Introduction to the History of Western Perceptions of Islam

This paper focuses on the Western perceptions of Islam from the middle ages to the present by analyzing the religious, philosophical and political factors that underline the parameters of the relation between the Islamic world and the West. While the academic construction of Islam as a sub-category of the Middle East crisis continues to be a major stumbling block for a cultural and civilizational understanding of Islam, the lack of knowledge about Islam, its beliefs, history, and cultural diversity in large segments of European and American societies is no less significant in perpetuating such essentialist depictions of Islam as the ‘other' of the West and as a monolithic culture prone to extremism of various kinds. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September the 11th, these attitudes have led to the demonization of Islam and Muslims in the minds of many Westerners. This paper examines the formation of the image of Islam as a theological threat and political rival, and argues that the current perceptions of Islam, perpetuated through a complex network of academics, policy-makers, movies and other literary works, have their roots in the checkered history of Islam and the West.

İbrahim KALIN
Is Nâmûs/Nomos Gabriel or Torah? On the Concept of Nâmûs in Bed'u'l-Vahy Hadith

The concept of nâmûs has come to be understood as referring to Gabriel in the Islamic hadith literature, since Bukhari's identification of it with Gabriel. However, aside from the hadith commentaries and siyer books, the concept refers to two things: the first is Gabriel in the context of revelation; the second is law in general, and nomos, as the Greek translation of the term Torah, in particular.

Ibn Rushd's Thought on Dream in the Context of Peripatetic Philosophy

The aim of this article is to analyze Ibn Rushd's thoughts regarding dream. To acquire a better and qualified understanding, the article concentrates on the relationships between schools of Islamic thought, such as Islamic philosophy, theology and mysticism, with respect to dream. Secondly, since the topic of dreams is part of Aristotelian psychology, this study also explores the continuities and discontinuities between the Greek philosophy and the Islamic one. The views of Ibn Rushd on dream are evaluated under the following titles: the proof for the existence of dream and other divine perceptions; the mechanism of dream in the nature of human being; the agent cause of dream and its relation to human being; the symbols in dreams and the importance of dreamer's era and place; dream and sleep; the final cause of dream; the interpretation of dreams; the limits of knowledge that can be gained through dream; and the false dream.

Atilla ARKAN
Aristotle's Definition of Number

This study analyzes the way in which Aristotle defines the concept of number, and the consequences of that definition, by referring to its sources and effects, but without delving into the questions, in the philosophy of mathematics, concerning the 'ontological status' and the 'species' of number in Aristotle's system of philosophy-science.

The Question of Knowledge and Science in Ibn Khaldun and Weber

This article involves a comparison between Ibn Haldun and Max Weber in terms of their views on knowledge and science. The two intellectuals are taken as the representatives of Islamic and Western civilizations, respectively, and their epistemological approaches are located in the intellectual context of each civilization. Drawing on a thorough reading of important works by these prominent scholars, it is argued that Ibn Khaldun's theory of knowledge and classification of sciences can be better understood within the framework of the 'Islamic epistemological paradigm', and Weber's view of knowledge and science in that of the 'Western epistemological paradigm' as they reflect the significant differences between these larger paradigms.

Nurullah ARDIÇ
Between Worlds: Edward Said's Heritage

American literary critic with a Palestinian origin Edward Said died on 25 September 2003 in US. With the publication of the book Orientalism in 1978, Said paved the way for some substantial debates in, and made a deep impact on, the social sciences. He attracted great attention with his active participation in Palestine question and created a new intellectual profile. Developing the framework of Orientalism and revising it with his later work Culture and Imperialism, Said continued to be the initiator of critical discussions in social sciences and humanities. It seems that serious polemics among his followers and opponents will also continue after his death. In the present work, I try to set out some important points in Said's legacy of thought and political action, and explore the general framework of his cultural heritage.


Book Reviews

The First Publication of Âlî Pasha's Last Will and Testament and Some New Information about the Debates It Spawned

An important statesman and grand vizier of the Tanzimat era, Mehmed Emin Âlî Pasha is known as the author of two written wills ascribed to him but not yet proved to be authentic. To this day, studies on Âlî Pasha's will centered on two texts, one published in 1910 in French, and the other, among the archive documents, in Turkish, and focused on their belonging to Âlî Pasha. This study demonstrates the first place and date of the publication of the Turkish testament ascribed to Âlî Pasha and debated in the press in terms of its authenticity. Besides, this study introduces another testament that is again ascribed to Âlî Pasha, but is unknown and written in a humorous style. This fake testament written by Namık Kemal nearly ten days after the decease of Âlî Pasha, in truth, incorporates the expectations from the grand vizier of the era.

Creation: A Comparative Study between Avicenna's and Aquinas' Positions

In this study, I compared Avicenna's position concerning the nature of creative action and the beginning of the universe to that of Aquinas. Before comparing their positions on these two issues, first I discussed whether their theories can be examined according to the same criteria, and I showed that they can be. Secondly, I discussed whether they share a similar conception of God, to which one can relate the similarity, or the difference, between their positions regarding the nature of creative action and the beginning of the universe. I argued that Aquinas and Avicenna agree on essentials concerning human knowledge and talk about God. They also have similar conceptions of divine simplicity, necessity, immutability, eternity, and knowledge. Contrary to what is commonly accepted, their conceptions of divine creative action are not fundamentally different. They do argue for different positions concerning the beginning of the universe. While Avicenna argues that the universe must have always existed, Aquinas argues that neither the sempiternity nor the posteriority of the existence of the universe can be established on philosophical grounds. Although they argue for different positions, none of these two squarely contradicts their common conception of God.

Rahim ACAR
The First Dutch Ambassador in Istanbul: Cornelis Haga and the Dutch Capitulations of 1612

This dissertation evaluates the granting of capitulations to the Dutch Republic by the Ottoman Sultan in 1612, and early years of first Dutch ambassador Cornelis Haga. The United Provinces, formed by seven provinces of the Low Countries in 1579, signed Twelve Yeears Truce with Spain in 1609. The truce was the beginning of Dutch primacy in world economy, which would last until mid-seventeeth Century. The States General sent Haga to achieve grant of capitulations by Sultan Ahmed I. Despite intensive opposition of Venetian, French and English ambassadors at the Porte, Haga fulfilled his mission and remained in İstanbul as resident ambassador. From Haga's arrival onwards, Vizier Halil Paşa provided all kinds of assistance to him in establishing diplomatic relations with the Porte. In a few years Dutch consulates were opened in major port cities throughout the Mediterranean. Haga remained in İstanbul for 27 years, where he came for a temporary mission. Halil Paşa's protection was always crucial both for Haga and for the Dutch merchants. This study analyses the story of Haga as an ambassador relying on his register book including all diplomatic correspondences of his embassy. In other words, the dissertation is a case study for granting of capitulations by the Ottoman Sultan and the diplomatic maneuvers resorted by other ambassadors at the Porte.

Bülent ARI