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A Hanafi law manual in the vernacular: Devletoğlu Yūsuf Balıḳesrī’s Turkish verse adaptation of the Hidāya-Wiqāya textual tradition for the Ottoman Sultan Murad II (824/1424)

  • Sara Nur Yıldız (a1)
Abstract

This study examines how Devletoğlu Yūsuf Balıḳesrī’s versified Hanafi law manual, written in Anatolian Turkish and dedicated to the Ottoman sultan Murad II (d. 855/1451), engages in a complex relationship between the nascent vernacular, Anatolian Turkish, and the Classical Arabic religious textual tradition. Devletoğlu Yūsuf's work, Manẓūm fıḳıh, is a Turkish paraphrase of the Wiqāya, a popular abridgement of the major Hanafi law handbook, the Hidāya, in the form of a mathnawī (verse work of rhymed couplets). Several passages from the “Book on the Affairs of the Qadi” in Devletoğlu Yūsuf's work are analysed in order to gain insight into how the work functions as a normative text in the Classical Hanafi tradition set within a localized context. Furthermore, this study explores how the work expounds upon the benefits of transmitting religious knowledge in the vernacular and justifies the use of Turkish for religious texts by drawing on Hanafi-approved Persian language practices of religious devotion. Of particular interest is how Devletoğlu Yūsuf grounds his argumentation on the rhetorical theories of the Classical Arabic grammarian, ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī.

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saranuryildiz@gmail.com
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n.208476, “The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100–1500”. Many thanks go to A.C.S. Peacock for his invaluable suggestions on previous drafts of this article, and to Sooyong Kim for his advice on translating tricky passages of Old Anatolian Turkish verse into English.

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2 The practice of glossing Qurans in Turkic languages originated in Central Asia, and can be traced back to the Eastern Turkish of the Karakhanid period. See Ata, Aysu, “İlk Türkçe Kurʾan Tercümesi”, in Ata, Aysu and Ölmez, Mehmet (eds), Dil ve Edebiyat Araştırmaları Sempozyumu 2003. Mustafa Canpolat Armağanı (Ankara: Şafak Matbaası, 2003), 44 ; Boeschoten, Hendrik, “Translations of the Koran: sources for the history of written Turkic in a multilingual setting”, in Johanson, Lars and Bulut, Christiane (eds), Turkic–Iranian Contact Areas: Historical and Linguistic Aspects (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006), 70 .

3 A certain Muṣṭafā b. Muḥammed penned a series of partial Quranic commentaries in Turkish, dedicating them to different patrons. The Yāsin Suresi Tefsīri was first composed in the name of Ḫızır b. Gölbey, an unknown figure, and later presented to İnançoğlu Murād Arslan Bey (d. before 761/1360), the local ruler of Denizli in southwestern Anatolia. Although it is not dated, the work must have been composed sometime in the mid-fourteenth century. Muṣṭafā b. Muḥammed's Turkish Mülk Suresi Tefsīri was composed for Orhan Bey's young sons Süleymān and Murād, presumably for pedagogical use. The work was later presented to the İnançoğlu ruler Murad Arslan's son, İshak Bey ( Özkan, Mustafa, “Eski Anadolu Türkçesi Döneminde Ortaya Konan Kuran Tercümeleri Üzerine – I”, Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Dergisi 39, 2005, 136, 140). There are several extant manuscripts of the Yāsin Sūresi Tafsīri. Ayşe Hümeyra Aslantürk published the Süleyman Library, MS İbrahim Efendi 140 as Hızır Bey Çelebi ve Yāsin-i Şerif Tefsiri (Edisyon Kritik ve Sadeleştirilmiş Metin) (İsparta: Fakülte Kitabevi, 2007).

4 Although not published, the text has been reproduced in transliteration by Bilal Aktan, “Devletoğlu Yūsuf'un Vikāye Tercümesi (İnceleme-Metin-Dizin)”, Erzurum Atatürk Üniversitesi: PhD Dissertation, 2002 (hereinafter cited as Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan). I follow Aktan's edition for all textual references and citations. All English translations are mine.

5 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 455–73. This section paraphrases the Wiqāya’s chapter 23, Kitāb Adab al-Qaḍāʾ.

