Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Domestic Violence: Ottoman Empire
(1,589 words)

Although several modern legal codes make reference to domestic violence, Islamic law (Sharīʿa) addresses it through the concept of ḍarar (harm) that encompasses several types of abuse against a spouse. For example, ḍarar can include the failure of a husband to provide obligatory support ( nafaqa ) for his wife, which includes food, shelter, and clothing. A husband's absence from the home, his inability to fulfill his wife's sexual needs, or mistreatment of his wife's family members can result in dissolution of the marriage. Ḍarar also includes physical abuse against a spouse. T…

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Semerdjian, Elyse, “Domestic Violence: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 21 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0075g>
First published online: 2009

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