupt break. Whereas Charlemagne 
imposed in his empire a uniform system of weights 
and measures and introduced a much heavier pound 
than the Roman libra of 327.45 g, neither Muham- 
mad nor c Umar made such a reform; and as later 
rulers could not claim canonical character for their 
systems of weights and measures, their bewildering 
diversity was in the Muslim countries even greater 
than in mediaeval Europe, where Charlemagne's 
system remained as a firm basis. The weights and 
measures which were used in the countries conquered 
by the Muslims were however not altogether different, 
as preceding oriental conquerors had introduced their 
metrological systems in other countries and, secondly, 
a mutual influence shaped them to a certain extent. 
For the needs of the fiscal administration [see bayt al- 
mal and diwan] and the market supervision [see 
hisba], every governor and finance director of the 
provinces of the caliphal empire had to enforce what 
the caliph decreed concerning weights and measures. 
But rulers who had in mind to establish a truly new 
regime fixed new weights and measures, just as they 
built up an administration different from that of their 
predecessors. The Buyid prince c Adud al-Dawla, the 
Fatimids, the Il-Khan Ghazan and the Turcoman 
Uzun Hasan introduced new metrological systems. 

For the study of Muslim weights one has recourse 
to the accounts in literary sources, the analysis of glass 
weights which served as standards and, thirdly, to 
data in European sources, such as Merchants' 
Guides. But despite the relatively rich information, 
research in Muslim metrology has not resulted in 
generally-accepted conclusions. From the accounts of 
the Muslim authors and the archaeological findings, 
different values have been calculated. The data in the 
European sources mostly point to smaller ones, which 
cannot be considered as mistaken. 

The names of the weights and measures of capacity 
point to their origins: the rati, the most common 
weight, is an Aramaic form of the Greek XtTpov; the 
kintar (100 rath) is obviously the Latin centenarius; and 
the kafiz is the Persian name of a measure of capacity. 
When the Arabs conquered the lands of the Near 
these names were already used for different 


. The r, 

t of 

capacity, was in c Irak of (about) 1.05 litres, in Syria 
of 3.673 litres, and in Egypt of 2.5 litres. The diversity 
of the weights and measures called by the same name 
was a phenomenon common to all Muslim countries. 
Almost every district had its own weights and 
measures, and in some countries those used in the 
capitals were different from those of the countryside. 
This is what the Arabic geographers tell about Djibal 
and its capital Rayy, about Khuzistan and its capital 
al-Ahwaz and about Aleppo (Halab) and its province. 
Further different weights were used for various com- 
modities: in many provinces meat was weighed by a 
rati different from that of other articles. In all pro- 
vinces of Upper Egypt there was a rati for meat and 
bread and another for other commodities. In many 
countries there were particular rath for pepper, silk, 
etc. For grain, one used in all Arabic countries 
measures of capacity; for liquids one had other 
measures of this kind. One learns, however, from the 
sources that in course of time there was a trend in 
several countries to use for liquids (e.g. olive oil) 
weights, and secondly, there was a tendency to replace 
weights (and measures of capacity) by bigger ones. 
Despite the mutual influence between the 
metrological systems of the Near Eastern countries, 
there remained through the Middle Ages (and also 
later) a marked difference between the Persian and 

Arab countries (although there was some overlap- 
ping). The mutual influence and the age-old Roman- 
Byzantine rule over the Near East resulted, however, 
in a two-sided structure of the metrological systems of 
all the Muslim countries: they were both sexagesimal 
and decimal. This was indeed also a characteristic 
feature of the metrological system of the Greco- 
Roman world. The survival of the metrological 
systems of antiquity overshadows the almost insignifi- 
cant influence of the weights and measures of Arabia 
upon the newly-conquered countries. The measures 
of capacity which were used in the Hidjaz in the days 
of Muhammad, the sd c equal to 4 mudds and the wask 
equal to 60 mudds, did not spread to other countries 
(except perhaps in Algeria and Tunisia where the ;a c 
is still used, with varying equivalences). But the basic 
weight used at Baghdad became widely accepted as a 
standard weight. This was clearly the influence of 
c Abbasid rule. On the other hand, the Muslim rulers 
did not introduce "Royal measures" for collecting 
taxes or making payments; some of them established 
special measures for these purposes, but these latter 
ones did not become new standards. The striking 
feature of the metrological systems of the mediaeval 
Arab countries was their diversity. Nevertheless, the 
Muslims tried to give the obviously different systems 
a common theoretical basis, adapted to the monetary 
system of the caliphs which was considered as 
canonical. Thus a metrological theory was elaborated. 

Every weight was supposed to consist of a certain 
number of weight dirhams (to be distinguished from 
the weight of the coin called by the same name). The 
French scholars who came with Bonaparte to Egypt 
found that this dirham was equal to 3.0884 g, whereas 
a commission appointed by the Egyptian government 
in 1845 concluded that it was of 3.0989 g, and this lat- 
ter value was taken by Sauvaire as basis for his 
calculations. Decourdemanche concluded that it was 
3.148 g, and Hinz 3.125 g. But the Egyptian govern- 
ment established in 1924 that it is 3.12 g, and both the 
glass weights of the caliphal period and the data in the 
late mediaeval Merchants' Guides point to a smaller 
value. In addition, mediaeval Muslim writers say that 
this unity was not equal everywhere. For in Central 
Syria it was, according to them, lighter than in other 
Near Eastern countries. Another standard weight uni- 
ty was the mithkal. Just as 10 silver dirhams should have 
the same weight as 7 gold dinars, so 10 weight dirhams 
should be equal to the weight of 7 mithkals. The 
authorities of the caliphal empire had the dirham 
weight stamped on the standard weights, and Arab 
writers usually give the value of a (real) weight in 
these theoretical units. They also established further 
relationships: a weight dirham consists of 60 barley 
grains (hahha), each equal to 70 grains of mustard; a 
mithkdl too is equal to 60 barley grains, but of 100 
mustard grains each. The mithkal was also divided into 
24 kirtits (from the Greek xspornov), and consequently 
the weight dirham was reckoned at 164/5 kirats. But the 
mithkal was not everywhere the same; thus that of 
Damascus was lighter than the Egyptian one. 

In the time of Muhammad and his first successors, 
the weight system of Mesopotamia had apparently 
already been introduced into Arabia. Both in Mecca 
and in 'Uman there was used a rati which was the dou- 
ble of what was later called "the rati of Ba gh dad", so 
that it weighed 402.348 g. The rati of Yemen was 
equal to the Baghdad rati. The rati of Medina weighed 
617.96 g. The basic unity of the measures of capacity 
was the mudd, which contained a Meccan rati of wheat, 
and this was considered as the canonical mudd of 

The data which we have about the weights and the 
measures of capacity which were used in the Middle 
Ages in Syria and in Egypt are much more numerous 
than data about those in other Islamic countries, and 
both archaeological findings and the information pro- 
vided by Westerners enable us to draw a comprehen- 
sive sketch of the metrological development of these 

For weighing small quantities one used in these 
countries everywhere the rati. Under Umayyad rule, 
one had in Syria a rati of 337.5 g or 340 g, obviously 
equal to the Roman pound. In the 4th/10th century, 
one used in most provinces of Syria and Palestine a 
heavy rati, numbering 600 dirhams, i.e. 1.853 kg. The 
rati of Damascus was, however, according to al- 
Mukaddasi, slightly lighter. In this town it remained 
unchanged throughout the Middle Ages. In northern 
Syria, however, other ratls were used. In the 5th/llth 
century, the Aleppo rati was equal to 1.483 kg. In the 
6th/12th century one had in Aleppo a rati of 2.335 kg, 
in Hamat one of 2.039 kg and in Shayzar one of 
2.114 kg. According to the Arabic sources, the 
Damascus rati was in the Mamluk period still equal to 
1.85 kg, but the Italian Merchants' Guides make it 
600 light Venetian pounds, i.e. 1.8072 kg. The rati of 
the northern provinces of Syria was in the 7th/13th 
and 8th/ 14th centuries, according to the Arabic 
sources, equal to 2.22 kg, and according to the Italian 
sources it was of 2.1688 kg. In the llth-13th/17th- 
19th centuries the rati of Aleppo was slightly heavier 
and weighed 2.28 kg. Even in Palestine every district 
had its own rati; that of Jerusalem (also used in 
Nabulus) was in the Middle Ages of 2.47 kg and in the 
19th century of 2.78 kg. 

Grain was measured in southern Syria and in 
Palestine by the ghirdra, a measure of capacity which 
was however of different size in every province. The 
ghirdra of Damascus was equal to 731/2 mudds, con- 
taining 2.84 kg of wheat each, or to 3 Egyptian ir- 
dabbs. So it contained 208.74 kg of wheat. But in 
Jerusalem, the ghirdra contained, at least at the end of 
the Middle Ages, three times as much, sc. 626.22 kg 
of wheat, and in Ghazza 313.1 kg. In northern Syria 
one used for weighing grains the makkuk. Even this 
was a name given to different measures. The makkuk 
of Aleppo and Tripoli contained 83.5 kg of wheat and 
that of Hamat 92.77 kg, according to Ibn Fadl Allah 
al- c Uman and al-Kalkashandi. But in the period of 
the Crusades, the makkuk was smaller. Ibn al- c AdIm 
recounts that the makkuk of Aleppo was in the 6th/ 12th 
century half of the makkuk of his own day, so that it 
must then have been of about 40 kg of wheat. Once 
more one becomes aware of a characteristic trend of 
the development of weights and measures in the 
mediaeval Near East: that there was a tendency to use 
heavier and bigger ones. In the 19th century one used 
in Syria the kayl of 28.18 kg of wheat. 

Judging from the glass weights found in Egypt, 
the standard rati in Umayyad times was in that coun- 
try equal to 440 g, whereas the c Abbasids introduced 
a lighter rati, weighing 390-400 g. But in c Abbasid 
Egypt also a "big rati" {rati kabir) of 493 g was used. 
Under the Fatimids, several ratls were used. Accord- 
ing to the Arabic writers of that period and shortly 
afterwards, such as Eliya of Nisibin, writing in the 
firts half of the 5th/l 1th century, al-MakhzumT of the 
late 6th/ 12th century and Ibn Mammati, at the begin- 
ning of the 7th/ 13th century, and a later text referring 
to a happening in the early 5th/llth century, they 
were the following: the rati called misri of 144 dirhams, 
i.e. 444.9 g, used for weighing bread, meat and other 
articles; that of 150 dirhams, i.e. 463 g, used for spices 

(and therefore called fulfill, pepper rat!) and also for 
cotton; the rati laythi of 200 dirhams, i.e. 617.96 g, used 
for flax; and the rati djarwi of 312 dirhams; i.e. 964 g, 
used for honey, sugar, cheese and metals. However, 
according to the Italian Merchants' Guides the rati 
fulfill was equal to 1.4 - 1.46 light Venetian pounds, 
i.e. 420 - 440 g, the rati laythi (called after the governor 
al-Layth b. Fadl, year 802), equalled 602.46 - 617.52 
g, and the rati djarwi 939.8376 - 951.8868 g or, as 
other Italian sources have it, 300 light Venetian 
pounds, i.e. 903.69 g. Although one can quote other 
data from these European sources, the comparison of 
the data in the Arabic and European sources shows 
clearly that the European merchants who carried on 
trade in the Near East were accustomed to lighter 
standards. Several authors of the European Mer- 
chants' Guides, such as Pegolotti, emphasise that 
these rath were used in Cairo, Alexandria and 
Damietta alike, and others point to minimal dif- 
ferences, but from the Arabic sources one learns that 
different ratls were used in almost all provinces of 
Egypt. The Fayyum, Asyuj, Manfalut, Ikhmtm and 
Kus in Upper Egypt, Kalyub, Fuwwa, al-Mahalla 
and Samannud in Lower Egypt, all had their own 
ratls. The variety of the Egyptian weights was even 
much greater than that of the weights used in Syria, 
as in the major towns of this latter country many more 
commodities were weighed by the same weights. In 
Damascus, for instance, all the spices and the metals 
were weighed by the Damascene rafl (and kintar). In 
Egypt, on the other hand, some spices were weighed 
by the mam, which was equal, according to the Arabic 
sources, to 260 dirhams, i.e. 803.348 g, according to 
Pegolotti to 840 g, and according to other Merchants' 
Guides to 2 1 /* light Venetian pounds, i.e. 753 g. 
Spices weighed by the mann comprised cinnamon, 
nutmeg, mace, cloves, cubeb and borax. 

The measures of capacity which were used in Egypt 
in the caliphal period for grain were the tillis and dif- 
ferent irdabbs, but from the middle of the 5th/l 1th cen- 
tury the first of these measures dropped out of use. 
Al-MukaddasT says that it was of 96.4 kg of wheat and 
that it was no more used in his days. But in various 
accounts of the third decade and of the middle of the 
5th/l 1th century, the tillis is still mentioned; perhaps 
this was another tillis. The irdabb (from ocp-uapT)) was 
originally a Persian measure of capacity which had 
been used in Egypt for a long time under the 
Ptolemies and the Byzantines. According to al- 
Mukaddasi, it contained 72.3 kg of wheat. This was 
the irdabb of the Egyptian capital; it consisted of 6 
waybas of 12.05 kg of wheat each. In the various pro- 
vinces there were other irdabbs, such as that of 
Fayyum comprising 9 waybas or 103.22 kg of wheat. 
In the Mamluk period, the irdabb of Cairo correspond- 
ed to 68.8 kg. of wheat, whereas, judging from the 
equations made by Pegolotti and in two anonymous 
Merchants' Guides, the irdabb of Alexandria was 
already in that period twice as much. In the 18th and 
19th centuries the irdabb was apparently everywhere 
doubled, and nowadays it is in the Buhayra of 140.8 
kg of wheat and in the Sa c Id of 148.3 kg. Flour was 
weighed by the bujta, equal to 50 Egyptian ratls, i.e. 
22.245 kg. A tillis of flour weighed, according to Ibn 
MammatT, 150 of these ratls, i.e. 66.735 kg. 

For olive oil, one used in the period of the 
Umayyad and the c Abbasid caliphs measures of 
capacity. There were three measures called kist 
(5eoTT)?, sextarius), one containing 476 g olive oil, 
another 1.07 kg and yet another 2.14 kg. But accord- 
ing to al-Makrlzi, a kist contained 2.106 1 (or .1.93 
kg) of olive oil. Other measures of capacity for liquids 

were the matar (derived from the Greek \x.tipi\vr\i) 
which, according to a Venetian source, contained, in 
the later Middle Ages, about 17 kg of olive oil. But 
under the rule of the Ayyubids, one began to weigh 
olive oil by the kintar (rati) djarwi, as is borne out by 
an account of Ibn Mammatl. 

