FATW .A.KıiANA: A DIVISION OF THE OTTOMAN STATE'S OFFICE...

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J EKEV 7 16 (Yaz 2003)------- 153 FATW A DIVISION OF THE OTTOMAN STATE'S OFFICE OF THE SHAYKH AL-ISLAM Ferhat KOCA(*) Ahstract This article presents history of the Fatw/ikhana in Istanbul. Besides considering the functioning of the ana in preparing fatw/is and the Ottomanfatwa document itselj, it considers ways in efficiency was improved. It also discusses the salaries received, fees collected for producing each written fatwa, and the issue oj bri- bery. Of special importance, this article considers several of the that regu- lared and same pub!ications mentioning the The se sources indicare various and some oj the changes made, such as the 1913 reorganization of the to begin a calleetion based on arri- ving at decisions more in keeping with the times and on fooking to other schools of law besides the Hana.fi school. The article concludes that the Fatw/ikhana s work was ended just as it was more likely to bring about change. Key Words: Shaykh al-Islam, Mujtf, Fatwa, Bab-ifatwa, Fatwakhiina. Fetvô.htine: Bir Birim Olarak Özet Bu makalede, içerisinde müstakil bir bi- rim olarak faaliyet gösteren bölümünün ve incelenmektedir. Fetvah/inenin ve süreci bir ele burada tirilen fetva ile fetva biirokrasisi tarihlerde fetvaha- neyle ilgili olarak 1iizamname ve yönetmelikler ve Anahtar Kelime/er: Müfti, Fetva, fetva, Fetvahiine. *) Doc. Dr., Gazi University, Corum Ilahiyat Faculty, (e-maU: [email protected]) j i- -'·- ---

Transcript of FATW .A.KıiANA: A DIVISION OF THE OTTOMAN STATE'S OFFICE...

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EKEV AKADEMİ DERCİSİ Yıl: 7 Sayı: 16 (Yaz 2003)------- 153

FATW .A.KıiANA: A DIVISION OF THE OTTOMAN STATE'S OFFICE OF THE SHAYKH AL-ISLAM

Ferhat KOCA(*)

Ahstract

This article presents tlıe history of the Fatw/ikhana in Istanbul. Besides considering the functioning of the Fatw/ik/ı ana in preparing fatw/is and the Ottomanfatwa document itselj, it considers ways in wlıich efficiency was improved. It also discusses the salaries received, tlıe fees collected for producing each lıand written fatwa, and the issue oj bri­bery. Of special importance, this article considers several of the nizanınames that regu­lared tlıe Farwaklıiina and same goı·emmem pub!ications mentioning the Fatwak!ıô.Jza. The se sources indicare various rı ı/es and s ome oj the changes made, such as the 1913 reorganization of the Fatwaklıô.na to begin a systenıaticfatwa calleetion based on arri­ving at decisions more in keeping with the times and on fooking to other schools of law besides the Hana.fi school. The article concludes that the Fatw/ikhana s work was ended just as it was beconıing more likely to bring about change.

Key Words: Shaykh al-Islam, Mujtf, Fatwa, Bab-ifatwa, Fatwakhiina.

Fetvô.htine: Osmanlı Şeylıülislamlık Makamı İçerisinde Bir Birim Olarak

Özet

Bu makalede, Osmanlı şeyhii/islamlık (meşihat) makamı içerisinde müstakil bir bi­rim olarak faaliyet gösteren fetva/ıline bölümünün kuruluş ve işleyişi incelenmektedir. Fetvah/inenin kuruluş ve gelişme süreci geniş bir şekilde ele alınarak, burada gerçekleş­tirilen fetva işlemleri ile fetva biirokrasisi anlatılmıştır. Ayrıca, çeşitli tarihlerde fetvaha­neyle ilgili olarak çıkarılan birtakım 1iizamname ve yönetmelikler açıklanmaya ve değer­/endiri/nıeye çalışılmıştır.

Anahtar Kelime/er: Şeyhiilisltim, Müfti, Fetva, Bab-ı fetva, Fetvahiine.

*) Doc. Dr., Gazi University, Corum Ilahiyat Faculty, Coruın!furkiye. (e-maU: [email protected])

j ı

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154 1 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ferhat KOCA-------EKEV AKADEMİ DERCİSİ

Introduction * In this article, I survey the establishment and development of the Fatwakhana di visi­

on of the department generally called the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam. This office was headed by the shaykh al-Islam (şeyhülislô.m) of the Ottoman State or the chief Ottoman muftl, a jurist who gives opinions lfatwô.s) on points of law I. The Office of the Shaykh al-Islam alsa was responsible for judges and instructors and professors (mudarrises) in madrasas. In this way the Islamic religious hierarchy was brought into the bureaucracy of the State2. The Fatwak.hana had the crucial function of responding to the religious

*) I arn indebted to Ms. Karen M. Wolfe for her help in editing and translating this paper. I arn alsa thankful to Prof. David S. Powers of Comeli University and Doc. Dr. Ali Kose of The Centre for Is­lami c Studies in Istanbul for reading the paper and making useful contributions.

1) On the formatian and development of the Ottoman Office of Shaykh al-Islam, see J. Mouradgea D'Ohsson, Tableau General de L'Empire Othoman, vol. 4 (Paris, 1791), 495-530; Ali Emlri, "Mes­hlhat-i Islfuniyye Tfuihdjesl", 1/miyye Salntinıesi (Istanbul, 1334/1916), 304-20; ısmail Hakkı Uzun­çarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin ilmiye Teşkilatı (Ankara, 1965), 173-214; Sabra FoUett Meservey, Fey­zu/lah Efendi: An Ottoman Şeyhulislam (Michigan, 1%5), 8-29; Veli Ertan, Tarihte Meşilıat Maka­mı İbniye Sınıft ve Meşhur Şeylıü/islamlar (Istanbul, 1 %9), 4-28; Mehmet Zeki Pakali n, Osmanlı Ta­rih Deyimleri ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (Istanbul, 1983), vol. 2, 491-92, 599-601 and vol. 3, 347-351; Halil Inalcık, The Ottoman Empire: The Classic Age 1300-1600, trans. Narman Itzkowitz and Co­lin Imber (London, 1973), 171-72; Ihsan Sureyya Sırma, "L'Institution et les biographies des sayh :ıl-Islam sous Ic regne du s•.ılt:.ın Abdulhaınid ll" (Piı.D. diss., Universile des Sciences Hunıaines de Strasbourg, 1973), 1-59; R. C. Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul (Oxford, 1986), 27-73; Madeline C. Zil­fı, "Sultan Süleyman and tlıe Ottoman Religious Establislınıent", Suleymiin the Second and his TI­me, ed. Halilinalcık and Cemal Kafadar (Istanbul, 1993), 109-20; Ekrem Kaydu, Müesseseiii şey­hü'l-lsldm fi'd-devleti'l- 'Usmaniyye, trans. Haşim el-EyyOb! (Trablus, 1413/1992), 26-33, 38-97; Narman Itzkowitz and Joel Shinder, ''The Office of the şeyh ul-Islarn and the Tanzimat: A Prosopog­rııphic Enquiry", Middle Eastern Studies, 8 (1972), 93-101; M. Pixley, ''The Development and Ro­le of the Şeyhulislam in Early Ottoman History", Journal of the American Oriental Society, % (1976), 89-96; Ekrem Kaydu, "Osmanlı Devletinde Şeyhülislamlık Müessesesinin Ortaya Çıkışı", Atatürk Üniversitesi islami İlimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 2 (1977), 201-10; Ziya Kazıcı, "Osmanlılarda Şeyhülislarnlık Müessesesi", Diyanet Dergisi, 18, no. 5 (1979), 292-99; Ekrem Sarıkçıoğlu, "Şey­hülislamlık Makamı", Atatürk Üniversitesi ilahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, 5 (1982), 197:218; Madeline C. Zilfı, "Elite Circulation in the Ottoman Empire: Great Mollas of the Eighteenth Century", Jour­nal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 26: 3 (1983), 3 1 8-64; J. H. Krarners, "Şey­hü'l-İslam",/slam Ansiklopedisi, vol. I ı (Istanbul, ı979), 486-89.

