A Belief Crime in the Ottoman: Being a Zindiq (Heresy)
Islam certainly has an extensive taxonomy for characterizing those who stray from â€œtrueâ€ Islam. The kafir, the zindiq (heresy) and the murtadd (apostate) are just a few of the words Muslims have used to identify the variety of Islamâ€™s religious dissidents. Of course, what is heresy or kufr for one is true faith or imanfor another. From the perspective of any Sunni orthodoxy, however, the Shia represents serious deviations. As many scholars have noted, heresy and heterodoxy play an integral role in the formation of any religious orthodoxy by forcing religious authorities to define its doctrines and to anathematize deviant theological opinions. Islam has had its share of heresies historically and socially constituted as well.1
By the time of the emergence of the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth century, Islam was fully formed as a system of belief with its associated intellectual, legal, and cultural attributes. The central concept of the religion was “knowledge,” or ilm, meaning specifically the knowledge of God through revelation. God had revealed himself to mankind through the missions of the prophets, among whom Abraham (Ibrahim), the monotheistic founder of the Kaâ€™ba at Mecca, Moses (Musa), and Jesus (Isa) held especially revered positions. The recognition of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus as prophets before the final revelation of Islam justified the tolerated but subordinate positions of Jews and Christians within the Ottoman Empire.
Muslims have generally appropriated the doctrines of Koran. People were free for their beliefs and thoughts in the history of Islam and specifically in the history of Ottomans. However some for their thought and behaviors had been punished, the reason for punishment was â€œheresy,â€ being zindiq. The increasing strength of orthodox Sunnism both as a system of belief and as a political structure rendered the form of folk legitimating redundant by the early sixteenth century. Before this implantation of â€œorthodoxy,â€ a strict notion of â€œheresyâ€ was inconceivable given the fluidity of popular belief. For example, Mollah Haydarâ€™s fatwa condemning Sheikh Bedreddin in 1416 shows that he was not considered in any sens a â€œhereticâ€ but simply a â€œrebelâ€ (baqhÄ«). The Sheikh Bedreddin rebellion is the most interesting, and in terms of its ideational impact, the most important of the socio-economic and political crises that emerged in Anatolia and Rumelia following the Ottoman defeat in 1402 at Ankara.2
However during the course of the fifteenth century, the establishment of kadis, and the institution of the offices of KadÄ« asker (A high Official in the Ottoman Judiciary) and Sheikh ul-Islam (the Chief Religious Official in the Ottoman Empire), created an orthodox institutional framework. The emergence at the end of the century, of a madrasa educated elite ensured the intellectual dominance of sunnÄ« orthodoxy.
In these circumstances, popular Islam could no longer, form the basic of Ottoman religious legitimacy, especially since the Safawids (1501-1722) had co-oted some forms of popular religion to their own cause. The Ottoman countered these claims by appearing as adherents of orthodoxy. The Safawids, too, bolstered their positions by claiming descent from the Prophet.
The definition of â€œorthodoxyâ€ required a counter definition of â€œheresyâ€. This is the need that impelled Kamal Pashazada to compose his book risala on the term zindÄ«q, and his other risalas discussed above.
ZindÄ«q (pl) ZanÄdiqa, abstract noun zandaqa is an Arabic word borrowed from Persian, and used in the narrow and precise meaning â€œManichaenâ€ (manawÄ«), but also loosely for â€œheretic, renegade, unbelieverâ€ in effect as a synonym for mulhid, murtadd or kÄfir.