For great quantities of various commodities, one 
used some kinds of "loads". The himl was reckoned 
at 600 "Egyptian rolls", i.e. 266 kg, but as far as 
spices were concerned it consisted of 500 ratls only, 
i.e. 222.45 kg. This latter unity is that which the 
Italian traders called sporta and reckoned at 720 (later 
700) light Venetian pounds, i.e. 216.885 kg. 

Weights in c Irak, where the old Persian tradition 
prevailed, were altogether different from those used in 
Syria and in Egypt, although some had the same 
name. The rati of Baghdad which was equal to 
401.674 g (according to others, to 397.26 g) (130 or 
128 4/7 dirhams respectively) was considered as the 
"canonical" rati of the Muslims, because it was used 
from the days of the first caliphs. Al-MukaddasT re- 
counts that this rati was also used in Upper 
Mesopotamia. But a short time later, Eliya of Nisibin 
says that in his native town one had a rati of 926.49 
g (210 mithkals) and he mentions also a rati of Balad as 
being twice as much, i.e. 1.8529 kg. His contem- 
porary Nasir-i Khusraw mentions the rati of 
Mayyafarikln which was equal to 1.483 kg. The 
measures of capacity which were used in c Irak fitted 
into a sexagesimal system. Small quantities of grain 
were sold by kafiz. In the 4th/10th century one used 
various kafizs. One of them contained 10 kg of wheat 
(25 BaghdadI ratls); Baghdad and Kufa had a kafiz 
containing 120 ratls or 48.2 kg wheat, whereas the 
kafiz of Wasit and Basra was only half of it, i.e. equal 
to 24.1 kg. The measure of capacity used for greater 
quantities of grains was the kurr. There were, 
however, different kurrs. The so-called "reformed 
kurr" (kurr mu c addal) contained, according to al- 
Buzadjanl, an author of the Buyid period, 2829 kg of 
wheat, since it was equal to 60 kafizs; the "full kurr" 
(kurrkdmil) was half of it. In Upper Mesopotamia, one 
used the "SulaymanI" kurr which contained 771.2 kg 
of wheat (1920 ratls of Baghdad). In the period of the 
caliphs, one measured in this latter region small quan- 
tities of grain by a makkuk containing 6.025 kg of 
wheat, but in the period of the Crusades the makkuk of 
this region was bigger. It contained, according to Ibn 
al-Athlr, V 14 of a Damascene ghirara, that is, 14.91 kg 
of wheat. The data which one finds in the Arabic 
sources about the measures of capacity which were us- 
ed in 'Irak for liquids are rather scanty. According to 
Eliya of Nisibin, one used for olive oil a kist containing 
3 Baghdad! ratls and another which was twice as 

The weights and measures of capacity of Persia 
had almost nothing in common with the metrological 
system which had been established by the Arabs in 
Syria, in Egypt and in other countries on the basis of 
the Roman-Byzantine tradition. The ancient Persian 
tradition on the whole withstood the Muslim-Arab in- 
fluence, but was nevertheless not wholly untouched by 

In the provinces of Persia adjacent to c Irak, many 
towns had the rati as the basic weight unit for small 
quantities of various commodities, but most of them 
shared with the ratls used in the lands of the Fertile 
Crescent only the name. One exception to this rule 
was the town of al-Ahwaz, where one used the 
BaghdadI rati. Al-Istakhrl recounts that one used 
almost everywhere a mann which weighed twice as 
much as the rati of Baghdad. This is undoubtedly an 

exaggeration. In Rayy, the capital of Djibal, one had 
a rati of 300 dirhams, i.e. 926.94 g. This rati was also 
used in some provinces of Adharbaydjan. as in those 
of Khuy and Urmiya. But outside Rayy, one used in 
Djibal a rati which was the double of the Rayy one, 
and in other provinces of Adharbaydjan one used the 
rati of Baghdad. The rati of Ardabll weighed, accor- 
ding to al-Istakhrl, 1,040 dirhams, i.e. 3.213 kg, and 
according to al-Mukaddasi 1,200 dirhams, i.e. 3.7 kg. 
In Shiraz one weighed bread and meat by the rati of 
Baghdad, whereas other commodities were weighed 
by the same rati as that used in Ardabfl (eight times as 
much as that of Baghdad). The standard weight for 
small quantities of dry (and even liquid commodities) 
was in most provinces of Persia the mann (also called 
mana), which had spread widely in 


weights. In 

the province of Khuzistan, outside the town of al- 
Ahwaz, it was equal to 4 ratls of Baghdad, so that it 
weighed 1 .6 kg. In the neighbouring province of Fars, 
one used in some towns, like Arradjan, a mann of 1.2 
kg (equal to 3 Baghdad! ratls) and in others one of 
926.94 g. In Istakhr one used a mann of 400 dirhams, 
i.e. 1.235 kg, and in Fasa one of 300 dirhams, i.e. 
926.94 g. The mann of Rayy was of 1.853 kg, and that 
of other towns of Djibal 1 .2359 kg (600 and 400 dirham 
respectively). The mann of Rayy was widely used. It 
was also the standard weight of the provinces of 
Daylam and Tabaristan, whereas Kumis had a mann 
of 926.94 g. Despite the bewildering variety of all 
these weights, they point to a striking difference bet- 
ween the metrological system of the Persian provinces 
of the caliphate and those formerly belonging to the 
Byzantine empire: the basic unit was much heavier 
than that used in the latter countries. The mann re- 
mained also in the later Middle Ages, and even in 
subsequent periods, the basic weight of the provinces 
of Persia. Ghazan imposed the mann of Tabriz, which 
was equal to 260 dirhams, i.e. 803.348 g, as the stan- 
dard weight in the whole kingdom of the Il-Khans. 
and even grain was weight by this mann. However, ac- 
cording to Pegolotti, spices were weighed by a mann 
equal to 903.69 g. After the downfall of the Il-Khans, 
in the middle of the 8th/14th century, it fell out of use. 
Uzun Hasan introduced another weight, the so-called 
batman, equal to 5.76 kg, and this was apparently the 
standard weight in most Persian provinces under the 
rule of the Safawids. Then in the llth/17th and 
12th/ 18th centuries a mann of 2.88 - 2.9 kg spread 
everywhere. Obviously, this was a variation of half 
the pound of Uzun Hasan. From the beginning of the 
19th century, it was mostly equal to 3 kg, and later it 
was indeed fixed at exactly 3 kg. In 1926 the 
equivalence of Persian and metric weights was fixed 
by law, and in 1935 the metric system was introduced, 
although in practice the ancient weights are still used. 
The use of measures of capacity was in Persia much 
less common than in the Arab-speaking countries, 
although in the days of the caliphs, the kafiz was wide- 
ly used. According to the reports of the Arabic authors 
of the 4th/10th century, one used in NTshapur a kafiz 
which was equal to 70 manns, i.e. 56.23 kg of wheat. 
In Fars one had various kafizs, containing 3.2 - 6.4 kg 
wheat. For greater quantities, one used there the 
djartb, equal to 10 kafizs of 16 ratls, i.e. 64.26 kg, but 
the inference of al-Istakhrl is that this only is an in- 
dication of its average weight, since he adds to this 
equation with the rati (of Baghdad) the statement that 
the weight of the kafiz depended upon the commodity 
measured (and this was probably true for other 
equivalents of measures of capacity and weights). In 
his native town of Istakhr, one called kafiz a measure 
which was half of the kafiz of Shiraz. In Khuzistan one 

used a kurr containing 1004 kg of wheat (but for 
government crops, only 963.5 kg). Another unit of 
weight which was in all periods widespread in the Per- 
sian lands was the kharwar, a donkey's load. The 
Buyid ruler c Adud ad-Dawla fixed it at 96.35 kg, and 
Ghazan Khan at 80.29 kg; but in the later Middle 
Ages a heavier kharwar was introduced, weighing 288 
kg, and at present a kharwar of 297 kg is widespread 
(although others are used). 

In the Muslim regions of Asia Minor one used, 
according to Eliya of Nisibin, in the 5th/llth century 
a rail which was equal to 317.89 g, but later authors 
say that the rail rami" weighed 120 dirhams, i.e. 370.776 
g. Ibn Fadl Allah al- c UmarI, who wrote in the first 
half of the 8th/14th century, mentions the different 
ratls of several provinces of Asia Minor. According to 
him, one used in some (as in those of Antalya, 
Aksaray and Kara Hisar) a rati of 1.779 kg; in Bursa 
a rati of 9.64 kg; and in KastamunI a rati of 7.118 kg. 
As to the rati of Siwas, the contemporary Pegolotti 
says that it was of 4.8 kg, whereas one learns from an 
Arabic source that it was of 4.618 kg. In the 18th cen- 
tury Istanbul had a rati of 2.8 kg, and Konya had in 
the 19th century a rati of 481 g. Beside these different 
ratls, one used everywhere in the Ottoman empire 
another weight, the okka, which was equal to 1 .283 kg. 
For grain, one used in the Middle Ages in the Turkish 
provinces of Asia Minor measures of capacity, which 
in some places equalled the Egyptian irdabb. Ibn Fadl 
Allah al- c Umar! lists them and says also that in Bursa 
one used a mudd which was bigger by a quarter. In the 
Ottoman period the mudd contained 513 kg of wheat 
(being of 666.4 1). 

In North Africa the rati of Baghdad, being con- 
sidered as the canonical, was the most common as 
long as the c Abbasids exercised suzerainty there. The 
Fatimids, however, introduced a heavier rati, which 
had been previously used for weighing pepper. It was 
reckoned at 140 dirhams, i.e. it was equal to 432.572 
g, according to the detailed account of al-Mukaddasi. 
Ibn Hawkal, who probably describes conditions 
prevailing at the beginning of their rule, says that 
meat was weighed in al-Kayrawan by a rati of 128 
dirhams, i.e. 395.49 g, whereas other commodities 
were weighed by a rati of 4.94 kg. Eliya of Nisibin 
gives for the common Maghrib! rati 137'/ 7 dirhams, 
thereby confirming the account of al-Mukaddasi. Ibn 
Hawkal's report about a heavy rati of al-Kayrawan 
refers certainly to that used in this town, according to 
the later al-Bakri, for figs, nuts and other victuals, and 
this was 10 times heavier than the pepper rail. The lat- 
ter author gives also some data about the weights used 
in various other provinces of the Maghrib, in the post- 
Fatimid period there. According to him, one used in 
Tenes, Melila and Nakur, a rail of 330 dirhams, i.e. 
1.019 kg, whereas meat was both in Tenes and in 
other towns weighed by much heavier ratls. Ibn Baf- 
tuta makes two statements about the common 
Maghrib! rati: in one he says that it was equal to a 
quarter of a Damascene rati, that is 463.47 g, and in 
another that it was 5 / 4 of an Egyptian rati, i.e. 
556.164 g. From Pegolotti, one learns that one used 
in the first half of the 8th/ 14th century in Tunis a rati 
of 490.7 g. For grains, one had in the Maghrib 
various mudds. According to al-Bakri, there was used 
in Fas a small mudd of 4.31 1, but in most places bigger 
units were used. Al-Mukaddasi says that in al- 
Kayrawan a mudd was used which equalled 201 1, and 
al-Bakri reports that the people of Tahart had a mudd 
of 243 1. For liquids, such as olive oil, there was used 
in Tunis in the 19th century the kulla of 10.08 1 and 
the malar, twice its weight. 

In Muslim Spain, a rati of 503.68 g was com- 

monly used. But for weighing meat, one had a rati 
four times as heavy. For grain, one used a kafxz con- 
taining 60 ra*/s of wheat, i.e. 30.22 kg. Olive oil was 
weighed by a thumn containing 2'/ 4 rath, i.e. 1.12 kg; 
the kulla was equal to 12 thumns. 

Bibliography: Istakhrl, 156, 191, 203, 213; 
MukaddasT, 99, 129, 145 f., 181 f., 204, 240, 381, 
397, 417 f., 452; Bakri, ed. de Slane, 26 f., 62, 69, 
89, 91117, 145; Ibn MammatT, Kawanin al- 
dawawin, Cairo 1943, 360 ff.; Ibn al-Ukhuwwa, 
Ma c alim al-kurba, London 1938,' ch. ix; Ibn 
al- c AdIm, Zubdat al-(alab min ta^rikh Halab, 
Damascus 1954, ii, 182; al-Kalkashandi, $ubh al- 
a'shd, "i, 445, iv, 181, 198, 216, 233, 237, 422 f.; 
Makrlzl, Khitaf, BGlak 1270, ii, 274, 1. 27; al- 
Sakatl, Un manuel hispanique de hisba, ed. Levi- 
Provencal, 11,13, 39; Ibn Battuta, iii, 382, iv, 317; 
Pegolotti, La practica della mercatura, ed. Evans, 
30 f., 69 ff., 89 ff., 135, 166; Zibaldone da Canal, 
ed. A. Stussi, Venice 1967, 56, 65 ff.; Tarifa zoe 
noticia dy pexi e mexure di luogi e tere che s'adovra mar- 
cadantia per el mondo, Venice 1925, 26 ff., 63; // 
manuale di mercatura di Saminiato de' Ricci, ed. A. 
Borlandi, Genoa 1963, 120; // libra di mercatantie et 
usanzede' paesi, ed. Fr. Borlandi, Turin 1936, 70 f., 
72 ff., 75 ff., 99 ff.; Sauvaire, Materiaux pour servir 
a I'histoire de la numismatique et de la metrologie 
musulmane, in JA (1884-6); idem, On a treatise on 
weights and measures by Eliya, archbishop of Nisibin, in 
JRAS (1877), 291 ff.; R. Brunschvig, Mesures de 
capacite de la Tunisie medievale, in RAfr., 1935/3-4, 
86-90; idem; in AIEO Alger (1937), 74-87; W. 
Hinz, Islamische Masse und Gewichte, Leiden 1955, 
Russian tr. with corrections, together with a 
treatise about weights in Central Asia, Musul'man- 
skie men is vesa s perevodom w metriceskuyu sistemu, tr. 
Y. Bregel, (with) E. A. Davidovic, Maleriali po 
metrologii srednevekovoy sredney Asii, Moscow 1970; P. 
Balog, Umayyad, Abbasid and Tulunid glass weights and 
vessel stamps, New York 1976; A. Grohmann, Ein- 
fuhrung und Chrestomathie zur arabischen Papyruskunde, 
Prague 1955, 139 ff.; F. Vive, Deneraux, estampilles 

(1956), 17-90; A. S. Ehrenkreutz, The kurr system in 
medieval Iraq, in JESHO, v (1962), 309 ff.; CI. 

de VEgyple medievale d'apres le Minhadj d'al-Makhzumi, 
in JESHO, vii (1964), 275 ff.; B. Lewis, Studies in 
the Ottoman archives, in BSOAS, xvi (1954), 489; E. 
Ashtor, Histoire des prix et des salaires dans I' Orient 
medieval, Paris 1969, 103, 125; A. K. S. Lambton, 
Landlord and peasant in Persia 2 , London 1969, 405 ff.; 
C. E. Bosworth, Abu c Abdallah al-Khwarazmi on the 
technical terms of the secretary's art, in JESHO, xii 
(1969). (E. Ashtor) 

2. In Musi 

i India 

It appears that the earliest Muslims in India of 
whose fiscal regulations we have any records had 
assimilated the indigenous system of weights of north- 
ern India for everyday trade; for the more precise re- 
quirements of the coinage, there is excellent 
numismatic evidence that indigenous standards had 
been adopted from the beginning and maintained 
thenceforth, except for a few anomalous periods. The 
interconnexion between precise and general weights, 
however, varies enormously from time to time and 
from region to region, so that there can be con- 
siderable difficulties in interpreting references before 
the 19th century. 

