The Kadizadeli was a hanafi movement in the Ottoman Empire


The Kadizadeli was a hanafi movement in the Ottoman Empire. The below is taken from a brother’s post on an Islamic forum:

Their major positions were that Khidr was dead, the cursing of Yazid is wrong, the parents of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) are in hell, Firawn was a kaafir (contrary to Ibn Arabi), Ibn Arabi and Jalaluddin Rumi were both kaafirs, pilgrimages to tombs are forbidden, and sufi tareeqahs and their practice of group dhikr and sema (hadrah) are bid’ah. They were also very preoccupied with enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and worked very hard to have places shut down where wine-bibbing, opium-smoking, prostitution, musical performances, and homosexual acts were known to occur (their anti-Coffee-house campaigns were what made them famous). They were also known for their rivalry with the Bektashis, the Mawlawiyya (whirling dervishes), and the Janissary corps (who were known for their rampant Bektashism and homosexuality).

Here’s the really amazing thing: they were an extremely important movement in their time, with immense popular support, and even support from a few of the Ottoman sultans and viziers. However, they are conspicuously absent from most English-language works on Ottoman history. The famed siege of Vienna was done at the urging of a Kadizadeli shaykh named Vani Mehmed, who was the personal mentor of Sultan Mehmed IV. Unfortunately, the failure to take Vienna proved to be the undoing of the Kadizadeli movement’s influence on Ottoman politics, as the embittered sultan then exiled Vani Mehmed and the other Kadizadeli shaykhs from Constantinople in 1683, and then made the public performance of sufi rituals legal again in 1686.

The Kadizadeli impact on Ottoman politics is discussed several times in Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923 by Caroline Finkel (including their success at having the sale of wine banned and having a Bektashi tekke razed to the ground). Their opposition to Ibn Arabi (whom they called seyh-e-ekfer ie. shaykh al-akfar), as well as a list of their major scholars is mentioned in the essay “Ottoman Ulema Debating Sufism: Settling The Conflict on the Ibn al-Arabi’s Legacy by Fatwas” by Sukru Ozen in El sufismo y las normas del Islam.

As for the doctrines of the group as expressed by themselves, their main inspiration came from the Risala and Tareeqah Muhammadiya of Imam Birgivi (rahimahullah), which, in the greatest depths of irony, were translated into English by the heretical sufi Shaykh Tosun Bayrak, and published as The Path of Muhammad. The aqeedah presented in the Risala is somewhat Ash’ari in character, and Birgivi also mentions the hadith which asserts that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was made from light, but otherwise it focuses on the importance of following the sunnah and rejecting bid’ah. Tareeqah Muhammadiyya is a masterful work (some may criticize it for containing weak hadith, but so do many other great works). It is a work focused on showing the Prophet’s own words and deeds express the greatest of all spiritual wisdom, and explains the vileness of innovations which oppose it. In many ways it is the ultimate rejoinder to those who claim that without sufism Islam has no spirituality, as it puts the immensely spiritual nature of the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah, completely divorced from sufi innovations and dialectic, on full display.

It is almost tragic that this work’s reputation has been sullied by being translated by the leader of a new-age heretical sufi sect, who’s own forebears (the Khalwatiyya) were one of the main targets of Imam Birgivi’s reproach.

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1 Comment

  1. January 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm


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