2) Kramers, "Şeyhü'l-İslam", 486,488. The first document is mentioning on the Ottoman Office of the Shaykh al-Islam is The Fatih Kanunnamesi. See. Ahmed Akgündüz, Osmanlı Kanunnameleri ve Hu­kuki Ta/ıli/leri, vol. 1 (Istanbul, ı 990), 318; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinde Ilmiye Teşkilatı, ı 75. As indicated in the Fatih Kantinnamesi, initially, the position of the shaykh al-Islam was second to that of the teaeber of the sultan (muallim-i su/tani) as weU as to the AnataHan and Rumeli kadıas­kers. However, after persons such as Ibn Kemal (1525-ı533) and AbüssuQd (1545-1574) becarne the shaykh al-Islam, having been kadıaskers fırst, the position carne to be seen as equal to that of the Grand Vizier (sadrazam) si nce the shaykh al-Islam was the head of the religious hierarchy and in charge of the legal system. See alsa "Osmanlı Kanunnameler!", Milli Tetebbular Mecmuası, 1: 3 (1331/I9ı2), 538-39; Robert Anlıegger, "Hezarfen Hüseyin Efendi'nin Osmanlı Devlet Teşkilatma Dair Müliihazalan", Türkiyat Mecmuası, 10 (ı953), 389; M. Tayyib Gökbilgin, Osmm:ılı Müessese­leri Teşkilatı ve Medeniyet Tariizine Genel Bakış (Istanbul, ı977), 107; Kazıcı, "Osmanlılarda Şey­hülislamlık Müessesesi", 294.

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problems and questions posed by the people. Because of its presence in the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam, this office came to be called suchnamesas the Dfiru'l-istifta, Bab-i fat-

.~ wa, Bab-i wfilfi-yi fatwa, Fatwakhana, and Fatwfikhfina-i ali; all these names indicate that fatwas were issued there3.

I begin by briefly considering how this function was handled prior to the establish­ment of the Fatwakhana and after hs establishment how the Fatwfikhfina carried out this function over the years. I also collect details about the Fatwakhfuıa that are scattered in other articles not directly concemed with the Fatw§khana, adding some new details.

Establishment of the Fatwakbana

During the life of the Prophet, companions of the Prophet brought their religious and !ega! problems to him4. After his death, they turned to Islamic law scholars (mudjtahid) and to those whose profession was issuingfatwfis, the mujtfs, who were adınİnistered by the State in different ways over time and in different locations5. However, with Muham­mad Shamsaddin Fanar! Efendi (d. 834/ ı 43 ı), who most historians consider the first chi­ef Ottoman müfti or shaykh al-Islam6, there came into being an official central govem-

3) Ahmed Lütfi, Tarilı-i Lütfi, vol. 1 (Istanbul. 1290/1873), 160-62; A. Heidborn, Manuel de Droit Public et administratif de l'Empire Ottoman, vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1908), 268; Pakalin, Osmanlı Tari/ı Devimleri. vol. 1. 142 and vol. 2. 491-92; H. A. R. Gibb and Harold Bowen. !slamic Societv and the Wesı, vol. 2 (London, 1969), 84-92, 133-38; Richard R L. Chambers, ''The Ottoman Ulema and the Tanzimat", Sclıolars, Saints, and Sufis, ed. Nileki R. Keddie (Califomia, 1972), 35; Mehmet İpşirli, "Klasik Dönem Osmanlı Devlet Teşkilatı", Osmanlı Devleti ve Medeniye/i Tarihi, ed. E. İhsanoğlu, vol. 1 (Istanbul, 1994), 270~71.

4) For some examples of their questions and the answers in the Qur'an, see Muhammad Fuad Abdul­bakt, al-Mu'camü'l-müfalıras li-alfazı'l-Kur'ani'l-Karlm (Istanbul, 1982), 337.

5) Onfatwa-giving and the organization of ifta see Emile 'fYan, Histoire de/' Organisation Judiciaire en Pays d' Islam (Leiden, 1960), 219-28; Hayreddin Karaman, "İfta UsUlü ve Kaynak:lan", Islam'ın lşığında Günün Meseleleri, vol. 2 (Istanbul, 1996), 91-159; Fahrettin Atar, Islilin Adiiye Teşkilatı (Ankara: Diyanet Işleri Başkanlığı Yayınları, n.d.), 117-26; David S. Powers, "Legal Consultation (Futya) in Medieval Spain and North Africa", Islam and Public Law, ed. Chibli Mallat (London, 1993), 85-106; Ali Himmet Berkt, "Osmanlı Türklerinde Yüksek İfta Makamı", Diyanet Işleri Baş­kanlığı Dergisi ( DlB Dergisi) 9: 102-03, 423-27; Uriel Heyd, "Some Aspects of the Ottornan Fet­va", Bul/etin of tlıe School of Oriental and Ajrican Studies (BSOAS), 32 (1969), 35-56; Fahrettin Atar, "İftii Teşkilatının Ortaya Çıkışı", Diyanet Dergisi, 15: 4 (1976), 205-15; Fahrettin Atar, "İfta Teşkilatının Ortaya Çıkışı", Marmara Üniversitesi llalıiyat Fakültesi Dergisi (MÜIFD), 3 (1985), 29-48; Aharon Layish, "The Fatwa as an Instrument of the Islamization of a Tribal Society in Pro­cess of Sedentarization", BSOAS, 54: 3 ( 1991), 449-59; A. Kevin Reinhart, ''Transcendence and So­cial Practice: Muftts and Qadi's as Religious Interpreters", Anna/es Js/amologiques, 27 (1993), 5-28; J. R. Walsh, "Fatwa", Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., vol. 2 (Leiden, 1960), 866-67.

6) For the discussions.of who was the first shaykh al-Islam, see Mecdt, Haddiku'ş-Şakdikfi tercüme­ti'ş-Şekdik (Istanbul, 1269/1852), 20-21, 47-53; D'Ohsson, Tableau General de L'Empire Otlıoman, 497-500; Ali Emtri', "Meşthat-i lslamiyye Tarihçesi'", llmiyye Salnamesi (Istanbul, 1334/1916), 315-1 7; Ahmed Refik, "Osmanlı Şeyhülislamlannın Teracim-i ahvati", llmiyye Salndmesi, 322; Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim! eri, 2, 599-601; S ırma, L'Insıitmion et /es biograplıies des say/ı al-Islam, 5-9; Repp, Tlıe Mufti of/stanbul, 73, 91, 112-13, 118-20;Anhegger, "Mülahazalan", 389; Kaydu, "Os­manlı De.vletinde Şeyhülislamlık", 202-05; Kazıcı, "Osmanlılarda Şeyhülislamlık Müessesesi",

,, 295-96. 'ı;

/.

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ment institution located near the Sultan himself that dealt with religious and legal ques­tions posed by govemment officials and the people. The fırst shaykh al-Islam began his . term of office in 824/14247.

The Ottoman te rm F atwaklıana combines the Arabic fatwa and the Persian khô.na meaning house, room, or offices. It refers to a seetion of the Office of the Shaykh al-Is­lam that was given over to the function of deliveringfatwô.s (pl.fatawd), defıned by le­xicographers as "the respanses explaining judgments on difficult issues."9 In Islamic law, the-term fatwa signifıes "the oral or written response given by a mufti regarding any issue he is asked about."IO Mehmet Zeki Pakalin defınes Fatwakhtina as "Shaykh al-Is­lam dairesinde muftulerle şer'iyye mahkemelerinin merci-i olmak üzere ayn bir daire halinde tesis olunan ifta muessesesi" II I. e, it w as the institution that issued fatwas, the authority for mujtfs and law court officials, and was located ina separate department wit­hin the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam. This defınition suggests that anather function of this department was to be competent authority of muftis or to deal with their appoint­ment, promotion, and dismissal from office. The Fatwakhô.na did not deal with person­uel issues, although the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam did. Thus, the authority mentioned here must be the authority to which the muftis and law court officials looked when they were una b le to deal with particular issues themselves. Thus the functions of the Fatwak-

7) See alsa Mecdi, Hadiiiku'ş-Şakaik, 47-53; Müstakimzade Süleyman Saadeddin, Devhatü'l-meşiiy'ih (Istanbul, 1978), 3-5; Refik, "Osmanlı Şeyhülislamlannın Teracim-i ahva.Ii", 322; Ertan, Meşhur Şeylıülisliimlar, ll, 29; Repp, The Mıifti of Istanbul, 73; fnalcık, The Ottoman Empire, 167; İpşirli, "Osmanlı Devlet Teşkilatı", 269; Veli Ertan, "Osmanlı Devletinde Şeyhü'l-islamlığın Kuruluşu", Türk Yurdu, 4: 3 !O (1965), 25.