An attempt was made by the East India Company 
in 1833 to standardise the weights system in Regulation 

VII, "A regulation for altering the weight of the Fur- 
ruckabad [i.e. Farrukhabad] rupee and for 
assimilating it to the legal currency of the Madras and 
Bombay Presidencies; for adjusting the weight of the 
Company's sicca rupee, and for fixing a standard unit 
of weight for India' ' . This provided for the following 

8 ratti = 1 mdsha 
12 mdsha = 1 told 

■0 tola 

40 si 

The sir was further divisible into 16 chalank (just as 
the rupee was divisible into 16 ana "annas", the ana 
being originally not a coin but merely a money of ac- 
count, "sixteenth share". The central unit here, the 
tola, was fixed at 180 grains, i.e. 11 .6638 gm. ; thus the 
"official seer", sir, was fixed at 2.057 lbs.av. = 0.933 
kg., and the "official maund", man, at 82.286 lbs.av 
= 37.32 kg. The Indian weights and measures act, Act. XI 
of 1870, provided for the extension of this system, 
throughout British India, and provided for a future 
redefinition of the sir as precisely equal to the standard 
kilogram, although with the death of Lord Mayo, the 
proposer of the Act, this scheme did not materialise at 
the time, and the above system of weights remained 
in force until the official introduction of the metric 
system after Indian independence (persisting unof- 
ficially in country districts up to the present day). The 
anglice form "maund" derives from man through Port. 
mao, possibly influenced by an old Eng. "maund", a 
hamper of eight bales, etc.; see OED, s.v. Maund. 

This relative scale was general throughout north 
and central India and Bengal, although the values of 
sir and man were very variable; the situation is further 
complicated by the presence side by side of a kacca and 
a pakkd sir and man almost everywhere (cf. mediaeval 
Europe: "almost every city in Italy had its libra grossa 
and libra sottile"; and the former distinction in 
England between lb.av. and lb. troy. See Hobson- 
Jobson, s.v. pucka, Pucka, and cf. variations in the 
Eng. pound for different commodities in OED, s.v. 
Pound. Thus Tavernier (Les six voyages..., Paris 1676, 
ed. and Eng. tr. V. A. Ball, London 1889) and Grose 
(Voyage to the East Indies..., London 1757) agree that 
the ordinary man is 69 livres/pounds, but that used for 
weighing indigo is only 53. Grose further mentions 
the man of Bombay as 28 lb., that of Goa 14 lb., that 
of Surat 37 lb., of Coromandel 25 lb., but of Bengal 
75 lb. Some, but not all, of these estimates correspond 
with those of Prinsep (E. Thomas, ed., Essays on In- 
dian antiquities of the late James Prinsep which are add- 
ed his Useful Tables, London 1858), whose list is the 
most complete; his largest man is of Ahmadnagar, of 
64 sir and = 163.25 lbs, the smallest that of "Col- 
achy" (Kolacel) in Travancore, of 18.80 lbs. 

Absolute values have been cited first from Euro- 
pean travellers, since they describe transactions of 
their own times and offer some standards for com- 
parison. The question becomes more difficult when 
interpreting the Muslim historians: e.g. Diya 3 al-DIn 
BaranI, discussing (Ta^rikh-i Firuz Shahi, 316 ff.) the 
first dabita of c Ala 3 al-DIn Khaldji on the regulations 
of grain prices some sixty years after the events, 
details the prices for various commodities in terms of 
djitah or (ankas per man or sir, only Firishta's 
explanation — some three hundred years after 'Ala 3 al- 
Dln's time— that the sir was at that time of 24 tolas 
allows the rough calculation that the man referred to 
must have been about 1 1 .2 kg. , provided that one can 
depend on the accuracy of both BaranI and Firishta 
[q.vv.]. Ibn Battuta (iii, 290, tr. Gibb, iii, 695), 
describing the famine of 734/1334, refers to the Dihll 


man, and to its half, the rati, and elsewhere equates the 
Dihll rati as 20 Maghrlbi rati (Hinz, hlamische Masse, 
32, makes the Morocco rati 468.75 gm). Some writers 
confuse the issue further (e.g. c Abd al-Razzak 
ShirazI, Matla'- al-saHayn; Djahangfr, in Tuzuk), by 
referring to a foreign man, although Djahangfr does 
explain that 500 Hindustani man - 4000 Wilayati; 
the "Hindustani" must be the recently established 
man-i Akbarii, equivalent to man-i tabrizi. 

The smaller weights present fewer problems, since 
they are relatable to the coinage and one possesses the 
ponderal evidence of the coins themselves. Here the 
standard is the told, the weight of the ianka, calculated 
as equal to 96 raitl. The ralli ("red one", Skt. raktikd; 
Abu '1-Fadl in A 'Tn-iAkbari calls it surkh) is the seed 
of a small red-flowered leguminous creeper, Abrus 
precatorius; the actual weight of such a seed varies from 
80 to 130 mg, its notional weight, at least up to the 
end of the 8th/14th century, being 116.6 mg. (for 
fuller discussion of the metrological problem see 
sikka. India). The rattt is in Hindu theory a high 
multiple of the smallest particle, the "mote in a 
sunbeam"; there are several factitious tables of in- 
crements in the ancient authors, some of which are 
related by al-BIruni (ed. Sachau, text i, 76 ff.; Eng. 
tr. i, 160 ff.), who complains of weights being "dif- 
ferent for different wares and in different provinces". 
He relates some of these weights to his mithkdl, but not 
consistently, giving the mithkdl a weight of about 5 . 5 
gm. But the weight of the mithkdl has similarly varied; 
the term is used occasionally by Indian authors, 
especially in the Bdbur-ndma and Humdyun-ndma, 
where it is expressly stated to be the weight of a 
shahrukhi, the especial currency of Kabul, two-fifths 
the value of an Akbarl rupee, and weighing only 
about 4.67 gm (S.H. Hodivala, Historical studies in 
Mughal numismatics, Calcutta 1923, s.v. 
"Shahrukhls", 1-10). 

The ralli and, less frequently, the mdshd are also us- 
ed as the common jewellers' weights; in some cases 
the jewellers' rattiis known to have been a "double ral- 
tf ' ; this brings it to nearly the weight of another seed 
notionally used in South India, including Golkonda 
and Bidjapur, the mandjdli (Telugu) or mandjddi 
(Tamil), of about 260 mg. (Hobson-Jobson, s.v. 

There were no measures of capacity in regular 
Indian use, liquids and grain being regularly ac- 
counted by weight only. When precision was of small 
importance, water might be accounted by the skinful, 
dahi (curds) by the jarful, small quantities of grain by 
the handful, etc. Al-BIruni, loc. cii., does mention 
some Indian measures of capacity, of which only the 
but seems to have survived but not now to be iden- 
tifiable. Factory records (e.g. those at Dhaka, see Ab- 
dul Karim, Dacca: the Mughal capital, Dacca 1964) 
show cloth as being accounted simply by the "piece", 
or (tantalisingly) for smaller or fractional lengths, by 
the reza. 

Bibliography: In addition to references in the 
article, see for the metrology especially, H. N. 
Wright, The coinage and metrology of the sultans of Delhi, 
Oxford (for the Manager of Publications, Delhi) 
1936, App. A. (J. Burton-page) 

MAKBARA (or makbura, makbira, mikbara, makbar 
and makbur) (a.), "cemetery". The word occurs on- 
ly in the Kurgan in the plural form makdbir. "Rivalry 
distracts you, until you visit the cemeteries" (CII,2). 
Its synonyms d^abbdna, madfan and turba do not figure 
in the Holy Book. 

1. In the centr; 
The Arab authors supply little inforn 


tracing the history of Muslim cemeteries. Works of 
fikh refer only to prohibitions concerning tombs (kabr, 
pi. kubur [q.v.]) and the visiting of burial-places (ziydra 
[q.v.]). At the most, a few occasional references may 
be gleaned from these sources: Ibn Batfa and Ibn 
Kudama recall, for example, the dictum of the 
Prophet forbidding prayer in cemeteries (cf. H. 
Laoust, La profession defoid'Ibn Batta, Damascus 1958, 
80, 149, and idem, Le precis de droit d'Ibn Quddma, 
Beirut 1950, 21). Ibn Taymiyya notes that the 
cemeteries of Christians and Jews must not be located 
in proximity to those of the faithful (cf. idem, Essaisur 
les doctrines sociales et politiques d'Ibn Taimiyya, Cairo 
1939, 372). For more substantial information, it is 
necessary to consult works of topography, guides to 
pilgrimage and the accounts of travellers. Even here, 
it very often happens that such information is dispers- 
ed and responds only partially to the requirements of 
the historian. Thus in his topography of the city of 
Damascus, Ibn c Asakir devotes a whole chapter to the 
cemeteries, but he is primarily concerned with 
locating the tombs of the revered individuals who are 
buried there. While he identifies the site of the first 
cemetery of Damascus, that of Bab Tuma (currently 
Shaykh Raslan) where the Muslims killed at the time 
of the conquest of the city were buried, it is only by 
chance that he mentions those of al-Bab al-Saghir and 
al-Faradis, in referring to the tombs of the Compan- 
ions of the Prophet (cf. Ibn c Asakir, Ta^rtkh madindi 
Dimashk, ii, ed. S. Munadjdjid, Damascus 1954, 
188-200, tr. N. Elisseeff, La Description de Damas, 
Damascus 1959, 303-16). His aim is not to describe 
the history of the cemeteries, their creation, develop- 
ment and abandonment, but to give a topography of 
the tombs. 

It is in the same manner that the authors of 
topographies of the two holy cities — Mecca and 
Medina — describe the cemeteries. They recount the 
traditions relating to their origin, but are concerned 
above all with the topographical landmarks of tombs 
of the members of the family of the Prophet whose 
names are listed. They accord the same treatment to 
the Sahaba and the Tabi c un (cf. al-Azrakl, Akhbdt 
Makka wa-md djd>a fi-hd min al-dthdr, Mecca 1965, 
209-13; al- c Abbasi, Kitdb '■Umdat al-akhbdr fi madinat al- 
mukhtdr, Cairo n.d., 147-62). 

Somewhat different is the account given by al- 
Makrlzl in the chapter of the Khitat devoted to the 
cemeteries of Cairo. He locates them, tells the story of 
the acquisition of the site of the Karafa at the time of 
the conquest, and gives a brief account of its develop- 
ment and extension. But the greater part of the 
chapter deals with the localisation of the 
monuments — mosques, palaces, ribdts, musallds — 
dispersed throughout that massive expanse at the feet 
of the hill of al-Mukatfam known as the "city of the 
dead" (cf. al-MakrizI, al-MawdHz wa '1-iHibdr bi-dhikr 
al-khitaf wa •l-dthar, Beirut n.d., ii, 442-3, 451-3). 

By adding to the information supplied by 
topographical works that which may be gleaned from 
the accounts of travellers, it is possible to identify the 
privileged sites where Muslim cemeteries were 
established: in general, according to a comprehensible 
urban logic, they are laid out on the exterior of the 
ramparts, close to the gates of the town: for example, 
in the case of Damascus, the cemeteries of Shaykh 
Raslan near Bab Tuma, of al-Bab al-Saghfr, of Bab 
Kaysan, of Dahdah near Bab al-Faradis, of al-Sufiyya 
near Bab al-Djabiya, etc. (cf. Kh. Moaz and S. Ory, 
Inscriptions arabes de Damas, les steles funeraires. I. Le 
cimetiere d 'al-Bab al-Saghir, Damascus 1977, 9-13); in 
the case of Mecca, the cemetery of al-Hadjun, close to 
Bab Ma c la (cf. al-Azraki, op. cit., ii, 3, 81; Ibn Bat- 

tufa, Rihla, i, 330, Eng. tr. Gibb, i, 206-8; Ibn 
Djubayr, Rihla, Fr. tr. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, 
Paris 1951, ii, 129); in the case of Medina, al-BakI c , 
near the gate of the same name (Ibn Djubayr, op. cit. , 
ii, 227; Ibn Ba{tuta, i, 286, tr. i, 179; in the case of 
Baghdad, the cemeteries of Bab Dimashk, of Bab al- 
Tibn, of Bab al-Harb, of Bab al-Kunas, of Bab al- 
Baradan, of Bab Abraz (cf. al-Khatlb al-Baghdadl, 
TaMkh Baghdad, i, Cairo 1931, 120-7; J. Lassner, The 
topography of Baghdad in the early Middle Ages, Detroit 
1970, ch. The cemeteries of Baghdad, 111-18; G. 
MakdTsi, Ibn c Akil et la resurgence de I'Islam traditionel 
Damascus 1963, index s.v. cimetieres; etc.). 

The slopes or foot of mountains imbued with an at- 
mosphere of sanctity are also propitious sites for 
cemeteries. The cemeteries of the Karafa in Cairo, at 
the feet of the Djabal al-Mukatfam, are the best ex- 
amples of this. Also worthy of mention in this context 
are the cemeteries of al-Hadjun in Mecca, on the hill 
of the same name (cf. above), and that of Saliljiyya in 
Damascus, at the foot of Mount Kasiyun [q.v.]. 

While the perspective in which cemeteries are 
described in the works of Arabic topography does not 
fully respond to all the requirements of the historian, 
it does, on the other hand, identify well the relations 
existing between the cemetery and the town, am- 
bivalent relations which reflect the difficulties of 
reconciling legal prescriptions with living reality, dif- 
ficulties similar to those already mentioned in the con- 
text of tombs (cf. Y. Raghib, Les premiers monuments 
funeraires de I'Islam, in Annates Islamologiques , ix [1970], 
21-2). In fact, in the view of some of the fukaha 3 , the 
cemetery is an impure case. It will be recalled that Ibn 
Kudama and Ibn Batfa (op. cit. , 80, 149) include it in 
the list of places unsuited to prayer, in the same man- 
ner as public baths, enclosures where camels shed ex- 
crement, abattoirs and rubbish dumps. However, for 
the majority of authors and the consensus of believers, 
the cemetery is a holy place, seeing that it contains the 
tombs of individuals venerated in Islam: members of 
the Prophet's family, the Sahaba or Companions, the 
Tabi c un or successors, awliyd* and salihun. Ibn Bat- 
tiita and al-Makrizt, referring to the mosque of the 
cemetery of the Karafa, call it the Djami'- al-awliyd ', 
and when al-Harawi (Ziydrat, ed. and tr. J. Sourdel- 
Thomine, Damascus 1953-7, 33/76, 37/86, 74/166, 
76/172) mentions a cemetery, it is always in terms of 
the saints and righteous men buried there. Special 
blessings are attached to these tombs. Every major ci- 
ty of Islam claims the honour of possessing the tombs 
of such venerated persons, irrespective of the fact that 
several cities may boast of the burial-place of the same 
individual (cf. Moaz-Ory, op. cit. , tomb of Bilal al- 
Habashi, 79). 

