pg 1SOME ACCOUNT OF THESTATE OF TRIPOLI ON THEBARBARY COAST IN NORTHAFRICA, DERIVED FROM ANAUTHENTIC SOURCE ANDCOMPOSED MOSTLY OFPARTICULARS NEVER TILLNOW MADE PUBLIC IN ANYEUROPEAN LANGUAGEpg 2
pg 3§ 1. Territory—population—language
The territory of the State of Tripoli, according to the Maps, extends North and South from Latitude about | | Degrees | | Minutes North to Latitude about | | Degrees and | | Minutes North, and East and West from Longitude about | | Degrees | | Minutes to about | | Degrees | | Minutes.1
In it is included the territory of Fezzan: which has been in a state of peaceful subjection to it for between thirty and forty years:2 extent, about one third of Tripoli proper: but population not so dense.
It is bounded on the North by the Mediterranean, on the South by the territories of various Arab Hordes, on the East by Egypt, on the West by the territory of Tunis.
The basis of the population of Tripoli proper is composed of Moors. But a large portion of it is composed of Negroes, chiefly in a state of slavery. There are in the Capital a considerable number of Jews: not many in any other part. There are also Franks of most European Nations, some in the occupation of Merchants, others in inferior occupations. There are more of the Italian than of any other language, and more of Genoese than any other Italians.
The inhabitants of Fezzan are Negroes: Religion and Government on the same footing as in Tripoli.
The population of the entire dominion is supposed to amount to about 3,000,000: of which number about | | belongs to Fezzan.3
The capital of Tripoli proper bears the same name: population, supposed between 25,000 and 30,000. Captain Lyon reckons no more than | |. The book that bears the name of Tully reckons | |.1
The capital of Fezzan is Moorzuck: population supposed about 13,000: including in what may be called the Suburbs. Captain Lyon reckons no more than 2,500.2
§ 2. Chief of the State—his name—title—power—and family
His Official title is, according to the English orthography, Bashaw: for which of late the word Pacha has been employed in Newspapers. In French it has always been written Pacha. In the Arabic pronuntiation little distinction is made between the B and the P.
The title is at present altogether an improper one: Bashaw is a Turkish word: expressive of a member of a certain rank in the Military branch of the Official Establishment of the Turkish Empire.
The case is—that, till about 30 years ago, Tripoli was in a sort of subjection to Turkey. It paid Tribute to the Grand Signior: it was governed by a few Turkish Soldiers. But about that time the natives threw off the Yoke of the Turks: and the territory was altogether cleared of them.4 The Porte, whatever was the cause of its forbearance, took no steps for recovering its dominion. The Bashaw pg 5on the other hand, to avoid unnecessary irritation, preserved his title of Bashaw unchanged, and made not any formal declaration of independence.
As to his power, it is of course in form compleatly arbitrary. But in practice, the social sanction, under the guidance of the religious, opposes to it, as will be seen,a some little checks, which are not altogether without effect.
As to his family, male children regarded as capable of succeeding to him he has but two.
27 year old Ali, married to Hawe Goi: has 3 children.1
The official title of both is Bey.4
pg 6The succession is regarded as hereditary in the present family. But the order of succession as between son and son is not regarded as settled. How general a gloom is cast over the whole country by this uncertainty may be imagined. The seating of the present Bashaw on the throne was the result of a civil war between brother and brother:1 and upon his death, unless in the mean time some effectual remedy be applied, another civil war is regarded as inevitable. When the proposition is made, that on every succeeding vacancy the eldest shall be successor, an objection is made—that, in virtue of any such education as in that situation youth[s] are likely to have, it may at any time be too probable that while in most of the children mind is in such a state of imbecility as to be altogether incapable of holding the reins of government, in some one of them appropriate aptitude may not be so compleatly deficient.
§ 3. General Administration—its members2
The names Official and personal of the principal Officers of State are as follows.