In Arabic, zindÄ«q is quite commonly used for â€œManichaeanâ€, that is, as the name for the follower of a specific religion; the usage as a vague term for Muslim or non-Muslim â€œhereticsâ€ is clearly secondary, though widespread.3 According to Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (1149-1209)that zindÄ«qs are Manawiya who are the same as the Mazdakiyya. The people who followed the book of Zand by Mazdak, who preached common ownership, became identified with â€œZandâ€, and this word was Arabised as zindÄ«q. Kamal Pashazada refutes Fakhr al-din al-Raziâ€™s claim that the Mazdakiyya and the Maâ€™nawiyya are the same, and that hte book â€œzandâ€ is the book of the Zaroastrians (Majusi). According to Kamal Pashazada, Razi is wrong on the identification of the Mazdakiyya with Maâ€™nawiyya.4
Kamal Pashazadaâ€™s nine pages RisÄla fÄ« tashÄ«h lafz al-zindÄ«k wa-tawdÄ«h maâ€™na al-dakÄ«k, arose from the Mollah Qabiz case. In 1528 Mollah Qabiz, himself a learned man, proclaimed in public the superiority of Jesus over the Muhammad. He supported his claim by using the true sources of Islam â€“the ÄyÄt and hadits. Such observations are recorded in the books they wrote. It is quite clear from such works that there were those who continued to be faithful to their older beliefs in a surreptitious manner. Some of these records, however, also describe such Christian influences even among the population born Muslim. One should not forget that most of the observers of that period did not know anything about Muslim views on Christianity and Judaism and sometimes incorrectly interpreted the respect felt by Muslim people toward those two religions and their prophets and their beliefs with regard to them as a convert from of Christianity or Judaism.5
In the Ottoman period ulama have very important places in the societies and government. A person who had studied ilm was an alim, one who knows God, and enjoyed great prestige. The plural of alim is ulama, and the ulama came to form a respected class within all Muslim societies, often, as in the Ottoman Empire, wielding political as well as legal and spiritual power.
Islamic legal authority charged with issuing an opinion (fatwa) in answer to an inquiry by a judge or a private individual. Such a judgment requires extensive knowledge of the Islamic traditions as well as of legal precedents. During the Ottoman Empire the mufti of Istanbul was Islam’s chief legal authority, presiding over the whole judicial and theological hierarchy. The development of modern legal codes in Islamic countries has significantly reduced the authority of mufti, and they now deal only with questions of personal status.
In the Ottoman Empire, however, the muftis were effectively part of the government. The chief mufti, or sheikh al-Islam as he came to be known by the seventeenth century, was the senior figure in the religious-legal establishment, and usually achieved the position by serving first as a senior judge and then as a military judge; like these offices, the chief muftiship after the mid-sixteenth century came to be the preserve of a very few ulama families. The chief mufti came to have an important, if informal, role in the Ottoman government. Outside the capital, muftis were sometimes official appointees, but did not enjoy high status of the chief mufti, and their function could often be fulfilled by the mudarris of a local college.
As Kamal Pashazada, who as Sheikh al-Islam gave the fatwa, authorising Qabizâ€™s execution, and he wrote his risala in the aftermath of this event. In it, he gives a definition of the term zindÄ«q, which henceforth was frequently used for heretical enemies of the Ottoman dynasty. For example, Lutfi Pasha uses it in this sense in his treatise on the Ottoman Caliphate of 1554. This usage seems to be unique to the Ottoman in the 16th century.
The dictionary definition of zindÄ«q is simply â€œsomeone denying the existence of Godâ€6. Kamal Pashazada gave it the judicial definition of someone who â€œhides infidelity while claiming to be Muslimâ€. To Lutfi Pasha the term has come to mean, â€œSomeone denies the Ottoman Caliphate and the legitimacy of the dynastyâ€.
Sheikh al-Islam Kamal Pashazada, a scholar of Ottoman who wrote a special booklet concerning with this topic, had defined the term â€œzindiqâ€ as a person who conceals his/her unbelieving to God and a religion. Heresy had been said to deny the principles of belief such as believing in God and the hereafter in Islamic theology.7 For this reason the word zanadiqa was attributed to the followers of Mazdak, who chief of Mazdakiyye, who are a group from dualist (thanawiyya).
Generally, zindiq in Islamic theology had been used for people who have beliefs such as Manichaism and Zoroastrianism. For example the poet al-Maâ€™arÄ« was accused of being a zindÄ«k by his contemporaries mainly.8 The term â€œzindiqâ€ firstly was used for Caâ€™d b. Dirhem (d. 125/742) executed in Iraq.9
Islamic scholars had different opinions regarding with reasons of accusing person as zindiq. For instance, according to al-Ghazali, (d. 505/1111) zindiq is a person who believes the universe as a past eternity (azali) existence and, non-existence of its creator. Also, a person who believes in a creator of the universe but denies the hereafter is zindiq. TaftazanÄ« (792/1390) and Kamal Pashazada had added not accepting prophecy to these rules as a third rule for proclaiming as a zindiq (heretic).10
In this respect, Ahmad Ibn Hanbel (d. 241/855) describes both Cahmiyya and Muâ€™tazila as zindiq.11 According to MaturidÄ«, (d. 333/944) Zoroastrians, Sanaviyya and, Mannaniyye were heretic, at the same time, MaturidÄ« considered Muâ€™tazilateâ€™s some opinions as equivalence to Sanawiyya and put forward that both of them were same, but Sanawiyya was sometimes more consistent than Muâ€™tazilate according to MaturidÄ«.12 These are also similar with opinions, which Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (1149-1209)had.