A whole literature has developed around this 
theme. These are the books offadaHl [q.v.], listing the 
holy persons still present, in a certain sense, in the 
town, and conferring upon it merit, glory and blessing 
(cf. for example al-Ruba c I, FadaHl al-Sham wa- 
Dimashk, ed. S. Munadjdjid, Damascus 1950; Ibn al- 
Zayyat, al-Kawakib al-sayydra ft tartib al-ziyara fi 7- 
Karafatayn al-kubra wa' l-sughrd, Baghdad n.d.. chs. 1-3, 
pp. 5-12). Very similar to these works, and sometimes 
overlapping with them, are the books of ziydrat [q. v. ] 
for the use of pilgrims who come to visit these tombs 
in order to benefit from the privileges associated with 
them (cf. Y. Raghib, Essai d'inventaire chronologique des 
guides a I' usage des pelerins du Caire, in REI x\il2 [1973], 
259-80; al-Harawi, op. cit.; J. Sourdel-Thomine, Les 
anciens lieux de pelerinage damascains, in BEO, xiv [1954], 
65-85). For these pilgrims to cemeteries, itineraries of 
visits are established (cf. L. Massignon, La cite des 

marts au Caire, Cairo 1958, 45-6) and rituals compos- 
ed. Today still, Shi c I pilgrims who visit the tombs of 
Fatima and Sukayna, in the cemetery of Bab Saghir, 
recite, wailing, the litanies specially written for these 

In conjunction with these rituals, a veritable funeral 
liturgy was developed in certain cemeteries, in par- 
ticular in that of the Karafa. Readings of the Kur 3 an 
were performed over the tombs visited by members of 
the company of kurrd > [see kari'] and, on feast-days, 
ceremonies took place with dhikr [q.v.], dances and 
chanting, organised by the disciples of the 
brotherhoods (cf. L. Massignon, op. cit., 46-8). These 
gatherings in the cemeteries sometimes led to abuses 
which the jurists were obliged to remedy. Thus in 
Baghdad, the caliphate authorities were obliged to 
place a guard on the cemetery, so intense were the 
demonstrations of devotion on the part of the pilgrims 
over the tomb of Ibn Hanbal (on the legality of these 

The tombs of these holy persons were often the 
basis for the creation of new necropolises or 
"quarters" in pre-existing cemeteries. Their 
topography thus led to the appearance of nuclei, 
grouping together in small enclosures within the 
cemetery, the tombs of members of the Prophet's 
family, the Sahaba and the Tabi'un. In Baghdad, in 
the cemetery of Bab al-Harb, a number of Hanballs 
are buried in the shadow of the tomb of Ibn Hanbal, 
and Hanafis around that of Abu Hanlfa (cf. Makdisi, 
op. cit., 258, 259, n. 1, 446, n. 2, 447, 448, 453, n. 1, 
388). At Karbala, ShI c Is were buried in the cemetery 
which developed around the tomb of the imam al- 
Husayn and, in the small Syrian town of Busra [q.v.], 
they established their own cemetery around the 
mas&id of al-Khidr [q.v.]. 

At the present day, Muslim cemeteries display an 
extremely varied typology. A vast extent of stones, 
with barely perceptible tombs, where the dead lie in 
anonymity conforming to the most rigorous injunc- 
tions of the fukaha ', or a city where the visitor becomes 
lost in the labyrinth of streets fringed with the facades 
of false buildings, behind which shelter tombs and 
funeral monuments, a veritable "city of the dead", 
desert necropolises gathered together in the hollows of 
dunes and fields of flowers from which funeral steles 
emerge, cemeteries built into the walls of cities or 
dispersed in palm-groves or forests of cork-oak — all of 
these constitute the cemeteries of Islam. 

Bibliography: Given in the article, to which 

should be added, M. Galal, Essai d' observations sur 

les rites funeraires en Egypte actuelle. . . , in REI, xi 

(1937), 131-299. (S. Ory) 

2. In North Africa 

The most common terms used to designate a 
cemetery in the languages and dialects of the Maghrib 
are the plural forms mkaber and kbor l-ma c mora and roda 
(in Moroccan and Algerian Arabic); and diebbana 
(Tunisian and Algerian Arabic); the Berber form in- 
clude lirmkbzrt or bmkabzr (Kabyle); a c ammar, isssndal, 
timstdlin (Middle, High and Anti-Atlas Mts.), imdran 
(Rif), etc. 

The cemeteries of North African towns and villages 
may be both extra and intra muros. Thus Fas, for exam- 
ple, has at least ten important graveyard sites. These 
include the Bab Futiih, which is separated by a small 
valley and stream into two halves: the so-called al- 
Kbab "the cupolas" (because of its numerous 
mausoleums of holy men) to the west, and Sidl 
Harazam to the east. The whole of the cemetery 
overlooks the madina of Fas from the south. At the 

same time, there are within the city walls 
graveyards, such as Bab al-Hamra and SIdl C A1I al- 
Mzall (cf. R. Le Tourneau, Fes avant le protectorat, 
Casablanca 1949, 114, 135 and index, 638). The 
various sites may differ in social composition and 
rank, and within any given cemetery there may exist 
a diversity of types of graves and elaborations of these. 
In some tribal localities, there is a tendency for par- 
ticular lineage groups to have their graves within a 
particular plot (cf. D. M. Hart, The Aith Waryaghar of 
the Moroccan Rif, Tucson 1976, 144). It may be the 
case, in regard to some towns of the region, that ur- 
ban growth "is hindered particularly by the stiff collar 
of cemeteries which modern Islamic towns have had 
the greatest difficulty in breaking through" (X. de 
Planhol, The world of Islam, Ithaca, N.Y. 1959 
(original French ed. Paris 1957), 11), but this is not 
everywhere so; there are examples, at least in Tunisia, 
of cemeteries having been moved in order to facilitate 
urban expansion; elsewhere, formerly external sites 
have now become, because of expansion, part of city 

Some writers have noted a striking contrast be- 
tween the cemeteries of Europe and those of the 
Islamic shores of the Mediterranean: that the former 
are enclosed, sad places, whilst the latter are open 
spaces, favoured especially by women and children, 
and used for visiting, for strolling about and for pic- 
nics. It seems that in the Muslim towns of the 
Mediterranean lands, attitudes towards death and the 
dead imply certain specific rights and duties that are 
absent in Christian Europe; cf. J. -P. Charay, La vie 
musulmane en Algerie d'apres la jurisprudence de la premiere 
motie du XX' sikle, Paris 1965, 237; Hart, op. cit, 147. 

In the far west of Islam, during mediaeval times, 
judging on the basis of 6th/12th century Seville, the 
'■ulamd^ were concerned about the maintenance of 
cemeteries both from the physical and the moral 
points of view. The kadi Ibn c Abdun remarks upon the 
tendency to construct buildings within cemeteries and 
to use these buildings and the space around them for 
purposes considered illicit or indecent (E. Levi- 
Provencal, Seville musulmane au debut du XII's. , Paris 
1947, 57-8). Some dynasties constructed elaborate 
necropolises for their dead, e.g. Chella (Shala [q.v.]), 
built by the Marlnid sultans Abu Sa c Id and Abu '1- 
Hasan between 710/1310 and 739/1339 on the site of 
the ancient Roman city of Sala (see H. Basset and 
Levi-Provencal, Chella, une necropole merinide, in 
Hesperis, ii [1922], 1-92, 255-316, 385-425), and the 
Sa c dian tombs of Marrakesh, mostly built during the 
reign of Ahmad al-Mansur (986-1012/1578-1603) (see 
G. Deverdun, Marrakech des origines a 1912, Rabat 
1959, 381 ff.). 

A number of customs and rituals are associated 
with cemeteries in the Maghrib. Most of these include 
ceremonial visits and meals, usually accompanied by 
prayers at gravesides. Thus in Fas, at least until 
World War II, the family of a deceased person on the 
day after the death sent a meal to the grave to be 
distributed to the poor assembled there C-ashat l-kbar 
"the supper of the grave"). Generally, various in- 
dividuals or groups (family, men, women) visit graves 
on specific occasions, such as ^Ashura' day, on 26 
Ramadan, and on c Arafa, the day before the Greater 
Festival. In most urban centres, the obligatory out- 
door place of prayer, musalld, is in the major 
cemetery. There the chief religious rite of the Greater 
and Lesser Festivals, the morning worship of the first 
day, takes place; and on the Greater Festival, the in- 
itial sacrifice of the local community is carried out by 
the kddf(see E. Westermarck, Ritual and belief in Moroc- 

co, London 1926, ii, 105, 254, 457, 478-9, 511, 547). 
Another rite often carried out at the musalld is the 
"prayer for rain" (saldt al-istiskd* [see istiska 3 ]); see 
K. L. Brown, The impact of the Dahir Berbere in Sale, in 
E. Gellner and C. Micauld (eds.), Arabs and Berbers, 
London 1973, 209. 

The general attitude towards the space within 
cemeteries has been mentioned above. It appears to 
be marked by a mixture of dread and security. Thus 
according to Westermarck, Moroccans fear to pass 
near or through cemeteries at night, because in them 
dwell the mwdlln l-ard, i.e. the znun; but as Hart 
remarks, these znun are considered harmless. 
Moreover, travellers are said to have stayed the night 
in cemeteries because of the security and protection 
provided by the mwdlin l-kbdr "the masters of the 
graves", i.e. the dead, amongst whom there was like- 
ly to be some holy man (see Westermarck, ii, 374, and 
Hart, loc. cit). 

The sanctuaries of holy men (awliyd 7 ) are often 
alongside or within cemeteries, and this in part ex- 
plains why these latter places may be considered and 
filled with mystery. In tales, it is said that the prophets 
whilst crossing through them heard the voices of the 
dead; and mystics, especially those considered 
divinely-possessed (mad^dhub [q.v.]), are supposed to 
have gone into retreat within them. Yet the fact of be- 
ing sacred does not result from the simple agglomera- 
tion of graves, but depends on the presence and 
veneration of the tomb (kubba) of a holy man; cf. E. 
Dermenghem, Le culle des saints dans V Islam maghrebin, 
Paris 1957, 135-6. Private sepulchres which become 
sanctuaries (rawda) may or may not be considered as 
cemeteries in the broader sense. Thus Mawlay Idris, 
the main sanctuary in the heart of Fas, is not properly 
speaking a cemetery. But in other places, the tomb of 
a holy man will be at the centre of a town's graveyard. 

Finally, it should be noted that the cemeteries of 
North Africa offer precious sources for historical and 
demographic research. The use of such data has hard- 
ly begun, but see J. Bourrilly and E. Laoust, Steles 
funeraires marocaines, Paris 1927, and P. Pascon and D. 
Schroeter, Le cimetiere juif d'lligh (1751-1955), etude des 
epitaphes comme documents d'histoire sociale (Tazerwalt, 
Sud-Ouest Marocain), in ROMM, xxiv (1982), 39-62. 
Bibliography: Given in the article. 

(K. L. Brown) 

3. In Turkey 

Funerary monuments in both the pre-Ottoman and 
Ottoman periods are characterised by the use of 
durable material as well as sometimes by rich decora- 
tion, neither of which accord with orthodox Sunni 
tradition. Pre-Islamic Turkish traditions, as well as 
manners and customs of other peoples with whom the 
Turks came into contact during their migration 
towards the West, are here at variance with the 
stringent regulations of Sunni Islam, according to 
which a tomb should be simple and made of transient 
material. Particularly in eastern Anatolia and in 
Adharbaydjan, these traditions and contacts are at the 
origin of gravestones in the form of animals, con- 
nected with animistic religious belief, as well as of 
types based on the tradition of local industrial art (e.g. 
at Akhlat). 

Not much is known about early Ottoman tombs 
before about the 10th/17th century. Since only a small 
number of authentic gravestones have been preserv- 
ed, no further conclusions can be made. It cannot be 
ascertained whether their disappearance is to be at- 
tributed to the influence of time alone: European 
travellers of the 16th and 17th centuries mention 

bricks as material for tombs (Geuffroy, Erste Theil der 
Hoffhaltung Des Tilrckischen Keysets ... ed. Hoeniger, 
Basel 1596, i, p. clii). The use of this transient 
material, if in fact not limited to isolated cases, could 
explain the small number of tombs which have surviv- 
ed from this period. This might then support the 
hypothesis according to which the funerary art of the 
later Ottoman period began to develop in the 
10th-llth/16th-17th centuries only. 

One of the characteristics of the Ottoman 
gravestone — unparalleled in this form — is its an- 
thropomorphic shape, with a reproduction on top of 
some kind of headgear. Such a representation is 
reserved for tombs of men, but it is not the only form 
used. (Only further investigation can confirm the 
assertion, repeatedly put forward, that the form of the 
upper part of tombs for women, widespread since the 
llth/18th century, can indeed be traced to an old 
Turkish, nomadic headgear.) The headgear on tombs 

be found in any other region of the Islamic world — 
can be proved to have been in existence since ca. 
900/1494-5. The oldest example in Istanbul is the 
tomb of a Dervish Mehmed in Eyiip (918/1512-3). In 
the next 200 years, hardly any social differentiation 
can be detected in the form of the headgear, since only 
a small number of turban forms appear which cannot 
be clearly ascribed to any particular social group. 
Since the llth/18th century, it became customary in 
Istanbul to represent, on gravestones of men, a 
headgear which was specific for a certain social class, 
or to express the social affiliation in another way 
(representations in relief of headgear and other 
distinctive marks). In the same way in which the 
graves of dervishes began to show the turbans of the 
various tarikas, and not the headgear in general use, 
the form of the turban started to indicate the differen- 
tiation between the various professional and social 
groups in other areas of society. Besides, one finds 
other representations in relief which indicate to which 
group the deceased belonged: insignia of boluk and 
djema' i at for Janissaries, rosettes (gill) of the various 
tarikas, especially for women from ca. 1250/1834-5, 
and, rather infrequently, images of utensils and in- 

For about a century, this strong differentiation 
marks the image of Ottoman gravestones. The in- 
troduction of the fez from 1829 onwards leads, again, 
to a general levelling and standardisation. (In other 
parts of the empire this development appears with 
some delay; e.g. in Bosnia, turban forms, which in the 
capital had fallen into disuse at the beginning of the 
18th century, were still used towards the end of the 
19th century.) Besides the fez, turbans remained in 
use, but in Istanbul they were, since about 1850, 
almost exclusively reserved for "Wama'and dervishes. 
Finally, the Atatiirk reforms, especially the reform of 
the script and the legislation on headgear, mark the 
end of the tradition of Ottoman graves. 

