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A medrese for the palace: Ottoman dynastic legitimation in the eighteenth century.

There can be little doubt that Ottoman imperial propaganda was associated with Islam from the earliest days of the Ottoman Empire until its end in the twentieth century. Religiously evocative myths, deeds, honorifics, holidays, architecture and even the occasional marriage were some of the options that the sultans employed in their pursuit of a successful dynastic propaganda.

It is useful to recall that Ottoman rulers were constant patrons of the religious. The constancy of royal patronage, however, obscures the richness of the Islamic repertoire on which the rulers drew. The diverse, even conflicting, inspirational strands of the faith deserve closer attention. So, too, do the particular interests and predilections of individual sultans. In one way or another, all the sultans were heavily invested with an Islamic identity, but different sultans favored different combinations of equally "Islamic" rituals, symbols and spokesmen. The Ottomans seldom, if ever, disowned links between their dynasty and the authority of the sacred, although they did see fit to recast certain claims when it suited their purposes. The assertion of a transfer of caliphal succession from the Abbasid dynasty to the Ottomans was one such claim. It first appeared with Selim I's (1512-20) conquest of the central Arab lands. Thereafter it resurfaced when the Ottomans were challenged on home ground by powerful foreign rivals - Muslim in the sixteenth century, non-Muslim in the eighteenth, and both in the nineteenth.(1) In addition, the Ottoman claim of marriage ties to the family of the thirteenth-century saint, Shaikh Edebali of Karaman in Anatolia, was advanced or shelved depending on the need to ingratiate the dynasty with tribal elements.(2)

The martial claims of the sultan underwent similar metamorphoses. In the early centuries, the founding sultans had been genuine warriors, the best and the bravest, it was said. But even those who were not were glorified as successful warriors. Regardless of actual performance in battle, a sultan, by his presence alone, often assumed the weighty title of gazi, "warrior for the faith."(3) By the end of the seventeenth century, defeat and retreat had become the battlefield norm, and the sultans, in any case, had taken to overseeing their armies from afar, through proxies. The image of the sultan as exemplary gazi was redrawn once again. If the sultan was no longer the warrior of the battlefield, he could realize command through ceremony. In military parades through Edirne, the eighteenth-century sultans appeared in battle regalia as their ancestors had done. They reviewed their troops, pronounced them fit for battle and sometimes even led them out of the city, as though the sultan himself were headed for the front. In this version of the royal warrior, sultans of the later period emerged as home-bound commanders, ceremonial fathers to parades of soldier-sons marching to war.

The image of the sultan as warrior for the faith was also maintained through allusions to non-martial championings of Islam, including the world of Islamic scholarship. Such links to the sacred became all the more important in the eighteenth century with the widening gap between past imperial triumphs and contemporary military performance. The sultan as "scholar-master" was one of the most fully developed of these reinforcing allusions. The scholar-master sultan had had a sporadic life for centuries, but the sultans of the eighteenth century gave the notion shape and pressed it into regular service. Their chief instrument was the Huzur Dersleri, lecture-classes on the Koran offered by religious scholars (ulema), in the monarch's presence and at his command, during the holy month of Ramadan.

The sultan as wise master of the religio-scholarly community was an especially apt Islamic "face" for the eighteenth-century sultans, but the concept was also as old as the Ottoman state, or so it was represented.(4) The sultan's "mastery" resided in his patronage of the ulema's endeavors. Imperial patronage of religious scholars and scholarship always fluctuated, of course, with some sultans more magilanimous than others, some more predisposed to the company of scholars, and so on. Perhaps the greatest variation between reigns, however, occurred in the sultans' direct involvement in the actual work of the ulema apart from personnel decisions.