1. Minister of Finance. Official name, Khaznadar: or in Algiers, Wakil al Khars.3
3. Commander in Chief by Sea. Official name, Rais al marsa. Personal name, Anno 1822, Mustapha Gourgi.1
4. Minister of Justice and Religion. Official name. Cadi. Personal name. Anno 1822, Sidi Hammet Toughar.
5. Minister for Foreign Affairs. Official name, Wizir. Personal name. Anno 1822, Mohammed D'Ghies.2
These are all that have consideration in virtue of their Offices; if any others, it is in virtue of the personal favour they enjoy from the Pacha.3
The so recently incorporated Territory of Fezzan remains still the whole of it under the subordinate authority of the individual by whom it was subdued. Official name, Sultan. This is not the proper name though employed by Lyon: it is Bey. Personal name, Moukni | |. Of this personage, sundry particulars, more than are to his credit, are reported by an eye witness, Captain Lyon.4
In his one person, if his situation be the same as that in which he was seen and felt by Captain Lyon, he unites the Office of Finance Minister and Local Commander in Chief. That is the case with every Governor: he is likewise Collector of the Taxes.
pg 8§ 4. Judicial Establishment1
The Judicial Establishment consists of the Minister of Justice, whose residence is in the Capital, and the Members of the several local—say provincial, Judicatories.
To some purposes, certain functionaries attached to the several mosques (places of worship) throughout the whole territory may perhaps be to be considered in this same character. Of these mention will be made in the next Section.2
The official name of the Minister of Justice is Cadi. To him it belongs to place, and under certain restrictions to displace, the members of the several subordinate Judicatories.
To him lies an appeal from the several subordinate Judicatories.
He exercises not any original Jurisdiction except in the capital. Thursday and Monday for causes of Appeal: for causes de première instance, the other days.
He hears not any cause but with open doors. This at least is what is professed.
Any cause may be brought before him alone in the first instance: if no decision in writing is required, he judges without consultation with Muftis: if a decision is required on the spot, he calls in Muftis on that same day: otherwise the cause is put off to the next solemn day, viz. Thursday or Monday.
At 12 o'clock the doors are shut and business ceases—at 1 they open again.
Five Muftis are attached to the Cadi's Judicatory: October […?] Month vacation on account of the sowing time as to Appeal causes: so in April for the harvest.
Of the abovementioned provincial and subordinate Judicatories there are 13, 14, or 15. Names of the places at which there are Judicatories are as follow:
9. Hoon or Houn.1
In each of them sits a Cadi, by whom all causes are heard, and to whom it belongs to give execution and effect to such judgment as is pronounced. To the Logical field of his Jurisdiction there are no limits. It embraces all causes, civil, penal, and religious. But to each Judicatory is attached at the same time a bench of other Magistrates, to whose opinion, antecedently to judgment pronounced, all questions of law are referred. Mufti is their official name. Each bench of Muftis has its President. His official name is | |. Number of Muftis in a Judicatory, 3, 5, or 7: five is the most ordinary number. Number in every one of these Judicatories an odd number: reason—that, on every occasion, bating accidents, there may be a majority. To the judgment, the Cadi's is the only name attached. But it is by the Muftis that the reasons of it are furnished: and without reasons the judgment would not be valid.2
To each Judicatory are attached three or four Secretaries or Registers to register the Decrees.
They are chosen by the Cadi from the body of Notaries.
Their Official name is AM.3
They are paid by the party in each instance to whom their service is beneficial. The regular fee is very small. It is commonly exceeded by the fee actually paid.
Of the pay of the several members of these several Judicatories, the source is derived partly from a landed Estate attached to it, partly from fees paid by suitors.
In the instance of some of the best paid of these Judges, the fair emolument rises as high as from 200£ to 300£ a year. An income to this amount constitutes considerable opulence. Thirty pounds a year is sufficient to enable a man to mix upon a footing of equality with the highest circles.
In Tripoli no fee is received by any Judge: neither by the Cadi nor by any Mufti. But when a question of law is put to a Mufti, it is pg 10customary for him to receive a present: but he has no right to demand it.
Bait al mal is the name of a functionary to whose Office it belongs to take charge of the public domain. To him a man who wishes to purchase or take on lease any part of the Crown lands addresses himself: on him it depends to recognize or dispute the title to every such property. This power of his is a source of great peculation and extortion.1
Personal name of him who was in that office Anno 1814, Mohammed abou Shiaib. He occupies it still for any thing known here to the contrary.2
According to the letter of the law and the forms observed in consequence, all the functionaries, military as well as civil, are subject to the jurisdiction of these Judicatories—the Pacha himself not excepted. If a man has a complaint against him, he is summoned to appear to answer it. He accordingly either attends, or sends somebody to attend for him.
Malthhab is the general name given to a sort of Sect among the Lawyers. There are four of these Malthhabs.
1. Hanafi was born at Koufa in the neighbourhood of Bashra. Name of the principal work according to the sect is Moktasar al Khanz. Author: Mahmoud Anassaffy.3
2. Shafi, born at Cairo.4
3. Maliki, born at Medina. Name of the principal work, Moktassar. Author's name, Khalil al Jendy.5
These two are the two texts that form the most accredited grounds of judicial decision. Each of them has a multitude of Commentators.