8) J. W. Redhouse, A Turkish and English Lexicon (Beirut, 1987), 827.

9) Ragıb al-lsfahfuıi, Mu'camu mufradiiıi alfiizı'l-Kur'iin, ed. Nadim Mar'ashli (Beirut: Daru'l-Fikr, ıı.d.), 386; İbn Manzur, Lisiinu'l- 'arab (Beiruı: Daru Sadır, n.d.), vol. 15, 1437; Zabidi, Tiicu'l­'arıls (Cairo, 1306/1307), vol. !0, 275: Asım Efendi, Kiimus Tercümesi (Istanbul, 1305/1887), vol. 4, ı I 14; Emi! e Tyan, "Fatwa", Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., (Leiden, ı960), vol. 2, 866.

ıO) Türk Hukuk Lugatı (Ankara, ı99ı), 95; Ebül'ula Mardin, "Fetva", islam Ansiklopedisi (İstanbul, 1977), vol. 4, 582; Tyan, "Fatwa", 866; Fahrettin Atar, "Fetva", Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı Islam Ansik­lopedisi (DiA), (Istanbul, 1995), vol 12,486-87. In lslamic law,fatwiis discussed in sections entit­led "Kitabu'l-ictihad" in usul books and in sections entitled "Kitabü'l-kada" infiıru or substantive law books. fn addition, the "Adabu'l-mufti va'l-mustafti"literature also discussesfatwiis. See also Yahya b. Sharaf an-Navavi, Adiibu'l-fatVii va'l-mufi'i va'l-mustafi'i, ed. Bassarn Abdulvahhab al-Ca­bi (Damascus, ı408/ ı 988), ı 3-86; i b nu 's-Sal ah, Ada bu 'l-muft'i va' l-mustaft'i, Fatiivii va masiii/u İb­ni's-Saliilı fi't-tafslr va'l-!ıadls va'l-usıll va'l-fiqh, ed. Abdü'l-Mu'ti Amin Kal'aci (Beirut, 1406/1986), vol. ı, 5-92; İbn Abidin, Uqıldu rasmi'l-muft'i in Macmu'atu rasiiil-i İbn Abidin (Be­iruı: Daru İhyiii't-turasi'l-Arabi, n.d.), vol. ı, !0-52; Jamaladdin el-Qasımi, al-Fatviifi'l-lsliim, ed. Muhammad Abdulhakim ei-Qadi (Beirut, ı406/ ı986), 3ı-ı78; Sava Paşa, Islam Hukuku Nazariya­rı Hakkında Bir Etüd (Ankara, l 956), vol. ı. 33-42; Hilmar Krüger, Fetwa und Siyar (Wiesbaden, 1978), 40-66; Kate Zehiri, Malımıld Slıaltılt and lslamic Modernism (Oxford, ı993), !07-27; Wael B. Hallaq, "From Fatwas to Furu: Growth and Change in Jslamic Substantive Law", lslamic Law and Society, vol. 1: ı (1994), 29-65. ·

ll) Pakali n, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. 1, 62 ı.

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hana were greater than those indicated by Pakalin. A better definition would be: The Fat­wô.khtina was a department within the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam, with its own direc­tor (jatwfi amfni), that processed fatwas and presented them to the shaykh al-Islam for his approval, along with investigating the proofs relating to the judgments or decrees (huccets, i'lô.ms) issued by the judicial courts.

Shaykh al-Islams were generally processing and delivering their ownfatwô.s whether verbally (shifô.hf) or in writing (tahrfrf). This was because the state bureaucracy was smaller, sociallife simpler, and bureaucratic duties few. However, over time the numbers of questions posed by the public and by the government officials increased, and the shaykh al-Islam was faced with requestsfor huge numbers ofjatwô.sl2. For example, the well-known sixteenth century shaykh al-Islam, Abussuud Efendi (d. 982/1574), issued l,4l2fatwô.s during the period between the early morning and noon prayers ona single day while onanother day he issued 1,4l3fatwô.sl3. In the seventeenth century the Offi­ce of the Shaykh al-Islam reportedly was issuing 300-400 fatwô.s twice a weekl4• Even if these figures are exaggerated and even if most of the fatwô.s were issued orally, it is clear that ther~ were large numbers of requests for fatwô.s.

To deal with the increasing requests, the shaykh al-Islams began to search for ways to issue fatwas more quickly and in a more orderly manner. The famous shaykh al-Islam of the first quarter of the sixteenth century, Zanbilli Ali Efendi (d. 93211525) used to Jet down a smail hasket (zanbil) from his window, raise the hasket containing the questions people had put into it, write his answers, and Jet the hasket down again. This was how he gained the nickname "Zanbilli."l5 However, as the requests increased, Zanbilli Ali Efendi 's simple and charrning method was no longer sufficient and a need developed for a new division of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam to dea} with fatwô.s. Zanbilli Ali Efendi's appointment as shaykh al-Islam in 908/1502 reveals another problem. At the ti­me of his appointment as shaykh al-Islam, following the death of Afdiilzade Hamirlud­din Efendi (d. 908/1502), Zanbilli Ali Efendi, was a madrasa professor away on the pilg­rimage to Meccal6. To make sure that there was no delay in the processing ofjatwô.s, six professors of the prestigious Salın-ı saman madrasa, Molla Karabiili, Molla Kara Seyyi­di, Molla Gurz Seyyidi, Molla Sarı Gurz, Molla Babek Öalabi, Molla Musa Öalabi b. Af-

12) Heidborn, Manuel, 268-69; M. Vamık Şükrü Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", DIB Dergisi 2: 10, 25.

13) Atiii, Hadaiku'l-hakiiikfi rekmileti'ş-Şekiiik (Istanbul, 1268/1851), vol. I, 185; M. Cavit Baysun, "Ebüssu'ild Efendi", islam Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1977), vol. 4, 94. ·

14) Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 46.

15) See Müstakimzade, Devhatü'l-meşaylh, 16; Hırzii'l-müluk, Osmanlı Devlet Teşkild/ma Dair Kay­naklar, ed. Yaşar Yücel (Ankara, 1988), 45b-46a; llmiyye Salnamesi (lstanbul,l334/1916), 342-43; Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul, 191; M. Cavid Baysun, "Cemiili", ls/am Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1968), vol. 3, 88.

16) Mecdl, Hadaiku'ş-Şakiiik, 304; Ata!, Haddiku'l-hakiiik, 277; Müstakimzade, Devhatü'l-meşaylh, 16; Baysun, "Cemiili", 86. On the death dates of Shaykh al-Islam Afdiilzade Hamidüddin Efendi and the pilgrimage of Zanbilli Ali Efendi and his appointment to the post of shaykh al-Islam, see Repp',;The Mufti of Istanbul, 192, 204-08.

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dalzada, and Molla Supurge Shuja were appointed to issuefatwas11. This provides, one example of giving the task to people outside the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam for issu-ing fatwô.s. ·

It was during the period ofZanbilli Ali Efendi's appointment as shaykh al-Islam that the nucleus of the Fatwô.klıô.na division came into being. Late in his life, when Zanbilli Ali Efendi became too ili to issuefatwô.s, Sultan Sulayınan the Lawgiver (d. 97411566) asked him to appoint a deputy (kô.immakô.m or nô.ib) to carry out the function. Zanbilli Ali Efendi selected Muhyiddin Malıarnmed b. Molla Bah1iaddin Efendi (d. 95111544) from Balıkesir, whose knowledge and piety Zanbilli respected, to insure thatfatwô.s we­re issued without in terruption ı 8. In this w ay w as created the fırst position in the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam co ncemed with assisting i ts head in carrying out the function of issuing fatwasl9. The department itself (jatwô. amô.natf), was created during the tenure of Abussuud Efendi, as the shaykh al-Islam between 952-982 (1545-1574); Abussuud appointed both a clerk (jatwô. kô.tibi), YeganEfendi (d. 998/1589), anda deputy (jatwô. amfni), Abadl Mehmed Galabl (d. 96111553). During the tenure Bostanzade Mehmed Efendi (d. 1006/1598) as Shaykh al-Islam, Antiochian Ali Efendi was thefatwô. amfni20. In addition, the term fatwô. mukaba/asi was used to refer to the fatwô. anıini or to other departmen ts w ith their own heads, bash nıusevvicfll. W e can conclude, then, that the term fatwô amfni w as the title given to deputies of the shaykh al-Islams who dealt with fat­wô.s, just as the term dars vekili was the title given to the assistant to the shaykh al-ls­lams deputized to give dasses for him after the shaykh al-Islam was assigned the duty of being a professor (mudarris) in the madrasa built by Sultan Bayezld II in 9111150522. As the duties of the shaykh al-Islam increased in the state bureaucracy, more dars veki­lis were appointed23, and the Fatwô.khô.na came into being as a division of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam24. It must be noted that some of the shaykh al-Islams who followed Zanbilli may not have appointed fatwa anifnis, s ince a continuous listing of them is not found in the sources25.