All sultans were on some level personnel directors, masters of the ulema as personnel subject to promotion or removal. Sultans as dissimilar as Mehmed II (1451-81), Ibrahim I (1640-48) and Ahmed III (1703-30) were all masters of scholars in this sense. With varying degrees of awareness, their signature, their voice, or their nod confirmed actions related to the ulema's tenure in office. Only a few sultans - Mehmed II, Suleyman I (1520-66) and Murad IV (1623-40) come to mind - professed to be masters of the ulema's lore, confident enough intellectually to decide a debate or offer a critique of a religious scholais performance.

The sultans acquired whatever scholarly religious knowledge they possessed through private tutors and mentors, official and unofficial. All sultans received tutoring as princes. Once on the throne, each appointed a corps of spiritual advisors. The decision to acquire further learning, beyond ritual readiness, depended on individual taste. Mehmed II, the Conqueror ("Fatih"), hosted debates, cultivated an assortment of religious figures and personally presided over examinations for promotion. Ahmed I (1603-17) preferred the company of the erudite Celveti Sufi, Shaikh Mahmud Hudai (d. 1628/29), but found time for other types of religious learning as well. Both sultans were great builders, with religious academies (medrese), mosques and other religious institutions to their credit. Murad IV, insisting on his own expertise, revived the Conqueror's direct paternalism by, on occasion, personally examining candidates for the office of kadi. Mehmed IV (1648-87), rightly remembered for hunting rather than study, nonetheless sponsored discussions on Koranic commentary (tefsir) at the Edirne palace.

However admirable the scholarly forays of individual sultans, and however much they kept alive some notion of the sultan as scholar as well as master, between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries most sultans' relationship with the pedagogical and judicial functions of the ulema was individual, private and unsystematic. In 1759, Mustafa III (1757-74) altered that relationship when he decreed the establishment of the Ramadan Huzur-i Humayun Dersleri.(5) Through these "Imperial Command Lectures," as we may call them, Sultan Mustafa made religious scholarship the collective, public and regular business of the palace.

It is impossible to determine the exact mix of ideology, temperament and circumstance that motivated Sultan Mustafa to "invent" the Huzur tradition. The sources, chronicles in the main, indicate that the decision was his own.(6) It is certain that early in his reign Mustafa tried to make his mark. One can only speculate on the burden under which new sultans labored when, steeped in their forefathers' impossible heroics, they came to the throne. Not surprisingly, Mustafa entertained the idea of war, but the mid-eighteenth century was not a propitious moment. Mustafa found himself trapped in a rare stretch of peace on both fronts. In any case, his grand vezir, the powerful Rag1b Mehmed Pasha (d. 1763), discouraged any but his own foreign initiatives. Mustafa had to look elsewhere, at least at the outset of his reign. With his grand vezir's blessing, he turned to construction projects, restoration works and the Huzur Dersleri.

Religious scholars and scholarship were predictable interests given Mustafa's bookish leanings and his desire to emulate the court of his father, Ahmed III. Sultan Ahmed had for a time endeared himself to key factions of the ulema by strengthening the patrimonial prerogatives of ulema families.(7) No doubt Mustafa was also influenced by the example of his father's favorite grand vezir, Nevsehirli Ibrahim Pasha (d. 1730). In the twelve years that became the emblematic vezirate of Ahmed's reign, Ibrahim Pasha had organized annual Ramadan lectures by select ulema.(8) Prince Mustafa and his brothers are known to have attended these discussions at Ibrahim Pasha's palace. Since Ibrahim was the most visible figure in the realm as well as their brother-in-law, frequent host and sometime tutor, the princes were close observers of his pastimes.(9) In later years, although faulting Ibrahim for certain personal lapses,(10) Mustafa was not above appropriating his ideas. Mustafa's accession marked the restoration of his father's line, after twenty-five years of discredit. Mustafa's sponsorship of the Huzur Dersleri acknowledged his personal cultural roots and implied that his father's reign had perhaps deserved a better fate. Sultan Mustafa's Huzur Dersleri grew out of what he remembered from his youth and the religious materials that now lay open to him. He may or may not have been more pious than his forebears, but it is certain that he regarded the annual "palace medrese" that the Huzur Dersleri symbolized to be relevant to himself and his reign.