6 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 112, lines 47–8. Aktan conflates Devletoğlu Yūsuf with a certain Yūsuf Efendī (Yūsuf b. Ḥuseyin Kirmāstī), identified in the Ottoman bibliographical tradition as a renowned Bursan religious scholar associated with Ḫocazāde Muṣliḥuddīn Efendī and a prolific author with many works on fiqh and grammar, including a commentary on the Wiqāya. Devletoğlu Yūsuf states that he was 28 years old in 827/1424 when he composed his Manẓūm fıḳıh. If he had died in 920/1514, Yūsuf Efendī’s death date, then he would have been at least 118 years old. Furthermore, Aktan's assumption that Ḫocazāde was Devletoğlu Yūsuf's teacher is highly improbable, in as much as Ḫocazāde was born a decade after Devletoğlu Yūsuf presented his work to Murad II. See Efendī, Mecdī Meḥmed, Hadaiku’ş-şakaik, ed. Özcan, Abdülkadir (Istanbul: Çağrı Yayınları, 1989), 1: 330; Bursalı Meḥmed Ṭāhir, ʿOsmānlı Mu‘ellifleri (Istanbul: Maṭbaʿa ʿĀmire, 1333/1914–15), 2: 53–4; Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 2–5; Safet Köse, “Hocāzade, Muslihuddin Efendi”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi.

7 Çelebioğlu, Âmil, “Balıkesirli Devletoğlu Yusuf'un Fıkhī bir Mesnevīsī”, in Kerman, Zeynep (ed.), Mehmet Kaplan İçin (Ankara: Türk Kültür Araştırma Enstitüsü, 1988), 43 . Among the various titles given to Devletoğlu's work is Manẓūme-i Bidāyetü’l-Hidāye, as in Bursa İl Halk Library, MS Haraççıoğlu 558, copied in 949/1542. See Gülensoy, Tuncer, “Bursa Haraççıoğlu Kitaplığında Bulunan Türkçe Yazmalar Üzerine Notlar”, Türk Dili Araştırmaları Yıllığı Belleten 102, 1971, 238 .

8 Although Devletoğlu Yūsuf makes no reference to the Wiqāya, he cites many other authorities. In addition to the three founders of the Hanafi school, Devletoğlu Yūsuf makes reference to eleven other religious authorities or works: al-Shāfiʿī (116, line 96) and Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (İmām-ı Ḥanbal, 192, line 1123); ʿAmr b. Sharāhil al-Shaʿbī (d. 103/721), one of Abū Ḥanīfa's teachers (465, line 4812); Abū’l-Ḥasan al-Karkhī (d. 340/951) (189, line 1090); ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī (d. 471/1078) (190, line 1091), Qāḍī-Khān (d. 1196) (275, line 2225); the Hidāya (332, line 2993); the Muḥī , most likely by Burhān al-Sharīʿa (d. 616/1219) (123, line 190); the Fatāwā, possibly by Tāj al-Sharīʿa or Qāḍī-Khān (d. 592/1196) (217, line 1455); the Ṣiḥāḥ al-Lugha (or Tāj al-Lugha) by the Arabic grammarian al-Jawharī (386, line 3716); the Mukhtār Sharḥ Ikhtiyār (likewise known as al-Ikhtiytār li-taʿlīl al-mukhtār) by ʿAbdullāh b. Maḥmūd al-Mawṣilī (d. 683/1284) a commentary on his own work, al-Mukhtār li'l-fatwā (496, line 5239).

9 In the first modern study of the work, Âmil Çelebioğlu suggests that Devletoğlu Yūsuf did not actually draw upon the Wiqāya but rather made use of other fiqh works. Çelebioğlu claims that Devletoğlu based his work on a versified Arabic fiqh work consisting of 2,600 couplets, composed by a certain Abū Hafṣ ʿUmar in 504/1110. Çelebioğlu, however, does not provide a name or demonstrate how these texts are related, but simply provides reference to two manuscripts, one from the Ankara National Library (Milli Kütüphanesi), MS Cebeci İl Halk 370, copied in 854/1450, and the other housed at Topkapı Palace Library, MS Revan 1997, 96a–111b. Çelebioğlu, “Balıkesirli Devletoğlu Yusuf'un Fıkhī bir Mesnevīsī”, 45–7.

10 Variations of this work's name include al-Hidāya fī’l-furūʿ and al-Hidāya al-burhāniyya fī’l-fiqh al-nuʿmāniyya. For a published version of the Hidāya, see Abū Bakr b. ʿAlī al-Marghīnānī, al-Hidāya: sharḥ bidāyat al-mubtadā, 4 vols (Cairo: Maṭbaʿah Muṣṭafā al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī, 1975). The Arabic text has also been edited by Darwīsh, Muḥammad as Al-Margīnānī al-Hidāya: Sharḥ Bidāyat al-Mubtadiʿ (Beirut: Dar al-Arqam, 1997). It has been partly published in English translation in a two-volume set by Nyazee, Imran Ahsan Khan as al-Hidāyah: A Classical Manual of Hanafi Law (Bristol: Amal Press, 2008). Charles Hamilton and Standish Grove Grady first translated the Hidāya into English, albeit selectively, and omitting, for example, the chapters on prayer and purification. It was first published in London in 1871 in four volumes.

