al-Mu'allim al-Thani (The Second Teacher)
|Ottoman Shaykh al-Islām|
October 1545 – 23 August 1574
|Preceded by||Fenarîzade Muhyiddin Çelebi|
|Succeeded by||Çivizade Damadı Hamid Efendi|
|Kazasker of Rumelia|
August 1537 – October 1545
|Preceded by||Muhyiddin Efendi|
|Islamic Judge (Kadi) of Istanbul|
November 1533 – August 1537
Mehmed Ebussuud El- İmadi bin Mutasavvıf Muhyiddin Mehmed
30 December 1490
İskilip, Rûm Eyalet, Ottoman Empire
|Died||23 August 1574 (aged 83)|
Ḳosṭanṭīnīye, Ottoman Empire
|Parent(s)||Mutasavvıf Muhyiddin Mehmed (father)|
Ebussuud Efendi (Turkish: Mehmed Ebüssuûd Efendi, 30 December 1490 – 23 August 1574) was a Hanafi Maturidi Ottoman jurist and Qur'an exegete, acting as the Qadi (Judge) of Istanbul from 1533 to 1537, and the Sheikh al-Islām of the Ottoman Empire from 1545 to 1574. He was also called "El-İmâdî" because his family was from Imâd, a village near Iskilip.
Ebussuud was the son of Iskilipli Sheikh Muhiddin Muhammad Efendi. In the 1530s, Ebussuud served as judge in Bursa, Istanbul and Rumelia, where he brought local laws into conformity with Islamic divine law (sharia). Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent promoted him to Shaykh al-Islām – supreme judge and highest official – in 1545, an office Ebussuud held until his death and which he brought to the peak of its power. He worked closely with the Sultan, issuing judicial opinions that legitimised Suleiman's killings of Yazidis and his successor Selim's attack on Cyprus. Ebussuud also issued fatwās which labeled the Qizilbash, regardless of whether they lived on Iranian or Ottoman soil, as "heretics", and declared that killing them would be viewed as praiseworthy, other than just being allowed according to law.
Together with Suleiman, the "Lawgiver", Ebussuud reorganized Ottoman jurisprudence and brought it under tighter governmental control, creating a legal framework joining sharia and the Ottoman administrative code (qānūn). While the previously prevailing opinion held that judges were free to interpret sharia, the law that even the ruler was subject to, Ebussuud instituted a framework in which the judicial power was derived from the Sultan and which compelled judges to follow the Sultan's qānūn-nāmes, "law-letters", in their application of the law.
In addition to his judicial reforms, Ebussuud is also remembered for the great variety of fatwās he issued. His opinions allowing Karagöz plays and the consumption of coffee, a novelty at the time, are particularly celebrated. He was the Mufti of Istanbul between 1545 and 1574 C.E.
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