4. Hanbali: born—not recollected where.6
At Tripoli only the 1st. and third possess authority: the two others have authority in Arabia Felix and the neighbourhood.
pg 11When it is for the entering into a Contract that the parties have need of the assistance of a Notary,1 of course they go together: when it is for making a complaint, complainants are received singly or in numbers.
Any man may at any time go before a pair of Notaries and make his deposition, stating any matters of fact or events at his pleasure, important or trivial: the Notaries make no difficulty in receiving them.2
§ 5. Police in Towns: namely in some of the larger Towns3
In the Capital is a functionary whose Official name is Sheik al belad.
He is placed and displaceable by the Pacha.
His functions are:
1. To adjust weights and measures—to secure their conformity to the standard.
2. To take care of the Streets—i.e. of their cleanliness.
3. To settle inconsiderable differences and complaints of transgression in manufactures and handicraft trades.
4. He is the President of the Judicatory of Commerce: Members—old established Merchants and Masters of Vessels.
The Members are persons who frequent a certain Coffee-House. The number is not limited. Whether a man shall be admitted or no depends upon those who already belong to it. The Coffee-house is called Gawud: Gawut Shek al belad, Coffee-house of the Shek al belad. The Judicatory is over the Coffee-house.
Only at Tripoli is there this Commercial Jud[icatory].
His pay is not fixt.
A dishonest man may make money in this Office, but he risks his life in doing so.
pg 12§ 6. Religious Establishment1
Of the Chief of the Religious Establishment, the official name is | |.2
The personal name of the functionary now in Office is | |.
In Tripoli, as in every other country in which the established religion is Mahometanism, the Edifices in which religious service is performed are called Mosques. Number of Mosques in the whole territory, Fezzan included, about 3,000. The several districts in each of which a Mosque is situated may be considered as so many subdistricts, with reference to the several districts belonging to the respective Judicatories.
Of the whole territory of the State there is not any part that is not included in the field of authority belonging to some Mosque, and thereby belonging to some Judicatory. In the language of Christian Religion and English Law there are therefore no Extra-parochial places. With as much etymological propriety as in the case of a Christian Church, the field of authority of a Mosque may be stiled a Parish.
Attached to each Mosque is a Minister of Religious Worship: one and no more. His official name is Iman.
Under the Iman are certain functionaries who are known, by several names: viz. 1. Mazeen: 2. Mouwakit: 3. Mouathen: 4. Kaim: 5. Mosammen:3 and between twenty and thirty others.
In the absence of the Iman, the eldest of these Assistants takes his place.
Names by which the field of the authority of the Iman is designated—or as we say the Parish—are: 1. Homa. 2. Hara.4
They are chosen by the Parishioners.
These Electors choose one another: i.e. each vacancy is filled up by those who are already in office.
The Iman is elected by the Parishioners as above: and must be confirmed by the Cadi he belongs to. But in the case of an alledged improper Election, Appeal goes to the Cadi of the Capital.
pg 13Attached to every Mosque are moreover two Notaries. Such, in the language of Rome-bred law, is the appellation by which, in the compass of a single word, a general conception of their functions may be best conveyed. In the language of English law they may be termed Conveyancers: it being understood that in those same functions, as in those of the French Notaire, is included the conveyancing part of the business of the English sort of professional lawyer who used to be called an Attorney, but who, that name having been so much worn by obloquy, has tried to make [his]1 escape out of it, and within these few years is affronted if spoken of or to out of Court or Office by any other name than Solicitor,
Of these official persons, the function consists in drawing up the several written instruments, private as well as public, to which such a degree of importance is attached as causes them to be committed to writing.
In particular, conveyances and contracts having for their subject-matter property or condition in life.
Another service in which their skill is occasionally employed, is that of drawing up what, in the language of the French Edition of Rome-bred law, is stiled a procès-verbal. For preventing the deperition of a lot of evidence that may eventually become necessary on the occasion of a suit not yet in existence, or not yet ripe for the receipt of Evidence, provision for instance is made by the Ministry of these functionaries. Witnesses are in this way examined in perpetuam rei memoriam:2 and, how incredible soever it may appear to Lord Eldon,3 without the assistance of a suit in Chancery, or that side of the Court of Exchequer which calls its proceedings Equity.4
In Tripoli, as well as elsewhere under Mahomet, for want of those distinction[s] the light of which has been shed on the subject by English Equity, the care of preserving necessary evidence from deperition has not been confined to Equity: whatsoever may be meant by a word the import of which has so much more of sweetness in it than it has of clearness.
