Mustafa bin Abdullah
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
|Died||September 26, 1657 (aged 48)|
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
|Other names||Haji Kalfa, Hacı Halife|
|Occupation||Encyclopedist, historian, geographer, polymath, scientist|
|Known for||Bibliographic and Biographic Encyclopedias|
|Kaşf az-Zunūn ‘an 'asāmī ‘l-Kutub wa-l’fanūn (كشف الظنون عن أسامي الكتب والفنون)|
Kâtip Çelebi (كاتب جلبي, "Gentleman Scribe") (variants: Kātib Çelebi; Katib Tchélébi; ‘Abdallāh Kātib Jelebi; Chalabi; Muṣṭafa Ben Hājī Khalīfah; Hâcci Halfa (Turkish: Hacı Halife) (حاجي خليفة), Haji Khalifa, Hajji Khalifeh, Hazi Halife, Hadschi Chalfa, Khalfa and Kalfa), (*1017 AH/1609 AD – d. 1068 AH/1657 AD).
He was Muṣṭafa ibn 'Abd Allāh (مصطفى بن عبد الله), a celebrated Ottoman-Turkish polymath, and a leading literary author of the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. He compiled bibliographic, geographic and historical encyclopaedias, in addition to writing many treatises and essays. Regarded a “a deliberate and impartial historian… of extensive learning”, Franz Babinger claimed him to be the greatest encyclopaedist among the Ottomans.
With equal facility in Alsina-i Thalātha - the three languages of Ottoman imperial administration, Arabic, Turkish and Persian – he wrote principally in Arabic and then in Turkish, his native tongue. He also collaborated on translations from French and Latin. His magnum opus, the famous bibliographic encyclopaedia, Kaşf az-Zunūn ‘an 'asāmī ‘l-Kutub wa-l’fanūn (كشف الظنون عن أسامي الكتب والفنون), or simply Kaşf az-Zunūn, was published in seven volumes under the Latin title Lexicon Bibliographicum et Encyclopaedicum by the German orientalist Gustav Leberecht Flügel[n 1]. The great compendium, Bibliothèque Orientale by the French orientalist Barthélemy d'Herbelot de Molainville was principally a translation of Kaşf az-Zunūn with additional material.  He combined a complete acceptance of Islam with adherence to Ishrāqī (Illuminationist philosophy). 
Muṣṭafā ibn 'Abd Allāh was born in Istanbul in February 1609 (Dhu’l-Qa‘da 1017 AH). His father was a sipahi (cavalrist) and silāhdār (sword bearer) of the Sublime Porte and secretary in the Anadolı muhasebesi (financial administration) in Istanbul. His mother came from a wealthy Istanbul family. From age five or six he began learning the Qur’ān, Arabic grammar and calligraphy, and at the age of fourteen his father found him a clerical position in the imperial financial bureaucracy.   He excelled in penmanship, accountancy and siyāqat ("Treasury cipher").[n 2] As the accountant of the commissariat department of the Ottoman army in Anatolia, he fought alongside his father on the Terjan campaign (1624), and in the failed expedition to recapture Baghdād from Persian control (1625). On the return home his father died at Mosul, and his uncle died a month later. In 1626–1627 he was at the siege of Erzurum.
In 1628 Çelebi returned to Istanbul where he attended the sermons of Qādīzāde. From an early age his father had instilled in him the love of learning, and the charismatic preacher inspired him to resume his studies. He continued for thirty-years, with interruptions for military campaigns to Baghdad (1629) and Hamadan (1630). In 1633 he left his corps' winter quarters in Aleppo to make the Hajj, earning the title Hajji. He rejoined the imperial army at Diyarbakr, where he had contact and exchange with scholars.  He took part in the recapture of Erivan by Sultan Murad, and expedition to Tabriz,  and Baghdad (1629-1631).
On his return in 1635 to Istanbul, Mehmed Kalfa, an old associate of his father's, secured him an apprentice position as Khalifa (second clerk), in the Audit Office of the Cavalry. He later obtained a post in the head office of the Commissariat Department. In 1645 a legacy left to him by a wealthy relative enabled him to dedicate himself fulltime to scholarship and acquire books.  With his master and friend A'rej Mustafa Efendi, he studied the commentary of al-Baydawi, The Roots of Law, commentaries on Ashkāl al-ta’sīs (Ideal Forms),[n 3] al-Mulakhkhas (Summary) of Chaghmīnī,[n 4] ‘arūd (prosody) of Andalusī, and Ulugh Beg’s Zīj (Almanac).  He also attended the ders-i 'amm (lecturers), Kurd 'Abd Allāh Efendi at Ayia Sophia and Kechi Mehmed Efendi at the Suleymānīye. In 1642 in order to carry on the chain of oral teaching he attended Veli Efendi's lectures on the Nukhba, the Alfiya,[n 5] and The Principles of Tradition. He also studied the Tawdīh, Isfahānī, Qādī-Mīr, al-Maqāsid (Object of Search)[n 6], the Ādāb al-bahth (Rules of Disputation), Fanārī, the Tahdhīb and the Shamsiya.
