Solomon, Hammurabi and Suleiman


We (AMAIC), having identified Hammurabi, the Lawgiver, with King Solomon, in:

and having also found:

are therefore most intrigued to read of the following interrelated similarities for these three names, at (


How Sultan Süleyman became ‘Kanuni’

Niki GAMMISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

What Kanuni Sultan Süleyman did to earn his sobriquet as ‘lawgiver’ has often been compared to the just ruler King Solomon, from the Old Testament

The first written, complete code of laws is nearly 4,000 years old [sic], from the time of Hammurabi, the king of Babylon … although fragments of legal codes from other cities in the Mesopotamian area have been discovered. Hammurabi is still honored today as a lawgiver. In the Bible, it was Moses whom the Jews singled out as a lawgiver and among the ancient Greeks, Draco and Solon. [For AMAIC identification of this Solon with King Solomon, see our: Solomon and Sheba (] Law in Byzantium and later in the West rests on the law as laid down by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century C.E.


Sultan Süleyman becomes Kanuni

Between the reigns of Fatih Sultan Mehmed and Suleiman, the empire had greatly expanded and had to face different legal systems and traditions. …. Süleyman oversaw the codification of a new general code of laws. Not only were previous codes of law taken into account, new cases and analogies were added. Fines and punishments were regularized and some of the more severe punishments were mitigated.

The kanunnames are collections of kanuns or statutes that are basically short summaries of decrees issued by the sultan. The decrees in turn were made on the basis of a particular individual, place or event but when issued, these particular details were not included. The publication of such a general kanunname throughout the empire was the responsibility of the nişancı, an official whose duty it was to attach the sultan’s imperial signature on the decrees issued in his name.

The role of the sheikhulislam among the Ottomans is somewhat ambiguous. He was supposed to be responsible for the application of shariah law and for the entire system of courts and judges who were educated in its contents and used it in cases brought before them. The most famous of these judges was Ebu ‘s-Su‘ud, whom Sultan Süleyman appointed to the position in 1545 and who held it until he died in 1574. He was part of the sultan’s efforts to codify Ottoman laws (the kanuns) and bring them into line with shariah which even the sultan was required to obey. Prior to his appointment, judges had been free to interpret shariah law as they wished to but now this was no longer the case. The sultan held the judicial power and judges had to follow what he decreed. Although it is commonly believed that an imperial decree could only become a law after it had been approved by the sheikhulislam as the judge of final appeal, Heyd pointed out that there is no proof of this. In many cases, the sheikhulislam issued fatwas (decrees) long after the imperial decree went into force.

What Kanuni Sultan Süleyman did to earn his sobriquet as “lawgiver” has often been compared to the just ruler King Solomon, from the Old Testament. Certainly after the codification of Ottoman law under Kanuni, no attempts were made to make changes until the 19th century, when Ottoman westernizers wanted to adopt European law.



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