Having experienced, for example, an act of forcible depredation or oppression in any other shape at the hands of a man whose power and influence is such as to leave no hope of redress, or of any thing better than ruin in case of known complaint, while that power or influence pg 14continues, to take [his]1 chance for better days, the sufferer may repair to one of these Notaries. The Notary, after hearing the narrative, and administering on his part such interrogatories as to him seem proper and necessary to the giving to it the clearness, correctness and comprehensiveness requisite for the purpose, committs the whole to writing.
Instances have happened in which a Document of this kind has been drawn up in the character of an Instrument of eventual redress for injury, inflicted by the reigning Sovereign. Thrones are every where vacated by death, and in that country they have been in a remarkable degree exposed and apt to be vacated by other causes.
Good, it may be said, good perhaps in some such extraordinary cases, but what shall we say of it in ordinary ones? Should we not call it mere ex-parte evidence? In this way, whether it be in penal cases or in civil cases, but more particularly in civil cases, might not evidence be manufactured in a most untrustworthy and deceptions shape, and give effect to the most nefarious designs? Yes certainly, if it were regarded as conclusive, which however there seems to be little danger of its being on any occasion in any place. Yes, but too probably, if in Tripoli the Examination were conducted in a no more apt manner than in a London Examiner's office under the auspices of English Equity. In a more unapt manner it could not be conducted even at Paris or Constantinople. At Tripoli, it is conducted in a different, and therefore in a more apt, manner.a
Assessors on these occasions to the Notary are—Witnesses, 40 in number, chosen it is said out of the men of best repute in the parish. At the worst, they could not be chosen upon a worse principle than an English Jury, taken with choice under the pretence of chance by an English Master of the Crown Office, dependent on the Minister by a revocable Sinecure, as well as on another dependent creature of the pg 15Monarch, in the shape of a Chief Justice, against whose corruption they are to afford security:1 or a French Jury, creatures of the official creature to whose corruptions they are to oppose a check.2
So far from being appointed by the Monarch or by any person under his influence, if any member of this Mahometan Jury (for to the purposes in question with less impropriety [than]3 to a jury of the purest Church of England Christians chosen as above might the appellative be applied) were known to be a functionary of any cast in the service of the Monarch, it would be a cause of nullity: and so universally is this understood that, into any such company, no such creature of the Monarch has ever been known to venture to intrude himself.
Punishment4 of a Notary convicted of malversation in his Office. His beard is compleatly shaved, he is mounted on an Ass, his head to the Ass's tail, and for three days together is conducted all round the town, and in the Bazars and other public places.
Of a Notary the Official name is Adil, or say Adala.
A man can not be [admitted]5 a Notary without a certificate in favour of his aptitude signed by at least 40 individuals, householders in his parish.
For every business that requires the intervention of a Notary, there must be two Notaries. This is the law under the most recent of the 4 most accredited Codes. The use is to afford the better rampart against despotism. No Sovereign dares maltreat a Notary for any thing done in the exercise of his Office.
A man who regards himself as injured in any of his rights by the oppression of the reigning Sovereign may make his appearance before two Notaries and tell his story. The Notaries, by their signatures, attest his signature. Furnished with this document he keeps it till the death or departure of the Sovereign affords him a chance of relief.
On the occasion of these depositions the Notaries have fees: they are not fixed.
§ 7. Public Instruction Establishment
In Tripoli proper there are two seats and sources of public Instruction, both of them on the same plan; one at a place called Tajaoura: the other at a place called Zanzour: both of them in Tripoli proper. They serve likewise for Fezzan: since the Incorporation, students from that province having been admitted. They have both of them for their principal object, the qualifying the students for the several situations in the Judicial and Religious Establishments as abovementioned.
Of these seats of instruction, Tajaoura is the principal, judging at least from the habitual number of the Students. This number is between four and five hundred. This at least was the number about 8 years ago.
The situation of Tajaoura is on or near the Sea Coast. Distance from the Capital about 30 miles to the West of it.1
Zanzour is likewise on or near the Sea Coast. Distance from the Capital: about the same distance or somewhat less to the East. Habitual number of Students: between 300 and 400. The plan of instruction pursued being in both these seats of Learning much the same, one account will serve for both, except in so far as differences are mentioned.