11 The Hidāya is al-Marghīnānī’s shorter commentary on his Bidāyat al-Mubtadiʿ, itself a commentary on the foundational text for Hanafi fiqh scholarship, al-Qudūrī’s (d. 428/1037) Mukhtaṣar fī al-fiqh al-Ḥanafī. Like many later Hanafi texts, al-Marghīnānī’s Hidāya reproduces the text of al-Qudūrī’s Mukhtaṣar word for word. See Wheeler, Brannon M., “Identity in the margins: unpublished Hanafi commentaries on the Mukhtaṣar of Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Qudūrī”, Islamic Law and Society 10/2, 2003, 184–5. Wheeler argues: “By relying on the text of the Mukhtaṣar, al-Marghīnānī makes the Mukhtaṣar into a sort of ‘canonical text’: it is through the medium of this text that readers of al-Marghīnānī are taught how to interpret the opinions of the Ḥanafī authorities” (ibid. 187).

12 A pupil of Burhān al-Dīn al-Marghīnānī, Husām al-Dīn Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī, composed the first commentary on the Hidāya, the Nihāya, which added the law of inheritance to the Hidāya. Another important commentary was produced by the fifteenth-century scholar Kamāl al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Siwāsī, known as Ibn al-Humām (d. 861/1456–57). Ibn al-Humām's al-Fatḥ al-kabīr l'il-ajāʾiz al-faqīr is one of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Hidāya ( Hughes, Thomas Patrick, A Dictionary of Islam (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1885), 288 ).

13 Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam, 288.

14 Compare, for instance, the Hidāya with al-Sarakhsī’s (d. 483/1090) Kitāb al-mabsūṭ, a 30-volume commentary on the Kitāb al-Kāfī fī’l-fiqh, which, in turn, is based on the legal writings of al-Shaybānī. See Udovitch, Partnership and Profit in Medieval Islam, 15. On the Hidāya and Wiqāya, see further Calder, Norman, Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era, ed. Imber, Colin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 32 ff., 42 ff.

15 Alternatively entitled Wiqāya al-riwāya fī masāʾil al-Hidāya, the Wiqāya omits the theoretical aspects of Hanafi law, such as discussions of conflicting views (ikhtilāf) and the indication of right views, as found in the Hidāya. The Wiqāya has not been published and exists in manuscript form only. I have consulted the following manuscripts: Balıkesir İl Halk Library, MS 807; Süleymaniye Library, MS Ayasofya 1505 (dated Rajab 975/January 1568); Manisa İl Halk Library, MS Akhisar Zeynelzade 428 (dated 893/1487).

16 Of the many commentaries of the Wiqāya, the most famous is the Sharḥ al-Wiqāya by Tāj al-Sharīʿa's grandson, ʿUbayd Allāh al-Maḥbūbī, known as Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa II (d. 747/1346), who also produced the Niqāya, an abridged version of the Wiqāya. ʿUbayd Allāh al-Maḥbūbī’s Sharḥ al-Wiqāya was usually studied together with the Wiqāya, which was reproduced together with its gloss with special attention to the chapters dealing with marriage, dower and divorce. Numerous other commentaries and super-commentaries on the Wiqāya were penned in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Wiqāya, in fact, generated more commentaries than any other legal or religious text in the Ottoman realm during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. See Abdurrahman Atçıl, “The formation of the Ottoman learned class and legal scholarship (1300–1600)”, (University of Chicago: PhD Dissertation, 2010), 295–6. A survey of these works is beyond the scope of this essay. Several of the better known works are: al-Sighnaqī (d. 714/1314), al-Nihāya; the Aydınid scholar İbn Melek (Fireşteoğlu) (d. after 821/1418), Sharḥ al-Wiqāya; the Kifāya by ʿImād al-Dīn Amīr Kātib b. Amīr ʿUmar; the Cairene Akmal al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Bābartī (d. 786/1384), ʿInāya; the ʿInāya fī sharḥ al-wiqāyat al-riwāya by ʿAlāʾeddīn el-Esved (d. 800/1396–97), a scholar from Amasya; al-Kūrlānī, al-Kifāyat al-muntahā, a commentary in eight volumes; Muṣannifek (d. 875/1470), Shar ḥ al-Wiqāya; and Ḥāshiyā ʾ ʿalā sharḥ al-Wiqāya by Ḫaṭībzāde [Ibn al-Khaṭīb] (d. 901/1495).