As in other fields of Ottoman art, an ever- 
increasing degree of European influence upon grave 
ornamentation can be detected from the second half of 
the 18th century onwards. Before that period, 
gravestones had hardly been decorated, but now 
vegetational motifs, both of traditionally oriental 
(cypresses, etc.) and of western origin (flower-baskets, 
cornucopias, etc.) were spreading more and more. By 
the roundabout way of Europe, older Islamic motifs, 
like the arabesque, were rediscovered for tombstone 
art towards the end of the 19th century. In general, 
the development of ornamentation of tombstones 
went parallel to that of representative and architec- 

Whereas tomb inscriptions in Arabic can be found 
for the early period, Ottoman became the dominant 
language in the 10th/16th century. With regard to 
their contents, these inscriptions underwent but very 
few alterations: they follow a formula which cor- 
responds largely to that of Ottoman documents (see 
Kraelitz, Osmanische Urkunden in tiirkischer Sprache, 
Vienna 1921, 12 ff., adapted to gravestones by Pro- 
kosch, Osmanische Inschrifien auf Grabern bei der Moschee 
des Karabas-Klosters in Tophane-Istanbul, Istanbul 1976, 

1. invocatio: mostly huve 'l-baki, or another of the 99 

2. benedictio: merhum ve maghfur, occasionally more 

3. inscriptio: statements about the deceased. Apart 
from the name, details on his origin, relationship 
and profession, may be given here. 

4. request for prayer: mostly ruhiycun or ruhunafatiha. 

Such concise and rather uniform inscriptions were 
standard during a long period, even if particular com- 
ponents occasionally are expressed more elaborately. 
From the 18th century onwards, poetical expressions 
on the transitoriness of temporal existence are often 
inserted between the invocatio and the benedictio, in 
which reference is almost always made to the same 
limited and reiterated repertoire of verses of this kind. 
In the same period, chronograms are more and more 
used, especially for dervishes. In later times, there is 
a clear tendency towards more elaborate inscriptions. 
Instead of the original 5-6 lines of concise text, there 
often appear 1 5-20 lines which, however, do not pro- 
vide more factual information. 

Traditional Ottoman Islamic society did not allow 
the digging out of tombs, or their re-use; burial-places 
had to remain for ever. Yet the loss of many tomb- 
stones, and above all of most of the (uninscribed) foot- 
end stones might be attributed to their being used 
again by Ottoman masons. Since the middle of the 
19th century, the construction of roads for traffic and 
new buildings has become another source for destruc- 
tion of cemeteries, and consequently of tombstones, a 
problem which has still not been solved. However, at 
present most of the permanent losses cannot be im- 
puted to such interferences (in which, as a rule, at 
least part of the tombstones are erected again at some 
other places), but to the hardly supervised re-use of 
historical cemeteries. 

Bibliography: H.-P. Laqueur, Osmanische 
Grabsleine, bibliographische Ubersicht, in Travaux et 
Recherches en Turquie, 1982, Collection Turcica ii, Lou- 
vain 1983, 90-6. A survey of the most important 
historical descriptions of Ottoman cemeteries can 
be found in idem, Grabsteine als Quellen zur 
osmanischen Geschichte-Mdglichkeiten und Probleme, in 



(1982), 21-44 (esp. 21-8 

'. of Ottoman Studies, iii 
(H.-P. Laqueur) 

The word makbara is used in India for both 
graveyard and mausoleum, although kabristan is also 
heard for the former; kabr may, besides the grave 
itself, signify a monumental tomb, especially of the 
simpler variety; dargah is used especially for the tomb 
or shrine of a pir, where there may be also such 
associated buildings as mosque(s), mihman-khana, etc.; 
in Kashmir a pir's tomb is usually called ziyarat, and 
the related mazar may also be used, especially for the 
smaller wayside shrine; rawda is commonly used for a 

monumental tomb within an enclosure 
ly of a pir. 

The solitary grave is rare; the individual may select 
an appropriate site in his lifetime, usually on his own 
ground (but sometimes by a roadside, since it is 
believed that the dead like to be within sound of 
human activity). But because this action then 
precludes the use of the ground for other purposes, the 
individual grave becomes a focus for other sepultures. 
In this way many family graveyards especially have 
come into being — "family" in the case of a pir being 
held to include murids. There is a tendency in some 
regions for graveyards of the Muslim community to 
be situated to the south of habitations, possibly an ex- 
tension of the Hindu association of the south as- the 
"quarter of Yama", the god of death: in the Lodi 
period the entire region of Dihll south of FIruzabad 
and Purana Kil c a down to the Kufb complex was used 
mostly as a vast necropolis. Khuldabad, near 
Dawlatabad, was originally called simply Rawda and 
was a necropolis village. Community graveyards may 
be enclosed by a low boundary wall, but protection is 
generally careless and graves and walls may fall into 
early ruin. Some enclosures are known to be family 
graveyards, where the standard of upkeep is higher; 
there may be an imposing entrance to the east and a 
tall and substantial wall to the west, with arched open- 
ings or depressions which serve to indicate the kibla; 
some of the Dihll examples (Yamamoto et al. list and 
illustrate some 72 graveyards) stand on high arcaded 
plinths and may have such features as substantial cor- 
ner towers and the position of the central mihrab in- 
dicated on the exterior wall, precisely as in mosques. 
In the Kadam Sharif [q. v. ] at Dihll the enclosure wall 
is fortified, as a measure of protection for the special 
relic; but the fortified rocky outcrop on which stands 
the tomb of Tughluk Shah is primarily an extreme 
outpost of the fortifications of Tughlukabad (plan at 
Vol. ii, p. 257 above). In Ahmadabad the tombs of 
the queens of the Ahmad Shahi dynasty are enclosed 
in a large screened chamber (Rani ka hudjra) which 
forms part of a royal precinct; a fine enclosed 
graveyard known as "Nizam al-Din's" in Canderi 
[q.v. ] contains tombs and many individual mihrdbs 
from the early 9th/15th century with a rich design 
repertory. Some graveyards may contain one or more 
substantial mausoleums in addition to simple graves. 
An indication of the kibla may be provided, even in 
unenclosed graveyards, by one or more "kibla walls", 
with an odd number of arched necesses; individual 
mausoleums may also be provided with such a 
separate structure on the kibla side, or the enclosure 
wall may be modified in such a way as to incorporate 
one: e.g. the tomb of Sikandar Lodi in Dihll has three 
arches and a raised platform in the west enclosure wall 
which presumably formed a kanati mosque. A 
mausoleum very often has openings on three sides 
with the west wall solid to incorporate an internal 
mihrab (the tombs of the Band ShahTs [q.v.], however, 
are regularly open on all four sides). The larger 
mausoleums may be provided with a full-scale mos- 
que (without minbar), either replacing or in addition to 
an internal mihrab; Bidjapur [q.v.] provides many ex- 
cellent examples, of which the Ibrahim Rawda is the 
imb and mosque of similar pro- 

ding o 

n platform in an elaborate enclosure; the Tadj 
Mahall [see mahall] has not only a superb mosque on 
the kibla side but an identical building on the east 
essentially for the symmetry of the plan but inciden- 
tally to serve as a mihman-khana. (The converse 
arrangement, wherein a single tomb is subsidiary to a 

mosque, is common, especially when both have the 
same founder.) Some major mausolea, however, are 
without any indication of the kibla at all: e.g. 
Humayun's tomb at Dihll (plan at Vol. ii, p. 265 
above) has neither internal mihrab nor external mos- 
que or other structure (the building on the west, 
where a mosque might be expected, is in fact the main 
gateway); although the enclosure wall on the south- 
east has a range of exterior arches which formed the 
kibla wall of the earlier "Nila gunbad". At some 
graveyards there is a special mortuary provided for 
the ghassdls to work in: outstanding examples at the 
graveyard of Afdal Khan's wives at Bidjapur, and the 
tombs of the Kutb Shah! kings at Golkonda. Some 
form of well is of course a common adjunct; a bd Mi 
[q.v.] is commonly found included in a Cishudargah 
complex, and occasionally elsewhere (e.g. within the 
fortified enclosure of the tomb of the "Sayyid" sultan 
Mubarak Shah at Kofla Mubarakpur, Dihll). 

There has been no study of the typology of 

ground level, the ta c widh) in India as a whole, 
although many types with regional variation can be 
recognised. Dja c far Sharif [q.v.], referring primarily 
to the Deccan, says that on a man's tomb, above the 
(commonly) three diminishing rectangular slabs, a 
top member is placed "resembling the hump on a 
camel's back, or the back of a fish", and adds that in 
north India tombs of men are distinguished by a small 
stone pencase (kalamddn) raised on the flat upper sur- 
face; but in fact both types can be seen side by side in 
Dihll graveyards. The tombs of women are generally 
flat above the diminishing rectangular slabs, and 
more frequently in north India than in the Deccan 
may display a flat takhti, in form like a child's slate, 
where those of men have the kalamddn (the explanation 
commonly given is that only males are literate and so 
can carry a pencase, whereas women have to have 
everything written for them!); in south India in par- 
ticular a woman's tomb may have instead a basin-like 
hollow on the upper surface. The woman's tomb, 
given the same date and provenance, is lower than the 
man's. In the case of the larger mausoleums, this ap- 
plies to the cenotaph ta'-widh as much as to the tacwidh 
of the actual grave. There may be, in both men's and 
women's tombs, a mere stepped surround with the in- 
ternal rectangular space filled with earth (e.g. grave of 
Awrangzeb at Khuldabad) or grass (e.g. grave of 
Djahanara Begam, daughter of Shahdjahan, within 
the dargdh of Nizam al-DIn Awliya 3 at Dihll, where 
however the surround and the enclosure are of white 
marble and there is an inscribed marble headstone; 
plan at Vol. ii, p. 263 above). This is much approved 
by the pious, but leads to quick decay of the structure 
if the grave is not attended. In parts of western India 
in particular a cylindrical boss may be found at the 
head of the tomb of a man, sometimes in addition to 
an inscribed headstone. In Gudjarat the "casket" 
style of tomb is favoured, at least for the more exalted 
personages, in which a rectangular chamber with ver- 
tical sides, about a cubit high, rises from the base and 
is capped by the shallow diminishing rectangular 
slabs, finished flat in the case of women, arched or 
triangular in cross-section for men; they may have in 
addition cylindrical corner stones with vertical ribbing 
and two or three cross-mouldings. Dr Zajadacz- 
Hastenrath, describing similar forms in the Cawkhan- 
di tombs, sees here a representation of the cdrpd^i 
(string bed) with rope lashings which would have been 
used as the bier. A cirdghddn, to carry lamps or on 
which fragrant substances may be burnt, may be plac- 
ed at the head of or alongside any tomb; the actual 

grave may, in the case of the illustrious, be covered 
with a pall kept in place by ornamental weights (mir-i 
farsh). The tomb of a pir may be marked also by a 
white (or green in the case of a sayyid) triangular flag 
carried on a tall bamboo, especially in country 

It is only in the case of the remarkable Cawkhandi 
tombs that anything like a systematic study has been 
made (Salome Zajadacz-Hastenrath, Chaukhan- 
digrdber: Studien zur Grabkunst in Sind und Baluchistan, 
Wiesbaden 1978). In the most characteristic (but not 
the only) style one, two or three diminishing rec- 
tangular hollow "caskets" are superimposed, and are 
capped by a final slab set vertically on edge. The 
cylindrical boss at the head may be added in the case 
of males. They are richly carved, either with 
geometrical patterns (the author gives ten plates of 
"Steinmetzmuster" alone), flowers, whorls, mihrab- 
like blind arches, swords, bows, and even the figure of 
a horseman carrying a spear, sometimes led by an at- 
tendant. Similar carvings (or paintings on wood) are 
reported in Crooke's ed. of Dja c far Sharif (ref. below) 
from Afghanistan, Kurdistan, and the Orakzay 
Pathans; this ethnological aspect stands in need of fur- 

A curious class of tomb, sparsely but widely 
distributed, is that of the "nine-yard saints", nam gaz 
pir, usually ascribed to warrior saints of the earliest 
days of Islam in India. Many of these have the reputa- 
tion of miraculously extending their length over the 
ages. (Miracles are reported at other tombs: lumps of 
silver in the pavement of the dargah of Muntadjib al- 
Dln "Zar Bakhsh" at Khuldabad are said to be the 
remains of silver trees which grew after the saint's 
death, which were broken off for the upkeep of the 
shrine; hairs from the Prophet's beard at the same 
place are said to increase in number yearly.) Many 
tombs have the reputation of curing various ailments 
through the thaumaturgic power of a pir persisting; 
e.g. women still tie ribbons on the lattice screens on 
the tomb of Salim Cishti at Fathpur Sikri as a cure for 
barrenness. (The virtue is not confined to Muslims: I 
have seen an obviously Hindu woman making obla- 
tions at the tomb of the Kadiri brothers at Bidjapur.) 

Tombs may bear inscriptions (and inscribed tombs, 
from reverence for the written word, stand a better 
chance of being looked after in later years): on the 
ta'-widh itself sometimes simply a name and date of 
decease, more often the kalima or Kur'anic verses 
such as the Ayat al-kursi, 11.256, the conclusion of 
11.157, or the very end of Sura II; there may be, 
especially with the tombs of men in Gudjarat, a 
sizeable headstone with a more elaborate epitaph; but 
so many tombstones are devoid of any information on 
the deceased that many obviously major mausolea 
cannot be now identified. The cenotaph of Akbar, of 
white marble, is inscribed on the sides with the ninety- 
nine Names of God, and on the ends the DTn-i Ilahi 
formulae Allah" Akbar and Djalla gjaldlah". On the 
ta'-widh of Djahanglr the Names are inscribed in pietra 
dura. Often in the case of mausolea an inscription is 
placed within the entrance or on a wall, and copious 
Kur'anic texts may be inscribed on the facade, e.g. at 
the Tadj Mahall. 

The graves above belong to the mainstream tradi- 
tion of Islamic art, which may be described as the 
"Greater Tradition"; graves of a "Lesser Tradi- 
tion", belonging to a stream of folk- art, have been 
observed in Gilgit, Punial, the Swat valley and the 
Yusufzay country, and may have a more extensive 
area. These, which do not always distinguish between 
the graves of males and females, have a crude indica- 

tion of the north-south axis marked by slabs of stone, 
or by wooden planks which may be carved into 
various shapes, or by turned wooden posts; they may 
also be surrounded by an open wooden framework 
which, it is suggested, represents the bier inverted 
over the sepulture, and may be analogous to the 
carpal representations in the Cawkhandi tombs. A 
fuller description, with map and drawings, in J. 
Burton-Page, Muslim graves of the "Lesser Tradition": 
Gilgit, Punial, Swat, Yusufzai, in JRAS (1986). 

