Philosophical Studies and Thought Life in the Ottoman Empire

Philosophical Studies and Thought Life in the Ottoman Empire

The first thing that should be done in order to evaluate the life of philosophy and the position of philosophy in the Ottoman Empire in a healthy way, is that of the Islamic thought XIII. century should be a brief look at the general appearance. As will be remembered, the thought movement in the Islamic world emerged and developed in three different fields and movements, theology, mysticism and philosophy. The first two of these problems were shaped by the internal conditions of Islamic society.

The relations between kalam, sufism and philosophy, each of which continues to develop in a competitive environment by producing various fractions in line with its own purpose, method and problems of interest, have begun to evolve into a different structure with Gazzali. As a result, the philosophers’ işt logic ve and the “discovery olarak of the Sufis as a reliable method for the discovery of the“ logic ve and the “discovery in of the Sufis as a reliable method, as a result of the reckoning which he initiated with the religious and social reasons for the theologians, bâtınîs, Sufis and philosophers, and carried out in a skeptical / critical manner on the epistemological ground. has been the turning point. Thus, Gazzalî paved the way for a cooperation between theology, mysticism and philosophy based on the sharing of authority and space. Accordingly, theology and other religious sciences with insufficient method should meet with philosophy on the basis of logic, philosophy, which had no competence to work in the field of metaphysics and values, had to resort to mysticism based on revelation and religion. Although Gazzali tried to show examples of this collaboration and his products in some of his works such as Itikatta Orta Yol (al-İktisad fi’l-i’tikâd) and Nurlar Feneri (Mişkâtü’l-envâr), Fahreddin Râzî, who realized the fusion of philosophy and sufism fully, was and Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi who succeeded in fully fusing the philosophy with him (Sarıoğlu: 1999: 218).

Râzî expresses the new method he adopted in the introduction of al-Mebâhisü’lmeşrı kiyye: şöyle O seeker of truth! Reason cannot be rejected because it knows it when it finds a legitimate way, and it cannot be detained when it sees concise or detailed evidence. Those who forbade them to think differently from even the smallest issues, stipulating that it is compulsory to comply with the predecessors in every general or private matter, know that they also think differently from their predecessors and object to their views. As you know that their ideas are contradictory, you should know that the method of those who oppose great scholars and great judges in all matters is wrong. Seeing that the method followed by both groups was wrong, we preferred the more correct / appropriate method by keeping the middle way. This method, on the one hand while adopting some of the opinions and thoughts that have been passed on to us from the previous ones, on the other hand we make case-law / reveal our own opinion. Kimse No one of the early scholars used this method. ”(Râzî, 1990: I, 89-90)

In fact, Fahreddin Râzî (d.1209), a Ash’ari theologian, goes beyond the traditional theologian attitude, one of his main aims, which always considers negative and rejects the telakkas deemed to be contrary to the principles of Islamic faith. It is clear that instead of criticizing and rejecting philosophy, as the previous theologians did, it would make a selective / eclectic approach to the solutions put forward by various schools of theology and philosophy in relation to common problems, and in the meantime would not refrain from revealing its own views.

In his work al-Mebâhisü’l-şahrıkiyye, which he wrote with such an understanding, Râzî blended philosophy and theology by examining the problems of philosophy with the theologicalist attitude and in al-Muhassal he examined the issues of theology with the philosophical attitude. It is possible to sort the issues that Râzî dealt with in al-Mebâhisü’l-legitimate shore, which was also organized in three main chapters. (I.) General issues: Being and nature, unity and multiplicity, impossibility and possibility, prejudice and subsequent k. (II.) Parts of able beings: In this chapter, the subjects of Aristotle physics as Ibn Sânân quoted are examined in the context of logical categories. According to this, after being able to be divided into two parts as ore and land, quantity, quality, relativity, place, time, possessive, effect and passivity are examined in detail in all dimensions. Then, the names and states that are seen as ore, influences and passions, inanimate beings, astronomy, meteorology and human physiology, psychology and reason are discussed. (III.) Metaphysics / Theology: The existence and unity of the obligatory being (wajib al-wujud), the absence of ore and land, adjectives, verbs, revelation and prophecy. Of the subjects mentioned outside the third chapter, only the last two titles of the first chapter, namely preconception and afterness, are also a matter of traditional theology, and a large part of this voluminous work is devoted to the problems of philosophy. Metaphysics / Theology: The existence and unity of the obligatory being (wajib al-wujud), the absence of ore and land, adjectives, verbs, revelation and prophecy. Of the subjects mentioned outside the third chapter, only the last two titles of the first chapter, namely preconception and afterness, are also a matter of traditional theology, and a large part of this voluminous work is devoted to the problems of philosophy. Metaphysics / Theology: The existence and unity of the obligatory being (wajib al-wujud), the absence of ore and land, adjectives, verbs, revelation and prophecy. Of the subjects mentioned outside the third chapter, only the last two titles of the first chapter, namely preconception and afterness, are also a matter of traditional theology, and a large part of this voluminous work is devoted to the problems of philosophy.

