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The Ilmiye is one of four institutions that existed within the Ottoman Osmanli, or ruling class, the other three being the Imperial, or mülkiye institution, the military, or seyfiye institution, and the administrative, or kalemiye institution. The function of the Ilmiye was to propagate the Muslim religion, to ensure that Islamic law, or sharia law was enforced properly within the courts, as well as to ensure that it was interpreted and taught properly within the Ottoman school system. The development of the Ilmiye took place over the course of the Sixteenth century, absorbing the Ulama, the educated class of Muslim legal scholars, in the process.