Mustafa's decision to establish the annual lectures was made in time for Ramadan A.H. 1172/1759 A.D.(11) The several sessions that year were hastily organized, with the ulema invitees given little notice before having to present themselves at court. The first year nonetheless set the Huzur pattern for the future. The topic, usually announced months before, would be one or more verses of the Koran as interpreted by the authoritative Hanefi jurist, favorite of the Ottomans, Abdullah ibn Umar alBaydawi (d. 1291?). The Koranic commentary of "Kadi Beyzavi," as he was known in Turkish, was a cornerstone of the Ottoman religious curriculum.(12)

If there were a single rationale behind the choice of Koranic suras in the earliest years, it thus far defies detection. The selections reflect neither the chronology of the revelation nor the order of suras. Beginning with Ramadan 1200/1786, the order of suras began to be followed, although in the century and a half of the Huzur's existence, very little of the Koranic text was covered. Presumably in the first years, the preeminent religious official of the realm, the Seyhulislam, made selections on the basis of political and technical considerations as well as their appropriateness during Ramadan.

The number of sessions and participating ulema rose and fell over the years. In some years more than one hundred ulema took part in a dozen sessions in as many days of a given Ramadan. The original goal seems to have been ten sessions, held on ten days of every Ramadan, with the participating ulema distributed more or less evenly among the sessions. In the nineteenth century, Huzur regulations set the number of sessions at eight and tried to limit participants to seventy or so.(13) Exceptions, however, were the more frequent practice.

While numbers varied, the kind of ulema that the Huzur featured was fairly consistent. Invitees were Istanbul-educated medrese professors (muderris) and low-level judges, resident in, but often not native to, Istanbul. Although they were members of the official religious hierarchy (ilmiye), they represented its junior ranks. The most senior men of the hierarchy - the Seyhulislam, grand justices (kadrasker) and notable urban judges - ordinarily did not participate, although they often attended as guests and observers.

Participants in the Huzur were assigned beforehand to serve either as lecturers (mukarrir) or as respondents (muhatab). A session was typically introduced by the lecturer's recitation of the verse to be discussed. The lecturer, one per session, then addressed the gathering with his gloss on Beyzavi's commentary on the verse in question. The respondents, who had spent months preparing for the moment, in turn offered their questions, concurrence, additions, or challenges. Outcomes varied. The chroniclers dwell more on the heat than the light of what were, apparently, some of the more interesting exchanges. Thus, we learn for 1176/1763, for instance, little more than that a respondent, one Tatar Ali Efendi, was banished to the island of Tenedos for calling the lecturer "mindless," an unacceptable breach of etiquette in the sultan's presence.(14) In 1215/1801, respondents' attacks on the lecturer grew so raucous that Sultan Selim III (1789-1807) had to halt the session. Selim proclaimed his support for the lecturer and ordered the names of the others stricken from the approved lists of participants.(15)

Certain details and even treatises (risale) arising from some of the disputes survive,l6 but there is little information from the eighteenth century to suggest to what extent the arguments or the choice of verses were meant to bear on contemporary concerns. Evidence from the nineteenth century and early twentieth suggests ties to contemporary politics. In these later times, when the ulema of the Huzur agreed on an interpretation, the Ottomans used the consensus to back legal and administrative decisions.(17)

The motives behind the replication of a tradition can be expected to differ from the motives of those who created it. The more programmed Huzur Dersleri of the late nineteenth century do not necessarily reflect the character or the founding premises of the earliest Huzur Dersleri. Nonetheless, the search for consensus was no doubt a motive behind the Huzur's establishment. The Huzur may have developed out of the same need for consensus that had led, particularly in the seventeenth century, to the special convening of general assemblies of ulema and to the collective endorsement of the Seyhulislam's religious judgments. Great assemblies of ulema had met in the seventeenth century, for example, to present a unified moral front against mutinies and other urban mayhem. Collective judgments were also a crisis-management technique. Religious opinions (fetva) on thorny legal issues were normally requested of a single jurisconsult, usually the Seyhulislam, but if an issue posed a threat to public order, other ulema who were in agreement with the primary jurisconsult added their signatures to his.(18)

