Ottoman Commercial Code: Arabic Translation


This volume contains Arabic translations of four works related to the Ottoman commercial code originally published in Turkish: The Commercial Code, Appendix, Sources of Court Judgments, and Commentary. The Ottoman commercial code and updates of it were based on the French code of 1807. The importance of the code lies in the fact that it represented a break with the tenets of sharia (Islamic law) and prepared the way for promulgation of criminal and civil codes and reorganization of courts. Publication of the translation was a project of the translator, Niqula al-Naqqash, and printer-publisher Ibrahim Sadr, proprietor of both al-‘Umumiyah Press in Beirut and of the bookstore known as al-Misbah Press (The Lantern Press). The works were separately published between 1880 and 1885. Niqula and his brother, Marun, were men of varying interests and talents in the arts, politics, and administration. Niqula rose to prominence in the provincial Ottoman government and became a member of the imperial parliament. He was closely allied with the Maronite hierarchy and was the spokesman of the patriarchate. Marun is recognized as the founder of modern Arabic drama, a project in which his brother collaborated. Niqula himself tried his hand at playwriting, bringing out Al-Shaykh al-Jahil (The miserly shaykh) in the late 1840s. Their nephew, Salim ibn Khalil al-Naqqash, helped to establish the theater in Egypt.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

al-Masbah Press, Beirut


Title in Original Language

قانون التجارة، ذيل قانون التجارة، نظام أصول المحاكمات التجارية، شرح قانون التجارة

Type of Item

Physical Description

72 pages ; 21 centimeters


  1. Niyazi Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (New York: Routledge, 1998).

Last updated: May 6, 2015