Posts Tagged ‘India’

Sheykh Mevlana Nazim Adil al-Hakkani Opens New Dergah in Cyprus – to be Managed in the Osmanli Manner by Sheykh Abdul Kerim

March 22, 2010  |  Thoughts  |  3 Comments

Seeing Sheykh Mevlana on a trip to Cyprus is a very blessed but also a very fleeting moment.

His sohbets (talks) are broadcast from his home into the Lefke Dergah on a projector screen.   People who travel far and wide see Maulana very briefly. Mevlana also does not come from the house for prayer at the Dergah.   To catch a glimpse of him one must wait by his home for some time, where he enters a car after Asr Namaz to be driven to some places in Cyprus.   Between that moment of exiting the home and entering the car, one might be so fortunate to be able to see him and kiss his hand.

So one can imagine that is was highly unusual, and also a very blessed event,  when Sheykh Mevlana came to Sheykh Abdul Kerim’s house in Cyprus to visit him.

There Mevlana officiated the opening of a dergah at this temporary location. Mevlana also gave of his own land to Sheykh Abdul Kerim to use for a permanent location.

Sheykh Abdul Kerim was a gracious host and showed Sheykh Mevlana the dergah and made him very comfortable.   Sheykh Mevlana Nazim prayed two rakats immediately.  Then Sheykh Abdul Kerim showed Sheykh Mevlana his Ziyarat (visitation) to Grandshaykhs in India, and events at the Osmanli Dergah in New York.

Sheykh Mevlana was also able to meet murids individually who were staying at the dergah, giving us all a rare opportunity to be in the presence of Sultan ul Awliya Sheykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Hakkani.

Sheykh Mevlana’s routine schedule usually involves a car ride around Lefke before maghrib, and a trip to the Cyprus Dergah on Jummah day.

Allah Hu

February 16, 2010  |  Thoughts  |  No Comments

Allah Hu Indian Ilahi from Yursil on Vimeo.

CUP and the “Ulema’s” Questioning Ottoman Caliphal Legitimacy

January 24, 2010  |  Thoughts  |  No Comments

“Committee of Union and Progress”

It should be remembered that the ulema, as a class, did not form a homogeneous but a fragmented body, members of which defending somewhat contradictory theses. Many high-ranking members of the ulema strongly supported the Hamidian regime and policies implemented by the sultan for different reasons. In retrospect, however, it would not be inaccurate to comment that those who wholeheartedly supported the aforementioned regime were of a negligible quantity. This comment might seem contradictory, given the policies implemented by the sultan. The examination of a host of memoirs, pamphlets, and newspaper and journal articles published by members of ulema in exile and after the reinstatement of the constitutional regime unequivocally reveals this significant fact, however.

The idea of creating a political opposition movement was born in 1889 among military medical school students, but similar or identical ideas had entered the minds of a grater mass of people. Since there was no other influential authority apart from religion that could legitimize the opposition, the sympathizers of CUP discovered that clamorous opposition, shrouded in religious motifs, was the best way of guaranteeing the future of their movement, of legitimizing it and of delegitimizing the regime of Abdulhamid II. This became more urgent as Abdulhamid II and the palace increasingly labeled members of the opposition as ‘irreligious’ ‘traitors’, ‘intriguers’, ‘immoral’, ‘lacking in patriotism’, and ‘bandits’, this increasing tension by appealing to religious sentiments. So the ulema, who had not yet gone into action, were urged to do so through celebrations, persuasion, threats, satire and contempt.


It is strange that a member of the Ottoman ulema should question the legitimacy of the title of caliph of Sultan Selim I, but the real aim of this discussion is to establish an historical framework that would delegitimize the titles of caliph and sultan held by Abdulhamid II and diminish his reputation. If the author could establish that the title of caliph held by the Ottoman dynasty was an usurpation obtained by massacring thousands of Muslims then the caliphate and sultanate of Abdulhamid II would be null a pirori. Similar ideas, and the notion of the caliph as a member of the Quraysh tribe were first created as a political maneuver by English functionaries in India and developed by London newspapers in order to weaken the power and influence of the Ottoman state over the Islamic world. That such ideas questioning the legitimacy of the Ottoman caliphate were adopted after a decade by the ulema and presented as if they constituted a local and religious question illustrates the ulema’s political situation and the loss of their ability to use their own judgment to follow and interpret political developments.

The conclusion expounds on the subjects touched on in the introduction of the pamphlet. It reiterates the need to weaken absolute obedience to the caliph and, consequently to Abdulhamid II, and the need for outright disobedience; it reinterprets the verse of the Koran ordering obedience to established authorities in a way that excludes sultans and emirs and includes ‘learned mystics with the capacity of governing people’; and it includes a defence of a constitutional, even republican, regime in place of the caliphate-sultanate. It also stresses the need for consultation and to found a parliament, which is considered as a synonym for ‘a council of the Muslim community and a national council, both of which are a religious necessity’. The final ‘personal comment’ frequently points to the affinity between the ulema and the CUP opposition.


As in the case of Imamet ve Hilafet Risalesi, the author remains anonymous, but to increase his legitimacy, credibility, influence and also his potential threat, he is described as ‘the most virtuous scholar’. The Egyptian branch of CUP published this pamphlet twice in 1896. It must have been one of the first joint acts (or the first) by the recently formed CUP, the opposition and the ulema. The fact that – to our knowledge – it is the first pamphlet in which the CUP is mentioned by name increases its importance. The cover states that the publication was made in conformity wit hthe CUP regulations (Article 21).

The aim of this publication was to incite the ulema to revolt against the authorities, while at the same time asking the authorities to grant a constitution, and attempting to politicize the Muslim community. Its political aims were important and clear. It was successful in using cherished symbols and in playing on common sentiments in a provocative language.

(Late Ottoman society: the intellectual legacy (2005) By Elisabeth Özdalga)

Twitter Updates for 2009-09-03

September 3, 2009  |  Thoughts  |  No Comments

Sheikh Abdul Kerim – Visiting India – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri

September 2, 2009  |  Thoughts  |  1 Comment

Sheykh Abdul Kerim – Visiting India – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri from Yursil on Vimeo.

Our visit with Sheykh Abdul Kerim Kibrisi to Agra, India.

Fatehpur Sikri (Urdu: فتحپور سیکری) is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The historical city was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570 and served as the empire’s capital from 1571 until 1585.

Akbar had inherited the Mughal Empire from his father Humayun and grandfather Babur. During the 1560s he rebuilt the Agra Fort and established it as his capital. With his wife Mariam-uz-Zamani he had a son and then twins, but the twins died. He then consulted the Sufi Saint Salim Chishti from the Chishti Order who lived as a recluse in the small town Sikri near Agra. Salim predicted that Akbar would have another son, and indeed one was born in 1569 in Sikri. He was named Salim to honor the saint and would later rule the empire as Emperor Jahangir. The following year, Akbar, then 28 years old, determined to build a palace and royal city in Sikri, to honor his pir Salim Chishti. The tomb of Salim Chishti, “Salim Chisti Ka Mazar” was built there within the grounds of the Jama mosque.

The name, Fateh is of Arabic origin and means “victory”, also in Urdu and Persian; Mughal Emperor Babur defeated Rana Sanga in a battle at a place called Khanwa (about 40 KM from Agra).