Introduction to the Political Thought of the Ottoman Scholars: The Example of Durer Al-Hukkam

Many issues in the fields of ibadāt, mu'amalāt, and ukūbāt of fiqh contain important information about the head of state, state officials, and the common people, and in this respect, fiqh books are among the original sources of Islamic political thought. There are studies that deal with these issues, which can be expressed as political- jurisprudental aḥkām, from different perspectives. This article, which aims to make a modest contribution to these studies, aims to shed light on the conception of the head of state in the works of furû' fiqh by focusing on the Ottoman jurist Molla Husrev's (d. 885/1480) Durer al-ḥukkām šerḥi Ġurer al-ʾaḥkām. The work will be analyzed together with Hasan ibn Ammar al-Shurunbulali's (d. 1069/1658) Gunyet al-zawi al- aḥkām fi bugyeti Durer al-ḥukkām and Abdulhalim ibn Pir Kadem's (d. 1088/1677) Al-Kashf bi-rumuzi al- Ġurer al-ʾaḥkām wa tanwir Durer al-ḥukkām, which were written in different geographical locations during the same time period. As a matter of fact, in addition to fiqh texts, commentaries and glosses also provide important information on the political- jurisprudental of their respective periods.

In this study, first of all, the terms “imam, imām al muslimīn, ulū al amr, amīr, khalīfa/khalāfah, malik, sultan, wali and imāmah” used in fiqh books to express the head of state will be discussed and then the issues that directly refer to the head of state such as Friday prayers, marriage, funeral prayers, zakat, pilgrimage, jihad, ikrah, hadīth, and ta'zīr will be evaluated by drawing attention to the differences in the glosses. Thus, the conception of the head of state in Durer al-ḥukkām and the aforementioned glosses will be tried to be revealed.

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