This is the third volume resulting from IRCICA’s project that aims to render the Ottoman archive documents on Arab lands accessible to researchers who work in the Arabic language. The first and second volumes were published in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The third volume is related to the period of Sultan Suleyman the Lawgiver (1520-1566). The author, Dr. Fazil Bayat, researcher at IRCICA, applied the same method as in the first two volumes: for each document selected for the book he transcribed the text, translated it into Arabic, and analyzed it. A detailed index arranged according to subjects facilitates the task of the reader. The documents included in this volume were chosen from among the Hükmü Hümayun (Imperial Decrees) listed in the registers nr. 3, 5 and 6 of the Mühimme Defterleri («registers for essential subjects») which are part of the collections in the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul.
The author underlines in his Introduction that in this volume he gave special importance to analyzing each document in order to explain and at the same time, to referring to others on similar subjects that are not included in the volume. The book is divided into eight independent chapters, focusing, respectively, on: the general and administrative situation, the holy places (Makka al-Mukarrama and Madina al munawwara), the organization of the Hajj [pilgrimage], the awqaf [foundations] and religious affairs, legal affairs and establishment of justice, economic affairs, local leadership and tribes, military affairs and maintenance of security, and miscellaneous subjects.
The series will continue; the fourth volume is planned for publication by the end of 2014.