Mysticism (Tasawwuf) In The Ottoman Society

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Sufis, State and Scholars / (XVII. Century)
(By Dr. Necdet YILMAZ)

Considering the history of the world, the Ottoman State is one of the rare states that managed to exist for a long time, the secret whereof is the very fact that mysticism and action were among the most influential factors that formed the intellectual, spiritual, social and cultural infrastructure of both the founder and the foundation of the Ottoman State, which was founded in the most critical period of history in a geography that had been the cradle of many a civilization.

In Ottoman society with the expansion of its institutions tasawwuf (mysticism) influenced the whole society having deep impact upon intellects and became one of the “rising values”. The Ottoman State used that spiritual element in its social, cultural, moral and esthetic formation and in later periods almost as a basic element. Therefore, one of the most significant ways of exploring the Ottomans will be to be closely acquainted with the mystical notion and action from the point of their deep effects on the society and its institutions. This book is composed of an introduction, two chapters and the addenda. In the introduction section, the references of first rank have been introduced. Studying the political, social and economic situation of the XVII. century, the geographical boundaries have been indicated, and general information has been given about the structure of tasawwuf (mysticism) until and during that period.

In the section of addenda, a list of those sheikhs that lived in the XVII. century was given, along with information on which branch of which tariqah (order of dervishes) they belonged to, the date of their death, which taqqah (dervish lodge) – if any – they were charged with, whether they were poets, what kind of madrasah (school) education they had, if they had any works and how many, and whether they participated in any war, thus trying to depict a collective portrait.

(579 pages)

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