Ebussuud Efendi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ebussuud Efendi
al-Mu'allim al-Thani (The Second Teacher)[1]
Muhammad Abu al-Su'ud (Abu Su'ud Efendi) (d. 1574); Du'anama (Book of Prayers) signed Muhammad Amin al-Husayni al-Tirmidhi, Ottoman Turkey, dated 1599-1600.jpg
An early copy of Ebussuud's Du'anama ("Book of Prayers"), signed Muhammad Amin al-Husayni al-Tirmidhi, created in Ottoman Turkey, dated 1599-1600
Ottoman Shaykh al-Islām
In office
October 1545 – 23 August 1574
Preceded byFenarîzade Muhyiddin Çelebi
Succeeded byÇivizade Damadı Hamid Efendi
Kazasker of Rumelia
In office
August 1537 – October 1545
MonarchSuleiman I
Preceded byMuhyiddin Efendi
Islamic Judge (Kadi) of Istanbul
In office
November 1533 – August 1537
MonarchSuleiman I
Personal details
Mehmed Ebussuud El- İmadi bin Mutasavvıf Muhyiddin Mehmed

(1490-12-30)30 December 1490
İskilip, Rûm Eyalet, Ottoman Empire
Died23 August 1574(1574-08-23) (aged 83)
Ḳosṭanṭīnīye, Ottoman Empire
Spouse(s)Zeyneb Hanım
Parent(s)Mutasavvıf Muhyiddin Mehmed (father)

Ebussuud Efendi (Turkish: Mehmed Ebüssuûd Efendi, 30 December 1490 – 23 August 1574)[2] was a Hanafi Maturidi[3] 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"[2] because his family was from Imâd, a village near Iskilip.[2]

Ebussuud was the son of Iskilipli Sheikh Muhiddin Muhammad Efendi.[2] 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.[4] He worked closely with the Sultan, issuing judicial opinions that legitimised Suleiman's killings of Yazidis and his successor Selim's attack on Cyprus.[4] 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.[5]

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.[4]

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.[6] He was the Mufti of Istanbul between 1545 and 1574 C.E.[7]


  1. ^ Atâullah, Nev‘îzâde. Hadâiku'l-hakāik fî tekmileti'ş-Şekāik. Abdülkadir Özcan. p. 185.
  2. ^ a b c d İsmail Hâmi Danişmend, Osmanlı Devlet Erkânı, Türkiye Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1971, p. 114. (in Turkish)
  3. ^ Üskûbî, Pîr Mehmed. Fetâvâ-yı Üskûbî. Süleymaniye Esad Efendi 1094. pp. 6b.
  4. ^ a b c Schneider, 192.
  5. ^ Matthee 2014, p. 9.
  6. ^ Schneider, 193.
  7. ^ Omar Farooq, Dr. Mohammad (September 2007). "The Riba-Interest Equivalence: Is there an Ijma (consensus)?". Transnational Dispute Management. 4 (5): 9 – via SSRN.


  • Matthee, Rudi (2014). "The Ottoman-Safavid War of 986-998/1578-90: Motives and Causes". In Karpat, Kemal; Balgamış, Deniz (eds.). International Journal of Turkish Studies. Vol. 20, Nos 1& 2.
  • Schneider, Irene (2001). "Ebussuud". In Michael Stolleis (ed.). Juristen: ein biographisches Lexikon; von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (in German) (2nd ed.). München: Beck. p. 192. ISBN 3-406-45957-9.

Further reading[edit]

  • Atçıl, Abdurrahman (2019). "II. Ottoman Religious Rulings Concerning The Safavids: Ebussuud Efendi's Fatwas". The Empires of the Near East and India. Columbia University Press. pp. 97–106.
  • Repp, Richard C. (2009). "Abū l-Suʿūd". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.