In contrast, the Huzur's consensus-generating potential was less pointed. The regular, leisurely context of the Huzur and the elasticity of its scriptural frame argue for goals somewhat different from the immediate and finite purposes of collective assemblies and judgments. Mustafa III's establishment of the Huzur systematized a forum for stimulating debate and perhaps containing it, as well as uncovering consensus and perhaps shaping it. Without the goad of a precipitating crisis, political consensus might or might not emerge. Nonetheless, the sultan could be sure of hearing some of the thinking of the mid-level intelligentsia and, thus, something of what passed for public opinion among the more popularly grounded of the empire's ruling circles.

Another of the Huzur's permanent features, established with its founding in 1759, was the distribution of rewards for participants. Apart from those whose bad behavior got their names erased from the lists, participants could expect a generous gift when the sessions ended. In 1759, the ulema of the first Huzur received one hundred gold pieces each for their pains.(19) In other years, cash awards were distributed along with ceremonial cloaks (ferace) and drawstring bags (bohca) filled with cashmere shawls and other fine cloths. The fact that the amounts and kinds of gifts were never regularized suggests a spontaneity and individualization normally lacking in imperial ceremony. Whatever the award, however, it made for a handsome salary for these otherwise ill-paid ranks.

The sultans sometimes conferred immediate promotions on Huzur participants, but this practice was more common to later generations than to the founding years.(20) Unlike jumps in grade, coins and cloth were unmistakably gifts, face-to-face and unmediated. And these gifts, gathered and packaged at Topkap1 Saray1, were offerings of the imperial palace. Tangible personal gifts were appropriate to the very human character of the eighteenth-century Huzur. Gifts are the foundation of moral obligation.(21) They pass from superiors to inferiors, monarch to subject and master to servant. Subordinates, too, offer them to superiors, in talent or in kind, but always with the expectation of appreciation. Huzur gift-giving possesses another ambiguity because of the sultan's position vis-a-vis the ulema. Though sultan and master, he was also a student before these learned subjects in their capacity as mentors and repositories of the holy law.

The ever-changing location of the sessions signified the Huzur's relative informality despite the protocol surrounding the sultan. Each year's sessions, whether eight, nine, ten or nineteen, rotated unpredictably among the various rooms and pavilions of Tokap1 Palace - Eski Sepetc1ler, Sar1kodas1, Yeni Sepetciler, Revan Odas1, Has Oda, Fethiyye Kasr1, Hasan Pasha Kosku and perhaps back to Sar1kodas1 for a session or two.(22) An explicit goal of the Huzur was the encouragement of openness and free exchange, as among intimates. The lack of a formal meeting place, or even a fixed rotation, helped soften the impact of the imperial autocrat's overwhelming presence. The rooms used tended to be those associated with the sultan's familiar or comradely hours.

Seating arrangements were also in keeping with an atmosphere of intimacy. The participants among the ulema, the mukarrir-lecturer at their head, seated themselves on floor cushions alongside the sultan. The audience consisted of members of the palace entourage - in goodly numbers, apparently - plus others who had obtained the sultan's permission to attend. The princes and, behind draperies, palace women, were often in attendance. Grand vezir Rag1b Pasha himself showed up at one of Mustafa's sessions during his first year, perhaps to satisfy himself that Mustafa was gainfully occupied.(23)

All sessions took place in the morning or, especially in later generations, just before the afternoon prayer (ikindi namaz1). Each session lasted for as long as the sultan chose to listen. Two hours was customary, although in 1812 the debate threatened to exceed three hours.(24) In addition to Selim III's angry recess of the session in 1801, Mahmud II (1808-39) cut off debate after listening to more than he wanted to know about the word wa ("and").(25)