17 Based on careful consideration of the manuscript evidence, Murteza Bedir reviews the problem of the correct name of the author of the Wiqāya, Burhān al-Sharīʿa Maḥmūd b. Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa al-Akbar Aḥmad b. Jamāl al-Dīn ʿUbaydullāh al-Maḥbūbī al-Bukhārī, whose death date remains unknown. Bedir points out that Burhān al-Sharīʿa has often been confused with his brother Tāj al-Sharīʿa ʿUmar (d. 709/1309), who is often referred to erroneously as Tāj al-Sharīʿa Maḥmūd in Arabic biographical dictionaries. Much of the confusion seems to stem from their complicated family relations: Tāj al-Sharīʿa's son Masʿūd married the daughter of Burhān al-Sharīʿa, and from that union was born the grandson of both, Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa al-Asghar (or al-Thānī) ʿUbaydullāh b. Maʿsūd (d. 747/1346), for whom Burhān al-Sharīʿa wrote the Wiqāya. Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa al-Asghar ʿUbaydullāh is confusingly referred to by western scholars as Maḥmūd b. ʿUbayd Allāh al-Maḥbūbī. Ṣadr al-Sharīʿa al-Asghar ʿUbaydullāh later wrote a sharḥ on the Wiqāya, as well as producing a summary of the text, the Nuqāya. See M. Bedir, “Tācüşşerīa”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi; idem., “Viḳāyetü’r-Rivāye”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi; Ş. Özen, “Sadrüşşerīa”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi. See also Akgündüz, Ahmed, Introduction to Islamic Law (Rotterdam: IUR Press, 2010), 49 .

18 Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam, 288.

19 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 455–73. This section covers Qaḍāʾ, Book 23 of the Wiqāya, which abridges the Kitāb Adab al-Qaḍāʾ of the Hidāya.

20 A comparison with the Arabic text of the Wiqāya confirms the absence of discussion of the sultan as appointed as God's representative and as the one responsible for appointing the qadi for the implementation of religious law. See Balıkesir İl Halk Library, MS 807, 99b–100a; Süleymaniye Library, MS Ayasofya 1505, 103a–107a; Manisa İl Halk Libary, MS Akhisar Zeynelzade 428, 115a–118a.

21 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 455, line 4664: Bir daḫı bu ʿālem içinde niẓām / Kim sebeb ḳıldı aña rabbu'l-enām.

22 Ibid. 455, line 4665: Ḳullarından birisin sulṭān ider / Cümle ḫalḳı ḥükmine fermān ider.

23 Ibid. 455, line 4666: Nāyibullāh olur ol beyne'l-ʿibād / Pes iderler buyruġına inḳıyād.

24 Ibid. 455, line 4667: Ḳāżılar naṣb eyler ol daḫu hemān / Tā ki maʿmūr ola şerʿ-ile cihān.

25 Ibid. 455, line 4668: Ḥükm-i şerʿi ol daḫı icrā ider / Pes cihānda ẓulm kalmaz hep gider.

26 Muhammad Khalid Masud, Rudolph Peters and Powers, David S., “Qāḍīs and their courts: an historical survey”, in Masud, Muhammad Khalid, Peters, Rudolph and Powers, David S. (eds), Dispensing Justice in Islam. Qadis and their Judgments (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 15 ; EI 2, s.v. Ḳāḍī (E. Tyan).

27 Burak, Guy, “The second formation of Islamic law: the Post-Mongol context of the Ottoman adoption of a School of Law”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 55/3, 2013, 579602 .

28 During the classical and late Ottoman periods, the kadıasker, who was under the direct authority of the şeyhülislam, was responsible for appointing, dismissing and supervising qadis in the provinces. The şeyhülislam and his representatives, however, had no authority to interfere in the judgments or procedures of the qadi. In regard to administrative issues, only the sultan had the authority to issue, through an imperial fermān, a legally binding order on the qadi. As Ronald C. Jennings observed, the qadi was autonomous of imperial authority in the judicial sphere. See Jennings, Ronald C., “Limitations of the judicial powers of the kadi in 17th c. Ottoman Kayseri”, Studia Islamica 50, 1979, 155, 155–6 note 1, 164. On the notion of justice as a mechanism of political legitimization in the early-modern Ottoman Empire, see Ergene, Boğaç A., “On Ottoman justice: interpretations in conflict (1600–1800)”, Islamic Law and Society 8/1, 2001, 5287 .