17) Ataf, Hadaiku 'l-haktiik, 277; Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul, 207. Some historians include Molla Muhyiddin Seyyidl Muhammed b. Muhammed ei-Kucevl, well-known for his nickiıame of Seyyi­dl Çelebi, in this list. See Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul, 207.

18) Mecdl, Hadiiiku'ş-Şaktiik, 428; Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul, 221-22; Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", 2: 10, 26.

19) Repp, The Mufti of Istanbul, 221; Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", 2: 10, 26. Without providing any do­cumentation, Ihsan Sureyya Sırma claims that the fırst fatwa arnini was appointed towards the end of fıfteenth century see his L'lnstitution et tes biographies dessayhal-Islam sous le regne du sul­tan Abdullıamid ll, p. 19.

20) Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", vol. 2: 10, 25-26. 21) Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", vol. 2: 10, 26. 22) Baysun, "Cemall", 86; Mehmet İpşirli, "Ders Vek1Ueti", DiA (Istanbul, 1994), vol. 9, 183. 23) Regarding dars vak!ileti, see Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. 1, 428; İpşirli, "Ders Vek1Ue­

ti", 183-84. 24) D'Ohsson, Tableau General de L'Empire Othoman, 510, 514; Walsh, "Fatwa", 867;Aitinbas, "Fet­

va Eminleri", vol. 2: ll, 24. 25) Altinbas, "Fetva Emini eri, " vol. 2: ll, 24.

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During the times of the first Ottoman sultans, there was no special building for the shaykh al-Islams, who performed their tasks either ina seetion of their homes reserved

.~ for men, if it was convenient, or in rented houses near the palace26. His History, Riişid Mehmed Efendi mentions that when Yenişehirli Abdullah Efendi (d. 1156/1743) was ap­pointed shaykh al-Islam in Edirne in 1130/1718, he was taken to "sadr-ı fatwa olanlara mahsus olan bir haneye"27, that is, to a house belonging to the shaykh al-Islams. This comment is best understood as indicating that there was a special house or apartment as­signed to the shaykh al-Islams whenever they accompanied the sultan, not that there was a building or rooms used by the shaykh al-Islams all the time. Also, in the sevente­enth and eighteenth centuries, when the average tenure of the shaykh al-Islams was short, it would have been difficult for people to know where the shaykh al-Islams were Iocated.

In 1241/1826 an opportunity developed for the shaykh al-Islams to acquuire a per­manent building complex for themselves. It was in this year that Sultan Mahmud II (d. 125511839) abolished the Janissaries, and the Grand Vizier, Selim Mehmed Pasha, sug­gested that a ouilding complex that had been used by the commanders of the Janissari­es, Aghakapısı,located near the Suleymaniye Mosque, be given to the shaykh al-Islam28. Sultan Mahmud II issued a royal decree (hatt-ı humfiyun) erdering that this complex be used permanently as a Fatwô.khiina by the shaykh al-Islam29.

In the text of the decree (firman) the Sultan uses the term "Fatwô.khô.na" several ti­mes while making no mention of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam. Subsequently the terms "Bô.b-i jatwô." and "Bab-i mashfkhô.t" became more widespread as namesfor the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam30. The decree called for the removal of all words that might bring to mind the Janissaries, desigilating the building complex as the Fatwô.khô.-

26) Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Ilmiye Teşkilatı, I 95-96; Ertan, Meşhur Şeyhülislamlar, 14; Berki, "Yüksek İfta Makamı", 424; Sarıkçıoğlu, "Şeyhülislamlık Makamı", 209-10; Mehmet İpşirli, "Bab­ı meşihat", DlA (Istanbul, 1991), vol. 4, 362-63.

27) The quotation "Sadr-ı fatwa olanlara mahsus olan haneye" comes from Riişid Mehmed Efendi, Ta­ri/ı (Istanbul, 1282/1865), vol. 4, 394-95. See also Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Ilmiye Teşkila­tı, 195-96.

~ 28) Regarding the Aghakapısı, see Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. 2, 23; Reşat Ekrem Koçu, "Ağakapısı", istanbul Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1958), vol. I, 245-47; Semavi Eyice, "Ağakapısı", DlA (Istanbul, I 988), vol. 1, 462-64; Semavi Eyice and Necdet Sakaoğlu, "Ağakapısı", Dünden Bu­güne Istanbul Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1993), vol. 1, 94-95.

29) Lütfi, Tarih-i Lütfi, 161 -62.

30) Bemard Lewis, "Bab-ı mashikhat", Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed. (Leiden, 1960), vol. ı, 837-38; İpşirli, "Bab-i meşihat", 363. The term "bab-i fatwa" for the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam is mentioned in the case of two nizamnames or the regulatory codes or directives issued by the go­vemment: "Bab-i fetvada teşkil olunacak şiira-yı ilmiyyenin veı.aifı hakkında nizamname" in Düs­tur (Istanbul, 1330/191 1), 2nd Tertip, vol. 2, 675 and "Bab-ı fetvada dosya ve istatistik kalemi na­mi yle bir kalemin teşkili hakkında nizamname" in the Düstur (Istanbul, 1334/1916), 2nd Tertip, vol.

'!! 6, 181.

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na. In addition, since there were more than enough rooms available in the building~. the decree calls for the extra rooms to be used for religious education.

The shaykh al-Islam was not able to move into this complex on 2 August 1826 as planned because members of the Sublime Porte (Biibiiilf) were temporarily re-located there when a fıre that had broken out in the Khodjapasha quarter of Sirkedji badly da­maged the Sublime Porte and some other buildings and homes. It was not until the Sub­lime Porte had been repaired that the shaykh al-Islam moved into the complex on 1 Re­biulahir 1243/22 October 182731. Having being moved the Office of the Shaykh al-Is­lam to this building, provides an example of reformation in the Ottoman govemment and bureaucracy in modemization period. However, the Fatwiikhiina complex itself was re­peatedly damaged by fıre. When the position of shaykh al-Islam was abolished, the bu­ilding housing the Fatwiikhiina division was given to the Office of the Istanbul Mufti. Today, this building is office of the Istanbul Mufti. In 1982 the old building was pulled down and completely rebuilt based on the original plans. The project was completed in 198532.

According to Altinbas, sixty-nine fatwii amfnis were appointed from the time of Ba­lıkesirli Mehmed Muhyiddin Efendi, the fırstfatwii amfni, until the last one33, Muglalı Ali Riza Efendi (Koseoglu) (d. 1362/1943), one of the Fatih professors (darsiiim)34. This nur;ıber is low compared to the number of Olloman State shaykh al-lslams (129). To explain the discrepancy Altinhas suggests thatfatwii amfnis, unlike the shaykh al-Islams, did not become involved in political affairs that might lead to dismissal. Also some fat­wa amlnis were re-appointed a number of times and some remained in their positions for a long time.

Fatwii amfnis had an important place in the hierarchy of religious scholars and they were expected to be of sound character and to be experiencedin Islarnic law35. Some fatwii amfnis, such as Mehmed Ataullah (d. 1 127/1715), Yenisehirli Abdullah (d. 1156/1743), and Vassaf Abdullah (d. 117511761) went on to become shaykh al-Islams; others were appointed the kiidf of Istanbul in the seventeenth century or appointed Ana­dolu kadiasker in later periods36. In addition to the sixty-ninefatwii aminis identifıed by Altinbas, others worked outside of Istanbul assisting the muftfs with their fatwii work in large Ottoman provinces such as Syria37. How these other fatwii aminis carried out the-

31) Koçu, "Ağakapısı", 245-47; Eyice, "Ağakapısı", 463; lpşirli, "Bab-ı meşihat", 363; Eyice and Sa­kaoğlu, "Ağakapısı", 94-95.