Conflicts between familiarity and formality, and between private and public, were inevitable in this sort of undertaking by a reigning sultan. The amenities and favors that encouraged the ulema's "freedom of speech" in the Huzur (such as it was in the imperial presence) were at odds with the measures taken to underscore the serious intent of the Huzur, namely the reinforcement of the sultan's connectedness to the sacred. Although the sultan and his guests sat in close proximity, the sultan's formidable entourage stood by. Moreover, every Huzur session commenced earlier than the sultan's arrival in the lecture room. Each Huzur day the sultan made his way to the chosen site on horseback, in a formal cavalcade (binis meras1m1 ). There was no mistaking the public side of the Huzur lectures, the intention to show, with all due pomp, that the event, however intimate in progress, was a serious undertaking. The mounted cavalcade drew attention to the Huzur Dersleri and announced that the classes were a thing apart from the unheralded Koran lessons that the sultans continued to engage in privately with their regular palace tutors.

Not just the sultan but the thousands of men and women who lived in the palace precincts were the Huzur tradition's intended audience. The bonds that the Huzur sessions emphasized - with the sacred, with the authority of the law and with the social ranks embodying the law - were not only for the sultan but for the palace as a whole. Had the aim of the Huzur been other than public and political, the ordinary Koran lessons delivered to the sultan privately would have sufficed. This medrese was for the palace.

The Huzur Dersleri can be analyzed from a number of perspectives, political, social, theological and all of their combinations. The link among those perspectives resides in the legitimizing capacity of the Huzur tradition. Since the Huzur underwent several transformations between 1759 and 1922, the conclusions here are directed to the formative years of the eighteenth century, under the imperial Huzur's founders, Mustafa III and his brother, Abdulhamid I (1774-89).

To start, it is helpful to consider the features of organization and execution that distinguish the Huzur from similar imperial traditions or pastimes. The Huzur Dersleri offered public, collective and regular encounters between the sultan and Muslim scholar-jurists. Significantly, these encounters followed no script. Except for the boundaries of etiquette and the restriction of Beyzavi's commentary, lecturers and respondents could say what they wished. Participants were not to consult with each other in preparing for their session, and even the hint of rehearsal was considered dishonorable. In addition, the structure of the sessions was intended to elicit opinion, or at least to give that impression. Mustafa III could have used the sultans' private lessons on commentary as the model for public Huzur Dersleri. But these private lessons were more in the nature of readings, to be heard, perhaps memorized, but not necessarily questioned. These passive customary lessons continued to take place when the sultan wished them, even after the Huzur Dersleri had been established.(26) The new tradition of the Huzur was a thing apart. When the Huzur were added to the sultan's functions, they became an imperial duty, signified by, among other things, the official cavalcade. The sultan obligated himself to preside over the Huzur during Ramadan, not just at his pleasure at any time. Furthermore, the Huzur were not to be passive, single-version lectures. Respondents were charged with formulating a rejoinder, in whatever oral form they chose, but on their own, according to their best lights, addressing themselves to the issue at hand.

Mustafa must have had expectations of a return, political as well as academic, from these exchanges. Controversy of some sort was likely, given the Huzur's format. Embodied in the lecture-response format is debate, confrontation based on intellectual difference. Among the ulema, as in society, there was more than one interpretation of right thinking, right practice and the right ways to bend society to those ends. Both Mustafa III and his successor Abdulhamid I decided that the Huzur selection of Koranic passages would follow no set order. Rather, the flexibility in selecting the text allowed both sultans the possibility of finding guidance and support in the company of ulema. It was probably not accidental, for example, that the text for the Huzur's first year, 1759, was drawn from Sura 4, "The Women" (al-Nisa'):

The passage begins:

