Kelam Books as ‘Political Text' in Ottoman Tradition

By converting the Oghuz-Turcomen tribes in the Saljukid-Ottoman line, into a nation (millet)', the madrasas made the most significant contribution to their educational process. The state consciousness (devlet bilinci) and jurisprudential consciousness (hukuk bilinci) given in this education draw special attention. The Kelam books with their sections on imamet issue, gave the students the ideology that can be summarized as “Din ü Devlet / Mülk ü Millet”. They were texts that gave the metaphysical/conceptual framework of this ideology in the context of a ‘value world' that the students belong. The imamet sections are ‘ideal frameworks', like ‘ideal sentences' in the grammar books. Just as nobody speaks with ‘ideal sentences' in every day life; similarly, the ‘ideal framework' drawn in the imamet issues which were analyzed under ‘administration/government' heading, are important not because they are absolutely applicable, but because they are to a great extent a common metaphysical / conceptual framework and reference-control points. Since the Sunnites were in control of political authority, they were more committed to the historical issue and developed theories more suitable to the reality. On the other hand, the Shiites were far away from the historical issue and developed theoretical models on ‘religious and spiritual' leadership in the theological- cosmological field. In this model the personality of the imam was examined in terms of knowledge (theory) and management (practical) concepts. Since the practice, according to Shiites, is legitimized with theory, the source that theoretical knowledge is based should be theological. Therefore, the imam must be innocent and infallible. As a corollary of this he is not responsible/accountable. According to the Sunnites, the imam is a human being and is responsible/ accountable religiously. The ‘value-principle' legitimacy of the practice is drawn from the basic texts of the religion and the theoretical structure is dependent in terms of time and space, and it is based on reason.


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