The Ottoman state had a religious government, according to researchers who studied of the ottomans. Thus religious authority took an important place in the working of the state. Sheikh al-Islam was a religious authority that controlled works of the state from the religious point of view, and the authority had an influence on the state and the people. For this reason, thoughts and believes which has drawbacks to religion, had been punished in the direction of judgments which Sheikh al-Islam gave. People, who are punished, were often described as mulhid and zindiq (heretic).
The works of Sheikh al-Islam Kemal Pashazada such as RisÄla fÃ® Efdaliyyati Muhammed Alayh al-salÄm alÄ sÃ¢ir-al-anbiyÄ-i val l-MÃ¼rsalÄ«n Aleyhim al-salÄm, al-Sayf al-MaslÅ«l fÄ« Sabb al-rasÅ«l and RisÄla fÄ« mÄ yataâ€™allaq bi-lafz al-zindÄ«q regarding with this topic takes an important place.
Pashazada says that the religion of the zindÄ«q is different from the divine religions. Therefore, the Arabs define zindÄ«q as anyone who is not a follower of one of the divine religions. Besides, they also call anyone who denies the existence of God zindÄ«q in the sense of dahrÄ« (materialist).13
With reference to TaftazÄnÄ« (1322-1381) and SharÄ«f JurjÄnÄ«, (d. 816/1413) Kamal Pashazada again criticizes both of them for their deployment at this stage of the description of the zindÄ«qs as â€œhiding infidelity while claming Islamâ€. The description â€œhiding infidelityâ€ is certainly essential.
Finally Pashazada summarizes the opinion of the â€œaimmah al-lughaâ€ on the derivation of the term of zindÄ«q. Generally the term zindÄ«q is used in the Arabic language, for someone denying the existence of God, as well as for polytheists denying the divine reason (hikmatahu).14 According to Pashazada, Zindiq is a person who left from religion by denying one or all of major themes of religion which is common assent for Jews, Christians and, Muslims. The term zindÄ«q is used to mean â€œatheistâ€ in general in Islamic literature, and that its roots go back to pre-Islamic Iran. As to that, heresy is three kinds:
a-Those who are zindiq while Muslim.
b-Those who are zindiq while Jew or Chrisitan.
c-Those who are zindiq while the pagan.
So zindiq might have gone astray to believe which require infidelity after he/she appropriates inimically to Islam, or might have had two believes his/her side even though appropriating to Islam from beginning.15
According to Islamic theology, heretics were given to the justice of life, but deprived of some social rights. At the same time, Outstanding Islamic jurisprudence scholars, Al-HanafÄ« and Al-Shafiâ€™Ä« had determined that repentances of these people will be accepted, so that heresy which is a religious/spiritual sickness, has to be cured when they accept treatment.
According to Kamal Pashazada, (940/1534) a zindÄ«q should be killed only if he insists on his zandaqa, in the same manner as a lunatic can only be treated if he accepts the medical treatment.
Again Kamal Pashazada brings a further proof by relating from al-Ghazali to reinforce his explanation of how a zindÄ«q can be inciting to error (dÄâ€™Ä« ilÄ al-dalal) and â€œwell known as suchâ€ while, at the same time, â€œhiding infidelityâ€. In his risala Faysal al-Tafriqa bayn al-Islami wa al-Zandaqa, al-Ghazali gives a definition and description of a zindÄ«k.