Whatsoever in the way of Literature is taught any where is taught there. The Elementary Arts of Reading and Writing, as well as every thing that bears the name of Science, [are taught there].
The following are the branches of art and science which are there professed to be taught: the order in which they are taught is that in which they are here mentioned.
1. Grammar, including reading and writing.
3. Logic, taken it is believed from Aristotle.
4. Law: that is to say, the principles which the decisions of the Judicatories take for their ground.
5. Mathematics: namely what is called pure Mathematics: algebra included: and the calcul différentiel et intégral, otherwise Fluxions: with little or no application to practice: the principles probably taken from Translations of the Greek Mathematicians.
7. Of the commentaries on the Koran, such as are most esteemed, and referred to as authorities, in this country.
Each of these Seminaries is governed by one Chief. His official name is Shekh.
They are appointed by | |.
At Tajaoura, the situation of Shekh has for some generations been in one family—the family of Nahas.
Under the Shekh are Teachers | | in number: for each branch of instruction, one.
The Official name of this Functionary is Moudarris.
Among them, there is no gradation of rank. They are distinguished by number, the first, the second, etc.
The pay of these Functionaries is derived wholly or principally from an Estate in land allotted to the purpose in former days by the piety of individuals.
Altogether, the annual emolument attached to the Office of Shekh may be estimated at about1—nothing in money: but the land attached to the University furnishes him with a comfortable subsistence.
That of a Moudarris is provided for in the same way.
The Moudarrises are placed and displaceable by the Shekh.2
The Students pay nothing. They are boarded as well as lodged.
Whether an applicant shall be admitted depends on the Chief. Few applications are refused. Sole punishment, expulsion.
Age generally, 18 to 20.
They come from Schools.
Students are not lodged in any common edifice as in Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College. They find Lodging and Board as they can in separate Houses and Families, as in Edinburgh and the other Scotch Universities.
Lodging and Board are both of them matters of great simplicity in Tripoli compared with what they are in England. Neither Bedsteads nor Chairs are there in use any more than in any other Mahometan country. The cold not being for any length of time considerable enough to cause artificial warmth to be regarded as [matter]3 of necessity, no such things as chimnies or Fire-places are to be seen any where. If, on any occasion, recourse is had to artificial warmth, pg 18the only source employed is charcoal enclosed in a portable receptacle.
In Russia, you may be entertained with magnificence in a spacious gentleman's House in which no such utensil as with us is placed under beds is provided for the guest. This considered, that Utensils of this sort should be in plenty at a Tripolitan University will hardly be expected.
The use of fermented liquors being interdicted by religion, it will be seen to what a degree of simplicity the article of beverage is [reduced].1
The article of nourishment in a solid form, though not quite so little diversified as the article of liquid nourishment, will naturally in a Tripolitan University be upon a footing of great simplicity in comparison of what it is on in an English one.
The age at which a Student is entered at one of these Tripolitan Schools or Universities, whichever they are to be called, is commonly from 18 years to 20 years.
The time during which his residence continues is from three to four years; or if remarkably slow, sometimes more.
Times of vacation are from Thursday afternoons to Saturday mornings—the Friday being their Sunday. Holiday times 4 in a year, a week each.
The degrees are constituted by the authors read. The order in which these authors shall be read is determined by the custom: no skipping from an author of lower degree to one of two degrees higher without passing through the intermediate one.
To the lectures read by the Professors, not only the Students belonging to the Universities but every body else is freely admitted.2
Of the Schools.
In every Parish there are Schools one or more according to the population. Maktab is the name of a School of this sort.3
Official name: the […?] Mooatheb—Teacher of Civilization. He is paid by the Scholar. Every Thursday the Scholar brings his present—more or less considerable according to the circumstances of his family.
The same motive by which a man is induced to establish a foundation of this sort engages him, within the sphere of his observation, to look out for those parts of the country in which, in respect of the proportion between the actual population and the distance of the nearest Mosques, the demand for a foundation of this sort is most urgent.1
§ 8. Military Land Establishment
1. Commander in Chief. Official name, as above noticed (§ 3), | |. Personal name, Anno 1822 | |.2
2. Commander in Chief of Cavalry. Official name, Bash Agha. Personal name, Anno 1822 | |.
3. Commanders of Legions, number | |. Name of a Legion, Orta. Official name of the Commander, Agha. Number of Troops in an Orta, from 3,000 to 4,000.
4. Colonel or Captain. Official name, Bayrizdar. Number of Men under his command, 100. Number of these officers, Anno 1822, | |. So of the Bash Agha's, Anno 1822, | |.