29 Calder, Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era, 64; Omer Awass, “Fatwa: the evolution of an Islamic legal practice and its influence on Muslim society” (Temple University: PhD Dissertation, 2014), 252.

30 On ijtihād and mujtahid see further Hallaq, Wael B., “Was the gate of ijtihad closed?”, International Journal of Middle East Studies 16/1, 1984, 341 , and EI2 , s.v. “Mudjtahid” (J. Calmard). The Hidāya points out that some have stipulated that a qadi must be a mujtahid but that the more approved doctrine is that this is merely preferable, but not indispensable. See Hamilton, Charles and Grady, Standish Grove (trans.), The Hedaya or Guide: A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws (Lahore: Premier Book House, 1871, reprinted 1963), 334 .

31 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 455, line 4670: Bir kişi ehl-i şahādet olsa ger / ʿĀlim u ʿādil daḫı olsa meger.

32 Ibid. 455, line 4670: Yaʿnī cāhil olmaya ʿālim gerek / Müctehīd olursa daḫī yigirek.

33 Ibid. 456, line 4677: Rişvet-ile ḳāżılıḳ almaḳ kişi / Ḥükmi nāfiẕ olmaya bāṭīl işi.

34 Ibid. 456, line 4678: Ḳāżı olup ṣoñra rişvet alsa ger / Fāsıḳ olur ḥükmi olmaz muʿteber.

35 Ibid. 456, line 4682: Ḳāżı olan olmaya faẓẓ u şedīd / Hem daḫı olmaya cabbār u ʿanīd.

36 Ibid. 456, line 4683: Hem kimesneden hedāyā almaya. / Yaʿnī evvelden ki ʿādet olmaya.

37 Ibid. 456, line 4684: ʿĀdet olmış kimse olursa revā / Hem ḳarībinden daḫı olsa n'ola.

38 Ibid. 456, line 4685: Çünki ḳāżı oldı imdi n'eyleye / Bir muʿayyen yirde meclis eyleye.

39 Ibid. 456, line 4686: Şöyle kim mescīd ve cāmiʿ gibi hem / Yā daḫı bunuñ gibi iy muḥterem.

40 Wiqāya, Süleymaniye Library, MS Ayasofya 1505, 101a.

41 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 463: Bāb Kitābi'l-Ḳāżı ilā’l-Ḳāżı. The Wiqāya does not provide a subdivision (bāb) of this section on the correspondence between judges in the book of judicial procedure (Kitāb al-Qaḍāʾ), as is found in both the Hidāya and in Devletoğlu's Manẓūm fıḳıh (Wiqāya, Süleymaniye Library, MS Ayasofya 1505, 102a).

42 Yanbolu is today's Yambol in Bulgaria, some 90 kilometres north of Edirne. Yanbolu was conquered in the 1370s by the Ottomans. See M. Kiel, “Yanbolu”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi.

43 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 464, line 4793: Şöyle kim Yanbolıdan bir kişi ger / Ḳāżı ḳatında varur daʿvī eder.

44 Ibid. 464, line 4794: Edrene şehrinde yaʿnī şol fulān / Bir atum buldum elinde bī-gümān.

45 Ibid. 464, line 4795: Benden oġurlandı benümdür ol at / Aña ṭanuḳlar getürdüm uş uñat.

46 Ibid. 464, line 4796: Ḳāżı diñledi anuñ ṭanuḳların / Yazdı ol atuñ ṣıfātın her birin.

47 Ibid. 464, line 4797: Edrene ḳāżısına yaʿnī hemān. / Bir kitāb-ı ḥükmī yazdı ol zamān. Here kitāb-i ḥukmī refers to a letter produced by one qadi and sent to another if a defendant, involved in a case involving the first qadi's jurisdiction, resides in the second qadi's jurisdiction, and is not present during the proceedings officiated by the first qadi. The letter includes a transcription of the oral testimony of the plaintiff's witnesses, given in the absence of the defendant. It is considered “a transcript of real evidence” (Hamilton and Grady (trans.), The Hedaya or Guide, 340).

48 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 464, line 4798: Edrene ḳāżısına vardı kitāb / Kim odur naḳl-i şahādet bi'l-ḫiṭāb.