He taught medicine, geography, geometry, the Sí fasl ('Thirty Sections') and the Bīst bāb ('Twenty Chapters') on the astrolabe, Elements of Accidence, al-Fanārī, the Shamsīya on logic, Jāmī, Mukhtasar, Farā’id, Multaqā, Durar, and Ali Qushji's treatises titled al-Muhammadiya on arithmetic and al-Fathīya on astronomy. [n 7] He wrote his teaching method was “to enter every plurality by way of unity, and to master first principles by comprehending universals.” The astronomer Mevlana Mehmed ibn Ahmed Rumi al-Aqhisar was among those who attended his lectures.
His research ranged across lexicology, fiqh (jurisprudence), logic, rhetoric, tafsīr (Qur’ānic exegesis) and hadīth (Qur’ānic tradition), mathematics, medicine, mysteries of religion, astronomy, genealogy, history and chronicling. Among his academic circle he acquired the sobriquet “Kâtip Çelebi” (Learned Scribe), a term used for scholars not of the Ulāma, and included among his friends the politician Köprülü Mehmed Paşa. It seems his tireless dedication to an arduous study regime, may have contributed to ill health and premature death in 1657 from a heart-attack, aged just 49.
On his death Kâtip Çelebi left unfinished works. His only son died young and in 1659, after his widow was deceased, his library was partly acquired by Levinus Warner for Leiden University (Legatum Warnerianum). Çelebi’s taste for book acquisition had begun in Aleppo, and he would later expend a substantial part of his inheritance building his famous library, which came to be the largest in Istanbul in its day.
- Fadhlakat al-Tawārīkh ('Compendium History') (1639); summary account of 150 dynasties. Fadhlakat; i) Arabic edition from Creation to c. 1639. Fezliké; ii) Turkish edition from 1000 AH to c. 1655. Index of 1,300 sources from original manuscript is lost.
- Taqwīm at-Tawārikh (تقويم التواريخ), ('Calendar of Histories' or ‘Chronological Tables’) (1648); Universal history from Creation of Adam until the year 1648. Written as an index to Fadhlaka partly in Turkish and partly in Persian.  In 1697 Gio. Rinaldo Carli’s Italian translation was published titled Cronologia Historica.
- Cihânnümâ, (var., Djihān-numā, Jihannuma ) (جهان نما) (‘View of the World’); Two-part geographic dictionary begun in 1648: part I - seas, their configuration and islands; part II - countries, rivers, mountains, roads and lands newly discovered since the 15th century (America) Çelebi based the work on Lawāmi’ al-Nūr (‘Flashes of Light’) a translation by Mehmed Ikhlāsī’[n 8] from the Latin work Atlas Minor by Gerardus Mercator (Arnhem, 1621) and Jodocus Hondius; the first use of European atlases and sources in Ottoman literature.
- Kashf aẓ-Ẓunūn ‘an 'asāmī ‘l-Kutub wa'l-funūn (كشف الظنون عن أسامي الكتب والفنون) (‘Opinion’s Scrutiny of the Names of Books and the Sciences’). Begun in Aleppo in 1042 AH/1632 AD and completed in about 1062 AH/1652 AD, it is a vast bibliographic-biographical dictionary in Arabic, and a research-tool for scholars. Its list, approx. 15,000 Arabic, Persian and Turkish titles, 9500 authors and 300 arts and sciences, comprises the most extensive bibliographical dictionary of Islamic literature. It was published as Lexicon Bibliographicum et Encyclopaedicum in Latin in 7 vols.
- Düstûr ül-Amel fî Islâh il-Halel / Dustūr al-amal li islāh al-khalal (دستور العمل) ('Code of Practice for the Rectification of Defects', or 'Instructions for the Reform of Abuses') (1653); This essay on the conduct of the State was published within a couple of years of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, and contains some interesting parallels. 