The typology of the mausoleum is too complicated 
for any but the simplest treatment here; further infor- 
mation is provided in the articles hind. vii. Architec- 
ture, mughals: Architecture, and on the various 
regional dynasties. The simplest type, in that it pro- 
vides a covered place over the ta c widh, is the chatri [see 
mizalla], a single dome supported on pillars; those 
covering a square or octagonal area are the com- 
monest, although the hexagonal plan is known. From 
the use of the umbrella in both Buddhist and Hindu 
funerary practices, there is possibly here a persistence 
of an eschatological idea (but the Hindu use of the 
chatri to mark the site of a cremation, so common with 
the Radjput rulers at e.g. Udaypur and Djaypur, is a 
borrowing back from Muslim forms). Even with this 
simplest type there is the possibility of the common 
principle that a funeral building (or its site; cf. the 
tomb of Tughluk Shah mentioned above) might be in- 
tended for a different purpose during its owner's 
lifetime. An elaboration is to support a square roof on 
twelve pillars, thereby furnishing three openings on 
each side as well as making possible a larger area (this 
type of building, baradari, is also of wide secular use 
for pleasaunces). Filling in the openings with stone 
screens (djali), leaving an entrance on each side, is fre- 
quently practised, although as noticed above the 
western side is often completely closed to provide an 
indication of kibla; Tomb 2 at Thalner [q.v.; see plan 
of tombs] is a baradari whose sides have been filled in 
with purpose-cut masonry. An extension of this type 
is characteristic of Gudjarat, whereby both an inner 
chamber and a surrounding veranda are provided 
with screened walls; after the Mughal conquest of 
Gudjarat tombs of this type are found in north India, 
e.g. those of Muhammad Ghawth at Gwalyar, Salim 
Cishti at Fathpur Sikri. When a tomb is given greater 
prominence by being raised on a plinth, the sepulchral 
chamber may be placed at earth level in a tahkhana, 
with a cenotaph ta'-widh immediately above it on an 
upper floor; but where this applies to the principal in- 
humation at a large mausoleum, it is not practised for 
later and subsidiary burials, and is not held to be re- 
quired for burials within a raised mosque sahn. The 
preponderant form of the masonry mausoleum is a 
square chamber surmounted by a dome; an idiosyn- 
cratic type occurs in the royal Bahmani tombs (Haft 
Gunbad) at Gulbarga [q.v.], where two square domed 
chambers are conjoined on a single plinth (the sultan 
in one chamber, his immediate family adjoining); but 
the octagonal form [see muthamman] is also known 
from the 8th/14th century (popular for royal tombs of 
the "Sayyid" and Lodi dynasties, tombs of pirs at 
Multan and Uc£h [qq.o.], nobles of the Sur dynasty 
[see especially sher shah suri], and not infrequently 
in Mughal times); in the earliest monumental tomb, 
that of Nasir al-Din Mahmud ("Sultan Ghari") at 
Dihli, the plinth of the structure accommodates a 
vaulted octagonal sepulchral chamber. In two of the 
Suri tombs at Sasaram [q. v. ] the mausoleum stands in 
the middle of an artificial lake, approached by a 
gateway and causeway; the idea recurs in the Mughal 
period with fine but anonymous examples at 


I'timadpur, near Agra, and Narnawl [q.v.], where the 
idea of a pleasaunce for use in the lifetime of the sub- 
ject seems patent. Mughal mausolea introduce new 
plans: the oblong, the square or oblong with 
chamfered corners to produce a "Baghdad! octagon" 
(e.g. the Tadj Mahall), a square chamber with engag- 
ed corner rooms (e.g. Humayun's tomb, tomb of 
c Abd al-Rahlm Khankhanan) or engaged corner tur- 
rets (e.g. tomb of §afdar Djang). They may also in- 
corporate independent symmetricaly disposed 
minarets (see manara, 2. India), and may stand 
within a formal garden (see bustan, and further 
references in ma 3 , 12). The wooden tombs of Kashu 
mlr do not fall into any of the above categories, and 
are described under ziyara. 

Bibliography: In addition to references in the 
article and the Bibliographies to other articles cited: 
for graveside requirements and practices see 
djanaza; Dja c far Sharif, Kanun-i Islam, Eng. tr. as 
Herklols' Islam in India, ed. W. Crooke, Oxford 
1921, esp. ch. ix, "Death"; W. Crooke, Popular 
religion and folklore of northern India, Allahabad 1894, 
Chap, iv, "The worship of the sainted dead", 
which has illuminating references to Hindu- 
Muslim syncretisms. F. Wetzel, Islamische Grab- 
bauten in Indien in der Zeit der Soldatenkaiser , Leipzig 
1918, provides a typological framework for the 
study of monumental tombs of the Dihli sultanate, 
rich in plans and sections. T. Yamamoto, M. Ara 
and T. Tsukinowa, Delhi: architectural remains of the 
Delhi sultanate period, i, Tokyo 1967, describe (in 
Japanese) and illustrate 142 monumental tombs 
and 72 graveyards of Dihli, excellent photographs; 
idem, ii, Tokyo 1968, analyse in depth several of 
the same monumental tombs. Some good illustra- 
tions of "Nizam al-Din's graveyard" at Canderi in 
R. Nath, The art of Chanderi, Delhi 1979. Much of 
the information above is based on a personal 
photographic collection, which will eventually be 
housed in Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 

(J. Burton-Page) 

MAKDISHU, the capital of the Somali 
Republic, independent since 1960, comprising the 
former Italian Somalia and British Somaliland, lies in 
lat. 2° N. on the East African shore of the Indian 

Although it is not specifically mentioned in the 
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (ca. A.D. 106), this Alexan- 
drine report attests the presence of Arab and Egyptian 
traders on the coast. The principal exports were cin- 
namon, frankincense, tortoise-shell and "slaves of the 
better sort, which are brought to Egypt in increasing 
numbers." Recent excavations at Ras Hafun by 
H. N. Chittick, as yet unpublished, disclosed Egyp- 
tian pottery of Roman Imperial date, probably 2nd to 
3rd century A.D. Apart from some ruins of uncertain 
date that are possibly South Arabian, Makdishu is 
stated by a 16th century Chronica dos Reyes de Quiloa, 
preserved in a summary form by Joao de Barros, to 
have been founded by "the first people of the coast 
who came to the land of Sofala [q. v. ] in quest of gold. ' ' 
This date is uncertain, but it was at some time bet- 
ween the 10th and 12th centuries A.D., when the 
Sofala gold trade became the monopoly of Kilwa 
(Port. Quiloa) [see kilwa]. It is not to be thought that 
there was any single immigration of Arabs; rather, 
they came in trickles, and from different regions of the 
Arabian peninsula; the most remarkable one came 
from al-Ahsa on the Gulf, probably during the strug- 
gles of the caliphate with the Karmatians. Probably at 

the same time, Persian groups emigrated to 
Makdishu, for inscriptions found in the town refer to 
Persians from Shlraz and Naysabur dwelling there 
during the Middle Ages. The foreign merchants, 
however, found themselves obliged to unite politically 
against the nomadic, Somali, tribes that surrounded 
Makdishu, and against invaders from the sea. In the 
10th century A.D. a federation was formed of 39 
clans: 12 from the Mukri tribe; 12 from the Djid'ati 
tribe; 6 from the c Akabi, 6 from the Isma c Hl and 3 
from the c Afffi. Under conditions of internal peace, 
trade developed; and the Mukri clans, after acquiring 
a religious supremacy and adopting the nisba of al- 
Kahtanl, formed a kind of dynasty of '■ulama ' and ob- 
tained from the other tribes the privilege that the kadi 
of the federation should be elected only from among 
themselves. It is not known at what period Islam 
became established, but the earliest known dated in- 
scription in Arabic in Somalia is an epitaph at Barawa 
of 498/1105. 

In the second half of the 7th/ 12th century, Abu 
Bakr b. Fakhr al-DIn established in Makdishu an 
hereditary sultanate with the aid of the Mukri clans, 
to whom the new ruler recognised again the privilege 
of giving the kddito the town. In 722/1322-3 the ruler 
was Abu Bakr b. Muhammad: in that year he struck 
dated billon coins in his name, but without title. Dur- 
ing the reign of Abu Bakr b. c Umar, Makdishu was 
visited by Ibn Battuta, who describes the town in his 
Rihla. The relationship of this sultan with his 
predecessors is not known, but he was probably from 
the family of Abu Bakr b. Fakhr al-DIn; and under 
this dynasty Makdishu reached, in the 8th/14th and 
9th/15th centuries, the highest degree of prosperity. 
Its name is quoted in the Mashafa Milad, a work by the 
Ethiopian ruler Zare'a Ya c kob, who refers to a battle 
fought against him at Gomut, or Gomit, in Dawaro 
by the Muslims on 25 December 1445. To these cen- 
turies are to be ascribed, in addition to the billon coins 
issued by Abu Bakr b. Muhammad, the undated cop- 
per issues of ten rulers whose names are com- 
memorated on their coins, but whose sequence even 
is not known. They are linked by a simularity of 
script, weight, type and appearance, and certain of 
the issues share with contemporary Kilwa issues a 
reverse legend contrived to rhyme with the obverse. 
To this period belongs also the foundation of the three 
principal mosques in Makdishu, all dated by inscrip- 
tions, the Friday Mosque in 636/1238, that of Arba c 
Rukun in 667/1268, and that of Fakhr al-DIn in 
Sha c ban 667/April-May 1269. Their handsome pro- 
portions witness to the prosperity of the times there. 

In the 10th/16th century, the Fakhr al-DIn dynasty 
was succeeded by that of Muzaffar. It is possible that 
one copper issue refers to a ruler of this dynasty. In 
the region of the Webi Shabella, the true commercial 
hinterland of Makdishu, the Adjuran (Somali), who 
had constituted there another sultanate which was 
friendly with and allied to Makdishu, were defeated 
by the nomadic Hawiya (Somali), who thus con- 
quered the territory. In this way, Makdishu was 
separated by the nomads from the interior, and began 
to decline from its prosperity, a process which was 
hastened by Portuguese colonial enterprise in the In- 
dian Ocean and later by the Italians and the British. 
When Vasco da Gama returned from his first voyage 
to India in 1499, he attacked Makdishu, but without 
success; and similarly in 1507 Da Cunha failed to oc- 
cupy it. In 1532 Estavao da Gama, son of Vasco, 
came there to buy a ship. In 1585 Makdishu sur- 
rendered to the Ottoman amir C A1I Bey, who came 
down the coast in that year with two galleys as far as 


Mombasa; all along the coast, the suzerainty of the 
Ottoman Sultan was recognised. In 1587, however, 
the Portuguese re-asserted their authority with a 
strong fleet, but no attempt was made to attack 
Makdishu. The vials of their wrath fell on Faza, 
where large numbers of people were slaughtered and 
10,000 palm trees destroyed. C A1I Bey returned with 
five ships in 1589, but, although the coast again 
declared for the Ottomans, he was himself defeated 
and captured in Mombasa harbour, from which he 
was deported to Lisbon. Although this was the end of 
Ottoman attacks on the eastern African coast, at 
Makdishu new copper coins were issued by no less 
than eleven rulers. All these bear a tughra in imitation 
of Ottoman coinage, and are probably to be ascribed 
to the 10th/16th to llth/17th centuries. 

In 1700 a British squadron of men-of-war halted 
before Makdishu for several days, but without lan- 
ding. After the c UmanI Arabs had taken Mombasa 
from the Portuguese in 1698 Makdishu and other 
towns on the Somali coast were occupied at uncertain 
dates, but after a while their troops were ordered back 
to c Uman. The sultanate of Makdishu continued to 
decline, and the town was divided into two quarters, 
Hamar-Wen and Shangani, by civil wars. Little by 
little the Somali penetrated into the ancient Arabian 
town, and the clans of Makdishu changed their 
Arabic names for Somali appellatives: the c AkabI 
became the rer Shekh. the Djid c atT the Shanshiya, the 
c AfifT the Gudmana, and even the MukrI (KahtanI) 
changed their name to rer Faklh. In the 12th/18th 
century the Darandolla nomads, excited by exag- 
gerated traditions of urban wealth, attacked and con- 
quered the town. The Darandolla chief, who had the 
title of imam, set himself up in the Shangani quarter, 
and once again the KahtanI privilege of electing the 
kdfiwas recognised. In 1823 Sayyid Sa c id of c Uman 
attempted to assert his authority over Makdishu, and 
arrested two of the notables. It was not until 1843 that 
he was able to appoint a governor. He chose a Somali, 
but the new governor shortly retired inland to his own 
people. When Charles Guillain visited Makdishu in 
1848, he found only "an old Arab" who presided over 
the customs house. Guillain's fourth volume, an 
Album, contains some admirable engravings of 
Makdishu at this period which have been reproduced 
in Cerulli's work. It was only at the end of the cen- 
tury, during the reign of Sa c id's son Barghash 
(1870-88), that Zanzibari authority was finally 
established over Makdishu, only to be ceded to Italy, 
along with Barawa, Merca and Warsheikh, for an an- 
nual rent of 160,000 rupees, in 1892. 

