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.
Ibn Ḥārith al-Khushanī recorded the following case as a ḥikāya, an anonymous report: A Christian appeared before the judge Aslam b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, petitioning to be executed. The anecdote offers insight into the historical role of judges during a period of religious dissent in the Umayyad Caliphate, while the author's narrative voice demonstrates past judicial approaches to rationality, humor, and violent penalization.
This text is part of Maribel Fierro, The Judges of al-Andalus, forthcoming.
Documents referenced:ʿAlī b. Yaḥyā al-Jazīrī, al-Maqṣad al-maḥmūd fī talkhīṣ al-ʿuqūd. Pages 97-103. by ʿAlī b. Yaḥyā al-Jazīrī, Ibn Abī Zamanīn, Muntakhab al-aḥkām. Pages 760-765. by Ibn Abī Zamanīn, Ibn ʿĀṣim, Matn al-ʿĀṣimiyya al-musammā bi-Tuḥfat al-ḥukkām fī nukat al-ʿuqūd wa-l-aḥkām. Page 34. by Ibn ʿĀṣim, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Ibn Rushd [al-Ḥafīd], Bidāyat al-mujtahid wa-nihāyat al-muqtaṣid. Volume 2, pages 146-147. by Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Ibn Rushd [al-Ḥafīd], Aḥmad Ibn Mughīth al-Ṭulayṭulī (d. 459/1067), al-Muqniʿ fī ʿilm al-shurūṭ. Pages 121-124. by Ibn Mughīth al-Ṭulayṭulī, Abū al-Qāsim Salmūn b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd Allāh Ibn Salmūn al-Kinānī, al-ʿIqd al-munaẓẓam lil-ḥukkām fīmā yajrī bayna aydīhim min al-ʿuqūd wa’l-aḥkām, on the margins of Ibn Farḥūn, Tabṣirat al-ḥukkām fī uṣūl al-aqḍiya wa-manāhij al-aḥkām. Pages 154-158. by Abū al-Qāsim Salmūn b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd Allāh Ibn Salmūn al-Kinānī, Ibn al-ʿAṭṭār, Kitāb al-waṯāʾiq wa’l-siŷillāt. Pages 469-472. by Ibn al-ʿAṭṭār+ 4 other documents