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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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Conversion to Piety

Conversion to Piety

Mehmed IV and Preacher Vani Mehmed Efendi

(p.105) 5 Conversion to Piety
Honored by the Glory of Islam

Marc David Baer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores several of the major themes of the book, including why people attempt to bring others of the same religion to their understanding of that religion (the motivation of Vani Mehmed Efendi), the link between piety and proselytization, and the significance of the advocate or mediator of conversion. It focuses on the changed religious scene in the 1660s following the fire and Islamization in Istanbul and the appointment of Fazıl Ahmed Pasha as grand vizier. The crucial individual is Vani Mehmed Efendi, a preacher who became closer to the dynasty and administration and more influential than the previous Kadızadeli leaders Kadızade Mehmed Efendi and Üstüvani Mehmed Efendi. This advocate of a reformed Islam free of innovations and Sufi accretions — who compelled the enjoining of good and forbidding of wrong in Istanbul by attacking Sufis and dissenters, ending the trade in wine and spirits, and razing taverns — mediated the conversion of the valide sultan, grand vizier, and sultan to his way of Islam through charismatic preaching.

Keywords:   Mehmed IV, Islamization, religious conversion, Vani Mehmed Efendi, Fazıl Ahmed Pasha

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