O believers, be you securers of justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsmen, whether the man be rich or poor; God stands closest to either.(27)

The vezirial Huzurs in the 1720s during Ahmed lII's reign and those under Mustafa III after Raglb Pasha's death in 1763 tended to fix on Sura 48, "The Victory" (al-Fah), or verses having to do with victory.(28) The preference for inspirational calls to arms is not surprising given the many campaigns of those times. In contrast, the selection for 1759 has to do with steadfast obedience to higher authority despite the pull of worldly and even kinship ties. The passage has direct implications for the government's social concerns in the mid-eighteenth century. Unlike Ahmed III or Mahmud I before them, Mustafa III, Osman III (1754-57) and Abdulhamid I decreed more than a few pieces of heavy-handed social legislation.(29) New laws strictly regulated women's clothing and freedom of movement as well as the apparel of non-Muslims, from furs and flowered caftans to the shoes on their feet. There had been sumptuary and sartorial laws for centuries, but never before had they been issued so frequently and in such dense detail. The prohibitions of the eighteenth century sought to contain what were perceived to be widening efforts of women and minorities to break through traditional limits. Sober adherence to timeless norms and the obligation to enforce them among one's neighbors were embedded in the Koranic passage for 1759. Whether Mustafa wanted to gain support or merely deflect criticism for his social prescriptions, the passage's admonition to "justice" over personal bonds seems a promising place to start.

The set of religious practitioners who benefited from the Huzur's investment of imperial time and goods also distinguishes the institution. Although the social location of the participants should not overshadow the form in which they were singled out, it is significant that these muderrises and junior, currently out-of-office (mahrec'den mazul) judges constituted the most numerous, professionally obstructed and poorly paid of the influential working ulema. A requirement for participation in the Huzur was that invited muderrises possess distinguished reputations and large numbers of students. Rewards to this group were transfer payments as well as gifts. Gold and cloth of course compensated for Huzur services rendered, but the richness of the rewards suggests compensation in a larger sense. Perhaps it was to make up for the frustrations of the religious career, which had become so bloated that even its most successful members waited years for a bona fide post.(30)

It is also striking that rich fabrics were used as a reward for Huzur participation. In the eighteenth century, there was no clearer index of status than.fur and textiles. The Huzur's furs and fine weaves equipped these ulema, the most junior of those qualified to wear the clothing of rulership, with the fabrics necessary to signal that privilege. The sartorial regulations of the time decreed that certain colors and fabrics could only be worn by Muslim officialdom, not by non-Muslims, foreigners or "the likes of servants, boatmen and shopkeepers.(31) While decrees monitored the legalities of status, Huzur cashmere and the even more coveted sable helped shore up its eroding economic boundaries.

Huzur compensation also had implications for future services and allegiances. Far from terminating a performance of duties, the sultan's munificent gift-giving spun out the "mechanisms of obligation"(32) that were encouraged by the familial solidarity of the Huzur. The presenting of gifts, from the sultan's own hand, session after session, year after year, to hundreds of mid-level ulema was a ritual of incorporation,33 symbolically merging medrese and palace. Thus did men of unexalted rank, possessing neither high office nor aristocratic (zadegan) connection, more clearly see a place for themselves in the Ottoman elite enterprise. When the muderrises returned to their numerous, volatile students - future ulema but for now politically conscious urban dwellers - perhaps they could be counted on, enough to make a difference, to identify with the interests of sultan and palace.

The Huzur Dersleri were both an imperial investment and a commitment. Above all else, the most striking attribute of the Huzur was their overwhelmingly religious character. And the most striking attribute of this religious character was the preoccupation with the holy law and the law's learned masters. The establishment of the Ramadan Huzur extended the ulema's "studious piety" to palace and dynasty. It proclaimed that the business of the medrese classroom was a matter of government policy. And, too, in these middle years of the eighteenth century, before the emergence of an intelligentsia apart from the religious, it proclaimed that counseling the monarch was a medrese concern. If there was any notion of a rift between sacred and secular authority, the Huzur tradition was a powerful reminder that the sultan was the bridge between them.

