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Jonathan G. Post

member of the elite Ottoman Muradi dynasty in Tunisia, was the granddaughter of Uthman Dey. Uthman Dey had secured a large hanshir, or estate, worked by khammasa, or sharecroppers. These hanshirs faced lower taxation, as they were appropriated to cultivate areas of the country previously unfarmed. The local government questioned Dey’s use of physical conquest to secure his family’s land, and sought to remove control of it from Aziza Uthmana.

Uthmana responded by creating a waqf with the land. In other words, she gave the land to a charitable cause in the Islamic tradition. In this case, the waqf created a Tunisian hospital, or maristan, named after Uthmana herself, and she became widely associated with the advancement of Tunisian medicine. The waqf also funded a takiya similar to a hospice for the sick and it included large endowments to fund these improvements over time The hospital ...