Bibliography: Yakut, i, 502; Ibn Battuta, 
Rihla, ii, 183, ed. Cairo 1322, i, 190; J. de Barros, 
Da Asia, Decade i, iv, xi, and l.viii, iv, 1552; F. S. 
Caroselli, Museo della Garesa: Catalogo: Mogadiscio 
1934; De Castanhoso, Dos feitos de Dom Christovam 
da Gama, ed. Esteves Pereira, Lisbon 1898, p. xi; E. 
Cerulli, Somalia, scritti van editi ed inediti, i, Rome 
1957 (reprinting earlier articles on Somalia); H. N. 
Chittick and R. I. Rotberg, East Africa and the 
Orient, New York 1975; Gaspar Correa, Lendas da 
India, Lisbon 1858-66, t.i, vol. ii, 678; t. iii, vol. ii, 
458, 540; Diogo do Couto, Decadas da Asia, Lisbon 
1778, dec. iv., l.viii, cap. ii; G.S.P. Freeman- 
Grenville, Coins from Mogadishu, c. 1300 to c. 1700, 
in Numismatic Chronicle (1963); idem and B. G. 
Martin, A preliminary handlist of the Arabic inscriptions 
of the Eastern African coast, in JRAS (1973); C. 
Guillain, Documents sur I'histoire, la geographic el le 
commerce de I ' Afrique orientale, Paris 1856, i; I. M. 
Lewis, The modem history of Somaliland, London 
1965; C. Conti Rossini, Vasco da Gama, Pedralvarez 
Encyclopaedia of Islam, VI 

Cabral e Giovanni da Nova nella Cronica di Kilwah, in 
Atti del 3° Congresso geografico Italiano, ii, Florence 
1899; idem, Studi su populazioni dell'Etiopa, in RSC, 
vi, 367, n. 2; S. A. Strong, History of Kilwa, in 
JRAS (1895); A. Negre, A propos de Mogadiscio au 
moyen age, in Annates de I' Univ. du Benin, ii (Nov.- 
Dec. 1975), 175-200, repr. in Annates de I'Univ. 
d' Abidjan, Serie 1, vol. v (1977), 5-38. 
(E. Cerulli - [G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville]) 
al-MAKDISI [see al-mukaddasi; al-mutahhar 

B. TAH1R] 

MAKHAC-KAL C E (Russ. Makhackala), a town 
on the western coast of the Caspian Sea at 
the point where the narrow coastal plain running 
north from Baku and Derbend [q.v.], at the eastern 
extremity of the Caucasus range, debouches into the 
Nogay Steppe. The present name of what is now 
(since 1921) the chef-lieu of the Dagestan A.S.S.R. is 
neither Islamic nor of any great antiquity, reflecting 
the eponym of a local revolutionary leader Muham- 
mad C A1I Dakhadayev (d. 1918), but Makhac-kal c e 
stands on or near the site of a number of places signifi- 
cant in the mediaeval history of the Caucasus: 
Balanghar ( = Arm. Varac'an), the capital of the Hun 
tributaries of the Khazar kingdom (J. Marquart, 
Osteuropaische und ostasiatische Streifzuge, Leipzig 1903, 
16: Samandar, "four (eight) days march from Der- 
bend"); and Tarkhu/Tarki. briefly occupied by the 
Ottomans in the late 10th/16th century. The present 
town may be traced back to the Russian foundation of 
Petrovsk, known subsequently as TemTr-Khan-Shura 
and (in the years 1917-20) as Shamil-kal c e. 

Bibliography: O. Pritsak, in Harvard Jnl. of 
Ukrainian Studies, ii (1978), 263; A. Bennigsen and 
H. Carrere d'Encausse, in fl£7(1955), 7-56 (with 
details of the ethnic composition of Makhac-kal c e); 
iA, art. Dagistdn (Mirza Bala); EP, art. Ddghistdn 
(W. Barthold-[A. Bennigsen]); BSE\ s.vv. Makhac, 
Makhackala. (C.J. Heywood) 

MAKHARIDI al-HURUF (a.), "the places of 
emission of the letters", i.e. the points of ar- 
ticulation of the phonemes of Arabic. The 
singular may be either makhradj,, noun of place from 
form I of the verb kharadja "go forth, be emitted", or 
else mukhradj_, passive participle of form IV akhraaja 
"emit, send forth" serving as the noun of place. The 
word huruf (sing, harf) denotes both the graphic 
elements of the language ( = letters) and the phonetic 
ones ( = consonants and vowels) which they represent. 
The first description which we possess of the points 
of articulation of the 29 Arabic phonemes is that of al- 
Khain (d. 175/791 [q.v.]) in his K. alMyn (ed. 
Anastase al-Karmall, Baghdad 1914, 4, 11. 8-9). This 
description is given according to two classifications, 
which present certain differences. In the first, al- 
Khalll enumerates, going from the throat towards the 
lips, 10 zones (hayyiz) of articulation, each of these 
comprising several degrees (madraqja): 

1. The pectoral cavity (dj.awf) and air (hawa'); the 
sounds made in the cavity or made with the air 
wdw, yd 5 , alif and hamza. 

2. The back (aksa) part of the throat (halk): the gut- 
turals '•ayn, ha ' and ha 5 . 

3. The fore (adna) part of the throat: the gutturals 
khd > and ghayn. 

4. The uvula (lahai): the uvular sounds kaf and kaf. 

5. The side (shadjr) of the mouth: the laterals djtm, 

"n and fU 

>. The apex (asala) of the tongue: the apical s< 


7. The alveoles (nit ) of the palate: the alveolars td\ 
ddl and ta \ 

8. The gum (litha): the gingivals zd\ dhdl and fc" 1 


9. The tip (dhawlak) of the tongue: the sounds pro- 
nounced at the tip of the tongue ra ', lam and nun. 
10. The lips (shifa): the labials /a', ia 3 and mim. 

In the second classification, less detailed than the 
first, al-Khalil enumerates them in the opposite way, 
i.e. from the lips to the throat, but with only six ar- 

1 . The lips: fa ', ba 3 and mim. 

2. The tip of the tongue and the extremity (taraf) of 
the palate (ghdr): ra^, lam and nun. 

3. The back (zahr) of the tongue and the zone going 
from the interior (batin) of the middle incisors 
(thandya) to the palate: lha 3 to shin. 

4. The back part of the mouth, between the root 
(f-akadd) of the tongue and the uvula: djim, kaf and 

5. The throat: c ayn, ha 3 , kha 3 and ghayn. 

6. The back part of the throat: hamza. 

It will be noted that, in this scheme of classification, 
the place of emission of the 4pm is placed with that of 
kaf (which might suppose a realisation as gim), and 
that that of waw, yd 3 and alij is not given with preci- 
sion, whilst that of the hamza is placed in the throat. 

The second description of the points of articulation 
of the phonemes of Arabic is provided for us by 
Sfbawayhi (d. ca. 180/796 [q.v.] in his Kitab (ed. 
H. Derenbourg, Paris 1889, ii, 452-3). In this, 
Sfbawayhi enumerates, going from the throat towards 
the lips, 16 places of emission of the sounds: 

1. The back part of the throat: hamza, ha' and alij. 

2. Its middle part (awsat): c ayn and Aa 3 . 

3. Its fore part: ghayn and kha'. 

4. The back part of the tongue and palate (hanak): 

5. A little lower (asjat) than the place (mawdi') of the 
kaf. kaf. 

6. The middle part of the tongue and the middle part 
of the palate: djim, shin and yd 3 . 

7. The beginning of the edge (haffa) of the tongue 
and its molars (adras): dad. 

8. The edge of the tongue, from its forward part to 
its extremity, and the palate, a little bit below the 
pre-molar (ddhik), the canine tooth (nab) and the 
incisors (rabaHyya and thaniyya): lam. 

9. The tip of the tongue and a little bit below the 
middle incisors: nun. 

10. The same position, but a little further towards the 
inner part of the back of the tongue: ra^. 

1 1 . The tip of the tongue and the bases (usut) of the 
middle incisors: fa ', ddl and ta 3 . 

12. The tip of the tongue and a little bit above the 
middle incisors: zdy, sin and sad. 

13. The tip of the tongue and the tips of the middle in- 
cisors: za 3 , dhal and tha 3 . 

14. The inside of the lower lip and the tips of the up- 
per middle incisors: fa 3 . 

15. The two lips: Aa 3 , nun and waw. 

16. The nasal cavities (khaydshim): nun realised lightly 

The most important difference between the descrip- 
tion of al-Khalil and that of Stbawayhi lies in the fact 
that al-Khaia indicates the place of emission of waw 
and yd'' realised as long vowels (u and f), whereas 
Sfbawayhi indicates these places of emission realised 
as consonants (w <mdy). 

It was Sibawayhi's description which was to prevail 
for all the later grammarians, in whose works it is 
found cited en bloc, sometimes with a few variations. 
Thus al-Mubarrad (K al-Muktadab, Cairo 1963, i, 
192-3) separates the place of emission of shin from that 
of djim, and names the place of emission of dad by a 
word which denotes the corner of the mouth (shidk). 

One should finally note that the makharidi al-huruf 
have been the subject of a very interesting study by a 
Moroccan scholar, Muhammad b. c Abd al-Salam al- 
Fasf (1717-99), in his commentary on the Ldmiyya of 
Abu '1-Kasim al-Shatibi. 

Bibliography: J. Cantineau, Cours de phonetique 
arabe, in Etudes de linguistique arabe, Paris 1960, 
1-125; H. Fleisch, Eludes de phonetique arabe, in 
MUSJ, xxviii (1949), 225-85; idem, La conception 
phonetique desArabes, in ZDMG, cviii (1958), 74-105; 
idem, Traitede philologie arabe, i, Beirut 1969, 51-70; 
G. Troupeau, Le commentaire d'al-Sirafi sur le chap. 
265 du Kitab, in Arabica, v (1958), 168-82; A. 
Roman, Le systeme consonantique de la koine arabe 
d'apres le Kitab de Sibawayhi, in CLOS, ix (1977), 
63-98; idem, Les zones d' articulation de la koine arabe 
d'apres V enseignement d'al-Halil, in Arabica, xxiv 
(1977), 58 : 65. _~ _(G. Troupeau) 


MAKHDUM KULI "FirakI", perhaps rather 
Makhtum Kulf (local forms Magtimkulf and Fragf), a 
prominent 18th century Turkmen poet 
(1733?-1782?).Much of the information about this 
poet is obscure, and sources are unreliable. Among 
the 10,000 lines ascribed to him, a substantial amount 
must certainly be considered spurious, invalidating 
their informative value. Moreover, it is unclear 
whether the events alluded to have a real historical 
significance or are merely literary devices. Hence it is 
uncertain whether he was really born in the Giirgen 
River region, studied at the Shfrghazi and Kokildash 
madrasas in Khiwa and Bukhara respectively, worked 
for a time as a silversmith and a cobbler, bewailed a 
brother, who had disappeared into captivity in Persia 
(where he himself had suffered too), lost an infant son 
and was separated from his love. However, there is a 
personal flavour in the relevant descriptions. Such 
uncertainties are often met with when discussing ma- 
jor Turkmen poets. 

It does however seem that he was a son of Dawlat 
Muhammad "Azadi", that he travelled widely, and 
that he was well versed in classical Persian and 
Turkish letters as weU as in the folk literature of Cen- 
tral Asia, Iran and Adharbaydjan. A master of the 
elevated style and technique, he nevertheless in- 
troduced popular forms, such as syllabic quatrains, 
into Turkmen poetry. He wrote fiery patriotic verses 
during the warfare between the Turkmens, Iran and 
Khiwa. His lyrical and didactic (not epic, and— 
though YasawMike elements spring to the eye — not 
strictly religious) poetry remained widely appreciated, 
not only among his compatriots but in the whole of 
Central Asia. 

Bibliography: 1. Editions: A. Chodzko, 
Specimens of the popular poetry of Persia, London 1842, 
389-94; N. Berezin, Turelskaya khrestomatiya, ii, 
Kazan 1857-76; H. Vambery, Die Sprache der 
Turkomanen und der Diwan Machdumkulis, in ZDMG, 
xxxiii (1879), 388-444, (31 poems and 10 
fragments, with German tr.; not too reliable); 
Shaykh Muhsin Fanf, Makhlum-kuli diwani we yedi 
<asirlik bir manzime, Istanbul 1340/ 1924 (a bad 
repr. of Vambery); B. M. Kerbabaev, Sbornik iz- 
brannikh proizvedeniy turkmenskoyo po'eta Makhtum-Kuli 
(II. pol. XVIII. veka), Ashkhabad 1926 (289 poems, 
Arabic script, useful). A. Gyurgenli (?), 
Magtlmguli, saylanan goshgilar, Ashkhabad 1940 (un- 
critical); Kurban, Maktlmkuli, Berlin 1944; 
Magtlmguli, saylanan eserler, Ashkhabad 1957, 2 vols. 
(375 poems). 2. Studies and translations: A. 
Samoylovic, Ukazetal' pesnyam Makhtum-kuli, in 


ZVOIRAO, xix (1909), 0125-0147, additions in 
ibid., 0216-0218 and xxii (1914), 127-39; Russian 
tr. Izbranniyg stikhotvoreniya, Moscow 1941; 
Makhtum-Kuli fragi, izbrannye stikhi, Moscow 1945; 
Makhtum-kuli, Stikhotvoreniya, Leningrad 1949; 
Izbrannoe (sic), Moscow 1960. 3. General 
surveys: Zeki Velidi, in TM, ii (1928), 465-74; 
Kopriilii-zade Fu 3 ad, EI 1 , art. Turkomans. 
Literature; J. Benzing, in PTF, ii, Wiesbaden 1954, 
726-7; 739-40; B. A. Karryev, in BSE\ xv, 526. 

(H. F. Hofman) 
MAKHDUM al-MULK, a Mughal religious 

allah. He was the son of Shaykh Shams al-DIn 
of Sultanpur. His ancestors had emigrated from 
Multan and settled at Sultanpur near Lahore. The 
pupil of Mawlana c Abd al-Kadir Sirhindl, he became 
one of the foremost religious scholars and func- 
tionaries of his day. A committed SunnI, he never 
trusted Abu '1-Fadl c AllamI (d. 1011/1602 [q.a.]) and 
looked upon him from the beginning as a dangerous 
man. Contemporary monarchs had great respect for 
Makhdum al-Mulk. The Emperor Humayun 
(937-63/1530-56) conferred on him the title of Shaykh 
al-Islam. When the empire of Hindustan came into the 
possession of Sher Shah (946-52/1539-45), the latter 
further honored him with the title of Sadr al-Islam. He 
was a man of especially great importance during the 
reign of Akbar (963-1014/1556-1605). Bayram Khan 
Khanan (d. 968/1560) exalted his position very much 
by giving him the sub-divison of Thankawala which 
yielded an annual income of one lakh of rupees, while 
Akbar gave him the title of Makhdum al-Mulk, by 
which designation he has become known to posterity. 
When the Emperor introduced his religious innova- 
tions and tried to convert people to his "Divine 
Faith" [see dIn-i ilahI], however, Makhdum al-Mulk 
opposed him. Akbar became very angry. He ordered 
Makhdum al-Mulk to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca 
and Medina. Setting out in 987/1579, he completed 
the enforced canonical journey within two years' 
time. On his return from the Hidjaz, Makhdum al- 
Mulk died or was poisoned in 990/1582 in 

He was the author of the following books, none of 
which are now extant: (1) c Ismat al-anbiyd^, a work on 
the sinlessness of prophets (cf. Bada'unl, iii, 70); (2) 
Minhadi al-din, a life of the Prophet (cf. Mahathir al- 
umara\ iii, 252); (3) Hashiya Sharh Mullah, a gloss on 
Djaml's commentary on Ibn al-Hadjib's Kafiya (cf. 
Mahathir al-umara\ iii, 252); (4) Sharh ShamaHl al- 
Tirmidhi, a commentary on TirmidhT's Shama >il al- 
nabt (cf. Bada'unl, iii, 70). 

Bibliography: c Abd al-Kadir Bada'uni, Mun- 
iakhab al-tawarikh, iii, 70; Shahnawaz Khan 
AwrangabadI, Mahathir al-umard*, iii, 252; Khazinat 
al-asfiyd\ 443, 464; AHn-i Akbari, tr. Blochman, 
172, 544. 