The Huzur and the ulema were far from being the only spiritual exemplars who enjoyed the sultan's patronage in the eighteenth century. Mustafa spent many hours with Sufi shaikhs, mosque preachers (vaizan) and astrologers, among others. It was the legalist strand of Islam, however, that was drawn on, by these sultans, for these times.

The establishment of the Huzur was not an institutionalized "flight to authority." This was no hasty retreat to spiritual and moral legitimation as real power faded. Such a flight would have required a transforming event of some sort, and there was nothing of the sort in the early years of Mustafa III's reign. The event that is usually invoked to explain the Ottomans' resuscitation of the caliphal idea and the reliance on the law in the eighteenth century is the humiliating Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca and the loss of the Crimea.(34) These new geo-political realities do figure in Abdulhamid I's rejuvenation of his brother's Huzur tradition, but the origins of the Huzur lie in 1759, not 1774. Kucuk Kaynarca cannot explain Mustafa's motives, nor is there a comparable precipitating crisis around the earlier date to explain the Huzur's founding.(35)

There is no doubt that there was, by the early eighteenth century, a move to the authority of the law, but it was no flight. The Huzur tradition was one of many calculated responses to a long-standing dilemma that had not gone unnoticed in earlier reigns, including that of Mustafa and Abdulhamid's father, Ahmed III. Even allowing for all sultans' restricted autonomy and the continued use of the war option, the founders of the Huzur tradition were addressing the gradual transformation of an authority derived from war to an authority based on social stability. The two had always existed side-by-side and would continue to do so. But since the start of the eighteenth century, social stability, rather than warfare, had come to be the more visible and convincing component of state legitimacy.

For the sake of social stability - and in recognition of threats against it - the eighteenth-century sultans issued their sumptuary laws, legalized-ulemanepotism and designed the Huzur Dersleri, in support of the prescribers and the prescriptives of social conservatism, the ulema and the sacred law. Long before the loss of the Crimea and its Muslim population, the Ottomans were-already attempting to reorder the content of legitimacy. Ahmed IlI's celebrations of his family's life passages and his sons' cultivation of the Huzur Dersleri were kindred responses to a long-felt need to secure the dynasty and the realm.

