A Wedding Gone Wrong
The Rather Worldly Woes of a Rather Wealthy Qādirī Sufi Shaykh. Two 18th Century Documents from the Ottoman Court Records of Ḥamā and Aleppo
A rather intricate legal case took place first in Ḥamā’s and then in Aleppo’s Ottoman Islamic courts around the middle of the 18th century. The setting, the social standing of the individuals involved, and the alleged circumstances of the case all contribute to make clear that this was not just another routine court case. Altogether, the two documents are a good example of the scope and quality of the information preserved in the archives of local courts and they both demonstrate the extent and modes of implementation of Islamic law in a specific Ottoman milieu. The long inventory of personal property in the Aleppo document gives us a good idea of the social status and affluence enjoyed by the plaintiff – a member of the Jīlānī/Qādirī family – and an interesting insight into material culture and what constituted wealth and affluence at the time.