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Masters in Education from Nottingham University in the UK. Also studied Masters in Islamic Studies and Islamic Banking & Finance. Political activist with interests in Geopolitics, History and Phil ...
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Dr Jonathan Brown's chapter on "Tazir" in the Oxford encyclopaedia of Islam and Law has a good summary.  The Ottoman Penal Code of 1858 was produced as part of the Ottoman state's reform of its entire administration in light of new technologies and new challenges. The 1858 Code reformed the penal system by replacing existing punishment such as the bastinado with forced labor (kurek), prison, fines and exile (it also retained the death penalty for some crimes).  And yet the Code's Islamic legitimacy was not in question. It begins 'In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful' and was approved by the Ottoman religious establishment, which remained deeply conservative until the end of the empire.  The 1858 Code never mentions Hudud, but this was not because it eliminated them. Rather, this was because the whole Code explicitly limited itself to reforming the tazir level of punishments. Since the Hudud had not been applied often, replacing the tazir area was tantamount to overhauling the entirety of Ottoman criminal law. By not removing the Hudud and instead leaving them in effective abeyance, the 1858 Code avoided assaulting a major symbol of Islamic legitimacy.  The punishments it introduced were set by the French, but they were just as 'Islamic' as the ones previously used by Ottoman judges, since tazir was a matter of discretion not specified in the Qur'an and Sunna. Moreover, the first paragraph of the 1858 Code commits to not violating any rights of individuals under the Shari'a and it even retained people's rights to the Qisas process in the case of homicide should they choose it.

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