Pashazada had objected the definition zindiq of Ghazali. He evaluated them to the criteria of Taftazani while accusing some people as heretic in his own time. For instance, Mollah Qabiz was leading people astray. As a result, he was trying to corrupt Islamic society. This judgement of Pashazada was formed by al-Sharh al-Maqasidâ€™ well-known work of Islamic theology scholar, Taftazani.
According to TaftazÄnÄ«, non-islamic believers are:
a-â€œInfidelâ€ (al-kafir) is used for someone who does not have belief (la imana lah).
b-â€œHypocriteâ€ (al-munafiq) is someone who declares his faith, although in reality he does not believe.
c-â€œApostateâ€ (al-murtadd) is someone converted from Islam.
d-â€œPolyteistâ€ (al-mushriq) is the one believing in more than one God.
e-â€œThe people of the book (al-kitabÄ«) is used for those who are Christians and Jews.
f-â€œMaterialistâ€ (al-dahrÄ«) is the term for someone who denies the existence of eternity, time without limit (bi-adam al-dahr), while attributing events to it (wa-isnad al-hawadith ilayh).
g-â€œal-muattilaâ€ is someone claiming that the existence of God cannot be ascertained.
h-â€œal-zindÄ«qâ€ is someone confirming the prophethood of the Prophet and claiming Islam, while hiding unbelief. This is unanimously held to be infidelity.16
Kamal Pashazada here also underlines the main features of a zindÄ«q. He should be:
a-dÄâ€™Ä« (inciting to error).
b-sÄâ€™Ä« (working for this).
c-maâ€™rÅ«f (well known by this).
Pashazada regarded Mollah Qabiz as a typical example of a zindÄ«q as described in works of fiqh. Qabiz was a zindÄ«q according to the definition of fiqh as reported from Sharh al-Makasid, and was a â€œdÄâ€™Ä«â€ to error and well known as such, and a â€œsÄâ€™Ä«â€ for the corruption of the manifest religion. Thus it appears that an aspect of the case, which worried Pashazada was that, this could lead to the destruction of the balance of forces within the state.
In his risÄla, Kamal Pashazada seems to be using the concept of sÄâ€™Ä« in the sense of â€œcorrupting religionâ€ (fi ifsÄd al-dÄ«n), rather than corrupting temporal affairs. He reinforces the concept by also using the phrase inciting to error (dÄâ€™Ä« ilÄ al-dalÄl). At a time when the Ottoman dynasty was beginning to see its rule as the upholder of religion and the sharÄ«â€™a and protector of the ahl al-sunna, an attack on religion was tantamount to an attack on the dynasty. Hence the sultan insisted that Qabiz be executed islamically and not politically.
In the frame of the definitions and assents, which belonged to Sheikh ul-Islam, Mollah Lutfi (900/1494), Mollah Qabiz and Hakim Ishak were described as zindiq (heretic) and dead by executing.
Mollah Lutfi who was the head of Fatih Sultan Mehmedâ€™s Library, was executed in the period of the second of Bayezid. He wrote books about philosophy and Islamic theology and followed philosophers such as Al-FarabÄ« (879-950) and Avicenna in his philosophical opinions. In islamic theology, he folowed to the school of islamic theology which began along with al-Ghazali. His work named HÃ¢shiya ala Sharh al-MavÃ¢qif (Istanbul: Nur-u Osmaniyye, no. 4391) is a well-known one. Also in his work called HÃ¢rnÃ¢me (RisÃ¢la fÃ® Usul al-Shuca), he criticized structure of administrative and education in his own time.17 According to researches regarding with the topic, the opinions of Molla Lutfi was not containing any heretic idea. As we understand from researches, his death reason is ratherly sourced from jealousy among scholars and his personal desire to be close to padishah (president of the state).18
Mollah Qabiz (d. 1507), a well-educated one, to Dâ€™Ohsson, was a master about the interpretation of the Koran and the New Testament. Even though he saved his Muslim identity, he regarded Jesus from Muhammad as superior. However, he put forward the Old and New testaments not to be distorted.19 So he was executed for this opinion. These opinions of Mollah Qabiz were not original such that many Islamic scholars before him had discussed these subjects. He was punished by reason of making peopleâ€™s believes confused and of causing social disorder. But Mollah Qabiz from Ottoman scholars was leading people astray; as a result, he was attempting to corrupt Islamic society. His attitude, according to Taftazaniâ€™s well-known work, al-sharh al-Maqasid, was heresy.20
