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Qanun is an Arabic word ( ar, قانون, ''qānūn''; ota, قانون, ''kānūn'', derived from grc, κανών ''kanōn'', which is also the root for the modern English word "
canon Canon or Canons may refer to: Places * Canon, Georgia Canon is a city in Franklin County, Georgia, Franklin and Hart County, Georgia, Hart counties in the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. The population was 804 at the 2010 census. His ...
"). It can refer to laws established by Muslim sovereigns, in particular the body of administrative, economic and criminal law promulgated by
Ottoman sultans The sultans of the Ottoman Empire ( tr, Osmanlı padişahları), who were all members of the Ottoman dynasty (House of Osman), ruled over the transcontinental empire from its perceived inception in 1299 to Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, it ...
, in contrast to
sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
, the body of law elaborated by Muslim jurists. It is thus frequently translated as "dynastic law". The idea of ''kanun'' first entered the Muslim World in the thirteenth century, as it was borrowed from the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
in the aftermath of their invasions. The 10th sultan of the Ottoman Empire,
Suleiman Suleiman (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, tran ...

Suleiman
was known in the Ottoman Empire as Suleiman Kanuni ("the Lawgiver"), due to his code of laws. After the fall of the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
in 1258, a practice known to the Turks and
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongols
transformed itself into qanun, which gave power to
caliphs A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state An Islamic state is a form of government based on Islamic law. As a term, it has been used to describe various historical Polity, polities and theories of governance in the Islami ...
,
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...

governor
s, and sultans alike to "make their own regulations for activities not addressed by the sharia."Berg, Herbert. "Islamic Law." ''Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History'' 3 (2005): 1030. In History Reference Center atabase online Available from Snowden Library. Retrieved February 11, 2008. This became increasingly important as the Middle East started to modernize, thus running into the problems of a modern state, which were not covered by sharia. The Qanun began to unfold as early as Umar I (586–644 CE). Many of the regulations covered by qanun were based on financial matters or tax systems adapted through the law and regulations of those territories Islam conquered. The term ḳānūn derives itself from the Greek word κανών. Originally having the less abstract meaning of "any straight rod" it then later referred to any "measure or rule" in Greek. The word was then translated into and adopted by the Arabic language after the Ottoman Empire's conquest of Egypt under Sultan
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire fr ...

Selim I
(ca. 1516). In the Ottoman Empire, the term ḳānūn still carried the word's original meanings of a system of tax regulation. However, it later came to also refer to "code of regulations" or "state law", a well-defined secular distinction to "Muslim law" known as the s̲h̲arīʿa. The ḳānūn took on significant importance during the period of modernization in the Ottoman Empire. The ḳānūn and s̲h̲arīʿa did not contradict each other concerning administrative matters, and therefore the ḳānūn was assimilated easily into Ottoman regulatory functions. The ḳānūn promulgated by Ottoman sultans also came to be used for financial and penal law. Under Sultan
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
(1451–1481) the ḳānūn continued to be strictly applied for these practices. However, due to the influence of , grand muftī of Istanbul from 1545 to 1574 the ḳānūn was applied to deal with matters concerning property rights as well. Previously, property rights were exclusively under the jurisdiction of the s̲h̲arīʿa. Despite this seeming contradiction, due to skillful bureaucratic operations, the ḳānūn and the s̲h̲arīʿa existed harmoniously. The ḳānūn has retained its relevance in the Middle East regarding civil, commercial, administrative, and penal laws. It also has an influence in the ways that provisions of the s̲h̲arīʿa are reproduced.Linant de Bellefonds, Y., Cahen, Cl., İnalcık, Halil, and Ed. "Ḳānūn." ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'', Second Edition. Ed. P. Bearman et al. Brill Reference Online. Web. 12 Mar. 2018.


See also

*
Ottoman law The Ottoman Empire was governed by different sets of laws during its existence. The ''Qanun (law), Kanun'', a secular legal system, co-existed with religious law or Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. Legal administration in the Ottoman Empire ...
* ''Qanun'' of Malaysia: ** Hukum Kanun Pahang, an attempt to codify the law in the
Pahang Sultanate The Pahang Sultanate ( Malay: ''Kesultanan Pahang'', Jawi: كسلطانن ڤهڠ ) also referred as the Old Pahang Sultanate, as opposed to the Modern Pahang Sultanate, was a Malay Muslim state established in the eastern Malay peninsular i ...
** , the legal code of the
Malacca Sultanate #REDIRECT Malacca Sultanate The Malacca Sultanate ( ms, Kesultanan Melayu Melaka; Jawi script: کسلطانن ملايو ملاک) was a Malay sultanate centred in the modern-day state of Malacca, Malaysia. Conventional historical thesis marks c ...
***
Undang-Undang Laut Melaka Undang-Undang Laut Melaka ( Malay for 'Maritime laws of Melaka', Jawi: آوندڠ٢ لاوت ملاك) was a legal code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete ...
, the section of the Malaccan legal code which dealt specifically with
maritime law Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by ...
* Qanun Aceh


References

{{Reflist Arabic words and phrases Islamic jurisprudence Legal systems Legal codes Islamic terminology Ottoman law