In its unanimous decision, the 10th Chamber of the Council of State, the highest administrative law court of the country, annulled the Cabinet Decision of 1934 converting the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum. The Court reasoned as follows: the companion law to Turkey's secular Civil Code had provided that the old (Islamic) law would apply to waqfs (endowments) established before the new Civil Code came into force. The Hagia Sophia was a mosque, the Court found, that constituted part of Fatih Sultan Mehmed's (aka Mehmed the Conqueror) waqf, and under the applicable law at the time, it was forbidden to alter the status of waqf property via administrative decisions. The Court therefore ruled that the Cabinet Decision of 1934 had unlawfully changed the status of waqf property. The Court struck down the Cabinet Decision of 1934, thus paving the way for restoring Hagia Sophia's status as a mosque for worship.
The Muwaṭṭaʾis the first extant treatise on Islamic law, written by the eighth-century Medinan jurist Mālik b. Anas (d. 179/795). It provides an unparalleled window into the life of the early Muslim community of Medina—where the Prophet Muḥammad lived and died after immigrating from Mecca—as well as the rituals, laws, and customs that its members upheld years after his death. Harvard’s Program in Islamic Law, in conjunction with Harvard University Press, published an English translation of the Muwaṭṭaʾin 2019, edited and translated by well-known Islamic law scholars Professors Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette. This translation is based on the recently published critical edition of the Muwaṭṭaʾ, The Royal Moroccan Edition (Rabat: Ministry of Endowments, 2013). With its extensive notes, the English edition is intended to make this important early legal text widely accessible to a broad spectrum of readers, including those interested in both legal history and Islamic Studies. This Online Companionto the Muwaṭṭaʾmakes the full texts of both the original Arabic edition and its English translation freely available online. We gratefully acknowledge the Moroccan Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs for permissions to make the full Arabic text available online.
This source is part of the Online Companion to the print edition al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, the Royal Moroccan Edition: The Recension of Yaḥyā Ibn Yaḥyā al-Laythī (Harvard Series in Islamic Law), edited and translated by Mohammad Fadel and Connell Monette (PIL/HUP, 2019).