Ottoman Law-Scholars from the view of an Ottoman Scholar: An Assessment on Kefevi's Ketaib

Mahmud b. Suleiman al-Kafavi's book entitled Kataibu alam al-akhyar has a prestigious status among the fuqaha biographies in literature. This book includes not only basic information listing the names of the scholars, students and the works but also the chain attaching fuqahas to the founder of the madhhab, Abu Hanifa. In addition, some of their significant opinions on fiqh are quoted from the literature and some of their interesting aspects are noted. Kafavi's status as an Ottoman intellectual and bureaucrat raises the importance of the relevant parts of his book. Hence while the first part of this study introduces Kafavi and his book, the latter part discusses the position of the Ottoman fuqahas among the hierarchy of Hanafi fuqahas from the viewpoint of Kafavi. Finally, the intellectual discussions on fiqh in the related period are noted. The analysis of Kafavi and his book as a case study can contribute to further studies aiming to determine the mentality and the thoughts of a faqih affiliated with a certain madhhab.


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