Repairing Waqf Property, Reconstructing the City: Double Leasing in XVIII Century Ottoman Rumelia

Bursalı O. S.

Turkologentag 2018: 3rd European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman & Turkish Studies, Nuremberg, Germany, 19 - 21 September 2019

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Nuremberg
  • Country: Germany


The relation between city and law has never been a popular topic of Islamic legal studies. Researchers generally focused on core themes of law like scholars, culture of writing, government, and people. They leaned on traditional writing styles like books and fatwa collections. But a new trend is emerging: Researchers enrich their scope of topics and problematic, particularly with the help of archival sources and court records. For not only its density in Islamic legal thought but also its important role in Islamic city, waqf would be a fertile land of problems regarding city and law. The study of repair of waqf property presents rich sources to make this theme popular.

The main problem I concern in this paper is about the relationship between the arguments in Islamic legal texts and the legal mechanism and their possible interaction. My argument is that the Islamic legal scholars who were contributing to the doctrine by writing books, treatises, and fatwas had the chance to lead functioning of legal mechanism in action by serving as muftiqadi, or administrator of a waqf in the city. My thesis in this paper is that waqf was the main tool of public services in Ottoman society and the application of double leasing (ijaratayn) of waqf property was an important part of the physical maintenance and functioning of the city proper itself.