This dominance can be seen in the Mollah Lutfi case. Mollah Lutfi was found guilty of zandaqa and sabb al-nabi by council of ulama, and executed in 1495. Here is the first recoreded case of an execution specifically for heresy. Furthermore, like the later Mollah Qabiz case, it gave a risala, in this case by Mollah Ahavayn (Mohyiddin Mehmed). Like Kamal Pashazadaâ€™s risala on Sabb. Mollah Lutfiâ€™s execution seems to have followed an intellectual dispute among the ulama, who also disagreed on the legitimacy of the death penalty. Mollah Lutfi was not seen as a threat to the dynasty. Mollah Qabiz, however, was put on trial in the Divan by the Kadiaskers and, after the Sultanâ€™s personal intervention, by the Sheikh al-Islam himself. Hence the trial of Mollah Qabiz has an â€œofficialâ€ character and involves the question of dynastic legitimacy. The trial of Mollah Lutfi seems to have come about largely as a result of personal enmity.21
Hakim Ishak was one of Ottoman scholars. Sheikh al-Islam Ebussuud Efendi gave a fatwa for his executing. We donâ€™t sufficiently have information about his life. But according to the fatwa of Sheikh al-Islam, he had the idea such that the Old and the New Testament had not been distorted.23 The idea of Hakim Ishak was parallel with that of Mollah Qabiz.24
In addition, there are some persons who accused in the “heretical” group, the Melamis. They are Oglan Sheik Ismail Masuki, (d. 945/1538-39) Sheik Hamza Bali (d. 969/1561-62), Sheik Muhyiddin Karamani, (d. 957/1550). They were accused, because in claiming the ceremonies to be “obligatory” he was claiming an authority in prescribing ritual that only the sharia possessed. It was this test that the sultan used to execute the Melami Oglan Sheikh and his followers in 945/1538-39.25
There are some claims, which argue that, The Sheikh al-Islam after Suleiman opposed to religious freedom. But those do not have strong historical bases. Moreover, we believe that some individual and laypersons forced Sheikh al-Islam on the decisions. Because of there another Sheik al-Islam Efdalzade Hamiduddin Efendi (d. 908/1503). Being one of the judges during the trial of alleged â€œhereticâ€ Mollah Lutfi, Efdalzade was opposed to Lutfiâ€™s execution, and later wrote an treatise on heresy.27
The Ottomans officially regarded themselves as defenders of orthodox, SunnÄ« Islam. The factors encouraging this development were, as stated above, the need to develop an ideological response to Safawid â€œheresyâ€, the growing power of the ulama within the Empire itself. Before the 16th century, orthodoxy had not played such a central role in defining Ottoman legitimacy. A result of this â€œsunnÄ«-consciousnessâ€ was that enemies of the dynasty were regarded as enemies of Islam, and non-orthodox Muslims as enemies of the dynasty. The authorities, therefore, had to evolve arguments against heterodox Muslims whom they perceived, rightly or wrongly, as enemies within. These enemies claimed to be Muslims, as did the dynasty itself, and so could not be treated for apostasy. What was needed was a definition of â€œfalse Islamâ€ and of heresy.28
In defining the term zindÄ«q, Kamal Pashazada gave a definition to heresy, based on the notion of â€œconcealed infidelityâ€ and of heretics, â€œdestroying Islam by Islamâ€. He clearly adopted the concept from â€œfukahaâ€ of the 11th-12th centuries who had used it against the Ismaâ€™ilites and Batinits of their own day. He also adopted an 11th century fatwa as the basis for the legal procedure against heresy.
Kamal pashazadaâ€™s risala also had a role in Ottoman claims to legitimacy a representatives and protectors of SunnÄ« Islam. It had always been possible for the Sultans to execute heretics by politics (siyasa). However, by defining the zindÄ«q and the punishment due to a zindÄ«q.29
When we look at heresy (zindiqlik) actions and some to be announced as guilty of thought in the Ottoman period, it arises that these were related to Ottoman administrators and life conditions of common people. For instance, Ottoman was powerful in the period of Magnificent Suleyman, which a shift processed from the point of view of social and economic. In this process, morality of people began to corrupted and economic problems raised. So injustice, taking a bribe and, untalented bureaucrats increased and religious believes and carrying out moral principles was get weak.30
It was fact that Ottoman statesmen were punishing some people in order to save the belief of common people from harmful currents. For this reason, they were struggling with mystical currents contrary to sunnÄ«-Islam principles and with perverted believes. Mystical currents, in particular, mediated propaganda of Safevids begun in the sixteenth centuries to be spread out Anatolia. Someone who was described and punished as zindiq by the government was considered as a spy who acted for a different state.