49 Ibid. 464, line 4799: Ol bitiydi dutmadı redd itdi ol / Pes imāmeyn meẕhebin ḳıldı ḳabūl.

50 Ibid. 464, line 4801: Līki bir pāre yir olsa yāḫū dār / Yaʿnī menḳūl olmaya ola ʿaḳār.

51 Hamilton and Grady (trans.), The Hedaya or Guide, 339–40.

52 Bu rivāyetdür İmām-ı Sānīden / kim Muḥīṭden naḳl ḳılmış naḳl iden (Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 123, line 190). The Muḥīṭ here is most likely Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī fī al-Fiqh al-Nuʿmānī by Burhān al-Dīn Maḥmūd b. Aḥmad b. Abd al-ʿAzīz al-Bukhārī al-Marghīnānī, commonly known as Burhān al-Sharīʿa (d. 616/1219). Usually referred to as Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī or simply Muḥīṭ, the work is essentially an expanded version of the Ẓāhir al-Riwāya, the six canonical Hanafi treatises compiled by al-Shaybānī. The popularity of Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī among Ottoman scholars is well attested, and it constituted a major source for the fiqh work, Jāmiʿ al-fuṣūlayn by Maḥmūd b. İsrāʾīl Simavna Kadısı-oğlu Şeyḫ Bedreddīn, Devletoğlu Yūsuf's near contemporary. The Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī is not to be confused with al-Sarakhsī’s al-Muḥīṭ. See Uzunpostalcı, M., “Burhāneddin el-Buhārī”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi; Apaydın, Hacı Yunus (ed.), Yargılama Usulüne Dair: Câmiu'l-Fusûleyn. Şeyh Bedreddin (Ankara: T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, 2012).

53 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 114, lines 66–7: Hem fetāvādan daḫı naḳl eyledüm / Çok degüldür hem daḫı az söyledüm; Her fetāvānuñ velīkin adını / dimege ʿöẕr oldı dimedüm anı. Calder argues that so-called fatāwa collections, such as Qāḍī Khān's Fatāwā Qāḍī Khān, were normative texts providing theoretical examples of rulings rather than fatwās that were actually issued (Calder, Islamic Jurisprudence in the Classical Era, 72).

54 Abū Yūsuf. See J. Schacht, “Abū Yūsuf Yaʿḳūb b. Ibrāhīm al-Anṣārī al-Kūfī”, EI 2.

55 The works of Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b al-Shaybānī (d. 804) serve as the foundational texts of the Ḥanafī tradition. See EI 2, s.v. al-Shaybānī (E. Chaumont); EI 2, s.v. al-Sarakhsī (N. Calder).

56 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 113–4, lines 64–5: Bū Ḥanīfe meẕhebi üzre hemān / Yaʿnī anuñ ḳavlini ḳıldum beyān; Hem imāmeyn ḳavlini daḫı meger / baʿżī yirde kim gerekdür iy piser. It is clear from this couplet that the “two imams” (imāmeyn) refers to Abū Yūsuf and Muḥammad al-Shaybānī as distinct from Abū Ḥanīfa, as this couplet from the section of inheritance indicate: Bū Ḥanīfe bunı cāyizdür didi / Pes imāmeyn bunı cāyiz görmedi (ibid. 624, line 6972). When there was disagreement between Abū Ḥanīfa and his disciples, the two imams, Abū Yūsuf and Muḥammad al-Shaybānī, the view of the latter prevailed in Hanafi law. This reference to the differing opinions between the jurists is unique to Devletoğlu Yūsuf's text and is not found in the Wiqāya.

57 Examples of variations of this formula are: Bū Ḥanīfe ḳavli budur iy dedem (Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 129, line 271); Bū Ḥanīfe hem Ebū Yūsuf daḫı / Bunlaruñ ḳavli budur kim iy aḫı (ibid. 593, line 6567); Bu rivāyetdür İmām-ı Sānīden (ibid. 123, line 190); Bu Muḥammed ḳavlidür diñle bunı / Bū Ḥanīfe ḳavlidür añla anı (ibid. 584, line 6445); Hem Muḥammed ḳavli budur bī-gümān (ibid. 121, line 164).

58 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 626, lines 7005–6: Bū Ḥanīfe ḳavli budur añla sen / Çünki aṣlın bilmeyesin ṭañla sen / Müctehidler muḳtedāsı ol imām / Rāyı kāmil aṣlı muḥkem ve's-selām.

59 The extended preface or “reason for the composition of the book” (Faṣl fī beyān-i sebeb-i naẓmi'l-kitābı) consists of 89 couplets. See Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Viḳāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 110–6, lines 17–104.

60 Early authors writing in the Anatolian Turkish vernacular often commented on the difficulties of composing in Turkish. In the late fourteenth century, Aḥmed-i Dāʾī discusses in the prologue of his Çeng-nāme the difficulties of translating the original Persian work into Turkish. See Alpay, Gönül, Ahmed-i Dāī ve Çengnāmesi (Cambridge, MA: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Harvard University, 1993), 327–8. Also in the late fourteenth century, Şeyḫoğlu Muṣṭafā complains that Turkish is ungrammatical, cold and without flavour. Kemāl-i Zerd describes Turkish as a harsh language (bu Türkī dil be-ġāyet sert dildür) in his Selātinnāme-i ‘Āl-i ‘Osmān (composed in 1490). See Yavuz, Kemal, “XIII.–XVI. Asır Dil Yādigārlarının Anadolu Sahasında Türkçe Yazılış Sebepleri ve Bu Devir Müelliflerinin Türkçe Hakkındaki Görüşleri”, Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları 27, 1983, esp. 35–7, 46.

61 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 110, lines 17–9: Diñle imdi Türkçe manẓūm bir kitāb / itdügümçün siz baña itmeñ ʿitāb / İy nice gördük ulu ʿālimleri / ʿilmi ile ʿāmil u kāmilleri / Türk dilince düzdiler bunca kitāb / maʿnī yüzinden götürdiler nikāb.

62 Ibid. 110, line 21.

63 Ibid. 110, line 20.

64 Ibid. 110, line 21.

65 Ibid. 110, line 22.

66 EI 2, s.v. Maʿnā. 1. Grammar (C.H.M. Versteegh). In Classical Arabic grammar/rhetoric circles, opposition “between alfāẓ as the linguistic expression, and maʿānī as the underlying meaning” was hotly debated.

67 Larkin, Margaret, “Al-Jurjani's theory of discourse”, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 2, 1982, 79 . Rebecca Gould defines naẓm as “the order that binds together all the elements that comprise a literary text”, noting that it can be translated as concinnity, “the harmonious reinforcement of the various parts of a work of art”. According to Gould, naẓm “is situated at the foundation of Arabo-Persian poetics as well as of Qurʿānic exegesis”. See Gould, Rebecca, “Inimitability versus translatability: the structure of literary meaning in Arabo-Persian poetics”, The Translator 19/1, 2013, 86 .

68 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 110, lines 23–4: Pes bularuñla öẕrüm biter; / naẓm içün daḫı manẓūme yiter. / Yaʿnī kim manẓūme dirler bir kitāb, / Naḳli anuñ naẓm ile olmış ṣavāb.

69 Larkin, “Al-Jurjani's theory of discourse”, 77.

70 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 110–1, lines 25–6: Anı manẓūm eylemiş teʾlīf iden. / Aña hem ṭaʿn olmadı hiç kimseden. / Ḳamu ʿālimler anı ḳıldı ḳabūl. / Cümle ḫalḳ içinde meşhūr oldı ol.

71 Smyth, William, “Controversy in a tradition of commentary: the academic legacy of Al-Sakkākī’s Miftāḥ Al-ʿUlūm ”, Journal of the American Oriental Society 112/4, 1992, 590–2.

72 Ḫocā-zāde, Süleymaniye Library, MS Antalya Tekelioğlu 838, 1b–50a. On al-Sakkākī’s Miftāḥ as the basis of Ottoman rhetoric, see Şaban, İbrahim, “Osmanlı Ālimlerinin Arap Belagatine Dair Eserleri”, Şarkiyat Mecmuası 17, 2011, 108–33.

73 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 111, line 27: Türkī olmaḳ manẓūm olmaḳ bes kelām / Aña hiç ʿayb olmaz-ımış ve's-selām!

74 Robertson, Duncan, “Writing in the textual community: Clemence of Barking's Life of St. Catherine ”, French Forum 21/1, 1996, 5 .

75 Verse was used frequently for pedagogical purposes in both Arabic and Turkish texts. Ibn al-Ḥājib's (d. 1249) al-Kāfiya is a salient example of this phenomenon: the popularity of this Arabic grammar textbook was a result of its conciseness and verse format, which facilitated the memorization of Arabic grammar rules. Abdü’l-Muḥsīn Muḥammed el-Ḳayserī’s (d. 761/1360) Arabic Jāmiʿ al-durar (composed in 736/1335) is a versified adaptation of Muḥammad al-Sajāwandī’s al-Farāʾiḍ al-Sirājiyya. See Cici, Recep, “XIV. Yüzyılda Kayserili Bir Fakih: Abdülmuhsin Kayseri ve Çalışmaları”, in XIII. ve XIV. Yüzyıllarda Kayseri'de Bilim ve Din Sempozyumu (Kayseri: Erciyes Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi, 1998), 95, 98100 ; R. Cici, “Muhsin-i Kayserî”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi. There are other examples. Young, M.J.L., Latham, John Derek and Serjeant, Robert Betram (eds), Religion, Learning and Science in the ‘Abbasid Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 134 .

76 The Ottoman mektep curriculum traditionally focused around the Quran and primarily involved the memorization of certain verses as well as of popular lines of ḥadīth. By the time of Bayezid II in the late fifteenth century it included Turkish works of catechism (ʿilm-i ḥāl) (Nebi Bozkurt, “Mektep”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi; Cahit Baltacı, “Mektep (Osmanlılar'da Mektep)”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi. See also Aslıhan Gürbüzel's discussion of Baḫtī’s versification of Birgivī Meḥmed Efendī’s Vaṣiyyetnāme in 1052/1647 in order to facilitate the instruction of this popular work of catechism to children by rendering it into a memorizable form (Aslıhan Gürbüzel, “Teachers of the public, advisors to the sultan: preachers and the rise of a political public sphere, 1600–1670”, Harvard University: PhD Dissertation, 2016).

77 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 111, line 28: Türkçedir dersi müderrisler aḫı / Hem muḥaddisler müfessirler daḫı.

78 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 111, lines 29–30: Bū Ḥanīfe kim odur ṣāḥib-uṣūl / maʿnīdür Ḳurʾān didi bir ḳavli ol. / Pārsiçe Ḳurʾānı cāʾiz gördi bes, / kim namāzda oḳusañ ḳılsañ heves.

79 Khadiga Karrar El-Shaykh El-Tayeb, “Principles and problems of the translation of scriptures: the case of the Qurʾān” (Temple University: PhD Dissertation, 1985), 3–6; Yahaghi, Mohammad Jafar, “An introduction to early Persian Qur'anic translations”, Journal of Qur'anic Studies 4/2, 2002, 105 .

80 C.H.M. Versteegh, “Maʿnā: 1. Grammar”, EI 2.

81 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 111, line 31: Eyle olsa her ne dilce olsa ger / Lafẓı ālet maʿnī olur muʿteber.

82 Gould provides an extensive and stimulating examination of ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī’s hermeneutics on iʿjāz, the doctrine of Quranic inimitability, and its relationship with naẓm (structure). See Gould, “Inimitability versus translatability”, 81–104.

83 Devletoğlu Yūsuf, Vikāye Tercümesi, ed. Aktan, 111, line 32: Pes ḳaçan söz olsa maʿnīlü uñat [oñat] / N'ola Türk ola anı diyen yā Tat.

84 Peacock, A.C.S., Mediaeval Islamic Historiography and Political Legitimacy: Bal'ami's Tarikhnama (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), 44 .

85 Zadeh, Travis, The Vernacular Qur'an: Translation and the Rise of Persian Exegesis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2012), 2 .

86 Murad II was faced with an unstable political situation when he ascended the throne in 823/1421. His uncle, Mustafa, referred to as Düzme Mustafa in the Ottoman sources, who was held in detention by the Byzantines, was set free to challenge Murad II's sovereignty by armed struggle, with Byzantine support and according to a plan intended to weaken the Ottomans. Düzme Mustafa was accompanied by the deposed Aydınid prince, Cüneyd, who had also been Byzantine captivity. Likewise, in Anatolia several local princes simultaneously rose in rebellion, including Murad II's younger brother, Mustafa, the princely governor of Hamidili in south-west Anatolia. By early 826/1423, all forces of opposition were quelled, and both Mustafas had been executed. Halil İnalcık, “Murad II”, İslam Ansiklopedisi; Halil İnalcık, “Murad II”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi. See also Flemming, Barbara, “The reign of Murad II: a survey (I)”, Anatolica 20, 1994, 249–67.

87 For more on literary production during Murad II's period, see Çelebioğlu, Türk Edebiyatı’nda Mesnevi XV. yy.’a kadar, 15–6.

88 Sheldon Pollock points to historical symmetry between South Asia and Western Europe in connection with the rise of the vernacular during “the early second millennium” (which is equivalent to the medieval period in the post-Roman world). On these implications, see further Pollock, Sheldon, “Cosmopolitan and vernacular in history”, Public Culture 12/3, 2000, 595 .

89 Ibid. 594.

90 Ibid. 592.

1 The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n.208476, “The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100–1500”. Many thanks go to A.C.S. Peacock for his invaluable suggestions on previous drafts of this article, and to Sooyong Kim for his advice on translating tricky passages of Old Anatolian Turkish verse into English.

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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
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