(1) Hilmar Kruger, Fetwa und Siyar (Wiesbaden, 1978), 102-5; Halil Inalcik, The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age, 1300-1600 (London, 1973), 34, 57. (2) Shaikh Edebali is variously described as the father-in-law or grandfather of the first Ottoman sultan, Osman I. His special "gift of blessing" (baraka) both predicted Ottoman hegemony and guaranteed it through the union between his daughter and the Ottoman house. See Islam Ansiklopedisi, s.v. "Edebali"; Inalcik, 55. (3) Ar. ghazi, literally "a raider." In Ottoman usage, gazi has the connotative weight of "champion" or "warrior" on behalf of Islam. (4) See, for example, the nineteenth-century historian Tayyarzade Ata Bey, who traces the tradition to Osman himself: Ata Tarihi, 5 vols. (Istanbul, 1291-93/1874-77), 1:212. (5) Ahmed Vas1f, Tarih-i Vas1f, 2 vols. (Istanbul, 1219/1804), 1:157-59. Ebul'ula Mardin's pioneering Huzur Derslen, 3 vols. (Istanbul, 1951-66), is an indispensable guide to the Huzur's history and sources. (6) Mehmed Hakim, "Hakim Tarihi," Istanbul, Topkapi Palace Library (TKS Ktp.), Bagdat 233, fols. 40a-42b; Vas1f, 2: 157-58. (7) Madeline C. Zilf1, The Politics of Piefy (Minneapolis, 1987), 56-65. (8) Since the sessions took place in the grand vezir's presence and at his command, they were called Huzur-i Asai Dersleri, lectures in the vezirial (Asafi) presence, rather than the imperial (Humayun). See ,Celebizade Ismail Aslm, Tarih-i Asum, vol. 6 of Mehmed Rasid, Tarih-i Rasid, 6 vols. (Istanbul, 1281/1865), 131-33, 259-60, 370-71, 462, 557-58. (9) As1m, 495-97; Rasid, 5:163, 320-28. (10) Mustafa Nuri, Nerayic el-Vukuat, 4 vols. (Istanbul, 1294-1327/1877-1909), 3:32. (11) That is, in the Muslim lunar year 1172. (12) The commentary, "Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Tawil," was recited in public ceremonies and read in the classroom: Mouradgea d'Ohsson, Tableau general de l'Empire Othoman, 7 vols. (Paris, 1788-1824), 2:468-69. (13) Mardin 1: 1Off. (14) Semdanizade Suleyman, Semdani-zade F1nd1kl1l1 Suleyman Efendi Tarihi Mur'i't-Tevarih, ed. M. Munir Aktepe, 3 vols. in 4 (Istanbul, 1976-81), 2.A:56; Vas1f, 1:224-25; Hakim, TKS Ktp., B233, fols. 156a-156b. (15) Ahmed Cevdet, Tarih-i Cevdet, 12 vols. (Istanbul, 1309/1891), 7:101-2. (16) From Mustafa IlI's reign, see, e.g., Ahmed Giridi, "Risale," Istanbul, TKS Ktp., E.H. 888. Also Cevdet, 7:102-3. (17) Mardin 1:7. (18) Mustafa Naima, Tarih-i Naima, 6 vols. (Istanbul, 1280/1863-64), 5:236-38, 264-69; 6:336-37; Madeline C. Zilfi, "The Kad1zadelis: Discordant Revivalism in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 45 (1986): 262. (19) Vas1f, 1:158. Semdanizade 2.A:32 puts the amount at eighty gold pieces. (20) Mardin, 213:99-100; Madeline C. Zilfi, "The Ottoman Ulema 1703-1839 and the Route to Great Mollaship" (Ph.D diss., Univ. of Chicago, 1976), 151-52. (21) Marcel Mauss, (translated as) The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (New York, 1967), 6-16 and passim. (22) Mardin, 2/3:1-3, 809-17. (23) Mardin, 1:16, 2/3:25. (24) H1Z1r IlYaS Letaif-i Enderun (IStanbul 1276/1859-60), 23. (25) KethudaZade Arif, Kethudazade Arif Molla Efendi Menak1b1 (Istanbul, 1294/1877),158. (26) Mardin,1:14-18. (27) A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, 2 vols. (New York, 1973), 1:120. (28) As1m, 132; Mardin, 1:70-71. (29) Semdanizade, 2/A:69-70; Ahmet Refik, Hicri On Ikinci As1rda Istanbul Hayat1 (1100-1200) (Istanbul, 1930), 182-83. Hakim, TKS Ktp., B231, fols. 234b, 270a-270b; B233, fols. 10b, 33b, 63a-64a, 184a, 192a-193a. (30) Madeline C. Zilfi, "Elite Circulation in the Ottoman Empire, "Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 26 (1983): 354-57. (31) Hakim, TKS Ktp., B233, fols. 63a-64a. (32) Mauss, 21, 29, 41. (33) Bernard S. Cohn, "Representing Authority in Victorian India," in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (Cambridge, 1984), 168-72. (34) Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., s.v. "Kucuk Kaynardja," by C. J. Heywood. (35) Although Wahhabi plundering of pilgrimage caravans in the late 1750s was regarded with horror in Istanbul, the Ottomans continued to treat the Wahhabi threat as an administrative matter rather than the religious threat that it was soon to be: Hakim, TKS Ktp., B231, fols. 258b-264b; Semdanizade 2/a:102-103.
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Author:Zilfi, Madeleine C.
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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