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Honored by the Glory of IslamConversion and Conquest in Ottoman Empire$
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Marc David Baer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331752.001.0001

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Enjoining Good and Forbidding Wrong

Enjoining Good and Forbidding Wrong

(p.63) 3 Enjoining Good and Forbidding Wrong
Honored by the Glory of Islam

Marc David Baer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines why people attempt to bring others of the same religion to their understanding of that religion (the motivation of the Kadızadelis), the link between piety and proselytization, and the central role played by those who mediate conversion. It charts the rise to prominence of the Kadızadelis religious movement in the 1650s, explaining the movement's origins in the 1620s and 1630s with Kadızade Mehmed Efendi, who propagated the interpretations of Islam of the 16th-century pietist Birgili Mehmed Efendi. It discusses their main conversionary method of preaching reform to other Muslims from the pulpits of Istanbul's imperial mosques. Charismatic preachers convinced the public to change their ways through didactic interpretations of the Qur'an and Hadith; interpersonal bonds also enabled the movement to spread at the Ottoman court. The relations between Kadızadelis and sultans, the larger societal response to their incitations to abolish many common religious practices as well as forms of entertainment, and debates among Muslims about the proper way to be Muslim are described. The chapter concludes with a discussion of conversion of religious geography and sacred space during the grand vizierate of Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (1656-61), who conventional wisdom claims ended the movement. A discussion of his policies also points to the ever waxing strength of the grand vizierate and waning of the sultanate's power, crucial for understanding Mehmed IV's interest in conversion and conquest once he obtained his majority.

Keywords:   Kadızadelis, Islam, religious conversion, Kadızade Mehmed Efendi, Muslims, piety, sultans, grand viziers

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