Non-Muslims (Zimmis) in Islamic-Ottoman Law

This article mainly seeks to examine and criticize the sources written about the legal status of nonmuslims. Another goal of this paper is to try to clarify and find an answer the question of the reality about the position of ahl-al-kitab and other nonmuslim groups lived in Islamic states especially in the Ottoman Empire. There are lots of sources written from historical and sociological points of view, but from legal points of view are rare. Clarifying the legal conditions is important and necesarry for a better understanding of the sources and the applications of the Islamic states. Some of the leading scholars' works such as Hamidullah, İnalcık, Pantazapoulos, Cohen, Hacker are really important. They contain lots of important knowledge about the legal status of the non muslims in the Ottoman Empire. Some of the books are written from ideological perspectives. Some of these books are classical. It is necessary to take into consideration these sources to understand the real situation of ahidname-i Omar and some important concepts such as “kulebend” and the legal situation of churchs, sinagogs and individual rights. It is also important to fix the reality of the limitations about riding horses. Even these books contains important informations about archieval materials and documents. The author especially insists on legal perspectives of the subject.


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