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Annales islamologiques 46
2013 IFAO
12 p.
gratuit - free of charge
L’affaire al-Safṭī (1448-1450). Pouvoir souverain et usages de la légalité à l’époque mamelouke

This paper aims at bringing to light the modest causes that were the talk of Mamluk Cairo around 1450. The former chief Šāfiʿī qāḍī Muḥammad al-Safṭī met with legal troubles after having a brilliant career owing to Sultan Ǧaqmaq’s patronage and falling immediately after into disgrace. Charges were laid against him for debt, extortion or embezzlement of waqf assets. The lawsuits were put forward by the sultan as a pretext to seize the wealth of his former protégé. Such methods were usual in the Mamluk exercising of power. What is less regular is the fact that Sultan Ǧaqmaq strictly remained within the limits of lawfullness. Indeed the sultan secured his ends by laying back the charges, holding courts with the four chief qāḍī-s and playing with the fours maḏhab-s’ competition. Even though he could have exercised discretionary powers or have turned to the maẓālim court, he decided to follow the qāḍī-s’ judicial settlements in order to compromise his former protégé. During the Fifteenth century indeed, the Mamluk power’s acculturation to lawfullness was effective.

Keywords: justice – lawfulness – qāḍī – sultan – waqf – city order.