5. Serjeant or Corporal. Official name, Shawioh. Number of men under his command, 10.3
§ 9. Naval Establishment
[1.] Official title of the Commander in chief, Capitana. Personal name of the present Capitana, Morad Rais, He is a Scotchman by birth: he is a Renegade: his original name unknown.4 He has no fixt pay.
Artillery they have from Europe: in Algiers there is a foundary.
2. Next to the Capitana is the Patrone.
4. Official name of every Commander of a Vessel, Rais. Commanders of merchant vessels have the same title.
§ 10. Financial Establishment1
At the head of the Financial Department there is one chief: his official name is Khazmadar.2 The personal name of the present functionary is | |.
In each Judicial District he has a Deputy. The Financial Districts coincide exactly with the Judicial Districts.
In certain stations, either the quantity of the business, or the distance from the place where the Deputy has his residence, has given occasion to the appointment of Sub-Deputies. The fields of authority of these several Sub-Deputies constitute of course so many sub-Districts, to any of which it may happen to include several of the abovementioned parishes.3
Unhappily, between the fund allotted to the maintenance of Government, and the fund allotted to the personal expences of the Sovereign and his family, no line of separation has ever yet been drawn. In English, there is no Civil List; or, in other words, the revenue of Government is all of it Civil List. The personal expence of the Sovereign is of course a maximum: the portion allotted to the service of the universal interest, a minimum.
This evil, however, is not altogether destitute of palliatives. The expence of the Judicatory is provided for, as above, by funds of its own: mostly by what, in the language of excellent Church, may be called Church lands.
The Universities, such as they are, are, as has been seen, in the same fortunate case. Piety, in the Mahometan edition of it, has made the same provision in both cases. In the Pagan edition, it was thus in ancient Greece. Xenophon, so he himself informs us, found better security in a tenancy at will under Excellent Church at Delphi, than he could have found in a fee simple any where.4
§ 11. Relation of Tripoli to the other North African powers
Tripoli is at present, and for a considerable time past has been, in a state of perfect amity with all its neighbours. Meaning always its neighbours of the same religion, living under a sort of regular government: Egypt to the East, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco to the West.
With its nearest neighbour to the west, viz. Tunis, as being its nearest neighbour, it is in a more particularly close state of amicable and frequent intercourse. From the Capital of Tripoli to the Capital of Tunis, the distance is by land ten days' journey, twenty miles being reckoned as an ordinary day's journey: by sea, commonly about 3 days'.
Compared with that of Tripoli, the condition of Tunis in respect of Government has its advantages and disadvantages.1
§ 12. State of present conditions in life
Of land sold upon a valuation, the ordinary price is ten years' purchase.
Land is frequently sold by auction: in that case the range is from 7 to 15 years' purchase.
Whether a man shall be deemed of age or no—majeur—depends not absolutely on his age but on a certificate which he must obtain. Two persons are requisite to give validity to it: 1. the Iman of the Mosque to which he belongs: 2. a person of reputation belonging to that same Mosque. Twenty or twenty-one is generally speaking the age at which he is presented for such certificate. The man of reputation is chosen by the relations. This certificate being shewn to the Cadi of the Judicatory, upon him it depends to give validity to the instrument which puts the young man in possession of his property.
Marriage of a boy may have place at the earliest age if the relatives of the girl consent. According to Hanafi, a male child can not be forced by his father to many: but according to Maliki he may.
pg 22According to Hanafi, no parent can force his female child to marry at any age.1
According to Hanafi, a girl before she is married is examined by a Notary tête à tête, neither father nor mother being present, that her freedom may be the better secured. According to law she may even marry without consent of father or mother: though access being a matter of difficulty, this is an occurrence that does not often happen.
a If on the side which is in the right the only piece of Evidence—that Evidence being at the same time indispensable, and if credited conclusive, perishes, this deperition has the prevalence of wrong for its certain consequence. By no observation which it is in the power of the most transcendent wisdom to make can the prevalence of wrong be prevented. No evil approaching to this in magnitude has place in the case where admission is given to such ex-parte evidence, as above, even on the supposition of the non-application of any of those securities which, where right has really the preference over wrong, might so effectually be employed. Of Evidence in this shape the weakness is undeniable. But it is at once so obvious, and so capable of being presented with effect in exaggerated colours by those whose interest it is, that the danger is much greater of its being taken for less than it is worth, than of its being taken for more than it is worth.