- Qānūnnāme-i tashrīfāt (‘Code of Ceremonies') (1653)
- Rajm al-rajīm bi’l-sīn wa’l-jīm (‘The Stoning of the Accursed with Sīn and Jīm’); a collection of fatwas (legal rulings).
- Mīzān al-ḥaqq fī iḫtiyār al-aḥaqq (Arabic: ميزان الحق في التصوف) (1656); ('Scales of Truth in the Choice of the Righteous One', or 'True Scales for the Detection of Truth'); “The Balance of Truth”; English translation and notes by Geoffrey L. Lewis (1957).
- Tarih-i Frengi - Translation of the Chronique de Jean Carrion (Paris, 1548)
- Rawnaq al-Sultāna – ('Splendour of the Sultanate'); translation of the Historia rerum in Oriente gestarum (Frankfurt, 1587). A history of Constantinople.
- Tuḥfat al-kibār fī asfār al-Bihār (تحفة الكبار في أسفار البحار) ('A Gift to the Great concerning Naval Expeditions') (1656) –The History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks (1831) English translation by James Mitchell.
- Sullam al-Wuṣūl ilā Ṭabaqāt al-Fuḥūl (سلم الوصول إلى طبقات الفحول) ('Ladder Leading to the Strata of the Eminent') (1651/2) Biographical dictionary of 8561 scholars, ancient and modern, to the letter Ṯāʾ, counterpart to Kashf al-Ẓunūn. Critical edition 2009. [n 9]
- Tuḥfat al-Akhyār fī’l-Hukam wa-l’Amthāl wa-l’Asha’ār (تحفة الأخيار في الحكم والأمثال والأشعار) (‘The Precious Gift of the Elect, on Maxims, Proverbs, and Poems’) (1653); completed to the letter Jīm.
- Rumeli und Bosna, geographical treatise (tr. German)
- Critical edition with Arabic text and parallel Latin translation and commentary in six volumes (1835-1858) (digitized).
- Siyāqat was a particular crabbed script used by financial administration of Ottoman Empire.
- Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ashraf al-Samarqandī's geometry on the 35 propositions of Euclid.
- Mulakhkhas by Mahmūd ibn Muḥammad al-Chaghmīnī of Khwarazm was a work on astronomy.
- Nukhbat al-fikr mustalah ahl al-ithr by al-Hāfiz Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ‘Alī al-‘Asqalānī (d.852/1448); Alfīyat al-‘Irāqī fī usūl al-hadith by al-Hāfiz Zayn al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahīm ibn al Ḥusayn (d. 806/1403).
- It is unclear if Celebi refers to a manual of astrology by Mīrim Chelebi Mahmūd ibn Muḥammad (d.1525) author, as several books share the title al-Maqāsid.
- He began a commentary on al-Muhammadiya which he never completed due to the deaths of his son and his pupil.
- Mehmed Efendi Ikhlāsī’ was a French priest convert to Islām, who introduced Çelebi to Western sources and assisted him with Latin translation for his book. 
- 2009 was the 400th anniversary of the author’s birth and in celebration UNESCO named 2009 Kātip Çelebi Year, and the I.R.C.I.C.A. (Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture) recognised his significance to the culture heritage of the Ottoman era with the first publication of his great biographical dictionary Sullam Al-Wuṣūl from the Arabic original manuscript.
- Bernath 1979, p. 270.
- Piterberg 2003, p. 46.
- Shefer-Mossensohn 2015, pp. 64-65.
- Mitchell 1831, p. v.
- Mitchell 1831, p. viii.
- Lewis 1957, p. 9.
- Lewis 1957, p. 7.
- Shefer-Mossensohn 2015, p. 65.
- Lewis 1957, pp. 135, 152..
- Lewis 1957, p. 135.
- Piterberg 2003, p. 47.
- Lewis 1957, p. 137.
- Mitchell 1831, p. vi.
- Lewis 1957, p. 138.
- Lewis 1957, p. 141.
- Lewis 1957, p. 155, n.22.
- Lewis 1957, pp. 142,143.
- Lewis 1957, p. 140.
- Lewis 1957, p. 8.
- Lewis 1957, p. 139.
- Lewis 1957, p. 142.
- Lewis 1957, p. 11.
- Lewis 1957, p. 144.
- Chalabi 2009, p. 5, Sullam al-Wuṣūl.
- Katib Jelebi 1835.
- Dustūr al-amal li islāh al-khalal
- Mitchell 1831.
