Is it Possible to Speak of an Illuminationist Circle in the Ottoman Scholarly World? An Analysis of the Ottoman Scholarly Conception of Illuminationism


This article seeks to answer the questions of how Ottoman scholars perceived Illuminationist thought and Illuminationism and whether a milieu favorably disposed to Illuminationism existed. It first questions how and through which works the debates on the nature of Illuminationism, which is foremost a pursuit of truth, reached the Ottoman scholarly milieus. It then traces over their works how the Ottoman scholars defined Illuminationism, who they viewed as being within this circle, and what sort of a relation they had with it. Since the Illuminationist philosophy is discussed in the literature together with theology, mysticism, and the Peripatetic philosophy, it is regarded as an alternative system. However, the exchange between Illuminationist philosophy and the aforementioned systems of thought, as well as their subsets, was present from the very beginning and continued from the fourteenth century onward in Iran and the Near East. As such, one may argue that the Illuminationist perspective and interpretation during the Ottoman era that constitutes the subject of study at hand is interwoven with other thought systems, as opposed to having an independent standing, meaning that it moved along methodical convergences.


Philosophy Peripatetics Illuninationists Illuminationism Ottoman thought Ottoman scholars theology (kalām) mysticism (taṣawwuf) Shihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī al-Maqtūl Fakhr al- Dīn al-Rāzī Sayyid Sharīf al-Jurjānī Mollā Luṭfī Ṭāshkubrīzāda