32) İpşirli, "Bab-ı meşihat", 363.

33) Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", vol. 2: 1 ı. 24-25. Regarding the lives ofthefatwd amlnis, see Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", vol. 2: 12 through vol. 9: 98-99; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 48.

34) Sadık Al bayrak, Son Devir Osmanlı Uleması (Istanbul, 1980), vol. 1, 309; Berki, "Yüksek İfta Ma-kamı", 424.

35) Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, l: 621; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 48.

36) 1/miyye Salniimesi, 140; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 48.

37) Altinbas, "Fetva Eminleri", vol. 2: ı ı, 25.

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ir work over the Iong period of time and the large geographical areajnvolved is beyond the scope of this essay38. ·

The Functioning of the Fatwakhana

An Overview- As recorded in the Ilmi yy e Salnfimesi, the offıcial account of the Of­fice of the Shaykh al-Islam in 1334/1916, The Fatwfikhfina divisiofi'i'bf the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam, consisted of two subdivisions. At that time, the nia:İn personnel in the two subdivisions consisted of the fatwfi arnini himself; two deputies (the fatwfi amfinati mufivinis), adirector for judicial decrees (the i'lfimfit-i şar'iyye miiduru), eight chief clerks for judicial decrees (the i'lfimfit-i şar'iyye mumayyizi). eight a~istants to the chi­ef clerks (the i'lfimfit-i şar'iyye mumayyizi muavinis), the head secretary (the bash mu­savvid or the reisu'l-musavvidin), and forty-two secretaries (the musavvids) of various ranks39. The two subdivisions were thefatwfi seetion (thefatwfi odcıS~ or the hay' at-i if­tfiiya) and the judicial decrees seetion (the f'lfimfit odası or the i'lfimfit-i şar'iyye mudu­riyeti)40. Al so Iisted is a subdivision where initial requests for fatwfis were handled, the pusu/a odası. However, it has usually been assumed that this function was handled wit­hin the fatwfi seetion itself and not in a separate section41.

The fatwfi seetion w as directed by the head secretary (the bash niusavvid or the re­fsu'l-musavvidfn) who was in charge of seeing that the oral or written questions that constituted the request for ajatwfi were answered. The fatwfi seetion had the task of pre­paring the fatwfi documents. This included writing the fatwfi questions in to the required forms and then sending these documents to the shaykh al-Islam for hTs positive or nega­tive answer and his signature. Once the two parts of the fatwfi document, the question and the answer, were completed, the secretaries copied the text in to a· register.

The judicial decrees seetion was headed by the director for judicial decrees (the i'lfi­mfit-i şar'iyye muduru) who was in charge of the calleetion and exainination of the ju­dicial decrees, i. e. the court judgments or sentences, (i'lfim) and evidence (huccet) rela­ting to questions about either court judgments or sentences or appea!ş. These mat~ri~s were officially registered and retumed to the interested persons after being approved. This seetion then had the responsibility of consulting with those working on the fat­wfis42.

38) E.g. Ali et-Türkmani was the faıwa anıini for the Mufti of Damascu~ •.. Hll.mid el-İ!Dadi (d. 117111757) and Yusuf e1-Maliki (d. 1173/1759) was thefatwa amini for the Mufti of Damascus Ebü's-Safll.. See Muhammed Halil e1-Murll.di. Silku'd-durer(Baghdad, 130ı/ı883), vol. 3, 329; vol. 4, 345. See also Gibb and Bowen, /slamic Society, vol. 2, 137. ·

39) Ilmiyye Salniimesi, ı40-43.

40) lbid, ı40.

41) Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. ı, 621-22; vol. 2, 782; Ali Himmet Berki, ls/am Şeriatinde Kaza (Hüküm ve Hakim/ik) Tariizi ve /ftli Müessesesi (Ankara,. ı 962), 83-84; Berki, "Yüksek İftll. Makamı", 424. ·-

42) Pakali n, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. 2, 51; Berki, ljta Müessesesi, 84. \'

/.

_,

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162 1 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ferhat KOCA-----EKEVAKADEMİ DERCİSİ

Its Functioning in Detail- Ottomanfatwas were prepared ina form that included the question and the positive or negative response. By responding "yes" or "no", the shaykh al-Islam could more easily dea! with large numbers of fatwfis. This method re~ sembles the modern day judge or jury stating that someone is guilty or not. It was the Fatwakhana personnel, then, who had the crucial responsibility of presenting the "ca­ses" correctly as they formulated the questions to which the shaykh al-Islam would reply.

A person desiring a decision would first present his question to the pusula odası or to those who had the task of writing down the question in a clear and understandable man­ner sÖ that thefatwa seetion could deal with it43. Those in thefatwa seetion would then prepare whatever drafts were needed, along with the finalfatwa document that would be presented to the shaykh al-Islam. The staff rhember who made the fina! copy was the mu­bayyiz44. The documents, usually 9.5 to 10.5 cm. wide and 19.5 to 22.5 cm. long, were formulated according to long-standing conventions45. In some fatwa documents which included more than one question they were answered seriatim46.

Ina typicalfatwa document, one finds at the topa heading in which God's guidance is invoked. Then, an initial question would ask in what way the Hanafi imams would reply to the problem. Next, the case itself was explained in as general manner as possib­le. The identities of the parties involved were masked by using the fictitious names of Muslim men (e.g. Zeyd, Amr, Bekr, Beshlr, Khalid, Said, Mubarak, or Velid), Muslim women (e.g. Aişa, Khatije, Hind, Maryam, Riibia, Salda, Umm Külsüm or Zeyneb)47,

Christians (e.g. Nicola, Mikhal, Yanko, Khristo, Maria, or Matruka), and Jews (e.g. Elia)48. Then, the single point at issue was written down asa direct question. On the back of many documents, one finds the name of the shaykh al-Islam with expressions of mo­desty such as "the poor" (el-fakir) and "the humble" (al-hakfr) along with the wish that God will forgive him.

The shaykh al-Is!am's answer generally begins with the word for "answer" and the phrase "God knows best", to acknowledge human fallibility, and then the positive or ne­gative assessment. Depending on the exact formulation of the question, the assessment might take different forms, e.g. "yes" (olur) or "no" (olmaz), "there (it) is" (vardır) or

43) Heidborn, Manuel, 269; Berki, /fta Müessesesi, 83; Berki, "Yüksek ltta Makamı", 424. 44) Berki, /fta Müessesesi, 84; Berki, "Yüksek İfta Makamı", 424; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 47. 45) For more information about this subject, see Charles White, Three Years in Constantinople (Lon­

don, 1846), vol. 2, 165-166; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Ilmiye Teşkilatı, 201-03; Kaydu, Mü­essesetü Şeyhü'l-İslam, 90-96; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 37-44; Walsh, "Fatwa", 867;Atar, "Fetva", 494.

46) 1/miyye Salnamesi, 419-20, 640; Atar, "Fetva", 494. 47) D'Ohsson, Tableau Gem!ral de L'Empire Othoman, 515-16; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Ilmi­

ye Teşkilatı, 20 I; Hey d, "Ottoman Fetva", 41; Atar, "Fetva", 494.

48) For some examples, see the llmiyye Salniimesi, 335, 439; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 41. 49) D'Ohsson, Tableau General de L'Empire Othonıan, 515; White, Three Years in Constantinople,

166; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin ilmiye Teşkilatı, 200-01; Ekrem Kaydu, Müessesetü Şeyhü'l-lslôm, 95-96; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 41-42. .

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"there (it) is not" (yoktur), "it (is suitable) comes" (gelir) or "it (is not suitable) does not come" (gelmez), "it is lawful" (caizdir) or "it is unlawful" (caiz değildir), or "it is neces­sary'' (lazımdır) or "it is not necessary" (lazım değildir). The shaykh al-Islam could add more if he wanted to qualify his answer in any way. Finally, the shaykh al-Islam added his signature to validate the fatıva and sent the completed fatıva document back to the fatıva section49.