Râzî tried to deal with the issues of kalam with the attitude of philosopher in al-Muhassal, the first of which he planned in four main sections, which consisted of three mukaddims. In the first chapter, Râzî, in a way, deals with the discipline of logic as the epistemology of the philosophers. According to this, concepts / imagination and propositions / attestation in the first mukaddim, reasoning / evil eye in the second mukaddim, and evidence / evidence and its varieties are examined in the third mukaddim. In the second chapter, the existing-disappearing / mevcûd-ma’dûm and before-after-after / kadim-hadith concept pairs and the obligatory / obligatory / wajib-able, unity-multiplicity used by the philosophers under the main heading “known / ma’lûmat,, The problem of being and the existing ones are examined based on the concepts of reason-cause and ore-land. The third chapter is devoted to some metaphysical concepts with the classical subjects of the word, the existence, oneness, adjectives and verbs of God; In the fourth chapter, the views of both theologians and philosophers about prophecy, revelation, miracle, life after death and caliphate are discussed. It is seen that Râzî carried out this blending process especially between theology and philosophy and continued the advanced theologians after him (Câbirî, 1999: 627). their views on the issue of life after death and the caliphate were discussed. It is seen that Râzî carried out this blending process especially between theology and philosophy and continued the advanced theologians after him (Câbirî, 1999: 627). their views on the issue of life after death and the caliphate were discussed. It is seen that Râzî carried out this blending process especially between theology and philosophy and continued the advanced theologians after him (Câbirî, 1999: 627).

Thus, Râzî, which provides the fusion of these two currents by dealing with theology and philosophy together in terms of methods, terminology and problems, has also established the independent discipline of logic, which Ghazali gained legitimacy as a generally valid method.

It is also noteworthy that Râzî had strongly expressed before Ibn al-Arabi that the Sufism, which was deepened by the Ghazali in the Sunni line and brought closer to theology and philosophy, should be considered in the same position as the schools of theology and philosophy.

Muhasiddin Ibn al-Arabi’s mysticism, theological theory based on the doctrine of “unity of being / vahdet-i body / being erit formed by melting and forming a new mold in the same pot together with theology and philosophy, influences the course of Islamic thought as well as being an element shaping the life of the Ottoman thought. It is also important in terms of. In the Islamic society, in essence, the zuhd movement, which is based on an unpretentious, unobtrusive, piety-based religiosity and moral cleansing within the framework of the Qur’an and Sunnah, while staying away from worldly concerns, political and social turmoil for the purpose, XI. Towards the end of the century, Sufism began to be called. In the pre-Ghazali period, theoretical interpretations and different views were raised around some concepts such as ingenuity, monotheism, affection, fakr, fenâ and bekâ, but they were never at the level of philosophical doctrine.

After Gazzali’s deepening of Sufism in the Sunni line and proclaiming the discovery as a gateway to the metaphysical field, Sufi was a philosophical structure and appearance with Sufi-philosophers like fiehâbeddin Sühreverdî, Muhyiddin İbnü’lArabî and Ibn Seb’în. This transformation is based on the principle that the sufi and pleasures and breezes are mixed with philosophical thought and presented in a symbolic language. Ibn al-Arabi is the greatest representative of this new movement of thought, which differs from Sufism as it is based on discovery and inspiration as it goes from the philosophy to the purpose of creating a unique interpretation of existence. Her, The fact that he developed a discourse that would eliminate the ontological distinction between the creator and the creator with the unrealistic interpretations he brought to the religious texts in order to form a religious basis for the theory of wahdat al-wujud, which he put forward in order to interpret the existence completely, has caused great controversy and has been the subject of many controversies. It is known that Ibn al-Arabi made use of many different sources and doctrines, although the system he established was essentially Islamic-oriented. In this context, as well as benefiting from the rich accumulation produced by various Sufi schools until the time he lived, he also became familiar with the exotic, gnostic and vahdet-i wücûdcu doctrines that were widespread in his hometown of Andalusia. In the eastern part of the Islamic world, Sufis such as Bâyezîd-i Bistâmî and Cüneydi Bağdâdî, who grew up in the eastern part of the Islamic world, are reminiscent of wahdat al-wujud with their approaches. He has included many concepts such as î hakîkat-i Muhammediyye getiren which express Muhammad’s eternal existence in his system by changing its content. In addition, it is clear that Gazzalî was greatly nourished from his works. The most important source of Ibn al-Arabi is Resâ’ilü İhvâni’sSafâ, which includes the synthesis of Meşşâî, Yeni Eflatuncu, Maniheist, Hermetic and Gnostic characters, philosophy and cultures. As a matter of fact, the ideal / perfect human conception that İhvân-ı Safâ wants to reach with the similarity he established between the small world and the great world, which goes back to the philosophy of Stoa, is similar to Ibn al-Arabi’s approach, which sees the universe as a living organism and the human soul as a reflection of the whole soul. found in the system. His views on number and letter symbolism from Hermetism and New Pythagoreanism are also based on İhvân-ı Safâ.

