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The Crime of Writing

Zouhair Ghazzal


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adilla (s. dalīl) evidence
adillat al‑thubūt evidence which has been adduced from other evidence
ʿafū riʾāsī presidential pardon that would lessen the punishment of the convict
ahl relatives
aḥwāl shakhṣiyya a modern term for personal status matters such as marriage, divorce, alimony, and inheritance
ʿamd first‑degree murder, premeditated killing, which could lead to the death penalty or permanent incarceration
ʿashāyir (s. ʿashīra) clans and tribal fractions
ʿashwāʾiyyāt; manāṭiq al‑mukhālafāt al‑jamāʿiyya illegitimate and unregulated neighborhoods in a city (e.g. Aleppo and Damascus)
aṣl origin; substance
aʿtarif I confess
ʿayn tangible object
al‑bāʿith fi‑l‑qatl what caused the killing
bāṭin hidden cause (of crime) which cannot be easily detected objectively as in an overt cause
bayyina evidence
bidāya first‑instance court; a system of secular courts that became prominent during the second Ottoman Tanẓīmāt
bint ʿamm maternal cousin
dāfiʿ motive
dāfiʿ sharīf honorable motive; a term usually applied for an honor killing
dalīl (pl. adilla) evidence
dalīl mādī tangible evidence
diya blood money to be paid by the family of the offender to that of the victim in lieu of a peaceful settlement
gharīm foe, opponent, debtor
faḥshāʾ adultery, fornication, whoredom
faqīh (pl. fuqahāʾ) jurist of Islamic law
farāʾiḍ the branch in the Ḥanafī fiqh that deals with matters of marriage, divorce, alimony, and inheritance, referred to in modern civil codes as “personal status” matters
fiʿl munāfi li‑l‑ḥishma an act that is contrary to decency
fiqh Islamic jurisprudence
firʿ “lineage”; if the killer was a “branch (firʿ)” to the victim, due to the kin relationship, for example, mother‑daughter, the court may opt for the death penalty
ghaṣb usurpation
Gülhane edict Ottoman edict that inaugurated the Tanẓīmāt in 1839
ḥaqq right
ḥukm verdict; ruling
ibn ʿamm paternal cousin
iʿdām death penalty
ightiṣāb rape is defined as threatening or forcing someone other than the legal spouse into coitus (art. 489).
iltizām Ottoman tax‑farming system
iqrār acknowledgment
iqrār qaḍāʾī legal acknowledgment
irāda volition; will
ʿirḍ honor
istidlāl good reasoning based on logic
iʿtirāf confession
iʿtirāf ḍimnī an implicit confession
jamāᶜ; mujāmaᶜa coitus; copulation; sexual intercourse which could be legal among spouses or illegal, in particular if rape is forced (art. 489)
jamāʿa group of people
jamʿiyya sakaniyya housing cooperative
jamʿiyya taʿāwuniyya cooperative, co‑op
jarīma crime
jarīma maqṣūda intended crime; manslaughter
jināyat crime
Jināyāt; Jināʾiyyāt department of crime at the Palace of Justice
junḥa misdemeanor
al‑junḥa al‑mashhūda the misdemeanor which has been witnessed
jurm iqtiṣādī economic crime
madhāhib (s. madhhab) Islamic law schools of the fiqh
maḥkama court; tribunal
maḥkamat al‑Naqḍ Cassation Court, Damascus, known as tamyīz in some Arab countries such as Lebanon
maḥkamat al‑ṣulḥ peace tribunal managed by a peace judge, the lowest in the hierarchy of tribunals in civil‑law systems
mahr dowry
al‑maghdūr (f. al‑maghdūra) the betrayed; common term for a crime victim
maḥḍar istijwāb interrogation memo
Majalla; Majalle Ottoman civil law system, based on the Ḥanafī fiqh, instituted in 1877
māl res in commercio; exchangeable commodity; money in contemporary usage
al‑masʾūliyya al‑maʿnawiyya moral responsibility (e.g. for a crime)
milk; mulk; mülk private property
mina al‑warīd ila al‑warīd from one vein to another; a common designation for an honor killing against a woman
mīrī; miri; arāḍī amīriyya in the Ottoman centuries, land stood for state‑owned (mostly) agrarian lands which were allocated to individuals or families as prebends; in Syria today, mīrī is a property whose inheritance rules would not abide by the sharīʿa, hence men and women would inherit in full equality
muddaʿi shakhṣī individual plaintiff who acts in parallel (and independently) to the complaint instigated by the public prosecution office
muḥāfaẓa the province as an administrative unit (e.g. Aleppo, Idlib)
muḥarriḍ instigator; an instigator (muḥarriḍ) is someone who pushes or attempts to push someone else to commit a crime (art. 216).
muʾakhkhar late dowry; to be paid to the wife in case the husband divorces or dies
muḥāmi lawyer; counsel
al‑muḥāmi al‑ʿāmm al‑awwal the advocate general
mukhtall unbalanced; insane; retarded
muqaddam premium dowry
niyāba ʿāmma public prosecution office, district attorney, DA
niyya intention, motive
al‑niyya hiya mina al‑umūr al‑bāṭiniyya intention is an internal hidden matter
niyyat qatl intention to kill
qāḍī judge
qāḍī al‑iḥāla referral judge; the judge who hands over the case to the Jināyāt upon a preliminary firsthand synthesis
qāḍī al‑ṣulḥ peace judge, replicated along the French model of juge de paix
qāḍī al‑taḥqīq investigating judge, juge d’instruction
qānūn law
qānūn madanī civil law
qānūn al‑ʿuqūbāt penal law
qānūnnāme Ottoman regional codes, whose authority stood in parallel to sharīʿa Ḥanafī law (the fiqh)
qarār decision
qaṣd manslaughter, non‑premeditated killing; a lesser charge than the ʿamd
al‑qaṣd al‑ijrāmī the purpose of the criminal act
Qaṣr al‑ʿadl Palace of Justice
qatl bi‑dāfiʿ sharīf killing for an honorable purpose; the labeling of the Jināyāt for an honor killing that would not be classified as premeditated
rujūʿ ʿan iʿtirāf the denial of a confession
sabab (pl. asbāb) cause
shakhṣ iʿtibārī legal person, juristic person, body corporate
sharḥ al‑daʿwa explication of the lawsuit; action taken by the public prosecution office (DA) during the hearing proceedings which consists at presenting the lawsuit to the court
sharaf honor
sharīk partner (in the crime)
sifāḥ adultery and fornication
taʿāwuniyya cooperative, co‑op
tabādul exchange
tabrīr justification
taḥrīḍ instigation (for a murder)
ṭā’ifa (pl. ṭawāʾif/ ṭawāyif) a religious–confessional–sectarian milieu; the old Ottoman millet system with its connotations of political autonomy
tajassus spying
al‑takhalli ʿan al‑daʿwa dropping (abandoning) a case; or when a case would not fit the common juridical denominators to be handled by a Jināyāt court, hence it must abandoned
tamyīz appellate court; a system originally instituted by the Ottoman Tanẓīmāt, based on the Napoleonic civil court system of 1810, and which was implemented in Greater Syria in the 1870s
ṭaʿn; ṭaʿana appeal of a court’s verdict, which would normally lead to the transfer of the case from the local Jināyāt court to the upper Damascus Naqḍ
Tanẓīmāt (s. tanẓīm) Ottoman reforms of 1839 and 1856
ʿunṣur al‑jarīma al‑maʿnawī the moral element in crime
ʿuqūbāt (s. ʿuqūba) punishments
ʿuqūbat al‑iʿdām death penalty
walīdat al‑sāʿa a crime that was the outcome of its moment, that is, was not premeditated, ʿamd
waqf (pl. awqāf) Islamic mortmain properties, blocked as endowments from circulation and free exchange
ẓāhir the external and objective causes (of a crime)
ẓanīn suspect
zinā adultery and fornication

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