By the eighteenth century the shaykh al-Islam no Ianger wrote the response in his own hand or added his signature. Instead the personal seal of the shaykh al-Islam began to be usedso. This occurred for the fırst time in the year 1126/1714 when the Shaykh al­Islam Mirza Mustafa Efendi (d. 1132/1720) received permission from the sultan to use his personal seal. From this point on the seals of atlıers such as Mirzazade Şeyh Meh­med Efendi (d. 1146/l733), Durrl Mehmed Efendi (d. ll49/l736), Yahya Tevfik Efendi (d. 1206/1791), Ivazpaşazade Ihrahim Beyefendi (d. 1212/1797), and SalihzadeAhmed Es'ad Efendi (d. 1229/l814) are found on somefatıvasSl.

The process of producing afatıva ended with thefatıva being copied into a register, often which the fatıva document itself was given to the muvezzt, a staff member who had the duty of handing the fatıva to the person who had requested it52.

In an effort to speed up the process, at same point a method was devised where by Lhc shaykh al-islam was offcrcd lhcfanva documents ready for his answer in one of two bags according to the answer that the fatıva seetion of the Fatıvakhana expected him to give: A green bag for positive answers and a pink bag for negative ones. This method is mentioned by one of the Iawyers who served in the Fatıvakhana from 1900 to 1914, Ali Himmet Berki (d. 1396/l976). Of course, if the shaykh al-Islam had a different roling in min d, he could send the document back to the fatıva seetion for reformulation. Berki al­so reported that one of the Iast shaykh al-Islams, Huseyin Husnu Efendi (d. 1330/1911), who w as appointed in January 19 lO, asked that all of the documents be placed in one bag. However, shortly afterwards he asked that the earlier method be restored because the new method took too mu ch time53. At other times, the process might be slowed down because the shaykh al-Islam rejected the fatıva document itself and sent it back to the fat­wa seetion to be re-written. Since the shaykh al-Islam was the highest authority, it was his ideas about the document that were followed54.

A position created in the later years of the Ottoman State increased speed and effici­ency by providing oral answers to oral questions. The staff member with this duty was called the cevab-i shifaht memuru55. Of course, this method resulted inafatıva that was

50) Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin ilmiye Teşkilatı, 203.

51) /bid, 204.

52) Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 47.

53) Berkl, "Yüksek İfta Makamı", 425.

54) lbid, 425.

55) 1/nıiyye.Salnamesi, 141; Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. 2, 728; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 47. j

/.

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164 1 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ferhat KOCA-----EKEV AKADEMİ DERCİSİ

not registered. Altematively, the question might be answered by writing the ans\Yer di­rectly on the margin (darkanar) of the paper submitted and returning it iınmediately af- . ter registering it56.

The shaykh al-Islam might write his answer without investigating the case or even reading the document. This was accomplished by formulating the question so that the answer was always "it is lawful" (caizdir) or "it is unlawful" (caiz değildir). According to Islamic !ega! doctrine the mujtt should speak directly with mustaftt (the person who requests the fatwa). So that he w ili understand whether the circumstances of the case ha­ve been correctly presented57. It is clear that in the later years of the Ottoman State the shaykh al-Islams did not see the questioners themselves58. Uriel Heyd criticized this po­sition of the later shaykh al-Islams as they no langer taking the care of the cases with scrutiny as it used to be59. However, this does not necessarily mean that standards were falling. The fatwa amfnfs were do ing a good job on behalf of the shaykh al-Islams, and the shaykh al-Islams were signing only fatwas about important subjects; other fatwas carried the seal of the fatwa amfnis or one of the head clerks60. It seems that the Otto­mans did succeed in dealing with their heavy workload. Berki, the lawyer who served in the Fatwakhtina from 1900 to 1914, reported that the entire process of issuing afatwa could be completed in at most a week6I.

Tt is al so from B erk i that we g3in im;Jortant information about the working of the ot­her subdivision of the Fatwakhiina, the judicial decrees seetion (the i'lamiit odası or the i'ltimiit-i şar'iyye muduriyeti). The personuel here received the courtjudgments or sen­tences (i' lam) and eviden ce (huccet) about cas es directly from mustajtf or as part of the appeal process and then examined them. If necessary they made notes in the margins and stamped the documents w ith the se als of the fatwa amfni and the director for judicial dec­rees. They alsa prepared a document for their own use based on the original documents. Once the documents for their own use were completed, they retumed the original docu­ments to those who had supplied them. If a document was sentas part of an appeals pro­cess, if the case was taken up, the document was sent to anather Islamic law office de­aling with investigations (the Meclis-i Tetkfkat-i Sher'iyye Dairesi)62.

Documents prepared from original court papers contained the ideas seen as relevant about the case made first by one of the deputy clerks and then by one of the chief clerks.

56) Berki, Müessesesi, 84.

57) For more information on the customary procedures of givingfatwas see Shihabuddin Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad al-Qariifl, al-ihklimfl tamy'izi'l-fatava ani'l-ahklim va tasarrufati'l-kô.di va'l-imôm, ed. Ab­du'l-Fattah Ebu Gudde (Aleppo, 1387/1967), 249, 257-59; Navavi, Adôbu'l-fatva, 46-47; İbnu's­Salah, Adabu'l-mufti va'l-mustafti, 46-48, 81-82; el-Fatava'l-Hindiyya (Bulak, 13 10/1892), vol. 3, 379; Jamaladdin al-Qasımi, al-Fatwafl'l-lslrim, 76-77; Atar, "Fetva", 492-93.

58) Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 5 i.

59) lbid, 5 ı.

60) Heidborn, Manuel, 269; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 47.

61) Berki, ifta Müessesesi, 84.

62) lbid, 84; I dem, "Yüksek İfta Makamı", 426.

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These documents were then turned over to the director for judicial decrees which, if he approved of them, he signed. If he found any problems with them, he added his own ide­as and passed on the documents to the fatwa anıtni. If the fatwa anızni found the docu­ments and the ideas of the director acceptable, he signed them and attached the instruc­tion that they be made in to a final copy. If he found them unacceptable for any reason, he wrote down the reason and re turned it to the director for judicial decrees. If the prob­lem did not require further study, the director for judicial decrees sent the document to be made into a final copy, which would include the point or points made by the fatwa anıfni. If the po int or points made by the fatwa anıini required study, this was carried out by holding a meeting that included the fatwa anıtni, the director for judicial decrees, the chief clerk for judicial decrees, and the deputy of the fatwa amini. The fatwa anıini cha­ired the meeting; and made the final decision whenever agreement could not be reac­hed63. These procedures indicate not only that the documents that were received were carefully studied, but also that the documents containing the points considered relevant were carefully examined so that they could be utilized in the writing of the question part of the fatwa . ·

In some cases the need to obtain clarification and to correct errors resulted in delays as documents were returned and then returned again, if need be. S ome of the misunders­tandings and errors occurred due to language problems such as the overuse of Arabic and complicated forms of expression. Such delays also increased the work load, which was already heavy. For example, in the eighteen years from 1308/1890 to 1326/1908, the Fatwakhtina received 193,303 documents from court authorities-63,751 related to appe­als; 119,952 related to evidence; and 9,600 related to courtjudgments or sentences. In this period the work related to 182,098 documents was completed. In addition, the offi­ce had to deal with cases brought in by individuals and with official Fatwakhô.na memo­randums.

Other Matters Relating to the Work of the Fatwfikhfina

Prior to Ottoman nıle the nıustafti paid no fees since nıujtfs traditionally issued their fatwas free of charge, awaiting reward from God. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 75111350) indicated that receiving a fee was unlawful because providing afatwa involves commu­nicating the commands of God64. However, some later scholars said that nıujtfs could ac-

..:ı cept payment when they provided writtenfatwas because the fee was for the writing that was done and not for the fatwa itseif65. lbnu's-Salah (d. 643/1245), lbn Nujaim (d. 97011563), and Jamaladdin el-Qasımi (d. 1832/1914) indicated that it was best not to charge a fee for thefatwa itself and that it would not be necessary to charge for afatwa if nıuftfs were provided a salary from the state budget that was sufficient to meet their

63) Berk1, /fta Müessesesi, 84-85; Berk1, "Yüksek İftii Makamı", 426.

64) lbn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, 1'/iimu'l-muvakkıfn, ed. Muhammad Muhyiddin Abdulhamid (Cairo, 137411955), vol. 4, 231-32.

