Memlüklerde Mezâlim Mahkemeleri, Hukuk ve Adliye Teşkilâtı
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The judicial responsibility which can be defined as the settlement of rights violations and disputes among people according to the Qur’an and the Sunna, or, in other words, according to the shar’i provisions, is the most important task of the caliph authority or the sultan, the head of state bureaucracy. Although the Prophet Mohammad carried over the duty of jurisdiction, known as kaza, by himself in early periods of Islam, this duty was handed over to the qualified individuals later on. Further, it is known that during the period of Rashid Caliphs and this authority was assigned to the governors and judges who were appointed to various provincial centers. Mezâlim courts, being known from the time of Caliph Omar, proceeded not only important cases such as removal cases of high-ranking bureaucrats or the cases of powerful and authorized persons (e.g., governors or commanders) but also the complaints of ordinary persons on certain days of the week. This practice was adopted and continued by Mamluks, as well. Undoubtedly, dispensing justice in mezâlim sessions headed by sultan himself or its regent (nâibu’s-sultan) had some political implications. Legal pluralism was a necessity for Mamluk State since the society consisted of Arabs, Turks, Jews, Christians and Tatars and it could be understood that members of each religious group or even sects could live in accordance with their own laws. Moreover, differences in ethnicity, customs and culture as well as religious and sectarian differences were protected by the legal system.