- “A Jewel of Ottoman Naval History: The Book of Kâtip Çelebi on Naval Campaigns" in the MuslimHeritage.com
- "Ottoman Maritime Arsenals And Shipbuilding Technology In The 16th And 17th Centuries" in the MuslimHeritage.com
- Chalabi 2010, p. vii, Ihsanoğlu.
- Hadschi Chalfa 1812.
- "İzmir Kâtip Çelebi Üniversitesi". Retrieved 21 August 2015.
- "Newton-Katip Çelebi Fund - British Council". Retrieved 21 August 2015.
- Herbelot de Molainville, Barthélemy d' (1777). Bibliothèque Orientale; from Ḣājī Khalfah, Kashf al-zunūn) (in French). 3. La Haye, J. Neaulme & N. van Daalen.
- Bernath, Mathias; Schroeder (von), Felix (1979). Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte Südosteuropas. Oldenbourg Verlag. p. 270. ISBN 978-3-486-48991-0.
Mustafa bin 'Abdullah (= Mustafa Sohn des Abdullah, gewöhnlich Katib oder Haci Halife genannt)
- Chalabi, Katib (2010). Ihsanoğlu, Ekmeleddin (ed.). Sullam al-Wuṣūl (with introduction in English) (in Arabic).
- Don Babai, ed. (2004). "Reflections on the past, visions for the future". Historians of the Ottoman Empire. Harvard University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies. pp. 97–99. ISBN 978-0-9762727-0-0.
- Encyclopædia of Islam (Leiden, 1954) vol. 4, s.v. Katib Celebi.
- Hadschi Chalfa, Mustafa Ben Abdalla (1812). Rumeli und Bosna, geographische (in German). Translated by von Hammer, Joseph. Wien: Kunst und Industrie-Comptoir (archive.org).
- Hagen, Gottfried (2003). Ein osmanischer Geograph bei der Arbeit: Entstehung und Gedankenwelt von Katib Celebis Ğihannüma. Berlin: Klaus-Schwarz-Verlag. ISBN 3-87997-303-2.
- Hagen, Gottfried (March 2007). Cornell Fleischer (ed.). "Kātib Çelebī. In: Cemal Kafadar, Hakan Karateke". Historians of the Ottoman Empire.
- Halife', Hazi (1697). Cronologia Historica (in Italian). Translated by Carli, Gio. Rinaldo.
- Katib Jelebi, Mustafa Ben Abdallah (1835). Gustav Flügel (ed.). Lexicon Bibliographicum et Encyclopaedicum (Kashf az-Zunun) (in Arabic and Latin). 1. Translated by Gustav Flügel. Leipzig: The Oriental Translation Fund of Gt. Brit. & Ireland., (Vol.,2; Leipzig, 1837), (Vol.,3; London, 1842), (Vol.,4; London, 1845), (Vol.,5; London, 1850), (Vol.,6; London, 1852).
- Klaus Kreiser (2008). Der osmanische Staat 1300-1922 (in German). Oldenbourg. p. 101f. ISBN 978-3-486-58588-9.
- Kreiser/Neumann (2003). Kleine Geschichte der Türkei (in German). pp. 190, 208, 235f, 239f. ISBN 3-15-010540-4.
- Kreutel, Liex Richard Franz (1979). Mustafa bin ‘Abdullah, in: Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte Südosteuropas (in German). 3. München. p. 270 f.
- Lewis, G.L. (1957). The Balance of Truth (translated from Mīzān al-ḥaqq of Katib Chelebi with an introduction and notes). London.
- Mitchell, James (1831). The History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks (translated from "Tuḥfat al-kibār" of Haji Khalifeh). London: Oriental Translation Fund.
- Piterberg, Gabriel (2003). An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play. California: University of California Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-0520930056.
- Shefer-Mossensohn, Miri (2015). Science Among the Ottomans: The Cultural Creation and Exchange of Knowledge. Texas: University of Texas Press. pp. 64–66. ISBN 978-1477303597.
- Taeschner, Franz (1982). Die osmanische Literatur in Handbuch der Orientalistik: Turkologie (in German). Brill publishers. p. 316f. ISBN 90-04-06555-5.
- Zemmin, Florian (2011). "Islamische Verantwortungsethik im 17. Jahrhundert. Ein weberianisches Verständnis der Handlungsvorstellungen Kātib Čelebis (1609-1657)". Bonner Islamstudien (in German). Berlin: ebv-Verlag (26). ISBN 3-86893-065-5.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Griffithes Wheeler Thatcher (1911). "Hājjī Khalīfa". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.