65) lbn Qayyim al-Jawziyya,/'liimu'l-nıuvakkıfn, vol. 4, 231-32; Jamliladdin ai-Qasırni, al-Faıwafi'l­islam.'{8.

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needs66. It can be concluded that Muslim jurists regarded a salary from the state b,udget to mujtfs as lawful.

During the Ottoman period, with some variations, the shaykh al-Islams received high salaries so that there was no need for them to seek fees from those requestingfatwas67. However, from the seventeenth century on, mustaftls paid fees and the aınounts received were portion ed out among the fatwa amfni and the other offıcials in the Fatwakhiina. The fee for providing a writtenfatwa in the seventeenth century was seven or eight sil­ver ak_&s, two of which were given to thefatwa amfni and the rest to the other offıci­als68, In the eighteenth century, following upon monetary difficulties and the introducti­on of new coins, three silver paras (one para was equal to forty silver kurush; one kurush was equal to 120 ak_es) were taken for every fatwfi69. It appears that the fees were kept low and that the sums collected were not always suffıcient to pay the offıcials in the Fat-· wakhiina suitably. Thus, one shaykh al-Islam, Veliyyuddin Efendi (d. 118211768), who served about the year 1180 or 118111766-1767, granted a stipend or allowance (arpa­lik)10 to the Fatwakhfina officials, based on the tax ineome from the agricultural produ­ce of the Bolu district (kaza), allotting one-fıfth to the fatwa amfni and the rest to other officials71. The fee rose from fıve to seven paras by the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries; by the middle of the nineteenth century, the fee had increased to twenty paras due to the devaluation of the currency72. As for the fees charged by provincial mujtfs, they could be sornewhat more or less73. These figures sug­gest that although the fees required for fatwas were low, the total ineome was high, as large numbers of fatwas were requested.

66) Ibnu's-Salalı, Adabul-mufti va '1-musta.fti, 50; Ibn Nujaim, al-Bahru 'r-raik (Cairo, 1311/1893), vol. 6, 291; Jamaladdin al-Qasımi, al-Fatvafi'l-islam, 78. See also el-Fetava'l-Hindiyye, vol. 3, 309.

67) On wages paid to Ottoman shaykh al-Islams, see Atai, Hadaiku '1-hakdik, 277; Uzunçarşılı, Osman­lı Devletinin ilmiye Teşkilatı, 175-78; Ertan, Meşhur Şeyhülislamlar, 11-13; Repp, The Mufti of Is­tanbul, 118, 173, 180, 205, 208, 212, 223, 272, 290-94; Hans Georg Majer, "On the Economic Si­tuation of the O tt o man U lema" in V. Milletlerarası Türkiye Sosyal ve Iktisat Tarihi Kongresi-Teb­liğler (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1990), 639; Sarıkçıoğlu, "Şeyhülislamlık Makamı", 2ll-13. .

68) For more information on the sums reeeived by different officials in different periods, see Paul Ryea­ut, The Present State of the Ottoman Empire (London, 1668), 109; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin ilmiye Teşkilatı, 197; Anhegger, "Mülalıazaları", 389-90; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 52.

69) Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 52.

70) Besides gaining additional ineome from arpaliks while aetively working as a eivil servant, same persons alsa reeei ved this sort of ineome after retiring from work as a sort of pension. For more in­formation on the arpalik, see D'Ohsson, Tableau General de L'Empire Othoman, 491, 574, 612; Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Ilmiye Teşkildtı, 1 ı8-21; Pakalin, Osmanlı Tarih Deyim/eri, vol. ı, 84-87; İbnülemin Mahmud Kemaı, "Arpalık", Türk Tarih Encümeni Mecmuası, ı7: 94 (ı926), 276-83; M. Tayyib Gökbilgi n, "Arpalık", islam Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, ı968), vol. ı, 592-95; R. Mant­ran, "Arpalik", Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., (Leiden, 1960), vol. ı, 658; Cahit Baltaeı, "Arpa­lık", DlA (Istanbul. 1991), vol. 3, 392-93.

71) Çeşmi-zade Mustafa Reşid, Çeşmi-zdde Tarihi, ed. Bekir Kütükoğlu (Istanbul, 1993), 67-68.

72) White, Three Years in Constantinople, 166; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 53.

73) For their fees, see Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 53.

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The other subdivision of the Fatwô.khfina, the judicial decrees section, also collected fees based on the Iength of the documents dealt with. In the Iate nineteenth century the Fatwô.khfina received one medjidiye (the name generally used for a 20 kurush silver co­in of this period) for certified judicial documents of less than twenty lines related to pi­ous endowments (waqfs), the awarding of honors, and taking on power of attorney, and two medjidiye for documents twenty lines or longer. Similarly, they received two med­jidiyes for documents connected to appeals of less than twenty lines and three medjidi­yes for those twenty lines or longer.

Anather issue related to fees and salaries is bribes or not in order to get a favourab­Ie judgment. Uriel Heyd quotes a source that claims74. However, there are several re­asons why bribery as a comman practice would not make sense. First, great numbers of fatwô.s were related to religious beliefs and practices. Others involved applications of the law that were quite straightforward, supplying information to people unable to look up such information in law books. Even when the fatwô. was presented as part of a court ca­se where the outcome would matter to the parties involved, it was the judge's (kô.dl's) de­cision that was binding. He could decide that the fatwô. was not applicable, based on the evidence prese~ted75. Thus, a person desiring a favourable decision would have to bri­be others, too. As for bribing a mufti or a Fatwô.khô.na official, the mustaftf would have to do this after making su re w hat the judge would decide regarding for the fatwô.. There were alsa same complaints that judges did not pay enough attention to the mujtf's fat­wfis16. A detailed study by Ahmet Mumcu into bribery during the almost six centuries of Ottoman rule found only a few examples of mujtts in the provinces who were accused of bribery. He also found that those accused were tried and punished77. As for the Fat­wô.khô.na in Istanbul, he found no evidence of any accusations of bribery or any docu­ments suggesting such accusations.

Of course, any accusations of bribery relating to the fatwô. arnini or any of the other Fatwô.khfina officials would also place the shaykh al-Islam himself under suspicion for not dealing with such a matter. But it was never the case that the shaykh al-Islams were criticized, either. Sadruddinzade Sadık Mehmed Efendi (d. 112111709) was sa­id to be "senile."78 Ivazpaşazade lbrahim Beyefendi (d. 1212/1797) was said to be so­meone whose speech contained "some harmful words", indicating that he cou1dn't hold his tongue79. Makkizade Mustafa Asım Efendi (d. 1262/1846) was said to be

74) Ahmed Mumcu, Osmanlı Devletinde Rüşvet (Istanbul, 1985), 142; Heyd, "Ottoman Fetva", 53. 75) On the differences between the fatwii of a mufti and the judical decree of a judge, see Atar, "İftii

Teşkilatının Ortaya Çıkışı", MÜİFD, 39-41; Atar, "Fetva", 487-88. 76) See on the passage in the manuscript Hırzü'/-mültık (now printed) presented to Sultan Murad III

alıout the year 1580 discusses this issue: Hırzü'l-mü/Cık, leaf. 49a-49b. 77) For more information on the accusations and the documents related to them, see Mumcu, Osmanlı

Devletinde Rüşvet, 142, 343-46. 78) Raşid Mehmed Efendi, Tiirilı, vol. 3, 238. 79) Ahmed Cevdet Paşa, Tilrifı-i Cevdet (Istanbul, 1309/1891), vol. 3, 150.

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"careless."80 No shaykh al-Islams are reported to have taken bribes for issuingfatwas81.

However, other sources mention a case of bribes paid to a shaykh al-Islam for anather reason: Ataullah Mehmed Efendi (d. ll27/1715) served briefly as shaykh al-Islam from 14 March 1713 unti1 20 May 1713, when he was accused ofirregularities in the way he handled the appointments of those in the religious hierarchy connected to the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam. Those who were ina position toknow claimed that same appoint­ments were made as a result of bribes. A seeret investigation into the matter by the Grand Vizier Shahid Ali Pasha led to his dismissal82. Although this case is important, it would be incorrect to jump to any conclusions about the other shaykh al-Islams or about the functioning of the Fatwakhiina.

