Institut für Iranistik / Institute of Iranian Studies Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
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The resolution of a land dispute in Astarābād, 1251-1288/1835-1871
Seminar mit Zahir Bhalloo (University of Oxford)
06.06.2012, 09:30
Seminarraum 1 (Parterre), Zentrum Asienwissenschaften und Sozialanthropologie
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien

abstract (Zahir Bhalloo): This paper examines how jurists (mujtahids) were called upon to adjudicate a complicated and protracted land dispute between a group of sayyids and the Qajar khans of Astarābād. The dispute was over two villages in the countryside of Astarābād. The sayyids claimed that the villages were waqf property endowed by their ancestor Mīr Rūḥullāh in the Safavid period. The Qajar khans who held possession of the two villages rejected the claim of the sayyids; as far as they were concerned the villages were private property which they had legally acquired. The sayyids attempted to contest the possession of the Qajar khans on the basis of the legal rulings (ḥukms)of two mujtahids. The Qajar khans, however, refused to recognise the judicial authority of the two mujtahids forcing the sayyids to accept a settlement (ṣulḥ). The case study sheds light on how legally binding ḥukms were circumvented and the limits of the judicial powers of the mujtahid acting as qāḍī in nineteenth century Iran.














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