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Author Semerdjian, Elyse.
Title "Off the straight path" : illicit sex, law, and community in Ottoman Aleppo / Elyse Semerdjian.
Imprint Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2008.
Edition 1st ed.

Author Semerdjian, Elyse.
Series Gender, culture, and politics in the Middle East
Gender, culture, and politics in the Middle East.
Subject Adultery (Islamic law)
Fornication (Islamic law)
Rape (Islamic law)
Domestic relations (Islamic law)
Customary law (Islamic law) -- Syria -- Aleppo.
Punishment (Islamic law)
Description 1 online resource (xxxviii, 247 pages) : illustrations, maps
Edition 1st ed.
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 213-227) and index.
Contents pt. 1. Zina discourses -- pt. 2. Law in practice.
Summary "The legal treatment of sexual behavior is a subject that receives little scholarly attention in the field of Middle East women's studies. Important questions about the relationship between sexuality and the law and about the societies enforcing that relationship are rarely addressed in the current literature. Elyse Semerdjian's "Off the Straight Path" takes a bold step toward filling that gap, offering a fascinating look at the historical progression of Islamic law's treatment of illicit sex. Semerdjian provides a comprehensive review of the concept of zina, sexual indiscretion, exploring the diverse interpretation of zina crime as presented in a variety of sources from the Quran and hadith to legal literature. She then delves into the history of legal responses to zina within the specific community of Aleppo, Syria. Drawing on a wealth of shari 'a court records, Semerdjian brings to life Syrian society during the Ottoman period. With vivid detail, she describes specific women's lives and experiences as their cases are presented before the court. Semerdjian argues that the actual treatment of zina crimes in the courts differs substantially from sentences prescribed by codifed Islamic jurisprudence. In contrast to the violent corporal punishments dictated in the Islamic legal code, the courts often punished crimes of sexual indiscretion with nonviolent sentences, such as removal from the community. Employing exceptional insight, "Off the Straight Path" presents a powerful challenge to the traditional view of Islamic law, enabling a richer understanding of Islamic society."--Jacket.
ISBN 9780815651550 (electronic bk.)
0815651554 (electronic bk.)
0815631731 (hbk. alk. paper)
9780815631736 (hbk. alk. paper)
OCLC # 785782977
Additional Format Print version: Semerdjian, Elyse. "Off the straight path". 1st ed. Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2008 (DLC) 2008043095

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