After all, it can be said that the XIV. This was the general view presented by the three main currents of Islamic thought at the beginning of the century, namely theology, mysticism and philosophy. One of the two powerful motifs that draws attention in this landscape is the philosophical theology that progresses along the lines of Fahreddin Râzî and the other is Ibn al-Arabi’s theosophical with its more effective, widespread and dynamic structure.

General view of the Ottoman legacy of thought

In the Islamic world, the thought movement emerged and developed into three different fields and movements, theology, mysticism and philosophy. The relations between kalam, sufism and philosophy, each of which continues to develop in a competitive environment by producing various fractions in line with its own purpose, method and problems of interest, have entered into a process of evolving into a different structure with Gazzâlî. As a result of his skepticism / critical attitude towards the theologians, bâtınîs, Sufis and philosophers, it was a turning point for Islamic thought to register and declare the “logic ın of the philosophers and the“ discovery in of the Sufis as reliable methods. Thus, Gazzalî paved the way for a cooperation between theology, mysticism and philosophy based on the sharing of authority and space. According to this, inadequate theology and other religious sciences should meet with philosophy on the basis of logic, and philosophy without metaphysics and values ​​should have resorted to revelation based on religion and discovery based on revelation. Fahreddin Râzî, who fully realized the fusion of theology and philosophy in the direction predicted by Ghazali, was Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi who succeeded in fully integrating Sufism and philosophy. The XIV. At the beginning of the century, one of the two most powerful motifs of the general view presented by Islamic thought was the philosophical theology that progressed along the lines of Fahreddin Râzî and the other was the Ibn’Latestabi theosophical. philosophy, which had no competence to work in the field of metaphysics and values, had to resort to mysticism based on revelation and religion. Fahreddin Râzî, who fully realized the fusion of theology and philosophy in the direction predicted by Ghazali, was Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi who succeeded in fully integrating Sufism and philosophy. The XIV. At the beginning of the century, one of the two most powerful motifs of the general view presented by Islamic thought was the philosophical theology that progressed along the lines of Fahreddin Râzî and the other was the Ibn’Latestabi theosophical. philosophy, which had no competence to work in the field of metaphysics and values, should have resorted to mysticism based on revelation and religion. Fahreddin Râzî, who fully realized the fusion of theology and philosophy in the direction predicted by Ghazali, was Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi who succeeded in fully integrating Sufism and philosophy. The XIV. At the beginning of the century, one of the two most powerful motifs of the general view presented by Islamic thought was the philosophical theology that progressed along the lines of Fahreddin Râzî and the other was the Ibn’Latestabi theosophical.

General structure of thought life in the Ottoman Empire

The Ottomans, aiming to bring state-tekke-madrasa relations in a balance as in many other issues starting from its establishment, were brought to the beginning of the first Ottoman madrasah established in İznik, one of the leading figures of the Ekberiyye sect, which was compared to Ibn al-Arabi. as well as being a first step in terms of the intended balance, was an important gain in terms of Ibn’larab theosophical. Molla Fenârî, who was his student in the madrasah of İznik, was the first Şeyhülislâm of the Ottoman Empire; Moreover, considering the fact that some of the works he wrote were taught in madrasahs, the effects of Ibn al-Arabi theosophical influence on Ottoman thought can be easily understood. Fatih Sultan Mehmed’s theologian,

Looking at the researches on the Ottoman madrasas and curriculums, Akâidü’n-Nesefî, al-Akâidü’l-Adûdiyye, al-Mevâkıf fi’l-kalâm, al-Makâsı d, Hidâyetu’l-hikme and Hikmetü’l-ayn and wisdom are indispensable texts. Considering that the philosophies were intertwined with theology and mysticism in the last two except these two texts, it was seen that Ebherî and his pupil Qatibî insisted on the fact that philosophy was a separate structure in such a process and that it should remain so. Another point that will give an idea about the life of thought and the position of philosophy in the Ottoman Empire is the classification of the sciences put forward in this period. In this context, Taşköprülüzâde’s Miftâhu’ssa’âde / Mevzû’âtü’l-ulûm comes to mind first. Taşköprülü-zâde’s main approach in this work, the Islamic thought in terms of theological relations between the XIII. It is important in terms of showing or representing the continuity of the general view taken from the 16th century in the life of Ottoman thought.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook