ISSN 2147-0405



ISSN 2147-0405
ISSN 2147-0405
Number 3
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies is included in the Islamicus Index
Number 3 ● December 2012 ● ISSN 2147-0405
On behalf of Çanakkale Theology Association
Prof. Dr. Hamit ER
Prof. Dr. Hamit ER
Asist. Prof. Mehmet BAHÇEKAPILI
Numan ARUÇ (Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
A. Zişan FURAT (Asistant Prof., İstanbul University)
Murat ŞİMŞEK (Asistant Prof., Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
Hasan KAPLAN (Associate Prof., Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
Kenan SEVİNÇ (Research Assistant, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
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Prof. Dr. Marcia Hermansen (Loyola University, USA)
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Prof. Dr. Ednan Aslan (Wien University, Austria)
Prof. Dr. Elfine Sibgatullina (Russian Sciences Academia)
Prof. Dr. Hamit Er (İstanbul Uni, Turkey)
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Prof. Dr. Numan ARUÇ (MANU, Macedonia)
Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Kurt (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Uni.)
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Prof. Dr. Mehmet Bayyigit (Selçuk Uni.)
Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Dalkılıç (İstanbul Uni.)
Prof. Dr. Martin Rothhangel (Wien Uni.)
Assoc. Prof. M. Emin Çimen (İstanbul Uni.)
Prof. Dr. M. Zeki Aydın (Marmara Uni.)
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Assist. Prof. Mine Topçubaşı (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Uni.)
Assist. Prof. Muhammed Abay (Marmara Uni.)
Assist. Prof. Muammer İskenderoğlu (Sakarya Uni.)
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Prof. Dr. Mustafa Köylü (Ondokuz Mayıs Uni.)
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Usta (Marmara Uni.)
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Asist. Prof. Osman Demir (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Uni.)
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Asist. Prof. Şeyma Arslan (İstanbul Uni.)
Prof. Dr. Şinasi Gündüz (İstanbul Uni.)
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TABLE OF CONTENTS_______________________________________________
Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
OKTAY KOÇ / 7-21
The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an Important Name of the Leading Representatives of
Turkish Religious Music
The Relationships among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-Being
and Religious Orientation: an Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
Fütûhât-ı Nekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of
Islamic Textbooks and Curricula in Europe
Tek Parti Döneminde Muhalif Sesler
Oktay KOÇ
E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Koç, O., (2012). Religion and organizations: a theoretical
perspective. Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies. (3). 7-21.
In this study, it is aimed to analyse organizations and their environmental
conditions theoretically. It should be stated that the study has been structured
especially in the line of “religion” which is an environmental factor (or
institutional sector) that affects organizational activities and outcomes
In this study the effects of religion on organizations are taken into account in
two separate levels. One of them is defined as “organizational” and another as
“sub-organizational level”. Such classification has been preferred for the
purpose of appropriateness in the sense of understanding the effects of
religion on organizations.
In this frame, it has been determined that common religious beliefs, values
and norms affect the activities and outcomes of organizations. However, it
should be implied that the effects of the institutional arrangements based on
religion emerge mostly along with the properties of the social system or
structure in which organizations embedded. Because, it can be easily asserted
that the religious beliefs, values and norms are much more effective on the
organizations in a social system or structure mainly based on religion and
formed with respect to religious norms, whereas the religious values and
beliefs and norms are referenced less in a secular system or structure.
Keywords: Religion, Organization, Enviromental factors, Value
 Dr., Kocaeli University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Political Science
and Public Administration Department.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
It became a scandal that a Japan company activating in Indonesia used
products from pork during production processes by violating halal-meat
rules of Muslim community, and later some employees of the company were
arrested (Fischer, 2008: 828). On the other hand in the USA, those having
conservative Protestant belief, and their organizations were used with the
purpose of prohibition of consuming alcohol on the contrary to Catholics and
other Protestants who set free use of alcohol (Rose, 2006: 9). On the other
hand Baptists honor Sunday as a day of rest, whereas in Islamic countries it’s
Friday, and in Israel it’s Saturday (Gibson et al. 2011: 67). Similar examples
like above indicate that the importance of religious beliefs and practices have
increased on today’s organizations in spite of the predictions of the
secularization theory (Tracey, 2012). Accordingly many researchers accept
that the success in the market is related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and
sensitivity to consumers’ demands (Iannaconne, 2006: 30). In fact, it can be
asserted that the consumers especially with high-awareness level in terms of
religion apply more pressure on enterprises in line of their values and
beliefs. Therefore it should also be stated that the organizations under the
control of their technological and socio-cultural (institutional) environments
(Scott, 2003) have to resemble to their environments in order to survive
(DiMaggio&Powell, 1991).
Underlying this assertion as one of the main arguments of neo-institutional
theory that carries out organizational analyses in macro-level, there are five
separate institutional sectors determined by Friedland and Alfrod (1991)
that force organizations to comply. According to the authors, “religion,
bureaucratic state, capitalist market, family and democracy” produce some
norms, values and beliefs in terms of their institutional logics. And
organizations try to have autonomy to get resources against their
competitors (Tolbert&Zucker, 1983), and ultimately to survive by complying
with the values, norms and beliefs produced by these sectors and existed in
their environments (DiMaggio&Powell, 1991). Hence it can be accepted that
the socio-cultural norms, values and beliefs existed in the environment of the
organization create significant effects on the decisions and practices of
On the other hand it can be asserted that there have not been many
researches analyzing the effects of religion on organizations (Mittelstaedt,
2002; Tracey, 2012) although religion considered within the institutional
sectors above and also as one of the general and significant properties of
Koç, Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
human communities has been researched by social scientists for a long time
(Naughton&VanderVeen, 2008). Tracey (2012) grounds the reason of that
fact that religion has been kept away from commercial organizations.
However it can be claimed that religion creates more effect on business
organizations than organizations’ internal regulations as a belief system in
terms of its scope and quality. Therefore it appears that the effects of religion
on business organizations are worth discussing (Chan-Sreafin et al, 2012). In
current study the relationship between religion and organizations is
discussed within a theoretical framework focused on the effects of religion
on organizations. In this way, possible effects of religion on organizations are
determined although there are some limitations.
From this point of view, this study is descriptive, has been prepared as based
on literature review, and built in a way that it consists of three sections as (i)
organizations in terms of their socio-cultural environments; (ii) effects of
religion on organizations and (iii) conclusion.
Organizations in terms of their Socio-Cultural Environments
Scott (2003: 133-134) claims that organizations activate in two separate
environmental conditions as “related to material resources” and
“institutional”. Therefore it can be stated that the dimension named as
“material resources” by Scott consists of technical components whille
“institutional” dimension consists of socio-cultural components. In this sense,
not only the technical requirements or the achievements of organizations in
tasks will be enough for them to be successful in markets (Meyer&Rowan,
1977). But also they should understand the cultural factors such as language,
education, social values, religious attitudes and consumers’ habits
(Boone&Kurtz, 1990: 92) and also provide appropriate responses to the
demands of the institutions settled according to laws, regulations and norms
(Meyer&Rowan, 1977). Thus it can be claimed that the organizations will
become accountable to their external components (Hannan&Freeman, 1989)
and more affected from public pressures (Freeman & Gilbert, 1988) in this
way. On the contrary, Starbuck (1965) claims that organizations attempt to
acquire more interest through their environments (Pfeffer, 1972). Therefore
it can be concluded that organizations are affected from routines and
pressures created in a broad environment (Scott&Meyer, 1994: 2), and
comply with them in order to obtain required resources from this
environment. In fact it can also be easily asserted that organizations as open
systems are both affected and affect their environments (Scott, 1992: 15-16).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Addition to these, many researchers who study on organizations (e.g.
DiMaggio&Powell, 1991; Meyer&Rowan, 1977; Zucker, 1987) determined
that organizations become isomorphic with the institutional arrangements
such as myths, values and norms existed within “the environments in which
they activate and compete” (Pfeffer&Salancik, 1978). It is required to
emphasize that organizations feel much more pressures from
institutionalized expectations of other organizations, state and consumers
when they grow up enough, and become required for sector activities and
exchange (Powell, 1991). Thus they become more careful on exposing the
acts and activities required to have legitimacy (Mintzberg, 1983). These
kinds of pressures require organizations to become isomorphic with their
environments in order to have legitimacy and survive rather than efficiency
or productivity (Friedland&Alford, 1991; Meyer&Rowan, 1977;
Tolbert&Zucker, 1983).
According to Mayer and Rowan (1977), organizations gain legitimacy,
stability and resources by complying with social expectations. In this scope it
is asserted that organizations are in competition in an environment
consisting of various resource pools according to some theoretical
approaches such as population ecology (Scott, 1992: 14). On the other hand it
can also be stated that the institutional arrangements existing around
organizations and causing isomorphism in terms of legitimacy are created by
bureaucratic state, capitalist market, family, democracy and religion
(Friedland&Alford, 1991) and professions (Thornton 2004:3). Norms, values
and beliefs which are produced by the institutional sectors above keep
organizations under control by affecting behaviours and outputs
(Sine&David, 2010) with regulatory, cultural-cognitive and normative
dimensions (Scott, 2008). Pointing out similar result, Pfeffer and Salancik
(2003) claims that environment become to a level to affect organizational
action partly by affecting distribution of the power within the organization,
and even can affect outputs without affecting the organizational action. And
supporting the same claim above, Turk (1970) states that adherence to
various inter-organizational networks provides benefits for achievement of
organization. Therefore it can be asserted that organizations try to find
different ways to accomplish their aims by depending upon various
mechanisms of the environment that was surprisingly organized itself
formally (Scott, 1992).
On the other hand it should be stated that the institutional sectors declared
by Friedland and Alford (1991) and Thornton (2004) might have contrary
Koç, Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
logics (Friedland&Alford, 1991). Similarly Scott (1992) claims that common
belief systems and relational environments might be converged and be
supportive or on the contrary they might be opposite and destructive against
each other. In these contradictions it can also be claimed that the “religious
designs” are remarkable in terms that they rely upon supernatural powers
and authorities especially in relation to what is good and appropriate for
human life (Worsley, 1983, 500). In this scope it should be stated that
religion is an important institutional network connecting people to each
other and helping continuation of cultural bonds (Lustig&Koestler, 1999:
46). Thus it can be concluded that the religious institutional arrangements
which appear much more related to the cognitive and normative dimensions
of socio-cultural environment create some implementation opportunities for
themselves increasingly in organizational fields. In this sense it can be
asserted that the religious institutional arrangements give direction to the
organizational behaviour by affecting customers’ habits and opinions
regarding to “what is valuable or worthless” and “what is good and
appropriate” for them (Sine&David, 2010).
In fact by considering the old roots of the religions it can be claimed that the
religious institutional arrangements existing in organizational environment
are much more long-lasting, and coercive in terms of their results which are
mostly not material. Likewise Iannaconne (2006) implies the centrality of
religious choices in today’s world. In this sense it can be asserted that the
religion-based standards, values, beliefs and norms will keep under pressure
and control both fields and organizations and also individuals acting at suborganizational level. However it can be stated that the effects of religious
institutional arrangements will become more apparent (or unapparent) in
line with the features of the social structure surrounded by them.
Furthermore it can be stated that the social structure can make way for the
appearance and applicability of religious beliefs, and that the religious beliefs
can make way for building up the social structure in their scopes and
contexts. In this context, suggesting a similar determination for prehistoric
communities, Luckmann (1979) states that the spiritual reality logic enables
and supports legitimacy of the social structure as a whole. For the purpose to
put together all in an integrated way, it can be stated that the effects of
religious beliefs and values and norms may differentiate according to the
social structure, current location and existing time (Sherkat, 2006: 12).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Effects of Religion on Organizations
When it is considered in an integrated framework as a whole, religion affects
what organizations how, when and where organizations do (Mittelstaedt,
2002). It is understood that this conceptualization pointing out a wide
framework is far from the context and content of current study. If so it is
required to look into the effects of religion on organizations in two levels due
to nature of current study. The first is the understanding of effects of religion
on organizations at organizational level and the latter is at suborganizational level. This categorization is accepted as meaningful to limit
the scope and approach to organizations more specifically which are
constituted as focus of this study but in fact it can be extended by adding the
sector and society levels which are ranked at upper level. However some
covert references are also presented through examples about the effects of
religion on organizations in both fields and various social structure and
If it is required to explain more specifically, it is understood from the
suggestions of different authors (e.g. Asworth et al 2007; Pfeffer&Salancik
2003; Sine&David, 2010) that the effects of religion as an institutional sector
on organizations can develop mostly in scopes of organizational structure,
process, identity, action, decision and outputs.
Contrary to this it should also be stated that the effects of religion at suborganizational level are mostly connected to employees. In this scope it can
be stated that there are important effects of religion on individuals in many
aspects such as performance, capabilities and motivation as it is implied by
many authors (e.g. Duffy, 2006; Hicks, 2003; Lynn et al, 2010).
Effects of Religion at Organizational Level
At first glance it can be claimed that organizations which are defined as the
activity systems directed to specific goals and maintained within their
boundaries (Aldrich, 1979; 4), are affected inevitably from their
environments in the context of actions and decisions (Pfeffer, 1972) and
structure and processes (Asworth et al, 2007) and outputs (Sine&David,
2010). Because as it is mentioned before, organizations embedded deeply not
only in technical but also in a socio-cultural and political environment (Dacin,
1997; Meyer&Rowan, 1977; Scott&Meyer, 1991: 111) are regarded as both a
response to and a reflection of the rules, values and traditions existing in a
wide environment, in terms of their applications and structures (Powell,
Koç, Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
It should be stated that the institutional sectors including religion
(Friedland&Alford, 1991; Thornton, 2004) create pressure on organizations
when only socio-cultural environments are taken into consideration by
means of ignoring their technical environment for a moment due to structure
of this study. In this framework it is required to express that religion affects
significantly how and what should be done for success of a task as a whole
(Gobins et al, 2011: 67). Because religious orientation shows the good and
appropriate ways for individuals and organizations to act by means of
defining the collective goods and bad (Snow et al, 1986) otherwise it
stipulates harsh punishment in religious scope (Worsley, 1983). Therefore it
is possible to state from macro perspective that there are obligations for
organizations to comply with the norms, values and beliefs currently existing
in the socio-cultural environment where they are embedded, and especially
those which are created by religion.
On the other hand it possible to state that the sectors at supra-organizational
level are built in a way that they meet religious based commercial
requirements (Mittelstaedt, 2002). From this point it can be concluded that
the organizations in need of acquiring advantage in competition should
actualize themselves in terms of necessary aspects in the face of religious
arrangements going up to organizational boundaries increasingly. So, it will
also be necessary to change organizational forms when new work templates
are developed or when the nature of the work is changed, as it is stated by
Barley and Kunda (2001). Accordingly it should be stated that organizations
are not likely to survive by maintaining traditional forms under the works
and working conditions reformed by religious demands and expectations (or
pressures). Likewise, according to Mittelstaedt (2002) religion affects
perception of development, life quality, commercial standards and
competition. If this assertion is accepted as right, then organizations will
need to observe the customer demands and expectations based on religion,
and the strategies of their competitors to acquire and maintain religionoriented customers. In the same vein, Miles et al (1978) emphasizes that
organizations should constantly modify and refine the mechanism by which
they achieve their purposes by rearranging their structure of roles and
relationships and their managerial processes.
In addition it is required to point out that the mass production that is the
economic understanding of industrial period has left its place to “customized
products” (Russel, 1993: 56). From this point of view it can be asserted that
it is necessary for organizations to incline to innovation at necessary points
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
in order to produce “customized” outputs and be in the front line in
competition. In this sense Stark (1998) determines in his study that religious
suppliers are more willing to create innovation in the fields that they feel
high competitive pressure from other religious groups. Thus it emerges that
any organization confronting customized religious demands and
expectations requires discovering new solutions which have not been tried
out ever in order to meet these demands and expectations. Because today’s
services and products are manufactured in accordance with individuals’
choices, and the customized economy teaches customers to have customized
products meeting each need in addition to quick satisfaction (Einstein, 2008:
10, 12). It can be asserted that religion as a structure determining meanings
and goals for individuals (Peterson&Roy, 1985) will create specific situations
for individuals within the framework of its rules and the demands and
expectations of individuals toward organizations will be built especially with
respect to their religious frameworks. Naturally it should be stated that the
commitment level of individual to religious arrangements is an important
factor. Because religion has a composition of which effects may increase (or
decrease) depend upon the commitment level of the followers
(Bonne&Verbeke, 2008).
It should be stated that although it is possible to claim that people are more
inclined to obtain the products and services related to their beliefs -in
comparison to other products- (Einstein, 2008: 5), this inclination does not
result in organizational success by itself. In this scope Einstein (2008: 10)
suggests that managers should discover various and multiple ways to
promote their products in markets. In fact it is required to emphasize that
religion will be one of these various ways.
When approached the relationship between religion and organizations from
a different aspect, it can be suggested that the religious arrangements have
important effects also on form and expression of organizational identities.
Religion mostly constitutes core of individual and group identities as it is
stated also by Seul (1999). Therefore it should be stated that religion as one
of the most important elements building up identity not only provides
significant clues about what organization is in fact, but also takes part in
building up organizational identity directly. In this sense the samples
regarding Islamic banking (participation banks) or financing institutions
which have been established increasingly present new organizational forms
(and furthermore new types of organizational identities) in which different
institutional logics are assembled in a proper composition
Koç, Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
(Battilana&Dorado, 2010). Thus the institutional regulations generated by
capitalist market exist on one side and the institutional regulations
generated by Islam religion exist on the other side, and thereby a hybrid
organization (D’Aunno et al, 1991; Pache, 2010) having the regulations of
both institutional sectors has been established. Therefore it should be stated
that organizational identities differentiate in time or new organizational
models having different identities come up in the fields in which religion
takes part.
Considering Mittelstaedt’s (2002) suggestion again, it is necessary to state
that religion affects what, how, when and where organizations do. In fact this
effect can be linked to that religions can guide and shape people’s lives who
are connected to the religions by putting them into a pattern in the
dichotomy of good-right/bad-wrong. In this framework it is also required to
state that organizations should care about not only religious demands and
expectations of their customers or other stakeholders but also about those of
employees in terms of qualified performances of them. In this scope Cash and
Gray (2000) claims that organizations should support religious and spiritual
expectations proactively in scope of work processes and production
requirements. Thus individuals whose religious demands and expectations
are met will be able to involve directly in decisions and acts of the
organizations in accordance with arrangements of the religion that they are
connected to and thereby the religion also will be able to exercise partial
control over the organizations through these individuals.
On the other hand it can be asserted that the obligations arising from
religious arrangements in terms of organizations are closely related to the
social structure and system in which organizations function. Necessity to
meet religious expectations and demands will be perceived naturally more
strongly in a social structure in which there are plenty of religious and/or
democratic tendencies. As an example in this scope, Nestle reserved 75 of its
482 global production facilities for halal product market developing
increasingly and thereby achieved 3 billion $ annually from halal product
sales (Rarick et al, 2011: 55). Similarly Great Britain Government has met
expectations of Muslim groups for halal products by regulating policies in
line with religious requirements in the face of increasing demand and
expectations (Fischer, 2008). However it can be admitted that religious
expectations and demands toward organizations will be relatively less in a
more secular structure.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Effects of Religion at Sub-organizational Level
As a meaning system religion informs the individual as to what 'kind' of
person one is, the importance of the roles one performs, the purpose of the
events one participates in, and the significance of being who one is
(Petersen&Roy, 1985). Thus it can be claimed that religion provides various
designs about how people should think and what they feel and how they
behave (Turner, 1991: 244) on common issues through its unifying social
effects (Snibbe&Markus, 2005: 704). From this perspective it should be
stated that religion shapes attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of
individuals quite strongly (Emmons&Paloutzian, 2003).
It can be asserted that in the organizations reflecting the fact which is
structured socially in structural meaning (Zucker, 1983), especially the
emotions, attitudes, opinions and behaviours of employees can be effected by
personal religious beliefs (Hicks, 2003) being in the center in terms of
personal identity. Thus it should be stated that employees can show
inclination to transfer the values, beliefs and norms of the religion to which
they are connected into organization or to live and maintain them within the
organization or to transfer to other people. In a similar way employees will
determine their approaches to stakeholders, work and organization in the
framework of their values, habits, attitudes and living styles under effect of
religion. According to Hicks (2003) religious commitments of employees find
places for themselves in a way in workplace. As a matter of fact, this situation
matches up with the fact that religion contains a significant worldview
generating private values and social roles (Cavanaugh, 2001).
On the other hand it is stated that the sense of commitment, trust, collective
working, creativeness, personal satisfaction and justice of the employees
with intense feelings in terms of spirituality will be higher and thereby
organizational performance will increase (Krishnakumar&Neck, 2002).
Accordingly Cash&Gray (2000) assert that the employees who are satisfied at
working place in terms of spirituality will be efficient and productive. As a
matter of fact it is admitted obviously that this assertion is right when
considered from the functional conceptualization perspective of religion.
Because religion becomes meaningful in the context of response to the
question of “what is done/what is it for” from functional aspect
(Ashforth&Vaidyanath, 2002).
Additionally it should be stated that religion has effects on the values related
to work at sub-organizational level such as stress management, career
Koç, Religion and Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective
development, risk aversion, and ethics (Duffy, 2006; Lynn et al, 2010; Tracey,
2012). Furthermore religion has importance also due to its effects on
individual motivation and capability required especially for accomplishment
of work (Lynn et al, 2010). Because religion helps individuals meet their
requirements for stabilization in terms of psychological aspect by providing
predictability and continuity (Seul, 1999). Thus it becomes possible to
encourage individuals to focus on their jobs and gain qualifications required
for the jobs. Additionally according to Bosch (2009), leaders should be aware
and pay attention to inner spirits, moral values and desires of employees in
order to increase efficiency of their decisions. When required to state as an
output, leaders should take into account employees’ religious beliefs in
addition to other factors when they make decisions.
It can be asserted that the effects of religion at sub-organizational level are
not solely positive but religious motivations might cause undesired results in
workplace as well. In this sense Breuer (1997) asserts that the employees
who are stuck between their homes and their workplaces in a growing
environment by getting downsizing, have started to direct their spiritual
problems to human resources departments recently, which they used to
consult religious functionary. When required to remark something different
but in addition to this, some employees might tend for affecting others by
using their religious connections for propaganda purposes rather than
providing positive contribution to job, and in some cases, such approaches
might result in conflicts (Karakas, 2010). Similarly it is claimed that the
employees with religious clothes and demanding leaves for praying and holy
days might be disruptive and distracting in terms of employers (Hicks, 2003)
and such a case might affect organizational performance and productivity
negatively (Cash&Gray, 2000). In addition it should be emphasized that
dissatisfaction and disappointment might arise in the organizations mainly
grounding on religious regulations, in terms of the employees who cannot
acknowledge these implementations (Krishnakumar&Neck, 2002).
In this study the effects of religion on organizations have been taken into
account from two various perspectives. Accordingly firstly, the effects of
religion on organizations as a whole and later the effects sub-organizational
level have been studied theoretically.
It should be stated that the organizations embedded not only in technical but
also socio-cultural environment are put under pressure by various elements
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
in this environment. In this scope religion as one of the important factors
existing in the socio-cultural environments of organizations affects
organizations through various aspects at both organizational and suborganizational levels as it is indicated in different study. It should be attached
importance that managers and leaders understand the effects of religion on
organizations in addition to other factors and try to provide appropriate
responses to them in order for organizations to survive in the markets in
which intense competition exists.
It appears that it is an important constraint that the study has been carried
out without distinction between public and private sector organizations. It
can be suggested that the effects of religion on organizations are classified
especially by considering this constraint while making research designs for
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E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Karataş, Ş., (2012). The Concept of revelation in shi‘ah.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies. (3), 23-38.
Though there has been a general consensus and congruence with regard to
the case that since the era of its revelation, the Qur'ân is the only divinely
revealed book that is unaltered, there have been, from time to time, certain
approaches targeting at its authenticity through the history of Muslim
societies and polities. These approaches can be categorized under the title
named “the claims of the alteration of the Qur'ân.” What is noteworthy in
this regard is that there are several claims supporting the notion of
alteration of the Qur'ân within the Shiite literature along with—and
enhancing— the doctrine of Imâmah/“(Succeeded) Leadership”, which
constitutes the quintessential tenets of this school of thought and creed.
Nevertheless, many Shiite ‘ulamâ’/“scholars” keenly refuse this very
notion of alteration with the rational and methodological argument that it
is inappropriate to judge through “Singular Narrations”/al-Khabar alWâhid / Âḥâd on a matter authenticated with Successive Narrations/ alKhabar al-Mutawâtir, like the Qur'ân; thence, any narration something like
this existent in the Sunnite and Shiite literatures is to be accepted as
unauthentic. Succinctly, especially to the Imamiyyah Shiites, which are the
most notable and predominant group that comes to mind when mentioned
about the Shiites, refuse the claims of alteration of the Qur'ân; thus,
consider the accusations made against themselves as calumnies and
Keywords: Shiite, Shî‘ah, the Qur'ân, waḥy/ “revelation”, Imâmah, taḥrîf /
 Dr., Çanakkale Director of National Education.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
The concept of waḥy/“revelation” is one of the basic notions used in
understanding and interpreting of the source within the tradition of
scripture-centric religions. Though it is barely possible to get a sharper
perception and picture in terms of its nature in Judaism and Christianity, the
very notion of revelation has been utilized in explicating and interpreting
scriptures. Leaving certain discussions that fall into anomalous confinements
aside, the idea of revelation in Islam is , it can be stated, unique, and blatantly
clear, negating possible doubts in this regard.
What is more, again leaving certain subjects, such as the revelatory means of
revelation, the nature of narrations, and the like aside, there is an agreement
on the matter that Islamic revelation came to happen completely apart from
the personality, needs, wants, and wishes of the Prophet (‘AS) himself. 1
Essentially, with the proviso that one remains within the creedal framework
of Islam, nearly all of the sects, communities, and movements get their
doctrinal justification from this very quintessential concept of revelation and
from its concrete manifestation, i.e., the Qur'ân. Hence, one can readily
recognize in creed-aimed, jurisprudence-centric, and politic-based exegeses
the ways in which how altered judgments can be concluded from the same
verses in the aim to search for justification for their respected standings. At
this juncture, the following methodological rule can be cited here: These
exegeses that are the mirrors of the time and topography in which they had
been penned down may be seen both (a) as the strife for understanding the
Qur'ân; and (b) as the search for justification by the author of his/her own
community, or movement to which s/he had belonged. This is because the
only means for any group, or community to mold and form an influence and
authority among and over Muslims is that they may find a justification, and a
base in the basic text of Islamic revelation, i.e., the Qur’an. Understandably,
Shî‘ah may not be excluded from this rule. Within the historical equation, or
dilemma of religion-politics, the formation of Shî‘ah is a process something
like a matryoshka doll modulation, moving progressively from greater doll to
smaller one; hence, it is highly difficult, by and large, to ascertain whether the
sect is influenced from political events, and vice versa. At this point, it can be
adduced that the sect, i.e., Shî‘ah, established itself on the basis of belief,
1 In fact, there is, it would seem, a complete parallelism in the means and modes through
which revelation come as given in the literatures of Shî‘ah and Ahl al-Sunnah. See on this: alḤujjatî, Muḥammad al-Bâqir, Târîkh Qur'ân Karîm, pp. 28-31.
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
which is characteristic of the sect, that is defeat, victimization, and mourning
in the past with the absolute hope of feat and success in the future.
Furthermore, in relating themselves to the Prophet (‘AS), Ahl al-Sunnah (the
People of Easy Flow Path/ Tradition)/Sunnites and Shiites have been at a
continual contest and competition since early Islam. Thence, reading the
notions of “caliphate”/khilâfah—that means lying claims on what the
Prophet (‘AS) had left behind—, and of “(succeeded) leadership”/imâmah –
which is based on the determination and appointment of the Prophet (‘AS)
himself the one who may succeed him—through these perspectives can be
very informing and appropriate in deciphering these processes. On the other
hand, though these two sects appear as different and competing with each
other, both were born out of common historical conditions. These two sects
that are something like a twin brother, or sister, who grow inside the same
womb, and are breastfed by the same mother; thus, this understanding and
salient issue may be kept in mind in evaluating them. In fact, there are
various and salient benefits in approaching this issue through this
perspective in terms both of in seeing and relating one sect with other, and of
doing studies on these respective sects. And more importantly, the studies
centered on the Qur'ân, the basic and founding written text of Islam, certainly
are found in the center of these issues and subjects.
In terms both of the processes of revelation, and of textual-codification, the
Qur'ân is a word, a book, wholly wrapped with the concept of revelation.
From the viewpoint of theology and phenomenal perception, one can be
freed from the endless abyss of unanswered situation only through the
enlightening features of faith. Thence, from the later vantage point,
revelation is an experienced and completed process within the line of GodGabriel/“Jabrâ’îl” | the Angel of Revelation-the Prophet; yet as a text that is a
subject matter of exegesis, or a source of faith and praxes, it is continuous
process within the line of God-Gabriel-the Prophet-Early CommunitySucceeding Generations. Moreover, the concept waḥy etymologically comes
to mean expressing, talking through signs, symbols, gestures, and lampoons;
pointing out with limb (Qur’an, 19:11); inspiration (Qur’an, 28:7), getting one
to subdue (Qur’an, 16:68). As for its terminological meaning, it means “the
words that God imparted into His the Prophet” as exemplified through many
samples in related literature (Al-Isfahânî, 1992, 858-859).
Additionally, according to the description of al-Zabîdî, the term Shî‘ah
denotes “a community gathered around any opinion, doctrine.” Thus, the one
who is bound to and help a person is the shî‘ah/“supporter, or follower” of
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
that person; thence, it implies both “submission”, and “advocacy” (Al-Zabîdî,
1311, V/405). In addition, al-Iṣfahânî (d. 425 AH) adds the meaning of
“action of support” to the word Al-Isfahânî, 1992, 478). Indeed, all in all, in
many verses where the word shî‘ah is mentioned, the term denotes these
attitudes and actions ((Qur’an, 24:19, 19:69, 28:15, 15:10, 6:65, 119, 37:83,
54:51, 34:54).
In addition, according to the followers of the Ahl al-Sunnah, the term Shî‘ah is
like a mailbox that is used for nearly all currents and doctrines outside the
Sunnite fold. Hence, when there is a discussion, or consideration with regard
to certain sub-sects, or denominations, such as Imâmiyyah—Ithnâ
Alawites”, and the like, the term Shî‘ah, or Shî‘î becomes the keyword to
cover them. Nevertheless, the Imâmiyyah Shiites who come to the fore with
their special features when mentioned see those who are outside themselves
as deviant groups, not as Shiites. Thus, at such a junction, it is highly difficult
to lay bare the conception of revelation in the Shî‘ah sect. Thence, when
Shî‘ah and Shiites are mentioned; yet there is no determining and limiting
expression in the context; Imâmiyyah Shî‘ah and Shiites are, then, to be
Furthermore, taken Shî‘ah into consideration, there is a close affinity and
relationship between understanding of the Qur'ân and of the concept of
revelation. Indeed, the verse (Qur’an, 34:33) justifying and acquitting the Ahl
al-Bayt/“Household of the Prophet (‘AS)” is used to prove the idea that only
Ahl al-Bayt knows exactly true meaning and interpretation of the Qur'ân
(Tabâtabâ’î, 1998, 51). From this viewpoint, it is narrated that Muḥammad
al-Bâqir was critical of Qatâdah due to the fact that the later interpret the
Qur'ân with his own opinion; and stated that the Qur'ân can be understood
only through narrations coming from the infallible/al-ma‘ṣûm (Al-Kulaynî,
1391, I/142-143). Namely, according to Shî‘ah, those who deeply understand
the essence of the Qur'ân, and have well-fathomed knowledge (Qur’an, 3:7)
are the Ahl al-Bayt. (Tabâtabâ’î, 1973, III/69)
On the other hand, the understanding that establishes close affinities and
relationships between verses and sects is not just claimed by the Shiites. To
illustrate, the famous Hanafite (one of the four Islamic schools of law) faqîh /
jurist al-Karḥî states that “each verse that is in contrary with the expressions
and statements of the Hanafite mujtahids/“those who are competent in
religious reasoning” is evaluated either as an abrogated verse, or as an
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
optional matter. Nevertheless, finding a compromise between them is a
favorable attitude (Bilmen, 1985, I/123).” This shows the fact that how
sectarian approach is effective and determinative. In the same vein, to the
Shiites the Qur'ân has both inner/implicit and outer/explicit aspects (AlKulaynî, 1391, II/202); and no one can lay claim having both inner and outer
aspects and meaning of the Qur'ân, except those who are the
wâṣî/custodians (of Ahl al-Bayt) (Al-Kulaynî, 1391, I/332). In other words,
the verses of the Qur'ân were revealed in the sense that “my daughter! I am
telling you; yet my bride! You should understand what I am saying” (‫يا جارة‬
‫( )نزل القرآن بإياك أعنى واسمعى‬Shaykh Al-Sadûk, 1978, 102-103). It is noteworthy
to see the relation between this understanding of Shî‘ah and interpretations
of Sufism.
Though it is important to see certain historical events and cases—such as the
Qirṭâs episode; Ghadîr Khûm occasion; the event of pledging allegiance to the
caliphate of Abû Bakr under the Saqîfah / “Garden” of Banû Sâ ‘idah; not
pledging allegiance to the caliphate of Abû Bakr by ‘Alî, son-in-law of the
Prophet (‘AS), and his wife Fâtimah; the episode of Karbalâ’ Atrocity; and the
like—at the center of burning discussions in the history and literature of
Shî‘ah, the following issues that set the Shiites apart from other sects and
denomination are saliently important in connection with the subject matter
under discussion: The case of Imâmah, and its concomitant matter the
doctrine of ‘Iṣmah/“Innocence” (the Innocence of the Imâms); the doctrine of
Mahdî/“Savior” (the appearance of the Twelfth Imâm); the notion of Rij ‘ah
(the returning back of the Imâms to the world); the code of
Taqiyyah/“Dissimulation” (the “dissimulation” praxes by ‘Alî during the
caliphates of Abû Bakr and ‘Umar; hence its necessity at certain junctures),
and the like (Shaykh Al-Sadûk, 1978, 66, 104, 127; Al-Kâtib, 2009, 147;
Sofuoğlu, 1983, 461-740; Mashkûr, 2011, 262).
At this point, the following questions can be posed: “Was there any mission
of the Prophet (‘AS) beside his prophetic duty? If so, is it the mission of
Imâmah? Does this mission of Imâmah continue after the decease of the
Prophet (‘AS)? Does this mission devolve on succeeding generations? If the
doctrine of Imâmah is at the center of religion per se, then what is its source
and proof in it? As a whole the following cases are closely associated with the
doctrine of Imâmah: The completion of prophecy; the continuation of
Imâmah; the continuity and discontinuity of waḥy / revelation; the feature of
the Prophet (‘AS) being Khâtam al-Anbiyâ/“The Sealer of the Prophets”, etc.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Not to mention, according to the view of the Shiites, the Imâms are the pillar
of the earth, and are the proofs of God on the earth. The notion of Imâmah, to
their viewpoints, is the core tenet of religion, the cosmic determinant of the
world, and the honor of believers. Hence, believing in the sainthood/walî
([God’s] beloved) of the Imâm is the fundamental element of religion. In
general, the Imâms are superior to angels (Shaykh Al-Sadûk, 1978, 104). And
the Prophet (‘AS) himself appointed the Twelve Imâms with their names (AlTabrasî, 1403, 154; Al-Hillî, 1950, 4).
For the sake of generalization, it is barely possible for the one to accept, get
satisfied, and to continue to believe in tenets and doctrines, such as those
which are the extensions and ramifications of the notion of Imâmah without
justifying with, or relying on religious texts. As a rule, every assertive and
overdesigned idea, notion, or discourse is expected to be dependent upon a
certain basis without which it rarely continues to exist. Indeed, this matter
can be seen in certain narrations that seemingly contradict some verses, or in
certain revelations that seem incomplete.
The Case Of Revelations Outside Of The Qur’ân
Of the most salient aspects of the Shiite theology, the doctrine of
waḥy/revelation is one on which the sect bases its principles. And the notion
of revelation in Shî‘ah in this regard may comprise both the Qur'ân, which is
preserved between “two flaps / covers”/daffatayn/lawḥatayn, in its narrow
sense; and the revelations/inspirations that are given to the Prophet (‘AS),
‘Alî, and the Imâms. Hence, the following narration explicitly lay down this
َ‫ ًّزه ب‬,َ‫بسن هللا الزحوي الزحين ُذا متاب هي هللا العزيز الحنين لوحود ًبيَ ًّْرٍ ّسفيزٍ ّحجابَ ّدليل‬
‫ عظن يا هحود أسوائي ّاشنز آالئي ّال تجحد ًعوائي‬.‫الزّح األهيي هي عٌد رب العالويي‬.
In fact, in this narration that continues to prolong, in the Book sent by Allah
through the angel Jabrâ’îl / Gabriel to Muḥammad (‘AS), the following issues,
to the viewpoints of the Shiites, are explicitly set forth: ‘Alî—son-in-law of
the Prophet (‘AS)—; then his two sons; and then other Imâms were entrusted
as imâms/wâṣîs (“guardians“) (Al-Tabrasî, 1403, 67-68).
Furthermore, according to some claims, which forces rational and historical
limits, in the milieux of Shî‘ah, there are myriad verses that are outside of the
Qur'ân; if these verses were codified and collected, the verses of the Qur'ân
would be seventeen thousand; (Shaykh Al-Sadûk, 1978, 100) and ‘Alî, to the
claims, collected/brought together (al-jam ‘) these verses, and submitted to
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
both Abû Bakr and ‘Umar; yet these later two refused to accept it (Al-Kulaynî,
1389, II/628,633; Al-Tabrasî, 1403, 155,156).
According to Shî‘ah, the one who refuses to accept one of the Imams, and
denies the orders of God to be followed becomes infidel and is destined to
remain in the Hell forever (Shaykh Al-Mufîd, 1993, 44). This is because God
ordered His Prophet the “custodianship”/walâyah of ‘Alî; thence, the
custodianship of 'Alî becomes realized via the revelation of the Lord of the
universes (Al-Kulaynî, 1389, II/312). In parallel with this belief, when God
created the Ninth Heaven / al-‘Arsh, He wrote down on it the following
phrase: “There is no deity, except Allah; Muḥammad is His messenger; and
'Alî is the emir/commander of the believers” (Al-Tabrasî, 1403, 158). And
what Hârûn (‘AS) /Aaron is next to Mûsâ (‘AS)/Moses is 'Alî is next to
Muḥammad (‘AS), too (Al-Kulaynî, 1391, I/37).
One can easily realize that moderate Shiite authors try to soften such
evaluations in their works. Thus, Makârim al-Shîrâzî, one of the most
important Shiite scholars of the contemporary era, adduced that the doctrine
of Imâmah is the condition of being Shî‘î; not being Muslim Özek, 1993, 216).
And to Kâshif al-Ghiṭâ’, the one who accepts the doctrine of Imâmah is called
“special believer”, and the one not accepting the doctrine is called “general
believer”; and both have the same immunity privileges as Muslims as a whole
(Kâshif al-Ghiṭâ’, 1979, 62). What is more, Musawî who is Shiite origin,
severely criticizes the principles of Shî‘ah and sees the code and practice of
taqiyyah / “dissimulation”—that can be interpreted as justifying the
Imâmah/of 'Alî by binding his authority to divine will-testament—as
“opium”. Indeed, his notions are regarded as unacceptable in eyes of the
Shiites. What is important is here that be it moderate, or strict, the strife for
justifying and fixing the doctrine of Imâmah through revelation, to a great
extent, maims and harms the belief and understanding of revelation in Islam.
In fact, the narrations and texts that are named in Sunnite literatures as
Ghayr Matluw/“Unwritten (Expressions)” and al-Hadîth al-Qudsî/“Sanctified
Tradition” are called revelation in the literatures of Shî‘ah. Likewise, Shaykh
al- Ṣadûq (d. 381 AH) states in this matter the following important details:
“There are many revelations that are not found in the Qur'ân; if they are
included into it, the number of the Qur'ânic verses would be seventeen
thousand. These revelations are something like the statement by Gabriel to
the Prophet saying “—O Muḥammad! Allah decreed that you should behave
my creatures as I do”; or the expression of the Prophet (‘AS) phrasing
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
“Gabriel continuously recommended me to use miswâk / “toothbrush-stick”
so that I am afraid of losing my spittle wholly, and of becoming toothless”; or
the saying of the Prophet (‘AS) after the Battle of Khandaq “Allah is ordering
me not to perform the mid-afternoon prayer except in the land of Qurayẓah”,
and so on (Al-Sadûk, 1978, 100-101; Al-Kulaynî 1389, II/627, 631, 634; AlHillî, 1950, 9). For the sake of brevity, this matter strengthens the allegation
that Shî‘ah views the Qur'ân—(a) preserved between “two laps / covers”
(daffatayn); (b) transmitted through “successive narrations”/tawâtu—does
not contain all of the verses; hence, it is altered in history. In the same vein, in
the pertinent literatures, it is mentioned within the context of the history of
the Qur'ân that there are different Qur'âns; there are verses, or
sûrahs/“chapters” that are not included into it by using certain words, such
as alteration, conversion, deficiency, excession, defacement, and the like.
At this context, the most noteworthy and audacious example is the Sûrah alWalâyah/“Chapter of Custodianship”. This sûrah, in accordance with the
sentences in the source, named Kitâb al-Maṣâlib, comprises of seven verses,
and is named as al-Walâyah; yet it was excluded completely from the Qur'ân
(Al-Tabrâsî, 1298, 180, 181). The text starts with the following expressions:
‫يا أيِا الذيي آهٌْا آهٌْا ا بالٌبي ّ الْلي اللذيي بعثٌا ُوا يِدياًنن إلى الصزاط الوستقين‬
As such, it confirms the principles of Shî‘ah as a whole.
In addition to this “sûrah”, there is another surah, named the Surah alNûrayn/“the Chapter of Two Lights.” Thence, according to the asseveration,
this sûrah comprised of forty two verses and mentioned about the virtues of
'Alî and Ahl al-Bayt; yet during the works of “duplication”/istinsâkh by the
third caliph ‘Uthmân, he completely destroyed the sûrah (Al-Tabrâsî, 1298,
181). The sentence starting with the following expressions
‫يا أيِا الذيي آهٌْا أهٌْا بالٌْريي أًزلٌاُوا يتلْاى علينن آياتي ّيحذراًنن عذاب يْم عظين‬.
and ending with these phrases,.
‫ ّعلي الذيي سلنْا هسلنِن هٌي رحوة‬.‫ّعلى الذيي يبغْى عليِن هي بعدك غضبي إًِن قْم سْء خاسزيي‬
‫ُّن في الفزقاى آهٌْى ّالحود هلل رب العالويي‬.
set forth—lucidly and tacitly— a creedal code about 'Alî, according to which
not-believing in and submitting to the Wâsî/“Custodian”, i.e. 'Alî, is a sheer
depredation and infidelity.
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
Though these samples are highly dramatic and damaging with respect to the
notion and understanding of revelation; yet there is another issue that is
more detrimental to this notion than the former (deficiency of the sûrahs);
that is, the verses which are not included into the Qur'ân. This is because the
former allegation is a product of comparatively limited audacity; yet the later
is highly striking and destructive due the claim that the sûrahs of the Qur'ân
do not preserve their pristine and authentic form of the time it had been
revealed. That is to say putting the whole text of the Qur'ân in the dock.
Additionally, in the sources of Shî‘ah there is another narration that puts, it
would seem, the authenticity of the Qur'ân into jeopardized situation.
Namely, the allegations pertinent to the Surah al-Bayyinah. According to the
claim, in this sûrah the names of seventy people were mentioned (Al-Kulaynî,
1389, II/631); and—in another narration, it says—the names of 'Alî, Fâṭimah,
Ḥasan, and Ḥusayn were obliterated from the text (Al-Kulaynî, 1389, I/16). In
another narration, certain words are defaced in the Qur'ân; hence, the
expression "‫( "خيزأهة‬Qur’an, 3:110) should be replaced with the phrase " ‫أئوة‬
‫( " خيز‬Al-Qummî, 1991, I/22).
More strikingly, between the Shî‘ah and Ahl al-Sunnah there is serious and
drastic differentiation of views with regard to the case of the Muṣḥaf/ the
Qur'ân of 'Alî. To Shiite scholars, it is 'Alî who was the first person in the aim
collect the pages of the Qur'ân. He, according to the claim, collected the
Qur'ân, and classified the order of the sûrahs upon the will of the Prophet
(‘AS) (Al-Ḥujjatî, 1405, 147). Likewise, to al-Suyûṭî, after the decease of the
Prophet (‘AS), 'Alî was able to collect-gather the pages of the Qur'ân, not
going outside except for the Jum‘ah prayer (Al-Suyûṭî, 1987, I/183).
At this juncture, it is apt to remember and keep the common knowledge in
mind that the Qur'ân was written down by the scribes of revelation during
the time of the Prophet (‘AS), memorized by some of the Companions of the
Prophet; collected-codified after the decease of the Prophet during the
caliphate of Abû Bakr as a formal praxis; and duplicated during the time of
the third caliph ‘Uthmân. What is more, in Sunnite literature there are
independent works composed under the title of al-Maṣâḥif/Muṣḥafs (the
Qur'âns).2 As a rule, it is easy to understand the narrations regarding maṣâḥif
due to the existence of many scribes of revelation, and the companions who
are expert in writing. On the other hand, it is very problematic and
2 On this, the following work salienty important: Ibn Abî Dâvûd al-Sijisṭânî, Kitâb al-Maṣâhif as
published by Arthur Jeffery (no date-no place).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
detrimental to the scale of the phenomenon of revelation that there are many
narrations centered on the books of the Qur'ân, such as Muṣḥaf 'Alî ('Alî’s
Qur'ân), Muṣḥaf Fâṭimah, al-Śaḥîfah, al-Jâmi ‘ah, and al-Jafr/Jifir.
In addition, according to certain narrations only 'Alî and Imâms gathered the
whole section of the Qur'ân and memorized just after the event of revelation.
And those who lay such claims—namely, gathering and memorizing the
Qur'ân—are sheer liars (Al-Kulaynî, 1389, I/332). Likewise, there are some
Shiite discourses in the same vein. For example: In the Muṣḥaf of 'Alî there
are things not existent in the Qur'ân; After collecting his own Muṣḥaf, 'Alî
presented it to the Companions of the Prophet (‘AS); yet they did not accept
it; 'Alî told the Companions of the Prophet that only those who are “pure” and
custodians/wâṣîs may able to touch that Qur'ân; and this Qur'ân would be
brought out when the upright and righteous imâm came to the world (AlKulaynî, 1389, I/663). Furthermore, there is another narration claiming that
upon the decease of the Prophet (‘AS), his daughter Fâṭimah fell in a deep
sorrow so that an angel came to console her during her sad times. That angel
gave some occult news to her; and 'Alî penned down these news, and in the
end a muṣḥaf became formed (Al-Tabrasî, 1403, 155-156). By doing so,
Fâṭimah happens to be included into the case of revelation.
What is more, there is a deep incongruence between the Uṣûlî Shiites and
Akhbârî Shiites with regard to the case of deficient revelations in the Qur'ân.
This matter has been abused for centuries by different groups. On this, M.
Tayyip Okiç says that the Muṣḥaf containing these two fabricated /
apocryphal sûrahs is found in the Library of Bankipor, India; and certain
Orientalists, such a Mirza Alexandre Kazem Bek, De Tassy, and Tisdall wrote
a few papers on this subject (Al-Kulaynî, 1389, I/346-350). In fact, during the
time when means of communication was limited and restricted, reaching
texts and manuscripts on any subject were highly difficult; yet today in an era
in which ways of communication have become highly reachable so that one
can easily download many materials within a few seconds through internet,
and other channels of connection. This situation well applies in connection
with the source that mentions about these two fabricated “sûrahs”; namely,
the works of Muḥsin-i Fânî of Kashmir, i.e. Dabistân-ı Madhâhib; of
Muḥammad Shahrushâb Mâzendarânî, namely Kitâb al-Maṣâlib; and of
Tabarsî who was, probably, the first Muslim scholar to pen down on the
allegations of alteration of the Qur'ân, that is Faṣl al-Khiṭâb were readily
downloadable through internet with along with their old and new versions.
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
Revealingly, the following both cases put seriously the authenticity of the
Qur'ân in the dock; namely (a) there are certain sûrahs and verses that were
not included into the Qur'ân; and (b) some verses are deficient; hence, some
words—such as “‫”فى ّالية على‬, “َ‫”هحود ّ آل‬, “‫”آه هحود‬, “‫”األئوة‬, “‫“ ”الْصية‬in the
custodianship of ‘Alî”; “Muḥammad and his household”; “household of
Muḥammad”; “the Imâms”, “the will of appointment”, and the like–should be
included into certain verses.
On the other hand, the Shiite scholar Rasûl Ja‘fariyân, who views that the
alteration of the Qur'ân is a wholly fabricated claim; and himself composed a
book on this issue, comprising altering views of Shiite scholars in this regard,
says that trustworthy narrators do not accept doubtful narrations; hence,
none of these narrators, including al-Kulaynî who relates the narrations
under study, are immune from the net of criticism and animadversion
(Cerrahoğlu, 1998, I/406-407). Nonetheless, these allegations and claims do
not adumbrate the authenticity and value of the Qur'ân.
Indeed, leaving the narrations mentioned above aside, it is reasonable to hold
that like some of the companions of the Prophet (‘AS) who had his/her own
muṣḥaf, 'Alî would have a very precious muṣḥaf due to his close relationships
with the Prophet (‘AS), and his caliber of knowledge. Hence, at such a
context, there is no problem to hold the view of Shî‘ah, according to which
there is a general consensus of Muslims scholars/‘ulamâ’ on 'Alî’s
compilation of the Qur'ân upon the order of the Prophet (‘AS) (Al-Ḥujjatî,
1365, 147). In fact, in some Muslim sources there are narrations regarding
that 'Alî’ had penned down a Muṣḥaf. Not to mention, there might be some
personal notes and explanations that belong to 'Alî himself; because his
Muṣḥaf was a personal work. Thus, by carrying the case further, it is not a
just conclusion to say that the compilation of the Qur'ân was done 'Alî
himself alone; he compiled it, and passed it down to his sons, Ḥasan, Ḥusayn,
and then the succeeding imams, and ultimately to the occult Mahdî; and at
the end the Imam al-Mahdî would bring it out after his appearance on the
world. Historically, this matter cannot be verified; because 'Alî became caliph
and seized the power after ‘Uthmân who gave the last form to the Qur’ân;
and during his own caliphate, he neither set forth his own muṣḥaf, nor did
hold a position as opposed to the Muṣḥaf duplicated by his predecessor, the
caliph ‘Uthmân.
What is more, the subject matters, such as Muṣḥaf Fâṭimah, al-Śaḥîfah, alJâmi ‘ah, and al-Jafr/Jifir, which are attributed to 'Alî, and are detailed in
polemical tracts (Al-Ẓâhir, 1983, 31-32) and, are open to abuses (Al-Kulaynî,
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
1389, I/348-349; Al-Mughniyah, undated, 58). Though the case is somehow
connected with the subject matter of revelation, it is full of expressions
maiming, by and large, the very notion of revelation.
Mirzâ Ḥusayn Nûrî Tabrasî (d. 1320)’s work, Faṣl al-Khiṭâb fî Taḥrîf Kitâb
Rabb al-Arbâb, which is at the center of the case of the revelations excluded
from the Qur'ân, and criticized severely and widely by Shiite scholars—
though the scholarship of its author is beyond criticism among the Shiite
milieu—is the most striking and salient work while discussing Shî‘ah and its
perception of revelation.3
Faṣl al-Khiṭâb was criticized and reacted both by the Sunnite scholars and the
Shiites; and thus many works were written to response its claims. One of the
most noteworthy works in disparaging the above work was penned down by
Maḥmûd Tahrânî, whose book’s name is Kashf al-Irtiyâb. When this
raddiyah/“refuting work” reached Tabarsî, he said that the word taḥrîf used
in his work, Faṣl al-Khiṭâb, does not denote the notions of conversion
(taghyîr) and alteration (tabdîl); yet it means the exclusion of revelations;
thence, this meaning of the terms does not maim revelations within the
Qur'ân. Nonetheless, he accepted that he might err in naming his book as
such; and claimed that al-Qawl al-Fâṣil fî İsqât ba‘ḍ al-Waḥy would be called a
revealed section (Al-Tahrânî, 1983, XVI/231-232). In fact, this expression of
defense makes the issue more problematic and tangled.
On the other hand, in his work written down in the aim to refute the
allegations regarding the immutability of revelation, Rasûl Ja‘fariyân claims,
in defending Tabarsî’s notions, that many narrations found in his book can be
also seen in Sunnî literatures (Ja ‘fariyân, 1985, 67-71). Nevertheless, the
existence of such narrations in Sunnî literatures does not acquit the notion of
Tabarsî. Indeed, though they are found in certain authentic prophetic
tradition works, primarily in the books of al-Bukhârî, al-Muslîm, and the like,
in the Sunnite milieu, the following matters are not in congruent with the
authenticity, value, protection—in terms of both written and memorized
form—of the Qur'ân as a whole; hence, they should be rejected: the Rajm
Verse/“Stoning (of adulterers) Verse; the matter that the Sûrah al-Aḥzâb is to
be longer; the acceptance of the Qunut supplications as a sûrah; the “verse”
3 He was born in the year 1254 CE in a village of Taberistan, and died in 1320 CE, and buried
in a grave near the sepulcher of 'Alî, who Islam so believed, the grand-grand-father of the
author. See on this: Tahrânî, Aga Buzurg, al-Zariah, V. 16, p. 231.
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
regarding the one who has gold full of valleys; the “verse” for
nursing/lactating, and so on.
All in all, any scholar who is of conscience is expected to act responsible
towards the Qur’ân that is a founding text, setting the tenets of religion
without making any sectarian discrimination.4
For the sake of generalization, the problem of the existence of revelations
outside of the Qur'ân has continued to be a burning issue between Sunnites
and Shiites. And this issue becomes a kind of enmity fostered through
political ethos. Most revealingly, the speeches given by some Shiite preachers
at pulpits set the stage for those who are inclined to accuse the Shiites of
infidelity through internet and world-wide-web. For instance, when the case
taḥrîf al-Qur'ân/alteration of the Qur'ân was queried via search engine,
myrid texts and videos at tube sites can be reachable within only a few
Not to mention, it should be kept in mind that the discourses and narrations
maiming the authenticity and immutability of the Qur'ân are more
detrimental and baneful in the fold of religion than the notions set forth by
those who are convicted of being apostate and given death fatwa against
them, such as Salman Rushdî, Taslimah Nasrin, and the like.
In fact, it is not a mistake to view that sectarian disputation and problems are
products of political means and ends. One can readily find out many
examples in this regard in the sources of al-Milal wa al-Niḥâl/“Religions and
Nowadays, on the other hand, the traditional Sunnites-Shiite polemics are
disguised under the new dichotomy of Shiite-Wahhabite. In reaction to wide,
intense Shiite publications especially after the Iranian Revolution in
propagating revolutionary notions, many works of refutation sprung up. At
this point, the works of Ihsân İlâhî al-Ẓâhir would be a good example, for
nearly all of his works were penned down in a refutation manner against
4 See on the issue regarding the narrations that contradict to the authenticity and
immutability of the Qur'ân in Sunnite sources and their critique: Şaban Karataş, Şiada ve Sünni
Kaynaklarda Kuran Tarihi, p. 191 et al.
5 When the expression tahrîf al-Qur'ân/“alteration of the Qur'ân” was sought on the internet,
there were 2.780.000 hits with the pertinent expression just within 0.29 seconds.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Shî‘ah.6 Among his works, the book, named Shî‘ah and the Qur'ân is
noteworthy. This book—352 paged work—comprises of the criticism of the
large section of the book, Faṣl al-Khiṭâb, an undated work, written by Ḥusayn
Tâki Nûrî al-Tabrasî, the Shiite muhaddith/“scholar of prophetic tradition”.
According to al-Ẓâhir, the Shiites became detracted from the path of Muslims
due to their belief in the non-authenticity of the Qur'ân. And he claims that
Shî‘ah rejects the fundamental sources/nuṣûṣ, i.e, the Qur'ân and Sunnah (AlẒâhir, 1983, 70).
Likewise, Muḥammad al-Bâqir al-Hujjatî says that Shiite scholars opine that
it is forbidden to publish the afore-mentioned work of Tabarsî, and the book
is considered as a work of heresy among them (Al-Ḥujjatî, 1993, 208).
Indeed, this is a serious criticism of Tabarsî and his work.
For the sake of brevity, the following concluding remarks can be added here:
An exact definition, negating the irrelevant and affirming the pertinent, of the
Qur'ân is that it is the word of God, brought down / revealed to the Prophet
(‘AS), and prayed through its recitation. In explicating this definition, the next
elements are to be noted: (a) the word “bringing down” / inzâl denotes its
source; namely, divine revelation; (b) the citation of the Prophet (‘AS)
implies that the former revelations are not included in this composition; (c)
the wording “prayed through its recitation” aims at excluding other texts, be
they expressions such as al-hadîth al-qudsî, or they concepts such as
anomalous recitations (Drâz, 1985, 10). 7 And the compiled form between
two laps/coveres (daffatayn) of revelations brought down to the last prophet
Muḥammad (‘AS) is named at times the Qur'ân, and sometimes the Kitâb. The
former means recitation; namely, reading; and the later connote kitâbah; that
is to say, writing. Both meanings hint that the Qur'ân is foremostly a Muṣḥaf.
And according to the narration related by al-Kulaynî, “every word that is in
contradicted with the book of Allah is meaningless (zukhruf) (Al-Kulaynî,
1389, I/89). Likewise, Shaykh al-Ṣadûq enunciates that “the one who
adduces that the Qur'ân is more than this (extant situation) is a sheer liar”
(Shaykh al-Ṣadûq, 1978, 99). Concisely, the narrations as opposed to the
immutability of revelation are rejected by the leading Shiite scholars, such as
6 al-Ẓâhir was born in Sialkot, Pakistan in 1945, and murdered with a bomb attack in 1987.
His corpse was buried in the Baqi’ Cemetery following the funeral prayer led by ‘Abdullah b.
7 Drâz accepts al-hadîth al-qudsî as al-hadîth al-nabawî / “prophetic tradition”.
Karataş, The Concept of Revelation in Shi‘ah
al-Ṭûsî, Sharîf Murtaḍa, Sharîf Raḍî, Shaykh Mufîd, and the like (AlShahristânî, 1371,77).
To sum up, the Qur'ân comprises of open and clear codes regarding the
prophecy of Muḥammad (‘AS); hence, being from the household of the
Prophet (‘AS) is not singly a means of elevation Qur’an, 34:40). More
importantly, the Qur'ân is not a family book, and the Prophet (‘AS) was sent
as a mercy to the whole worlds.
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Sabri Hizmetli, Hasan Onat), Ankara.
Al-Zabîdî, (1311). Tâj al-‘Arûs, Egypt.
M. Tahir ÖZTÜRK
E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Öztürk. M. T., (2012). Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an important
name of the leading representatives of Turkish religious music. Journal
of Intercultural and Religious Studies. (3), 39-47.
Fevzi Mısır is the one who is described as “doyen and master”, and also the
major representatives of Turkish Religious Music. Although approaching the
age of ninety, it is the evident of his passionate of music and success that he
still continues to do Quran Recitation (hafızlık) and to read and sing Mevlid
(mevlidhanlık). Despite this, there is very litte -almost none- written
information source about him. This is the reason of why this study was
written. Mısır began his hafiz education after primary education at the
instance of his father, and then he carried this ability gathering with music
up to the peak with the help of his master Hafız Ahmet Hızal. He conveyed
his reputation widened especially after 1950 at home to abroad after 1975.
He participated in numerous religious activities such as particularly Mevlid
programs together with the major representatives of Turkish Religious
Music at home and in abroad. Hafiz Fevzi Mısır's musical performance in the
context of Turkish Religious Music is in such forms following: Recitation
(tilawat) of the Holy Quran, azan, mevlid, hymn, lyric (gazel) and ode
(kaside). Some of the names whom he has worked with are as follows: Hafız
Mecit Sesigür (ölm. 1962), Hafız Nusret Yeşilçay (d. 1987), Hafız Bekir Sıtkı
Sezgin (d. 1996), Hafız Zeki Altun (d. 1999), Duahan Adem Erim (d. 2003),
Hafız Kani Karaca (d. 2004), Mevlidhan Amir Ateş, Hafız İbrahim
 Dr., Research Assistant at the Turkish Religious Music in the Department of Islamic History
and Arts of Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Çanakkaleli, Hafız Aziz Bahriyeli, Hafız Mehmet Soysal, Hafız Kadir Konya,
Hafız İsmail Coşar. Fevzi Mısır worked as being muezzin and imam for the
Religious Affairs Organization more than 25 years.
Keywords: Hafız Fevzi Mısır, Hafız Ahmed Hızal, Turkish Religious
Öztürk, Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an Important Name of the Leading Representatives of
Turkish Religious Music
Fevzi Mısır is a prominent name which is familiar to everyone who is
especially interested in the Turkish Religious Music. By all accounts, people
who are in his field agree that he is a "veteran and master". (Akıncı, 2012:
71) Even though he is almost 90 years old, his effort to continue in “hafız”
(Quran reciter) and “mevlidhan” (mevlid reader) is the objective evidence
proving the honorific used for him. However, the source being able to use
about Fevzi Mısır such as written data and except for the tape recordings
partly accessible on the internet is very limited (Akıncı, 2012: 70-71, ).1 We
can easily say that: Unfortunately, like many other precious masters, Hafız
Fevzi Mısır isn't known as he deserves, either. It is the reason for this case
study was written.2
Short Life Story
Fevzi Mısır was born as being of the oldest
child3 of both Hüseyin Bey and Fatma Şerife
Hanim in Abalı village of Adapazarı on March
20, 1925. He attended the primary school
here. At that age, his dream was to be an
officer, but his father wanted him to be “hafız”
so that he started to study Quran recitation
(hafızlık). He took the first Quran lessons
from Hodja Nuri, the imam of the village.4
Then, he completed the education of Quran
recitation with Hafız Himmet Efendi, the
teacher (Hoca) of the Adapazarı Quran
Photo 1: Young time of Hafız Fevzi
1 Yeni Şafak daily 26.08.2011 dated issue ( Gundem/?i=337544).
Look at for the general information related with the issue Mehmet Fahri Furat, Türkiye'de
İşitsel Dinî Mirasın Arşivlenmesi, Paper presented at the Symposium on Religion and Music held
in Istanbul on 26-27 April 2012.
2 This study realized under the leading of the interviews done at Hafız Fevzi Mısır’s home.
First interview date is on 10 January 2001, the last one was held on 09 February 2013.
3 Fevzi Mısır’s elder brother Mr. Kemal Mısır and sister Ms. Nazmiye Bozturgut are alive. Mısır
married three times respectively in 1943, 1954 and in 1962. From those marriages he has got
four children named as Muammer, Necmettin, Zuhal and Serdar.
4 Fevzi Mısır started the Quran classes together with his two friends named Cevat and Fikri
from the same village.
5 Fevzi Mısır's first mawlid occurred in this period.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Between 1942 and 1944, during the month of Ramadan in Eskişehir he
participated in his first reciprocal Quran reading (mukabele). He began his
military service as an anti-tank private at the Yıldız Palace in 1945, in
Istanbul. Then he completed the duty in Selimiye Barracks. In 1949, Mısır
started his first official appointed in Yakacık where he had been served as
being imam and muezzin (the person appointed at a mosque to lead, and
recite, the call to prayer for every event of prayer and worship in the mosque)
for approximately 1.5 years.6 Due to his father insistence, he resigned and
returned to his hometown Adapazarı, then became the muezzin of Yeni Camii
Mosque. After working there for 8 months, Mısır went to the Heybeliada
Island, Istanbul in order to advance his career in Quran recitation.
Heybeliada and the process beginning with the Island are very important in
Fevzi Mısır's life. Because, he started to take classes regarding the
methodology of Quran reading and tajwid from Hafız Ahmet Hızal7 (Adalı
Hoca) for whom he said "he is the one who
taught everything for being a hafız". During
this education process he assisted his teacher
in the Quran Course. In 1952, he won the first
place in the Imam examination prepared by
the office of Grand Mufti of Istanbul. Then he
started to serve as being imam at the
Hamidiye Mosque on the Büyükada Island. In
the same period, we see Fevzi Mısır as
reaching a new phase for his name to be
recognized by public. After Fevzi Mısır won
the exam of the Ankara Radio, he started first
Photo 2: Hafız Ahmet Hızal (Adalı)
to recite Quran, then Mawlid on the radio
program on Friday evenings.8 During this
6 His first azan in Arabic occurred in this period, too. As it may be well known; azan had been
called to in Turkish between 1932 and 1950. Look at T.D.V. İslam Ans., 1995, v. 12, ps. 38-41.
7 Adalı Hafız Ahmet Hızal (1912-1991): He belongs to such a family that the ancestors both
from his mother and father's side were hafız. Hafiz Ahmed Hızal is mentioned among the
proficient and important hafız. He has a reputation under the name of Adalı Hoca. After 1950,
he read Quran and mawlid live on TRT radio first. For detailed information, look at. Halil
Akıncı op.cit, p. 35-36; and also look at
8 At the Ankara Radio, Introduction of Fevzi Mısır was done like: “Fevzi Mısır, who is the imam
- preacher of Hamidiye Mosque of the Istanbul Buyükada Island, will read the ..... episode of
Grand Mawlid”.
Öztürk, Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an Important Name of the Leading Representatives of
Turkish Religious Music
period, he kept on the Quran reading and tajwid classes with Adalı Hoca.
Following the 10 year-serving at the duty on the Büyükada Island, with an
office exchange he started serving as being imam at Soğanağa Mosque in
Beyazıt for approximately 6 month-work. It was 1962 that Fevzi Mısır was
appointed as Grand Imam to Hırka-i Şerif Mosque by Kamil Bey, Mufti of
Hafız Fevzi Mısır, whose name was known in the whole country, went to
Germany (including Eastern Germany existing at that time) with the support
of Kemal Ilıcak (died 1993), the owner of Tercüman Daily, in 1975, and
started his abroad programs which would last until 2002.9 Mısır stayed in
Germany during the month of Ramadan and visited the densely Turkish
populated cities such as Berlin, Bochum, Cologne, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf,
Hamburg, Munich together with some distinguished Hafız like Aziz Bahriyeli
and İbrahim Çanakkaleli.10 Mısır was retired from the Department of
Cemeteries in 1977 after his 25-year and 2-month service in Organization of
Religious Affairs as being muezzin-imam-preacher.
Hafız Fevzi Mısır, a Music Lover Engaged in Music and Tutorial
Adali Hoca was the most important name
who developed Fevzi Mısır's musical skill
first. Additionally; he studied Turkish Music
violinist/conductor of Turkish Classical
Music, and Hafız Aziz Bahriyeli at the class
of Rüştü Eriç (dead 2007), the oud player
and composer, at the Turkey Quran Reciters
and Mawlid Readers Society (Türkiye
Hafızlar ve Mevlidhanlar Cemiyeti).
In our opinion, it will be useful to give some
information briefly about religious officials
and their training we gained and collected
Photo 3: Hafız Fevzi Mısır
9 His programs held in abroad gradually increasing during the 1980s had been in the form of
concerts organized by Neyzen Kutsi Erguner mostly. Fevzi Mısır's last concert was in 2002.
The countries he went under the abroad programs: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain,
Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Morocco, and Tunisia.
10 The reason of both Hafız Fevzi Mısır and İbrahim Çanakkaleli’s leaving from the müezzin
post of Süleymaniye Mosque -with the words of Fevzi Mısır personally- was their deliberate
effort to put themselves in trouble at the Religious Affairs Organization (Diyanet Teşkilatı)
through official channel.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
from the interviews carried out with Fevzi Mısır. According to Fevzi Mısır, it
is enough internalized music knowledge at least on a basic level but sincere
for a religious official: Music modals (makams) such as Rast, Uşşak, Hüseyni,
Hicaz, Hüzzam, Saba. According to Fevzi Mısır, beside the repertoire of
religious music, at least, within the framework of certain music modals they
must have non-religious musical repertoire, too. According to him, especially
the religious officials who work in the areas inhabited by non-Muslims need to
have an impressive and beautiful voice. Because the responsibilities of those
who serve there are much more due to the non-Muslim elements.
We see Hafız Fevzi Mısır's performance in such that music forms in the
context of Turkish Religious Music during his more than 60 years-long and
still on-going Quran reciting with Mevlid Reading: Recitation of the Holy
Quran, azan, mevlid, hymn, lyric (gazel) and ode (kaside).
Fevzi Mısır attended to numerous religious activities, especially to the
mawlid reading programs at home and abroad together with important
representatives of Turkish Religious Music. Some of them are: Hafız Mecit
Sesigür (died 1962), Hafız Nusret Yeşilçay11 (died 1987), Hafız Bekir Sıtkı
Sezgin (died 1996), Hafız Zeki Altun (died 1999), Duahan Adem Erim
(died 2003), Hafız Kani Karaca (died 2004), Mevlidhan Amir Ateş, Hafız
İbrahim Çanakkaleli, Hafız Aziz Bahriyeli, Hafız Mehmet Soysal, Hafız
Kadir Konya, Hafız İsmail Coşar...
We believe that the trainer aspect of Fevzi Mısır should be mentioned.
Unfortunately, it is remarkable that only a few people could have gained
benefit of the teacher-student relationship from the one who is a prominent
master in his field like Mısır. The more remarkable aspect of this situation is
that the majority of those few ones are women.12
It was mentioned before that Hafız Fevzi Mısır had drowned attention to the
importance of the beautiful and impressive voice. We consider as the last
obligation upon us in the context of this study to convey an anecdote he lived
personally while he was serving in Büyükada through his own words, and to
present one of the music notes copy of precious azan which he sang as
attached to this study (Öztürk, 2001, 48-49).
"We had a muezzin, but his voice was so ugly; you know, there were more nonMuslims over there. Under that circumstance, I decided to call to the Friday
11 Türkiye Hafızlar ve Mevlidhanlar Cemiyeti was founded in 1959 by Hafız Nusret Yeşilçay.
12 Burhan Gürel, Kadir Konya, Esra Hanım, Güler Hanım, Cihan Hanım.
Öztürk, Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an Important Name of the Leading Representatives of
Turkish Religious Music
mornings' azan instead of him. Microphone installation of the mosque was
quite perfect. We had a technician to maintain that system, too. So the days
went on like, on Fridays, an old Jewish gentleman started to appear at the door
with a bunch of flowers or a present in his hand. On every Friday continuously...
Tears in his eyes... He always said that "Sir, we listened to you in the morning
and cried." and then left. After a certain time, one day, during the afternoon
azan, that gentleman was sitting among the congregation. He stood up and
talked: "Honourable Muslims! I have listened to the dearest Hodja every Friday.
In the presence of you, I accept Islam. You, too, be my witness." Later he
declared the testimony of faith." (Öztürk, 2001, 35-36).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Öztürk, Hafız Fevzi Mısır, an Important Name of the Leading Representatives of
Turkish Religious Music
Akdoğu, Onur (1996) Türk Müziğinde Türler ve Biçimler, Ege University
Press, İzmir.
Akıncı, Halil (2012) Son Yüzyılın Ünlü Hafız ve Mevlidhanları, Türkiye Hafızlar
ve Mevlidhanlar Cemiyeti, İstanbul.
Furat, Mehmet Fahri (2012) Türkiye'de İşitsel Dinî Mirasın Arşivlenmesi, the
Symposium on Religion and Music held in İstanbul on 26-27 April 2012.
Öztürk, Mustafa Tahir (2001) Türk Din Mûsikîsinde Ezan (Master's Degree
Thesis), Istanbul Technical University, Institute of Social Sciences, İstanbul.
Pakalın, Mehmet Zeki (1993) Osmanlı Tarih Deyimleri ve Terimleri Sözlüğü,
MEB Press, İstanbul.
Tura, Yalçın (1983) Dini Türk Mûsikîsi (Unpublished)
Gülüşan GÖCEN*
E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Göcen. G., (2012). The Relationships among gratitude,
appreciation, psychological well-being and religious orientation: an
empirical study with Turkish sample. Journal of Intercultural and
Religious Studies. (3), 49-70.
Recent researches in psychology have increasingly focused on exploring the
psychology of positive emotions. Particularly, gratitude and appreciation have
become an important area for researchers. This article aims to investigate the
links between gratitude, appreciation, psychological well-being and religious
orientation on Turkish sample. Moreover, it is reveals the role of gratitude and
appreciation on psychological well-being. Thus, Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ6), The Appreciation Scale (App-57), Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale
(IRM-10), and Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWB-18) were applied to
consist of 611 adults aged between 17 to 60 years. The findings reveal that
there are positive correlations among gratitude, appreciation, psychological
well-being and religiosity. According to the regression analyses, gratitude is
found to be more effective factor than appreciation on the psychological wellbeing. Moreover the findings indicate that “Gratitude to Parents”, “Gratitude
for the Close Relationships” and “Gratitude as Life Satisfaction” are significant
predictors of psychological well-being.
Keywords: Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being, Religiosity,
Life Satisfaction.
 This paper was presented in the 5th Biennial International Conference on Personal Meaning,
IAPR Congress, August 21 - 25, 2011, Bari, Italy.
* Dr., Teacher, İstanbul Bayrampaşa Mobil İmam Hatip SecondarySchool.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Gratitude and appreciation were the “forgotten factors” in happiness
researches (Emmons, 2009; McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002).
Therefore, the most part of the researches focus on the negative aspect of
psychology has been criticized (Fredrickson 2001; Snyder, & Lopez, 2002).
Researches that emphasize the cure and prevention of pathological issues
focus on the suffering experiences of person rather than the well-being
experiences of person (Fredrickson, 2001). With the positive
psychology movement, gratitude and well-being have become a mainstream
focus for psychological researches (e.g., Seligman, & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000;
Gable, & Haidt, 2000; Watkins et al., 2003; Fredrickson et al., 2003; Bono, &
McCullough, 2006; Bartlett, & DeSteno, 2006).
Considerable current empirical works indicate the relationship between
gratitude and well-being (e.g., Emmons, McCullough, 2003; Duckworth,
Steen, & Seligman, 2005; Kashdan, Uswatt, & Julian, 2006; Wood, Joseph, &
Linley, 2007a; Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley, & Joseph, 2008a). These studies
have been carried out in clinical samples (Duckworth, Steen, & Seligman,
2005), student (Sheldon, & Lyubomirsky, 2006) and adult samples
(Seligman, Park, Steen, & Peterson, 2005). Much of the present psychological
research into gratitude has focused on the nature of individual differences in
gratitude, and the consequences of being a more or less grateful person
(Wood, Joseph, & Linley, 2007a).
Throughout religious and philosophical traditions have deal with gratitude
as an integral part of well-being, religiosity and spirituality. The recent
studies have indicated that religiosity is a motivation feature of human being
to be grateful (e.g., Emmons, & Crumpler, 2000; Harpman, 2004). Therefore,
those who regularly attend religious services and rituals are more likely to
have a greater sense of gratitude in the most part of life (Emmons, &
McCullough, 2003; Emmons, & Kneezel, 2005; Krause, 2006).
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is one of the oldest concepts in the intellectual history. However, it
is relatively new in the history of psychology. Indeed, gratitude is a universal
part of the human being (McCullough, & Tsang, 2004). There are several
ways to conceptualize gratitude, as it has been variously described as an
emotion, an attitude, a moral virtue, a habit, a personality trait and a coping
response (Emmons, & McCullough, 2003). It is also defined as maintaining
events and situations of life that were characterized by positive thinking
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
(Scheier, & Carver, 1985; Peterson, 2000; Peterson, & Seligman, 2004).
Emmons (2004: 554) so brilliantly defines gratitude as “a sense of
thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift whether the gift is a
tangible benefit from a specific other or a moment of peaceful bliss evoked by
natural beauty”. This occasion emerges from when a person has intentionally
given or taken something to someone (Emmons, & Crumpler, 2000;
McCullough, & Tsang, 2004).
Gratitude is not only a thought process but also it is a psycho-social and
physical activity. So, gratitude is defined as other-oriented emotion, attitude,
a habit, personality trait. Agreeing with this conception, Tsang (2006: 139)
defines gratitude as “a positive emotional reaction to the receipt of a benefit
that is perceived to have resulted from the good intentions of another”.
Gratitude and appreciation may serve as a way to live a more satisfying and
meaningful life as a way of contribution for others (Kashdan et al., 2006). The
gratitude definition of Peterson and Seligman (2003) was considered a
character strength belonging to the so called “transcendental virtues” with
important benefits for both the individual and the society. On the other hand,
McCullough et al. (2001) conceptualize gratitude as an affect which guides
people’s cognitions and behaviors in the moral domain and also argue that
gratitude has three moral functions. It is a (a) benefit detector and both a (b)
reinforce and (c) motivator of prosocial behavior.
Generally gratitude is comprised of appreciation, thankfulness, and a sense of
wonder (Emmons, & Shelton, 2002; Emmons, 2009). However, some
researchers accept to gratitude, as a component of the appreciation (Adler &
Fagley, 2005). Appreciation is defined being aware of feelings and being
grateful, and can also be expressed internally or externally (Arrien, 2011).
The definition of appreciation in common dictionaries include “the act of
estimating the qualities of things according to their true worth”; “grateful
recognition”; “sensitive awareness or enjoyment [of something/some-one]”;
and “an increase in value” (Oxford, 1989: 1135; Dogan, 2009: 1043). Adler
and Fagley, (2005: 81) define appreciation as acknowledging the value and
meaning of something-an event, a person, a behavior, an object-and feeling a
positive emotional connection to it. In addition, Watkins and et al. (2004)
suggest the hallmark of grateful persons is the appreciation of the simple
things in life.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Gratitude and Psychological Well-being
Grateful emotions and behaviors typically come from the perception that
another person has intended to encourage one’s well-being (Emmons, &
Shelton, 2002; Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Bono, Emmons, & McCullough,
2004). Until this time, gratitude has been examined in terms of the different
ways by researchers. Most of these studies revealed that people who are
more grateful have higher levels of well-being (e.g., Ortony et al., 1988;
Lazarus, & Lazarus, 1994; Watkins, 2003; Emmons, & McCullough, 2003;
Wood, Joseph, & Maltby, 2008b, 2008c, 2009; Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley,
& Joseph, 2008d). According to Emmons, & Shelton (2002) grateful
responses to life can lead to peace of mind, happiness, physical health, and
deeper, more satisfying personal relationships. Grateful people feel more
frequent and intense grateful affect (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002;
McCullough, Tsang, & Emmons, 2004), have more positive views of their
social environments (Tsang, 2006; Wood, Maltby, Linley, & Joseph, 2008b),
utilize productive coping strategies (Wood, Joseph, & Linley, 2007a), have
more positive traits (McCullough et al., 2002; Wood, Joseph, & Maltby, 2008c;
Wood, Linley, Maltby, Baliousis, & Joseph, 2008e), and continually focus on
the positive in their environment, with a greater appreciation of their life and
their possessions (Wood et al., 2008c). Adler & Fagley (2005) suggest that
being appreciative facilitates and enhances subjective well-being. Similarly,
McCullough (2002) has also found gratitude to be linked to more helping
behaviors, high positive emotion, life satisfaction, increased hope, and lower
feelings of depression, anxiety, envy, as well as materialistic attitudes.
The eudemonic tradition of well-being emphasizes on the aspects of human
functioning that promote and reflect the pursuit of meaningful life goals
(Ryff, & Singer, 2000) and it is strongly associated with pleasant emotions
(e.g., Watson, Clark, McIntyre, & Hamaker, 1992; Kashdan, Rose, & Fincham,
2004). Wood et al. (2009) and Kashdan et al. (2006) show that gratitude
correlate with autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose
in life, and self-acceptance, covering most of the terrain of eudemonic wellbeing.
All relationships offer such potential for the experience of gratitude (Arrien,
2011). Gratitude may serve important functions in human beings’ social and
emotional lives (Emmons, 2004). Watkins (2004:172-184) suggests a series
of mechanisms to explain how gratitude may influence subjective well-being.
He mentioned that perceiving positive events as “gifts” might intensify wellbeing and gratitude may counteract the adaptation to satisfaction that
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
usually occurs as human responses. Then, the practice of gratitude may work
as a coping mechanism in situations of adversity by providing a helpful
perspective on life that assists in mood repair following a stressful event.
Gratitude and Religiosity
Gratitude has multiple dimensions. One of the most important of its
dimensions is the theological aspect. The thought of gratitude is an essential
and functional part of the world religions (Emmons, & Crumpler, 2000;
Emmons, & Hill, 2001). Gratitude is shaped by the basic attitudes, events and
prayers in the life (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). The Hebrew Scriptures,
the New Testament, and the Qur’an frequently mention gratitude as a central
virtue. Christianity, Judaism and Islam teach that one of the purposes of
human being is gratitude to God. In Judaism, gratitude is a vital component of
worship and permeates every aspect of the daily life of worshiper. In
Christianity, God is the giver of all gifts and the ultimate fountain for
thankfulness (Emmons, & Hill, 2001). In Islam, it is the teaching that one
should praise and be thankful to God in every circumstance (Uddin, 2002).
The Holy Quran mostly is filled with the expressions and ideas of gratitude.
God is called the greatest grateful (ash-Shakûr). The same as in Islamic
thought, the patience is the half of the faith and the other half is gratitude
(Quran, 2/276).
Gratitude is the appropriate response to the benevolence of a creator in all
religions, (Emmons, & Kneezel, 2005). Thus, gratitude is related to spritual
and religious experience and psychological well-being. The previous research
revealed that there was a relationship between religiosity, spirituality,
psychological well-being and gratitude (e.g., McCullough et al., 2002; Watkins
et al., 2003; Adler, & Fagley, 2005; Emmons, & Kneezel, 2005; Krause, 2006).
Watkins, Woodward, Stone and Kolts (2003) found that trait gratitude
correlated positively with intrinsic religiousness and negatively with
extrinsic religiousness. Additionally, there are some studies investigated a
significant negative correlation between religiosity and anxiety (Baker, &
Gorsuch, 1982; Bergin et al., 1987; Sturgeon, & Hamley, 1979) and lower
scores on depression measures (Genia, 1996; Genia, & Shaw, 1991; Koenig et
al., 2008).
The Statement of Problem
The researchers have conducted several researches that investigate the
relationship between gratitude and psychological well-being. These
researches have been carried out by the analysis from the Judeo Christian
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
samples from western societies. In this sense, the researchers do not have
any remarkable information about the role of gratitude for the different
societies such as Turkey. Thus, the main aim of this study is to open a door
for future studies. So, we need to some local researches to gain a deep
understanding for Turkish case because of the insufficient researches. As far
as we can see, this topic was not studied till our research.
The main aim of this study is to examine the relationships among gratitude,
appreciation, psychological well-being, and religiosity in the case of the
Turkish-Muslim sample. First, this study attempts to investigate the effects of
a grateful outlook on psychological well-being and religiosity. For this
reason, in this study we focused on the following main questions and
following hypotheses constructed for addressing research aims. (1) What
are the relationships between gratitude, appreciation, psychological wellbeing and religiosity? (2) Which factor is more effective in predicting
psychological well-being? Appreciation or gratitude? (3) Which factors of
appreciation is more effective in predicting psychological well-being?
 H1: There are positive strong relationships among gratitude, appreciation,
psychological well-being and religiosity. Furthermore, relationship
between religiosity and appreciation is stronger than relationship of
between religiosity and gratitude.
 H2: Appreciation is a more effective factor on psychological well-being
than gratitude.
 H3: Subscales of appreciation (gratitude as ritual, gratitude to parents,
gratitude as life satisfaction, expressing of gratitude, gratitude for the
close relationships, gratitude as possessions and gratitude as
self/social comparisons) encourage to psychological well-being of
The sample of this study consists of the Turkish-Muslim people who have
different social, economic, and educational status in Istanbul. They also were
chosen by the cluster sampling method. This study is conducted with 611
participants and ages 17 to 60 years. The average age of the study is 34 (SD =
9.66). 327 participants are female (53. 5 %) and 284 are male (46.5 %).
According to the marital status of the participants, 403 % (n = 246) are single
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
and 57.1 % (n = 349) are married. According to working status, 16. 0 % (n =
98) are students, 15.9 % (n = 97) are academicians, 12.8 % (n = 78) are
housewives, 9. 2 % (n = 56) are officers, 8. 7 % (n = 53) are workers, 6. 2 %
(n = 38) are health professionals, 4. 9 % (n = 30) are chaplains and 6. 9 % (n
= 42) are tradesmen. With respect to the education level of the participants,
19. 5 % (n = 119) are graduates of primary school, 9. 8 % (n = 60) are
graduates of secondary school, 15. 5 % (n = 95) are graduates of high school,
43. 0 % (n = 263) are university graduates, and 12. 1 % (n = 74) are postgraduates.
The gratitude of respondents is measured by the Gratitude Questionnaire
(GQ-6) and the Appreciation Scale. The questionnaire consists of the sections
of demographic information (such as age, gender, education level, socialeconomic status, working status), gratitude, appreciation, religious
motivation and psychological well-being.
Gratitude Scale
The measure was developed by McCullough et al. (2002). The GQ-6 focuses
on emotional experience of gratitude. Items are rated on a 1 (strongly
disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) scale. It has six items that measure the four
facets of the grateful disposition (i.e., intensity, frequency, span, and density).
The items probe gratitude intensity (“I feel thankful for what I have
experienced in life”; “If I had to list everything that I felt thankful for, it would
be a very long list”) and span (“I sometimes feel grateful for the smallest things;
I am grateful to a wide variety of people”). The Turkish adaptation of the GQ6 was done by Gocen (2012). Gocen (2012) used the study designed for
interpersonal relationships domain in a study on adult samples. She reveals
that the internal reliability coefficient of the Gratitude Scale (Cronbach alpha)
was ( = .72) and test-retest reliability was ( = .71) in her study.
The Appreciation Scale
The measure is developed by Adler and Fagley (2005). It contains 57 items,
and 8 sub-scales: (1) appreciation of people, (2) possessions, (3) the present
moment, (4) rituals, (5) feeling of awe, (6) social comparisons, (7) existential
concerns, and (8) behavior which expresses gratitude. The Turkish
adaptation of The Appreciation Scale was done by Gocen (2012) and
Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of total scale was reported, as ( = .93) and
found to be test-retest reliability as ( = .90). The Cronbach’s alpha
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
coefficient of the scale in total was found as ( = .90) in the present study
which is consistent with the one found by Gocen (2012).
The scale has also 8 sub-scales in Turkish version also and the Cronbach’s
alpha coefficients score of subscales are ranging from (.60) to (.90): as
Gratitude as Ritual (.90), Gratitude to Parents (.60), Gratitude as Life
Satisfaction (.74), Expressing of Gratitude (.73), Gratitude for the close
relationships ( .73), and Gratitude as Possessions (.63), Gratitude as Social
Comparative ( .84) and Awe (.60). Likewise, Adler and Fagley (2005) also
report that alpha score of subscales were found to be appreciation of people (
.76), possessions ( .83), the present moment as ( .77), rituals ( .84), feeling of
awe ( .74), social comparisons ( .62), existential concerns ( .78), and
loss/adversity ( .73). As seen, the alpha coefficients of the present study and
the study of Adler, & Fagley (2005) study are similar.
Psychological Well-being
In this study, respondents’ psychological well-being is measured using the
Rffy’s Psychological Well-being Scale (RPWS). Psychological Well-being Scale
was developed by Ryff (1989) in order to represent and assess these
components. Originally, each component includes 20 items but in order to
accommodate time, the scale was shortened (Ryff, & Keyes, 1995). In the
present study, the 18-item shortened Psychological Well-being Scale was
used. It has five subscales. Items are assessed "self acceptance, positive
relationships with others, personal growth, purpose in life, environmental
mastery and autonomy”. Participants responded on 5- point scale that ranges
from “strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly disagree” (5). Certain items are
reverse coded.
The Turkish adaptation of short form of the original scale was done by
Imamoglu (Imamoglu, 2004, see Beydoğan, 2008: 82-83). Cronbach’s alpha
internal consistency coefficient for the complete scale was reported as (.79)
(Imamoglu, 2004). The original scale has been revised to an eighteen item
version which has been found to have internal consistencies between alpha
(.70) and (.89). This short version of the scale provides enough psychometric
criteria to meet psychological well-being of person's (Ryff, & Keyes, 1995).
The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the scale in total is found as (.75) in the
present study. This result is consistent with the finding of Imamoglu (2004).
Furthermore, in this study Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of the subscales are
found as (.77) and (.86) respectively.
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale
This scale is used to determine the level of religious orientation of
participants. The Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale was developed by Hoge.
The measure is focused only on the intrinsic religious orientation (Hoge,
1972). The Scale IRM consists of ten items, such as (“One should seek God’s
guidance when making every important decision”) and (“Although I believe
in my religion, I feel there are many more important things in life”). Items are
rated on a 5 point Likert-type scale ranging from strongly disagree to
strongly agree. The Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale was adapted to
Turkish by Karaca (2000; 2001). He has found Cronbach's alpha of general
intrinsic religiosity as (.76) (Karaca, 2001). In the present study, the
Cronbach’s alpha value of the scale was found as ( =.83) which is similar to
the one which is found by Karaca.
The data of the study were collected by the researcher between March-April
2010 in Istanbul, Turkey. After explaining the aim of the study, some of the
volunteer participants were given self-report questionnaires papers and
some of them received the questionnaire by e-mail was sent by e-mail to the
volunteer participants. The process of filling out the questionnaire has taken
approximately 15 minutes. The quantitative data were coded and prepared
to statistical analysis using the SPSS 15.0 program. Descriptive statistics
include standard deviations, means, the Pearson correlation analyses and
stepwise regression analyses.
Correlations between gratitude, appreciation, religious orientation and
psychological well-being
Correlations between the gratitude, appreciation, psychological well-being
and religious orientation are presented in Table 1. The findings show that
each of the variable are significantly correlated (r = .25 to .64, p < .005).
According to Table I, gratitude correlates most strongly and positively with
appreciation (r = .64, p < .001). There is a medium correlation between
gratitude and religious orientation (r = .47, p < .001); on the other hand,
there is a large correlation between appreciation and religious orientation (r
= .49, p < .001).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Table I: Coefficients of correlations of appreciation, gratitude,
psychological well-being and religious orientation
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level
There is another significant correlation between religious orientation and
psychological well-being (r = .26, p <.001). Even with relatively low
corretation, there is a positive relationship between religious orientation and
psychological well-being. Table I show that appreciation (r = .46, p < .001)
and gratitude (r = .45, p < .001) have a medium correlation with
psychological well-being. The finding demonstrates that they have a positive
impact on person's being grateful and gratitude which is an important
predictor of religious orientation and psychological well-being. All finding in
Table I supported the first hypothesis of the study (H1) research that “There
are positive strong relationships between gratitude, appreciation,
psychological well-being and religious orientation.” (see Table I). And this
supports our claim “Relationship between religious orientation and
appreciation is stronger than relationship of between religious orientation and
Which factor is more effective in predicting psychological well-being? Is
appreciation or gratitude?
To answer this question, the effects of gratitude and appreciation on
psychological well-being needed to be assessed (see Table II). Thus,
psychological well-being is used as dependent variable; appreciation and
gratitude are used as independent variables. In Step 1, the factor ‘gratitude’ is
entered alone. In Step 2, two predictors, ‘gratitude’ and ‘appreciation’ are
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
entered simultaneously. The multiple regression analysis is presented in
Table II.
According to the results of the regression analyses, the factors ‘gratitude’ and
‘appreciation’ are significant predictors of psychological well-being. As Table II,
shows in Step 1, gratitude alone accounts for 20.7 % of the variance in
psychological well-being. However “gratitude” and “appreciation” is also
together account for 25 % of the variance in psychological well-being. The
gratitude made a serious contribution during predicting of psychological wellbeing with standardized regression coefficients of (β = .46, p = .000). The
results indicate that gratitude and appreciation increases as psychological
well-being increases. Additionally, Table II shows that gratitude is more
effective than appreciation on the psychological well-being. But as a result of
that, this finding does not support the second research hypothesis (H2) that
“Appreciation is a more effective factor on psychological well-being than
Which of the factors of appreciation have more effective in predicting
psychological well-being?
After testing the relationships between gratitude, appreciation and
psychological well-being, the study examines the relations of between the
factors of appreciation and psychological well-being. According to Table III,
the regression analysis is employed to find out the effect of the psychological
well-being on the factors of the appreciation.
The finding shows that three factors of the appreciation are more significant
predictors of the psychological well-being. First of all, “Gratitude to Parents”
quite highly influences psychological well-being (Step1: β =.451; t = 12.48; p
= .000). In step 1, the variable of Gratitude to Parents explains the 20.4 % of
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
psychological well-being by itself. Secondly, “Gratitude to Parents” and
“Gratitude for the Close Relationships” explains the 27.1 % of psychological
well-being in Step 2. Thirdly, “Gratitude in Life Satisfaction” explains the 29.7
% of psychological well-being all. As regards Beta coefficients, the positive
correlation is found between factors of appreciation (gratitude to parents,
gratitude for the close relationships, gratitude as in life satisfaction) and
psychological well-being (Step 3: β = .319; t = 8.60; p =.000; Step 2: β = .208; t
= 5.27; p =.000; Step 3: β= .183; t = 4.71; p = .000). These finding support
partly the third research hypothesis (H3) “Sub-scales of appreciation
(gratitude as ritual, gratitude to parents, gratitude as life satisfaction,
expressing of gratitude, gratitude for the close relationships, gratitude as
possessions and gratitude as self/social comparisons) encourage to
psychological well-being of person’s”.
We have paid our attention to gratitude as an important positive trait. We
specifically attempted to conduct a field study to examine the role of
gratitude in terms of the Turkish sample. The study aims to determine
whether gratitude and appreciation have any effective factors on
psychological well-being. The western-oriented researches shows that there
is a positive relationship among psychological well-being, gratitude,
religiosity or spirituality (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002; Seligman,
2005, Sheldon, & Lyumbomirsky, 2006, Watkins, 2004; Watkins, Woodward,
Stone, & Kolts, 2003). Likewise, with regard to the first research hypothesis
(H1), the result of this study indicates that gratitude, appreciation, religious
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
motivation and psychological
correlations on (see Table I).
Gratitude is both a psychological and a theological virtue (McCullough et al.
2001). Gratitude is typically seen as a religious concept and considering it
within religion is important for the Turkish-Muslim sample. According to
most of religious person, presenting gratitude for given blessings can be a
way to know and honor God. Thus, many religious traditions consider
worships and rituals as a gratitude for God. Moreover, the results of analysis
of correlation indicate that appreciation has stronger relationship with
religious orientation than gratitude (see Table I). As a result of this, we notice
that appreciation had a strong relationship with the religious orientation of
people. Similarly, our findings are supported by the models of Adler and
Fagley’s (2005) and McCullough et al., (2001, 2002). The research of Adler
and Fagley (2005) found that “gratitude as ritual” was an important factor on
spirituality. The structure of gratitude involves social interaction that does
not include only culturally specific features but it has also a multiple
dimensions. For this reason, the research of the west and the east has similar
contexts and results in terms of gratitude studies. In conclusion, it is possible
to say that having perceived gratitude as a dept or a forced responsibility to
God, contribute to person's religious orientation and well-being less. One
might also conclude that, in the Muslim model, appreciation, including
subscale of ritual and awe, is inter-related with a sacred dimension (see
Table 1).
Gratitude is the parent of virtues, which motivates people to be pro-social
and enhances well-being (McCullough et al., 2001). Grateful outlook can
produce other virtues such as generosity, humility, empathy, wisdom,
happiness, integrity, trust and hope. Several studies have shown that
religiosity and spirituality contribute to grateful feelings, attitudes and
behaviors (Emmons, Kneezel, 2005; McCullough et al. 2002; Krause, 2006;
Adler, & Fagley, 2005). There is a significant relationship between religiosity
and well-being (Yohannes, Koenig, Baldwin, & Connolly, 2008; Abdel-Khalek,
2007; Koenig et al. 2004). The study has shown that the relationship between
religious orientation and psychological well-being substantially is shaped by
the cultural context.
This relation could be explained with the interaction of religious orientation
on behaviors, emotions and cognitive circumstances. Being grateful to God is
essential to the psychological well-being of religious persons in the life
(Vergote, 1996) and many people state that the expressing of gratitude
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
brings happiness to their life (Rind, & Bordia, 2005; Algoe, Haidt, & Gable,
2008). According to the Islamic faith, coping with the life of difficulties is
considered gratitude (Kara, 2008). That is why He tests those who will
remain grateful to him. For instance, Pargament (1990) suggests that the
relationship between religiosity and psychological well-being might be better
explained by a religious coping model. Religiosity and spirituality add a
meaning to life and spiritual growth (Koenig, George, & Titus, 2004). There is
obvious evidence indicating that gratitude plays a critical role to connect
people during the hardships and motivates people to cope with these
situations (Fredrickson, Tugade, Waugh, & Larkin, 2003; Wood, Joseph, &
Linley, 2007b). Gratitude awakens the presence of other people in the world.
This awakening nurtures the heart and helps to create a meaning and
purpose for life. Emmons and McCullough (2003; 2004) and Watkins (2004)
suggest that the gratitude increases pleasant feelings and it diminishes
unpleasant emotions in life.
With regard to the second research hypothesis (H2), the findings indicate that
appreciation and gratitude are two independent predictors of well-being, but
gratitude is the best predictor. But, the linking between gratitude and wellbeing may have been different for gratitude interventions (Wood, A. M., et al.,
2010). As for the results of the regression analyses, gratitude is more
effective on the psychological well-being (see Table III). Accordingly, it
might be said that gratitude strongly promotes psychological well-being.
Other researchers have discovered that the higher levels of trait gratitude
has lead to more frequent and more intensive episodes of state gratitude
(McCullough, Tsang, & Emmons, 2004; Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley, &
Joseph, 2008b). Moreover, most psychologists report that trait gratitude is a
vital predictor of well-being (Emmons, & Crumpler, 2000; McCullough,
Emmons, & Tsang, 2002; Emmons, & McCullough, 2003; Watkins, Woodward,
Stone, & Kolts, 2003; Wood, Maltby, Gillett, Linley, & Joseph, 2008a). People
who take high scores from the measures of gratitude are tend to experience a
high life satisfaction and positive affects such as happiness, vitality, and hope.
Gratitude is a pro-social behavior (Seligman et al., 2005; Watkins, Scheer,
Ovnicek, Kolts, 2006; Lyubomirsky et al., 2009; Grant, & Gino, 2010), inspires
pro-social reciprocity (McCullough et al., 2002) and encourages on
friendships and other social bonds. Relating to the third research hypothesis
(H3), the findings indicate that “Gratitude to Parents”, “Gratitude for the Close
Relationships”, and “Gratitude as Life Satisfaction” are significant predictors of
psychological well-being respectively. This finding indicates that there is an
Göcen, The Relationships Among Gratitude, Appreciation, Psychological Well-being
and Religious Orientation: An Empirical Study with Turkish Sample
important relationship between psychological well-being and the factors of
appreciation (see Table III). The ability to be grateful develops in the context
of family and social relationships, and gratitude acting an essential role in
establishing and retaining all relations. The study shows that grateful people
make a contribution to others’ lives and this makes them happy. Similarly,
the findings of previous studies have showed that grateful people who has a
strong gratitude skill have an understanding capacity for the perspective of
others (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002; McCullough et al., 2001;
Bartlett, & DeSteno, 2006; Tsang, 2006; Dunn, & Schweitzer, 2005). In
addition, grateful persons are more generous and helpful to other people in
their treatment (McCullough et al., 2001; Bartlett and DeSteno, 2006). The
understanding of gratitude from this perspective is important because it
cultivates social resources (Fredrickson, 2004; McCullough et al., 2002). The
fact is that, in terms of Turkish society, social relations and social support are
more valuable than individualist traits. Consequently, this finding supports to
the claim of the study that gratitude serves as a social motivation
(McCullough, Kilpatrick, Emmons, & Larson, 2001), because gratitude is a
moral, psychological, and social and divine power. Gratitude and
appreciation contribute positively to psychological well-being.
Limitations and Directions for Future Research
The research has a few limitations. For example, the big sample size,
generalizability of issue and the comprehension ability of participations. We
used the state gratitude that based on self-report questionnaires to measure
the gratitude of participants. We experienced some difficulties to carry out
the study. Defining of gratitude in terms of the intercultural aspects is very
difficult. In fact, there are a few adjectives in English for stating grateful
feeling. Such as, the Turkish-Muslim culture has several words such as hamd,
kanaat, şukur, minnet to state of gratitude. Indeed, these differences between
two languages show the importance of gratitude in terms of cultures.
Future studies might focus on the convergence of self-report instruments
and structured clinical interviews. Especially, age groups, sex e.g. can be
comparatively examined. Future studies may include smaller, special and
different samples which would enable more profound analysis of existing
relations between intervening or moderating gratitude and psychological
well-being variables. Future investigations can be interested in to comparing
the effect of time discrepancy and to cultivate gratitude in terms of the most
effective long-term ways of kindling grateful thoughts and actions. Research
questions might be asked such as; which personality characteristics may
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
facilitate or inhibit gratitude interventions’ effects? Which thoughts and
attitudes block grateful thinking? Which gratitude measure has a big impact
on Turkish- Muslim people?
To sum up, we attempted to evaluate the effects of gratitude on TurkishIslamic culture and society by focusing on grateful thoughts, religious
motivation and psychological well-being. Furthermore we aimed to examine
the related construct and literature in terms of the cross cultural studies. In
spite of the vital of gratitude within Islamic theology and practice, very little
research has explored the relationship between religiosity and gratitude. The
study was carried out on Turkish sample first time. For this reason, we hope
we could make a contribution to developing gratitude psychology studies in
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Mehmet AYHAN
E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Ayhan, M., (2012). Fütûhât-ı mekkiyye’nin kaynakları.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies. (3). 71-94.
In this paper, we study information sources of al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, which
is written by a sufi author, İbn Arabî. We do not cover all sources and
document only the mostly used ones by İbn Arabî. Besides the apparent
sources of Futuhat like Quran and Sunnah, we discuss Poem, Messages with
Characteristics of Israiliyyat, Arabic Language and Grammar. In the analysis of
information sources, we first study them in a conceptual framework and later,
we provide examples of their use in Futuhat.
Keywords: Fütûhât, İbn Arabî, Kur’an, Sünnet, Şiir, İsrâîliyyat Niteliği Taşıyan
Haberler ile Arap Dili ve Grameri.
 Dr., Humanities and Social Sciences, Yıldız Tecnical University.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Sözlükte bilgi (ilim), bilmek, anlamak, öğrenmek, kavramak, haber vermek,
zannetmek gibi anlamlara (İbn Manzûr, XII, 416) gelmektedir. İslâmî
teminolojide genel olarak el-ilm ve el-ma‘rife (el-İlm ve el-ma‘rife kavramları
arasındaki nüans için bkz. Kâşânî, 1981, 106) kavramlarıyla ifade edilen bilgi
daha ziyade bilen (özne) ile bilinen (nesne) arasındaki ilişki, yahut bilme
eyleminin belirli bir ifade şekline bürünmüş sonucu olarak anlaşılmıştır. Aynı
şekilde sonuç olarak “bilinmiş” olduğu için bilginin malûmat kelimesiyle de
karşılandığı görülmektedir (Taylan, 1992, VI, 157).
Her ilmî disiplinin bilgiye ulaşmada ve ona değer atfetmede belli kriterleri
vardır. Müstakil bir ilmî disiplin olarak tasavvufun da kendisine özgü bilgi
edinme yolları bulunmaktadır.
Hicrî üçüncü asır bütün ilmî disiplinlerde olduğu gibi tasavvufun da
sistemleşmeye; temel öğretilerinin yerleşmeye başladığı dönemdir. Bu
dönemde yaşayan sûfilerde ilim anlayışı ve bilgi kaynağı bakımından akıl,
nakil ve duyular dışında başka bilgi kaynakları olduğu hususu, genellikle
kabul görmüştür (Demir, 1993, 43;Yıldırım, 2000, 284).
Sûfîlerden bazılarına göre akıl ve nakil belli ölçülerde dinî bilgilerin kaynağı
olmakla birlikte, en yüce ve en kutsal bilgiler keşf ve ilham gibi özel
yöntemlerle elde edilir.1 Keşf ve ilham insana Allah (c.c.) ve sıfatları
hakkında doğrudan bilgi verdikleri hâlde, akıl ve nas vasıtalı bilgi verirler.
Vasıtasız bilgiler olan, özel yöntemlerle tahsil edilen marifet ve ihsan, iç
tecrübe ve manevî gözleme dayandığından nass, kıyas ve istidlâle dayanan
aklî bilgilerden daha önemlidir. Çünkü biri doğrudan, diğeri ise dolaylı olarak
bilgiye ulaşır. Sûfilerin bilginin elde etme hususundaki yaklaşımları şu ikili
tasnifle paralellik göstermektedir: Zihin, bilgiyi iki yoldan elde eder: Sezgi
yolu ve istidlâl yolu ile (Pazarlı, 1972, 9).
Kelâmcıların çoğunluğu, sûfiyyenin bilgi edinme metotları olan keşf, ilham
vb. yolları gerçeğe ulaştırıcı bir bilgi kaynağı olarak görmezler. Keşf ve ilham
herkes tarafından kullanılması ve kontrol edilmesi mümkün olmayan bir
bilgi elde etme yoludur. Bu sebeple peygamberler haricindekilerin keşf ve
ilhamı herkesi bağlayıcı bir bilgi kaynağı olarak kabul edilemez. Gazâlî
(505/1111), Râzî (606/1210) ve Âmidî (631/1233) gibi kelamcılar, keşf ve
ilhamla kesin bilgilerin elde edilebileceğini kabul ederler (İzmirli, 1366, 59
vd). Ancak keşf ve ilhamın kesin bilgiler verebilmesi ve vehimden
1 İbn Arabî’nin bu konudaki görüşleri için bkz. (İbn Arabî, ts. I, 739; III, 335).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
arınabilmesi için nassla desteklenmesi zorunludur. Keşf ve ilham bir bakıma
ictihada benzer. Nasıl ki ictihad sadece sahibini bağlarsa keşf ve ilham da
genel-geçer bir hüküm ifade etmeyip sahibini bağlar ve zan ifade eder
(Kılavuz, 2007, 508-509).
Bir mutasavvıf olan İbn Arabî, Fütûhât’ında bilgi edinme yollarını ve bunların
değerini izah eder. Bilgi elde etme yolları kesinlik derecelerine göre
sıralandığında ilk sırayı vahiy alırken onu keşif, akıl ve duyular takip eder.
İbn Arabî’ye göre keşf2 yoluyla elde edilen ilim, zarûrîdir. Keşf metodu şüphe
götürmeyen kesin bir yoldur. Bu ilâhî bilgiyi ancak peygamberler ve bazı
velîler elde edebilirler. Akıl yolu ise mertebe olarak keşf yolunun altındadır.
Düşünce ve akli öncüllerle sonuca gitme yolu, şüphe karışabilen ve kesin
olmayan bir (İbn Arabî,ts. I, 319) yoldur.
Görüldüğü üzere İbn Arabî, ilhamı vahiyden hemen sonraya yerleştirmiş ve
nazari bilginin alternatifi olarak kabul etmiştir. Ayrıca vahiy bilgisinin
yorumunu daha emin bir yol olarak gördüğü keşfle yapar. İbn Arabî’ye göre
her ne kadar vahiy peygambere nazil olmuşsa da onu anlama kabiliyeti
velinin kalbine yerleştirilmiştir (İbn Arabî,ts. IV, 269). İbn Arabî’nin bu tasnifi
Kur’an’ın bilgi edinme yollarını duyular, akıl, sezgi ve vahiy olduğunu kabul
edenlerin görüşleriyle yakınlık arzetmektedir (Karadaş, 1999, 516).
Diğer disiplinlerin Fütûhât’taki bilgi kaynaklarını algılamasına bakıldığı
zaman çok farklı değerlendirmelerle karşılaşmak mümkündür. Nitekim her
branş, konuya kendi perspektifinden bakmakta ve İbn Arabî’nin kaynaklarını
da ona göre sıralamaktadır. Nitekim İbn Arabî’nin en fazla öne çıkan yönü
olarak tasavvuf kabul edildiğinde, bu alanda da birden fazla tasavvufî akım
referans gösterilmektedir. Bu tesbiti Afîfî şu cümlelerle ifade eder:
“Felsefî tasavvuf akımlarını inceleyen bir araştırmacı İbnü’l-Arabî’yi belirli bir
kaynağa ya da kaynaklara ircâ edemez. Bu kaynaklar ister felsefî, ister
tasavvufî, isterse de her ikisinin karışımı olsun durum aynıdır. Çünkü, gerçekten
de bu müslüman sûfi düşünür, felsefesini pek çok kaynaktan yararlanarak
2 Keşf terimi tasavvufta; perde arkasında ve aklın ötesinde ğaib olan bazı şeyleri yaşayarak ve
temâşâ ederek onlara vâkıf olmak anlamında kullanılmıştır (Cürcânî, 1983, 184). Ebû Nasr esSerrâc’a (378/988) göre keşf kelimesi, “bilinmeyen ve üstü kapalı olan şeylerin gözle
görülürcesine açılması” (Bkz. Serrâc, 1960, 422) anlamındadır. Tasavvuf, keşf ve ilhamı
entellüektüel bir çabanın sonucu olarak değil ahlâkî bir arınma ve yaşama sonunda ortaya
çıkan ilâhî bir lütuf olarak tanımlar (Bkz. Taylan, 1992, VI, 160). Sûfîler mükâşefe ve müşâhede
kavramlarını keşfin müteradifi olarak kullanırlar (Bkz. Mütercim Âsım, 1304, III, 718-720;
Suâd, 1981, 971-972; Ayrıca İbn Arabî’nin mükâşefe kavramının tarifi için bkz. (İbn Arabî,
1997, 535). Geniş bilgi için bkz. (Ayhan, (2011), 85-108).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
oluşturmuştur. O, sadece bir kaynakla sınırlı kalmamış ve sadece bir kimseyi
takip etmemiştir.” (Afîfî, 2000, 213).
Doktora tezimizden istifade edilerek hazırlanan bu çalışmada genel olarak
sûfilerin özelde ise İbn Arabî’nin bilgi kaynakları Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye
ekseninde ele alınmıştır. Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye taranırken Kur'an ve Sünnet
yanında tesbit edilen diğer kaynaklar not edilerek kısaca izah edilmiştir. elFütûhâtu’l-Mekkiyye’nin tercih edilme sebebi, eserde İbn Arabî’nin tasavvufî
görüşlerinin en geniş boyutlarıyla açıklanmış, ayrıca onun düşünce
sisteminin temellerinin yansıtılmış olmasıdır. Herhangi bir konuda bir görüş
İbn Arabî’ye izâfe edilecekse, bu görüşü Fütûhât’a isnad etmeksizin ileri
sürmek doğru değildir (Bilmen, 1960, II, 336). Bu yüzden öncelikle Fütûhât’ı
yakından tanımakta fayda vardır.
Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye
Araştırmamızın temel kaynağı İbn Arabî’nin el-Fütûhâtü’l-Mekkiyye fî
mâ‘rifeti’l-esrâri-l-mâlikiyye ve’l-mülkiyye adlı eseridir.3 İbn Arabî, ilham
ürünü bilgiler kendisine Mekke’de tavaf esnasında geldiği için eserine bu adı
verdiğini belirtmiştir (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 72 vd.). Kısaca Fütûhât olarak
şöhret bulan bu eserini Mekke’de 598/1201 yılında telif etmeye başlamış,
otuz bir yıl süren çalışmasını 629/1231’de tamamlamıştır. 632/1234’te
Şam’da eseri gözden geçirerek yeniden yazmaya başlamıştır. Bu esnada üçte
bir oranında ilave ve çıkarmalar yaptıktan sonra nihâî şeklini verdiği
Fütûhât’ın bu ikinci nüshasını bizzat kendi eliyle yazıp ölümünden iki yıl önce
(636/1238 senesinin Rebî‘u’l-Evvel ayının yirmi dördünde) tamamlamıştır
(Kılıç,1996, XIII, 252). Bizzat İbn Arabî’nin kendi eliyle yazdığı bu nüsha
Şam’da bulunan İbn Arabî türbesinde bir süre muhafaza edildikten sonra
üvey oğlu Sadreddin Konevî’ye intikal etmiştir. Yirminci yüzyılın başlarına
kadar Konya Zâviye kütüphânesinde muhafaza edilen nüsha, bugün İstanbul
Türk ve İslâm Eserleri Müzesinde 1845/1881 numarada (Kılıç,1996, XIII,
252) bulunmaktadır.4 İbn Arabî, hocalarını ve eserlerini sıraladığı el-İcâze
adlı eserinde Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’ye kırk dokuzuncu sırada yer vermiştir (İbn
Arabî, 1990, 25).
3 Kitabın adındaki Fütûhât; sözlükte “açmak, yardım etmek; zafer” gibi anlamlara gelen “feth”
kelimesinden gelmektedir (çoğulu fütûh). Tasavvufta ıstılah olarak ise “Allah’ın rızık gibi
maddî, ilim ve marifet gibi manevî rızıkları kullarına açması” anlamına gelir (Bkz. Kâşânî,1981,
4Fütûhât’ın İstanbul ve Konya’da bulunan çeşitli nüshaları hakkında bilgi için (bkz. Kılıç,1996,
XIII, 253 vd.).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
Fütûhât, ‘sifr’ adı verilen otuz yedi kitaptan meydana gelmiştir. Eser ana
şema olarak altı fasla, fasıllar da 560 baba ayrılmıştır. Temel olarak altı
fasıldan oluşan eserin bölümlerinden yetmiş üçü Meârif, yüz on altısı
Muâmelât, sekseni Ahvâl, yüz on dördü Menâzil, yetmiş sekizi Münâzelât ve
doksan dokuzu Makâmât’tan oluşmaktadır.5
Sûfilerin varlık ve bilgi nazariyesi, kozmoloji ve metafizik anlayışlarının
yanında nübüvvet, risâlet, velâyet, melekiyyât, mebde ve meâd, tefsir ve tevil
gibi hem zâhirî hem de bâtınî yönleri olan pek çok konu hakkında orijinal
bilgiler ihtivâ eden Fütûhât, esasen müellifin diğer önemli eseri olan Fusûs’un
bir şerhi mahiyetindedir (Kılıç,1996, XIII, 253).
İbn Arabî’nin, kendi devrine kadar ulaşmış tasavvuf literatürünü tarayıp,
ansiklopedik bir biçimde, kendi görüşleri ve katkılarıyla yorumlayarak
oluşturduğu bu eserinin ana mevzuu tasavvuftur. Ancak zannedildiği gibi
eserde sadece tasavvufî konular ele alınmamıştır. Tefsir, Hadis, Fıkıh ve
Kelam gibi temel İslâmî ilimlerle ilgili meydana getirilmiş eserler başta olmak
üzere Ahlak, Felsefe, Mantık, Metafizik, Ontoloji, Kozmoloji, Antropoloji,
Fizyoloji, Tıp, Psikoloji ve Mûsikî gibi aklî bilimlerle ilgili eserlerden de
istifade edilerek bir kompozisyon oluşturulmuştur (Kurt,1998, 374 vd.).
Tam bir şerhi bulunmayan Fütûhat üzerine yapılmış çalışmalardan
başlıcalarını zikretmek gerekirse, bunlardan ilki, Abdulkerîm Cîlî’nin
(838/1428) Şerhu müşkilâti’l-Fütûhati’l-Mekkiyye adlı eseridir (Bkz.
Abdulkerîm Cîlî, 1992). Eserin isminden Fütûhât’ın tamamının şerhedildiği
intibaı uyanıyorsa da hakikat böyle değildir. el-Cîlî’nin şerhi Fütûhât’ın 559.
bölümü üzerine yapılmış çeşitli açıklamalardan ibarettir (Kılıç,1996, XIII,
254). Fütûhât üzerine ilavelerden oluşan bir diğer eser Muhyiddin etTu‘mî’ye ait olan ve Biurûşi'l-hakâik fî raf'i'l-belâi ani'l-halâik ismiyle bilinen
Tekmiletü'l-Fütûhâti'l-Mekkiyye adlı eserdir. Çağdaş Mısır meşâyihinden olan
et-Tu‘mî, İbn Arabî’nin havassu’l-havas’ın akidesini anlattığı bölüme altmış
bölümlük bir tekmile yazmıştır. Tekmile, Beyrut’ta 1993/1414 yılında
neşredilmiştir ( Bkz. Tu‘mi, 1993).
Fütûhât üzerine çalışmalarıyla tanınan bir diğer müellif ise Abdulvehhâb
Şa‘rânî (973/1565)’dir. Şa‘rânî, Fütûhât’ı el-Yevâkît ve’l-cevâhir’le, bu eserini
de el-Kibrîtü’l-ahmer fi beyâni ulûmi’ş-şeyhi’l-ekber (Şa‘rânî, 1277) adıyla
ihtisar etmiştir. Keza Şa‘rânî’nin Levâkihü’l-envâri’l-kudsiyye el-müntekâtü
5Babların ayrıntılı dökümü için (bkz. Kılıç,1996, XIII, 251-253).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
mine’l-Fütûhâti’l-Mekkiyye (Şa‘rânî,1311) adlı eseri de Fütûhât üzerine
yapılmış bir başka ihtisar çalışmasıdır.
Şa‘rânî’ye göre Fütûhât’ın yazma nüshalarına çeşitli müdaheleler yapılmıştır
(Bilmen, 1960, II, 336). O, el-Yevâkît adlı eseri üzerinde çalışırken kullandığı
Fütûhât nüshasında İbn Arabî'nin görüşlerine aykırı bazı ifadelere
rastladığını ve bunları eserine almadığını belirtmektedir. Şa‘rânî, yıllar sonra
Konya’da karşılaştığı Fütûhât müstensihlerinden Şemseddin el-Medenî’nin
istinsah ettiği nüshayı incelediğinde; kendisinin el-Yevâkît’e almadığı birçok
meselenin bu nüshada bulunmadığını görünce, Mısır’daki bazı nüshalarda
tahrifat yapıldığı kanaatinin pekiştiğini söyler (Kılıç,1996, XIII, 254).
İbn Arabî ile ilgili çalışmalarıyla bilinen bir diğer araştırmacı Ebu’l-A‘lâ Afîfî
(1966) ise Şa‘rânî’nin Fütûhât’ta tahrifat yapıldığı kanaatine
katılmamaktadır. Afîfî, Fütûhât’ın Bulak baskısını baştan sona taradığını fakat
İbn Arabî’nin fikirlerine aykırı bir şey bulamadığını ifade etmiştir.
İlk olarak Emîr Abdulkâdir Cezâirî tarafından Mısır’da neşredilen (1297)
Fütûhât, 1876 ve 1911 yılında tekrar basılmıştır. Son baskının Beyrut’ta
birçok tıpkı basımı yapılmıştır. Sonraki baskılarda farklılık ve hatalardan
dolayı ilk neşrin daha muteber olduğu söylenmiştir (Kılıç,1996, XIII, 254).
Fütûhât’la ilgili araştırma yapacaklar için nüsha farklılıkları, gözden uzak
tutulmaması gereken önemli bir husustur.
Fütûhât’la ilgili tahrif iddialarını bir anlamda sonlandıracak olan ilk tenkitli
ilmi neşir ise 1972 yılında Mısır’da başlamıştır. Osman Yahya tarafından
başlanan ve tafsilâtlı bir tahkik ve tahriç yapılması planlanan bu çalışmaya
Konya, Beyazıt, Fâtih nüshaları ile Bulak baskısı esas alınmış, her cildin
başında o cildin muhtevası ile ilgili bilgi verilmiştir. Beşinci cildin başında ise
eserin kullanımı hakkında bir makaleye yer verilmiştir (İbn Arabî,
1985/1405, 35-44). Mısır Kültür Bakanlığı ve Sorbonne Üniversitesinin
ortaklaşa yürüttükleri Fütûhât’ın tahkikli neşrini tamamlamayı hedefleyen
projeye XII. ciltten itibaren UNESCO tarafından da destek verilmiştir. 37 cilt
olarak yayımlanması düşünülen eserin şu ana kadar (2009) on dört cildi
yayımlanmış, proje akîm kalmıştır.6
Fütûhât’la ilgili Türkçe yapılmış çeşitli çalışmalar da bulunmaktadır. Bunların
başında Nihat Keklik’in Fütûhât’ın dört ciltlik 1274/1857 tarihli Kahire
baskısını esas alarak İbn Arabî’nin görüşlerini sistematik bir biçimde ortaya
6 Tahkikli olarak yapılan çalışmanın neşri Mısır’da ilginç tartışmalara neden olmuştur (Bilgi
için bkz. Kılıç,1996, XIII, 254).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
koymayı amaç edindiği çalışma gelmektedir. Keklik, detaylı araştırmasında
İbn Arabî’nin eserleri ve kaynaklarını tesbitte kıstas olacak delilleri
belirlemiştir. Önce iki cilt halinde yayınlanan bu çalışma daha sonra 1990
yılında Kültür Bakanlığı tarafından tek cilt olarak basılmıştır (Keklik,1990).
Fütûhât’ın dilimize çevrilmesiyle ilgili çalışmalara gelince, bunlardan biri
hariç diğerleri Fütûhât’ın çeşitli bölümlerinin tercümesinden ibarettir.
İbrahim Aşkî Tanık, Fütûhât’ın farklı bablarından oluşan eserini Tasavvuf
adıyla 1955 yılında İstanbul’da yayımlamıştır. Benzer bir çalışma yapan
Selahaddin Alpay, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye adlı çalışmasını 1971 yılında
İstanbul’da neşretmiştir. Bu çalışmaları Mahmut Sadettin Bilginer’in
Ahadiyyet Risalesi ve Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’den Seçilmiş Tasavvufa Dair Bölümler
adlı eseri izlemiştir. 1983’te İstanbul’da yayımlanan eser, Fütûhât
tercümeleri literatüründeki yerini almıştır. Fütûhât’ın çeşitli bölümlerini
tercümeleriyle tanınan bir diğer isim Mahmut Kanık’tır. Kanık’ın Fütûhât’ın
çeşitli bablarının tercümelerinden oluşan birkaç eseri bulunmaktadır. İlâhi
Aşk adlı eseri 1988 ve 1992 yıllarında, Marifet ve Hikmet 1995’te, Harflerin
İlmi 2000’de İstanbul’da neşredilmiştir.7
Fütûhât üzerinde yapılan önemli çalışmalardan biri de Maltepe Hastane
Müdürü Kaymakam Osman Bey’in Vesâyâ-i Enbiyâ ve Evliyâ ve Nesâyih-i
Ulemâ ve Hukemâ adıyla 1287/1867 yılında İstanbul’da yayımlanan
çalışmasıdır. el-Vesâyâ adındaki bu çalışma Fütûhât’ın bir hâtimesi
niteliğinde olan beş yüz altmışıncı babıdır. Aynı zamanda son bab olan bu
bölüm, İbn Arabî’nin vasiyetlerini ihtiva etmektedir.
Mahmut Kanık da beş yüz altmışıncı babı kısmen Türkçe’ye aktarmıştır. Naim
Erdoğan Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’den Altın Sayfalar adıyla İstanbul’da neşredilen
(Erdoğan,ts.) çalışmasıyla İbn Arabî’nin el-Vesâyâ babını dilimize aktaranlar
arasındaki yerini almıştır. İstanbul’da yayımlanan fakat baskı tarihi belli
olmayan bir başka çalışma Ahmet Faik Aslantürkoğlu’na ait olup Muhyiddin-i
İbn-i Arabi ve Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’den Tavsiyeler ismini taşımaktadır. İbn
Arabî’nin tavsiyelerini tercüme edenlerden bir diğer isim, Abdullah Taha
Feraizoğlu’dur. Kitâbü’l-Vasâyâ Fütûhât Deryasından Vasiyetler adıyla
neşredilen çalışma İstanbul 1999 yılına kayıtlıdır. Bu tercümelerin
sonuncusu olarak Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’den Öğütler Pınarı adıyla İstabul’da
2005 yılında yayımlanan Adem Ergül’ün çevirisini zikredebiliriz.
7 Mahmut Kanık’ın tercümeleriyle ilgili çeşitli eleştiriler de bulunmaktadır (Bkz.Avcı,2005,
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Fütûhât’ın tamamını tercüme etmeyi hedefleyen çalışma ise Ekrem
Demirli’ye aittir. Litera yayıncılık tarafından İstanbul’da 2006 yılında
neşredilmeye başlanan çalışma 2012 yılında 18 cilt olarak tamamlanmıştır.
Tercümeye Mısır’da neşredilen iki baskıyla8 birlikte Osman Yahya’nın
tahkikini yaptığı metin esas alınmıştır.9
Fütûhât-I Mekkiyye’nin Bilgi Kaynakları
Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye ile ilgili genel bir malumattan sonra onun bilgi
kaynaklarını sırasıyla inceleyelim.
İslâm’ın iki temel kaynağı olan Kur’an ve Sünnetin delil olması hususunda
ulemâ ittifak içindedir. Kitab ve Sünnetin onayından geçmemiş hiçbir dîni
düşünce tasvip görmez. Dolayısıyla dîni ilimler sahasında pek çok şey
söyleyen ve sadece söylemekle kalmayıp bunları yazıya döken İbn Arabî için
de durum değişmemektedir.
İbn Arabî, ismiyle özdeşleşen eseri Fütûhât’ta tasavvuf ağırlıklı olmak üzere
Tefsir, Hadis, Fıkıh, Kelâm vb. pek çok dînî ilimden bahsetmektetir. Bu
konuları işlerken yoğun olarak Kur’an’a atıf yapmaktadır. Mevzu ettiği
meselelerde Kur’andan bir delil varsa ona öncelik vermektedir. Hatta Ebü'lA'la Afîfî’ye (1966) göre İbn Arabî’nin Kur’an ve Sünnete yaptığı bu atıflar
gereğinden fazladır. Bu yüzden Afîfî, İbn Arabî’yi eleştirmektedir (Afîfî, 1975,
İbn Arabî, Fütûhât’ında ibadetler hususunda, Kur’an ve ittifakla nakledilen
Sünnet dışında başka anlayışlara itibar edilemeyeceğini belirtmektedir (İbn
Arabî, ts. I, 229; 1985/1405, III, 392-393).
Öte yandan İbn Arabî’nin, Kur’an’ın nassına da çok önem verdiği
görülmektedir. Kur’an’la istidlal yaparken nassın zâhirine ısrarla vurgu
yapmış ve buna aykırı yorumları kabul etmemiştir. Yaptığı yorumların nassa
uygun olması şartıyla başkalarının veya çoğunluğun görüşlerine aykırı
olmasına aldırış etmemiş; doğru bildiği fikirleri ısrarla savunmuştur.
8 Tercümeye esas alınan Fütûhât’ların baskı tarihleri verilmemiştir.
9 Akıcı bir üslup kullanıldığını söyleyebileceğimiz tercümenin tamamlanması gereken
yönlerine gelince: Âyetlerin yerlerinin gösterilmemesi ve hadislerin tahricinin yapılmamış
olması, çalışmayla ilgili göze çarpan ilk eksiklerdir. Fütûhât gibi -mükerrerler dahil- binlerce
hadis bulunduran bir kitapta tahriç yapılmamış olması kanaatimizce tercümeyle ilgili telafi
edilmesi gereken en önemli husustur. Tahkikli nüshadan da istifade edilerek Fütûhât’taki
hadislerin tahricinin yapılması ve son cilt olarak yayımlanmasının isabetli olacağı
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
Misal olarak, eleştirildiği konuların başında yer alan Firavun’un îmânı
meselesinde (Bkz. el-Bikâ‘î, 1994, 118-119) de İbn Arabî’nin, nassın lafzına
dayandığı ve istinbatını bizzat nasstan yaptığı görülmektedir.
İbn Arabî, "Şimdi mi (iman ettin)! Halbuki daha önce isyan etmiş ve
bozgunculardan olmuştun." (Yunus, 10/91) âyetinden hareketle Firavn’ın
îmanına bizzat Allah Teâlâ’nın şahitlikte bulunduğunu; tevhîd kelimesini
ihlaslı olarak söylememiş olsa bile bu ikrârın geçerli olduğunu ifade
etmektedir (Bkz. İbn Arabî, ts. II, 410).10
Aynı şekilde İbn Arabî, cehennem azabının sürekli olmadığı meselesinde de
nassları referans göstererek istidlalde bulunmuştur.
İbn Arabî, "...onlar artık ateşten çıkamazlar." (Bakara, 2/167) âyetini
cehennem azabının daimi olamayacağına dair delil olarak zikretmektedir. O,
bu konuda şunları söyler: "Cehennemde azabın daimi olacağına dair elimizde
aklî ya da naklî bir delil yoktur." (Bkz. İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, IV, 174-175,
402-403). Ancak İbn Arabî, cehennemin sürekliliği ile azabın daimi olmasının
arasını ayırmaktadır.
Keza İbn Arabî, Kur’an’ın zâhirine mutabakattan dolayı avamın îmânını
makbul görmüştür. İbn Arabî’ye göre, halkın inançları sağlamdır. Zîrâ onlar,
inançlarını Kur’an-ı Kerîm’in zâhirinden alırlar. İbn Arabî’ye göre halkın
inançları ve Kur’an’ı algılama tarzları emniyetli ve doğru bir biçimdedir (İbn
Arabî, ts. I, 34; 1985/1405, I, 154-155).
Kur’an’la münasebetini sürekli olarak vurgulayan İbn Arabî’nin nafile
ibadetlerini de Kur’an’la zenginleştirme yoluna gittiği görülmektedir. Nitekim
İbn Arabî, Allah’ı zikrederken Kur’an'da varid olan "َ‫"" فاعلن أًَ ال الَ اال ال‬Bil ki,
Allah'tan başka ilah yoktur." (Muhammed, 47/19) gibi zikir lafızlarının
kullanılması gerektiğini; böylece hem zikir sevabı hem de Kur’an okuma
sevabı kazanılacağını ifade etmektedir. Buna karşılık Kur’an lafzı dışında
yapılan zikirden sadece zikir sevabı alınacağını ve Kur’an’la gelen pek çok
hayırdan mahrum olunacağını belirtmektedir (İbn Arabî,1985/1405, IV, 138139). İbn Arabî’nin bu tesbiti, hayatının her anını Kur’an'a göre düzenleme
düşüncesini ortaya koyması bakımından son derece önemlidir. Bu
uygulamasıyla, tasavvufî meşrebini Kur’an'la temellendirme yolunu
benimsediği de düşünülebilir.
10 İbn Arabî’nin bu görüşü Fusûs’ta, Fassı Mûsevî’de, yine nassın zahirinden istidlal yapılarak
tekrarlanmaktadır. (Bkz. İbn Arabî, 1378 , II, 917-920). İbn Arabî’nin Firavn’ın îmanı ile ilgili
kanaati cumhûra aykırı olsa da kendi sistemi içerisinde bir tutarlılık arzetmektedir.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Nasslara sıkı sıkıya bağlı olduğunu ifade eden İbn Arabî, kullandığı tabirlerde
Kur’an ve Sünnetin tasdîkini almaya ihtimam göstermiştir. Mesela, İbn
Arabî’ye göre:
"...Nerede olsanız, O sizinle beraberdir..." (Hadîd, 57/4) ve "Buyurdu ki:
Korkmayın, çünkü ben sizinle beraberim; işitir ve görürüm." (Tâhâ, 20/46)
âyetlerinden dolayı; ‘Allah bizimle beraberdir.’ denilebilir, ama “Biz, Allah’la
beraberiz.” denilemez. İbn Arabî, bunun gerekçesi olarak da nasslardaki
kullanımı göstermektedir.11
Düşünce sistemi içerisinde keşf yoluna bu denli ehemmiyyet veren İbn Arabî,
naslara bu kadar vurgu yapmakla muhtemelen keşf ve diğer yöntemlerini
Kur’an ve sünnetle kayıt altına aldığını vurgulamak istemektedir.
Diğer taraftan İbn Arabî, eşyayı da Kur’an gözüyle okuduğunu ifade eder. İbn
Arabî’ye göre vücûd, baştan başa harfler, kelimeler, sûreler ve âyetlerle
doludur. O, kâinata “Kur’an-ı Kebîr” adını verir. Hakk, insana bazan hariçteki
bir kitaptan bazan da kişinin kendi nefsinden okur (İbn Arabî, ts. III, 167;
Kılıç,1999, XX, 511). İbn Arabî’ye göre dayanılacak en kuvvetli delil
Kur’an’dır. Bu sebeple o, bütün görüşlerinin Kur’an’ın hazinelerinden
olduğunu, Kur’an ile bütün ilimlerin açığa çıktığını, bütün peygamberlerin ve
meleklerin ilimleri, ilmin bütün delillerinin Kur’an’da verildiğini söyler. İbn
Arabî ayrıca kendisine Kur’an verilen bir kimseye aynı zamanda bütün
ilimleri ortaya çıkaracak bir nûr da verildiğini belirtir. Bu sebeple Kur’an’ı
hakkıyla bilen ve onu kendisinde tahakkuk ettiren kimsenin ehlullâhın ilmini
de öğrendiğine inanır. İbn Arabî, tahdîsi nimet olarak da kendisine Kur’an
anlayışının verildiğini söylemekten geri durmaz (Kılıç, 1999, XX, 511).
Dolayısıyla İbn Arabî’nin Fütûhât’ına bu anlamda tasavvufî veya işârî bir
Kur’an tefsiri de denilebilir (Kılıç, 1996, XIII, 253).
Görüldüğü gibi İbn Arabî, Kur’an ve Kur’an-ı Kebîr şeklinde ikili bir tasnife
gitmektedir. Bu tasnife göre, hidayet kaynağı olan Kur’an yanında kâinât,
‘Kur’an-ı kebîr’dir. Kâinât kitabını okumak için Kur’an’ı iyi anlamak gereklidir.
Kur’an’ı anlayan ve gereğince uygulayan kimse bütün ilimleri kendisinde cem
etmiş olur. Çünkü kendisine Kur’an verilen kimse sahip olduğu nur sayesinde
her türlü bilgiye sahip olur. Buradan da anlaşılacağı gibi İbn Arabî, Kur’an’ı
düşünce sisteminin merkezine koymaktadır. Kur’an merkezde olunca diğer
hususlar onun etrafında şekillenmektedir.
11 İbn Arabî, bu şekilde söylemenin aklen de uygun olmadığını belirtmektedir. İbn Arabî, bu
ifadeleriyle ayrıca “tanrının insanın içine girdiği” anlamına gelen ‘hulûl’ü de reddetmiş
olmaktadır (Bkz. İbn Arabî,1985/1405, III, 168).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
Öte yandan İbn Arabî’ye göre Kur’an, dinamik bir yapıya sahiptir. Kur’an’ın
nassında herhangi bir değişiklik olmaksızın manasıyla ilgili nuzûl devamlıdır.
Ona göre Kur’an'ın şerhi, evliyaullah’ın kalbine inmeye (tenezzül) devam
etmektedir (İbn Arabî, ts. II, 506). Kur’an’ın bu şekilde müminlerin kalplerine
inişi vahyin her zaman taze ve canlı olduğunu göstermektedir (Kılıç, 1999,
XX, 511). Bu kanaat, Fütûhât’ta şu şekilde ifadesini bulur:
“Kitaplar peygamberlere nazil olduğu gibi, kitapların şerhi de velîlerin
kalplerine indirilir (tenezzül). Kur’anla en çok amel eden Allah dostlarının
Kur’an’ın şerhi ve açıklaması hususunda zâhir ehli ulemaya göre daha öncelikli
olması gerekir. Çünkü Kur’an inzal edildiği gibi onun şerhi de ehlullah’ın
kalbine indirilir (İbn Arabî, ts. III, 414). Nitekim Hz. Ali, bu konuda şöyle
demiştir: ”Bu, Kur’an hakkında Allah’ın dilediği kullarına verdiği bir anlayıştan
başka bir şey değildir.” Ali (r.a.), bunu Allah’ın bir lutfu olarak
değerlendirmektedir. Bu lutuf da ‘Allah’tan gelen bir anlayıştır. Lutuf olarak
görülen ve kaynağı Allah olan bu anlayışa sahip olmaya, Allah dostları diğer
insanlardan daha layıktır” (İbn Arabî,1985/1405, IV, 268-269).
İbn Arabî bu tesbitlerle, zâhir ulemasına açılmayan pencerelerin, Kur’anla
hemhâl olan ariflere açılacağını ifade etmektedir. Bu şekildeki Kur’an’ın şerhi
anlamında nuzûlün devam edeceğini Hz. Ali’nin yukarıdaki sözüyle
delillendirmektedir. Ayrıca İbn Arabî, “Nefesin yeterse Kur’an denizine12 dal.
Şayet nefesin yetmezse tefsir kitaplarını incelemekle yetin. Kur’an denizine
dalma! Yoksa boğulursun. Çünkü Kur’an denizi çok derindir.” diyerek Kur’an’ın
derin anlamlarıyla ilgilenmek isteyenlere uyarıda bulunmaktadır (İbn Arabî,
1985/1405, I, 329).13 İbn Arabî, yukarıdaki ifadesini temellendirirken çeşitli
nakillerde bulunur. Bunlardan bir tanesi tefsir sahasında ön plana çıkan
sahâbîlerden Abdullah b. Abbas’tır. O, İbn Abbas’ın aşağıdaki sözleriyle
istidlalde bulunmaktadır.
12 Kur’an denizi diye tercüme ettiğimiz ‘bahrül-Kur’an’ tabiri Fütûhât’ın başka yerlerinde de
geçmektedir. Örnek olarak bkz. (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 329).
13 İbn Arabî’nin tasavvufî zevkiyle anlaşılacak bu vb. düşünceleri haricinde tefsirle ilgili ciddî
bir mesâisi bulunmaktadır. Bunlardan birisi İbn Arabî’nin tefsirle ilgili telif etmiş olduğu elCem‘ ve’t-tafsîl fî ma‘rifeti me‘âni’t-tenzîl veya Tefsîrü’l-Kur’an adlı Kehf Sûresi’nin 59. âyetiyle
son bulan ve 64 mücellede ulaşan bir tefsiridir. (Bkz. İbn Arabî, 1990, 32-33.) Ancak, İbn
Arabî’nin Fütûhât’ta da zaman zaman atıfta bulunduğu (İbn Arabî,1985/1405, I, 266, 283, 292,
293, 331) bu eser günümüze ulaşmamıştır. Ayrıca tefsirle ilgili görüşlerinin bir araya
getirildiği Rahmetun mine'r-Rahman fî tefsîri ve işârâti'l-Kur'ân adıyla Mahmûd MahmûdelĞurâb tarafından derlenen dört ciltlik bir eser de bulunmaktadır (Bkz. Mahmûd, 1989). Ayrıca
İbn Arabî’nin tefsirde takip ettiği metodu için (bkz. Bilmen, 1960, II, 327 vd.).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
İbn Abbas (r.a.), “Allah, yedi göğü ve yerden de benzerlerini yaratandır...”
(Talak, 65/ 12) âyeti hakkında “şayet bu âyetin tefsirini yapsaydım bana ‘kâfir’
derdiniz.” Bazı rivâyetlere göre ise “beni taşlardınız” demektedir (İbn Arabî,
1985/1405, II, 322).”
Fütûhât’ta ayrıca âyetlerin serdedilmesinde bir standartlık olmadığı göze
çarpmaktadır. İbn Arabî, Fütûhât’ın hemen her babında âyetlere yer vermiş,
bunu yaparken âyetin tamamını:
"Senin izzet sahibi Rabbin, onların isnat etmekte oldukları vasıflardan yücedir,
münezzehtir." (Saffat, 37/180; İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, III, 268), "Ayrılın bir
tarafa bugün, ey günahkârlar!" (Yâsin, 36/59; İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, IV, 373),
"Şüphesiz bu, cehennemliklerin birbirleriyle çekişmesi kesin bir gerçektir."
(Sâd, 38/64; İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, IV, 373) verdiği gibi, ilgili âyetin bir
"Geceyi gündüze katar, gündüzü de geceye katarsın..." (Âli İmrân, 3/27: İbn
Arabî, 1985/1405, II, 320), "Gece de onlar için bir ibret alâmetidir. Biz ondan
gündüzü sıyırıp çekeriz de..." (Yâsin, 36/37; İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, II, 320),
"Her biri bir yörüngede yüzerler..." (Yâsin, 36/40; İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, II,
321) vermekle yetinmiş veya âyetlere telmihte bulunmak yolunu da
Diğer taraftan İbn Arabî’ye göre Kur’an, önce mücmel olarak, daha sonra ise
âyet âyet indirilmiştir. O, bu sonuca keşfî bilgilerle ulaştığını söyler ve bu
"... Sana O'nun vahyi tamamlanmazdan önce Kur'an'ı (okumakta) acele etme
ve "Rabbim, benim ilmimi artır" de." (Tâhâ, 20/114), "Biz onu (Kur'an'ı)
mübarek bir gecede indirdik. Kuşkusuz biz uyarıcıyızdır. Her hikmetli işe o
gecede hükmedilir. " (Duhân, 44/3-4) ve benzeri âyetlerden deliller getirerek
temellendirir (İbn Arabî,1985/1405, I, 354-355). Böylece İbn Arabî, düşünce
sisteminin çerçevesini mutlak olarak “Kur’an’ın” tayin ettiğini vurgulamış
olmakla birlikte keşf yoluyla elde ettiği bilgileri bunlara ilave etmekten geri
Hz. Peygamber’in uygulamalarını konu edinen Sünnet, Fütûhât’ta referans
gösterilen temel kaynaklarından ikincisidir. Eserin geneline bakıldığında
Sünnete birçok atıf yapıldığı görülür. İbn Arabî, “Allah’a hamdolsun ki biz bu
kitabımızda Kur’an ve Sünnetin dışına çıkmadık.” sözüyle Fütûhât’ın genel
çerçevesinin Kur’an ve Sünnetle kayıt altına alındığını belirtir. Ayrıca bu
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
iddiasını Fütûhât’ta çokça tekrarladığı Cüneyd el-Bağdâdî’nin (297/910)
“Bizim bu ilmimiz, Kitap ve Sünnetle kayıtlıdır.” sözüyle desteklemiştir (İbn
Arabî, ts. III, 8).14 Görüldüğü gibi İbn Arabî, sürekli olarak Kur’an ve Sünnete
vurgu yapmakta, gerek yazdıklarında gerekse yaptıklarında şaşmaz
ölçüsünün bu iki kaynak olduğunu ifade etmektedir.
Öte yandan İbn Arabî, defaatle Kur’an’la birlikte Sünneti zikreder. Onun ‘delil’
kelimesiyle Kur’an’la birlikte Sünneti de kastettiği söylenebilir (İbn Arabî, ts.
II, 255). Buradan hareketle İbn Arabî’nin delil olma yönünden Kur’an’la
Sünneti eşdeğer gördüğü sonucu çıkarılabilir.
Bab başlıklarının seçiminde çok farklı malzemelerden istifade edilen
Fütûhât’ta hadis metinlerinin kullanılarak birçok bab başlığı oluşturulduğu
görülmektedir.15 Bu durum bize Fütûhât’ta sünnete verilen önemi göstermesi
bakımından dikkat çekicidir. Ayrıca İbn Arabî, sünnete uyma noktasında
azamî derecede özen göstermeye çalışmış ve bu titizlik Fütûhât’ın hemen her
yönüne aksetmiştir.
Şer’î hükümlerin tesbitinde Kur’an ve Sünneti esas alan İbn Arabî, bu
prensibe aykırı davrananları şiddetli bir biçimde eleştirmiştir. Özellikle rey
ekolüne, nassı bırakıp kendi görüşlerine ağırlık vermelerinden dolayı son
derece ağır tenkitlerde bulunmuştur.
Sünnetin önemine sürekli vurgu yapan İbn Arabî'nin Fütûhât'ında nakledilen
hadislerin sayısı oldukça fazladır. O, eserinde merfû hadisler yanında mevkûf
ve maktû‘ haberlere de yer vermiştir.16 Tahkikini Osman Yahyâ’nın yaptığı,
hadislerini İbrahim Medkur’un tahriç ettiği ve on dördüncü cilde kadar
yayımlanan çalışmada mükerrerle birlikte beş binin üzerinde hadis olduğu
İbn Arabî’nin Kur’an ve Sünnete yaklaşımını Fütûhât merkezinde
inceledikten sonra şöyle bir soru karşımıza çıkabilir. Kendisini sürekli olarak
14 Ayrıca, Cüneyd el-Bağdâdî’nin bu sözü için (bkz. Kuşeyrî, 1972, I, 118; İbnü’l-Cevzî, I, 207).
15 Misal olarak, birbab başlığında “Allah ilmi, âlimlerin sadırlarından çekip almak suretiyle
almaz. Fakat ilim adamlarını vefat ettirmekle ilmi alır.” (Buharî, İlim, 34) hadisini kullanmıştır
(İbn Arabî,1985/1405, III, 78). Hadisle ilgili bab yapılmış başka bir örnek için (bkz. İbn Arabî,
1985/1405, IV, 194).
16 Bu konuda çeşitli misaller için (bkz. İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 228, II, 85, 101, 255, IV, 217,
269, 271, 380).
17 Fütûhât’ın her cildinin sonunda hadislerin tahriciyle ilgili bilgiler yer almaktadır. Ayrıca
bilgi için (bkz. Avcı, 2005, 12).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Kur’an ve Sünnetle kayıt altına aldığını söyleyen İbn Arabî neden bunlara
ilâve bir bilgi kaynağına ihtiyaç duymaktadır?
Kanaatimizce İbn Arabî keşf ve diğer yöntemleri nassın dışında veya ona
alternatif olarak görmemekte, aksine keşfi Kur’an ve Sünnetle amelin bir
neticesi olarak görmektedir (İbn Arabî, ts. I, 31, III, 413). İbn Arabî, nassın
serbest bıraktığı alanları bu şekilde doldurmakta ve sistemini bu yöntemlerle
inşa etmektedir. Kendilerini ehl-i mükâşefe olarak adlandıran sûfîlerin bu
yönteme başvurmaları tabîî olsa gerektir. Bir sûfi olan İbn Arabî de bu bilgi
kaynaklarını kullanarak bilgi elde etmekte ve bunları kendi sistemi içerisine
serpiştirmektedir. Mutasavvıflar için bu durum olağan karşılanırken (Serrâc,
1960, 422) diğer disiplinlerin tutumu farklıdır. Sûfilere göre bilginin
kaynağının subjektif veya objektif olmasından ziyade mahiyeti önemlidir.18
İbn Arabî’nin eserinde kullandığı kaynaklardan birisi de şiirdir. Eserlerini
genellikle nesir olarak kaleme almasına rağmen bir hayli şiiri de
bulunmaktadır (Kılıç, 1995, 25). İbn Arabî, Arap Edebiyatında önemli bir
konumda olan şiir geleneğini eserlerinde devam ettirmiştir.
İbn Arabî’ye göre şiir, şaire Zühre feleğinin ve Yusuf peygamber’in (s.a.) bir
hediyesidir. Âlemi hayal19 ile şiirsel tahayyül arasında irtibat vardır. İbn
Arabî, bir gün yakaza halinde iken bir meleğin kendisine beyaz bir nur
getirdiğini, bunun ne olduğunu sorduğunda meleğin, Şuarâ sûresi olduğunu
söyledini ve bu olaydan sonra dîvanını yazdığını anlatır. İbn Arabî’ye göre şiir
bir icmal, remiz, lugaz ve tevriye sanatıdır. İbn Arabî, kendi şiirlerinin bir
araç olduğunu belirtmek için şunları kaydeder:
“Bizim şiirlerimiz ister sevgiliyle hasbihal ile başlasın, ister bir methiye olsun ve
isterse kadın isimleri ve sıfatlarıyla, ırmak, yer, yıldız, isimleriyle dolu olsun,
hepsi de bütün bu sûretler altındaki maârif-i ilâhiyyeden ibarettir (Kılıç, 1999,
XX, 511).”
18 İbn Arabî'nin keşf yoluyla naklettiği hadisler ve değerlendirmeleri için bkz. Ayhan, 2009,
118-165 ; ayrıca rüya yoluyla naklettiği rivayetler için bkz. (Ayhan, (2011, b), 49-76).
19 İbn Arabîye göre âlemi hayal ile rüya arasında irtibat vardır. İbn Arabî, rüyayı şöyle tarif
eder: “Rüya, Allah’ın melek aracılığıyla hakîkat veya mecaz olarak kulun şuurunda uyandırdığı
nefse ait idrakler ve vicdânî duygulardır. Veyahut şeytânî telkinlerden, karışık hayallerden
(adğâsü ahlâm) ibârettir. Rüya uyanıkken içimizden geçirdiğimiz hatıralara benzer. Görme işi
âfâkî ve gözle olabildiği gibi, rüya da nefis ve kalp ile olur...” (İbn Arabî, ts. II, 35). O, rüyalar
sayesinde çeşitli malumatları öğrendiğini belirtmekte, ayrıca uyanıkken rüya görmeyi, hayal
kavramıyla açıklamaktadır (İbn Arabî, ts. III, 39). İbn Arabî’nin hayal kavramını kullanımıyla
ilgili geniş bilgi için (bkz. Chittick, 1997, 303-378; Ceyhan, 2008).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
İbn Arabî, Tercümânu’l-eşvâk adlı manzum eserinde Rabbânî marifetleri, ilâhî
nurları, kalbî ilimleri ve şeriatın hükümlerini cismani aşk temaları kullanarak
anlatma yoluna gider. Çünkü bu tür izahların bazı nefislerin daha çok
dikkatini celbettiğini söyler (Kılıç, 1999, XX, 496; İbn Arabî, 2000, 9).
Mekke’de Şeyh Mekînüddîn el-İsfehânî’nin Nizâm ismindeki kızının adını
kullanarak yazdığı Tercümânu’l-eşvâk’taki şiirler, zahir ehli tarafından ikisi
arasında gönül ilişkisi bulunduğu şeklinde yorumlanır. Bunun üzerine İbn
Arabî, bu şiirlere bir şerh yazarak meselenin onların zannettiği gibi
olmadığını ve maksadının sadece ilâhî aşkı anlatmak için Nizâm’ı bir sembol
olarak kullanmaktan ibaret olduğunu söylemiştir. İbn Arabî, ayrıca bu
şiirlerdeki Nizâm’ın sembol olarak kullanıldığını, bunu onun da babasının da
bildiğini ifade etmiştir (İbn Arabî, 2000, 8; Kılıç, 1999, XX, 496).
Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye, şiir yönünden oldukça zengindir. Eserde altı bin yedi yüz
civarında beyit bulunmaktadır. Bu şiirlerden yaklaşık yüzde altmışı İbn
Arabî’ye (üç bin üç yüz on üç beyit), geriye kalanlar ise başkalarına aittir.20
Fütûhât’taki şiirlerin sayısı divanındaki şiirlerin yaklaşık beş katına tesadüf
eder. İbn Arabî, eserdeki şiirleri Nazmu’l-Fütûhi’l-Mekkî (İbn Arabî, Ktp. Nr.
774; Kılıç,1996, XIII, 253) adıyla bir eserde toplamıştır (Kılıç,1996, XIII, 253).
İbn Arabî’nin başka şiir kitapları da bulunmaktadır.21
Geniş bir şiir kültürü olan İbn Arabî’ye şiir zevkini ilk defa, kendisi de şâir
ruhlu bir yaratılışa sahip olan hocası Şeyh Martulî aşılamıştır (Keklik, 1990,
İbn Arabî, Fütûhât’ında genellikle her babın özeti mahiyetinde bir şiirle
konuya giriş yapmaktadır.23 Bab başlarında zikredilen beyitlerin sayısı
yaklaşık iki bin iki yüz yetmiş ikidir. İbn Arabî, bu şiirlerin bablarda
20 İbn Arabî'nin eserinde yer verdiği şiirler arasında ashâba ait şiirler bulunmaktadır. Misal
olarak, “‫“ “ّثيابل فطِز‬Elbiseni (de) temizle.” (Müddessir, 74/4 âyetinin tefsirinde Hazreti Ali’nin
bir şiirini nakletmesini gösterebiliriz. (Bkz. İbn Arabî,1985/1405, VI, 237-238).
21 Bu kitaplar: 1. İnzâlu’l-guyûb. İnzâlu’l-guyûbadlı şiir kitabı hocası Şeyh Martulî’un teşvikiyle
yazdığı şiirlerden oluşmaktadır. 2. Tercümânu’l-Eşvâk. 3. Dîvân. Keklik, İbn Arabî’nin bu üç
kitap ve diğer eserlerindeki toplam beyit sayısının yaklaşık on beş bini bulduğunu
söylemektedir. Azımsanmayacak kadar olan bu rakam İbn Arabî’nin şairlik tarafının güçlü
olduğunu göstermesi bakımından önemli olduğu kanaatindeyiz. İbn Arabî’nin şiir kitapları ile
ilgili olarak bkz. (Keklik, 1990, 340-342; Kılıç, 25-26). Ayrıca İbn Arabî’nin şiirleri hakkında
yapılmış müstakil bir çalışma için (bkz. Abdülazîz, 1970).
22 Ayrıca İbn Arabî, Şeyh Martulî’yi kendilerinden rivâyette bulunduğu hocaları arasında da
zikretmektedir. Bkz. (İbn Arabî, 1990, 32). Şeyh Martulî hakkında bilgi için (bkz. İbn Arabî,
1988, 87 vd.).
23 Fütûhât’ta yer alan şiirlerin uzunlukları farklı olmakla beraber hemen her babın başında
şiir bulmak mümkündür.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
bulunmayan bilgileri ihtivâ ettiğini belirtmek için okuyucularına şu
tenbihâtta bulunur:
“Bu kitabın her babının başındaki şiire dikkat et. Çünkü bunlar, işaret etmek
istediğim kadarıyla o babın ilimlerini muhtevîdir. Bablarda verilen izahlarda
bulunmayan şeyleri bu şiirlerde bulabilirsin. ” (İbn Arabî, ts. IV, 31-32).
İbn Arabî'nin şiir bahsini onun Fütûhat'taki bir şiiriyle noktalayalım:
"Duyulur cennetin mertebeleri, bazı alt menzillere
Bölünmüştür; ameller de onları ister.
Bütün amel sahiplerini binekleri taşır
O menzilere; Allah'ın elçileri onları perdeler
İhtisas cennetlerinden ise, ikrama mazhar olanlara
Miras cennetleri bahş edildi. Onları takip eder
Kılavuz edindiğimiz yıldızların nuru.
Bizim nurumuzun yıldızı ise, bugün Adn (cennetindedir).
Şeriat yolundan başka bir şey bineğimiz olsaydı
Şeriat geldiğinde artık binek olma imkanını kaybederdi.
Artık dince belirlenmiş salih amel onu ortaya çıkarır
bir nur olarak. Kendi zatından ise, ona bir heybet giydirir." (Bkz. Demirli, III,
İsrâîliyyât Niteliği Taşıyan Haberler
İsrâîliyyât, “İsrâîliyye” kelimesinin çoğulu olup İsrâilî bir kaynaktan rivâyet
edilen kıssa veya olay demektir. Terim anlamı ise yahudi, hıristiyan veya
diğer kültürlerden İslâmiyete giren rivâyetler ve bunların etkileridir. Diğer
kültürlere nazaran yahudiliğin ağırlığının oluşu, kelimenin bu şekilde
kullanımı sonucunu doğurmuştur. Rivâyet tenkîdi açısından isrâiliyyât;
sened ve metni sahîh olanlar, senedi zayıf olanlar, uydurma olanlar olmak
üzere üç kategoride değerlendirilirler (Remzi, 1970, 73–74, 76; Zehebî, 1985,
13, 20; Aydemir, 1979, 6-7).
“İsrâiliyâtın İslâm kültürüne girişi, Hz. Peygamber’in vefatının ardından,
sahâbe devrinden itibaren başlamıştır. Daha çok Kur’an-ı Kerîm’de kısa ve
kapalı olarak zikredilen kıssalar etrafında dönen isrâilî haberler Ehl-i Kitâb’a
mensupken müslüman olan şahıslardan alınmış ve bir anlamda Kur’an-ı Kerîm
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
kıssalarındaki boşlukların doldurularak bilgilerin tamamlanması işleminde
kullanılmıştır.” (Akalın, 2001, 3-4).
İbn Arabî, çok sık olmamakla beraber israiliyatla ilgili haberlere de yer
vermiştir. İbn Arabî, Hz. Âdem’in yaratılmasıyla ilgili bir bilgiyi anlatırken
haberin israiliyattan olduğunu açıkça ifade etmektedir. Âdem’in (s.a.)
yaratılmasıyla ilgili olan bu rivâyeti nakletmeden önce “şayet haber doğruysa”
diyerek haberin sıhhati ile ilgili tereddüdünü de belirtmekte ve haberin
kaynağına işaret etmektedir. Ayrıca Fütûhât’ta özet olarak naklettiği bu
bilgiyi geniş bir şekilde ‘Kitabu'l-mev’izatil-hasene’de zikrettiğini haber
vermektedir (İbn Arabî, ts. I, 153; 1985/1405, II, 368).
Bu tesbitlerle birlikte İbn Arabî’nin, İsrâilî haberlere işâret etmedeki
titizliğini diğer eserlerinde de sürdürdüğü görülmektedir.24 Kur’an ve
Sünneti temel referans aldığını belirten bir müellifin bu titizliği tabîî
Fütûhât’ta isimleri belirtilerek diğer semâvî kitaplardan alıntı yapıldığı da
görülmektedir. İbn Arabî’nin Tevrat’tan yaptığı bir nakil şu şekildedir: “Ey
Âdemoğlu! Eşyayı senin için yarattım, seni de kendim için yarattım.” (İbn Arabî,
ts. II, 74, II, 264, IV, 358).
Fütûhât’ta Kur’an-ı Kerîm’le Tevrat arasında muhteva benzerliği olan yerlere
de işaret edilmiştir. İbn Arabî, Kehf Sûresi'ndeki "Hiçbir şey için "Bunu yarın
yapacağım" deme."Ancak Allah dilerse (yapacağım de)..." (Kehf, 18/23-24)
âyetinden bahsederken bu âyetin Tevrat'ta da yer aldığını belirtmiştir (İbn
Arabî, ts. II, 261).
Sonuç olarak İbn Arabî’nin İsrailî rivâyetleri dikkatli ve bilinçli bir şekilde
kullandığı ve nass süzgecinden geçirdiği anlaşılmaktadır.
Arap Dili ve Grameri
Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’de kullanılan kaynaklardan biri de Arap dili ve grameridir.
İbn Arabî, eserinde Arap dili kurallarına titizlikle riâyet etmekte ve dille ilgili
çeşitli tahliller yapmaktadır. Misal olarak İbn Arabî, Cennetin kendilerine
özlem duyduğu kişilerle (bkz. Tirmizî, Menâkıb, 34; Ebû Yâ’lâ, 1984, V, 164
24 Buna bir başka misal olarak; İbn Arabî’nin Muhâdaratu’l-ebrâr adlı eserinde kaynağını
Ka’bu’l-ahbâr’a dayandırarak İsrâilî bir bilgiyi nakletmesini gösterebiliriz (Bkz. İbn Arabî,
1968, II, 422).
25 Kimi sûfî müellifler peygamberlerle ilgili kaynağı bilinmeyen haberler naklettikleri için
eleştirilirken, İbn Arabî bu konuda net bir tavır ortaya koyar. O, Peygamberlerle ilgili haberler
zikretmekle birlikte uydurma haberler nakletmez ve böyle bir şeyin yapılmasını doğru bulmaz
(Bkz. İbn Arabî, ts. II, 256; 1985/1405, III, 376).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
(2779), 165 (2780) ilgili rivâyeti naklettikten sonra bu isimlerin Arapçadaki
karşılıklarını vererek onlarla ilgili çeşitli yorumlarda bulunmaktadır (İbn
Arabî, 1985/1405, II, 330, V, 62, 107-108).
İbn Arabî’nin Fütûhât’ında metinleri izah ederken Arap dili ve gramerini
istidlâl olarak kullandığı da görülmektedir. (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 289,
290, 291, 292, 293, 333, 334, 336, II, 56.26
Bugün semantik adıyla bilinen metodu, İbn Arabî’nin Fütûhât’ında yoğun bir
şekilde kullandığı görülmektedir. Misal verecek olursak İbn Arabî, arş
kelimesini açıklarken, bu kelimenin Araplar tarafından hangi anlamlarda
kullanıldığını izah etmiş, kelime izahının sonunda hadislerde de nasıl
kullanıldığına örnek vermiştir (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, II, 348).
İbn Arabî, harflerin de ümmetler gibi mükellef ve muhatab olduklarını ve
bunları ancak ehl-i keşfin bilebileceğini ifade etmektedir. Ayrıca harfler
aleminin lisan olarak en fasih ve beyan olarak da en açık bir alem olduklarını
bildirmektedir. Misal olarak " ٍ " " ‫ " أ‬harlerinin "Alem-i Ceberût ve Alem-i
Azamet"i temsil ettiklerini haber vermektedir. Ayrıca "‫ " ح خ ع غ‬harflerinin
"Âlem-i Ceberût"u temsil eden harfler olduğunu söylemektedir (İbn Arabî,
1985/1405, I, 260).
İbn Arabî, (Bakara, 2/1-2) "‫ "الن‬âyetindeki "‫ "أ‬harfinin Tevhîd'e işaret ettiğini,
"‫ " م‬harfinin sonsuz olan "Mülk" e işaret ettiğini zikretmektedir. Ortalarında
yer alan "‫ " ه‬harfinin ise diğer iki harf arasında irtibatı sağlayan bir harf
olduğunu belirtmektedir (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 274 vd. ) Ayrıca Bakara
Sûresi'nin başında yer alan (Bakara, 2/1-2) "Elif. Lâm. Mîm. O kitap
(Kur'an)..."; ayetleriyle ilgili sayfalarca gramer açıklamaları ve bununla
bağlantılı tasavvufî izahta bulunmaktadır (İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 260 vd. ).
Bazıları İbn Arabî’nin sadece tasavvufi kaynaklara dayandığını ileri
sürmüşler ve bu görüşlerine onun, “Fütûhât’ta ve diğer eserlerimizde
yazdıklarımız keşf iledir ve imlâ-ı Rabbânî iledir.” (İbn Arabî, ts. II, 432, III,
456) şeklindeki ve benzeri sözlerini delil olarak getirmişlerdir.
Araştırmamızda, bu kanaatin aksine onun, zâhirî ve tasavvufî kaynakları
birlikte kullandığı ve bu hususta dikkatli olmaya özen gösterdiği sonucuna
26 Örnekler için (bkz. İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, I, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 333, 334, 336, II, 56).
Gramer izahlarına çokça rastladığımız Fütûhât’ta gramer kurallarına manzum olarak da yer
verildiği görülmektedir (bkz İbn Arabî, 1985/1405, II, 51).
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
Nitekim Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye'de keşf ve ilham gibi kaynakların yanında
Kur’an, Sünnet, şiir, İsrâîliyyât niteliği taşıyan haberler, Arap dili ve grameri
gibi zâhirî kaynakların bulunduğu ve bunların tasavvufî kaynaklardan
daha az olmadığı anlaşılmıştır. Dolayısıyla İbn Arabî’nin yukarıda mezkûr
beyanlarının ve benzerlerinin kesretten kinaye olarak anlaşılması
gerektiği açıktır. Keza bu ifadelerin, eserlerin yazılma nedeni olarak sevk-i
ilahî’yi işaret ettiği veya tahdis-i nimet kabilinden zikredildiği
düşünülebilir. Aksi halde Fütûhât’taki fiili durumla İbn Arabî’nin ifadeleri
tenakuz oluşturmaktadır.
Fütûhât'ta zâhirî ve tasavvufî kaynaklardan gelen bilgi türünün
kullanıldığı ve birinin diğerini nakzetmediği görülmektedir. Ancak İbn
Arabî'nin bilgi anlayışında Kur'an ve Sünnetten sonra sırayı keşf ve ilham
gibi tasavvufî kaynaklar alır. Keza ona göre keşf ürünü bilgiler aracısız
olduğundan nazar ve istidlal gibi akıl ürünü vasıtalı bilgilerden daha
güvenilir kabul edilir.
Ayrıca manevî yolla elde edilen bu bilgiler Kur'an'ın tefsirinde önemli bir
unsurdur. İbn Arabî'nin anlayışına göre Kur'an dinamik bir yapıya
sahiptir. Kur'an'ın nassında herhangi bir değişiklik söz konusu olmaksızın
Kur'an'ın şerhi ile ilgili nüzul devam etmektedir. İşarî veya tasavvufî tefsir
denilen bu malumatlar Fütûhât'ta epeyce yer almaktadır. Bu yüzden
Fütûhât'ı tasavvufî veya işarî tefsir olarak nitelendirenler bulunmaktadır.
İbn Arabî, sürekli olarak Kur'an ve Sünnetin önemini vurgulamış; ayrıca
Kur'an'ın zahir nassına da ısrarla dikkat çekmiştir. Firavun'un imanı,
cehennem azabının daimi olmayacağı meselelerinde de istinbatını
Kur'an'ın nassından yapmıştır. Keza İbn Arabî’ye göre avamın inançları ve
Kur’an’ı algılama tarzları Kur'an'ın zahir lafzına mutabakattan dolayı
emniyetli ve doğru bir biçimdedir.
Fütûhât müellifi, tasavvufun en önemli rükunlarından biri olarak kabul
edilen zikir konusunda da tavrını Kur'an'dan yana koymuştur. O'na göre,
Kur'an'da varid olan lafızlarla zikir yapılması durumunda Kur'an okuma
sevabı ve zikir sevabı birlikte alınmaktadır. Ancak Kur'an dışı bir lafızla zikir
yapıldığında sadece zikir sevabı alınmakta, Kur'an'la birlikte gelen bir çok
hayırdan mahrum kalınmaktadır. İbn Arabî'nin bu tesbiti, "tasavvufî ekolünü
Kur'an'la temellendirme" şeklinde düşünülebilir.
İbn Arabî'nin eşyaya ve dış dünyaya bakışı da yine Kur'an
penceresindendir. O, kainata Kur'an-ı Kebîr adını verir. Keza İbn Arabî'ye
göre dayanılacak en kuvvetli delil Kur'an'dır. Bütün ilimlerin Kur'an'la
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
ortaya çıktığını, kendisine Kur'an verilen kimsenin bütün ilimleri ortaya
çıkaracak nûra sahip olduğunu ifade eder. İbn Arabî şükür vesilesi olarak
Fütûhât ve diğer eserlerindeki görüşlerinin Kur'an hazinelerinden
olduğunu söyler.
Fütûhât'ta referans gösterilen temel kaynaklardan ikincisi Sünnettir. İbn
Arabî, mütemadiyen Kur'an'la birlikte sünneti zikreder. Özellikle rey
ehline, hüküm istinbatında nassları geri plana attıkları için eleştirilerde
Fütûhat'ta zikredilen hadislerin sayısı oldukça fazladır. Merfu hadisler
yanında maktu' ve mevkuf hadislere de yer verilmiştir. Bu hadislerin bir
kısmı bab başlıklarının seçiminde kullanılmıştır.
İbn Arabî, Fütûhât'ında Kur'an ve Sünnetin dışına çıkmadığını
belirtmektedir. Ayrıca keşf, ilham ve benzeri yollarla elde edilen bilgileri
Kur'an ve Sünnetle amelin neticesi olarak görmektedir. Dolayısıyla İbn
Arabî'nin sistemi içerisinde iki tür bilgi kaynağının kullanılması bir
problem oluşturmaz. Ayrıca o, keşf ve benzeri yöntemlerle elde edilen
bilgilerin kontrolünü nasslarla yapar. Tasavvufî kaynakları yoğun bir
şekilde kullanmakla birlikte sürekli olarak kendisinin Kur'an ve Sünnetle
kayıt altında olduğunu belirtir.
Fütûhât'ta sıklıkla kullanılan kaynaklardan birisi de şiirdir. İbn Arabî, bab
başlarında her babın özeti mahiyetinde şiirlere yer vermiştir. İbn Arabî'ye
göre şiir melekesi de manevî bir unsur olarak kendisine verilmiştir. O, şiir
yoluyla çeşitli temaları kullanalarak ilâhî hakikatleri remzeder. Bu
hakikatleri tasvir ederken kullandığı semboller arasında kadın, ırmak,
yıldız ve benzeri bir çok öğe bulunmaktadır.
Öte yandan İbn Arabî'nin İsrâilî rivayetlere de yer verdiği görülmektedir.
İsrâiliyat nevinden haberler çok fazla yekün tutmamakla birlikte bu
haberlerin kullanımında belirli bir usûlün takip edildiği görülmektedir.
İsrâilî kaynaklar kullanılırken genellikle bunların mahiyeti belirtilmekte,
ayrıca Kur'an'la muhteva birlikteliği olan yerlere işaret edilmektedir.
İsrâiliyat niteliği taşıyan haberlerin nakledilmesinde sürekli olmamakla
birlikte zaman zaman haberlerin sıhhatiyle ilgili endişeler dile
İbn Arabî'nin eserinde yaptığı izahlardan ve istinbatlardan Arap Dili ve
Gramerine vakıf olduğu anlaşılmaktadır. Metin izahlarında kelimelerin
Ayhan, Fütûhât-ı Mekkiyye’nin Kaynakları
değerlendirmelerde bulunmaktadır. Gramer izahlarında İbn Arabî'yi diğer
müelliflerden ayıran orijinal tarafı harf ve kelimelerden hareketle işarî
yorumlara ulaşmasıdır. Diğer bir ifadeyle tasavvufî izahlarında Arap
Dilindeki harf ve kelimeleri kullanmasıdır.
Kültür tarihimizin iz bırakan şahşiyetlerinden biri olarak kabul edilen İbn
Arabî ve meşhûr eseri Fütûhât’ın bilgi kaynaklarını incelediğimiz bu çalışma,
anahatlarıyla bir taramadan ibarettir. Konu ettiğimiz bilgi kaynaklarının
yanında Fütûhât, tasavvuf, fıkıh, akâid, kelâm, tefsir, mantık ve felsefe gibi
diğer kaynaklar açısından da incelenmelidir. Ayrıca bizim burada genel
olarak ele aldığımız başlıkların müstakil ve daha detaylı olarak
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Mehmet ATALAY 
E-mail: [email protected]
Citation/©: Atalay, M., (2012). In the hands of spirituality:
internalizing secularism through the corpus of Rumi. Journal of
Intercultural and Religious Studies. (3). 95-120.
In today's world, religion still constitutes an important part of political identity
and in some cases comes into consideration even before ethnic or national
identity. Since religion has both dark and bright sides, it seems wise or at least
prudent not to rule it out when seeking extra support for such modern values as
religious tolerance and secularism. Furthermore, it seems, in return, a perfectly
plausible endeavor to turn to religion with the aim in mind to bolster an
everlasting understanding of religious diversity, as an all-natural phenomenon,
and secularism for that matter.
In that context, considering the written legacy of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, a
thirteenth century Sufi of Asia Minor, i.e., the modern-day Turkey, would have a
twofold advantage of understanding: (1) Rather than a sole theologian of a
certain religion, Rumi was heavily a major –and perhaps the greatest–
representative of Sufism as a spiritual/mystical tradition. (2) Rumi's corpus has
been more familiar particularly to the Western communities than that of any
other Sufi; for instance, it has sold more than that of Shakespeare for the last
three decades in the Anglo-Saxon world.
 Assist. Prof. Dr., Istanbul University, Faculty of Theolgy. An early version of this paper was
presented at Shanghai International Conference on Social Science (SICSS), 14-17 August 2012,
Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
In this paper, the possibility of bolstering secularism in the light of Rumi's
corpus will be taken into account and carefully studied. Moreover, a special
attention will be paid to how Rumi's corpus might amount to a unique
contribution in the 'department' of growing respect and even adherence to
Being a great mystic can be construed, among other things, as also being a
great master of metaphor. And meticulously-designed metaphors can pave
the way for critically important modern values such as secularism to
intrinsically dwell in the human consciousness.
Keywords: Secularism, Rumi, Rumi's Corpus, Metaphor.
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, a 13th century Muslim figure of Asia Minor, the
modern-day Turkey, was one of the great mystics who ever came into being
in the whole history of mankind. He was loved in his lifetime and has been
loved thereafter. There is no doubt that the immense love and affection
which he was the object of stemmed from the fact that he was first and
foremost a great Sufi mystic. The core concept of mysticism and, of course,
Sufism is love towards God, people, and everything else in relation to them.
And the major means by which to express this love are metaphorical
utterances. One can contend that for the same reason, the written legacy of
Rumi is not only a source of inspiration for the Muslim communities but also
for the people(s) of any world religion.
Rumi's corpus is not about strict tenets aimed at leading people to the
acceptance of Islam: Perhaps the corpus has such a function as well.
Nonetheless, there is no question that the whole corpus of Rumi is, in turn,
about such supreme values as love, respect, modesty, altruism, etc. Along
these values, one can categorically argue, comes secularism.
Secularism or secularity, in the most accepted form, constitutes the heart of
democracy inasmuch as religiously-oriented differences amount to the main
obstacle before people trying to live in harmony and peace. On the other
hand, even in our age, which can aptly be called as a post-positivistic era,
religious identity, either on a large or a small scale, is a substantial part of
national identity. Moreover, it should come as no surprise that possibly for a
considerable amount of people the exact number of which we will never
know, religious identity comes first before national identity. In any case,
religious identity, in terms of its significance, can be placed on the same line
with ethnic identity. All in all, now that religious identity is still strong it
seems wise in the least if not commonsensical to return to religion itself to
fortify secularism, which is seemingly the most effective means to deal with
civic problems coming from religious differences in today's societies.
In dealing with religious differences, appealing to religious literature seems
to be of great significance. And in that context, the written legacy of Rumi,
both a scholar of the religion of Islam and a Sufi mystic, provides an example
perhaps second in importance to no other.
The stark reality about the corpus of Rumi, on the one hand, is that it centers
on the concept of love; on the other, it can easily be conveyed to non-Islamic
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
religious traditions. That is, people of non-Islamic backround(s) can greatly
benefit just as well from the corpus of Rumi in internalizing secularism.
Now, before going on investigating into various possibilities in the context of
fortifying secularism we need to make three quick points regarding the
notion that religious texts, whether fundamental or secondary, are the
common property of all human beings.
First, religious texts are –and should be– open to all for the sake of the
endeavor of the relevant religion to expand. Every religion primarily wants
to multiply its adherents and, for that purpose, opens up to anybody who is
willing to 'listen'. Thus, every religion should accept the fact that its texts are
basically an object of interest to all people regardless whether they already
embrace it or not. To give an example, this notion is implicitly yet somehow
strongly supported by Ibn Ashur, a 20th century Tunisian commentator of
the most primary text of the religion of Islam, the Holy Quran. According to
him, "through the Holy Quran, so many nations have found the right path in
all times; besides, both those who believe in the Quran and a large group of
people who were deprived of the Islamic faith have always greatly benefited
from it" (1997: 8/91). It may be worthy of mention that what is crucial in the
above-mentioned excerpt is this: the commentator saw it absolutely possible
that even people outside the Islamic faith might benefit from the most
fundamental text of the religion of Islam.
The second point is that the metaphorical or mystical aspect of the
phenomenon of religion constitutes an open invitation to all to construct, i.e.,
to perceive, meanings of their desire based on the text in focus. This is true
and appropriate especially when considering the fact that "reading [as a
general phenomenon] seems, in fact, to be the synthesis of perception and
creation" (Sartre, 2001: 31).
Third, all the religiously-oriented written legacy is actually the legacy of all
human beings given that people were somehow involved in the making of
religious texts. It is not unwise to proclaim that people have inherited the
fundamental religious texts, whether they accept or refuse, both from God
and the prophets.
Secularism Fortified
Likewise, the idea of utilizing the corpus of Rumi in favor of secularism is not
just peculiar to conservative people. Secularism should (and perhaps must)
be supported and fortified in and through the light of religious texts by both
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
sides of the political spectrum. Because, in doing so, both sides have great
On the one hand, one should bear in mind that, as a political and social
institution, secularism is more or less a moderator between state and
religion. This is to say that in a secular society religion and state, church
(temple) and government are not to be inimical to one another (Başgil, 1982:
171). Said differently, at the individual level, to be secular does not
necessarily mean to be anti-religion; and vice versa: to be religious does not
necessarily mean to be anti-secularism. The usage of the term secular has
become increasingly widespread as being opposed to the term religious.
However, one should take into serious consideration that people might (and
in some cases they actually do) describe themselves as both secular and
On the other hand, one should also make a note of the fact that, looking at the
crucial role religion plays in today's world, the idea that religious (and even
sectarian) differences will become extinct may sound unrealistic and
childish. Because, as one of the American founding architects, John Adams
stated: "Mankind are by nature religious creatures" (as in Cousins, 1958:
112). Possibly, religion has been with us since the beginning of human life on
earth and it will be with us till the end of time. Thus, to appeal to religious
and spiritual texts for the purpose of fortifying modern values such
secularism is sound and perfectly reasonable. More specifically, instead of
quarreling with religion and trying to tarnish its bad representations,
bolstering the idea of being respectful of individual volition (will) and
religious differences through the means of religious/spiritual legacies of
great historical figures is a wise strategy if nothing more.
Carl Gustav Jung's book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which is in a sense
constitutes his autobiography, provides important insights concerning the
fact that fortifying secularism through religion might bring about benefits for
both conservative and liberal people. In the light of this book, one can talk
about two main benefits for each side of the political spectrum.
Religion or religious texts employed in favor of secularism might bring about
for the conservative people:
Benefit 1: They might help them raise consciousness about the integrity and
even 'sacredness' of individual will (volition). Secularism is needed not only
because it helps cope with religious differences of the people who embrace
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different religions but also because it helps cope with different orientations
of the people who adhere to the same religion.
Benefit 2: In letting other religions come out in the public sphere, they can
find a crucial value intrinsic to their own religious adherence. By being
exposed to other religions people can raise consciousness and, in some cases,
even learn about their own religion.
As for the liberal people:
Benefit 1: Relying on religion itself in favor of secularism, provided that it is
done in a meticulous way, only adds strength and momentum to the struggle
against the bad representations of religion. In most cases, appealing to
religious texts may look like an awkward endeavor but in no case can it be
compared to being indifferent to them.
Benefit 2: Religions and religious texts being used in favor of secularism can
raise consciousness about not turning secularism into a type of religion.
People are afraid of the unknown. And, thus, tearing down 'the wall' between
religion and liberal people only gives them extra strength to fight against its
bad representations.
At this point, one feels compelled to mention that the most notable figure in
social scientific circles that leaned towards religion in favor of the ideology
that he promoted was Erich Fromm. Probably the first time in history he
introduced the concept of 'atheistic religiosity' and employed it in favor of
'social democracy' and socialism for that matter (1998b: 168-9). According
to Fromm "history has clearly shown that one ideology without the other
leaves man dependent and crippled" (1998a: 8). Depending on the insight
that we drew from Fromm, one can contend that, in the context of perfect
harmony between religion and secularism, what we really are in need of is
secular people coming from a religious background and, in turn, religious
people coming from a liberal background.
The Power of Metaphor
Although Rumi was both a scholar of the religion of Islam and a Sufi
descending from the Islamic tradition, there is no doubt that his discourse
belongs to the metaphorical/artistic realm of discourse. In other words, his
entire corpus for the most part can be described as being heavily
metaphorical as opposed to being heavily literal. Given our subject matter,
one can contend that the exceptional effectiveness of his corpus in
propagating and fortifying such values as secularism, i.e., being respectful of
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
other religious or/and sectarian orientations, comes mainly from the fact
that it is poetic (poetry) rather than prosaic (prose).
Metaphor is the tool that opens up the mind of the reader/listener to the
imaginary world. On the whole, it conveys meanings not less important than
literal ones. Linguistic structures of metaphorical orientation should always
be taken into account in relation with the ones of literal orientation but this
does by no means lessen their power to affect human consciousness and help
change human behavior.
Aristotle points out the secondary status of the metaphorical structures (i.e.,
utterances and sentences) as follows: "Metaphor (meta-phora) consists in the
transference (epi-phora) of a name [from the thing which it properly
denotes] to some other thing" (1951: 315). Although metaphorical structures
represent a secondary position of function and importance they have a
unique linguistic functionality second in importance to no other. Whereas
literal structures constitute the foundations, metaphorical ones represent the
farthest dimensions of them. One cannot imagine, for example, a constitution
full of metaphors, but no prose can come even closer to the linguistic and
thus psychological effect of metaphors. Again, Aristotle points out the unique
functionality of metaphor as in the following: "By far the greatest thing for a
poet is to be a master of metaphor. Such mastery is the one thing that cannot
be learned from others. It is a nark of genius (euphuia), for to be good at
metaphor is to be intuitively aware of hidden resemblances" (1951: 317).
On the other hand, the effect of metaphors is not just poetic or
'psychological'. In other words, metaphors are not fundamentally alienated
from literal structures. On the contrary, they are absolutely conducive to
'literal knowledge' and helpful to get the whole picture of an issue in focus
provided that they are not misinterpreted and abused. As the Turkish poet
and literary theorist Özdemir İnce points out: "The highest level of
knowledge is the degree of it in which it becomes a metaphor. Metaphor is
the level at which knowledge becomes ripe and saturated. It also forms a
bridge making connection with other types of knowledge" (2003: 316).
Metaphorical expressions and the realm of both investigation and knowledge
that heavily uses metaphorically-oriented linguistic structures are at least as
functional and thus important as literal expressions and the realm of
knowledge that heavily uses literally-oriented linguistic structures. Whereas
the substance of 'literal' realm of knowledge is reason the substance of
metaphorical realm of knowledge is intuition. Moreover, in the light of this
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duality, i.e., reason & intuition, the whole realm of knowledge can be
classified as scientific and literary or scientific and poetic (perhaps one of the
most inclusive and thus best classifications in this regard is the one used by
New York Times: non-fiction and fiction). It should be mentioned that Jacques
Hadamard's masterpiece The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical
Field (1945) is full of insights regarding the fact that intuition is as functional
and beneficial as reason and the integrality of them is needed in scientific
Given the above-mentioned classification, this is in a way to say that literary
works are as important as scientific works in the whole history of human
investigation. Furthermore, in the same context, it should be called into
account that a very interesting and concise statement was made by a former
president of the Finnish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Erkka Maula. Concerning
the co-existence and compatibility of science (in the place of 'literal'
knowledge) and poetry (in the place of metaphors or 'metaphorical'
knowledge), Dr. Maula said the following: "Science reaches sensation and
sensitivity at the farthest end of its development, that is, it becomes a sort of
poetry" (as cited in İnce, 2003: 45). The insight put forth this statement is
actually bolstered by Albert Einstein. He once asked Saint Johan Perse how
did he write his poems? Perse replied that he wrote them through foresight,
precognition or intuition. It is recorded that, in return, Einstein said that
"scientific discoveries come about through the same process" (as cited in
Yetik, 2005: 12).
In short, the integrality of the two orientations aside, metaphoricallyoriented books (works) are as functional and thus important as analyticallyoriented books (works). Given the importance of metaphors and written
works that heavily consist of metaphorical structures and the proven power
of them in changing human behavior, two lines of evidence should not skip
our minds: (1) Communism, for an example, as a mass movement spread out
through literary works (particularly novels) rather than analytically-oriented
books and (2) in the history of nations' civilizations, about half of the books
are their literary works (Buğra, 1995: 402).
The power of metaphorical expressions compared to literal ones is actually
paradoxical or somewhat mysterious. Literal expressions are the foundations
of language whereas metaphorical ones are the farthest extensions and
ready-to-be discovered dimensions of them. On the one hand, literal
expressions have priority over metaphorical ones in certain areas such as
communication, law and science. However, on the other hand, to command
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
metaphors absolutely requires more effort than the one needed to have a
mastery of both literal utterances (words) and literal linguistic structures
(sentences). And, to give an example, the following excerpt from Mark
Twain's A Tramp Abroad is a hilarious indication of that extra effort needed
in commanding metaphors. Having talked about his encounter with a raven,
Twain goes into quoting his friend, Jim Baker, speculating about how some
animals can talk: "'There's more to a blue-jay than any other creature. He has
got more moods, and more different kinds of feelings than other creature;
and mind you, whatever a blue-jay feels, he can put into language. And no
mere commonplace language, either, but rattling, out-and-out book-talk—
and bristling with metaphor, too—just bristling!'" (2000: 27).
Metaphors need extra capacity of intelligence and perhaps of intuition. And
this somewhat explains why they are uniquely powered tools to change
human cognition and behavior. Maybe there is something about them that
triggers something in human subconscious. Great metaphors , i.e.,
meticulously-designed ones, can even be regarded as criteria of truth just like
simple cognition and deduction that are parts of reasoning (Yavuz, 2001: 78).
In any case, there is no question that in terms of their power to affect human
beings and thereby change their behavior as linguistic tools stands second to
no other. As the Turkish poet and essayist Hilmi Yavuz declared: "To change
our lives perhaps we need metaphors rather than [analytically-written]
books" (2001: 79).
The Corpus of Rumi
As written works, we have five books from Rumi today, two of which are
hefty volumes. As we have established so far, the entire corpus of Rumi can
be put into the category of 'metaphorical' as opposed to 'literal'. Because the
corpus comprises mostly teaching stories, tales, descriptions of/about innermystical experiences, etc. However, the fact that he was both a Sufi and a
scholar, parts of his corpus can also be classified as belonging to the 'literal'
realm. Therefore, the best and most prudent way to describe the corpus of
Rumi is to say that it was heavily metaphorical rather than being heavily
The classification as being heavily literal and being heavily metaphorical can
also be applied to the very corpus of Rumi. In other words, having
established that the corpus of Rumi can be best described by presenting it in
the category of being heavily metaphorical, the secondary best and most
prudent way to describe the corpus goes through the investigation into
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which piece of the corpus is more metaphorical than the other and what line
of order can come about in the so-called box of Rumi's corpus when the
entire pieces of his works are presented from the one being most
metaphorical to the one being most literal (or less metaphorical). This type of
investigation is important in realizing the scholarly aspects of his corpus as
opposed to the Sufi ones. Rumi was a Sufi, i.e., a great poet and mystic. He
was also a scholar of Islam. Therefore, one can easily assert that, Muslims or
non-Muslims, there is something for every person in the corpus of Rumi.
The entire pieces of Rumi's corpus known to us today are as follows:
Diwan-i Kabir or, a.k.a. Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrizi [The Big Diwan or The
Diwan of Shams-i Tabrizi]
Majâlis-i Saba [Seven Sermons]
Fîhi Mâ Fîh [In It What is In It]
Mektuplar (Maktubat) [The Letters](Özdemir, 1969).
It should be noted that the language of Rumi's corpus is Persian. The fact that
he wrote or dictated in Persian leads people to think that he was from Persia;
however, his own statement makes the correction: "Even though I say in
Persian my origin of descent is Turkish" (as in Özdemir, 1969: 27). He wrote
in Persian because in 13th century Persian was the dominant language of
poetry in Anatolia (Asia Minor) as it was in most of the Muslim world at the
time. And this might reveal the fact that Rumi was a man of metaphor than
It should also be noted that the line of order in which Rumi's books were
mentioned above constitutes the sequence of his works from the most
metaphorical to the most literal.
There is no doubt that the most literal works of Rumi is Mektuplar
(Maktubat) (The Letters) since it mostly comprises his letters sent to
Anatolian Selcuki Sultans, statesmen and various religious scholars as
responses to their religiously-oriented questions. And the dominant mode of
language in letters should be literal rather than metaphorical. The difficulty
of choice concerning the ordering seems to be between Majâlis-i Saba, which
consists of seven sermons given by Rumi, and Fîhi Mâ Fîh, which likewise
consists of Rumi's special conversations (sohbet) put together by some of his
disciples. It seems that the scholarly aspect of Rumi is more evident in Fîhi
Mâ Fîh than in Majâlis-i Saba. However, it also seems that the latter is easier
to understand and penetrate into than the former. Hence, although these
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
books can be evaluated interchangeably to some degree in this context one
can contend that Fîhi Mâ Fîh is more metaphorical than Majâlis-i Saba.
The most metaphorical work of Rumi, there is no doubt, is Diwan-i Kabir and
in this respect Mathnawi comes second. Although both books comprise
poems (beyit), that is, poetic style which is the essential metaphorical way of
language, the former is basically lyrical whereas the latter is basically
didactic. In other words, whereas the Sufi aspect of Rumi is primarily evident
in the former the scholarly aspect of him is primarily evident in the latter:
whereas Rumi points out his mystical experiences in Diwan he mostly makes
arguments through teaching stories and such in Mathnawi. Accordingly, his
Diwan was called as "the grand Bible of Sufis" (Armstrong, 1994: 240)
whereas his Mathnawi was described as "a mountain of reason[ing]" (Şardağ,
1983: 127). Moreover, it has also been said that whereas Diwan constitutes
his 'subjectivity' Mathnawi constitutes his 'objectivity' (Karakoç, 1996: 69).
In short, although belonging to the same category as the corpus and legacy of
Rumi being primarily and heavily metaphorical, the content of Diwan is more
metaphorical than that of Mathnawi.
The fact that Diwan is the most metaphorical book of Rumi is perhaps best
understood from the following: in Mawlavi orders, the spiritual institutions
or schools that were founded on the philosophy of Rumi and spread out all
over the Ottoman Empire, "the copies of Diwan were kept locked in the
dolaps (cupboards). It was feared that when the spiritual students (murids)
were exposed to them without the supervision of spiritual teachers (shayks)
their minds would get confused terribly" (Can, 1999: 218).
Having established the fact that the whole corpus of Rumi belongs generally
to the metaphorical realm of language and the most metaphorical piece of his
corpus is Diwan rather than Mathnawi, a few words should be stated as to
which of these books is the masterpiece of Rumi. Having to decide which of
these hefty books is the actual masterpiece of Rumi might reveal a lot as to
why the legacy or the corpus of Rumi can be intrinsically conducive to
espousing secularism for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
The final account as to which piece of Rumi's corpus is his masterpiece can
vary according to taste. However, all accounts in this regard exclusively put
forth either Diwan or Mathnawi. For instance, the Greek writer
Panayotopulos states that "the essential book of Rumi that earned him great
fame and reputation both in the East and in the West is Mathnawi" (2000:
194). He also says the following: "Nevertheless, the masterpiece of Rumi is
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his Diwan that he dedicated to his spiritual teacher, Shams" (2000: 194). On
the other hand, according to the Turkish scholar on Rumi –and so to say–
Rumiism, Şefik Can, "his masterpiece is simply Mathnawi that consists of 6
volumes and 25, 618 couplets" (1999: 373). Although it is Mathnawi that is
taken into account as the highest level of his productivity around the world, it
should be bore in mind that this may largely be due to the fact that the entire
corpus of Rumi has yet to be translated into major languages and it is not
widely known to the international community of scholars. Furthermore, it is
not surprising to realize that whereas those who enthusiastically favor
Mathnawi as the masterpiece of Rumi are Muslim scholars the ones who
favor Diwan as such are non-Muslim scholars. And this might mean to say
that, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, the corpus is all beneficial to
everybody or that there is room for everybody to harvest benefits from
Rumi's written legacy. The Ageless Rumi made a presentation that was
inclusive of every mind, tradition, religious background and so on.
Consequently, one should look for both the very idea and the phenomenon of
genuine respect for all religions in the very nature of Rumi's presentation,
i.e., the written and unwritten legacy of Rumi.
The Overarching Themes in the Corpus of Rumi
Trying to investigate into the major themes in the whole corpus of Rumi
might help describe the ever-inclusive content of it and find out why (or
how) it is unique in promoting understanding and respect for all religions
and people coming together without the obstruction of the barrier formed by
their own religious differences.
Generally speaking, the corpus of Rumi in essence is all about human beings,
their relationship with God and how they should struggle to come to make a
genuine realization of themselves and thereby come to a point where they
acquire the true knowledge of God. According to Rumi, when people acquire
the true knowledge of God or even a little bit of it, they would have the most
soothing, the most pleasurable, the most/best authentic state of being or,
simply, experience. And the only/best way to acquire the true knowledge of
God (marifatullah) is through love:
"There is no love, not in this world nor in the other, that is more
pleasurable than that love [the one that leads toward the knowledge of
God]; if that is not the case, let it be that I am an infidel" (Diwan:
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
The concept of love is so crucial and central in the corpus of Rumi that one
can even contend that the corpus is actually all about love:
"The ever-lasting sweetness dwells only at the hearts of lovers"
(Diwan: 6/43).
"Those who do not fall in love and those who do not lodge in the
valley of love... you do not consider them as having found the true
path and having acquired what they really wanted" (Diwan: 1/168).
"Love is a lost bounty and whoever does not strive to find it would be
just deprived of it" (Diwan: 1/168).
"What a great judge love is; it is not cruel and tyrannical, because it
keeps its promises" (Diwan: 4/334).
"No one, not even a single soul, would be antagonistic towards love"
(Diwan: 3/25).
"There is not a grain of fear in those who fell in love; in the sect called
love, everything falls victim to love" (Mathnawi: 3/201).
"So long as you don't turn into a lover, the whole life of yours would
be just a heavy burden like a shabby sack on your back" (Diwan:
"Love cannot be expressed through words, it cannot be understood
by learning about it; love is an ocean that has no end and it is just
invisible. The drops of an ocean cannot be counted; the seven seas
would only look like a small lake compared with the ocean of love"
(Mathnawi: 3/245).
According to Rumi, in order for people to acquire the real love they should
first realize that they actually live in a 'well' and that the real life is outside of
"O, the body that thinks awry and goes astray, you made hundreds and
hundreds of thousands people slaves. Leave that trap aside for some
time and live freely taking a few breaths before it is too late. Like the
donkey, if there is no way out to freedom for you too, then like bucket
there is no choice for you other than going up and down to the bottom
of the well" (Mathnawi: 3/743).
"Why do you keep sitting down right at the bottom of that well?"
(Diwan: 2/468).
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"When you go out of the well, the dungeon, you would become Joseph
in Egypt, you would come to power and become the sultan" (Diwan:
Consequently, according to Rumi, when they realize that they 'actually' live in
a 'well', that they face a harsh predicament, they should come to understand
that they must do something about it. In other words, in order for people to
get the knowledge of God, which is the ultimate way of setting themselves
free of all kinds of illusions, they must get past all the obstacles on their way
to God. And those obstacles actually come down to one crucial struggle:
getting free of the ego or simply taming it. It is the real enemy of people,
which is another way of saying that people generate the obstacles themselves
that prevent them from getting to God. In the process of taming the ego the
key hunch is not to feed the body at the expense of the soul being exposed to
starvation. Furthermore, it is emphatically emphasized throughout the whole
corpus of Rumi that 'eager' fasting, which immediately brings about a new
circle of pain and pleasure or simply yields the kinds of pleasures ever
unknown to people otherwise, proved absolutely rewarding in acquiring the
knowledge of God. According to Rumi:
"The real enemy was inside the house of that person who was
spiritually blind (Pharaoh); nevertheless, he was to behead innocent
children. You too go along fine with other people outside, while you
are satisfied with that heavy ego inside. Your real enemy is that ego,
but you are feeding it with sugar and accusing everybody else
afterwards. You are blind like Pharaoh; rather, your mind's eyes are
limp; you are content with the enemy but trying to humiliate the
innocent. O Pharaoh! Till when will you kill the innocent and caress
your body which is full of crimes? His intelligence was more elevated
than that of the sultans; nevertheless, the will of God nullified that
intelligence and turned him into a blind man. When God seals one's
spiritual eye and ear, no matter if you were Plato [the Greek
philosopher] you would end up being an animal-like creature"
(Mathnawi: 3/504).
"Work and struggle so that the 'basin of ignorance' would be removed
from your heart; you would remove it and let the shining day fade in
and glean all fine" (Diwan: 7/367).
"Shame on you! Because the only obstruction to your own treasury is
yourself" (Diwan: 7/14).
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
"There is a sky inside yourself; flap the wing of love and fly to that
sky... When the wing of love grows stronger, there will be no worrying
about the ladder" (Diwan: 7/229).
"[When you get to be free of your ego] you would have hundreds of
lives other than the one you have been pursuing; oh dear master! Have
you ever forgotten this or else, where have you been?!" (Diwan:
"No person has really become guilty of another person's crime; no one
was actually able to harvest without having planted first. Hoping to
harvest without planting in is just a wishful thinking in vain; do not go
after raw hopes. Raw hopes would only make you sick" (Mathnawi:
"This world is just a small room; yet the heart is a big city ful of
surprising things" (Mathnawi: 2/416).
"When you keep seeing the bread and the table of food, how are you
going to be able to see the soul and watch the real world? Dear friend,
dear, dear budy! Just walk away looking for the soul and the real
world" (Diwan: 2/15).
"Dear friend! Which do you think is the better: sugar or the one who
makes sugar? Do you think the beauty of the moon is more supreme or
that of the one who created the moon?" (Diwan: 2/48).
The overarching themes, one can assert, in the whole corpus of Rumi are the
ones mentioned above so far. Nevertheless, alongside with them, there are
many various themes in the corpus, which can perfectly be called as subthemes of the corpus, aimed at paving the way for argumentations that
encourage people to take up the spiritual path. On every occasion with these
secondary themes employed in the corpus, Rumi points out to the fact that
the spiritual path is the most meaningful and certainly most pleasurable
experience of life.
Although these themes are by no means scanty, they may wary from love,
action, reason, to relationship between theory and practice, body–mind
connection, pain–pleasure circle, relationship between the will of God and
that of the individual and so on. After a careful reading of the whole corpus
that took us a considerable time extending to almost one full year we would
like to lay out some excerpts from the corpus exemplifying them in a
nutshell. Besides, this might help form a general outlook of the corpus as it
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might boast the invitation into it: metaphorically speaking, the corpus of
Rumi is an ocean and everyone who dares to dive into it would not be
deprived of its pearls as bounty.
These secondary themes are as follows:
Love: "Love smells like musk; therefore, everybody would sense that. There
is no way for musk not to be smelled" (Diwan: 4/45). "What a great judge
love is; it is not cruel and it keeps its promises" (Diwan: 4/334). "Who do you
think is really alive? It is actually the one who is born of love" (Diwan:
1/263). "Whatever great images and visions there are... the essence of all of
them is love... It is love that is apparent in all of them" (Diwan: 4/334).
Greed: "People try to steal from one another and to envy one another; they
do all that just because of the ephemeral bite of food" (The Letters: 67).
Self: "For any individual, there is no possibility to become oneself without
losing oneself. We get ourselves and only then do we become ourselves"
(Diwan: 4/238). "Stretch your hand to the goblet and make us all drink;
because the one who does not become himself would not become pleasant"
(Diwan: 4/400).
Sorrow: "Flesh is like Mary and each and every one of us has his own Jesus.
And if sorrow comes about in us our Jesus would be born and become
apparent" (Fîhi Mâ Fîh: 22). "Just tell me, dear heart! Have you ever seen a joy
not mixed with sorrow?" (Diwan: 4/ 294). "If sorrow is left on your side,
escape to God. Have you ever seen somebody who listens to your grievances
and complaints as well as God does?" (Diwan: 4/294).
Unity with God (or annihilation in God): "That we are, that I am is only a
ladder for ordinary people; sooner or later they would fall off that ladder"
(Mathnawi: 3/566).
Relationship between pain and pleasure: "Sorrow is like a mirror placed in
front of the striving person; it reflects the opposite to the opposite. Look at
your hands and see those two opposites in them; when you close your hand
into a fist you will definitely open it up into a palm soon after. Will your hand
stay closed or should you not be able to close it into a fist, that would mean
that you have an ailment. You would take care of your errands by both
opening and closing your hand; your hand is in need of these two attributes
like the two wings of a bird" (Mathnawi: 3/266).
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
Mirror: "The person whose mirror is not completely cleansed could be
considered clean in essence but he has yet to hunt down the quarry; he is
only playing around the attempt to hunt" (Mathnawi: 5/485). "The heart of
the mirror should be all clean so that you can discern the ugly face being
reflected upon it from the beautiful ones" (Mathnawi: 5/546). "Making use of
chemistry would just amount to an attribute; that you get an essence out of
chemistry is what counts; so bring it on if you have it. Likewise, to polish the
mirror, my dear, just would be an attribute; however, the essence would
become pure out of this attribute. Thus, do not say I have done this, I have
done that; do not run away, instead, show me what you got out of those
attributes" (Mathnawi: 5/461-2).
Critical importance of mind: "Look at those innumerable, endless-likehorizon people; all of them stream around like a flood and all of them do
what they do by means of a thought. A thought seems to be a trivial thing but
it runs over the whole world like a flood. So, you see, every skill, every craft
comes into existence and is sustained by a thought. Now, you see homes,
pavilions, cities, mountains, valleys, rivers. You see the earth, sea, sun, and
sky; you see them all alive through thinking like the fish are alive by means of
the sea. So, why do you go blind? Why, if not out of stupidity, does the body
seem to you like Solomon and the thinking like an ant?" (Mathnawi: 5/ 4656).
Relationship between theory and practice: "Don't you know that what you
call job is all about doing as opposed to saying?" (Majâlis-i Saba: 103). "Oh
you talking head! There's no wish and desire in you. Even if there is one, it is
only out of stupidity; because you wouldn't be able to buy another head!"
(Diwan: 5/ 96). "What is first necessary is knowledge and then work"
(Mathnawi: 4/ 107). "Whether you are rich or poor, the livelihood is hidden
in action; so just proceed!" (Diwan: 5/ 273). "You are indeed the guide but
you are still looking for one; there is no guidance other than that of wish and
desire. Now that 'whoever does an atom's weight of good or an atom's weight
of evil will see it' (Quran: 99/ 7-8), there is no crime that will meet no
punishment. You will do an atom's weight of good will and you will meet no
relief; it is impossible. If you are not blind open up your eyes and just see!
Every plant is a sign for the existence of water. Is there anything that when
you put it forward you will not get anything in return?" (Diwan: 5/ 118).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Relationship between the will of God and that of the individual: "When we
shoot an arrow, the shooting is not from us; we are the bow and the one who
shoots is actually God. This is not predetermination [i.e., the denial of the
individual's willpower), rather, this is the 'meaning' of it; and the mention of
predetermination is an occasion through which to ask God for help. Our
crying and weeping is a sign that we do not have willpower; nonetheless, the
fact that we get embarrassed is a sign that we do whatever we do depending
on our wish and desire. If we do not act upon wish and desire, then what is it
with this embarrassment? What is it this resentment, shame and distress?
(...) Whoever is more awake is indeed more sorrowful; whoever has a better
understanding of truth is indeed is paler on the face. If you have an
understanding about God's willpower that subjugates yours, then what has
become of your crying and groaning? What has become of your insight about
the predestination? How a man in chains would become happy? How come a
man in prison shows off freedom?" (Mathnawi: 1/ 82-3). "You have
willpower upon inanimate objects; nonetheless, do you think your power can
remove their stagnation and give them life? God's power is just like that, that
is, His willpower is absolute but does not remove the individual's freedom of
choice" (Mathnawi: 5/ 274).
The Promise of Rumi's Corpus
Various themes in the corpus of Rumi that can amount to the category of
major ones can be multiplied and further explored. Moreover, all the
critically important themes in the corpus that can be categorized as major or
otherwise are by no means sparse. They frequently fade in and out
throughout the corpus both laying out and implying that many different
connections and ramifications. In other words, the depth of meanings,
insights and implications in Rumi's corpus look as though there is no end to
it. It is worth mentioning here that this point might resonate with a verse in
the corpus where, alluding to two verses from the Quran (Kahf /109;
Loqman/27), says the following: "Had the trees in the forest become pencils
and the sea become ink, there still would have been no end to Mathnawi"
(Mathnawi: 5/ 563).
To be precise, the promising quality of Rumi's corpus raising consciousness
about secularism or otherwise fortifying it essentially comes from its two
widely recognized aspects: (1) The stories in the corpus abundantly includes
characters that belong to religions other than that of Rumi. (2) Likewise, the
corpus involves many stories and remarks which can easily be described as
sexually-oriented or erotic and sometimes promiscuous for that matter. One
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
should state right away that whereas the former aspect has the functionality
of including empathy towards non-Islamic religions and religious traditions
the latter has the functionality of providing the both Muslim and non-Muslim
readers with a true sense of freedom of choice combined with a sense of
spontaneity and easiness in the face of religious/spiritual issues.
The stories that include figures from other religions that Rumi brings up in
his corpus are in no way scanty. For instance, Rumi tells two stories in which
two different Jewish kings oppress Christian people (Mathnawi: 1/ 67-88; 1/
109-117). Whereas Rumi puts forth the latter story ultimately as a
symbolism for spiritual birth he uses the former, which is heftier, to point out
that all religions actually belong to the same line. It might be illuminating to
quote some of Rumi's words concerning the first king: "It was the time of
Jesus and the shift was his; however, the soul of Moses was the king and the
soul of the king was Moses. The king became squint-eyed in the way of God
and wrongly saw those two heavenly comrades [Moses and Jesus] as
separate in spirit" (Mathnawi: 1/ 67).
Another story that Rumi puts forward involves a fire-worshipper (Mûğ)
(Mathnawi: 5/261-264). The fire-worshipper makes a strong argument that
supposedly takes place between him and an ordinary man who invites him to
his religion. And Rumi eventually makes use of this argument as a means
through which he reestablishes that mankind has free will. Moreover, while
doing that Rumi eloquently keeps the intricate relationship between the will
of God and that of mankind intact as it was presented above among the major
themes of the corpus.
Finally, Rumi also tells a story in which four men, a Persian, an Arab, a Turk
and a Greek, want to spend their shared money on grapes. They get engaged
in a bitter quarrel because each one of them separately said the name of
grape in their own language. Since no one knows the other's language they all
get dragged into the brink of fighting each other. Rumi nicely states that if
there were a wise man around he would simply tell them that they all want
the same thing indeed and thus they should put an end to the quarrel
(Mathnawi: 2/ 661-663). It should be mentioned that right before starting to
tell the 'grape story', Rumi puts into words a verse as a means of transition
which also serves as a kind of earmark for the story: "The separateness and
discrepancy of people stem from naming; when they get the meaning they
would all get well in peace" (Mathnawi: 2/ 661).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Just like the stories contained in the corpus pertaining to other religious or
spiritual traditions than the ones Rumi was born into, sexually or eroticallyoriented stories, allusions and remarks spread out in all of Rumi's writings
might contribute to empathy and a strong sense of harmony with them help
boast a strong sense of free will. These kinds of stories, allusions and
remarks, more importantly, help the reader create an all-natural atmosphere
in which he feels completely free and entertained with the phenomena of
religion and/or spirituality all humanized. Being a major set of qualities,
these stories, allusions and remarks, coming from such a great and allrespected mystical figure as Rumi, give the reader a very much needed sense
of freedom, spontaneity and naturalness dealing with religious and/or
spiritual issues. This way, Rumi not only seems sympathetic to his readers
but also leads them to espouse the following idea: Religion is supposed to be
a source of joy and fun for that matter as opposed to being an object of fear.
These stories, allusions and remarks reveal, if nothing else, the funny and
witty face of Rumi thereby rendering him to be perceived as a friend in a
casual conversation. Before going further, let us lay out some examples of
that kind.
First, Rumi tells a story in which a man thinks that he has to marry off his
daughter to a poor and strange young man and warns her beforehand not to
get pregnant. The father's fear is that his son-in-law may go away sometime
in the future and thus may reduce his daughter's chances to get remarried if
she becomes pregnant. Right at that point, a conversation takes place
between the father and his daughter. The conversation is roughly like the
Father: Didn't I tell you 'do not get intimate with your husband?' That is, you
should have avoided your husband at a certain point of the intimacy!
Daughter: Dear father, how would I know that certain point? It is not
obvious; it is actually rather covert and hard to realize.
Father: When his eyes get bewildered and soar, that's when you should
avoid him.
Daughter: But how can I possibly realize that? Because as his eyes become
bewildered and soar my eyes go blind! (Mathnawi: 5/ 325).
Second, Rumi tells another story in which a landlord asks his pretentious
guest about his age. The guest replies as the following: "Eighteen, seventeen,
perhaps sixteen; oh dear, I think it's actually fifteen." Upon this answer, the
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
landlord gets ferociously witty and says the following: "Go back a little more
and just enter into the womb of your mother!" (Mathnawi: 6/ 469).
Third, the great and hilarious Rumi, in likening people 'trapped' between
kitchen and bathroom (and possibly sexual pleasures) to those residing
spiritually in the depth of a well without even knowing about it, makes a
warning remark as the following: "To us, the lower body and the throat are
simply illusions" (Mathnawi: 5/ 339). In the same context, Rumi tells two
stories having sexual content. The first story involves a concubine who
sexually pleasures herself with a donkey. The concubine reasonably uses a
pumpkin as a buffer between herself and the donkey. One day her lady sees
her doing what she does with the donkey without realizing that there is also
a pumpkin involved. Sending the female servant away, the lady tries to do the
same thing, and since she does not uses the buffer dies immediately
(Mathnawi: 5/ 136-38). The other story involves a man who looks like a
woman. The man, called Nasuh, makes use of his special condition as a coverup of his pleasing himself since he, taken as a woman, is allowed to work in
the public bath (hamam) of women. However, one day the daughter of the
king at the time loses an earring in the public bath and as a result everyone in
the bath is up to be searched all over the body. Right at that moment, Nasuh,
waiting in the line for his turn of inspection, makes an oath not to work in the
bath anymore, i.e., not to sin again the way he did in the bath. And,
surprisingly, the earring is found before Nasuh's turn and the whole set of
events constitutes a good story of decisive repentance (Mathnawi: 5/ 211).
Lastly, specifically in the two hefty books of Rumi, i.e., Mathnawi and Diwan,
stories or remarks that involve some sexual content are by no means scanty.
Since Rumi's Diwan is not as widely known as his Mathnawi, let us now give a
few examples of remarks with some sexual content as contained in Diwan. It
should be kept in mind that the following remarks are intended to serve the
purpose of exalting the spiritual pleasures as opposed −or as something
worthy of preference more than− bodily pleasures:
"Now that there is a boss here, a landlord, a lord of the village, he
should give me the kind of wine of which he makes mention. If he does
not and, instead, tries to make me go away, I dare say: You leave and
just go back to between the legs of your wife!" (Diwan: 5/ 233).
"Let the eyes of the dog be far away from the battle of the lions; let the
ass of the donkey be far away from the cradle of baby-Jesus" (Diwan:
4/ 190).
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
"Those who sell their beauty for gold and silver are merely whores;
they are in no way the eternal concubines of paradise Eden. When
your heart is not as pure as that of Gabriel the angel you cannot enter
into that [spiritual] world even if you turn into a mere pack of
treasure" (Diwan: 4/ 252).
"The rose has hidden its beauty like those women who have veils all
over; however, the breeze puts that veil away as if saying 'Oh sweetie,
please open up your face!'"(Diwan: 4/310).
"A mouth that opens up like the vagina of a female donkey... when it is
aroused no dick of any donkey gets loose off that!" (Diwan: 3/ 110).
As can be seen, the above-mentioned quotations from Rumi can be described
as sexually-related or simply erotic and, in some cases, even promiscuous.
However, one should be conscious of the fact that they are not just for the
sake of smile and laughter. In fact, given that they come from such a great
mystic as Rumi, what they do is to make corpus or the spiritual arguments in
it look as natural as they can be and thereby pave a sound way to the minds
and hearts of the readers. the corpus of Rumi, as an extra-ordinary guide of
enlightenment, is basically about human beings and thus almost all the
aspects of being a human being are contained in it. In other words, it would
be a lack of quality for the corpus of Rumi to leave out sexually-related
themes since sexuality is a major aspect of human beings. And these themes
tremendously help Rumi be perceived by the reader as a close friend rather
than a religious figure preaching from a pulpit. Moreover, these themes
fundamentally add to the power of Rumi's discourse given that "there is
nothing as difficult as writing about what one does not feel in the realm of
love" (De Lactos, 2003: 97). In other words, the sexual themes in the corpus
are so meticulously designed and expressed by Rumi that the reader can
either relate or gain insights and sometimes directly learn from them. And
this would absolutely give the reader an encouraging idea about the
authenticity of Rumi when he talks about his spiritual experiences. The
reader, having gone over these themes, might conclude that Rumi cannot be
wrong when he sheds light on his mystical journey and that he cannot be
zealous or extrinsically passionate when he makes an open invitation to
spiritual path(s).
So far, we have laid out two categories of secondary themes in the corpus of
Rumi, one being about the other religious/spiritual traditions and the other
being about sexually-related ones respectively. We have also pointed out that
Atalay, In the Hands of Spirituality: Internalizing Secularism through the Corpus of Rumi
the promising character of those themes as to raise consciousness about
secularism or otherwise the psychology of secularism comes from the
metaphorically-oriented linguistic structures in which they were expressed.
In the same context, one can even contend that whereas the themes about
other religious/spiritual traditions primarily may help raise awareness of the
intrinsic need to be respectful of other religious/spiritual traditions, the
sexually-related themes are basically prone to raise awareness of the
intrinsic need to be respectful of the free will and recognize perhaps the
freedom of committing sins amongst the individuals who belong to the same
religious/spiritual traditions.
All in all, the behavior-changing power of those themes comes from the fact
that they were uttered in meticulously-designed metaphors. Because, it can
be argued, sometimes metaphors function almost as good in clarity and neat
in directness as analytical expressions. Take for instance the following
account about the Turkish people given by Kevin Revolinski who spent a year
in Turkey teaching conversational English to Turkish middle- and highschool students:
A couple days later, during my break I went down to the snack counter for a
candy bar. The students crowded against the counter like a mob rushing the
vendor, crying 'Abi! I want...' Abi means big brother and I had heard adult
men say it to older men in passing as well. They said abla, big sister, to the
female custodians. Once at a restaurant the waiter had spoken in reference to
the Turkish woman I was dining with, 'And for our brother-in-law?' Literally
or figuratively, everyone's family in Turkey (2009: 113).
The idea that everyone is literally family in Turkey is not true. However, the
idea that everyone is figuratively family in Turkey is right to the extent that it
might even make an outside observer 'literally' get confused whether the
family hood observed is in a figurative or literal sense. In fact, Kevin
Revolinski's account seems apt to be equipped with or classified as the
metaphorical mode of expression. However, his way of making the point is so
strong that, the notion that Turkish people are almost literally a huge family
can be construed as the following: they are unique amongst the nations of the
world in terms of family-like closeness to one another. Consequently, one can
easily see that in the corpus of Rumi metaphorical modes of expression are
not only as good in clarity and neat in directness as analytical modes of
expression but also they are more influential, at times more efficient, and
definitely more inspirational than them.
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Rumi's corpus is promising in many ways in bolstering such modern values
as respect for the other, freedom of religion and secularism for that matter.
And the promise fundamentally stems from the exceptionally metaphorical
mode of his writings. After all, metaphors in themselves constitute an extra
ordinarily effective way of conveying meanings aimed at changing behaviors
and thus changing the world. One should keep in mind that "to ask what
poetry can do is actually to ask what human beings can do" (as in Parlatır et
al., 1997: 115). In other words, to be skeptical about the power of metaphors
is to be skeptical about the power of mankind.
It seems that the attempt to fortify secularism (freedom of religion) as a
modern value through religious literature can have benefits for both
conservative and liberal people. On the one hand, it might help conservative
people be familiar with the intrinsic quality of religiosity. For liberal people,
on the other, it might provide them with extra support in dealing with the
dark side or the bad representation of religion.
To that purpose, the corpus of Rumi, the great mystic of Asia Minor, might
function as a working example. Trying to take out the major themes and
some secondary ones, a careful scan of his corpus, especially his Mathnawi
and Diwan, is indicative of the functionality of the attempt to bolster
secularism through religious literature.
In other words, the changing quality of literary works evident throughout
history, which seemingly stems from meticulously-designed metaphors or
metaphorical style, is perfectly immanent in the corpus of Rumi. And the
changing quality in the corpus of Rumi certainly includes transformation
towards consciousness especially about such modern values as respect for
other religions and freedom of religion for that matter.
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Ednan Aslan (ed.) Islamic textbooks and curricula in Europe, Frankfurt
am Main: Peter Lang, 2011, 309 pages. ISBN 978-3-631-63013-6
A. Zişan FURAT
E-mail: [email protected]
Over the last decade, the growing interest in researching different practises
of religious education has been exemplified through many publications
(especially case studies) and international academic events, e.g. conferences
and symposiums. Many leading universities and organizations have been
successfully engaged in organizing or supporting such events. This growing
trend plays an important role in our global academic world not only for
bringing scholars of different disciplines and from various countries
together, but also for making many unknown cases accessible to foreign
researchers. The volume edited by Aslan can be regarded among such works.
The conference “Islamic Textbooks and Curricula in South East Europe”
which was held in Sarajevo between 21st and 25th of October, 2010 provided
the papers for this volume. However, it obviously gained a wider scope in the
publication process. Thus, the present volume consists of three main
chapters comprising twenty-three papers.
In the introduction there are three papers focusing on the role of religious
education in creating a successful coexistence in multicultural societies,
particularly the ones in the Balkans. While the former Grand Mufti of Bosnia,
Dr. Mustafa Ceric, discusses various options for introducing confessional
religious education in primary and secondary public schools in the Balkans
by elaborating on Bosnian experience, Prof. Dr. Enes Karic, a leading scholar
in Bosnia, concentrates on the higher education in his paper. Giving a special
emphasis on the nationalized and ideologized interpretations of the faith and
religion, he poses a very important question among the others: How to form
the dialogue between the faiths for the sake of peace? In the last paper of this
 Asist. Prof. Dr., Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
chapter, Aslan summarizes the main scope of the conference, whereas offers
his view on the current state and nature of Islamic education in Europe. He
gives references to many important keywords related to contemporary
discussions on religious education in Europe. Aslan argues that through
Islamic tradition, consistent with the European norms, religious educators
should be up to the challenge of meeting the needs of European Muslims
whereas providing for peaceful coexistence in the future among generations.
The second part of the collection comprises of many case studies from
Europe with a clear focus on its south-eastern region. Whereas the papers
present a wide range of territorial dispersion, the authors embrace rather
different methodological approaches. While some of the papers present the
general framework of the Islamic education in the Bosnian, Hungarian and
Montenegrin cases, other concentrate on the Islamic curricula and the
textbooks used in different cases. Again, while some of them use a descriptive
approach to define the main issues confronted in the field of religious
education, other interpret the results of detailed analyses of the issue in the
given sample.
Based on the fact that all countries discussed in the volume have different
traditions related to the religious issues, including religious education, the
choice of methodology constitutes one of the biggest challenges for most of
such kind of edited volumes. However, Aslan’s Islamic Textbooks and
Curricula in Europe fills such a deficiency through elevating the significance
of such topic for the ongoing discussions in Europe. Most of the research
exhibits the fact that the nature of religious education as well as the study?
material used in these classes is still among the most zealously debated
issues in many countries, especially in Southeastern Europe. Moreover, the
volume elaborates on some Central European cases that is a valuable
contribution for providing comparisons between the different regions of the
Apart from the case studies, the third chapter of the volume is dedicated to
some discussions related to the textbooks and curricula but from a Christian
perspective. Still, it is difficult to associate this chapter with the main
purpose and idea behind this edited volume. However, the catholic and
protestant experiences in religious education presented in this chapter might
be considered as a subsidiary instrument for some future comparisons
among different confessional approaches to religious education.
Furat: Ednan Aslan, Islamic Textbooks and Curricula in Europe
Even though the volume strives for discussing several research objects at the
same time, these objects should be a matter of in-depth special studies that
take into consideration local settings as well as global changes in the theory
of religious education. The approach adopted in this edited volume most
probably would provoke some confusion among general readers. The
question that might be raised is whether such a material could have been
better used for different purposes such as for a volume dedicated exclusively
to Islamic textbooks or Islamic education in the Balkans and another volume
on comparing the approaches of different confessions in religious education.
Therefore, this work, which compiles different case studies in one volume, is
especially suitable for the researchers who would like to use it as a reference
point for their further in-depth research.
Koçak, C. (2011). Tek Parti Döneminde Muhalif Sesler. İstanbul: İletişim
Yayınları. s. 304. ISBN 13:978-975-05-0839-4.
E-mail: [email protected]
20. yüzyılın başında kurulan yeni Cumhuriyet’in modernleşme süreci çeşitli
toplumsal kırılmaları beraberinde getirmiştir. Uzun yıllar devlet ve toplumsal
hayatta hakim bir öge olan “din”, yeni dönemde yerini laiklik ve
milliyetçilikle oluşturulan ideolojiye bırakmıştır. Söz konusu değişim,
eğitimden hukuka birçok alanda reformasyonu zorunlu hale getirirken,
İktidarın rejimi ve kendi varlıklarını ayakta tutma istemi, içeride rejim ve
iktidara karşı örgütlü ve örgütsüz olarak muhalefet(ler)in oluşmasına neden
olmuştur. Ancak burada dikkat edilecek nokta, muhaliflerin devlet ve iktidara
göre konumlandırılmasıdır. Bir başka ifadeyle Cumhuriyet tarihinde muhalif
olarak tanılanan gruplar, konumlarını devlete ve iktidara göre almışlardır.
Muhalif kesimlerin kimler olduğu, nitelikleri ve faaliyetleri hakkındaki
bilgimiz, bizzat iktidarın tanımlamasına ve açıklamasına göre
Cumhuriyet sonrası iktidarın bizzat kendisinin tanımladığı muhalif sesler
hakkında elimizde yeterli malzemenin olduğunu veya bu malzemeye
yeterince ulaşılabildiğini söylemek mümkün değildir. İktidarın rejimi koruma
adı altında yürüttüğü politika sonucu, yakın dönem dahi olsa muhalefete dair
bilgi ve malumata ulaşmak oldukça sınırlı olmaktadır. İktidar ve rejime
muhalif olarak görülen yurt içi ve yurt dışı basın ve yayın organlarının
yasaklanması sebebiyle muhalefet hakkındaki bilgilere, içeriğini daha çok
iktidarın belirlediği çeşitli kaynaklardan ulaşılabilmektedir. Ancak tarihin
gelecek kuşaklara -yaşandığı gibi- aktarımı genellikle resmi ideolojinin eliyle
gerçekleştiği için tarihsel olaylar hakkında gerçekte ne yaşandığını anlamak
zorlaşır. Çünkü resmi ideoloji tarihi görmek/olmasını istediği şekilde
Cumhuriyet tarihinin önemli bir kısmı tek-parti iktidarı ile geçildiği için bu
döneme ait araştırmalarda metodolojik açıdan ortaya çıkan en önemli
sorunların başında kaynakların nesnelliği gelmektedir. Farklı seslerin
 Asist. Prof. Dr., Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology.
Bahçekapılı: Koçak, Tek-Parti Döneminde Muhalif Sesler
susturulduğu tek-parti döneminde bazı eserlerin rejimin belirlediği çizgiyi
takip etmesi olası bir durumdur. Bu sebeple tek-parti dönemindeki farklı
sesleri veya muhalefeti, iktidar ve rejime rağmen doğru okumak oldukça
zorlaşır. Koçak tarafından kaleme alınan “Tek-Parti Döneminde Muhalif
Sesler” başlıklı eserin, zor görülen bu işi önemli ölçüde nesnelliğini
koruyarak başardığını söyleyebiliriz.
Koçak, eserinin hemen başında tarih yazımı açısından çok önemli olan bir
metodolojik duruş sergilemektedir. Bu da tarih yazımındaki nesnelliktir. Ona
göre mevcut tarih, gerçekte olanın dışında siyasi iktidarların anlayış ve
değerlendirmelerine bağlı olarak yazılabilmektedir. Tarihi olaylar, aktörler
ve etkileri iktidarın tanımlamasına göre ele alınabilmektedir. İşte çalışmanın
adında yer alan “Muhalif” sözcüğü böyle bir tanımlamanın sonucu olarak
doğmuştur. Çalışmada muhalif olarak tanımlanan gruplar, bizzat iktidarın
kendisine muhalif olarak gördüğü muhalefet çeşitleridir.
Koçak’a göre tarihe dair bilgilerin güvenilirliği konusunda da problem vardır.
Cumhuriyet tarihi hakkındaki bilgilerimiz, tek-parti iktidarının bizlere
sunduğu bilgilerle sınırlıdır. Tek-parti iktidarı, zamanında muhalifler
hakkında bilgi verme ihtiyacı duymadığı gibi, bunlar hakkında geleceğe de
tarihi bir vesika bırakmamıştır. Yazar daha çok yerelde gerçekleşen
muhalefet unsurlarının İç İşleri Bakanlığı ile Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü
kaynaklarında yer alması gerekmesine rağmen, bu iki kurumdaki vesikalara
ulaşılamadığından yakınmakta, kitabın ekler kısmında yer verdiği vesikaların
da Başbakanlık Cumhuriyet Arşivi’nden alınarak kullanıldığını ifade
Yazarın çalışmasında kullandığı “Muhalif Sesler” ifadesi açıklamaya değer bir
husustur. Aslında çalışmanın ana konusu da söz konusu muhalif seslerin kim
oldukları, ne yaptıkları, etkileri ve nasıl bastırıldıklarıdır. Muhalif sesler veya
muhalefet tek-parti döneminde günlük hayatta yer bulan daha çok örgütsüz
ve kişisel düzeydeki siyasal boyutu ağır basan çeşitli ve farklı
muhalefetlerdir. Burada dikkat çeken husus, iktidara yapılan muhalefetlerin
daha çok kişisel nitelikte olmasına rağmen, iktidarın bu muhalefetleri
gereğinden fazla ciddiye alması ve bunları rejim aleyhtarlığı olarak lanse
etmesidir. İl, ilçe, kaza hatta köylerde iktidara karşı oluşan her türlü
muhalefet, iktidar ve iktidarı oluşturan CHP örgütleri tarafından birlikte
izlenmiş, örgütlü eylemler yanında, kişisel nitelikli olan, örgütsüz birçok
eylem de devrim ve yeni Cumhuriyet için yıkıcı bir faaliyet olarak
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Eserde yer alan muhalif sesler hakkında söylenebilecek bir başka nokta da,
bunların belirli bir kategori altında toplanmamasıdır. Koçak, çalışmasında
karışık ve çeşitli alanlardan siyasi ve ideolojik durumu ne olursa olsun rejim
ve iktidarla bütünleşmemiş, araya mesafe koymuş ya da koymaya çalışmış
bütün eğilimleri muhalif ses olarak tanımlamaktadır. Bu bağlamda çalışmada
tek-parti döneminde oluşan birbirinden çok farklı hatta belki de birbirleriyle
hiçbir teması olmayan muhalifler bir araya getirilmiştir.
Çalışmanın niteliğini arttıran önemli bir unsura da burada değinmek gerekir.
Bu da eserin, tek-parti döneminde muhalif seslere karşı geliştirilen baskı ve
alınan önlemleri ve bunların çeşitli boyutlarını nesnel bir şekilde işlemesidir.
Her ne kadar dini muhalif unsurların anlatımında kullandığı dil bazen resmi
ideolojiyi andırsa da bu durum eserin nesnelliğine zarar verecek düzeyde
Tek-parti dönemindeki muhalif sesler dokuz bölümde incelenmiştir.
Çalışmada ilk ve en çok yer kaplayan birinci bölümde din ekseninde gelişen
muhalefete yer verilmiş ve bu bölüm kendi içinde dört ayrı kısımda ele
alınmıştır. Birinci kısımda Rauf Orbay ve Hilafet meselesine, ikinci kısımda
rejim, inkılaplar, laiklik ve Atatürk karşıtı propagandalara, üçüncü kısımda
Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı’nın denetimi meselesine ve dördüncü kısımda ise
dini yayınlar ve dini propagandalara yer ayrılmıştır. Bu bölümde dikkat
çeken en önemli husus, devlet denilen yapının aslında CHP ve CHP’nin
örgütsel yapısından başka bir şey olmadığıdır. Devlet, yerelde rejime muhalif
olarak gördüğü her türlü dini hareketi/muhalefeti, CHP’in örgütleri
aracılığıyla gözlemlemiş ve denetlemiştir. CHP örgütleri de bugün fişleme
olarak ifade edilen bu işi, bir devlet görevi edasıyla yerine getirmiştir.
Birinci bölümde göze çarpan bir başka husus da Diyanet’in, mevcut tek-parti
meclisini hükümetin basit bir aracı olarak görmesidir. Yani Diyanet,
hükümeti meclise karşı sorumlu ve onun denetimindeki bir organ değil,
aksine meclisin kararlarını tayin eden bir organ olarak görmektedir. Siyasi
iktidarlar açısından ise Diyanet, devrimin ve rejimin ilkelerini yerine getirme
konusunda gevşek, daha doğrusu sadık olmayan devlet organıdır. Aslında her
iki tarafta birbirlerine çok güvenmemektedir. Yazara göre Diyanet İşleri
Başkanlığı tek-pati döneminde devlet içinde üvey evlat konumundadır. Her
yönden denetim altında tutulduğu gibi, hizmet alanları da sınırlandırılmıştır.
Üstelik rejimin siyasi/ideolojik katında hiçbir meşruluğu da
bulunmamaktadır. Ancak Diyanet ve din adamları da olan bitene razı
gözükmeyerek tepkilerini kısık bir ses tonuyla da olsa göstermeye
çalışmıştır. Diyanet’in tek-parti iktidarına yönelik en ağır eleştirisi ise CHP’ye
Bahçekapılı: Koçak, Tek-Parti Döneminde Muhalif Sesler
bağlı halkevlerinde dini değerlerin, dindarların ve din adamlarının
pervasızca aşağılanması sonrasında olmuştur.
Birinci bölümde yer alan misyonerlik faaliyetleri bu bölümün en zayıf kalan
kısmıdır. Eser, kendisini kişisel ve örgütsüz muhalefetle sınırlandırdığı için
burada iki misyonerlik faaliyeti ile yetinilmiştir. Elbette ki misyonerlik,
çalışmanın ana teması değildir, ancak daha çok örgütlü ve kurumsal bir
yapıya sahip olan misyonerlik faaliyetlerinin bu özelliğine değinilmemesi bir
eksiklik olarak görülmektedir.
Eserin ikinci bölümünde Atatürk’e karşı suikast girişimleri ve öldüğü
yolundaki söylemlere yer verilmiştir. Burada yapılan en önemli vurgu,
Atatürk ile rejimin özdeşleştiğidir. Yazara göre rejime karşı olanların temel
algısı, Atatürk’ün ölümü ile rejimin sonu arasında sıkı ve görülür bir bağın
olmasıdır. Dolayısıyla Atatürk’ün ölümü muhaliflere göre rejimin sonu
anlamına geliyordu. Eserde yer alan örneklemelerden, Atatürk’e yönelik
gerçek suikast girişimleri bir yana, dillendirilenlerin çoğunun aslında
söylentiden ibaret olduğu anlaşılmaktadır. Atatürk’ün öldüğüne ilişkin
söylentilerin yaratılması bir çeşit muhalefet türüydü. Bu durum, muhalefet
açısından psikolojik bir üstünlük kurma hamlesi olarak algılanıyordu.
Çalışmanın üçüncü bölümü dini olmayan rejim aleyhtarı propaganda
beyannâmelerine ayrılmıştır. Üç ayrı olayın aktarıldığı bu bölümdeki rejim
aleyhtarı olarak adlandırılan beyannâmelerin içeriği ve bu beyannâmeleri
yazanların akıbeti hakkında bilgi verilmemektedir.
Eserin dördüncü bölümü milli mücadele karşıtları ile 150’liklerin1 siyasi
faaliyetlerini içermektedir. Çalışmada 150’lilikler hakkında detaylı bilgi
verilmemekte, milli mücadele döneminde Ankara karşıtı pozisyon almış olan
Mehmet Vehip (Kaçı) Paşa, Fevzi Ahmet Bey, Hafız İsmail, Refi Cevat
(Ulunay), Süleyman Şefik Paşa, Aziz Nuri (Yeşil) ve Cakacı (Ahmet) Hamdi
(Abuk) Paşa hakkında yüzeysel bilgiler verilmektedir. Bu kişilerin bir takım
faaliyetleri ve devletin bunları nasıl izlediği üzerinde durulmaktadır. Ayrıca
bu kişilerin ülkeye geri dönme isteklerinin sonucu olarak Cumhuriyet’in
onuncu yılında çıkarılacak olan genel aftan yararlanma arzularına ve bu
sebeple İsmet İnönü’ye yazdıkları övgü dolu mektuplara yer verilmektedir.
150’lilikler Kurtuluş savaşı sonrası düşmanla işbirliği yaptıkları iddia edilerek Türkiye’den
sürgün edilen ve hepsi -Osmanlı döneminde- üst düzey makamlarda yer alan Türkiye Cumhuriyeti
vatandaşlarına verilen isimdir. 28 Haziran 1938 tarihinde, 150’liliklerin yurda girmelerini engelleyen
kanun kaldırılsa da başta Çerkez Ethem olmak üzere pek çok muhalif ve saltanat taraftarı ülkeye geri
dönmemiştir [Bkz: Bingöl, S. (2010). 150'likler Meselesi Bir İhanetin Anatomisi. Bengi Kitap Yayın].
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Yazar çalışmanın beşinci bölümünde CHP’de ve seçimlerdeki siyasi
muhalefete yer vermiştir. Yazara göre resmi kayıtlarda yalnızca bir örneğin
olması sebebiyle bu bölüm çalışmanın en kısa bölümüdür ve iki sayfadan
oluşmaktadır. Koçak, tek-parti döneminde CHP içindeki muhalefetle ilgili
örneklerin çoğalmasını dilemekten başka bir çarenin olmadığını
belirtmektedir (!). Oysa CHP içindeki muhalefete 1939 ila 1950 arasında
düzenlenen CHP kurultaylarının din ve ahlak eğitimi başlıklı oturumlarında
rastlamak zor olmasa gerektir. Özellikle din eğitiminin yeniden gündeme
gelmesi noktasında parti içinden yükselen muhalefet (ki bu muhalefetin bir
kısmı tamamen din eğitimini önemseyenler tarafından yapılırken bir kısmı
da seçim kaygısıyla yapılmıştır) hakkında yeterince kaynağın olduğunu
düşünüyoruz. Zira taleplerinin yerine gelmediğini düşünen önemli bir kesim,
sonraki yıllarda CHP için en önemli siyasi muhalif kanadı oluşturacak olan
Demokrat Parti’nin kurulmasına ön ayak olacaklardır [Bkz: Ayhan, H.,
(2004). Türkiye’de Din Eğitimi. DED Yay. ve Öcal, M., (2010). Osmanlı’dan
Günümüze Türkiye’de Din Eğitimi. Düşünce Kitabevi].
Çalışmanın altıncı bölümü Kürt muhalefetine ayrılmıştır. Bu bölümde 19291931 yıllarını kapsayan Diyarbakır’daki Kürt aktivistlere ilişkin Birinci
Umumi Müfettişliğe ait belgelerle Dersim isyanına ilişkin Dördüncü Umûmî
Müfettişliğin raporlarına yer verilmiştir. Bu bölümü özgün kılan nokta,
Dersim isyanıyla ilgili daha önce hiçbir çalışmada bulunmayan söz konusu
vesikaları ilk defa yazarın bu çalışmada yer vermesidir. Yazarın naklettiği
raporlardan, bu dönemde Kürtlere karşı devletin izlediği politikalar hakkında
genel bir malumat elde edilse de devletin merhametine ve himayesine
sığınanlar hakkında nasıl bir politika izlendiği veya izleneceğine dair
herhangi bir bilgiye ulaşılamamaktadır. Bununla birlikte yazar, Dördüncü
Umûmî Müfettişliği’ne ait raporlardan yola çıkarak, devlet tarafından Dersim
için önceden düşünülmüş ve kararlaştırılmış bir planın olduğunu ve bu
planın gerçekleştirildiğini belirtmektedir. Yazara göre mevcut raporlar,
devletin bir itiraf senedi hükmündedir ve devletin Dersim isyanına bakışını
ve isyanı bastırma şeklini açıkça ortaya koymaktadır.
Yedinci bölüm CHP iktidarının komünist/sol muhalefete karşı yürüttüğü
mücadeleye ayrılmıştır. Yazar, bu bölümde daha önce hiç gün yüzüne
çıkmamış belgeleri yayımlayarak, hem iktidarın hem de komünist/sol
muhaliflerin siyasi tutumları hakkında açıklamalar yapmıştır. Bu bölümde
dikkat çeken en önemli husus, bugün sol bir parti olarak tanımlanan CHP’nin,
1938’de kendisine bağlı halkevi kütüphanelerinde Karl Marx, Fatma Yalçın,
Sabiha Zekeriya (Sertel), Haydar Rıfat, Nazım Hikmet, Hikmet Kıvılcımlı ve
Bahçekapılı: Koçak, Tek-Parti Döneminde Muhalif Sesler
Hasan Ali tarafından yazılan ve komünist/sol ideolojiyi anlatan eserlerin
bulundurulmasını ve okunmasını yasaklamasıdır. Burada değinilmesi
gereken bir husus ise komünist ideolojinin devlet ve CHP’nin idari yönetimi
tarafından dışlanırken, halkevlerinde hayat bulmasıdır. Bundan rahatsız olan
devlet ve CHP yönetimi halkevlerinin komünist eserlerden arındırılması için
ortak bir çaba sarf ederek, komünist yapılanmanın içlerine nüfuz etmesine
engel olmaya çalışmışlardır. Yazarın en dikkat çekici yorumu ise tek-parti
döneminde sürekli izlenen ve denetim altında tutulan komünizm yanlılarının,
bu yıllara dair analiz ve değerlendirmelerinde CHP’nin tavrını ılımlı ve
yumuşak bir dille ifade etmeleridir. Koçak’a göre bu çelişkili tutumun analizi
gerçekleştirilmeden, solun siyasi/ideolojik yapılanmasını çözebilmek
Çalışmanın yedinci bölümü basın-yayın dünyasındaki muhalefetti ele
almaktadır. Yazarın daha önceki çalışmalarında ayrıntılı olarak işlediği bu
konu, bu eserde daha dar kapsamda, ama yeni vesikalarla işlenmiştir. Yazar
burada gazeteler, dergiler, mizah dergileri, kitaplar, yabancı propaganda
dergileri ile yine yabancı sinema ve aktüalite propaganda filmlerine yer
vermiştir. Devletin, rejimi ve ideolojisini karşısına alan fikirlerin, her ne
türden olursa olsun, basın ve yayın organlarında yer alması konusundaki
düşüncesi çok netti: “Asla izin verilemez!”.
Basın ve yayın organlarına getirilen sınırlayıcı tedbirlerden en ilgincinin
Yüksek Okul öğrencilerine getirilen sınırlamalar olduğu görülmektedir.
Yüksek Okul öğrencilerinin 2. Dünya Savaşı yıllarında çıkarmak istedikleri
yayınların, dönemin Milli Eğitim Bakanı tarafından, “bu kişilerin halihazırda
öğrenci olmaları sebebiyle muhtelif alanlardaki iddialarını bir hakikat olarak
halka neşretmeye seviyelerinin müsait olmadığı ve bu tür faaliyetlerin
gençlerin eğitimlerini sekteye uğratacağı ve bulundukları kültür
müesseselerinin disiplini bozmaya yol açacak vaziyetler ihdas etmeleri
bakımından doğru bulunmadığı ve doğal olarak da bu tür faaliyetlerin yasak
olduğu” belirtilmiştir. Çalışmada yer alan belgeler, bu dönemin, basın
özgürlüğü açısından Cumhuriyet tarihinin en karanlık dönemi olduğunu
göstermektedir. Zira söz konusu belgeler, CHP iktidarının, gazete ve
dergilerdeki rejim aleyhtarı tüm yazıları denetim ve kontrol altına aldığını ve
hem yayın organları hem de yazarlar hakkında birçok yasal işlemi
yürüttüğünü göstermektedir. Çalışmanın son bölümü ise azınlıklara ve
yabancılara ayrılmıştır. Bu bölümde yer alan azınlık ifadesiyle, genellikle
gayri müslim azınlıklar kastedilmiştir. Azınlıkları ele alan çoğu eserin aksine,
burada 1930 ila 1937 yılları arasında haklarında çok fazla bilgi olmayan
Journal of Intercultural and Religious Studies
Çerkesler ve Nusayrilerle ilgili belgelere yer verilmiştir. Ayrıca belgelerde,
yabancıların sayıları ve ülkedeki faaliyetlerinin denetim ve kontrol altında
tutulduğu görülmektedir.
Nihai olarak, değerlendirmeye aldığımız söz konusu çalışmanın, tek-parti
döneminde oluşan ve daha çok kişisel ve örgütsüz olarak gelişen muhalif
unsurları tarihi belgelerle nesnel bir şekilde ele aldığını söyleyebiliriz.
Çalışma hem tek-parti dönemini, iktidarını ve faaliyetlerini hem de muhalif
sesleri net bir şekilde tanımlamaktadır. Ayrıca çalışma, tek-parti iktidarının
muhalif sesleri susturmak için ne tür tedbirler geliştirdiğini resmi belgelerle
ortaya koymaktadır. Bunun yanında yazarın, tek-parti döneminin sadece
iktidarın geride bıraktığı belgelerle anlaşılamayacağı şeklindeki vurgusu da,
metodolojik açıdan dikkat çekicidir. Koçak’a göre tarihi olaylar muhalif
sesleri içine alan ve karşılıklı empatiyi gerektiren daha geniş bir bakış
açısıyla ele alınmalıdır.

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