Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Marriage Practices: Ottoman Empire
(975 words)

Sanctioned by Islam and custom, marriage was a near-universal institution for women of childbearing age in the Ottoman Empire. Although the act of marrying took the form of a civil contract rather than a religious rite, it usually took place in the presence of a religious dignitary, humble functionaries in the case of the poor, and ʿulamāʾ emi nences for prominent families. As in other Islamic states, the contract was effectively sealed with the prospective groom's payment of a portion of the bridal gift (Arabic, mahr) to the bride. The remainder, the so-called delayed bridal gi…

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Zilfi, Madeline C., “Marriage Practices: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0183f>
First published online: 2009

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