The Ottomans officially regarded themselves as defenders of orthodox, sunnÄ« Islam.
At the same time the imperial prerogative of siyaset was assigned to the sovereign for him to inflict severe corporal or capital punishment on â€œrebels, enemies, apostates and schismatics, and others who, though they might merit a lesser punishment under Sharia, were constructed as threatening the commonwealthâ€.31
Administrators in the period, instead of diagnosing problem and solving it radically, had followed a firmly policy of SunnÄ«-Islamisation. As a result of this understanding, statesmen described some as leaders of perversion and executed them because of crime of heresy by letting of Sheikh ul-Islamâ€™s fatwa. According to Islamic theology, opinions, which belonged to persons to be punished, were not containing any idea, which requires â€œheresyâ€. Likewise in trial Mollah Lutfi said repeatedly that he had a strong Islamic belief. Also there were not any implications of heresy in his Works. At the same time, Mollah Qabiz that we have very little information about his life either did not leave from Islam or did not convert to another religion. Even his comments were different; in fact he had a Muslim. The understanding concerning with the New and the Old Testament not to be distorted that Hakim Ishak put forward, had been explained by Islamic scholars and specifically Islamic theologians anyway. These opinions can be seen contrary to traditional SunnÄ«-Islam comprehension. Probably, Sheikh ul-Islam also considered these opinions as inconsistent by contrasting to these of SunnÄ«-Islam. But the existence of different comments among Ottoman scholars was a historical reality. When we look at the opinions, which belonged to persons to be punished, we can easily see that they had much more opinions of rival state, the Safevids. In this case, Sheik al-Islam, as affected by policy of the state, had wanted to punish contrary opinions to SunnÄ«-Islam, which is the official sect of the state.32
In the first instance, the religious history of Ottoman society cannot solely be confined to a series of events, which took place in the world of religion in isolation. Such events were closely connected in a major way to political, social, economic and in particular demographic development, expansion and change in the Ottoman Empire. As a result, such a history must be taken up within a framework of that kind.
As we indicated at the start of this essay, Ottoman religious history is in large part the history of sufÄ« movements. This is to large extent because of the confrontation of a popular Islam with sufÄ« roots with the politicized approach to Islam which characterized the Ottoman administration.33 Contrary to what is commonly believed, it does not appear correct to evaluate such movements as a clash between SunnÄ« Islam as represented by the ideology of the state with the heterodox ideology of the periphery because such an evaluation rests on the mistaken notion that SunnÄ« belief was limited to the center and that heterodoxy had consumed all of the periphery. It is important to reiterate here that the reference to official Islam is not just limited to SunnÄ«,and to popular Islam to heterodox Islam. It is to politicized Islam and to â€œIslam as a way of lifeâ€. If this were not the case, it would be quite impossible to explain the opposition of the BayramÄ« MelÄmis, the Halvetis indeed even the SunnÄ« supporters of BirgivÄ«, to the Ottoman central authorities.34
It is important to emphasize the following in conclusion: The most widespread religious movements (or more correctly social movements in a religious guise) did not take from during the founding period of the Ottoman Empire at a time when it was quite naturally more flexible and tolerant in structure, but rather were most heavily concentrated during the second half of the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries during a period of time when the state was completing its process of centralization. This indicates that there was a close relationship between the political and socia-economic factors. This clearly meant confrontation and conflict, and the socio-religious movements of concern here were none other than embodiments of such conflict.35
The word â€œIslamâ€ means peace and wealth. Muhammad had been sent to humankind as the compassion and also he is a Messenger who completed â€œthe beauty moralâ€. Koran, the sacred book of Islam, has provided a wide space to people for their beliefs and thoughts if they donâ€™t threaten to social life, some rules such as not compelling people in the religion, one can believe in whatever he/she prefers and, to guarantee members of different religions for a peacefully life in Islamic states, had been particularly based upon Koran. Muhammed also carried out rigorously these principles in his life.36 So in a hadith, He said: â€if whoever disturbs a Christian or a Jew, I will be oppose to himâ€.