MAKHDUM al-MULK Sharaf al-DIn Ahmad 
b. Yahya MANIRI or MANERI, celebrated saint 
of mediaeval Bihar. Born in Shawwal 
661 /August 1263 at Manlr or Maner, a village in the 
north Bihar! district of Patna, Sharaf al-Din was 
educated at Sunargaon, Bengal by the HanbalT tradi- 
tionist Abu Tawwama. On completing his studies, he 
travelled to DihlT, where he met the premier Cishfi 
shaykh of the Sultanate period, Nizam al-Din Awliya 5 
(d. 725/1325). He subsequently enrolled as the disci- 
ple of Nadjib al-DIn Firdawsl (d . 69 1 / 1 29 1 ) and spent 

era! years in the forests of Bihiya and Radjglr 

Juded from hum: 

i company and engaged in 

meditation on God. When he re-emerged at Bihar 
Sharif (ca. 60 miles from Patna city) in the 1320s, he 
was acknowledged as a spiritual preceptor and guide 
of extraordinary power. From the khanakdh built for 
him by friends and later enlarged by Sultan Muham- 
mad b. Tughluk (reigned 1325-1351), Sharaf al-DIn 
established the Firdawsl silsila throughout northern 
Bihar and western Bengal. He died at Bihar Sharif on 
6 Shawwal 782/3 January 1381. 

The several writings of Sharaf al-Dfn reveal him to 
be a knowledgeable traditionist as well as a skilled 
dialectician of Sufi categories and concepts. He is best 
known for one of his collections of letters, Maktubat-i 
sadl. He has also been credited with three other 
epistolary volumes: Rukn-ifawa ^id, Maktubat-i du sadl, 
and Maktubat-i bist-u hasht. Numerous are the compila- 
tions of awrdd (invocatory prayers) and isharat (prac- 
tical directives) attributed to Sharaf al-DIn, but his 
most comprehensive work was a sharh (commentary) 
on the Sufi catechism, the Adah al-murldln of Abu 
Nadjib Suhrawardi (d. 561/1168). 

The literary and spiritual tradition of Sharaf al-DIn 
was continued by the several notable Firdawsl saints 
who were his successors, beginning with Muzaffar 
Shams Balkhl (d. 803/1401). The attainments of this 
regionally delimited silsila were lauded throughout 
Hindustan; its major shaykhs found recognition in the 
most popular pan-Indian tadhkiras, e.g., c Abd al-Hakk 
Dihlawl's Akhbdr al-akhydr and Ghulam Sarwar 
Lahori's Khazinat al-asfiya*. 

Bibliography: Shu'ayb b. Djalal al-DIn 
Manlri, Manakib al-asfiya^, Calcutta 1895; Zayn al- 
DIn Badr-i c ArabI, Ma^din al-ma c am, Bihar 1884; 
c Abd al-Hakk Dihlawl, Akhbdr al-akhydr, Dihll 
1309/1891, 113-118; Ghulam Sarwar Lahori, 
Khazinat al-asfiyd\ Lucknow 1290/1873, ii, 290-92; 
M. Mu c In al-DIn Darda'i, Tahikh-i silsila-yi Fir- 
dawsiyya [Urdu], Gaya 1962, 137-244; M. Ishaq, 
India's contribution to the study ofhadith literature, Dacca 
1955, 66-71; S. H. Askari, Sufism in medieval Bihar, 
in Current Studies (Patna College), vii (1957), 3-37, 
viii (1958), 107-29; B. Lawrence, Notes from a distant 
flute: the extant literature of pre-Mughal Indian Sufism, 
Tehran 1978, 72-77; S. A. A. Rizvi, A history of 
Sufism in India, i, Dihll 1978, 228-40 

(B. Lawrence) 
MAKHFI, the much-disputed pen-name of 
ZIb al-Nisa 3 Begum, eldest child of the Mughal 
emperor Awrangzlb (1068-1118/1658-1707). 

She was born in 1638 at Dawlatabad in the Deccan. 
Her mother, Dilras Banu Begum (d. 1657), was the 
daughter of Shahnawaz Khan (d. 1659), a dignitary 
of Shahdjahan's reign. For her early education she 
was assigned to Hafiza Maryam, a learned lady who 
was the mother of one of Awrangzlb's trusted nobles, 
c Inayat Allah Khan (d. 1139/1726-7). Under Hafiza 
Maryam's guidance, ZIb al-Nisa' memorised the 
Kur'an, for which Awrangzlb rewarded her with a 
purse of 10,000 gold pieces. Later, she studied under 
some of the best scholars of the time, foremost among 
them being Muhammad Sa c Id Ashraf (d. 
1116/1708-9), a poet and man of learning who came 
to India from Persia during the early part of 
Awrangzlb's reign. Her accomplishments included 
mastery of Arabic and Persian languages as well as 
skill in calligraphic writing. She was a great lover of 
books, and is said to have collected a library which 
was unrivalled in its time. Many writers and scholars 
benefited from her generous patronage, and some of 
them composed books bearing her name. Significant 
among such writing was SafI al-DIn Ardablll's Zlb al- 
tafasir, which was a Persian translation of Fakhr al- 


Din Razl's exegesis of the Kur 3 an. ZIb al-Nisa re- 
mained unmarried throughout her life. It is reported 
that she was involved in a love intrigue with c Akil 
Khan, a nobleman of Awrangzib's court, but this is 
pure fiction invented by some 19th-century Urdu 
writers. She incurred Awrangzib's wrath for complici- 
ty with her brother, Akbar, in his unsuccessful 
rebellion against the emperor. In 1681 she was im- 
prisoned in the Salimgafh fort at Dihll, where she 
spent the remaining years of her life until her death in 

Whether or not ZIb al-Nisa 2 left behind a diwdn of 
her poems is a disputed question. A collection of verse 
published in her name under the title of Diwan-i 
Makhfi has been subjected to critical scrutiny, and is 
regarded as the work of someone other than Zfb al- 
Nisa 3 . Sporadic verses attributed to her indicate that 
she was a promising poet, favouring a lyrical style. 
Bibliography: Musta c Id Khan Saki, Ma>dlhir-i 
'■Alamgiri, tr. Jadunath Sarkar, Calcutta 1947; 
Ahmad Khan HashimI Sandllawl, Tadhkira-yi 
makhzan al-ghardHb , ii, ed. Muhammad Bakir, 
Lahore 1970; Muhammad Kudrat Allah 
Gopamawi, Tadhkira-yi natdHdJ, al-afkdr, Bombay 
1336/1957-8; Diwan-i Makhfi, Cawnpore 
1283/1866-7; Muhammad b. Muhammad RafT c 
"Malik al-Kuttab" ShlrazI, Tadhkirat al-khawdtin, 
Bombay 1306/1888; Shams al-DIn Saml, Ramus al- 
aHdm, iv, Istanbul 1889; T. W. Beale, An oriental 
biographical dictionary, London 1894; Magan Lai and 
Jessie Duncan Westbrook, The diwan of Zeb-un- 
Nissa, New York 1913; P. Whalley, The tears of 
Zebunnisa, London 1913; Journal of the Bihar and 
Orissa Research Society, xiii (March 1927); Shibli 
Nu'mani, Sawdnih-i Zib al-Nisa 3 Begum, Lucknow 
n.d.; Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, iii, 
repr. Dihll 1972; idem, Studies in Aurangzib's reign, 
Calcutta 1933; Muhammad C A1T Tarbiyat, 
Ddnishmanddn-i Adharbdydjan, Tehran 1314/1935-6; 
M. Ishaque, Four eminent poetesses of Iran, Calcutta 
1950; J. Rypka, History of Iranian literature, Dor- 
drecht 1956; C A1I Akbar Mushlr Sallmi, Zandn-i 
sukhanwar, ii, Tehran 1335/1956-7; Nur al-Hasan 
Ansari, Fdrsi adab bi+ahd-i Awrangzib, Dihll 1969; 
Punjab University, Urdu ddHra-yi ma'drif-i 
Isldmiyya, x, Lahore 1973; P. N. Chopra, Life and 
letters under the Mughals, Dihll 1976. 

(Mun.bur Rahman) 
MAKHLAD, Banu, a family of famous Cor- 
dovan jurists who, from father to son, during ten 
generations, distinguished themselves in the study of 
fikh. The eponymous ancestor of the family was 
Makhlad b. Yazid, who was kadi of the province of 
Reyyoh (the kura in the south-west of Spain, the 
capital of which was Malaga), in the reign of the amir 
c Abd al-Rahman II, in the first half of the 3rd/9th 
century. His son, Abu c Abd al-Rahman BakI b. 
Makhlad [q.v.], was by far the most famous 
member of the family, and his direct descendants 
devoted their intellectual activity mainly to commen- 
ting on the masterpieces of their celebrated ancestor. 
A list of these scholars, with bibliographical 
references, is supplied in a little monograph devoted 
to the family of the Banu Makhlad by Rafael de 
Urefia y Smenjaud, Familias de jurisconsultos: Los 
Benimajlad de Cordoba, in Homenaje a D. Francisco Cor- 
dera, Saragossa 1904, 251-8. 

Bibliography: Add to the Bibl. of bakI b. 
makhlad: Manuela Marin, Baqi ibn Majlady la in- 
troduction del estudio del hadit en al-Andalus, in al- 
Qantara, i (1980), 165-208; W. Werkmeister, 
Quellenuntersuchungen zum Kitdb al-' Iqd al-farid, Berlin 
1983, 267-70 and index. (E. Levi-ProvenQal) 

MAKHLAS [see takhallus]. 

MAKHRAMA, Ba or Abu, a South Arabian 
Himyarite clan of Shafi'I jurists and Sufis 
who lived in Hadramawt and Aden in the 9th/ 15th 
and 10th/16th centuries. Prominent members of it 
were the following: 

1. c AfIf al-Din Abu 'l-Tayyib c abd Allah b. 
Ahmad b. C AU b. Ibrahim Ba Makhrama al-Himyari 
al-Shaybam (or al-Saybam?) al-Hadjarani al- 
Hadraml al- c AdanI, b. 833/1430 in Hadjarayn [q.v.], 
d. 903/1497 in Aden, where he was appointed kddihy 
the sultan C A1I b. Tahir but resigned after four 
months, without losing his popularity (in 
Brockelmann, S II, 239 f.; these biographical dates 
are by mistake attributed to his son al-Tayyib, below, 
2.). His writings include remarks (nukat) on Djami' al- 
mukhtasamt by al-Nasa'I (Brockelmann, II, 199/254) 
and the Alfiyya of Ibn Malik, a commentary on the 
Mulha of al-Hariri, an abstract of Ibn al-Ha'im's 
commentary on the Urdjuza al-Ydsaminiyya 
(Brockelmann, S I, 858:7.1.1), rasa HI and fatdwi. 

2. Abu Muhammad al-Tayyib b. c Abd Allah b. 
Ahmad ... al- c AdanI (son of 1.), b. 870/1465, d. 
947/1540, jurist and scholar of wide learning, 
teaching fikh, tafsir, hadith, nahw and lugha. He had 
studied under his father, Muhammad Ba Fadl and 
Muhammad al-Kammat (both d. 903/1497) and 
shared his reputation as afakih with Muhammad b. 
c Umar Ba Kaddam (d. 951/1544) belonging to 
another branch of the Makhrama family. Sickness 
evidently prevented him from finishing his two main 
works: the "Chronicle of Aden" TaHikh Thaghr '■Adan 
(ed. Lofgren 1936-50) and Kilddat al-nahr fi wafaydt 
a c ydn al-dahr (tabakdt work, with historical supplement 
eel. Schuman 1960). He also wrote Mushtabih al-nisba 
ild 'l-bulddn (Serjeant, Materials, no. 11) and Asmd* 
ridjdl Muslim. In the Kildda are biographies of the 
brothers Ahmad (d. 911/1505-6), c Abd Allah 
al- c Amudi and Muhammad, who at his death in Shihr 
in 906/1500-1 bequeathed his library to students of 
theology in Aden, under the supervision of his 
brothers Ahmad and al-Tayyib (see MO, xxv, 131-8). 

3. c Umar B. c Abd Allah b. Ahmad (son of 1.), b. 
884/1479 in Hadjaran, d. 952/1545 in Saywun (a 
residential town in Wadi Hadramawt between Tarim 
and Shibam), famous $ufT scholar and poet. Having 
completed his juridico-theological training in Aden 
under his father, the local saint Abu Bakr al- c Aydarus 
[q.v.] and Muhammad b. C A1I Djirfu al-Daw c anI (d. 
903/1497-8), he met with the Sufi c Abd al-Rahman b. 
c Umar Ba Hurmuz [see hurmuz, ba], was converted 
to mysticism, and became a local spiritual leader 
residing in Saywun, where he collected numerous 
disciples and was buried in a mausoleum close to that 
of the Kathiri sultans. He was a productive poet in 
classical as well as indigenous (humaynt) metre; his 
Diwdn was collected in several volumes by al-Hudayli 
Sahib al-Kara (d. 1037/1627-8, al-Muhibbi, ii, 366, 
cf. Serjeant, Materials, no. 28). Specimens of it are 
given in al-Nur al-sdfir, 33-7, and Ta'rikh al-Shu'ard > al- 
Hadramiyyin, i, 134 ff. Two verses on maHyya written 
shortly before his death were treated by c Abd al- 
Rahman al- c Aydarus under three titles, Irshdd dhawi 
' 1-lawdhaHyya '■aid baytay al-maHyya, Ithdf dhawi '/- 
almaHyya fi tahkik ma'-nd '1-maHyya, and al-Nqfha al- 
ildhiyya fi tahkik ma'-nd '1-maHyya (cf. Isma c Il Pasha, 
Iddh al-maknun, i, 18, ii, 668). Other writings by him 
include al-Wdrid al-kudsi ft sharh dyat al-kursi, Sharh 
Asmd* Allah al-husnd, al-Mallab al-yasir min al-sdlik 

4. c Afif al-Din c Abd Allah b. c Umar b. c Abd 
Allah (son of 3.), b. 907/1501 in Shihr, d. 972/1565 
in Aden, where he finished his legal career as mufti 


and was buried at the side of his father and his uncle 
al-Tayyib close to the mausoleum of the Sufi Djawhar 
al- c AdanI(6th/12th century, cf. Tahikh Thaghr c Adan, 
ii, 39 ff.). Having studied under his father, his uncle 
and c Abd Allah b. Ahmad Ba SurumI al-Shihii (d. 
943/1536-7) he was kadi in Shihr twice, became a 
great authority i^umdd) on fikh, and was consulted 
from all parts of the Yaman and Hadramawt. As will 
be seen from the list of his writings, he was not only 
afakih and theologian, but pursued a special interest 
of astronomy and chronology. He also wrote some 
poetry (arddjiz). 

His writings include Dhayl Tab