Mention should alsabemade of nizamnames, the codes that regulated the work of the Fatwakhana and the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam. These codes enable us to gain a deeper u nderstanding in to the Fatwiikhtina :S functioning, especially in the later years of Ottoman rule. For instance, the code of 13 Muharram 1292/19 February 1875, included twelve articles, set limits on the number of Fatwiikhiina staff member8, for example twenty secretaries (the musavvids), and specifıed that biring depended on vacancies ope­ning up and that the vacancies be fılled by the promotion of a candidate from the rank just below the one with the vacancy or from a stilllower rank, if sameone was qualifı­ed. Hiring or not hiring someone new for the lowest-ranking vacancies was left to the discretion of the F atwiiklıana. The code als o emphasized that the payment of wages and the work being done were to continue as before83. In other words, this code seems to in­dicate belt-tightening due to the difficult economic conditions of the time. lt alsa indica­tes that further research in to the working of the Fatwakhana should consider socio-eco­nomic factors.

The code of 30 Shaban 1332/24 July 1913 had a much different emphasis than that of 1292/1875. This code made possible the creation of a comprehensive Fatwiikhiina' calleetion of the different sorts of fatwiis that the F atwiikhana typically dealt with. In or­der to produce this collection, the fatw/i seetion was divided into two units. Those wor­king on the calleetion were a new unit, the compiling unit (the Te'/if-i mesai/), establis­hed by transferring personnel to it. This unit had the job ofselectingfatwiis and alsa of collecting both manuseripts and printed books from all four schools of Islamic law and not just the Hanafı School w hi ch the Fatwakhana normally followed. Alsa, the decrees of prior sultans regulating pious foundations (waqfs) and the use of !and were to be inc­luded so that new fatwiis on such topics eould be more easily prepared according to the latest deerees. This unit alsa had the task of assisting with the preparation of the new fat-

80) Şaniziide Mehmed, Tlirilı-i Şiinizade (Istanbul, 1284/1867), vol. 3, 59. 81) Mumcu, Osmanlı Devletinde Rüşvet, 142-43. 82) Müstakimzade, Devlıatü'l-meşiiyilı, Siliihdar FındıklıMehmet Ağa, Nusretniime, ed. İsmet Parmak­

sızoğlu, 2: 2 (Istanbul, I 969), 306; Mehmet İpşirli, "Ataullah Mehmed Efendi'\ DlA (Istanbul, 1991), vol. 4, 47.

83) Düstur (Istanbul, 1295/1878), Ist Tertip, vol. 4, 76-77.

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was requiring deeper research whenever the question raised legal issues that had not be­en addressed before by the Hanafı school of law and required an answer more suitable to the times, or when it was felt that the question might better be answered according to one of the other schools of law. In such cases this unit was expected to prepare a report on the matter w hi ch w as fırst sent to the heads of the Fatwakhdna and then to the sultan for their respective approvals.

The second unit, called the inquiry unit (the Taharrf-i mesai!), dealt with fatwa qu­estions that came in as before except that it no langer had to deal with the more impor­tant/atwas, now handled by the fırst, research oriented unit. According to the code, the compiling unit was to report on i ts progress to the heads of the Fatwakhana every three months while the inquiry unit was to report at the end of every month84.

Clearly, the 1332/1913 code points to an attempt to rationalize the work of the Fat­wakhtina and to produce fatwas that were more in tune with the times. S ince important changes were being made in this period, this was a progressive goal. Also progressive, the decision to take into account the opinions of schools of law other than the Hanafı School, given the Ottoman 's 600-year attachment to the Hanafı School. The process in which the ideas of the other schools of law that were to be taken into account was also shown by the code.

Anotlıcr progressive develoP.menL was the decision by the Office of the Shaykh al­Islam the fırst issue appeared to publish a monthly journal entitled the Journal of Scho­larly Study (Cerfde-i Ilmiyye), which contained under the heading Fatava-yı sherife,fat­was covering a variety of subjects. The eleventh issue of the journal also published the inventory ofjatwas completed by the inquiry unit over a fıve-month period85. All in all seventy-nine issues of this journal were produced by the time publication ended on 1 Sa­far 1341/23 September 1922. The Yearbook of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam, (the llmiyye Salnamesi) also published some of the shaykh al-Islam'sfatwas as well as infor­mation about the personnel appointed by the Offıce86. Anather publication, The Yearbo­ok of the State of the Exalted Ottomans (Sa/name-i Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmaniyye), listed some of the personnel in the Fatwakhtina87. These sorts of publications made the work of government more transparent, in addition to providing valuable information to the public.

Finally, a code or directive dated 13 Zilkada 1334/12 September 1916 mentions the registeringfatwas. This directive affected mainly the mujtfs, as mentioned below. Thus,

84) Düstur, 2nd Tertip, vol. 6, 948-50; Cerlde-i 1/nıiyye, 4 (1332/1913), 155-57.

85) C eride-i 1/nıiyye, ll (133311914), 670-72. The numbers listedin the journal are as follows: 115 for October (Teşrinievvel), 201 for November (Teşrinisiini), 196 for December (Kanunievvel), 197 for January (Kanunisani), and 200 for February (Şubat).

86) !lnıiyye Salniimesi, 323-641.

87) For examples of these lists, see 13 10 Salname-i Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osnıaniyye, year 48 (Istanbul, 13 10/1892), 198-99; 1326 Sene-i Hicriyyesine Mahsus Salniinie-i Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osnıaniyye, ye­ar 64 (\.stanbul, 1323/1905), 246-47.

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today the arehive of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam contains a variety of different fi­les. As for the registration ofthefatwas given by muftls, the 133411916 directive indi'ca­tes that all muftls should record their fatwas in registers called sidjill-i iftass. This rule explains why registers such containing copies of fatwas issued by the Muftilik of Anka­ra for the years of 191711918, the resister containing the surnınari es of fatwas issued by the Ministry of Islamic Law (Shar'iyye Vakfi/eti) after World War I, and the resİsters of the Religious Affairs Chairmanship or Presideney (Diyanet Işleri Başkanlığı) since 1924 now exist in the library of the Religious Affairs Chairmanship in Ankara89.

Despite the progressive endeavors, the systematizing, and the increases infatwas re­quested and in the personnet employed by the Fatwakhana (from twenty secretaries in 129211875 to forty-two in 133411916), the "fate of the Fatwakhana depended on the fate of the sultan and the Ottoman State. On 1 Tashnnisanl 134111 November 1922 the Grand National Assembly in Ankara abolished the sultanate. On 4 Tashnnisani 134114 Novem­ber 1922 the Ottoman Council of Minİsters or Cabinet (the Hay'at-i vukala) resigned. In this way the work of the Office of the Shaykh al-Islam and the Fatwfikhtina came to an end90. So ni e functions of these organization w ere transferred first to the Ministry of Is­lamic Law and Pious Foundations (Siıar'iyye and Awkaf Wakfilati) at the time of the Grand National Assembly in Ankara and then to the Religious Affairs Chairmanship, as a part of the Office of the Prime Min ister, when the Ministry of Islamic Law and Pious Foundations was abolished on 3 Mart 1340/3 March 1924 by Law 429. The Religious Affairs Chairmanship or Presideney is charged with directing the judgments and the pro­per course of affairs related to Islamic belief and prayers and adınİnistering religious or­ganizations91.

Conclusion

The Fatwakhana assisted the Ottoman State in achieving a more systematic rule based ona stable body of law. The work of the Fatwakhana made it possible to acquire legal information in a timely and organized manner. Ironically, just as the PC?tential of the Fatwakhana to support more rapid and legitimate change was increasing, its work was brought to an end.

88) Cerfde-i 1/miyye, 27 (1334/1916), 656.

89) Nos. 610 and 191 in the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı Library in Ankara.

90) !smail Hami Danişmend, Jzalılı Osmanlı Tarihi Kronolojisi (Istanbul, 1972), vol. 4, 467-68; Abdül­kadir Altınsu, Osmanlı Şeylıülislamları (Ankara, 1 972), 266; Kramers, "Şeyhü'l-İsl~", 489.

91) Düstur, 2nd ed. (Ankara, 1953), 3rd Tertip, vol. 5, 320-21; Bahri Savcı, "Diyanet İşleri TeşkiHitının Gelişmeleri", Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Dergisi, 22: 3 (1968), 90. .

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