The faith must be become by will and choice of person in Islamic theology; even one has to use his/her â€œintellectâ€ in order to believe in. Thus the imitative faith as a product of traditional comprehension has not been admitted in Islamic theology. Likewise it is criticized in the Koran: â€œWhen it is said to them: “Follow what God hath revealed:” They say: “Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers. ” What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?â€ (Q. 2:170). As we see these verses, there are more than 500 verses in Koran, which order to think and search by â€œthe intellectâ€.
Not compelling people in the religion is an Islamic principle. Also Muhammad had not upset believers of other religions, furthermore guaranteed them to live peacefully in his own period. At the same time, he had never punished people, who were his side but who did not accept his prophecy (munafiqÅ«n). In this respect, people who were punished because of their believes, were under surveillance with anxiety of social revolution to the state in the Ottoman period. Thus political anxieties of the government had a role in some people to be punished with death rather than the problem of theological belief, in the Ottomans period.37
So, religious idioms in the discourses of Islamic groups arisen today essentially are not an achievement from the theological standpoint. These discourses are generally political (siyasÄ«) ones. For this reason, these sorts of movements are not admitted by commonsensical Muslims so that the peace of communities is the most important norm in the religion of Islam.
2. Ahmed Refik, Onaltinci Asirda RafÄ±zilik ve Bektasilik, Istanbul: Muallim Ahmet Halit Kutuphanesi, 1932, p.6; Yaltkaya, M. Åžerefeddin, “Bedreddin Simavi”, I.A., II, p. 444; Golpinarli, Abdulbaki-Sungurbey, Ismet, Simavna Kadisi Oglu Seyh Bedreddin, Istanbul, 1966, pp. 5-15.
4. RisÄle fÃ® mÄ yataâ€™allaku bi-tashÄ«hi lafziâ€™z-zindÄ«k, RasÄilÃ¼ Ibn KemÄl, Istanbul 1316, II, 249; FÄ«rÅ«zabÄdÄ«, el-KÄmÅ«suâ€™l-muhÄ«t, â€œZindÄ«kâ€ art.; Massignon, L. â€œZindÄ«kâ€, EI.; Taylor, John, â€œAn Approach to the Emergence of Heterodoxy in Mediaeval Islam.â€ Religious Studies, II, (1967); pp. 200-210; Lewis, Bernard. â€œSome Observations on the Significance of Heresy in the History of Islam.â€ Studia Islamica, I/2 (1953), pp. 43-63.
13. Yavuz, S. Sabri, â€œKelamda Efdaliyet Meselesi ve Ibn Kemalâ€™in â€˜EfdaliyetMuhammedâ€™ Risalesiâ€, http://www.dinbilimleri.com/dergi/cilt5/sayi1/makale/yavuz.pdf 10/03/2007
18. Maras, Ibrahim, Molla Lutfiâ€™nin Felsefi ve Kelami Gorusleri, Ankara 1992, AUIF Master Tezi; Yaltkaya, M. S. â€œMolla LÃ¼tfiâ€, TSD, (Istanbul 1938), II, pp. 44, 45; Parmaksizoglu, I., â€œMolla Lufi ile Ilgili Yeni Bir Belgeâ€, Belleten Istanbul 1980, p. 176.
29. Deringil, Selim, â€œâ€˜There is no compulsion in religionâ€™: On conversion and apostasy in the late Ottoman Empire: 1839-1856â€, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 42-3 (2000), pp. 547-575.
34. Unan F. “Dinde Tasfiye Yahut OsmanlÄ± Sunniligine Sunni Muhalefet: Birgivi Mehmed Efendi”, Turk Yurdu, X/36, Ankara, 1990, pp. 33-42; Okten, Ertugrul, Ottoman Society and State in the light of the fatwas of Ibn-i Kemal, MA Thesis, Bilkent University, 1996, p. 34